Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Redefining villain with baby bunnies. Akshaye in Aaja Naachle.


Aaja Naachle only really begins 27 minutes into the movie, when Diya (Madhuri Dixit) goes visit a local politician Uday (usually referred to by his title Raja) about the local theater Ajanta, which he plans to tear down and turn into a mall. Raja offers her pizza he made himself. He likes pizza. She brings up the plans to tear down Ajanta. She asks him not to. He says he will despite.

But not before he offers her pizza.

You evil son of a bitch.

Eventually they make a pact - if she can revive the village's theater life with local talent, the mall deal is off.

Look at this heartless, animal of a man. All that pizza-making and flirtation only covers up his true nature, that of a villain who makes heroines dance on broken glass and shoots henchmen for the heck of it.

Except .. no, wait. Akshaye Khanna's villainous Raja is the fluffiest, cutest villain you will ever meet. Put him next to a sharpei puppy and you'd still be going, "That sharpei puppy is up to no good."

Villain's Log, Day 47: "I made pizza and a cute lady talked to me. Yay!"

And then he watches her perform and likes it and just grins to himself like he's just crushing on her hardcore (which he obviously is, in his own cutesy smug manner). These is not even a pinch of ruthlessness in this man's body.

And then he's just super-cute with the daughter. Is this supposed to be menacing? "I'm the bad guy", followed by a smug but adorable smile. What are we to think?

Oh the venomous exchange of words! Except he naturally takes it as an opportunity to flirt and make puppy eyes at her whilst pretending to actually have some debate about the Ajanta issue. Diya takes it more seriously, providing more fuel to the fire of dramatic tension because, well, somebody has to!

She delivers a healthy dose of "oh snap!" and he's all, "Hee, I like this lady."

This pattern repeats itself.

"Oh, what am I doing here? I just bought these new Ray-Ban's and wanted to show off them and my awesome swagger. Did you know they gave me an ominous background score for these scenes?"

"I am so evil! And adorable. And hot. Do you like ice cream? I like ice cream."

"But not as much as I like kittens fighting. Or you. Whoops, what am I saying? Oh that's right, I'm the bad guy. Grr. Evil things! Fire and brimstone, murky polluted rain ..and then rainbows! Pots of gold! ..Dammit."

"You're a better villain than me, Irfan. That's why I like playing golf with you. Do you like pizza?"

"Oh, you want to sabotage the play due to business profits? Well, that's not cool. Don't you know fairies die whenever you stop believing in the goodness of mankind? Think about it for a minute."

Villain's Log, Day 82: "Got awesome seats at the theater today because I'm an MP. Yay!"

"PS. Really enjoyed the play. 5/5!"

Sadly Diya is leaving to return to the US. Our heroine won! What does our villain do? Curse and retreat back to his lair, possibly kidnapping her daughter as he does so? Not at all. Instead he's like, "Oh, what a shame. Well, I'll give you a call sometime."

And then we have our Starbucks ending. Who knows what the future will bring.. But what we do know is that our terrible villain has left behind the days of evil schemes and all that.

What a relief!

And some bonus cute Khanna!face for you --

Serious Business.

File this one in the dictionary, as definition for awesome!face.

"God willing I'll make more guest appearances this worth watching."

...If only , Akshaye, if only.


Anishok said...

I'm risking the ire of thousand Khann-o-maniacs here, but I HATE the ending of Aaja Nachle. I don't care how hot not-really evil Akshaye is. Madhuri belonged with Ranvir Shorey aka woobiest character in the history of Bollywood!

Ness said...

Agree with Anishok re: the ending. NOT A FAN of Aaja Nachle (which is no secret) but yes, Mads should have picked Ranvir Shorey. Also loved how at one point in the film, Akshaye actually has to explicitly state "I'm the bad guy", cos he's so cuddly and non-evil. HAHAHA.

ajnabi said...

I like the ending of Aaja Nachle! It was completely consistent with Diya's character, and a great affirmation of the choices she'd made being the right ones for her. What was she supposed to do, give up a successful career and studio and take her non-Hindi speaking daughter to a small town so she could pour tea? How very retro! If she'd wanted to, that would have been fine, I guess. The point was she didn't want to, she'd never wanted to, her brief marriage was just a vehicle to what she DID want.

(That being said, I adore Mohan. *Such* a sweetie.)

But! Back on topic! I thought Raja was hilariously non-evil--this post is so funny because it's precisely what I was thinking while I watched. I wondered if the film-makers were making a statement about the evils of big business interests vs. politicians and the difference a corrupt vs. pristine politician can make in the country's course. I could be reading too much into fluff, of course. :-)

Sarah (Pardesi 2) said...

OH MY GOODNESS! Laughing SO hard! I've never watched this movie, but now I want to. I didn't really want to see Akshaye as the villain (in my heart of hearts, I really love the guy) but this role sounds like it's made of pure awesome. :P

Beth Loves Bollywood said...

I too am not a fan of Aaja Nachle overall - it wastes a lot of interesting potential and I hate waht they do with Konkona and Kunal's arc - but Akshaye is is hilarious in this wonderful role. It's really well written and so refreshing to see "a villain" who is merely practical and sensible instead of eeeeeeevil. I like how normal he is. And I love how much fun he seems to have playing it! Much to the writers' credit, there are lots of good roles in this film.

Amrita said...

Aieeeeeeeeee @ the hotness. I always thought he was cute in a puppy like way but this movie really brung it to the part-ay.

The movie itself was mostly blah with a few charming moments, most of them with Akshaye, and I agree with Ajnabi that the end was completely in character. Ranvir was a sweetheart and he's probably always going to think of Mads as the epitome of womanhood for all time but she clearly has other ideas when it comes to her life and her men. There's just no way she was going to see his inner goodness or whatever.

Janeheiress said...

This post is completely FTW. Laughed way more loudly than is appropriate for work! I loved his character in the film, especially the "I'm the bad guy", and I agree with the above commentators about Diya making the right choices.

Rum said...

SQUEAL!! I really forgot how cuuute Akshay is when he smiles and acts so smugly sweet in this! And I even tolerated the product placement ending, only because my inappropriate love for this pair since Mohabbat all those years ago when Akshay had hair and Mads looked like a Ms Robinson next to him!

MinaiMinai said...

Best blog title ever! You are hilarious with this post. "awesome!face." Oh my goodness, too many brilliant screencaps. Bookmarking this for future use when I am in a low mood. :D

Anishok said...

I hear ya, people, I hear ya. But when I look at that neon dil shining behind Ranvir Shorey's heartbroken frame ALL your arguments turn to puff :P

veracious said...

Such debate! Thanks for responding, everybody!

I am a fan of AN, and while I feel bad for Ranvir's character, I always think the dude goes home with Konkona Sen Sharma. I mean, not in this movie but in general. I don't know. :D

But yes, Akshoo love. I mean, pizza-making! Despite everything, I feel like Diya picked the right guy by going with the bad guy.

Rum - lol, I am not too sure if it really was a product placement ending, might've just been me associating those cups with Starbucks & New York City.

MinaiMinai - Thanks a million. And yes, screencaps are love. He is just adorbs in this.

Unknown said...

Hi,I came across a Movie Review Contest on and found it very interesting. Its a great platform for Movie Reviewers.