oAfter a spate of Pudinhara-inducing movies like Valkyrie (heavy: good but seriously serious) and Dilli 6 (does this city produce anything palatable??), I decided I really needed something different. So underlining my pukka suburbanite status with Vodafone Tuesdays, I found myself in a multiplex late last night, watching Pink Panther 2.
The movie was just what the doctor had ordered for my ailing mid-week spirits.
What really works for the film is that it is just implausible enough to be funny, never erring into the area of ridiculous. Also, if you missed the first Pink Panther, no worries – even with a repeat cast and plotline, the movie is complete in itself. All you need to know is that Pink Panther is not a person or even an animal (don’t scoff, I was asked that at this show and I asked the same question at my first movie!).
Steve Martin as Inspector Clouseau, gives a perfect encore with the flourishy, fumbling, funny Frenchman act. His comedy is resplete with slam-dunk-downstairs slapstick and liberally laced with lingua franca humour. He’s undoubtedly the star of the show.
The movie does have a few other goodies to offer other than this talented white-haired funny guy, though. A few of the jokes from the earlier movie show up again in snide references to hamburgers and karate. I particularly loved the irritating Ms.Manners with her unrelenting demands of politically correct speech. My favorite exchange in the movie was:
She’s ze kind ov’ woman you have ze babies with.
Yez. Lots of ze babies. All day long ze babies.
Alfredo Molina, the evil Doc.Ock of Spiderman 2 makes an appearance as a Brit detective and he’s flanked by Andy Garcia repeating his romantic villian act of oily-guy-who-almost-bags-girl-but-she-finally-picks-the-hero act (Ocean’s Eleven). He is a perfect counterfoil to Steve Martin as Clouseau’s Italian rival at work and in love. The odd thing is that the first time I saw each of these actors in their respective aforementioned roles, I thought,
He looks like an Indian!
Which brings us to the Indian who is not that woman they all want to have ‘ze babies’ with. Please, please stop calling her India’s ambassador to Hollywood! If you must, give that title to A.R.Rehman; at the least the man has talent! But Ms.Rai? She’s got a real talent for not being noticeable at all!
Yes, yes I got that she turned out to be the real crook. Could anyone miss that with the last scene having her draped in hot pink? But really, tell me just how does a hot (?) woman in fabulous clothes, surrounded by not-so-hot-guys and one decidedly drab madam in Paris manage to not stand out at all? I mean, at least as eye candy? So much for her dusky features making her look exotic, La Rai just looks tired, over made-up and haggard. All the chances for some high drama are wasted in her affected, posturing. Jade isn’t just the colour of her eyes, it describes the person.
Really, don’t go watch Pink Panther 2 because it has an Indian in it. Go watch it for Steve Martin and his madcap capers.