Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Rangeela Re

Chanced upon this slideshow in TOI - 'Bollywood 15 Babes At Their Boldest Best' !!! Talk about corny :). Well, I did take a look (yeah, you could say that!). The slides include one of Urmila Matondkar in Rangeela, one of the cult hits of the 90s. The teasing trailers of a sensuous Urmila wearing just a wet white shirt prancing around a Goan beach caught the imagination of every male teenager in the country (including me), not to mention a passable percentage of the adult males. This was also A.R.Rahman's debut into Bollywood (everything else so far had been dubbed), and Tanha Tanha (the song to which Urmila was gyrating) was already a chartbuster.

How we went for the movie is another story by itself. We took along a chap who barely knew Hindi (he'd been born and brought up in Singapore, and was just visiting), and after the usual maara-maari managed to get decent seats (this was actually quite an achievement, because movie-theatres in Kerala have not discovered simple concepts like advance-booking or seat numbers yet - so a ticket and a decent seat is pretty good going). Expectations were high, and the high-testosterone audience waited for the entry of Urmila with bated breath.

She did not disappoint. Dressed in skin-tight leotards and short mini-skirts, Urmila ensured that the audience had no complaints. Aamir took care of the emotional angle (in a career-defining performance as Munna), while Jackie and Urmila provided the oomph factor. Everybody was waiting for THE song now. As Urmila's screen-mom informed a crestfallen Aamir that Urmila and Jackie had gone to Goa for a film-shoot, there was wild cheering from the audience (I whisted too).

The trademark interlude of flutes marking the beginning of Tanha Tanha boomed from the newly installed Dolby system, and the screen panned from the foamy beach to a vision of Urmila, dressed in the by-now-famous wet white shirt, running in slow-motion. The audience stopped all the catcalls and began to watch in rapt attention and intense concentration. Then IT happened.

There was a power failure, and the screen went black. The speakers shut down. And, the incensed audience began abusing the theatre staff. This probably had to be the longest phase of sustained revilement ever. For a long 5 minutes, gaali followed gaali, followed by yet another more-insulting gaali. At last, the frantic staff managed to get the generator running. And the audience settled down once again.

At the end of the movie, the guy from Singapore said that the heroine was 'hot'. Guess sex appeal has no language barriers !!

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