Readers of the PPCC became all manner of upset during the various Dance Off!!s - whining and complaining that their favorite actor wasn't well represented, that the PPCC was dictatorial, that the contest was a sham.
Well, the PPCC doesn't take such accusations lightly. Our reputation was at stake! So we decided to take care of it... tomorrow.
That was several months ago. Anyway, the inspiration for the Drunk Off (!!) was actually Swayamvar. A Friend of the PPCC and the PPCC were watching the hilarities, and the Friend of the PPCC (FOF-PPCC) commented, "Hmm, he's really a ham." The "ham" in question being our beloved Shashi Kapoor. Quick to defend our sab se bara hiro, the PPCC exclaimed, "Well, acting drunk is difficult!" FOF-PPCC agreed, saying, "Indeed. Perhaps that's a true measure of an actor's greatness." A light dawned. Yes, we thought, yes! It is!
The PPCC knows and loves four Indian actors most of all: Shah Rukh Khan, Amitabh Bachchan, Naseeruddin Shah, and our beloved Shashi Kapoor. All four have had notable scenes of drunkenness. They will thus now compete. For those of you that couldn't stand to see Shashi lose, here's your chance!
To open the proceedings, we turn to:
- the hauntingly beautiful (and much-covered) Between the Bars by the late Elliott Smith;
- the wonderfully bizarre and lyrical (and also much-covered) Jockey Full of Bourbon by Tom Waits;
- one of Rumi's poems
1. Shah Rukh Khan.
Things to note: By most accounts, SRK doesn't drink and is therefore unaware of what drunkenness feels like. This would explain his complete inability to play drunk realistically, and his frequent choice of just hamming it up like a piece of sinful ham.
Nonetheless we must admit that this song from Devdas is very appealing; as all things SRK, it is wonderfully choreographed, boisterous fun. Toss realism out the window and let's dance, yaar! Kudos also to Sanjay Leela Bhansali for lurching cameras which make us dizzy. And to Madhuri and Jackie, just because we like them so gosh darned much in this song.
2. Amitabh Bachchan
Drunken Amitabh scenes usually feature a very tearful, sweaty-faced Amitabh. We don't know what this is about. Why so much moisture? What is he so upset about? Even when he's supposed to be happy, he looks upset! See Silsila, Amar Akbar Anthony and Suhaag for notable Amitabh scenes of drunkenry. We take our song, however, from the end-all, be-all of Amitabh drunkenry, Sharaabi (Alcoholic).
Despite being similar to SRK's spin-top OTTness, the PPCC loves this song and loves it when the brass band kicks in. And when Amitabh blows a kiss to the audience?! Best moment ever. And, OK, the song itself is actually pretty spectacular overall: Give us some love, love, love, love... O de de pyaar de pyaar de...
3. Shashi Kapoor
Shashi Kapoor, who straddled mainstream Bollywood, Western Orientalist films and Hindi arthouse, certainly displayed a great range of drunkenness. He could play it like a ham, he could play it relatively subtle, he could play it a bit more Orientalized (Welcome to India!). Etcetera etcetera etcetera!
Like Amitabh's song, we take our Shashi song from the end-all, be-all of Shashi drunkenry, Naina.
We think these two get extra points just for gettin' down with their bad selves. And for Shashi's bizarre "Naughty!" and general lecherousness and undercurrent of sweet, sweet sadness.
4. Naseeruddin Shah
OK, as usual, Naseeruddin Shah just shames everyone else with his nuanced, ultra-realist performances. Even in a relatively mainstream film such as Naajayaz, in what is essentially a remake of Amitabh's De De Pyaar De, Naseer still manages to make things real, mostly by underplaying it. And never mind that it's such a pretty song... Abhi zinda huun, to ji lene do! Bhari barsaat mein pi lene do! I'm still alive, so let me live! It's raining hard, so let me drink!
And if that doesn't convince you, Naseer has another excellent drunken song in that film of legendary sweetness, Masoom:
Now it's your turn, democracy lovers! While the PPCC will try to sway you (vote Naseer), it is up to YOU to click the right button on the right-hand side poll. Happy voting!
The votes are in and, yea, all is right with the world, for our beloved Shashi Kapoor has been recognized for the talent that he is! Who else can play a fabulous variety of drunken people? No one, the PPCC voter declares.
1. Shashi Kapoor (41%)
2. Shah Rukh Khan (27%)
3. Amitabh Bachchan (21%)
4. Naseeruddin Shah (10%)