Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Ajay Devgan's 10 Year Audition

Everyone in Bollywood seems to be flirting with the South these days. From Aamir Khan remaking Ghajini, to Salman Khan remaking Pokiri, to Akshay Kumar romancing Southie super star Trisha, there's so much South in Bollywood now that I can almost see Mumbai sliding down the map just a few inches.

In all this hoo-haa it's easy to assume that this is a new thing. But as I found out last week, one man has been paving the way South for 10 years now. Audition upon audition upon audition, and no one has so far noticed that Ajay Devgan really needs to be in a Southie movie or the man will simply die trying.

Because for most people, this is Ajay Devgan:

But not many people know, that this is who Ajay Devgan wants to be:

I hope my ignorance in Ajay Devgan movies will be forgiven as I confess I haven't really seen that many. But I motion to see that as further proof for my theory: if of the few I've seen, half of them count as an audition, there must be something to it.

Namak: All right, let's see how you're going to get out of this one now. I swear you come up with the craziest ideas just to justify liking one actor or another.
Dolce: No no, this one is really true. I may be guilty of embellishing things here and there to excuse poor film choices for some of them, but Ajay Devgan is far from being a favourite. He's just... that guy who sort of pops up in really good movies every once in a while. And then in really bad ones... But let me tell you about this Southie hero business.

Audition Number 1 - 2001 - Lajja
Lajja was an eye opener. Other than being a really bad movie that is. And it was eye opening because I saw just how far Ajay was willing to go, even in 2001, to become a dishoom hero. Let's not even go over the fact that he accepted a role in this long drawn focus-challenged melodrama (which would have been a much better film if the budget or the weather, or some act of God even had not allowed them to film past the 2 hour mark). Let's also not talk about how his role is about 5 minutes long and only moves the plot further into Lala-land.

Let us instead talk about this:

Machetes (lots of them)...

...on a train...

...and Ajay alone against all the goondas spewing badass lines:

Dolce: Yeah... This next one I'm not really sure of, this line just might be what undermined his efforts for the next 10 years:

Dolce: Hm... Either way, this could have been a great train fight if only the heroine had had more Southie stamina and hadn't fainted at the sight of the first brandished knife.
Namak: You mean at the sight of some 5 people being violently and explicitly murdered in front of her?
Dolce: Right, that. What a wuss... Let's move on.

Audition Number 2 - 2004 - Yuva
This got him somewhat closer, though he probably didn't know that Mani Ratnam doesn't quite count as a proper Southie dishoom director, even if he is Tamil. Nonetheless, Ajay's role is that of the darling of the people, fighting injustice with bare hands. Moreover, the most memorable image of him in Yuva is this:
How much more Southie hero than singing the people to victory as their political leader does it get?

Audition Number 3 - 2006 - Omkara
In Omkara he plays the hot blooded Othello, and I only bring this one up because I found him rather handsome with that mustache. And because I love this movie. Ok, Omkara may not be the best argument...

Audition Number 4 - 2010 - Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai

Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai (one of the more interesting movies this year) sees once again the return of the mouche, but on top of that, he plays the character of a goonda (in this case a smuggling goonda, the most powerful one, at that) with a heart of gold. Well... at least with family values. But of course: welcome to the South once again, Ajay!

Audition Number 5 - 2010 - Golmaal 3
He truly stepped it up in 2010 (really, anyone would lose their patience after 10 years) and in Golmaal 3 he is nothing short of a dishoom hero in all his glory.

First of all he looks like this:
Namak: Ha! Surely that adds to the characterization of Gopal. Isn't he supposed to be a badass? They have badass heroes in Hindi movies too, you know.
Dolce: They do, they do. But do the Bollywood badass heroes randomly carry giant hammers around with them?

Namak: Uh... No...
Dolce: Well, Vikram on the other hand does it in a rather iconic moment in Kanthaswamy.

Then in another scene he proves rather skillful with a machete, though sadly it's only to peel a coconut. Nonetheless, it's a machete.

Finally, his fight choreographies are far superior to all the other guys', and he gets plenty of slow motion shots along with the roundhouse kicks and punches that send rowdies flying into concrete walls two blocks away. If not the whole movie, at least Ajay's role in Golmaal 3 is pure unadulterated Southie masala!

