Monday, February 28, 2011

Bollywood Time: 7 Khoon Maaf (contains spoilers)

So the other day I went to see 7 Khoon Maaf at the Star Theatre in Southfield. I knew next to nothing about the film - spending about 30 seconds on the movie's web site made me think it might be a thriller or even a horror movie. I didn't bother to try to learn anything else because I like going into a movie not knowing much of anything - especially Bollywood. Though I guess a movie about a woman who's first six husbands are murdered is technically a thriller, we already know from the first ten minutes or so that she's gonna get married a lot and all these dudes are gonna die. Oh - and that she will be responsible for their deaths. So there's not a lot of suspense or whodunit type thrills to be had. But it was totally weird and dark enough to make it watchable.

Priyanka Chopra plays Susanna Anna-Marie Johannes - a good Christian woman. You can tell by the way she wears a crucifix necklace and a different terrible white wedding dresses each time she gets married in a traditional Christian church to each of the men she'll eventually murder. Oh - except the one time she decides to marry an Islamic dude for a change of pace? Anyway, she just can't seem to find the right man! (LOL, we've all been there, am I right ladies?) Each of the men she marries are total dicks and have (supposedly) fatal flaws. It is obvious from her inability to marry men who don't then deserve to be murdered that Susanna also has some serious daddy issues. Dr. Phil would have a field day with this lady. Also if Dr. Phil became one of her husbands, he totally has enough fatal flaws that he'd be dead before intermission. But did all of these men deserve to die? Let's do a quick run down:

Husband #1: Army Major Edwin Rodrigues

Cause of death: Eaten by a panther

First of all, let's get this out of the way - this guy looks exactly like Deputy Travis Junior from Reno 911:

He totally does.

Murderable offenses:
  • Jealous: He pushes another officer's face into the bathroom mirror for dancing with his wife at a party.
  • Mean: He challenges a mute midget to a fight in which whips are used and takes the poor little guy's eye right out!
  • Constantly verbally cruel to Susanna.
  • Crippled: He has a stumpy leg AND it seems their inability to have a child is not because of her faulty plumbing, if you get my drift (his penis doesn't work right). Also he touches his stump to her face at one point in a threatening way?
Verdict: Kill him!

Husband #2: Jimmy
Cause of death: "accidental" heroin overdose

After ridding herself of the uptight major, Susanna wanted a change of pace - so why not the rock n' roll life? She marries Jimmy - a rock star with a lot of bad, bad wigs.

Murderable offenses:
  • His music (see video)
  • His wardrobe (see video)
  • His drug habit
  • His whoring around with groupies
  • His songwriting plagiarism
Verdict: Kill him!

Husband #3 Wasiullah Khan

Cause of death: Buried alive in the snow

After being a rock n' roll wife, who could blame Susanna for deciding that the wife of a Muslim poet was the life for her?
Murderable offenses:
  • Physically and sexually abusive
  • Constantly looks like he needs a shower
  • Doesn't seem like a lot of fun in general!
Verdict: Kill him!

Husband #4 Nicolai Vronsky

Cause of death: Climbing into a well filled with cobras

Nicolai Vronsky is Russian. So you know what that means right? He's a Russian spy leading a double life! There is no other option for ruggedly handsome Russian men in cinema.
Murderable offenses:
  • Um, he's a Russian spy leading a double life
  • This double life includes another wife and kids back in Russia
Verdict: Maybe divorce him and/or turn him into the authorities?

Husband #5 Inspector Keemat Lal
Cause of death: Poisoned Viagra

Let's face it. You can only kill so many of your husbands before the authorities start to think maybe you are killing your husbands! So if perhaps the police inspector that's been handling all the cases has been in love with you since day one, marrying him might be a good way to get him to keep his mouth shut.

