Friday, November 23, 2007

Nach Baliye 3: Dancing in drag

There seems to be a guaranteed way to get laughs in Bollywood and related media these days: men dressing up and behaving like women. Actually gay men can be inserted with just as much facility, but really in today's immature Bollywood, that is just a variation on men behaving like women.

So, while the judges and anya janta split their sides laughing at last week's Nach Baliye 3 gender-reversal episode, I barely cracked a smile. What's there to laugh, anyway? Might as well give a guy a hammer and have him smash melons. This is not to say I didn't enjoy the show. There was plenty of drama and enough people behaving in silly ways to keep my poor taste in good humor.

First, of course, was how uncomfortable some of the men got when they had to play women. You didn't hear the women complaining. But a couple of the men looked like they were about to faint.

Some exaggerated their movements so much as to convince us they were manly men. At least one (Karan) tried to be a little too low key and graceful and promptly got admonished by Vaibhavi Merchant. "Women don't dance like that!" she shook her head. "Hum to tagda naachte hai!"

So who did the best girlie dance? These days I like Abhishek so much that I'd have to say him. Dressed up as a Basanti who had too taken a few too many swigs of badam ka doodh in her youth, he showed up dressed colorfully and maroed thumkas with glee. All the men on the show: this is how you do dance like women.

In the same dance Rakhi Sawant came dressed as Gabbar (makeup people: there are other ways to make women look manly than just sticking a stubble on them, you know). And I must say, she made a fine bandit. If only we could have had Himesh singing Mehbooba, this episode would have rocked.

Now I can't help but notice that although Rakhi is a decent dancer and Abhishek is an outstanding one, their choreographer rescues them time and again on the show.

Anyway I digress: later in the elimination episode Rakhi and Abhishek watched a clip of themselves celebrating Diwali with Abhishek's parents. On screen was Rakhi, overdressed as usual, with enough hoops on her person to delight a gymnast and in the audience was Rakhi without much makeup at all. All I'll say is: delightful to watch!

So where did the drama come from? First, John and Bips came on the show and started a buzz about how they might join the contest. Here they played along gamely - regardless of the rumored state of their relationship, they retain an easy chemistry. And Bipasha's refusal to play sharmilee, giggly Bharatiya Nari is a winning personality trait with me.

Later yet, they held up those hilariously overgrown table tennis paddles and announced the wild card jodi: Krushna and Kashmera. Much clapping ensued - Krushna grabbed the mike and said something graceful and articulate. His partner - who often resembles a wet mop emotionally - looked really happy.

Who kicked the figurative bucket? After a confusing and joyless switcheroo in announcing the results, Shweta and Alexx, fine happy triers got the shaft. There is a huge positive in this: I won't have to put up with those tired gora, phirang jokes anymore.

The additional jodi (thanks to anu g) will be Indraneil Sengupta and Barkha Bisht. Although they are supposed to be celebrities, I don't know who these people are (this happens whenever someone announces themselves as celebrities as opposed to "actor" or "director", etc). But hey, we'll find out soon enough.



Anonymous said...

Very funny as usual.I think its sickening to see the men dress up as girls.My 74 year old father had come down from Chennai, and I switched on the tv to watch what wa happening. When he saw what was on the screen, he was so shocked and disgusted, and even more so that i was continuing to watch the programme. I had to quickly switch it off.

Anonymous said...

aspi, absolutely love the captions as always. i'm sure i'm far more entertained by yr posts and the comments than i would be if i watched the dance shows.

aren't john-bips getting to be overkill? this seems almost worse than the saawariya couple. btw, props to the drift memsaab for her keen powers of observation :). maybe an official announcement fm the happy couple isn't far behind?

Unknown said...

They look hugely overexposed. But I now admire them more than ever. Why? I just saw Goal (I'll do a review later) and to have to promote a movie like that endlessly - takes patience and commitment.

Anonymous said...

Regarding Jo-Bi's marital status: Using a magnifying glass those look like 2 rings, namely, an engagement ring and a wedding band.