Whenever someone mentions the movie My Name is Khan, the automatic reaction our Bollywood overdosed brains give is “And I am not a terrorist”. So when the trailer for the upcoming movie “My Name Is RaGa” was announced, the first thought that comes to the mind is “And I am not a what? Pappu”? Though the last word might be different depending upon the kind of brains in today’s world, let us leave it at that.
The first few seconds of the movie trailer proceed with ominous typical Bollywood horror movie music and set up. There is intense music playing when a Gora Chitta lanky lad rises up from ghastly blue waters, we take a good 3 seconds to realise he was not drowning but swimming apparently. He shuts his eyes tight as if he had swum to the pool’s surface from a dark dungeon hidden deep somewhere.
It is only when we see a smiling Indira Dadi looking up from her book that we get to understand all is well, it is only Rahul baba having a swim in their palace. But before we were even able to exhale the air that was held, the horror set up is back, intense music and the scary presence of a villain with a gun take the happiness away.
The Horror movie set up is back again when the cute kid picks up an enormous ragged doll. Old, ragged dolls have never been the good news in the whole history of cinema, be it Bollywood or Hollywood. The kid is then does something weird to the doll with a weird smile.
We are now genuinely concerned. What exactly are the filmmakers trying to convey here, that there is the presence of a spooky doll in RaGa’s life? That RaGa has a fascination for spooky dolls, or that Raga loved playing with his sister’s discarded possessions? All of these are depressing and terribly concerning possibilities.
After the assassination scene of Indira, the trailer picks up the pace, however, the horror movie insinuations never actually leave us. The Royal family of Nehru’s descendants have always been under media glare and public scrutiny, like all royals, are, but there are still unknown details about them apparently. We, for example, did not know that RaGa and PriGa were taught at home by a blonde tutor.
If anything has a more significant screen presence in the movie trailer than the double dimpled male lead with a carefully crafted ‘3-day old stubble’ look, it is the balconies. There is a small balcony beyond flowing, oversized curtains in RaGa’s adolescence, one where he leans on to brood away into adulthood perhaps. Symbolic of the shrouded, protected existence of his childhood maybe. A lot of screen space has been devoted to showcasing a fearful pre-pubescent RaGa always hugging his dad and always standing in balconies.
As RaGa grows bigger, so does the balcony. The balcony with ugly oversized curtains now evolves into a what is the perfect Vastu-compliant imitation of the White House’s Truman Balcony. It is that brightly lit balcony where a very vocal Manmohan Singh tells him that he now has to shine bright (Ab Tumhe Chamakna Hai). It is the big, east-facing, sunlit, open-air balcony that RaGa waves with PriGa on his side, it is the same romantic balcony washed with soft evening rays where he winks (yes, winks) at a saree clad, bindi armed senior party member who declares her love for him.
Balconies have been in vogue since Ram Gopal Verma’s Sarkar. After giant, red-carpeted staircases right in the middle of the hall where every happy family in Bollywood movies lives, dances and where most mothers and Bhabhis trip and fall, balconies that the hero waves from have been the next architectural compulsion in most movies, this movie apparently has decided to go the extra length with it. Even the posters of the movie are centered around the balcony.
Moving on, the trailer makes us realise that as RaGa grew up, he has moved on from spooky dolls to jokers. There is an even scarier looking joker placed right on the center table in one scene.
If the spooky doll and the scary jokers were not Bhootiya enough, we are shown a glimpse of three, yes three RaGas scaring each other on a rooftop. Multiple personalities too?
To complete the evil imagery, there is a Modi moving his lips where Arnab’s voice is heard in the background. The evil Modi even smirks, clenches his fist and grinds his teeth in seething anger and gives Voldemort-like smiles when RaGa is being ridiculed on TV.
As the movie version of RaGa embraces his politician identity (one of the three personalities?) and rises to shine in glorious victories (balcony again), a perplexed duo of a shocked Modi and very timid Amit Shah are shown watching TV together.
In what is very unfair treatment of brave journalism, it is Rahul Kanwal’s voice and not Pallavi Ghosh’s or Sagarika Ghose’s that announces RaGa’s rise to great power in India’s politics. Robert Vadra is nowhere to be seen but a gleaming PrigGa walks to her brother’s side and supports his trembling hand to be raised to the skies, (balcony again).
The movie RaGa is a true Bollywood heartthrob. Not only he smiles and winks and gives shy sideways looks, but he also Bajaos the dhol and does the Barati dance amidst bursts of Gulaals and garlands.
How can any movie be complete without a pink chiffon saree and sleeveless blouse? We were almost starting to be disappointed when a svelte spokesperson (or IT cell head, maybe) walks in, towards a brooding RaGa (of course on the balcony) and asks, do you know, ” Hum Tumse Itna Pyar Kyun Karte Hain?” Expect whistles at this scene when a very shy RaGa gives the very ‘parliamentarian’ wink and laughs away to glory.
Our hearts would have melted to the overcute story if not for the sheer unfairness of the total dismissal of such important and significant parts of RaGa’s political career.
The 4.03 minutes long trailer does not have a single Rafale flying across the screen. Any RaGa movie aspiring to do justice to the astounding political career of the visionary Congress prince should have first thought of Rafales. Forget Rafales, there is not even a single temple visit, not a single mobile factory has been mentioned.
The movie also seems to have totally ignored the scientifically imaginative RaGa. There are no talks of MRIs, no mentions of innovative chips production or not a single glance of potatoes being turned into gold.
We wish Rupesh Paul, who has a very impressive list of movies to his credit, like “Saint Dracula 3D”, “The Temptation Between My Legs” and “Monologues of an Indian Sex Maniac” etc, would have tried to venture into science fiction and had introduced us to the scientific visionary, maybe as one of the other two personalities of the politician RaGa.
Just imagine the impact, the money making potential and the blockbuster appeal of the scene if RaGa was shown disembarking from a Rafale alone, a dozen mobile factories in the distant horizons and pages of torn ordinances flying everywhere, with Bahubali-type music playing as a bare-chested Salman Khan style RaGa emerges to the front, with his Janeu lying proudly on his shoulders and spreads his arms, not for the chiffon saree diva, but for the teeth grinding Modi and says “Hug”? Sigh, some wishes just never come true.