The family finally took the plunge and headed out to the movies Sunday afternoon. The movie of choice was a new Bollywood film, “Happy New Year” starring the King of Bollywood, Shah Ruhk Khan. It was rated for all ages, so we weren’t particularly worried about the violence aspect, and as it was Bollywood, DiploBoy wouldn’t be grossed out with any kissing. Kissing is a big no-no in 99.9% of all Bollywood films.
Arriving at the theater, DiploDad and another friend went up to the ticket counter to purchase our tickets. The sales associates were amused.
“You know this is in Hindi?”
“No English – no subtitles.”
“Well, there’s dancing, right?” (DD and friend make funky, white-man, dance moves.)
“Yes (through barely contained laughter).”
“Well then – four tickets please!”
Entering the theatre, we got frisked. Not only did they go through my purse, the confiscated our friend’s camera battery. The better to prevent bootleg, my dear. We were all then wanded by the security guard of our gender. By the time they were through with all of us, I was pretty sure there would be no Black Knight scenarios going down in the theatre.
The theatre was modern and clean, and was pretty much like every other movie theatre I’ve ever been in.
Snacks were on offer, and we bought drinks and some “Mumbai Special” popcorn – a mix of plain, caramel, and cheese.
The drink order threw our cashier, however, so I eventually had to order in Hindi and I was SO proud of myself that I could say “ek pani” (one water) and “do Sprite” (two Sprite). Still, she needed extra time to sort it, so we went to find our seats and she said she’d deliver it. I had my doubts.
We went to go find our seats, which were assigned. Nice seats, middle of the theatre, end closest to the entrance. Cushy seats. Cup holders. Lovely. Right before the movie started, our drinks arrived, and I was happily proven wrong.
Before we could enjoy the film, however, everyone stood for the national anthem. It was sung by various Bollywood actresses, and everything was black and white with the occasional scarf or pin in orange or green, so it looked like the colors of the Indian flag. I really like this tradition. It reminded me of standing for the national anthem before movies began on the army bases when I grew up. I wish that we did that in every theater in the U.S., but I’m sure that would offend someone and someone would accuse the owner of bowing to government pressure or being nationalistic, and well, we just can’t have that.
The movie opened with a fight scene – two guys in a pit of muddy water, battling it out with bare fists. Shirtless. Oh my.
Bollywood doesn’t do sex. Doesn’t do kissing. But oh, do they do shirtless. And how. At one point, the lead actor, Shah Ruhk Khan (known as SRK), fell into the mud. Dripping and shirtless, people in the audience threw water on him. In very slow motion, there was a close-up of just his chiseled abs. Oh. My. God. I think my mouth went dry. SRK doesn’t have a six-pack, he has a freaking eight, or maybe ten-pack. And he’s forty-freaking-EIGHT. Here’s a picture of that man candy for those of you who haven’t had the pleasure yet – and keep in mind that I am a tech moron so it took me freaking forever to download and embed this photo.
The film progressed along and it had everything, and I mean everything. A meddling mother. Theft. A really nasty bad guy. A dance hall girl falling in love with the lead actor. A reality dance show. Guys in tutus. I think the only thing they didn’t have was a car chase, but they made up with it with an amazing helipad rooftop martial arts battle where they played “Kung Fu Fighting”. It was a cross between Ocean’s Eleven and So You Think You Can Dance?
Halfway through, we had intermission. At this point, the concessionaires came up and down the rows with menus just in case you wanted more popcorn, soda, or chicken nuggets. After about ten minutes, the second half started. We’d already put two hours in.
The DiploBoys loved it. It didn’t matter that it was in Hindi, we were all following it. No complaining. Just cheering on SRK and company as they plotted a jewel theft and won the hearts and minds as Team India in the World Dance Competition.
Four hours later, we were out in the street, blinking at the full sunlight, and happy with our first Bollywood experience. It definitely won’t be our last. Especially if SRK goes shirtless again. Ahem.