Star Wars is dead. Long live the new Star Wars (but only at the box office)

LightsaberStar Wars is officially dead. They may make dozens of more movies and make billions of more dollars, but the “galaxy far, far away” created by George Lucas is kaput. The Last Jedi is something out of a parallel universe where all the rules of the game have changed.

Where does one even begin to cover the new Star Wars instalment? (Spoilers!!!)

1. Most colourless characters ever.

daisy-jazz-isobel-ridley-2029555_1280The light side is too light: This is the saddest and least charismatic bunch of rebels ever. Rey is by far the weakest of all the main characters that ever appeared in the Star Wars universe and yet she is presented as a combination of Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia and Han Solo. The most powerful person in the galaxy without training of any kind! A true Mary Sue!

If they used someone like Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman), they might have pulled it off, but definitely not Daisy Ridley! Finn is at best above average. Poe is just about OK. Rose is in competition with Jar Jar Binks for the most irrelevant character of the entire Star Wars saga.

The dark side isn’t dark enough: Even Ben Solo looks like a pansy maybe just like Anakin Skywalker in the prequel trilogy. But when Anakin puts the mask on, Darth Vader is God. Kylo Ren in comparison is still a pansy. A poor imitation! What about the replacement of the Emperor? Supreme Leader Snoke looks totally moth eaten without any back story and dies just like that. Even other characters like Captain Phasma look quite forced.

darth-maul-1555343_1280Prequel characters far better: You just can’t match the wonderful star cast of the original trilogy. No point in even discussing that. But no matter how much you criticize the prequel trilogy for its documentary-wooden feel and the problem with some of its characters like an anaemic Padme, jarring Jar Jar Binks and geriatric General Grievous, it nonetheless had many other excellent characters… a young Obi-Wan Kenobi, a rejuvenated Yoda, Darth Sidious, Darth Maul, Darth Tyranus, Qui-Gon Jinn and Mace Windu.

2. They keep leading you to something and then dupe you.

alfred-hitchcock-393745_1920I was once watching an Alfred Hitchcock documentary where the great director said something to the effect of: If you’re leading the audience to something and they expect it and it doesn’t happen, then they’ll hate you for it. Well that happens here all the time.

Rey: Despite being totally colourless, Rey’s redemption came when she almost joined hands with Kylo Ren to go to the dark side. The whole film was leading up to that point. Even Luke tells her on Ahch-To that she couldn’t even resist the dark side during training.

Rey seemed to be a long lost Skywalker or Solo or related to some other well-known Star Wars character the way they kept bringing up her origin and her parentage throughout The Force Awakens and the first half of The Last Jedi. But we are suddenly told out of the blue told that she is a total nobody.

kylo-rens-lightsaber-1193161_1280Kylo Ren and Rey team up brilliantly to beat all of Snoke’s guards. But she doesn’t want to join hands with Kylo and won’t go to the dark side. The redemption came and went. The director and story writer just snatched it away from her and she became totally colourless again.

Kylo Ren looked like a whining cry baby in front of Snoke in The Force Awakens. But in The Last Jedi he stands up and kills Snoke and his character becomes far more complex with his psychic link with Rey. Going forward this would have saved both the characters, but the link was brutally broken.

bb8-droid-1141513_1920Finn: Finn seemed to have no role in this entire movie except being bullied by maintenance worker Rose for no rhyme or reason. Then his redemption also came. On Crait the cannon is the only thing that can get through to the Resistance fortress.

When all speeders fail to foil the cannon, Finn goes on a suicide mission and that seems the only option left. It’s a great scene where he’s heading straight into the beam and getting closer and closer. It’s getting hotter and hotter and the scene is getting blurred.

There’s great tension in the air and just when he’s about to hit the cannon and save the day, Rose comes out of nowhere and bangs her speeder with his. (A maintenance worker who happens to be a better pilot than both Poe and Finn. No training of any kind is required in this trilogy!) So the save vanishes. The redemption vanishes.

It’s ridiculous. When an incredulous Finn asked Rose why she would do that, she moronically replies, “We’re going to win this war not by fighting what we hate, but saving what we love!”

That’s utter crap and makes no sense at all. Why would you do that?

Luke: OK, they were making way for Luke after the above scene. So Luke pops out of nowhere on Crait. (How did he get there?) He has a tender moment with Leia and gives her some random golden dice which make no sense at that particular moment.

Then he comes out and takes all the rebel fire and comes out of it totally unscathed. That’s cool. He even can let a light sabre go through him. That’s cooler. Then a let-down! He’s actually a hologram or astral projection or whatever. When it all happens it looks cool but later you feel totally let down.

