Tuesday, September 8

Quick Gun Murugun - Truly brilliant, I say!!

Film - Quick Gun Murugun (English, partly Tamil)
Director - Shashanka Ghosh
Producer - Phat Phish Productions, Fox Star Studios
Cast - Dr. Rajendra Prasad, Nasser, Rambha, Raju Sundaram, Vinay Pathak
Music - Daniel George
Screenplay - Rajesh Devraj
Cinematography - R A Krishnaa
Editing - Rabi Ranjan Moitra
Release Date - 28th August 2009

This movie is a completely new experiment in Indian Cinema. It is the first out and out spoof to be made as a full length feature film. It is a hilarious take on Indian commercial cinema with all its cliches and stereotypes, giving special focus on Tamil and Telugu cinema. The film is about the fight between Quick Gun Murugun (Dr. Rajendra Prasad), a vegetarian cowboy, who assumes charges as the protector of the cows (because he thinks that, that is also a duty of a cowboy), and a gangster Rice Plate Reddy (Nasser), who wants to make the whole world non-vegetarian. This is the basic premise of the film and I would not like to go into the story details. The story is nothing short of a roller-coaster ride, which goes from somewhere in South India in 1982 to Swarglok and back to Mumbai 2007. 

There are so many brilliant moments which have all appeared in the action films of yesteryears. Terrorizing villains, the hero, who has a heart of gold, decides to stand up for the oppressed and fights the villain and all that. But of course, all this is done in a caricaturish way. Murugun is the typical south Indian superhero - over the top, dressed in all sorts of contrasting costumes (which include orange pants, green shirts, leopard printed waistcoats and pink scarfs and of course, the hat), generous, protector of the ladies, with the power of beating up 100s of people alone and all that. He is also very sentimental. The way Rajendra Prasad has portrayed the character deserves special mention. His rosy cheeks and pencil moustache and a straight face is done deliberately and it works wonders. 

The movie is only 90 minutes long and is very smart and crisp. The makers did a good thing by not stretching it beyond a point. They made their point in those 90 minutes of running time. The first half showcases how Murugun plans to take revenge on Rice Plate Reddy and how Reddy wants to make the best Dosa in the world and get his brand of McDosa to be world famous. The interval punchline, delivered to the mummies of India is hilarious. You gotta hear it from Nasser's mouth to enjoy it. The veteran hams it up perfectly in a heavy south Indian accent. The first half also has a brilliant scene where Nasser narrates a resignation letter for his sidekick who couldnt stand up against Murugun. Reminding one of the legendary Kaalia scene of Sholay, this one is done celeverly and is completely innovative. Murugun also has a lover who died, called Locket Lover (Anu Menon aka Lola Kutty), advising him to start a kerosene dealership instead of seeking revenge on Reddy. The love song between Murugun and Locket Lover, "Oh little flower" is a treat to watch. Reminding one of MGR's colorful song sequences from the 70s. 

The second half moves at a rapid pace as well. The other heroine of the movie (South Indian heroes generally have 2 heroines) is Mango Dolly (Rambha), a bar dancer, with a blonde wig which she takes off at night. The scene at the bar where Murugun asks Dolly what a family girl like her is doing in such a place is hilarious. And the dialogue with the gunman who tries to attack them outside the bar is also extremely funny. Murugun develops a soft corner for Dolly as well. By that time, the Amma/Anni sentiment has to work out, because the film is nearing the climax. So Murugun's brother is killed and Anni (Sister-in-law) is kidnapped. So Murugun has to go into action and has a face off with Rowdy MBA (Raju Sundaram), the new sidekick of Reddy. Where they chose as a place for the duel, has to be seen to be believed. In fact, that is one of the best scenes of the movie. Murugun saves his Anni which makes Reddy plan another trick. Which leads to an elaborate stunt sequence at a railway station. It has all the ridiculous stunts one can think of and beyond, which is thoroughly enjoyable. And finally Murugun arrives to face off with Reddy. But he has to deal with Dolly's fate also, which makes his face-off even more furious. The stunt sequence in the climax, with some divine intervention (a usual thing in Telugu cinema), is a gain a treat to watch. There is also a funny sequence after the climax involving a handicapped thief, before the movie ends. And then the movie ends with a music video of the dialogues and highlights from the film. 

Director Shashanka Ghosh has perfectly handled the movie and has given it a comic book treatment. With rich colours, loud costumes, completely cliched situations and all that. The dialogues are the best part of the movie. All the english as well as Tamil dialogues are smartly written with lots of wit. "Leave the ladies alone, I say" and so many others, which cannot be said here as they would be spoilers. The jokes of the movie are not illogical. They work as a satire on our cinema as well as cultural and social beliefs. Murugun tells the handicapped robber, "Start a telephone booth, I say" or, "I will cut your bus ticket to heaven" and all that. The news channels are not spared either. They are also mocked of. Lot of attention have been paid to details. Small small things like the lodge named as Well-Known Lodge or the coconut tree climbing institute and all makes us laugh a lot. Editing is perfect. The movie cannot be crisper than this. You do not feel any kind of lag in any scenes, including the song scenes. Art Direction is also another highpoint of the movie. It has a look of a Hollywood Western mixed with our own Desi stuff. Costumes also deserve special mention. Cinematography is very well done, very colorful and creates the right mood for the film. Music plays a very important role in the movie. Music, along with sound effects, take the movie to greater heights. The stereotypical sound effects for particular scenes are played out so well. The sentimental themes, romantic themes and action themes are all inspired by old south Indian flicks. The carnatic version of the theme of Good, Bad and Ugly also plays out. 

Rajendra Prasad is brilliant. He carries the whole film on his shoulders. He is extremely lovable. He mocks every hero possible including himself. 
Nasser, as we always know, is brilliant. He is extremely loud like any villain would be and has some of the best scenes and lines, the highlight being the interval one. He also does an imitation of Mr. Bachchan almost perfectly. 
Rambha, is back after a long time. She is a very good choice for the role as she is well known both in the south and the north. She is plump, fair and everything what a south Indian heroine should be. She shows ample amount of skin, which tempts Murugun time and again.
Raju Sundaram also shines in his short role, especially in the duel scene. 

It is extremely difficult to make a madcap film like this and reach out to the audience.  Thanks to good marketing, the film is getting lots of positive responses and good reviews. Taking a small character who used to come for 2 minutes on Channel V in the 90s, and who later transformed onto the big screen (SRK did a take on Murugun in Om Shanti Om) was a brilliant idea. It is a first for Indian cinema, and I think its a very good chance for us to laugh at ourselves and enjoy it for all the reasons that we have enjoyed the movies that this one makes fun of. I couldnt point out any negatives for the movie. It was a very enjoyable ride for me. I'm definitely watching it again. 

Rating - As Rice Plate Reddy says - A1, Tip-Top, World Class. Lol. [:)]


  1. "Ok. This movie is a completely new experience for an Indian viewer."

    You mean, an Indian viewer who restricts themselves to movies produced in India?

  2. yea.. i was talkin bout ppl who havnt been exposed to stuff like scary movie and all that..

  3. i hav given in the other posts.. this one doesnt require that.. :)