Growing up on terrible Bollywood movies has its perks. One starts to notice the usual tropes, and gets a sense of the ‘formula’ that the makers use while trying to deal with scripting nightmares. And all those memories came rushing back, after a list put together by Sukanya Verma underlined these obsolete tropes.
For eg: the hologram of a face appearing on an inland letter. It’s equally nostalgic and funny, so we chose to go deeper inside the rabbit hole and come up with a few obsolete tropes of our own.
Here’s what we came up with:
1. The ‘Tumhe police ne chaaro taraf se gher liya hai’ moment in the end
Usually an Iftekhar (wearing khaki) comes to mind, when I think of this moment. Unfortunately, the police rounding up the bad guys after a carefully choreographed climax in some faraway dungeon, is a thing of the serious past. Can’t remember a film which ended like this, in a long time.
2. Heroines taming ‘wild horse’ as the stable boy ‘hero’ saves her by rolling down the hill
Typical rich, brat girl. Too chirpy, overconfident… tries to tame the ‘wild one’ the stable boy has warned to stay away from. Five seconds of madness is all it takes for her to realise how it was a bad idea, and after some shrieking – the macho hero jumps from a parallel horse and the two go rolling down the hill. And of course, pyaar blossoms after that.
3. Gaon ki goris waiting for their sheheri babus to return from the city
This used to happen in a lot of the Raj Kapoor movies, where a Sheheri babu would get posted to a village and over there he would bump into a gaon ki gori. Falling in love, without question there would come a time when the babu would have to go back to the city and he would make many promises of returning and marrying her. No prizes for guessing, they never came back and it became a formulaic sob story of sorts.
4. The ‘tan, mann, dhan saunp chuki hoon’ moment
Bollywood’s way of letting the audience know that a man and a woman had ‘done it’ was by verbalising it. By saying the above thing, the lady was essentially telling the man ‘you better start thinking about shaadi pretty soon’.
5. The red-colour timebomb with a pocket watch attached
Time bombs looked a certain way (like those TNT bombs) with a red and a yellow wire popping out and a pocket watch fixed on it. Thankfully, now we’ve become more subtle about these things.
6. Lala ka karz
We’ve left the Mehboob Khan era far behind us, where there were farmers who would grow crops with their mehnat ka paseena. India has come a long way from being an agrarian economy, which means no more greedy Lalas creepily staring at the women and saying ‘Koi baat nahi, byaaj lautane ki koi zarurat nahi’.
7. Cleavage-baring vamps in Subhash Ghai movies
Oh this was a classic! Even though vamps have been omnipresent from the very start of Hindi cinema, Subhash Ghai started a brand of his cleavage-baring vamps. They looked the same with the same makeup, the predictable wardrobe and snarky dialogue-delivery were unmistakable.
This used to be a thing when nuclear families were a foreign concept. Comprising of brothers (one of whom, would make less money than the other) and between the daily squabbles between the sister-in-laws, everything would finally come down to a batwaara. The big, palatial house was chalked with a laxman rekha – something thou shalt not cross!
9. Faithful animal saving the day
There are no more Tuffies in the world 🙁 There was a time when a helpful animal would act as the god’s miracle in the climax of a movie. Too bad it’s considered too corny these days.
Last seen in the cringe-worthy Raaz Reboot, where mangalsutra was all it took to annihilate a spirit. Where prayers for Vishnu Bhagwaan failed, it was the lady’s suhaag ki nishaani that saved the day. But, apart from comical use like this I cannot remember a recent movie that over-emphasised the ‘significance’ of the mangalsutra in a marriage.
Can you think of something not listed above? Leave it in the comments…