Then we have the following dialogue…

Kylo Ren: I’ll destroy her. And you. And all of it.
Luke Skywalker: No. Strike me down in anger and I’ll always be with you. Just like your father.

You think Kylo Ren will “kill” Luke the way Darth Vader “killed” Obi Wan Kenobi. However nothing of the sort happens and back on the island Luke vanishes into the sunset. If he had to die, why not die at the hand of Kylo Ren?

spaceship-2841276_1280Vice admiral Holdo: She is presented as a selfish incompetent character, but then made a martyr in the end. She looks to hate Poe. But when he’s unconscious and stunned she tells Leia that she likes him. Star Wars keeps trying for twists and turns to surprise you but they are not really that. They are a character’s 180 degrees which absolutely make no sense at all.

Finn Rey Poe Rose: In the original trilogy there was a potential love triangle between Princess Leia, Luke Skywalker and Han Solo before they quickly resolved it because the former two were siblings. Here we are shown the potential of Finn and Rey getting together. Then there’s a potential Finn Poe bromance with Poe taking Finn’s jacket and awkward hugs and all.

Finally out of the blue Rose comes, commandeers Finn and decides his destiny and they kiss. Again this is not a twist but a nonsensical 180 degree turn.

3. They made a conscious decision to kill off the old Star Wars.

millenium-falcon-1627322_1920They have killed the old universe and tried to make a new one, but is it any better?

Usage of the Force: The Force used to be a mystical fantastic concept which you could master only with great training and meditation and mentored by a great Jedi master. The prequel trilogy diluted this by bringing in midi-chlorians.

But The Last Jedi puts everything into the dustbin. Now anyone like Rey can master the Force by clicking her fingers and all Jedi masters can simply go to hell. Also the Force can be anything you want it to be. Use your imagination and keep expanding it, it seems.

Even Leia using the Force to get out of the vacuum of space was like nothing she’s done in the entire series till now.

darth-vader-1207142_1920The Rule of Two: The Emperor Darth Sidious first had Darth Maul then Darth Tyranus and finally Darth Vader. Each master-apprentice was a masterpiece combo, especially the last. The Emperor even tries to take Luke as his next apprentice.

That way Snoke keeps insulting Kylo Ren and the relationship is uncertain and totally unlike the above. When Kylo Ren kills Snoke, he is shown as taking no apprentice. He tries to join hands with Rey but she can’t be his apprentice for she’s apparently more powerful than him.

star-wars-1181724_1280A Stormtrooper rebels: For six movies Stormtroopers are obedient dumb weapons of war who all just keep shooting and shooting. But out of all those hundreds of thousands of Stormtroopers Finn rebels. Why? Why only one? Why after such a long time? Why not many more after him? Why not any more rebellions in The Last Jedi now that the trend has been started?

Light speed into another ship: This is the gravest error ever made in the Star Wars universe. It throws all the rules of galactic warfare out of the window. Any ship capable of light speed suddenly becomes the most powerful weapon in the universe. The ultimate galactic Suicide Bomber.

I am referring to the incident where Holdo rams Snoke’s fleet at light speed. So now you can just ram any vehicle at light speed into a Death Star or Death Planet or Empire/First Order base or Emperor/Snoke residence and kill anyone or anything you want.

This is a recipe for disaster. This is like having potentially thousands of suicide nuclear bombers. The civilization in the entire galaxy can end due to this flaw. It would lead to total chaos in the galaxy.

Kill the Jedi: This should be the actual name of the movie. Burn all the Jedi books as Yoda chuckles. Finish off the Jedi order as if it’s a joke. Kill off Han Solo just like that. Kill off Snoke just like that. Kill off the lovable Admiral Ackbar just like that. Kill off the entire legacy without having anything concrete replace it!

Luke: This was the worst of all. If you watched the original trilogy, then Luke’s future should have been grand. He should have either become President of the Republic or Grand Master of the Jedi Council or simply gone to the Dark Side out of sheer boredom.

Absolutely nothing of the sort happened. He opened a Jedi school which went wrong and then became a coward and a hermit in some obscure corner of the galaxy collecting the milk of strange sea creatures directly out of their teats.

Is this how you treat the greatest hope at the end of the original trilogy?

Han is dead. Luke is dead. Leia may not return. Rey-Kylo Ren didn’t get together. One really wonders how they are going to redeem Episode IX.

