Reviews

Teraa Surroor: Laughably watchable



Director: Shawn Arranha

Starring: Himesh Reshamiyya, Farah Karimaee, Naseeruddin Shah, Shekhar Kapur, Monica Dogra, Kabir Bedi, Shernaz Patel

Teraa Surroor begins with a Jai Mata Di invocation and ends on ‘Bharat Mata is above everything’ mode. In between lies the ‘lethal’ love story of gangster Raghu (Himesh Reshamiyya) and Tara (Farah Karimaee), a yarn so simplistic that it would make even children’s fairytales seem layered and nuanced.

It’s a world of crime out there — drugs, murders and shootouts. A misunderstanding with Raghu and a flight to Dublin later, Tara finds herself in an Irish prison for drug dealing. Raghu takes the first flight out to get her safely back to India. As to who got her framed, how and why? The guessing game is child’s play and keeps you on your seats only because it is laughably watchable.

There are innumerable, stylised, slow motion walks towards the camera, song set pieces, shot like music videos. There is the quintessentially filmi dialogue like ‘Jurm ki duniya mein, mujhe ek gangster ke naam se jaante hain (They know me as a gangster in the world of crime)’, ‘Zid ko irade mein badal de (turn your obstinacy into determination)’.

And a gallery of peculiar characters like Tara’s lawyer Elle (Monica Dogra) who talks about the difficulty in extraditing her client to an Indian prison even as you keep wondering if the picturesque Irish prison wouldn’t anyhow be a better deal. There’s more, the sardonic Shekhar Kapoor as the Indian ambassador and Elle’s ‘almost ex husband’ and Naseeruddin Shah as con artiste and prison breaker Santino who gets the best lines. Sample: when Himesh introduces himself as Raghu he shoots back ‘Rahim hote to bhi kya farq padta (how would it have mattered if you were Rahim)’.

The most standout aspect of the film, however, is that despite travelling all the way to Dublin for the shoot, the unit seems to have had just two lipsticks, in the shade of pink and purple, that has apparently been shared by everyone in the cast, from Himesh to Farah to Monica Dogra.

The centre of attention, of course, is Himesh, in aviators and hoodies and in a permanent state of posing and posturing right from the initial scene where he eats a slice of cake, sips red wine and wipes his lips with the napkin ever so delicately before going about shooting goons. Throughout the film, I couldn’t take my eyes off his eyes: wet, with that dreamy, faraway look; glancing sideways; staring intensely at the camera even as the face itself remains an expanse of blankness without a muscle moving. Be it making love or killing people, he holds that blank look consistently through the film like a statue. He (quite like his inspiration Bhai) also has a ‘heart of gold’ and six pack abs that he obligingly reveals by taking his shirt off before a crucial fight scene.

Then there is a long monologue in which he gives it back to an Irishman denigrating Indians with some mumbo-jumbo on Osama, General Dwyer, neighbouring country, desi tamancha and sealing it all with two words: translation denied. It’s hard to fathom the logic and meaning in that dialoguebaazi, yet it is sure to have the crowd whistle and clap uproariously.

The escape plan that Raghu hatches with Santino for Tara is inane to the core but has you hooked while giggling away at it. Only Himesh can make Dublin cops look like such incredible fools! It quite sums up the film: no compelling cinema here, just an out and out guilty pleasure that requires a huge suspension of disbelief to go with the flow.


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Printable version | Oct 26, 2021 2:16:13 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/cinema/cinema-reviews/teraa-surroor-laughably-watchable/article8342524.ece

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