Friday, July 10, 2009

Harry Potter in Technicolor, With Dolby Surround Sound

With “Harry Potter and Half-Blood Prince” coming up, I am reading up on my HP lore, as I am wont to do. And as my history with fantasy series probably warns you, I started thinking how Harry Potter series is another example of how Bollywood Masala genre is much more pervasive than we give it credit for.

“How?” you ask? (OK, I asked the question for you this time. Next time around though…) The series has:

  • DeathEaters Crazy villain, his lair, and dressed henchmen: Hey, Lord Voldermort’s got noseless face with slit eyes. His Death Eaters dress in long black robes, cover their faces with masks, and have got snake tattoos on their forearms. Can it get more masala villainish than this? (OK, it can, see below).

    Plus, I know Malfoy Manor appeared late in series, but it has live peacocks and dungeons. What more do you want in a lair?

  • Beat That Comic sideplot: I dare you, show me any comedy team who can beat The Weasleys, Fred and George. And then you get other Weasley brothers throwing in their two bits (Ron, anyone?), and we can make it a family business.

  • College romances: Hero’s bumbling friend falls in love with his nerdy friend. If hero’s friend has a sister and she lives till the end unmolested by the villain, the hero is bound to end up with her. Hero falls for the college beauty queen, only to realize he truly belongs with the girl next door. Have I forgotten any Masala stereotypes?

    OK, so it is more school romance than college one. But then, a. western kids and/or b. today’s kids age quicker and have girlefriends/boyfriends in school.

    Oh yeah, a moon-earth-sun kinda situation, but it is more due to magic gone wrong than intentional, so I won’t count it.

  • Parental sacrifices: You can actually watch HP dubbed in Hindi, with both Harry’s parents going “Nahin, mere bete ko mat maro”, without feeling that you are watching something foreign.

But still, something is missing from this story to make it a full-fledged Bolly-masala flick.

  • Lost twin brother: Any good masala film has to have a lost twin.

    Here’s how it would play out: When Lord Voldemort tried to kill Harry, his twin brother Larry (is there any other name rhyming with Harry?) was picked up by some Death Eaters. They raised him as their own, put him in Durmstrang, and raised him on the pureblood supremacy doctrine. They also named him Ambrosius or something like that, which probably didn’t help him any more than his original name.

    Years later, he came across Harry while fighting with the Death Eaters. They recognized each other by the identical scars on opposite sides of their faces. Larry then sacrifices his life in place of Harry.

    Unless he has a “good” girlfriend, in which case, he is redeemed by fighting for the good side.

  • “Love” sacrifices: OK, Ginny is Ron’s sister, and The Hero does not sacrifice his love for his sidekick (not at the end, at least). So, we can have Ron and Harry fall in love with Cho Chang (or how about Fleur, if it must come to that), before realizing who their (respective) actual love is.

  • Item numbers (“Weasley is our king” does not count). Malfoy Manor has rotating tortured prisoners, but no dancing vamps.

Now let me scrubs the images of Bellatrix and Narcissa dancing from my head. But till then, have I missed anything?


- The Great Eagle Has Spoken


rayshma said...

me like... nay.. LOVE this!
i had tried telling a friend how HP was purrfectly bollywood... and i was laughed at! i shall mail this link to her! :D

Amey said...

@Rayshma: Yeah, please do. People do underestimate the bollywood masala genre ;)

DewdropDream said...

Do do I! :D

'Gary' in place of 'Larry'

What item numbers would you choose?

Amey said...

@DDD: Given your and Rayshma's talent at choosing item numbers, I will stick to casting and directing.

And as the first cast member, I am trying to find a way to revive Amrish Puri. If HP is ever made in hindi, imagine him doing his trademark "Voldemort... khush hua". :D

rayshma said...

i don't think anybody can do voldemort better than amrish puri either.
but if i HAD to... i'd cast Sr Bachchan. Not because I like him... but I think he'll do it okay. only, of course, if the rest of the family is not part of the package deal!

did you see the movie, amey? i'm not gonna watch it. happy with reading the books! :)

Amey said...

