India Masala

Bollywood and culture in an emerging India

Bbuddah Hoga Terra Baap: Sometimes old is not gold

July 1, 2011

Anyone who has grown up watching Amitabh Bachchan during the 70s and 80s will either go all nostalgic on watching Puri Jagannadh’s “Bbuddhah Hoga Terra Baap”, or will cringe at the way your memories have been distorted with this new, technicolour version of the angry young man. In my case, it was the latter.

During one of the funnier scenes in the film, Bachchan tells a character that he’s the ‘original”, and that kids today are doing nothing but imitating him. He then proceeds to sing a medley of most of his hit songs, including “pag ghungroo” and “mere angane mein”, except this new modern version has English rap songs, skimpily clad foreign extras dancing around him and Bachchan himself dressed flamboyantly (some would say garishly), gyrating to the song. At that point, you wonder, should you really mess with a classic, even if it’s your own?

Bachchan evidently wants to — and he mouths plenty of his old dialogues, (hum jaahaan se khade hote hain, line wahi se shuru hoti hai) and projects himself as a angry old man, a retired hit man who comes to India for one last assignment.

The story in this case, is merely incidental — this film is meant as a showcase for Bachchan — he might well be a star son making his Bollywood debut. There are item songs, fight sequences, romance and outlandish costumes.

Sonu Sood plays a younger version of Amitabh, and looks the part. The ladies in the film, like the story, are entirely incidental. Raveena Tandon acts all fluttery for no reason, Hema Malini barely makes it to two scenes, and Sonal Chauhan (who plays Sood’s love interest) and Charme Kaur are slightly more interesting to watch than watching paint dry.

For better or for worse, Bachchan is the best thing about this movie. If you don’t mind this distorted version of his ‘angry young man’ persona, then you might have fun watching this film. Call me old-fashioned, but I think some things are best left untouched.

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