Thursday, October 11, 2007

Why Awarapan is Awarsome I mean, "awesome."

When my wife and I were in Delhi, we had a chance to go see the movie Awarapan. Since it was a Bollywood flick showing in India, it was in Hindi without English subtitles. As a result, we had to basically try to figure out what was going on based on the action on screen. Luckily, it was an action film, so the action was easy to follow.

And, it was awarsome.

To understand why Awarapan is awarsome, I have to give you a summary of the plotline. It goes without saying that this summary will have spoilers... so if you don't want the "twists" in Awarapan "ruined" then don't read on. If you wish to understand awarsomeness, then do:

Awarapan: the summary
...or, at least what I think happens since I couldn't understand the dialogue.

(Oh yeah, and I'm just telling it in chronological order, since the movie is, like, 99.9% flashback.)

The movie starts, and introduces us to the main character. The main character, although Indian, lives in Hong Kong and works for a mob boss. In addition, as near as I could tell, the main character is also Colin Farrell from Miami Vice, see:

Through flashbacks (wait! What happened to chronological order?), we see a young Colin Farrell in Rajasthan who -along with his best friend- are just starting on their life of crime. On the run from cops, Colin ducks into a market where he runs into a beautiful young lady who he falls for and begins dating in secret.

The young woman introduces Colin to her hobby of buying caged birds and setting them free (not the most subtle of symbolism, but -hey- it films well), and to her Muslim faith. Colin, seems to be able to appreciate bird thing, but just mocks her spiritualism.

Later, the woman's father discovers the romance, gathers a mob and goes to pick a fight with Colin. Confronted by her father, Colin dares the man to shoot him. But, when her father pulls the trigger, Colin has second thoughts and steps aside. Unfortunately ...are you ready for this?... the woman was standing behind Colin, and gets shot and killed!

Fast forward to present day.

Colin's mob boss in Hong Kong is headed out of town. In his absence, the mob boss asks Colin to watch after his wife (an arrangement that generally works out well for everyone). Colin takes his boss's job seriously and proceeds to follow her around town like a stalker while her and her friends engage in the films one true song and dance number. Let's watch:

Not surprisingly, he falls for her. Both because she reminds him of the girl from Rajasthan (so much so, I presumed they were the same character, until Sarah set me straight) and because she's a Muslim (cue more flashbacks). Unfortunately, as he gets to know her more, he discovers that she doesn't love the mob boss. In fact, she's more his slave than wife. In addition, it turns out that her and her preppy friend (see clip above) are planning on escaping. The mob boss, learning this, tells Colin to kill her. This leads to Colin's big moral crisis: Does he gun down her and her country club frequenting pal? Or, does he help her escape?

He decides to do the former. But, tell's his boss he's done the later.

Unfortunately, Colin's best friend turns on him ...which you pretty much knew was going to happen since he smoked and looked a little shifty. The mob boss finds out what's going on, and has Colin captured and beaten extensively. After getting a Hulk-like second wind, Colin escapes; but is found nearly dead, lying next to a Buddhist monestary. One of the monks just happens to be a chubby man that Colin had let live earlier in the film, and -thankful for not being killed by Colin early- takes him in to be healed. It's never exactly explained how the chubby monk-man gets from the deserts of Rajasthan, where Colin had ditched him, to Hong Kong though. Or, perhaps it was; but it was explained with... y'know... dialogue. So I missed it.

Anyhow, that leads to this sequence, which is probably my favorite part of the whole movie:

Yep. Brought back to health at the monestary, Colin discovers Buddhism. Buddhism then gives him the power to go kick some serious ass! The rest of the movie is one prolonged gun battle. Made even more prolonged by the fact that most of it is in slow-motion. Colin kills the mob bosses coke-addled son. There's a huge shoot out in a nightclub. Colin's best friend becomes a good guy again. Then dies. Colin kills the mob boss. Then gets killed himself.

But, he helps the main girl and her sweater-wearing man-child get away in a speedboat.


OK, so maybe I forgot a scene or two. And maybe I've got the entire plot wrong. Still, any movie who's leason is "Buddhism allows you to kick ass with a cool soundtrack" is awarsome in my book. I really hope they release it on DVD in the States. Though, if they do, I might leave the subtitles off. Something tells me it would be better that way.

1 comment:

jimf said...

Wow, you came really close to the actual plot without subtitles. The movie is indeed out on DVD in the US with English subtitles, just like 95%+ of Bollywood movies within weeks of their release. You can find it on Netflix as well as on sites like