4. No real storyline.

writing-1209121_1920The Force Awakens was nothing but a rehash of A New Hope and The Last Jedi is a mish-mash of many things masquerading as goodness knows what. And as mentioned above, they keep leading to a story path and then totally diverting from it. Even the prequel trilogy also had a clear story which went forward.

The initial Resistance attack with the Dreadnaught and its alleged weaknesses and bombs falling down on it in the absence of gravity made no sense. The whole gambling den codebreaker diversion could have been avoided altogether. Holdo’s holding back information of Crait made no sense. The tracking itself is contrived.

Finn’s aborted suicide mission makes way for Luke’s hologram. Luke’s hologram cannot die, but he still dies at the end of it. The whole story is riddled with one contradiction after another.

Obi-Wan Kenobi trying to kill Anakin Skywalker made sense.
Darth Vader killing Kenobi made sense.
Darth Vader and Luke trying to kill each other made sense.

Ben Solo killing Han Solo made no sense.
Luke trying to kill Ben made no sense.
The way Snoke was killed made no sense.

5. Everything reminded you of…

alan-rick-man-1915292_1920For some reason everything in the movie reminded me of the Harry Potter Universe, especially the gambling outpost imagery. Rey’s mirror scene reminded me of the mirror scene in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. When Rey meditates into a blackish well kind of thingy I almost imagined Voldemort saying in his raspy voice, “Harry Potter!”

The scene in which Snoke is killed is very remeniscient of Harry Potter too. Voldemort practices Legilimency to pry into Severus Snape’s mind and he successfully uses Occlumency to thwart him. Here too: Snoke practices a Legilimency type technique to pry into Kylo Ren’s mind, who successfully uses an Occlumency type technique to thwart him.

Both Voldemort and Snoke look like withered dark lords. Both Kylo Ren and Snape look the same with their pale troubled faces and hairstyle to boot. The Force is also metamorphiszing into the Magic of the Harry Potter universe and can now be used to do everything. They might as well replace the lightsaber with the magic wand in Episode IX.

Even Luke disappearing into the sunset is something like the way Oogway goes in Kung Fu Panda.

6. Politically Correct Star Wars for Social Justice Warriors?

communism-17143_640Is this a PC SJW Star Wars? Sadly that is what it appears to be. The cast looks to be filling diversity quotas instead of being picked on raw talent and there’s a lot of forced feminism throughout the movie.

Luke and Han abdicate everything to make way for Leia to gain total control.

Kylo Ren defeats Snoke but is totally subordinate to Rey.

Poe is at the mercy of Holdo.

Finn is henpecked by Rose.

All the males have been emasculated.

At the gambling outpost on Canto Bight it’s all about capitalism, arms dealers and animal rights.

The First Order is modelled on the Nazis.

Everyone knows that Hollywood leans Left, but they are bordering on outright Communist propaganda nowadays and will go bust one day at this rate.

In summation a great watch, but…

red-1556342_640Of course all Star Wars movies will continue to make billions. Why? Visually they’re all awesome. Among the three trilogies, The Last Jedi one by far has the best special effects (naturally, the budget is bigger and it’s the latest instalment) and that’s what keeps it going forward.

It’s also one great scene after another (even though the scenes may not have a real connect and make no sense when you analyse them critically). Superficially brilliant. I never thought I’d say this, but it’s a Bollywood movie. Why? Because in a Bollywood movie you are supposed to leave your brains at home to enjoy it thoroughly and forget about it afterwards!

So the Star Wars franchise may be dead, but hey, even zombies can make billions in Hollywood!

© Sunil Rajguru

Bollywood: Khan, Khaner and Khanest!

converse-1935024_640Box office…
SRK Big. Salman Bigger. Aamir Biggest.

Fan power…
Aamir Big. SRK Bigger. Salman Biggest.

Scope of heroine in the film…
Aamir Small. SRK Smaller. Salman Smallest.

Lack of logic in films…
Aamir Big. SRK Bigger. Salman Biggest.

Hype of the three Khans…
Aamir Big. SRK Bigger. Salman Biggest.

Age of the hero…
SRK Young. Aamir Younger. Salman Youngest.

© Sunil Rajguru

Dangal Baahubali musings…

film-2233656_6402017 beginning, zero Indian movies in Global 1000 box office list.
Now both Baahubali 2 and Dangal in Top 500.

Dangal made Rs 1000 crore in China.
Baahubali 2 is planning a big China launch.
Tubelight heroine is the Chinese Zhu Zhu.
2017 Bollywood’s year of “Hindi Chini” bhai bhai?

All time blockbuster Indian movie.
Hindi: Baahubali 2.
India: Baahubali 2.
US: Baahubali 2.
China: Dangal.
Worldwide: Dangal (Till Baahubali 2 is released in China).

