Tuesday, November 8, 2011

It's MOvember... Zoom In on the 'Staches!

5 years ago if you had asked me to name 5 moustachioed men I liked, I probably would have made a long pause after blurting out the first two obvious names: Salvador Dali and Freddy Mercury.

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.

Prakash Raj
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: Agreed.


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!

Sonu Sood
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!

Abhishek Bachchan
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.

Ajay Devgan
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.

Shahid Kapoor
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.

Hrithik Roshan
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.

Aamir Khan
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!

Salman Khan
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.
Ugh. No. Just no.


Beth Loves Bollywood said...

BWAHAHAHA such fun! I think I agree with absolutely every decision, and I will also firmly support your stance on Abhishek's beards. Which confuses the heck out of me because I used to dislike facial hair of any kind (and was even frightened of men with beards when I was little). I'll be doing a similar post sometime soon but focusing on the era I know best, so get ready for lots of smugglers with secrets hidden in their 'staches :D

dustdevil liz said...

I'll come back and post a few more thoughts, but a quick first impression: that picture of Sid is amazing, the mouche definitely helps even out his small mouth.

Anonymous said...

Hey Dolce. I do agree that Chiru was probably born with a tache and does look odd without it - But I appreciated the no-mo look when he was in drag. That was commitment to character! I largely agree with you on your choices although I really don't think Surya is attractive (too Salman-ly with the pumped up moobs etc) and Abhishek always looks like he is playing dress-ups as his dad. Siddharth's mo would be described in Australian parlance as 'bumfluff' and more an object of ridicule than desire.
But this is excellent work on mouche comparison even if I did scroll past Ajay Devgn and Raj Kapoor very quickly indeed.
Of course my vote goes to Chiru. The man who made me change my lifelong thinking on The Moustache.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, but I cannot get on the mooch-loving bandwagon. I've seen a million Indian movies, but it still repulsed me. It's not that I have a problem with facial hair, because I think it is sexy in it's other forms. I think men look best with a bit of stubble, or even a beard ( as opposed to squeaky clean shaven). But the stand-alone, beardless 'stache? Hell no! I'll never get the appeal.

OK I'll admit I was totally lusting after Hrithik in Jodhaa Akbar. but if you don't look like Duggu, and you don't have a magnificently ripped body, and you don't spend half your time onscreen shirtless with designer rivulets of sweat dripping down your back while you practise your sword play, then I'm going to find the solitary tuft of hair on your upper lip to be extremely unappealing.

But watching Indian movies has made me more appreciative of facial hair in general (hence the dislike of clean shaven faces), so maybe it's baby steps? :-P


Ness said...

LOVE this list (and our taste in mooches even collides, unprecedentedly, in a couple of cases!) Like Beth, I'll be adding my own list to the pool...because lists of mooches are fun :)

Jenny said...

Loveddd this post!!! But just like we can never see chiranjeevi without moochee in the south start list.. please do add Anil Kapoor in the north one!! 'Jhoot bolo kawa kate' was where he turned up on screen without one.. and gawd that was a disaster..!!

love your blogs..
Love Jenny

Dolce and Namak said...

Aaah! It's so heart warming to see so much love for the mooche! :) Thank you for all the comments ladies!! :-*

@Beth - well, I bet there were a few things you've grown to love since you were little, so not surprised about the beards. :P But some people just rock it, plain and simple. And Lil B is definitely one such man.
Looking forward to your oldies list!! Bring them ON!!

@ Liz - I hear you, I was beside myself with joy when I found it! It was getting almost hopeless to find Sid with some sort of proper lip decor. :)

Dolce and Namak said...

@Temple - Oh, I did thoroughly enjoy the drag bits, and now looking forward to getting that DVD and seeing it in all its glory, but it did confirm that it's just wrong. The mouche is such a big part of Chiru it's like it's not even him without it.
As for Abhishek, I dunno, I never found Big B attractive so to me the son is definitely way ahead of the father. If he's playing dress-up, he's schooling the original in my book. :)
We'll have to agree to also disagree on the bumfluff, I think it's marvelous! :)

@Sanyogita - Haha! I know, Hrithik is particularly dishy in that one, in fact, I don't think he has managed to look as good since. And to be honest, I was never into the mooche while watching Bollywood. It was the shift to the South that made me really appreciate it. Who knows, with a few more baby steps, maybe they'll grow on you too! :)

Dolce and Namak said...

@Ness - I already commented on how much I loved your post, and yes, it is QUITE surprising how we agreed on more than one (Salman in Dabangg was such a given)! LOL Happy you enjoyed this one, always a pleasure to provide some solid silly entertainment! :)

@Jenny - hello there and welcome!! Glad you're liking it here!

But I'm afraid I will have to disappoint you on the Anil topic: I cannot for the life of me find that man attractive, mooche or no mooche. :( I think I may have had a moment of weakness in Taal when his character was somewhat cute, but other than that, he's in the ewww category for me. :(

Leaf said...

Dolce, Shahid and Salman's mouches are fake so I think they should be taken out of competition. Though I think both would rock a real moustache, if they only had the balls to grow one.

Agree with pretty much all your choices (ugh at Prithvi's lame moustache), except Surya and Siddhu. Siddhu just doesn't have the manliness to pull it off and that picture is not a fair appraisal of Surya's simple moustache. You should have posted something from Kaakha Kaakha.


I think it's a tie for Surya with and without mouche.

Dolce and Namak said...

Heya Leaf, thank you for the votes! :) I love how everyone has their very well defended favourites! :D

But, I hate to say it, Shahid's mooche is indeed his. I didn't think it was either but then I read an interview where he talked about how it was the hardest thing to maintain because he'd always cut himself trying to shave around it. So unless that interview was fabricated (which of course, is always a possibility), that's all his own little baby there. :)

Salman on the other hand, I think I knew it was fake, but still love it to pieces. And since I really don't find him appealing shaved, I go by the principle that anything is better.

Siddhu I do agree on that it's not relevant. It was the only proper one I could find. He sports a lot of fuzz in his early movies but it never quite takes shape. So maybe we'll give him a couple more years until we decide? :)

As for Surya... sigh... that man just looks good in everything. I made a choice because I couldn't cheat twice, but yeah, any way shape or form, I'll take him just fine. :D

Thanks for dropping by! It's so much fun for me to read people's opinions on this stuff! :)

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