Friday, March 8, 2013

Mugamoodi - The Mavens Do Bollywood

OPENING NOTE: Ok. We'd like to preface this whole review with this "warning". If you plan on watching a Bollywood style film, ANY Bollywood style film, clear your entire schedule as you WILL have at least 2.5+ hours worth of film to get through. And, with that having been said, we will now attempt to shave down a rather long film into a quick, 10 minute read, complete with the flying action sequences and Donnie Yen style WHA-PUT-CHA's.

SO, for the first week in February we decided to watch the film Moogamudi, a dynamic Bollywood Batman/Greatest American Hero-esque film. And yes, it is now officially the first week of March. And by that measure, you can guess how easy it has been to summarize all 150 minutes of this film.

Yes. I DID in fact say 150 minutes. 1...5...0.

OK. So, our film opens up to some generalized thievery going on in the home of an elderly couple. The culprits are what can only be described as "thin Walrus Ninja", mainly due to their costumes. They are in fact far more agile than a herd of Walrus. But they made Kelly think of Walrus, so the title stays.

So, these guys are all sneaky and covert, stealing "the goods" from the house of an Indian Kung Fu master.


Yeah, you heard me. INDIAN Kung Fu Master. Tuck that bit away. It MAY be helpful further down the road.

Insert an abrupt scene change and we are all transported to a "Karate Kid" style Kung Fu match. Team "bad guys", because you can just tell this by their uniforms, win the mega trophy and Anand (aka Bruce Lee. Seriously, that's what they call him.) is upset about it, though he didn't participate in the tournament himself so... (Scratches head)

ANYWAY! We are suddenly parked in a dark alley hiding from the cops... driving a 1980's Renault. SERIOUSLY!!! That cop car honestly looked like an 80's Renault!!

WORST... COP CAR... E-V-A-R!!! 

Anand is now wearing his best "Anarchist out on the town" attire and decides to confront the winner of the trophy, who just happens to be riding by on a motorcycle, without a helmet, and cradling this ridiculously large trophy in his arms.


SO, a wicked whaputcha fight ensues and you are left wondering WHY Anand didn't enter the tournament with mad skills like that... except perhaps that he forgot all about the entry form until after the final date had passed and that he couldn't bribe his way in and thusly was forced to sit in the bleachers with the rest of his brooding, plaid and denim draped team mates. (shrug)

Anand wins. He and his buddies go out to the local swill to booze it up, and insert an elaborate and somewhat clumsy Bollywood dance bit, complete with "little people", about how the phases of all life circulates around the bar. And for about 3 minutes, we were following his train of thought. But then at minute 5 the train derailed, flew off a cliff, and jokes about the Scott Pilgrim and Matthew Patel fight from "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World" and how "...if your turned off the music track and inserted Maroon 5 you'd think that his were a GAP ad" kicked in and our A.D.D. ramped to an 11. Without having gone back to YouTube to find a clip for you, we had no idea how long this bar bit was. But it felt long. Really... really long.

SO, after a night of drunken carousing, Anand goes home only to have his father verbally berate him for whatever reason he can come up with and Anand takes his mat and storms out of the kitchen and to his grandfather's area of the building. It is here that you get a little back story on the "Bruce Lee"moniker that he uses.  And there is this sort of touching scene with Grandpa TechHead surrounding "I don't know what to do with my life. I don't want a meaningless existence." And it is at this point that you can see Anand toying with the idea of becoming a superhero.

The next day he meets up with his buddies in a fish market. You know, that place where all the cool kids hang out? The "gang" is discussing that recent loss of their master (flashback to the opening scene with the Walrus Ninja), and how they will save their precious but penniless Kung Fu school. So, Anand in a hasty gesture, which perhaps best describes his entire character in this film, calls out a fish vendor with a big choppy knife thing, challenging him to chop off his hand, or pay for Kung Fu lessons. Sort of a reverse psychology thing with butcher attire here. There's some swooshing, and chopping, and chaos, and baskets flying all over the place with the screaming, and this girl. Oh this lovely, lovely, smart mouthed girl who takes a picture with her camera phone and then whacks that crap out of Anand, disabling him for the police to arrest.

So, now he's arrested. The girl's father is the police chief in what can only be described in a "Meh, whatever" sort of police station/jail. Because, God only knows NO ONE would ever just break out those wooden spindles and walk away.

No... criminals would NEVER do that.

And, now that Anand has been publicly disgraced, he gets to go home for even more verbal abuse by his Dad. PERFECT!!! And yes. He's pretty pissed off and is hell bent on finding and confronting this girl... which he does on his friend's motorcycle. And, I'm not entirely sure that by any standard two dudes tooling around on a motorcycle EVER appears "TOUGH". (shrug)

So anyway, after a merciless beatdown of her neighborhood "gang" that she hangs with, the girl (and NO, she apparently doesn't have a name according to IMDB) shows up and starts throwing crap at Anand... you know, the standard bricks and things... all the while he falls in love with her and slips into another crazy strange Bollywood montage of love, strange suits, Swiss mountains, song and dance.

And, it is at this point that I (Kelly) fear that I am rambling and decide to attempt to wrap up this film into a neat little package with a lovely red bow.

Ok. So, Anand is in love with "pretty girl" and decides that he has two missions in life.

1) He must become a real tights sporting, underpants on the outside, color coordinated cape, chest emblem wearing superhero. But, he lacks superpowers and ends up looking like a luger (looszher... see what I did there?) in the party costume fashioned by one of his grandfathers.

2) He must win the heart of "pretty girl", which will in fact be difficult because she hates him.

Insert comedic and awkward bits of Anand showing up at the wrong time as either himself OR Mugamoodi, his superhero name. Add a twisted, long, and winding crime plot, of which we absolutely CANNOT remember, a few musical numbers, and epic death battle in a hollowed out building, a falling in love eye batting scene, a sooped up superhero suit, some crane running and jumping...


But seriously. All in all this isn't a BAD movie. It's just not a high-action-punching-with the-blood spooting-martial arts film that it is sort of advertised to be. Rent it if you are looking for a humorous film with some really great martial arts action sequences sprinkled in. But Jackie Chan, Yuen Bao, Sammo Hung this absolutely is not.

And speaking of which, tune in next week as we give you our review and "take" on the classic film, Project A, starring:

- Jackie Chan
- Yuen Bao
- Sammo Hung

Until next time!

- The Mavens.