Dangal joins the ¥1 Billion Club in China.
(That’s in the region of Rs 1000 crore)
P.S. Baahubali 2 releasing soon in China.

These versions by Sunil Rajguru

Baahubali musings…

cinema-2093264_640Baahubali 2 enters $Quarter-Billion Club.
(500 odd global movies in that club)

Aamir—Big Khan.
Salman—Middle Khan.
SRK—Little Khan.
#BoxOffice
Then there’s Baahubali!

Bahubali 2 + Dangal have crossed Rs 3000 crore worldwide.
That’s more than the lifetime gross of many Bollywood stars.

The times have changed…
Shah Rukh Khan’s last 5 movies…
Raees Rs 272 crore
+ Dear Zindagi Rs 139 crore
+ Fan Rs 188 crore
+ Dilwale Rs 389 crore
+ Happy New Year Rs 343 crore
= Rs 1331 crore
Baahubali 2 alone beats that.

After #Baahubali2, Bollywood should start releasing their movies dubbed simultaneously in regional and foreign languages.

#Baahubali2 makes Rs 100 crore in a day.
In the future it will be asked…
How many hours did this film take to join the Rs 100 crore club?

These versions by Sunil Rajguru

Oh God! Does anyone have sequel fatigue yet? The 2017 list…

cinema-1814606_64019th film of the Amityville franchise.

15th, 16th and 17th films of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

10th Star Wars film.

10th film of the X-men series.

8th film of the Fast & the Furious franchise.

6th film of Resident Evil.

6th “Alien” universe movie.

4th and 5th films of the DC Cinematic Universe.

5th film of Underworld.

Pirates of the Caribbean 5.

Transformers 5.

Insidious: Chapter 4.

Despicable Me 3 (4th Gru movie).

2nd and 3rd Lego films.

Cars 3.

3rd film of xXx.

3rd Smurfs movie.

Pitch Perfect 3.

Blade Runner sequel.

Sequel to Trainspotting.

2nd film of Fifty Shades.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2.

2nd John Wick film.

Kingsman 2.

Jumanji 2.

Paddington 2.

Daddy’s Home 2

Yet another Mummy movie.

Yet another Planet of the Apes movie.

Umpteenth Beauty and the Beast adaptation.

Umpteenth King Arthur adaptation.

Another Murder on the Orient Express remake.

Reboot of a King Kong remake.

Flatliners sequel.

Phew!

The A to Z of Shah Rukh Khan controversies

shahrukh-khan-2380411_640A for Amitabh Bachchan

One is the Shahenshah and one is the Badshaah. And of course, it’s impossible for them to get along. Or so the grapevine would have us believe. There’s a cold war that keeps brewing and we keep getting the details. One such was when Jaya Bachchan called Happy New Year a nonsensical film and that got SRK mad and Amitabh had to apologize.

A is also for Abhijeet who once declared that he wouldn’t sing for SRK ever again as he didn’t get enough respect to him. You could say that Abhijeet’s playback career got cut short after that. He only came back in the limelight when he became a strong supporter of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Twitter.

barber-2165745_640B for Billu Barber

This one defied logic. If the hero of a movie is called Billu and is a barber, then what else can one call the movie? But barbers of the world (or rather India) found it derogatory and the film had to be renamed to Billu.

C for Chalte Chalte

It was reported that due to a fracas between Aishwarya Rai and Salman Khan on the sets of the film, the former was sacked from the movie and replaced with Rani Mukerji. Years later SRK wasn’t invited to the marriage of Aishwarya at the Amitabh household.

D for Dilwale

This comes straight after I for Intolerance. SRK got into the whole #AwardWapsi controversy and Twitter started trending #BoycottDilwale. SRK pleaded T for Tolerance before the movie but the damage was done. People protested with banners and continued the campaign. One trade analyst said the film made losses to the tune of Rs 50-60 crores for distributors and hence could be called his biggest flop ever.

That set SRK back, but the flop of Fan hurt him even more. Thanks to all this, the release of Raees was pushed from Eid 2016 to Republic Day 2017. With Raees having Pakistani Mahira Khan, it could still release to a major controversy.

Shah Rukh Khan’s career is now officially over

How SRK and Dilwale got punished for Aamir over intolerance

Why SRK’s Fan and Raees will suffer like Dilwale

Does Shah Rukh Khan want Bollywood to boycott him?

D is also for Deepa Sahi. Remember Maya Memsaab in 1993? That had generated a lot of controversy over the sexually explicit content. The censor board cut some scenes, which made their way to YouTube years later.

