Monday, February 20, 2006

Tribute to the King

One thing this blog totally lacks is animation/pictures and the mention of big names (read legends). Though it makes up for all that, thanks to the ability of the author to write a lot of useless stuff in ways that make him a legend. But sometimes, it is necessary to thank people who have influenced ones’ life in such a way as to cause him to look at life in a refreshingly new way. In a lifetime, one comes across ups, downs, sideway movements and sometimes... Suniel Shetty.


Ever since I saw a certain Sunil Pal say “Aye Veerappan! Madhuri Ko Chhod de!” like his namesake I could not help but curse myself for all the days I spent in the dark. (For those still wondering who Sunil Pal is please search the net for clips of the Great Indian Laughter Challenge and then get back to this post) Watching Sunil Pal gave me the enlightenment, I so craved for, all these years. Now I know what Buddha felt. Getting back to our main guy for the night, it’s truly remarkable how unfair bollywood can be to certain people who get marginalized in spite of being class acts in their own right. Suniel Shetty would be right on top of the list of popular-actors-not-appreciated-for-their-better-performances. The biggest problem is that HE is blissfully unaware of all he actually deserves but does not get. He did have a good initial career but none of his performances (in spite of his movies being hits) made justice to what he was truly capable of. As a result, little do people know that his career actually had two turning points.


The Dhadkan phase:

Yes. I mean, the Nadeem( criminal)-Shravan composed ‘tum dil ki dhadkan…’ movie directed by the legendary Darshan brothers. This was the movie where Mr. Schwarzenegger decided to become Shah Rukh Khan only to see his lover go to some other man played by Akshay Kumar (Bollywood’s very own Stallone turned Jim Carrey - and a questionable transformation that). This movie, though noted for Suniel’s softer side by critics far and wide, was significant from his career point of view not for his romantic role, but for the fact that he had begun to think. He began to ‘realize’ that he needed a makeover and a romantic role would be ideal for him. Dumb one might think. But such are the ways of the great. They usually make three mistakes. But these mistakes somehow cancel out (even if they are three) and help them reach meteoric peaks of brilliance. Mr. SS’s mistakes were –

(i) he began to think;

(ii) he fell in the process, and;

(iii) he realized that a romantic movie was a bad idea.

The realization dawned much later, and after acting in a few forgettable movies by his own high standards, came the masterstroke.

He signed for Kaante.


The Kaante ‘era’ (Otherwise known as, “Darling, how’s my facial hair today?”):

What happens if you mix Usual Suspects with liberal helpings of Reservoir Dogs? Something mouth watering. I remember my second year when I looked at someone with absolute disgust when he remarked “Kya ulti(mate) movie hai yaar!” after watching Kaante. Now I wish I could apologize to that guy. When there is a movie which involves a suave SS with his French beard (plus some well designed facial hair for which I don’t have names) rattling off English better than a white guy and with such élan, why do people start talking about bollywood’s ‘unfaithful remakes’. Let me tell you, it’s just grudging admiration; a refusal to accept a work of brilliance that is so good because of the sheer presence of a genius. Kaante was his true turning point.


We know most actors are high on the pretentiousness/arrogance quotient; Suniel Shetty on the other hand, is as honest/humble as a gobi paratha. And I really mean it.

Excerpt from an MTV/Zoom interview:

MTV/Zoom: “What kind of attire do you normally wear when you go out?”

SS: (with a Michael-Madsen-meets-50-Cent accent): “Aaw me? Well! Ya see, I kinda, ya kno, kinda like ta chill out, ya kno, stuff like metal chains and bracelets and some simple Versace clothes, but mostly I like to do stuff with ma hair ya kno. Dats ma passion actually, ya kno.”


Yes sir, we know. But this tribute can’t end without a mention of at least some of his classics.


Who would imagine post Kaante, that one would expand his horizons to play Agent Smith/Ravana in what would turn out to be the definitive movie on everything supernatural and actually answer questions such as; why evil likes to do cool things like killing and destruction and good likes to do boring things like maintaining peace? The movie has displaced Satyajit Ray’s pedestrian ‘Apu Trilogy’ in the University of Who Flung Dung, Suwon, South Korea, at their Department of Arts and Film Technology as a case study for final year students. SS reminded them of their mythical hero Kim Ji-Cowadunga, who used to protect cows from predatory so-called do-gooders by flinging dung mixed with kryptonite. In the movie however, under the insistence of our legend himself the dung actually was represented by a mantra that went, “Tadeem, Tadeem, Tadeem”. Only if we Indian folks understood subtlety. The blue eyes, the gaze, the stunts that put Neo to shame… only if we had the ability to understand the allusions these acts made to. We are seeing a classic slip right under our very eyes because our mental faculties are too ill-equipped to understand. God, give our future generations more intelligence to comprehend true merit.


Main Hoon Naa:

Nothing much to say other than Shah Rukh, Sushmita and Zayed Khan overshadowing the true hero. The picture says the rest. And yeah, his character name was Raghavan. Now that is breaking from the stereotype.




At last, before I end this tribute, I’ll have to quote from this remake of The Usual Suspects. (In spite of having seen the original I was thrown off guard with these lines from the Master towards the end of the movie. So stunned was I, after these lines, the twist in the movie took me b surprise)


SS: (on the deck of the ship with gun in hand and looking down at the lady) “Murtaza Arzai? Kaun hai Murtaza Arzai? (oozing with emotion and gun raised in the air) I am Murtaza Arzai. I AM FREAKIN’ MURTAZA ARZAI *bang* *bang* *bang*….”


SS today has redefined acting. The outstretched hands, the angle at which he inclines his stylishly harvested + spray-painted head in line with that of the earth’s axis, and those language defying dialogues…*sigh* I will say no more. Just that another Indian genius sinks into oblivion while stars like Shah Rukh, Amitabh, Riteish Deshmukh and Pankaj Udhas grace the Sunday cover stories of TOI.


  1. Not much of a break from the stereotype, MAnoj Bajpai in Aks was called Raghavan as well. Maybe one day the name will reach the rarefied heights of a 'Tony Braganza', appearing in every second movie.

  2. poor chap will go commit suicide after reading this. have mercy!

  3. Raghavan:
    It's Suniel Shetty were talking about here, not some damn bihari (RGV) factory product or an ex-dps-ite for that matter

    nice to see a new visitor here,
    u see, this is a 'tribute' if u know what i mean. Im just giving him a recognition for his achievement no one can ever give

  4. makes one hell of a paper. nice research though.
    And thanx for all the attention...

  5. hey bored child
    get over shetty anna

  6. ram__:
    well ive gotten over it, but probably someone else needs to get over someone more than me. ;)

  7. Oh, this was one of those things when those otherwise asinine ROTFL thingies suddenly start to make sense, you know?
    Now I know what Buddha felt.-->