Freshly returned from foreign soils and yearning for all things Indian, even those that would have been summarily rejected just a few weeks ago, I bravely decided to pay Rs.170 to watch the Superstar that would be The Boss, in the local multiplex. The fact that many of the seats were empty just meant that the local Ghati gang just did not get the magic of our curd-rice land, of course.
It was a fantastic display as usual, of gravity defying stunts, exquisitely choreographed and magnificently executed dances involving serious amounts of camera panning, fantabulous costumes designed by the best and the brightest, and lastly, the most imaginative story-line ever to emerge from this side of the
What caught my fancy the most however, was the incredible acting. The following require especial mention –
- A dazzling white coat worn by the doc played by Raghuvaran. The coat would have put all the Nirma ad auntie’s saris to shame, for in addition to its impeccable whiteness, it helped the actor describe and demonstrate to us the power of CPR, repeatedly.
- The startlingly acrobatic heroine’s (whats her name?) navel. It was hidden well when she was in the avatar of cultured, traditional Tamizh person. Hidden beneath swathes of cloth. But at the slightest provocation it jumped out, and danced with glee, nearly putting Shilpa Shetty to shame.
- The three glass domes in the midst of a desert. These glass domes would presumably have proliferated with lush green plants, despite the harsh climate. For the purpose of the movie however, they were rid of said plants, so that innumerable extras, and occasionally the hero and heroine, could prance around in their immense interior. The transparent glass leant unreal glows to the lavish costumes, thus enhancing visual appeal dramatically
- In the same set of scenes, the many pairs of gauze butterfly wings sported by the angelic dancers. Borrowed from the local high school, post a very successful annual day function, these silvery wisps made one feel really in heaven.
- The Superstar’s costumes. While there were, at last count, at least a thousand of them when you total the costumes in the actual movie, those in the dream sequences, and those shown only in magazine and newspaper clippings, there was a common theme. It has been reported that top Indian designers are squabbling over who exactly is responsible for these designs. I say, there is no fight! Clearly, all of the currently active designers were employed, and the Superstar, humble as he is, wore all the designed clothes & wigs, usually simultaneously.
- The dancer’s dancing tummies. These fat things had a rhythm of their own, especially when painted with the Superstar’s face from the early 80s. To see a hundred of these in action, gyrating to the musical score in a theater is an experience akin to watching glaciers melt, at an Imax-Dome-with-3D-effects.
- And finally, the blue Halls wrapper. Where did it go? Did it ignore gravity too, and land up miraculously in the wastepaper basket? Did it directly find its way to the municipal plastic dump? Did it manage to maintain its separate identity from sundry wet garbage? It is exactly this mystery that makes the acting by this teeny weenie something remarkable, to remember for generations to come.
Black money & corruption are big problems. Education and health care are important areas requiring serious efforts. Power to the people! Good, if sort of obvious, messages from the movie. Watch it, but if possible avoid the song and dance sequences.