Some thinking time would have probably added Hercule Poirot and then I would have been stuck.
Well, that all changed with starting to watch Indian movies, where the moustache is glorified as THE most coveted symbol of virility and manliness. Hence all the jokes in films about young men who should stay out of adult affairs because they haven't even grown a moustache yet. And hence entire songs (or at least mentions) that pay homage to the hero's moustache.
Now personally I've never been a fan of the clean, lawyer-like shave, so in my book some well groomed facial hair that suits the person's face is always a win. Day-old beards fare very well too. But moustaches are a little tricky, and I'll admit it took me a little bit to warm up to them. However, now that I have, I really think there are people who owe it to themselves to sport a mooche more often, and these people are who this post is all about.
And just so we're all clear, moustache ONLY is what I was after. The combo of thick moustache and day-old beard, as can be seen on a few South Indian heroes (Ram Charan Teja is the first one that comes to mind, Sharvanand would be another) doesn't count. As much as I love it to bits. Nor have I looked at those heroes who have never been seen with a perfectly clean shave, or with a perfectly defined moustache, so actors like Allu Arjun and Mahesh Babu have been left out as well (as much as I enjoy posting pretty pictures of them).
Now that the methodology has been put in place, Dolce and Namak are ready to get into some serious moustache talk. By the way, you're also invited to vote on which look tickles your sex appeal bone!
First up - the Southies!
Dolce and Namak in unison: Moustache. All the way. In fact: a clean shave = ewwwww!!!
Namak: You know, I'm actually kind of leaning towards the clean shave on this one...
Dolce: But but, look at that glorious display of manliness. Come on! You gotta give it to the stache, it's impressive.
Namak: No doubt. But if he were to just have a regular one, it would look like this:
Dolce: Hm... yeah, that's not exactly a winner. All right, clean shave it is.
Namak: Wow, that zoom-in was really not necessary.
Dolce: Shut up. It was. We have to pay homage to the perfection of this particular moustache.
Namak: Whatever. The vote would have been the same anyway: moustache 100%. People with such round faces should always put some thought into their facial hair.
Dolce: Not only that, but he really looks like he's missing something when he's shaved.
Namak: Sigh... Do we have to get into this one again??
Dolce: No. This will be short and sweet: the moustache needs to DIE! It makes Prithvi look like the sleazy uncle you really don't want giving candy to your children. Or like a carpet salesman in a bazaar in Istanbul. Or like a 70's...
Namak: All right. Short and sweet, short and sweet, let's not go overboard now.
Dolce: Right. Short answer: lose it.
Namak: You know, Siddharth tends to either do the clean shave, the stubble, or a combo thing, I don't remember ever seeing him with a proper full mooche.
Dolce: Ah, how quickly you forget! Sure it may have been for a brief scene or two, but behold, a full bodied, elegant piece of awesomeness!
Namak: Oooooh! That is indeed a thing of beauty! Wait, are we sure it's not the lighting, or the green filter? Oh, whatever, it doesn't matter.
Dolce: So... vote for it? Yes?
Namak: Yes, I think I'm in love!
Dolce: Now that's a tough one! The problem with Sonu is that he looks good no matter what. I mean, truly, have we ever seen him look less than perfect?
Namak: Unfortunately, yes, I do believe we have!
Dolce: Oh boy, yes, I forgot about that! So then for the sake of consistency, we're going with no mooche on this one?Namak: We are. Even though those stills from Maximum do look pretty damn good!
As an aside, before we move to the North, there are 2 actors that I don't ever even want to see without a moustache, because I am firmly convinced they would look terrible without it, and that's Chiranjeevi and Gopichand. Just putting this up there.
My suspicion about Chiranjeevi was in fact confirmed when my fellow Chiru aficionada Temple from Cinema Chaat gave me the link to this song. No. Just no.
On to the North? Oh, some good favourites here!
Just in case you haven't read my review of Dum Maaro Dum, you can do so here. It will also explain the vote for the mooche in the above choice.
Namak: Really? We like him better than shaved?
Dolce: Not convinced? Ok, I'll add one more for good measure.
Namak: Ha! Fine, I suppose if the beard is not a choice, which is pretty much divine on him, mooche is better than nothing.
Dolce: Seriously now! This is not even fair!
Namak: I know, right? Moustache all the way!
Dolce: Definitely one of the cases where I cannot for the life of me understand why he would ever even shave it.
Dolce: Oh dear, must we?
Namak: Oh yes, we must! No opportunity must be wasted in the effort to express our disdain towards Mausam.
Dolce: Ok. Are we happy now? Yes, the moustache is terrible.
Namak: Gosh, I'm shocked to say this, but that Jodhaa Akbar moustache is a win.
Dolce: And keep in mind he's hardly ever without any kind of stubble nowadays. And God knows in his youth he was not exactly pretty without facial hair either.
Namak: Yes, I do believe we have to go with moustache for Hrithik.
Namak: Oh boy, another tough one! I do love that Mangal Pandey 'stache!
Dolce: I know, dammit, me too! But I really like the clean shave business too. Gosh, so hard to choose!
Namak: Yes, especially when we throw this one on the table as well:
Dolce: You know, we haven't cheated at all this game. Can we? Please?
Namak: Was just thinking the same thing. All right. It's a tie!
Dolce: I think this one has to be seen in action, but I do find the no-good-goonda mooche quite appealing.
Namak: Hey, considering we NEVER find Salman appealing, that would mean it wins by default, right?
Dolce: Why yes, yes, I suppose it does!
And this is the end of the North Indian batch. What? No SRK? No Saif Ali Khan? No Abhay Deol? Well, no. Some of them are so obvious that there's no fun in comparing them. Though this particular still from Mere Brother Ki Dulhan makes me wonder if Imran Khan would be a contestant in a future poll if he ever made a movie with that look...
But certainly we cannot end without taking a trip down memory lane, to talk about the one and only: Raj Kapoor. Possibly THE most famous 'stache in Indian cinema. Actually not much to talk about: I was unequivocally convinced of its glory when I saw Raj Kapoor without a moustache in Aag.