Malaysians, you’ve prolly watched at least one Bollywood film at some point in your life, or at the very least, least, least, you must have seen snatches of ’em in passing while you were changing channels on your TV, whether Bollywood, Kollywood or Tollywood, right? In fact, Indian films can really kick some Hollywood butt.
No Indian film expert? Never mind. Neither are we. So please forgive us and this is our disclaimer here saying that this comes from a complete noob’s perspective. We just found these movie scenes really, really awesome level 9,000. And while technically our title said ‘Bollywood’, who’s counting, right? Here are our favourite Indian action movie scenes which whooped Hollywood in the butt.
1. Car shooting
Movie: Singham, 2011
This scene makes Brian O’ Conner from The Fast and the Furious look bad. Never have we seen anyone alight a vehicle as it pirouettes, in a more stylo way. And those aviators! Brian on the other hand – brakes, shoots. Where’s the style? Where’s the gumption? When Bajirao, the cop, blows out the bad guy’s tyre, the car actually flips a couple of times in the air. About 9 times (hopefully we counted correctly). That’s like 9 times too many to be believable. While the vehicle is still airborne, Bajirao grabs the baddie from an open window and slams him to the ground. You sir, take this medal of valour!
2. Heart transplanting
Movie: Hrudaya Kaleyam, 2014
OK firstly, Hrudaya Kaleyam is a spoof film and therefore expected to be farcical and full of crap. But we gotta say, not even Tony Stark’s ‘surgery’ in Iron Man is as ridiculous as the heart surgery scene in here. Even though, technically, the surgeon never even lifted a finger, still, awesome things happen to awesome people without them even trying.
3. Stunt flying
Movie: Border, 1997
To the rousing melody of ‘Hindustan Hindustan’, we see Major Kuldip Singh Chandpuri single-handedly blow up tank after tank with grenades like an unstoppable, macho, gorilla-dude. But the real adrenaline rush comes when a tank takes aim at him. Suddenly, it explodes like some pyromaniac’s sick fantasy. Out of the smoke flies friendly aircraft so LOW that the Major can easily high-five the pilot if puts his hand up. Tom Cruise? Meh. Tom’s lowpass in Top Gun looks positively kindergarten against the Border piloting skills. The testosterone is so copious that even women could grow beards just watching.
4. Bad guy butt kicking
Movie: Singham, 2011
Don’t make Bajirao mad. You won’t like him when he’s mad. Here he gives the baddies a trashing they’ll never forget… with his BELT! Every cop has a gun, but have you ever seen Hollywood cops exert brute force using a belt, with such panache and hilarity (is that a tiger’s roar we hear in the background?)? RoboCop? Puh-lease! That guy hides behind his tinfoil armour. Seriously though, did anyone realise the cop is destroying public property in this scene?
5. More bad guy butt kicking
Movie: Geraftaar, 1986
We swear, Inspector Hussein has the coolest ciggie flicking skills on screen. You should also watch how he lights a cigarette with his pistol. Harry Calahan may have had one of the most iconic lines in Hollywood history he can never pull off Hussein’s stunts. Hussein somersaults away from bullets, shoots backwards with impossible accuracy and hands the baddies a gun, only to kick it out of their hands. The man deserves a decoration – for swag.
6. Extreme car chasing
Movie: Khiladi 420, 2000
Marty McFly’s skateboard surfing at the back of a pick-up truck is amateurish compared to the stunts in Khiladi 420. The closest thing we got to firepower in that Back to the Future scene are the sparks under Marty’s skateboard wheels, while in Khalidi 420, vehicle combustions were an all-you-can-watch buffet. The hero simply rollerblades past the cars and they go boom in the air. That’s what we call movie magic!
7. Escape riding
Movie: Alluda Majaka, 1995
We cheered for Virgil Hilts when he broke out of Stalag Luft III in The Great Escape and cleared a wooden barb wire fence on a motorcycle. But his stunt is not nearly as dashing as Sitaram’s escape on a horse. The poor steed has to run into oncoming traffic and smash through several glass doors, but the most epic moment was when rider and horse slide under a trailer! Also, we have no clue why the director thought it was believable to make the jeeps leap too, but in Indian movies, gravity can go hang.
8. Bullet deflecting
Movie: Sabari, 2007
Pfft, so Neo was able to dodge bullets, so what? We repeat, DODGE. When a bullet grazes his thigh, he still goes down like any other mortal. But in this scene, our hero deflects a bullet. DEFLECT: To cause (something that is moving) to change direction. The bullet bounces off his chest and lodges straight into the shooter’s shoulder, making that jerk keel over with an ohhhh-ohh-oh-ohhhhhhhhh.
9. Chopper exploding
Movie: Magadheera, 2009
How do you get the most use out of your jeep? Send it projecting towards a hostile helicopter, of course! Thanks to the jeep driver, our protagonist survives being nearly ais-kacang-ed by the chopper blades and rescues the hostage damsel. In Live Free or Die Hard, Bruce Willis lets fly a car into a helicopter too, but in Magadheera, the jeep very visibly has an unbelievable distance to travel before crashing into the aircraft. So the Indian movie wins again!
Movie: Enthiran, 2010
Enthiran defied the laws of physics so many times we lost count. The robots can form a sphere, a wall, some freaking… what is that, a joystick? And a cobra?! Agent Smith with his cloning capabilities didn’t even try to form a cheerleader pyramid in The Matrix Reloaded. YAWN!
11. Vehicle transforming
Movie: Kutti Pisasu, 2010
How would we describe this scene? How about ‘abuse of (not very sophisticated) CGI in reckless abandon’? A tacky yellow car levitates and chases 3 men. It transforms into a robot, that is so obviously a Bumblebee rip-off, to terrorise the men. But here’s the thing – Bumblebee may be very endearing to us all, it’s just that this particular scene is so bizarre that it won everything. The robot’s tantrum, picking up cars and tossing it at the men, at one point even stomping on a car. All of a sudden, a little girl in a pink blazer floats down from the sky and sets one of the men on fire! How to not win like that?
How’s your jaw? Your stomach? Still in one piece? Indian movies are so overdramatic, yet the industry is still booming! Even people with the feeblest knowledge on Indian films (like CILISOS’ writers) know how to describe it as ‘full of drama’ and ‘full of dancing around trees’. And you know what? IT’S FREAKIN’ AWESOME, and maybe that’s what turns the wheel of Indian film-making business.
Maybe because they have such predictable and relatable plots that people can’t help being drawn to the movies. It’s a kind of familiarity that keeps the fans coming back for more. So, no matter how recycled the plot, how ludicrous the dance moves, how B-rated the dialogues, or how face-palm the endings can be, Indian movies will live forever.
We hope this post made your day. For those of you who’ve never watched an Indian film before, we hope these clips will get you started. Happy Deepavali everyone!