How bad can Indian superhero movies get?
So bad, that they are very, very good. Our top five picks
From things awkwardly lifted from Hollywood films to tacky costumes, special effects and unintentionally funny acting, the Indian superhero on screen is the stuff parodies are made of. Here’s our top five so-bad-its-good moments.
Unlike Storm of Marvel comics, who manipulates the weather to her advantage, Amitabh Bachchan’s superpowers in Toofan(1989) is just for effect. He sends off a completely harmless mini dust-storm from miles away just so that he can make a dramatic entry on a horseback against the backdrop of the setting sun. It is one of the most redundant superpowers in film history, while it’s really Toofan’s skills with an ultra-modern crossbow that helps him save the day; both the powers apparently given to him by Lord Hanuman.
Krrish 3’s ice cream stealing mutant
Rakesh Roshan takes his product-placement skills to a different level with this scene in Krrish 3 (2013) that was conceived just to showcase the new range of flavours by Havmor ice cream. The hilariously named Frogman, copied from X Men’s Toad, as opposed to blending with the crowd in a fake looking Mumbai street, decides he wants some ice cream. With his so-fast-its-invisible elongated tongue, we see one scoop of ice cream after another disappearing from the cones of a couple, played by a hammy Rajpal Yadav and a screechy Raakhee Tandon. Not surprisingly, Krrish ends up at the same ice-cream vendor. And what can’t catch the eye of the lesser mortals invokes great suspicion in him. It’s quite something to see Hrithik Roshan turn all dead serious amidst all this acting as if he has smelt one of the biggest mysteries in the world. Imagine all this happening while the film is trying to establish a city in grave danger, preceded by a scene where slum kids choke to death after drinking poisoned tap water.
Magneto comes to Carter Road
For a film that released in 2013, it is difficult to believe that anything in Krrish 3 could possibly entertain people. But this scene with its ridiculously over-the-top acting, clichéd dialogue and shamelessly borrowed elements from Hollywood takes the cake. It’s when Kaal, the supervillain, does a Magneto on a group of innocent civilians in Mumbai’s Carter Road, calling them the inferior race and threatening to crush them. Krrish is supposed to be dead. And everybody is sad when a kid raises his voice against Kaal and flaunts his Krrish wristband merchandise (yes! product placement!). A second later, Priyanka Chopra throws a scene-stealing moment when she comes up with the least popular punch line anyone ever came with: “Krrish ek soch hai”. Kaal, true to his character (of Magneto), dismantles a parked car and uses all the metal to attack people. You know what happens next. Krrish, who can just about come up with any sort of power depending on the situation, just pops out of nowhere and suspends the sharp metallic objects mid-air.
Superman dances to Michael Jackson
The Hindi Superman (1987) has attained cult status amongst trashy movie lovers and rightly so. The film is almost faithful to every plot point and iconic set piece of the 1978 Richard Donner film, except one. When foster parents played by Ashok Kumar and Urmila Bhatt invite people over to celebrate the adoption of the child, he is asked to demonstrate his talent by performing to Michael Jackson’s Beat It. The elders, appreciative and encouraging, seated in a circle around the performer, seem to have an awkwardly good time. What the scene was written in mind with will forever remain a mystery.
Sonu Sood as Nagraj
It’s amazing to think that back in 1997 Raj Comics’ Nagraj actually had a TV commercial for its comic books. And it had Sonu Sood. From a voiceover that sounds like those freak-show announcements in a village mela to a younger, agile Sood striking the perfect Nagraj pose, it almost makes you wish there was more of it.