E for the Eyes of Amar Singh

At an awards show, SRK joked that he saw “darindagi” (evil) in erstwhile Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh’s eyes. Amitabh was miffed and SP partymen agitated in front of SRK’s home.

F for Farah Khan

When Farah decided to do her 3rd movie without SRK, all manner of reports came of a split between the two. The superstar later clarified that it was a date problem and nothing else. Since then SRK and Farah Khan have patched up and made Happy New Year. However then Jaya called the film nonsensical.

F is also for foetal test. A report appeared that SRK and Gauri went in for a foetal sex test during pregnancy and there was even a probe into those allegations!

G for Gay

The SRK-Saif Ali Khan gay act in Kal Ho Na Ho was a big hit and the acting continued well into award shows. That led some people to spread rumours that he was gay in the first place. To be fair, the duo sportingly carried on this theme while hosting a film award show.

H for Hosting film award shows

When the King Khan hosts a film award, then it can’t be normal. At the Filmfare awards, he and Saif took potshots at everyone: critics, the film industry, themselves… Not everyone was amused though.

H is also for Pakistani terrorist Pakistani Hafiz who invited SRK to Pakistan after a controversial write-up in Outlook magazine. Declared SRK: I sometimes become the inadvertent object of political leaders who choose to make me a symbol of all that they think is wrong and unpatriotic about Muslims in India. I have been accused of bearing allegiance to our neighbouring nation rather than my own country.

I for IPL

After failing to get Mumbai, SRK landed with Kolkata in his kitty. Since then it was been trouble with Dada Sourav Ganguly, coach John Buchanan, irate fans, bottom of the table performances, Pak players controversy and initially they didn’t even reach the semis. G is also for (Sunil) Gavaskar. This is what the cricketing legend had to say about Buchanan: A failed former cricketer making a living telling international players to do what he couldn’t do. Needless to say SRK wasn’t amused. Since then KKR has won the IPL twice, though winning captain Gautam Gambhir soon found himself out of the national team.

J for Junk Food Actors

burger-2167270_640In the 1990s, he once made certain remarks about “junk food actors” which allegedly referred to action stars Akshay Kumar and Sunil Shetty. The comments were subsequently totally denied and everything was fine between the three.

K for Khan Wars

It is impossible for the Three Big Khans to get along. Bollywood is simply too small for Salman, Aamir and SRK. Either they are not on talking terms or are cold to each other at parties and meets. Aamir even once got into the mood and questioned SRK’s No. 1 status followed by the below-the-belt comment on his blog that a dog called Shah Rukh was licking his legs. The love-hate relationship between the three Khans continues. There was that famous SRK-Salman hug though.

Then there’s the Chalte Chalte controversy as mentioned above and there was also supposed to be another confrontation between the two at Katrina Kaif’s birthday party.

K is also for Kunder as it was alleged that SRK slapped Farah Khan’s husband Shirish Kunder at a Bollywood party. Kunder even Tweeted making fun of the fortunes of Ra.One saying, “I just heard a 150 cr firework fizzle”. Since then after a lot of apologies, SRK and Farah got together for Happy New Year.

L for Lux Cozi

Lux Cozi sponsored Kolkata Knight Riders. Lux Cozi promoter was charged with the abetment of suicide of Rizwanur Rahman. And the deal got promptly frozen, even though the ads kept coming on TV long after the press conference where the announcement was made.

M for My Name is Khan

One of the biggest controversies in recent times. The Shiv Sena. The MNS. The Maharashtra government. Everyone seemed to have got involved. The film got released amidst unprecedented security and SRK is still clueless on what exactly happened and why it happened. (The Thackerays said they were protesting SRK batting for Pakistani players in the IPL.) What the Shiv Sena did for MNIK, the MNS is hoping to do for Raees.

N for Newark Airport

newark-2021159_640SRK was detained Newark Airport in the US for more than an hour “Because His Name Was Khan”. While SRK kicked up a racket, his detractors found the plot too eerily similar to the movie he was shooting for.

O for Om Shanti Om

While this movie opened to bumper full house without any problems, thespian Manoj Kumar made a big fuss about how his character was portrayed negatively and wanted an apology plus the scenes being cut.

P for Priyanka Chopra

priyanka-chopra-1748203_640SRK has a great personal life and usually stays out of the news for the wrong reasons, but he was once linked to Piggy Chops and the Bollywood grapevine had a gala time. P for is also for parties. There’s something always happening at Bollywood parties.

