So I saw Karan Arjun.
This is a piece of 90s dross. Easy to make fun of. It’s like killing dead things. Of which a lot happens in this movie. Killing and dead things i.e. So without further ado let’s do unspeakable things to our grey matter!
Pretty Boy Karan (Shahrukh Khan) and Weasel Face Arjun (Salman Khan) are village yokels of smooth skin and shiny white teeth eking out a living by breaking rocks. They share a deep love for their mother Durga (Raakhee) and sing happy songs in mustard fields with her. Put away your psychoanalytic minds, this is India and we are not slutty Greeks! Durga has an absent husband. When the old rich father-in-law who turned her out summons her as he is about to croak it turns out that the absent husband has been long DEAD and the old man wants to pass on his jaydaad to the grandsons. While Karan and Arjun are thinking hey no need to break them rocks anymore, the old man’s nephew Thakur Durjan Singh (Amrish Puri) is having none of it. He comes accessorised with two mulleted meatheads who are his brothers-in-law and likes worshipping a 20 feet Kali with her own waterfall, preferably with a gaggle of nubile things doing an item number. Why am I thinking Durjan is like the evil guy? Just when the grandfather is about to turn over everything to Karan and Arjun, Durjan turns up. Popping Eyes! Varicose veins on the forehead! = ANGRY BEAST DURJAN! Durjan strangles the grandpa and then Karan and Arjun are dragged along by a few horses and skewered by shiny swords. He likes his torture porn, does Durjan. Karan and Arjun stare meaningfully into each other’s eyes and hold hands before departing for the nether world. Then Durga turns up at the Kali temple for the HARANGUE THE GODDESS TO GRANT WISHES segment post which the Karan Arjun souls have transmigrated to mewling babies. Self ringing temple bells and the cries of infants in the air assure Durga that her sons are reborn. And she is totally not demented for the force of her namesake is with her! Take that, you godless folk!
Arjun/Ajay has an alcoholic father and is alternately sombre and all studly rage inspired by flashbacks of his past life. Karan/Vijay loses his parents pretty quickly and is soon the ward of a Parsi setereotype and a Telugu stereotype (Johnny Lever) who run a horse farm. Meanwhile Durga is roaming the streets of her village with a photograph of her sons and promising Durjan and the mulleted meatheads that soon they will be quite DEAD thanks to her reincarnated sons. But that glaze in her eyes - alcohol or grief?!
Oh I love ROMANCE FUCKERY! Unibrow Sonia (Kajol) comes to the stables to learn to ride but is soon in love with Vijay. Note that this horse farm has a large billboard with a giant lip, a single eye and a big WOW! painted on it. So Warhol. So....Erotic? Soon they are singing an extremely energetic song amidst all the horses. Post the song Vijay and Sonia are like we are too knackered for sex and the horses are all bemused and without doubt thinking a) was that really human sex? and b) stop appropriating us for sexual symbolism, idiot humans!
Sonia the Screecher is a bade baap ki beti, Dad scrimped on the elocution lessons. Dad Saxena (Ranjeet) is in with Durjan who by now is a rank nasty FEUDAL OVERLORD CUM EVIL DEALER OF INTERNATIONAL ARMS. Durjan and Saxena plan to get their progeny married, really Saxena has no choice because in the race to evilness Durjan is a clear leader and is all BWAHAHAHA MY SUPREME SPERM SHALL RULE and propagate through my son and I shall swallow and spit on and screw every other sperm around.
Ajay is having a pretty sad life and is a tough boxer with a truck driver viewership who spends money on his alcoholic father. Now and then studly rage and flashbacks cause him to screw up matches and one such match to raise money for the Dad leaves him in debt to Saxena. Dad however takes his alcohol bottles to the next world so Ajay is forced to be a Saxena Henchman. Meanwhile, in parallel ROMANCE FUCKERY his childhood pal is trying to seduce him but he is like nah, I don’t want to get into your pants. So Bindiya (Mamta Kulkarni) sheds her tomboy self and emerges in a skirt for another fucking long song and dance. Now Sad Ajay is all smiles - ladies in search of a bit of nookie I have one word - SKIRTS!
What a Joke! aka Durjan’s son aka Suraj Singh is back from vilayat to claim his rightful bride, she who romps with the horses and Vijay. That What a Joke! is supposed to be his villainous punchline btw. Bwahahaha writers you are fucking awesome! Anyway Suraj soon knows that Sonia is doing the rumpy-pumpy with Vijay and is OUTRAGED. So you have a fight scene in the horse stables which ends with fire and horses running skelter-helter. Idiot humans, never letting a horse live in peace.