@Rayshma: Check out the review on my book blog :D Book to Movies are interesting for me, because they are somebody else's imagination. It's fun to compare.

Oh, can we cast Aishwarya Rai as Fleur Delacour and Small B as Bill? See, he already has that scruffy, possibly werewolf look going.

As for Big B, let's see how he looks minus his trademark beard and hair. And of course, nose :D

DewdropDream said...

Voldemort is meant to be young-ish. Big B will not do. And at the cost of sounding repetitive and hung-up ... can we please cast junior Deol? Or even neil Nitin Mukesh. They'd be ace as charming and good looking sinister villians. No?

Amey said...

@DDD: Well, I was following for what they did for casting Chewbacca when I casted Big B. Deol or Neil Nitin Mukesh will be good as younger Voldemort, but what about Oldy Voldy? I mean, he is almost as old as Malfoy Sr. which means in his late 40s or 50s, right?

DewdropDream said...

Mpuldy Olday Voldy could well be 50ish but there's no way Big B can carry off being 50ish now. Tch. Ooooooooooooooooo!!! I know who we should cast!!! VINOD KHANNA!!!!! :D

Amey said...

Ouch... Vinod Khanna? Why not Dev Anand or Jitendra :D

Why is neither Amrish Puri nor Firoz Khan alive :(

DewdropDream said...

Feroz Khan would have been perfect actually. Sigh. What's wrong with Vinod Khanna?! Saw him in '99'?

Dev Anand or Jitendra could be cast as Flitwick :D

Amey said...

All right, hairless, colourless, noseless (doesn't that sound like some kind of chemical gas?) Vinod Khanna it is.

And how about Jitu as Snape? After years of head to toe white clothes, black would be a nice change on him ;) I can't really think of anybody menacing enough.

DewdropDream said...

Hahahaha, no no, please, no Jeetu. The man will make me guffaw everytime I am supposed to be watching in dread!

I do have someone in mind for Snape's role... I don't know his name but he'd do a superb job of it. He was in Jab We Met ... Pouty's uncle or older brother, cannot remember... but he's done a variety of roles. Else, remember tat chap who was in Rules (the one that had Milind Soman), he played Meera Vasudevan's boss? He's done menacing roles before and he's good! And they both are suitably aged. Ain't I a genius or what? :D

Amey said...

Umm, I haven't seen any of those movies. Sorry :(

So, do we tweak the story as I suggested, or just go for making the movie as is?

DewdropDream said...

I vote for the lost twin angle and some item numbers :D

Amey said...

Gimme the songs then. And where's our script writer when you need her? The Director is waiting.

rayshma said...

arre i was shifitng house.
i will veto anything that has neil nitin mukesh in it. and refuse to be a part of it.
have either of you seen New York?! EWWWW!!!!
i would cast chunkey pandey or jaaved jaffery (however u spell it.. i dunno!) as snape. They both are good with good directors.

and i want to cast shahid kapur. pliss? he bes good.

dewey: are you talking abt raj zutshi?

i suggest keeping story as is. add item numbers. the story provides LOTS of situations for those!

DewdropDream said...

Arre bechara Neil Nitin Mukesh made one mistake of taking on that movie... he's a good actor. Why don't you want him?! I promise we will keep him from posing without his clothes :P Yes I was talking about Raj Zutshi ... he'd do very well!

but I love the idea of Javed Jaffery as Snape. Can we write a role for Chunky Pandey? It's a pity he and JJ don't look more alike and are not younger, they'd be perfect as the Weasley twins :D

Where were you going to put Shahid Kapur?

rayshma said...

i don't know where. casting director amey hai na?
but i think shahid's good.

who bes dumblydorr?

Amey said...

@DDD: Fan fiction (and one scene in Goblet of Fire) notwithstanding, I don't think there is any need for anybody to drop clothes in HP movies.

Chunky Pande? Let me think.

@Rayshma: Since writer doesn't have a job, get on casting. I also suggest KK as Lucius Malfoy.

DewdropDream said...

No no, wasn't suggesting unnecessary clothes ropping, was merely reassuring Catty that she needn't worry about said person posing sans raiment again :D

KK is perfect as Lucius Malfoy!