A few days back I received an sms from a friend. You must've read it before.
"Rajnikanth is remaking Titanic with some changes. In the end, he doesn't die but swims across the ocean... With the heroine in one hand and the Titanic in the other..."
Well I did laugh at the foolishness of this message. At the same time it set me thinking... Is the quality of films in India still so bad?
I don't think so. OK, I know that there are many nonsensical films that come out every year and still manage to recover its costs. Few recent examples are Welcome, Singhh Iss Kingg, ChandniChowk To China, Kambhakth Ishk, Tashan, etc... (Is it a coincidence that all films mentioned above are AK films?) But besides this the Indian film industry has come out with many gems. A few recent ones would be Taare Zameen Par (unplagiarised, so arty yet so commercial. Hats off to Aamir Khan!), Dev.D, Luck By Chance, Johnny Gaddaar (film noir arrives in Hindi films, albeit silently), Jaane Tu... Ya Jaane Naa, Rock On!!, A Wednesday and more recently Kaminey (film noir arrives with a bang!) Whew! That's a long list of good films.
Some might argue that if our films are so good then how come it never wins (or sometimes even nominated for) the Oscars. Well people need to understand that there's a huge cultural difference in the West and in India. People in the West do not view the film from the same perspective that we do. People might not have understood the concept behind TZP just because dyslexic children may not be treated so badly there while for us in India, people are still not aware about it... Similar is the case with A Wednesday... In the US and the UK, anti terrorism laws are in place while being very stringent unlike the laws here in India... The audience there will not understand the angst and helplessness among the people of India who are fed up with the constant inactivity on the part of the government...
The script is finally getting top billing in India. We can see the trend with the flop list I've mentioned above... But at the same time actors, or rather stars, are totally necessary in a country like ours. Lagaan or TZP would not have been successful without Aamir Khan's name attached to it. Neither would have Chak De India without Shah Rukh Khan or Love Aaj Kal without Saif Ali Khan.
I'm looking forward to some more script-strenghtened films in the future from the Hindi stable. Wake Up Sid, 3 Idiots, Kites, My Name Is Khan, Delhi Belly are just a few...
Now I revert back to that sms joke. After I read that sms, I also began wondering what would be the actual story of Titanic if it was remade in India. Well I went into daydreaming mode and came up with a good script. (Mind you, this is copyrighted by me!) In keeping with the habit of Indian directors to plagiarise from other films, I too have done the same.
The film starts with a cruise ship called the Tata-nic making its maiden voyage from Karachi to Bombay. On board are 4456 (exactly the double of Titanic) passengers including the crew. This is the first of its kind ship started by the two neighbouring countries to promote peace and harmony. The ship is packed to its brims just like the local trains of Bombay.
On board the ship are 2 twin brothers (Kaminey) named Jackie and Charlie (played by Imran Khan), who are actually terrorists with a suitcase that contains a bomb. They fall in love with a girl called Rosy (played by Deepika Padukone) who happens to be the Indian Prime Minister's daughter. One night at the dinner party on the ship, both the twins get drunk and wake up directly the next morning all woozy, and not being able to recollect the happenings of the previous night. (The Hangover) The suitcase is missing from their room and they start searching frantically for it. At the same time a pirate ship attacks the Tata-nic (Pirates of the Caribbean, only here it's more like Pirates of the Arabian!) The pirates, headed by Captain Jackie Crow (played by Hrithik Roshan), start ransacking the entire ship during which they find the suitcase. They are about to open it when Rosy gets her sten-gun out n starts firing at the pirates (Kaminey). The twins rush to help her and eventually the ship is saved.
Rosy then tells them that the suitcase was in her room the previous night. The twins start wondering as to how it landed there when Rosy tells that she had sexual intercourse with Jackie the previous night. Both the twins are startled and start worrying as they were not supposed to do anything else on the ship besides planting the bomb. Charlie is shocked that his brother could go to such an extent. Meanwhile Rosy's brother, D(h)ope, (played by Saif Ali Khan) overhears everything and goes into fight mode. In the bargain the suitcase falls into one of the pipes and it blasts. The people start panicking.
During this time both the twins have gone through a change of heart and try helping people. Rosy is distraught to know that her lover is a terrorist. (New York) Dhope is still on a killing spree and he injures Jackie. Charlie comes and shoots him. Rosy is further pushed to tears but she decides that she must support her lover in his time of need and not her brother. (Romeo And Juliet) Jackie is losing blood profusely while Charlie and Rosy try to help him. Jackie knows he's about to die and so entrusts Rosy to Charlie's care (Kal Ho Naa Ho) while saying, "Woman, behold your lover." (Biblical Allusion)
The ship is sinking in full swing. Meanwhile the ship's authorities are trying to rescue the people in order of caste and wealth, while taking a bribe from then at the same time. Lots were also being cast for the weak lifeboats. (Biblical Allusion) So the politicians, diplomats and landlords are already being put down in the lifeboats. The ship breaks into half (like a KitKat) with the lights flickering at first and then totally dimming. Charlie and Rosy hold on to the railings of the ship while the ship gets pulled in. Charlie instructs Rosy to hold her breath and start swimming, which they eventually do. But alas! the Tata-nic sinks and with it, pulls all the other people and the lifeboats due to its suction power. Miraculously one weak lifeboat is left, with the bribe money in it, in which our couple get onto. The couple float in the lifeboat for days without food or drinking water during which Charlie says, "Water, water everywhere, and not a drop to drink." (From the poem 'The Rime Of The Ancient Mariner' by S. Coleridge)
Eventually they see land and quickly swim towards it. They find out that it is a deserted island. (The Lord Of The Flies, Castaway, Madagascar). They roam around building a shelter and exploring the island while also making love to each other. (The Blue Lagoon) And thus they live happily ever after with 1 kid who turns green due to the extreme climate on the island. (Shrek)