Ajay-Vijay keep having repeated flashbacks of their past life. Also they have parallel past life hallucinations! Because otherwise we would never know that Pretty Boy and Weasel Face are CONNECTED. Soon Saxena is having a party where he is announcing Sonia’s engagement to the spawn of the NUMERO UNO EVIL SUPREME SPERM i.e. What a Joke! Vijay then turns up, all rage and manic tittering laughter to disrupt proceedings but Saxena sets Ajay on him. Blood, Fists, Blood, Fists, Blood, Fists, Lightning….ummm what was that! A bolt of lightning, no doubt sent down by the 20 foot Kali, prevents the brothers from fighting. And Ajay-Vijay are all like wow what just happened here. Dialogue: I am bemused, I am bemused too. Isn't it bemusing? I think it is bemusing, Hmm, bemusing etc.
Ajay gets sent to prison by an irate Saxena. Also Durjan turns up and is all like BWAHAHAHA Stupid Sonia, NO ONE GETS IN THE WAY OF THE PROPAGATION OF MY SUPREME SPERM and carts her off to a forced village wedding.
Soon Vijay the Stable Boy is off to rescue his beloved from the village. And of course remembers his past life. Here’s the quarry! Here’s the mustard field of Oedipal song! Here’s 20 foot Kali! Here are self tolling bells! The pujari at the temple then informs Karan of his true identity and glory be Karan is soon united with Maa and her old B&W photo. Now Karan knows that Ajay/Arjun is his brother and busts him out of jail (hey a few policeman got reduced to cinders in the process-oh never mind they will be REINCARNATED!) and soon along with Bindiya they are on the run. Arjun and Karan are soon reunited with Maa and the whole village gets teary. Meanwhile Durjan’s Comic Relief Munshi (Ashok Saraf) spots the two and takes himself off to the haveli to announce the SUPREME SPERM’S forthcoming demise at the hands of the reincarnated duo.
Arjun The Sceptic is however all reincarnation is bollocks. Time for Karan speech on the POWER OF MAMTA and how your mother wants to change your diapers for all eternity. But Arjun is still unconvinced. Meanwhile the mulleted meatheads saunter around to knock off the two and Arjun is all studly rage and God (Oops GODDESS!) my fist connecting with these meatheads reminds me I am Arjun. The mulleted meatheads flee and everyone – umm - sings and dances.
The Karan Arjun revenge strategy is to sow dissension in the Supreme Sperm’s ranks. So the mulleted meatheads are pinned with the blame for a few missing arms. The meatheads now need to get back into Durjan’s good books. But after monstering the village children to establish they are EVIL and to lure Karan and Arjun out of hiding they are reduced to big chunky bloody pieces of meat, albeit still mulleted.
Random dance number in the Kali temple where Karan Arjun finally reveal themselves to the Supreme Sperm. The 20 foot Kali looks immensely bored. Your viewer on the other hand isn’t sure of anything after 2+ hours of sustained cranial assault. Do I exist? Am I watching a film? Is this a good excuse to skip work tomorrow?
Now the Supreme Sperm’s forces are in disarray with the murder of what they believe to be treasonous mulleted meatheads. Also What a Joke Suraj and Saxena are trying to be rational about all the reincarnation shit because Karan-Arjun are just humshakal Ajay-Vijay. My brain is slowly slowly dissolving. At one point Saxena is a good daddy who lets his daughter escape. But just as Sonia and Vijay reunite, Saxena appears with Durjan and his cohorts – it’s a TRAP! Because you know your business partner is WAY MORE IMPORTANT than your daughter. There is an interminably long fight sequence in which everyone participates which I can’t be bothered describing. Suraj Singh gets killed (sadly he doesn’t die with WHAT A JOKE! on his lips). Durjan is mental because his sperm has come to a fucking, screeching stop. A lot of people die. There is a lot of blood. Durjan bashes up Sonia. Durjan kills Saxena. People get paid good money to film “fight sequences” which consist of meatheads pretending to slash, kill and thump for eternity. Then Durjan is dead and its self ringing bells for the temple and happy fucking marriage time!
Hell as Milan Kundera once said is eternal return. Or Karan Arjun.
People bang their heads against solid objects a LOT in this film. Please feel free to join me in doing so. Only ketchup will be shed.
Dire. I have nothing else to say. Though yes I hope reincarnated Amrish Puri is atoning for two decades of atrocious acting.
PS: My brain in its moments of life did think up a faux business so all is not lost. Ladies we shall reveal soon our fashion forward collection dedicated to the sluttish fashions of Hindi films. Watch this space and in the meantime practice your jhatkas and bosom moves!