Thursday, January 31, 2008

The new Rambo

I did not see Rocky Balboa.

In fact the last time I paid to see Stallone was in the atrocious Specialist: and in my sex-starved teens, he was not the reason that brought me to the Mayfair that evening.

I went to Rambo dreading that the new Rambo might not have grown amore mature and realistic political perspective; and might just be an excuse for another body count flick of the 90s; albeit with the special effects advances post-Terminator 2.

Alas! My fears came true.

I can't help compare Stallone right now with two other actors who went on to become directors: Eastwood and Mel Gibson.

While Clint debunked his own Blondie myth in (my opinion) the greatest movie of all times, Stallone is the Hollywood Mr. Bharat and DevAnand reincarnaton and can't seem to get over the fact taht world might have passed him by. He seems to have suddenly woken up to the fact taht Neo and Bourne might have displaced his legends of Rambo and Rocky. I can almost see him grunt the script out to an erstwhile KingOfPop in a PulpFiction-esque restaurant who, in turn, thumps out his latest beats for his re-re-launch featuring the coffin of Brando.

Grow out of it, Stallone.
First of all, your politics is as naive as Bush's (remember the Russian boxer in RamboIV and the America-loving mujaheddins in Rambo3 ?) . And, thankfully, the world has moved beyond the days of the DeerHunter-esque screaming Indochinese butchers in a raining Cambodian jungle. Throwing in a few screaming old women, kids being buggered and villages being wiped out ala ApocalypseNow might have passed muster for realism in 1972: but this is 2008.

Our economies as stronger enough too to protest this farce of humanism to portray a blood bath of bodies, heads and limbs being ripped off landmines, mortars, sniper guns; when not being hungrily devoured by pigs. Do you really know, and care, about Burma and what's happening there?

In fact, Stallone is a perfect example of the UnglyAmerican : a prescient book of the 50s followed by a great movie starring Brando, about the damages taht American ignorance is wreaking in international politics.

I never liked Stallone. But I didn't hate him: he did write the Rocky script after all.

But tonight I pity him. Someone much past his expiration date who needs to be put to sleep immediately: along with all the SouthIndian "legends", Dev Anand and Manoj Kumars.

Look at what Clint Eastwood and Mel Gibson have offered us in the past few years - Unforgiven, Million Dollar Baby, Braveheart, Passion of the Christ, Apocalypto and the amazing Mystic River.

Look at what Mr. Stallone has offered in the past one year - memorable lines like "It ain't over till it's over" and this - Rambo 2 Redux.

I pity him because he's the guy who had his peak 32 years ago - bolstered by heavy marketing gimmicry that sailed it past the Oscars overcoming (hold your breath) TaxiDriver!

In the last scene of this movie, Rambo walks back to his father's place in Arizona.

I can only hope that the old man has strength enough to lift a shotgun, steady his aim and blast the head off this "legend" for once and for all.

Otherwise, if not the screaming jungles of Cambodia, Thailand or Burma (all the same to Mr. Stallone), we might see him again killing a few thousand mujaheddins from Iran to Kashmir and suffering from a paper-cut - a stroke of genius wherein the human side of Rambo is finally shown.

1 comment:

Preeti said...

Hi Anshuman,
Had got a message from you, albeit in a different context, and googled you subsequently.

I find the range of your interests quite fascinating. I am working on a project on popular culture and was wondering if you would like to contribute.

Let me know.

Preeti
preeti.chaturvedi@gmail.com