Namak: I wonder if the fact that he has a moustache in 4 out of 5 of these movies may have lead you to this conclusion... 
Dolce: Er... Well... it maaaaay have had a little something to do with it... But look, you still don't believe me? Then answer this: why has Ajay Devgan's last name been shortened to Devgn?
Namak: His family asked him to.... or something like that. Not sure. Why?
Dolce: Ha! That's just a cover-up! Clearly it's because he's taking steps towards eliminating it altogether so he too can have a Southie name like all the other heroes who are much too cool to have a last name: Siddharth, Arya, Vikram, Surya, Chiranjeevi, etc.
He's even rumoured to be remaking a Tamil movie, for crying out loud!

So he may not be the best dancer (ok, he may not be a dancer at all), but come on Mr. Film Director from South India, give him a chance! He's earned it after all this effort, hasn't he?


dustdevil liz said...

Very convincing! And look, I found this photo (from Deewangee?)that demonstrates that he's been practicing his "Rreeey!!" for ahile: http://tinyurl.com/24gov3j

Dolce and Namak said...

Bwahahahaa!!! Nice find Liz! I love it! It really suits him too :) I think I'd watch a lot more of his films if he were in the South.

Nicki said...

Haha! I loooove this! Very well-thought, I must say. I never would have imagine but you made very good points! I do think Ajay looks better with the moustache and with age!

Interesting enough, his role in Yuva, the Tamil version was played by the awesome, Surya :D

FYI - Ajay's earlier filmi career was a lot of action! Seriously. He wanted to be taken more seriously, I guess he wants to go back to the action world :D

Also his film, Naajayaz, he was a fearless cop, I think he always had the South on his mind :D

And check out Bedardi with you know what :D

Jigar was my intro to Ajay, it's a mix of Bloodsport and Kickboxer...see...he really wants to bash up villians :D

I will stop there, you're taking me back to Ajay's earlier career since that's the Ajay that I remember, hehe

Dolce and Namak said...

Oh nice! Thank you Nicki! I was actually a bit disappointed that I didn't have more examples. I think I've seen mostly his serious films.
Now I'll have to watch the ones you recommended, just for laughs. And I will give priority to the ones where he has a mouche :P

But I'm very glad I'm not the only one crazy enough to want him in the South :D When I saw Golmaal 3 that's all I kept thinking about. He even does a little trick with throwing his sunglasses away that made me think of Chiru :D

tolly said...

His first movie "Phool aur Kaante" is a action movie(this movie is remade in telugu with Nag as Varasudu. Sorry for Nag reference again here). Initially Ajay is known for his action movies.

Nicki refereced Najayaz (loose meaning 'Bastard') is a good movie i remember (I like most of Mahesh Bhatt directed movies ).It also got this chartbuster song which used play a lot on TV in those days.

(Ajay apper only in last minute or so )

Dolce and Namak said...

Dammit Tolly, you're a really good pusher, has anyone ever told you that? :) You know I'm a sucker for good songs!!! And might I add, seeing Naseer in it only makes it more intriguing. Plus Juhi with a machine gun on the DVD cover? I'm in! :P This title is getting saved for the next splurge :)

micaelix said...

hehehehe you made me laugh

Dolce and Namak said...

:D So very glad about that, Roxanita!
But even happier to see you back around here! ;) :)

micaelix said...

ohh i was around but just busy with life... right now i'm trying to get out of the food coma i got into this past week :)))

About Omkara.. i didn't think i would, but i liked it.

Dolce and Namak said...

Life-schmife! Who cares about life when there's Bollywood to be watched? :D

Oh, don't I know, Omkara sneaks up on you, doesn't it? I didn't think I'd like it either. And then it became one of my favourites (along with Vishal Bhardwaj as a director).

micaelix said...

lol my life does include about 4-5 Bolly movies a week plus 2 latin soaps one being brazilian called India :)))

Dolce and Namak said...

Oooh, you're watching the India one?? Awesome! I've only read about it. Being a yuppie and therefore not having cable TV prevents me from seeing it. That's a good thing though: one thing less to be addicted to :)

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