Murderable offenses:
  • Clearly not a very good inspector or judge of character
  • Buys really cheesy gifts for Susanna (stuffed yellow teddy bears that play music are NOT ROMANTIC. That's a TACKY GIFT, Keemat.)
  • Is constantly wanting to have sex all the time
  • Is a whiny crybaby
Verdict: Well, divorcing him would only break his heart and he'd probably turn you in, so I guess you have to kill him.

Husband #6 Dr. Modhusudhon Tarafdar
Cause of death: Gunshot

After you kill five husbands, if you take a second to perhaps reflect on your life, you might feel a little lonely, crazy, despondent and guilty. This will probably lead to you trying to kill yourself. Susanna does this by overdosing on pills. But her faithful servant/butler/murder accomplice finds her and runs into the road to flag down a car to take her to the hospital. The car he flags just happens to have a doctor in it! He is Bengali, which apparently means he cures each and every ailment naturally with different kinds of mushrooms? After nursing Susanna back to health he's all, "Well why don't I just stay here and be your live-in doctor?" Because that's feasible and not weird of a seemingly successful doctor to just suggest that. After some time, he convinces her to marry him.

Murderable offenses:
  • Curing all ailments with different kinds of mushrooms is not a thing
  • He claims if she marrys him she'll inherit his fortune, but turns out the dude is broke and wants HER money
  • He is trying to poison her with mushroom soup!
  • The servant/butler drinks the poison soup and dies
  • He is not very good at Russian Roulette
Verdict: Oh, you might as well kill him. It's what you know.

Now you're old and living on the lam after burning your house to the ground and tricking the world into thinking you're dead. Maybe it's time to get married one more time, you know? I mean, why give up on men now, right? But this time, you should look for a totally different type of guy. Like say... somebody really, really famous. Who a lot of people worship. And who has been known to be pretty forgiving of life's little transgressions.

Maybe... Jesus.

Yes. Become a nun and marry Jesus! And you can't kill him - because he's already dead. It's literally a match made in heaven. Forever and ever.



Beth said...

Wait. What? That's the end of the film? Whoa. I am so intrigued by this, partly because I do not understand why someone would give Priyanka Chopra 7 roles when she so often has trouble with just one.

Anyhoo. VERY FUN writeup! You're making the film seem really funny (while also being dark and unconventional) - is it? And how does Priyanka do?

Beth said...

PS I am watching that John Abraham song and noticed that the stage actually says JIMMY ROCKS in lights. I...well, I'm nagged by the thought that if you have to say it literally in lights, you probably don't really rock.

(Laura) said...

Yup, that's pretty much how the film ends! And despite your accurate, hilariously snarky Priyanka comment, I think she was pretty impressive in this movie. It is a much more dark and complicated role than Bollywood leading ladies are usually given, so I gotta hand it to her for that.

This was one of the darkest Hindi films I've seen - even if I just go by the number of times the f-bomb was dropped, let alone the very meant-to-make-the-audience-uncomfortable dysfunctional sex scenes. Though there are some attempts at humor, most of what I found humorous was totally not intentional. So there wasn't a really great balance there.

I'd give it a C- at best. Totally gave me something to write about though! :)

(Laura) said...

Ha! You nailed it with the "Jimmy Rocks" comment. :)

Beth said...

Oops totally dropped the ball in keeping up with comments!

I think it is FASCINATING that Priyanka gets what seems like such a large proportion of interesting roles. Fashion could have been really interesting but she killed whatever good was left (VERY LITTLE) after it was written. What's Your Rashee was also different and intriguing, and I have to hand it to her that she did pretty well there - maybe doing 12 roles was what made it seem like she could do a paltry 7? And I'm not the fan of Kaminey that many people seem to be, but she was perfectly fine in that. Thank Helen it was Vidya in Ishqiya, though!

(Laura) said...

I have not seen What's Your Rashee, but I also wasn't super fond of Kaminey... I have a much harder time really immersing myself in the work of the women of Bollywood. It's so easy for me to name my favorite male stars, but women? I love Kajol, but even the other ones I really like (Ash, Kareena Kapoor) don't compare... Any suggestions of leading ladies I should give more of a chance?

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