Cast: Vivek Oberoi, Zayed Khan, Shreya Saran
Direction: Apoorva Lakhia
Now just imagine that my 18-year-old son and I had this discussion (and a rather serious one at that) after seeing Apoorva Lakhia’s Mission Istanbul, pronounced Meeeshan Isthanbool for some reason by the title song here.
Herculean attempts have been on to take the son’s mind away from the family career, journalism, towards something less perilious like say deep sea diving or fire eating. Alas Lakhia has sealed the matter for Mohamed Jr. He wants to be a TV reporter, go to Isthanbool, cavort with the belly dancers, wear hats-‘n’-glares and, enjoy a guest boogie by Abhishek Bachchan, all in the midst of a gruelling reporting session. Our conversation went like this:
Son: See abba, after graduating in fashion design I’ll take up a job in Aaj Tak as its senior news reader. You can recommend me. The degree will help me to wear designer gear like Zayed Khan. With a correspondence hair-styling course, I will be able to gel my hair like him, over the eyes, so I don’t see anything. Yes?
Son: You probably didn’t understand the plot. Neither did I actually. It seems because Zayed is divorcing his wife, Shreya Saran, he takes up a job with a channel called Al Johara (Johar?). Why the channel wants him is a mystery. Next:Suniel Shetty shows Zayed a corridor full of photos of dead editors. Shortly Suniel lands up in a photo-frame too. Were you laughing because that meant the end of Suniel Shetty’s role?
Me: No, not at all.
Son: You’re being very difficult abboo. I just loved watching Zayed run, like Lola, all over Afghanistan and Istanbul. Then that line of dialogue uttered by a terrorist — that he dreams about eating limitless biryani in heaven — was funny. The channel head Ghazni Nikitin Dheer was very menacing..his physique was so much better than yours.
(Continuing) And Niki’s henchmen were hilarious, especially Shabir Ahluwalia who looked at the sky and cried out loud. Was he homesick? Actually everyone was crying, killing and killing. Remember the two red hands chopped off from a guy’s body? At least a 1,000 guys and two women were killed. Didn’t you love the violence?
Me: Never, never, my son..
Son: Chill abboo. I did notice you sighing with relief when Vivek Oberoi entered the movie. Like you, I thought he was convincing, even jumping on and off helicopters. He was meant to be Turkish hero, methinks. Do you know?
Son: The best, of course was this year’s sensational discovery, Brent Mendenhall, a carbon copy of American President George Bush. I liked him confusing Turkey with something you eat..his effort to pronounce the name of our Prime Minister right..and also saluting our call center employees. Decent of him. As for that Bin
Laden morphed lookalike..it was all very vague..did you get it?
Son: The chase scenes through the Istanbool streets were terrific..see even you’re nodding, so like Bourne Ultimatum. The fights and fights went on but so did they in the dhishum dhisham 1970s. Lyrics and dialogue were so today, with so much use of “shit, shit, shit, shit.”
Music by practically every composer in the business was kind of inconsistent, very Sanjay Guptaish. Vivek Oberoi was the only actor on the scene, Zayed was much too teakwood..and the girls Shreya Saran and Shweta Bhardwaj (Charlie’s Angel type) were quite cute. Agree?
Me: Absolutely not.
Son: Tell me abba, are you upset because you can’t sing, dance, run, fight, swim and say, “I love you” very often to ammi like Zayed Khan does. You don’t want me to grow up and become a journo like him?
Son: Abba, I do get a sneaking suspicion that you didn’t like this Istaan bhool..was that you making odd, angry noises in the auditorium?