On this, the occasion of my fiftieth Bollywood film, I humbly present you with a little bit of reflection, inspired and cohered by a mid 1990s classic, Yes Boss. Who better to commemorate the event than Shahrukh, Juhi, Reema, Johny, and a collections development and product testing conspirator? No one, that's who. A wholly satisfactory bit of filmi fluff. This movie has everything a girl could want: a delightful heroine, SRK, elaborate dancing, wacky schemes, a few stunts, crappy fight sound effects, Switzerland, and my favorite Bollywood mother.
Or does it? At this point in my ongoing education, I am going to tentatively state, based on what I've seen so far,* that I just prefer movies made in 1998 or later. I don't know if it's because of KKHH or what, but the movies I love most are after this point. I'd hate to think this is just because of production values and budgets, because that means I'm terribly shallow - after all, the elements are the same, as demonstrated above - but after hours of introspection I think it's probably true. There's just something about the amped-up glossification - clearer, brighter, swirlier. Maybe it's a question of balance - if the emotions and plots are going to be amazing, sweeping, and over-the-top, I want the movie to look just as big and bold.
The thing is, I don't feel too awful about being so seduced by the fancy prettiness because just as much, if not more, I love the emotions of Bollywood - and they cannot be bought, as the characters in Yes Boss discover. It doesn't cost much to go to a cliff and fling out your arms. If you got there in a sports car, and if the sun glints off your diamonds and pricey watch as you twirl, and if you detour through a waterfall on your way back, then that's superwow. But the point is the heart. Airfare to Switzerland is in everyone's reach, if they'd just look deep within their souls, screw up their courage, and let themselves go. To paraphrase Northern Exposure, another incredibly resonant and beloved pop culture favorite, it's not the trappings of the fling, it's the fling itself.
* As far as I know, the only movie I've seen made before 1994 is Sholay, so all observations are based on an admittedly slim slice of film history.
I also want to share a few of the choicest lines of subtitling from the copy I watched:
- How many times have I told you not to take any tension?
- Acquire a status, then a wife.
- You can never tell when a girl will walk into your heart.
- Everything in life is not just the truth or a lie.
- I have not been able to understand many questions in my own life.
- This is the first time a girl is not coming into my clutches.
Aside to Akshaye, who is not in this movie: did you hear that? That's all you'd have to say, and, if your heart is true, I'll totally take you back.