Q for Quiz Shows

Why did SRK take up Kaun Banega Crorepati? To prove a point to Amitabh? Was Kya Aap Paanchvi Pass Se Tez Hain a washout? Why did SRK host a college quiz?

R for Ra.One

No SRK movie has come in for so much flak over its story line and penchant for offending a whole host of communities. Panned by the critics, this movie raked in the moolah for SRK but still wasn’t the blockbuster it was made out to be.

An Open Letter to Shahrukh Khan regarding Ra.One

R for is also for Rab Ne Banadi Jodi. During the shooting of this movie, it is alleged that SRK smoked on the premises of a “No Smoking” Sikh college in Amritsar. SRK was also caught smoking in the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur during an IPL match and a case was filed against him.

S for Scanner

baggage-hall-775540_640Heathrow airport proudly introduced body scanners that would tighten security. However people claimed to have saved and distributed images of SRK’s body, leading to an outcry by privacy groups.

T for Trimurti

This was one of the major box office debacles of the mid-nineties and director Mukul Anand and producer Subash Ghai traded barbs on who was responsible. Fingers were also pointed at the performances of Anil Kapoor and Jackie Shroff and this was one of the few controversies SRK quietly walked away from.

U for United Producers and Distributors Association Forum

Being a producer himself, SRK was thick in the middle of the 2009 Bollywood producers’ strike. Initially the TV channels just focused on rivals SRK and Aamir coming on one platform.

W for Whiteness Creams

While stars and cricketers have got flak for endorsing any and every product they can get their hands on, SRK got maximum flak for selling a skin whitening cream—and that too for men!

7 reasons Indians are the most racist in the world

W is also for Wankhede Stadium. A grand fracas after a match (that KKR won!) led to SRK being banned from the stadium.

The badshaah of Bollywood extends his domain

X for Xerox

printer-29111_640A Xerox of Dilip Kumar. A copy of Amitabh. That’s how his acting was described when he started out his career. Then there was that hamming label. That way, he has come a long way with his performances in Swades, Chak De India and MNIK.

Y for Yale University

yale-university-1604157_640On his way to give a speech in Yale, SRK was again detained by airport security yet again in 2012. Then it was third time unlucky in Los Angeles in 2016.

His name is Shah Rukh Khan and US won’t (ever) stop detaining him

Y for is also for Yash Chopra. While SRK and the Chopras have shared an excellent relationship, the very first movie Darr had Sunny Deol crying foul over the way his role was cut to size and the ending was shot and edited without him being taken into confidence. The media reported that they didn’t talk for years after that.

Z for Zaara, the Pakistani girl

When Veer-Zaara was released, Pakistan President General Pervez Musharraf was very upset with the negative portrayal of Pakistan. Luckily, that did not escalate into anything nasty.

© Sunil Rajguru

(First version posted on February 24, 2010 and has been updated multiple times)

Also read…

Five reasons why SRK looks totally finished

King Khan: A king for debut directors, too!

Shah Rukh Khan’s career through trilogies…

Major Shahrukh Khan versus ACP Pradyuman

Neither Big B nor SRK: Can Incredible India think beyond film stars?

The most politically correct Western ever…

I just saw 2016’s The Magnificent Seven, probably the most politically correct Western of all time… (Spoilers!)

The Seven consist of…

1. An African American.
2. A Native American.
3. A Mexican.
4. An Asian.
5-7. Three Whites.

In the end only the No. 1-3 representing minority groups of America are left standing.

The character Jack Horne who once made a living out of hunting and scalping Native Americans is killed by a Native American and Horne’s death is avenged by his Native American gang member.

It shows Goodnight Robicheaux, a Confederate veteran and the “Angel of Death” realize the horrors of war and refusing to kill at the beginning of the movie.

For gender equality, the Seven are hired by a woman who also becomes the one who shoots the main villain in the end, which none of the Seven can achieve.

The director is African American, the music is done by a Jew, while those with screenplay and cinematography are of Italian descent.

© Sunil Rajguru

How fresh is Hollywood’s creativity?

A look at the Hollywood $1 Billion Dollar Club (worldwide box office gross) and the year in which the idea of the movie was created—that is the year when the event, the original first book of the series was published or when the original movie of the sequel/remake came out.

avatar-1738010_6401. 2009. Avatar.

2. 1912. Titanic.

3. 1977. Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

4. 1993. Jurassic World.

5. 1963. Marvel’s The Avengers.

6. 2001. Furious 7.

7. 1963. Avengers: Age of Ultron.

actor-1299629_6408. 1997. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2.

9. 2013. Frozen.

10. 1963. Iron Man 3.

