Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Masala Dosa Cowboy: Quick Gun Murugun

Quick Gun Murugun

We’ve had spaghetti westerns and Rhinestone cowboys. But a few years ago India introduced the world to the first masala dosa cowboy, Quick Gun Murugun.

Quick Gun Murugun is the protagonist of a 2009 south Indian western film of the same name.  It is a hilariously riotous tongue-in-cheek piece of cinematic buffoonery starring one of Dravidian cinema’s most beloved leading men, Rajendra Prasad as a cowboy whose holy mission is to defend the Holy Cows of India.

Quick Gun Murugun is an unlikely superhero, a South Indian Tamil cowboy whose duty is to protect the world against arch villain restaurant owner, Rice Plate Reddy (played by Nassar). The movie revolves around adventures of Quick Gun Murugun along with Rice Plate Reddy’s girl friend Mango Dolly (played by Rambha), who has a secret crush on Quick Gun, and Locket Lover (played by Anu Menon).

Murugan is just an ordinary vegetarian cowboy who is killed in a battle with Rice Plate Reddy. He goes to heaven but 25 years later returns reincarnated as Quick Gun Murugun, with a mission given to him directly by God in Heaven:  Make the world safe for vegetarianism. He returns, with snappy clothes, a big hat and phrases like, “Mind it!”, ‘'We are like this only” and  “Vegetarianism is the need of the hour!”

Quick Gun Murugun discovers, upon his return to earth that Rice Plate Reddy is still at it and is on his own mission to create a chain of McDosa restaurants where the speciality is a meat dosa! The two rivals battle it out in a series of gun battles including one in a Chennai traffic jam!

Mango Dolly gets hit by a bullet and while dying, she expresses her love to Murugun. Realising that he too loves Mango Dolly, he tells her that he loves her and she can "stay with him". In the end, having won the heart of his moll, Quick Gun Murugun is able to succeed in his vegetarian mission and defeats the wily and villainous Rice Plate Reddy.

The film was a flop when it first came out but soon caught on and became a cultish favorite at film festivals in the US and Europe. Its irreverence and OTT storyline which lampoons nearly every cultural icon of Tamil and south Indian culture from Murugan, the Tamilians favorite diety, to vegetarianism, reincarnation and the humble but delicious snack, the dosa breaks new comedic ground. The confidence with which it is brought off reflects very smartly the new young, daring India.  No longer is Bollywood comedy all inside jokes and vernacular punning, funny only to Indians. This film takes on and then quickly disposes of Spaghetti Westerns, Bollywood heroes and villains, the Hindu pantheon and McDonalds with a cocky swagger and a funky, hilarious creole of Tamil, Hindi and very exaggerated Indian English.

The music is just as electic and electric. Bits of dialogue set to heavy house beats, Tamil rap, country and western ballads reminiscent of Sergio Leone soundtracks with Mexicali trumpets and disco beats all tell the story of this most unlikely of superheroes and his quest for dietary purity and pure love.  Not only is the music first class but the lyrics, sung in Hindi, Tamil and English poke fun not just at the characters but at the very languages themselves. They are sung and spoken in a way that completely takes the piss out of all three. Given that there were once upon a time, riots in the streets of Chennai against the imposition of Hindi as the national language and English is the old colonial language, these songs underline just how far India has travelled.

It is quite simply the most fun I’ve had in months and out shines the excellent Bombay Connection series by the length several special paper dosas.  If you love Bollywood funk and pop, then you can’t miss this.

            Track Listing:
            01 Dialogue Mix
02 Murugun Superstar
03 Mind It (Tamil Bhangra)
04 Kyoon Keeda Hai Aapko
05 Ek Tha Murugun
06 Chat Mangni Lover
07 Kuchi Kuchi Twist
08 Naam Mera Mango Dolly
09 Space Goddess (Chat Mangni Remix)
10 Mind It (Club Mix)
11 Aunties On The Dance Floor (Chat Mangni Remix)
12 Ragamuffin Mix
Listen here.


Apurva Bahadur said...

I saw the film before downloading the music - don't miss, it's brilliant. Many thanks, Ajnabi - Mind it! Apurva from Pune, India.

ajnabi said...

I'm searching for the movie here. I can't wait