Friday, February 17, 2012

What February 17th Means To Me: Why Can't All Movies End With "Jai Ho"

I'm admittedly a fan of unpredictability within my entertainment, and often love when storytellers take chances to blow audiences away with absurdity.  It's generally why my mind veers into strange places when I'm bored in a movie theater, figuring ways to improve the movie within unrealistic parameters.  I ask myself, "hmmm, what would make this movie better?"  And often the answer is..."More Jai Ho."

If Jai Ho sounds familiar to you, but you can't place it, it was the song the cast of Slumdog Millionaire danced to at the end of that movie.  And yes, movie snobs, I understand it's a Bollywood tradition, and it's not unique to Slumdog, so please don't trip over your "but but buts."  Anyway, I've longed believed that bad (even slightly good) dramas could be saved with the absurdity of a dance number.  Which is all I could think about while watching Liam Neeson's new movie, The Grey

Dance With Me
The Grey is, essentially, a typical "bro" movie about a group of oil workers (I think?) whose plane crashes in the desolate, frigid, Alaskan wild.  While in the middle of nowhere, the survivors have to brave the horrible temperature, the lack of food, their clashing personalities...and a clan of very persistent and dangerous wolves (that are, apparently, afraid of trees, even though they lived in, well, the woods.)  The entire movie basically involves this small group of men wandering aimlessly, trying to avoid these hungry wolves.

For the lulz
Though the movie featured some pretty scenery, and an always engaging Liam Neeson, I got pretty bored watching him evade wolves for 2 hours, while his buddies were picked off one by one by these furry beasts.  I just wanted it to end.  Happily.  And absurdly.  After all, given the following choices...what would make for the best ending?

1) Liam kills the wolves
2) The wolves kill Liam
3) They come together for a beer and a dance?

Exactly.  Instead of some epic ManVBeast battle, the movie would have been much better served if the angry, hungry wolves surrounded Liam, only for the "alpha wolf" to approach him, kneel (maybe Tebow?), and tell him, "We've chased you for days. You're a worthy adversary.  Come live with us."

Let us share a story and a laugh.

Cut to group dance number with Liam and 25 wolves.  Movie over. Everyone's happy.

If you're not into dance numbers, my old college roommate and I used to discuss how much cooler dramas would be if they all used Journey's "Anyway You Want It" as the end credits song.  Picture"Titanic."  Rose dies, imagines herself back on the Titanic, near the clock.  She sees Leo for the first time after all those years.  They kiss, the crowd cheers, the camera pans up and bleaches the screen to white....ANYWAY YOU WANT IT, THAT'S THE WAY YOU NEED IT, ANYWAY YOU WANT IT.  Better, right?  No? OK, well try a different movie. 

OK, done with the rambles!  Enjoy the weekend. 

No comments:

Post a Comment