It was a snowbound friday evening in january when we decided that picking a dvd from the vending machine in the lobby and retiring to our temperature-controlled apartment was more desirable than losing an assortment of toes and fingers to frostbite in the 3 block walk that would bring us to our pub. Turned out people other than us had also been thinking along the same sensible lines and the traditional wham-bang-whimper movies were sold out. When someone suggested watching a Friends dvd, I punched some random buttons on the machine out of desperation and out popped this dvd that had 2 asian guys on the cover with a mini-burger in the foreground. The title ‘Harold and Kumar go to Whitecastle’. The unanimous verdict: Kal Penn’s the hollywood counterpart of Sunita Williams (so what if they’re both as Indian as German shepherds), and the rest, as they say, is history. Watched it thrice over a 6 month period.
So, imagine when, years later, during the promos, “We shall settle this like our forefathers used to…” says the stylishly coiffed, square-jawed blond …the confused response from his asian adversary “you will exploit me economically?…” in that unmistakable accent that resembles Abu from Springfield than any visa-toting brown-skin to clear immigration. ‘Van Wilder 2 – The rise of Taj’. S and I looked at each other and next weekend was wordlessly pencilled in to watch what, had to be, the best movie in a long time.
There are disappointments and then there are disappointments. Everything from the cast of one-dimensional characters to the so-called story about a bunch of misfits who go from outsiders to champions of the ‘house cup’ at Camford university. The name given to the university seems far less ridiculous when the dude, Kal Penn, introduces himself as “Taj Mahal Badalandabad”. When the horny father encourages his son in “the pursoot of the pink taco”, you realise then that the target audience was never beyond expat Indian high-school-goers.
Now I know how those of faith must’ve felt when it was shattered, how investors of Enron, Worldcom etc must’ve felt when their ‘gilt-edged’ investments changed overnight. This was one bad movie choice I couldn’t blame on S.