Sunday, July 19, 2009

Show Must Go On!

Eating one's own words isn't fun.

The first three lines over here bear witness to a fact I took for granted- that I couldn't be swayed.

Not by the soporofic music (that is what they call those cries to the Devil that issue from their mouths) excreted by Indian Idols, not by the desperately talentless little kids trying to sing and dance and being told that they would be stars, not even by a drool worthy Diana Hayden entering some house where-hold your breath- someone either stays, or someone else doesn't (gasp)!

Not by Mr.- oops-now Dr. 12th-fail-watzisname-Kumar bringing along his entire harem to perform stunts- quite frankly the girls looked far from sexy- too much of doing it as Spectacles would no doubt have said.

Now bring Helena Bonham Carter on screen- with or without her kit- as Marla Singer or Mrs. Lovett or better still as the chillingly sexy Bellatrix (funny how that rhymes with dominatrix..) and you would have yourself a show. But you wouldn't have guessed that I have a kind of kinky thing going on with her, so I might be slightly biased there.

But then- all my self importance was dealt an immense kick in the arse by an innocously named show called Rakhi ka Swayamvar.

In the olden days, this programme informs, women had the right to choose their husbands- it was the ultimate symbol of ancient India's female empowerment. Somewhere down the line this right, this adhikaar got diluted and then got transferred to that most vile of species- men.

Fair enough.

But this is Rakhi. Rakhi Sawant.

Yes- that same bronzed buxom starlet, who made fame a full time job. Who slapped her then boyfriend on national television. Whose language changes almost as frequently as her bra size, who is- when all is said and done- a hoot.

For if she does indeed go through with this marriage- for that is what it is (ये show नहीं है- ये एक शादी है! she confidently proclaimed) - it definitely tickles one's interest as to who, apart from that gold digger of an ex boyfriend- is going to marry her?

A lot of people as it turns out.

This is a reality show that takes itself so seriously that you have soppy songs like hum bewafa playing in the background when a suitor is given his walking papers by the lady herself.

A show where a 22 year old looks solemnly into the sometimes 29-sometimes 27 1978 born Ms. Sawant's eyes and says with oscar worthy skill I love you.

A show where another guy gives Rakhi a gift, she thanks him, and he- with all the conviction of Romeo talking dirty to Juliet- says Mansion Naat..

It's brilliant I tell you- the best comedy (albeit unintentional) on TV in a long time.

And the star- no exagerration here- is undoubtedly Rakhi Sawant. She is without a doubt the best working hindi comedienne today. No mean feat that. And that is because she sucks so badly at acting and yet thinks she is a dramatic actress. Because she doesn't think she's being funny. Watch her bat her eyes, stare into space, watch her say Mai udna chahti hoon with that serious look on her face, watch her tear up- watch her run the emotional gamut with all the seriousness of a Meryl Streep and you'll know that NDTV Imagine has hit a jackpot.

Frankly, in terms of pure entertainment, (note) I'd rather watch Rakhi Sawant be herself than watch any of our leading ladies embarrass themselves on screen. You can watch her and guffaw all day long. Still far from Helena's league but then again, is anyone close? But way to go Ms. Sawant!

Oh and she seems to have met her match in some of her would be husbands. There's this one supercillious squirt who seems to be openly using her as a means to get famous, spewing pretentious poetry left, right and centre, smirking at others' ousters, even admitting to a girlfriend, and having an ogre of a mother who wants her bahu to wear a pallu, to not work, to always stay at home and generally be a relic of the stone age. In short, anything to gain notoriety. The other- the Mansion guy- had the temerity to kiss her on the cheek and forehead- with utmost rishpect he says.

All this is done with such sincerity, with such -damn it all- gravitas, that it's a wonder how anyone on this show- least of all the host who seems to be a level headed chap- manages to suppress their laughter. I swear, this gives many comedies a run for their money, this does.

And what does our prima donna do?

She becomes an avenging angel for the female race, trying to best the great Glenn Close. See the gulf in class here (0:58 onwards), here and here.

Watch it at the end of a long boring day- not more than once though, because too much of a bad thing can be -well-bad.

As I said- seriously funny stuff!

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