As I sat alone, entombed in a theatre, that could house 200 on the final day of 2010, watching this silly, trite, but occasionally humorous movie I distinctly heard the ominous toll of the death knoll for all my aspirations, convictions, pejorative as they are, that I could master, muster, conquer the inertia pervasive in the Indian American community and in the process convert the Western audience to the Bollywood genre. Chocking on the bitter pill of failure; conscious of the absence of harmful side effects, just doomed dreams, desires. The directors, icons of Bollywood filmmaking warned me (last August), prophesized this outcome; but my naivety shunned their Cassandra predictions; my limitless, insane optimism, still hopes for an auspicious miracle by 2020!
Akshay Kumar is Tees Maar Khan, a professional thief who echoes Robin Hood, steals from the rich to enable the poor; Katrina Kaif his gorgeous, but intellectually deprived girlfriend; they dance, gyrate, sing; only in these scenes is the film palatable. “Tees Maar Khan” is a composite of “Robin Hood”, “Houdini” (escape artist) and “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” (headless horseman); but a pale, shallow, insignificant, unflattering imitation of three worthy protagonists.
This film would have been the proverbial “nail in the coffin” if this was one’s first foray, exposure to the Bollywood aesthetic; no threats from Zeus or gifts from Midas could have lured you to a second helping; fortuitous being the solitary observer at this viewing; supporting a courageous theatre that keeps my pessimism at bay.
“Tees Maar Khan” squeezes TWO STARS!! from the kindness or lunacy of the first day of the year.
Caveat: rent Aamir Khan’s “Peepli Live” (2010). This fine movie exposes the depth of the India film industry; opening in January is “Dhobi Ghat” which he stars in.