Monday, May 11, 2009

Snakes Alive

Minutes into Nigahen: Nagina Part II, I realized that I've only ever seen Anupam Kher in lighter, more comedic roles. This was the first time I'd see him in a serious dramatic one. Of course, in this case, that serious dramatic role is a crazy-eyed, snake-hunting tantrika who worships a life-size statue of -- yes! -- Amrish Puri! Which, frankly, is my kind of serious dramatic.

In the film, Sridevi plays the lookalike daughter of Sridevi, who comes with her Uncle Pran for a visit to the ancestral manor where crazy goings-on (many of them Amrish Puri-induced) transpired in the original Nagina. At night, she wakes up to find a large cobra on her bed, which shoots blue laser-beams into her eyes, apparently filling her with snaky knowledge. This is much more reasonable than the fact that she was sleeping in full eye-makeup and really extreme, thick, glistening lipstick.

I'd barely made it to the point where Anupam, inspired by a print of Ravana spiriting Sita away, decides to kidnap Sridevi in his attempt to find the magical jewel with which the snakes have some sort of mystical connection, when the subtitles gave out. Nahin, Nigahen! I was going to watch anyway (in the manner of those adorable reviewers on the IMDB who are always saying things like, "I don't know a word of Hindi, but I saw this movie with no subtitles, and it was really stupid.") But then I was clumped upon by warm, furry cats, and nodded off on the sofa.

Luckily, when I woke up, there was no snake sitting on top of me, and the cats couldn't be bothered with the laser beams. Sunny Deol was, however, frolicking with a bunch of maidens on the screen.

Sending it back to Netflix unwatched will feel like defeat; especially since whenever a character says anything like "Bas!" or "yeh larki," I feel like I know what's going on. And I'll never write the definitive post on the snake films of India without having seen it. So I guess I'll carry on, hopefully while conscious. There's plenty of fun snake-charmer music to enjoy, even if Sunny Deol isn't my brand of eye candy.

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