My Yahoo! Movies column, first published here.
A man who has stolen a ton of money cannot remember his partners in crime. Natural.
It seems he cannot remember where the money is either. Not so natural.
Memory loss is a very unnatural thing, made completely natural by Bollywood. And Ghanchakkar is the latest addition to this list. So, we take a look at the missing memories of Bollywood!
A man’s girlfriend is killed. He is so badly injured that he gets a rare case of amnesia – he loses his memory every fifteen minutes. He doesn’t remember who the killer is and tries to catch him by putting together clues that he will forget in the next quarter hour. To protect his knowledge, he trusts nobody, snaps photos and takes notes obsessively. Sometimes, he tattoos vital information on his body so that he doesn’t forget.
Christopher Nolan’s Memento got a masala twist as Aamir Khan stared at us relentlessly from the posters with a “Who is Ghajini?” tattooed on his chest.
So, who was Ghajini? Didn’t I tell you fifteen minutes back?
A man is found injured lying next to a railway track. A childless tycoon finds him and raises him as his own. The man has no memory from before the accident and his memories as the tycoon’s son gradually become his existence. Till… there is always a till.
Amitabh Bachchan in Do Anjaane and Salman Khan in Tum Ko Na Bhool Payenge both got stuck in the till when their memory returned and there were accounts to be settled. Do you remember who they were up against?
Rishi Kapoor’s car crashed into the river and he floated into Pakistan. He had lost his memory and found Henna, forgot his real name Chander and got named Chand. If there is a medical theory which says that a man gets his memory back if the circumstances of the memory loss is replicated, then Henna depicted it perfectly. And it left Henna with the small matter of having to get her Indian husband past the Pakistan border.
If trans-memory wasn’t enough, there was a trans-border subplot too!
In Sadma, Sridevi (as a young woman) lost her memory partially. She lost everything till the age of five. As a woman-child, she fell in Kamal Hassan’s lap and started a romance like no other.
This twist was repeated in Salaam-e-Ishq where Vidya Balan lost only the part of her memory that contained her marriage. John Abraham, playing her husband, had the unenviable task of reminding her of himself. A woman forgetting John Abraham? Hmm, that serious?
And the latest page out of this book was taken in Jab Tak Hai Jaan, where Shah Rukh Khan got a knock on his head and reverted from his current girlfriend (Anushka Sharma) to his earlier flame (Katrina Kaif). If this doesn’t pass a strong message to Anushka about her overacting, then nothing ever will.
A hired gun is sent to kill a beautiful woman. His efforts are cut short by an accident and he loses his memory. He no longer remembers who he has to kill. He is put in the care of a lady doctor and they promptly fall in love. If you don’t know that his memory will eventually return and he will realize that the doctor is his planned victim, then you haven’t watched too much of Bollywood.
Aditya Pancholi was the amnesiac mercenary and Madhuri Dixit the lady doctor in Sailaab.
Now who remembers a single scene in the film apart from THAT song? And you were laughing at poor Aditya Pancholi, eh?
What do you call an amnesiac you find on a cliff (teela)?
Aamir Khan became Teelu in Andaz Apna Apna, the zaniest guy not to have a memory. He lost it when a woman hit him with a stick. Or did he? Well, there sure was a doctor to treat him. And the treatment was as zany as the patient. It hitting the same spot on his head with the same stick and feeding him Mirchi Salad.
Alzheimer’s Disease is a rather scary condition.
In Black, Amitabh Bachchan was the eccentric tutor of the triple-handicapped Rani Mukherjee. As his untiring efforts set his student on the path of light, he himself sunk into an abyss of memory loss. In a role which swept every award ceremony in that year, Amitabh Bachchan transformed from a dynamic teacher to nearly a vegetable.
In Amar Akbar Anthony, Nirupa Roy was chasing after her three sons and husband when a branch of a tree fell on her. BANG!
And she lost her memory.
Wait a minute?
Did she? She forgot all about her family?
How did she go blind then?
Aha… that reminds me. She did not lose her memory. She lost her eyesight.
Okay, scratch this entry off the list. And put it down to my bad memory.