Remember how Aamir Khan got into a a designer-dhoti to break the elitist club of British colonists who forbade the desi peasants from penetrating into the game of cricket’ Now director Sohail Khan does a “Lagaan” on the game of golf in “Freaky Ali“.
It really can’t get any more elitist than this. And to compound the sense of ruptured elitism, Sohail has cast Nawazuddin Siddiqui, the archetypal man of the masses, the dude from the domain of the downtrodden, to take on the stuffed shirts on the golf greens.
And yes, he also gets the sophisticated ‘babe’, played by Amy Jackson.
Someone in the trailer predicts he will be the Sachin Tendulkar of golf. Tiger Woods is not complaining.
In the “Freaky Ali” trailer, though he is shown turning into a golfer, he remains at heart, a tapori. What ensues in the trailer is a series of close encounters of the ‘thud’ kind. Sample this: Nawazuddin looks at a golfer and tells his friend-sidekick Arbaaz Khan, “This guy… He can’t have any children… He doesn’t know how to put a ball into a hole.”
And then looking straight into the eyes of a snooty arrogant excessively whiskered golf snob, Nawazuddin says, “Ghamand toh main pahaad ka bhi toda… Phir tu kaun si cheez hai’”
The reference to Nawazuddin’s “Manjhi: The Mountain Man” is not lost.
Faulty as the sexual analogy may be, this is Nawazuddin’s chance to get seriously sexy. So when someone filling a form asks Nawazuddin, “Sex'”, he takes a deep breath and replies, “I really want to. But my mother says not before marriage.”
This, then, is new power-packed Nawazuddin as presented by Sohail Khan. In “Freaky Ali”, Nawazuddin is funny and feisty, and freed of the gun-toting image that Anurag Kashyap has thrust on him. He takes on one of the most elitist activities and turns it into a joke.
Golf will never be the same again.
By Subhash K. Jha