Spider-Man is one of my favorite characters from childhood. My expectations from the latest on-screen installment “Spider-Man 3” were very high especially because its predecessor Spider-Man 2 was one of the superhero movies I rated high and loved to watch. Spider-Man 2 certainly scored over Spider-Man 1 and I expected the trend to continue.
But wait. Times are changing. The world is flat (now) and Sam Raimi seems to have taken this seriously and made a superhero movie with whatever he thinks appeals the most to audiences in emerging markets. There are just too many similarities to our Bollywood/Tollywood/Kollywood movies. No, no …. the running around trees while singing songs is not there yet but sample the following:
* Villain runs towards the hero and just when he is about to stab him, the hero’s best friend comes inbetween, gets stabbed and saves the hero’s life.
* Important character dying at the end of the story in heroine’s lap. Heroine says: “Mein doctor ko bulaati hoon”. Our character says: “Nahi. Meri baat suno. Mere jaane ka waqt aa gaya hai. Mujhe vachan do ki tum …. “. And then the usual “Nahi .. tum mujhe chod ke nahi jaa sakte …. mere bachon ko kaun kahaani sunaayega ? Kaun unki chaddi saaf karega”
* Old man remembers he has something imporant to say to an important character in the story just when it is about to end: “Maine aaj tak tumse ek sach chupake rakha hai beta. Par ab bataane ka waqt aa gaya hai (why don’t you just wait for the movie to end? ) ….. tumhara baap …. ”
* Mother to her son: “Yeh woh anguti hai jo tumhaare pitaji ne mujhe pehnaayi thi 50 saal pehle (or yeh woh kangan hain jo meri saas ne mujhe diye the meri shaadi ke baad). Mein chaahati hoon ki meri bahu bhi isse pehne .. ”
* One villain to another: “Usse ham dono ki dushmani hai. Kyun naa ham dono milke kaam karen. Sochke dekho .. tumhaari akal aur meri taakat dono mil jaaye toh?”
* “Kutte, kaminey, mein tera khoon pee jaaoonga”
* “Bachao …. Bhagwaan ke liye mujhe chod do” .. wait … was this one there?
* “Meri beti bimaar thi aur mujhe paison ki saqt zaroorat thi”
* Patient opens his eyes in a hospital bed and says: “Mein kahaan hoon? … Mujhe kuch theek tarah yaad kyun nahi aa raha”
Luckily, Spider-Man doesn’t have a mother in the movie. Else someone would have come and asked: “Mere paas paisa hai, ache darwaaze waala ek ghar hai, dhang ke kapde hain. Tumhare paas kya hai?” .. and he would have of course replied “Mere paas maa hai … maa“.
I thought Spider-Man was supposed to sort out problems that the world or at least New York city was facing. But here is our hero sorting out issues of his own. And the issues are not just one or two. There are issues in his private life and in his job. His best friend has turned a foe. Then there are Sandman and Venom too. At least 2-3 movies could have been made addressing some of the problems separately. With so many issues at hand, the director has to use such stupid reasons as amnesia to tackle some (watch the movie for details). And then there is this someone or something that can be destroyed only by the sound of bells. If I had been Spider-Man, I would have made that someone/something listen to Carnatic Semi-Classical songs tuned by L. Krishnan and company with those bells ringing in the background (or should I say foreground?)
Many strong characters vie for screen space. There were four villains (worser than your Shakeel Yeda, Damru Dada types) and two girl(friend)s at last count. Multiple sequels could have been made concentrating on one or two at a time to give them their due. It was like watching Amjad Khan, Pran, Gulshan Grover, Prem Chopra, Ajit, Danny Denzongpa and Shakti Kapoor, all in one single movie, trying to use Hema Malini to put an end to Dev Anand. I also felt like I was watching multiple full-length saas-bahu serials within a couple of hours. There was so much of emotional drama. Yes – Spider-Man even cries.
The positives: The chase scenes are simply awesome. I especially liked the one where Harry chases Peter through the skyscrapers. The scenes depicting the transformation of Sandman and Venom are also well shot.
In conclusion, I think Sam now has in him what it takes to make successful Bollywood movies and Indian TV mega-serials. There is just this one little thing he needs to take care of in his next venture. He needs to choose more interesting names for his flicks. For instance, how fitting would “Kkkyunki Spider-Man bhi Man hai” or “Ek Makkdi kki aatma kkkkatha” have been for his present offering?