11. 2015. Minions.

12. 1941. Captain America: Civil War.

13. 1984. Transformers: Dark of the Moon.

14. 1937. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.

15. 1953. Skyfall.

16. 1984. Transformers: Age of Extinction.

17. 1939. The Dark Knight Rises.

jack-sparrow-496090_64018. 1967. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest.

19. 1995. Toy Story 3.

20. 1967. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.

21. 1993. Jurassic Park.

22. 1977. Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace.

23. 1865. Alice in Wonderland.

24. 2016. Zootopia.

25. 1937. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.

26. 1939. The Dark Knight.

Break-up…
19th Century: 1.
1900-25: 1.
1926-50: 5.
1951-75: 6.
1976-2000: 8.
2001-16: 5.

These versions by Sunil Rajguru

The very versatile Mr Akshay Kumar…

Bollywood superstar has played a really wide variety of on screen roles.
Just check them out…

God (OMG – Oh My God!)

Gigolo (Desi Boyz)

Sexually harassed victim (Aitraaz)

Blind robber (Aankhen)

Counter terrorism expert (Baby, Holiday: A Soldier Is Never Off Duty)

Mixed martial artist (Brothers)

International wrestler (Khiladiyon Ka Khiladi)

Heist specialist (Special 26)

Dissociative Identity Disorder (Housefull 3)

Psychiatrist treating Dissociative Identity Disorder patient (Bhool Bhulaiyaa)

Manservant (De Dana Dan)

Vegetable cutter (Chandni Chowk to China)

Don (Once Upon ay Time in Mumbai Dobaara!, International Khiladi)

Businessman vigilante (Boss)

Ageing international cricketer (Patiala House)

Panauti (Housefull)

Auto rickshaw driver (Insan)

Sikh (Singh is King, Singh is Bliing)

Saviour businessman (Airlift)

Evil scientist (2.0)

Corruption crusader (Gabbar is Back)

Corrupt constructor (Khatta Meetha)

Tainted naval officer (Rustom)

Army officer (Sainik, Ab Tumhare Hawale Watan Saathiyo)

Private detective (Thank You)

International con man (Tees Maar Khan)

Hollywood stuntman (Kambakkht Ishq)

With supernatural powers (8 x 10 Tasveer)

Nerd (Jaan-E-Mann)

Automobile engineer (Humko Deewana Kar Gaye)

Pilot (Aarzoo)

Impersonator (Aflatoon)

Most repetitive…
Police officer (Khakee, Main Khiladi Tu Anari, Mohra, Khiladi 786, Aan: Men at Work, Police Force: An Inside Story, Daava, Insaaf, Paandav, Tarazu, Angaaray, Meri Biwi Ka Jawaab Nahin, Ashaant, Mr Bond)

These versions by Sunil Rajguru

#UdtaPunjab musings…

Shahid Kapoor visited Punjab as a squeaky clean kid in 2007 (Jab We Met) but returned as a hardened drug addict in 2016 (‪#‎UdtaPunjab‬).

Punjab Problem (Udta Punjab)
Kashmir Problem (Haider)
Mumbai Riots, Kargil, 9/11, Godhra (Mausam)
Match-fixing, drugs (Kaminey)
Education problem (Paathshaala)
‪#‎ShahidKapoor‬

#‎UdtaPunjab‬ is a catchy name and a catchier hashtag.
Multiple Twitterstorms were inevitable.

“Adult with Caution” films at red light areas!
What next?
Red Light Mall Multiplexes?
‪#‎CensorBoardRevamp‬

Superheroes, aliens and spaceships are more real, believable and relevant than drugs, sex and nudity—hence we’ll pass the former.
‪#‎CensorBoard‬

Fact is stranger than fiction.
—Anonymous.
Fiction can’t be based on strange facts.
—Censor Board.
‪#‎UdtaPunjab‬

Drug problem is there.
India is corrupt and racist.
Gays are in large numbers.
Sex exists.
So, reality can’t be shown in fiction?

Censor board: Please replace Punjab with a fictitious land.
(The problem is that their image of Punjab itself is fictitious!)

Anurag Kashyap now has the unique record of having a film banned under Vajpayee, MMS and Modi.
Guess which made most noise?
‪#‎Paanch‬ ‪#‎BlackFriday‬ ‪#‎UdtaPunjab‬

#‎UdtaPunjabVerdict‬
Shahid Kapoor
+ Kareena Kapoor
+ Alia Bhatt
+ Anurag Kashyap
+ Ekta Kapoor
+ Diljit Dosanjh
thrash Pahlaj Nihalani

The fact.
Every Censor Board since Independence has sucked.
The spin.
It started with Nihalani.
Modi hired Nihalani.
It’s Modi’s fault.

