The 5 Most Mind-Blowing Moments from Indian Action Movies
The rest of the world thinks of America like that first roommate out of college: Sitting on the couch all night, telling swear words to Halo, farting into the robe they didn't ask if they could borrow in the first place, and just generally contributing nothing meaningful to the world at large. With one exception: Hollywood. We unquestioningly pump out the most crotch-burstingly awesome action movies on the planet. That's our thing. That's what we can point to and say, "here's what we do best."And we would be lying, because there is a small state in India called Tamil Nadu that's been churning out movies which prove, without a doubt, that they can do action every bit as well as we can, plus throw in a hurricane, eight bears, a dance number and a bitchin' goat jump on top. They're called Tamil films, and here are the scenes that put America to shame:
Superstar Rajinikanth, Murderer of GravityTires squeal, citizens run in terror, screaming at the villains pursuing them. Just when all hope seems lost, one thug goes hurtling impossibly through the air. We see the foot that kicked him: It is wrapped in a second-tier running shoe. It may be a Puma. The foot lifts, and we are slowly introduced to the hero, the badass, the man that nightmares have nightmares about. He looks like Wayne Newton. He's tubby, he's old, he's got a moustache that wants to sell you a used Ford Festiva, and he is
T. Rajender, Dance-fighting EwokT. Rajender is equal parts Chaka from
Captain Vijayakanth, Flailing Pile of Fat and DeathAs previously indicated by Superstar Rajinikanth, tubby older men with colorful shirts and mid-grade running shoes are death incarnate in Tamil cinema. And none are tubbier, more colorful, or more mid-grade than Captain Vijayakanth: He looks like a cross between Horatio Sanz and a short order cook at a discotheque: Obviously these criminals are in some serious fucking trouble. Even moreso since they've flung their weapons aside, opting instead to tie themselves upside down to vines and hurl themselves from trees while windmilling like panicked fourth-graders. Eventually the good Captain realizes the only way to fight retardation is with more retardation, so he valiantly commandeers a vine of his own and fights them on their own terms: By drifting in small, slow, confused orbits, like somebody strung up a pinata made of ham. When the low speed collisions do occur, Vijayakanth's attacks consist of making punching noises with his mouth that his hands have absolutely no intention of following through on, while his opponents fall more out of courtesy than damage. And you can't blame them for pitying him: Here he is valiantly battling evil, despite simultaneously battling advanced-stage liver disease. It's inspiring, really, because unless "vengeance" is cloudy and yellow, that's probably Jaundice in his eyes.
Megastar Chiranjeevi, Horse BaneThe movie tells you, right off the bat, shit is about to get real in a hurry: It looks like the only thing our hero likes better than moustaches and butter is pastel and Asics. When the scene starts, he's in the process of breaking free from a paddy wagon, and the Indian police force tries to stop him by inexplicably destroying all of their vehicles as fast as they can - motorcycles ram into cars, jeeps hurtle through the air, police cars power-slide into buildings --regardless of whether the hero is anywhere near them, has done anything to them, or if it makes any sense for them to be doing it. When they eventually run out of cars, they bring in the horse brigade. And if you were hoping the Indian police would treat their horses better than their cars, rest assured: They do not. Horses are kamikaze'd into any and everything -- cars, ponds, the ground, other horses -- and please understand, these are actual dead horses we're talking about here. There are no "stunt horses" that can bend their necks like that and live. This movie has some sort of blood vendetta against the horse species, there can be no other explanation. Why else would our hero, upon stumbling across a miraculously still-breathing horse, become so enraged that he feels compelled to steal said horse, Tokyo Drift it beneath a semi truck and then ram it through every piece of plate glass in India. The movie ends by fulfilling every promise it made to us: With our hero murder-driving a horse through an inexplicably glass-walled bus, while jeeps fly through the air with no provocation, and every single car in the world explodes at once, completely apropos of nothing.
Balakrishna, Bringer of MadnessDon't be fooled. For a few minutes here, you're going to think this clip is nothing more than Indian men cosplaying Sam Fisher with a special effects budget consisting of Mom's Closet and Imagination. But I'm telling you, it's necessary. You need to see this part to ground yourself for the madness to come. Without it, your neurons would surely be overloaded by the arcing insanity of the man-thing they call Balakrishna. I promise you, after they're done pretending at Special Ops, every single person involved with this production flings their notes into the air, strips naked and starts power-raping logic to death. I will do my best to offer an objective description, but keep in mind that words can only do so much to describe the raging face of a mad god: The turning point comes when a sweet-ass Indian power ballad starts up, indoor windstorms arise from nowhere, and our hero displaces himself from time by waving his arms, then starts Quantum Leaping into the Indian equivalent of every badass that has ever lived. Watching this fight scene is exactly analogous to going insane: Slowly, frame by frame, your normal perception of reality ceases to exist. As your grip loosens, connections begin to thin. Scenes shift and morph seamlessly into other, completely unrelated scenes until, after a while, you kind of forget that anything was ever not like that. Now our hero is summoning the power of the ocean and a volcanic eruption. Now he is cartoonishly pounding men into the ground like Bugs Bunny. Now he becomes a pillar, then explodes and is the god of fire for a second. Now you no longer recognize your loved ones - you're sure they've been replaced with dopplegangers somehow. Now Balakrishna is hurling men into the air who never appear again -- perhaps they achieve escape velocity and break orbit -- sailing off into depths of space to confuse aliens many light years and untold millennia away. Now he shoots fireballs from his eyes that become a Megaman-like orbiting shield. Now he masters electricity. Now you're hearing signals that tell you what to do; it must be the CIA controlling your mind. Now our hero summons an army of fiery pitchforks and goosesteps through them. Now he's Clint Eastwood. Now he summons the actual, literal sub-continent of India to fight with. Now you're sure those meds they keep trying to give you will only dull your instincts, so you won't notice when the pod people start taking over. Now Balakrishna is an ancient archer, and his legs are a burning panther. Now you are gone to the rational world, and forever will be. I am truly sorry to have dragged you into this, but it's too late for all of you now. You see, I watched this clip on accident a week ago, not knowing what it would do to the human mind. Forgive me, but I was weak, and I could not bear the solitude of madness. So I constructed this article - this ruse - and gave it to the world, just so you could join me. And now, at last, I will have company; company in the screaming insanity that has become my existence.
You can buy Robert's book, Everything is Going to Kill Everybody: The Terrifyingly Real Ways the World Wants You Dead, or follow him on Twitter and Facebook or you can google "Sultan Rahi" to see what Pakistan has to add to the discussion.