Gokul Shankar banned under Nehru.
Aandhi banned under Indira.
Pati Parmeshwar banned under Rajiv.
Black Friday banned under MMS.
Stop behaving as if it’s something new!

Time is right to make a film on the crazy chain of events in the ‪#‎UdtaPunjab‬ controversy.

Too many jokers are supporting ‪#‎UdtaPunjab‬ for all the wrong reasons.

Kejriwal is unhappy.
He doesn’t get a chance to waste an evening and review ‪#‎UdtaPunjab‬ for his Punjab voters.
Hence the attacks.

Above an “A” certification, just put a “Danger” certification and just go ahead and release the film as it is!

Reminder…
Censor Board was formed under Nehru.
It had a non-filmi ignoramus under Manmohan.
It has always been a problem.
But now it is finally being revamped under Shyam Benegal.

2004: ‪#‎AnuragKashyap‬’s Black Friday ready for release.
2007: Finally released by SC after censor ban.
2016: Delay in ‪#‎UdtaPunjab‬ makes India North Korea.

These versions by Sunil Rajguru

Indian filmi musings…

Very soon we will need an underground film circuit where films can be screened without censor interference.
‪#‎UdtaPunjab‬ to ‪#‎NahinUdtaPunjab‬

2016 in a parallel universe for India domestic Box Office…
Hollywood film No. 1 nearing 200 crore ‪#‎JungleBook‬
Film on Gulf War second biggest hit ‪#‎Airlift‬
SRK film couldn’t even do 100 crore ‪#‎Fan‬
Sonam acted well for realistic superhit ‪#‎Neerja‬

Think it over…
A film starring Kareena Kapoor, Diljit Dosanjh, Shahid Kapoor and Alia Bhatt has been banned.
‪#‎UdtaPunjab‬ to ‪#‎NahinUdtaPunjab‬

Maybe India’s censor board itself should be permanently censored.
‪#‎UdtaPunjab‬ to ‪#‎NahinUdtaPunjab‬

Shouldn’t the hashtag be ‪#‎NahinUdtaPunjab‬ instead of ‪#‎UdtaPunjab‬?

These versions by Sunil Rajguru

Shah Rukh Khan’s career through trilogies…

The Debut With Senior Citizen trilogy…
Deewana (1992) (Rishi Kapoor).
Chamatkar (1992) (Naseeruddin Shah).
Dil Aashna Hai (1992) (Jeetendra-Mithun).

The Bhootnike trilogy
Chamatkar (1992).
Paheli (2005).
Bhootnath (2008).

The Debuted and Soon Died Playing Villainous Role trilogy…
Baazigar (1993).
Darr (1993).
Anjaam (1994).

The Rakesh Roshan Mixed Bag trilogy…
King Uncle (1993).
Karan Arjun (1995).
Koyla (1997).

The Kajol Young Jodi Trilogy…
Karan Arjun (1995).
Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995).
Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1997).

The Aditya Chopra trilogy…
Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995).
Mohabbatein (2000).
Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi (2008).

What He Acted In Those Films? trilogy…
Zamaana Deewana (1995).
Guddu (1995).
Chaahat (1996).

The Yash Chopra Romantic trilogy…
Dil To Pagal Hai (1997).
Veer-Zaara (2004).
Jab Tak Hai Jaan (2012).

The Karan Johar Fluffy Romance trilogy…
Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1997).
Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham… (2001).
Kal Ho Naa Ho (2003).

The Aziz Mirza trilogy…
Yes Boss (1997).
Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani (2000).
Chalte Chalte (2003).

The Serious Cinema Trilogy…
Aśoka (2001).
Swades (2004).
Chak De! India (2007).

The Kajol Oldie Jodi Trilogy…
Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham… (2001).
My Name Is Khan (2010).
Dilwale (2015).

The Farah Khan Mindless Superhit trilogy…
Main Hoon Na (2004).
Om Shanti Om (2007).
Happy New Year (2014).

The Major trilogy…
Main Hoon Na (2004).
Veer Zaara (2004). (Major equivalent Squadron Leader)
Jab Tak Hai Jaan (2012).

The Deepika Padukone Mindless Blockbuster trilogy…
Om Shanti Om (2007).
Chennai Express (2013).
Happy New Year (2014).

The Playing a Superstar Like Himself trilogy…
Om Shanti Om (2007).
Billu (2009).
Fan (2016).

© Sunil Rajguru