|: Taarzan - The Wonder Car|
Cast: Vatsal Sheth, Ayesha Takia, Ajay Devgan, Sadashiv Amrapurkar, Pankaj Dheer, Shakti Kapoor
FIRST THINGS first. Taarzan is beautiful. Sleek and elegant, it exudes class. It has the looks that attract the looks.
This Abbas-Mustan film is just a showcase to tell us just how wonderful Dilip Chhabria's car is, everything else is secondary. That includes the lead pair, Vatsal Sheth and Ayesha Takia.
While Vatsal seems to have strayed into the film's sets from his school, and would have been better off with a longer stint there, Takia does a better job of looking good and making the audience feel nice. That she does not have to do much else perhaps saves her a few blushes.
Story? Well that is tertiary, unless you allow yourself a prolonged leave of reason and chug along with the directors' vision who foist a new idea on us.
After ages of rebirths, of heroes coming back after death to demolish the villains, of even girls being reborn as nagins; not to forget mother coming back as a ghost to protect her child, here comes a film where a father's soul enters his car and comes back to protect his child! Come on, even if cineworld is nothing but fantasy, even if Bollywood is not particularly renowned for credibility, this is one thread that wears so thin it seems ready to snap at the first knot.
As for knots, there are plenty. Vatsal as an orphan working part-time as a mechanic lives in a palatial bungalow his father would have done well to build in a few decades. Matters little that his father - Ajay Devgan in a role he accepted due to the lapse of reason the directors pray the audiences suffer from too - died before he could even fulfil his dream of patenting a dream car.
Add to it the campus howlers of a fresher as a hero guiding the heroine as a fresher, and all that! Why nitpick? The film, with loopholes big enough for a car to drive through, does a good job of providing employment to out-of-work villains like Sadashiv Amrapurkar, Pankaj Dheer and Shakti Kapoor.
However, if you want to watch it, do it only for the car that is called Taarzan. Thank God, that is not the hero's name, so skinny does he look! The car is a delight. It runs, it cruises, it even travels across water, weathers the fire! If only it could take the film to the shore!Edited by kyph03 - 2006-08-01T16:44:42Z
Taarzan The Wonder Car
Cast Vatsal Sheth, Ayesha Takia, Amrish Puri Farida Jalal, Gulshan Grover
Genre Drama, Action
Website - http://www.taarzanthewondercar.com/Kartar Singh(Amrish Puri) owns a garage. Raj(Vatsal) is a sweet and simple guy and also very intelligent. He works in a garage owned by Kartar Singh(Amrish Puri). Raj found a car in a junkyard and transformed it into a macho machine and named it 'Taarzan'. Priya(Ayesha Takia) Idves Raj and they both enjoy the company of their new friend 'Taarzan'. TAARZAN THE WONDER
Taarzan - The Wonder Car(2004)
Abbas-Mustan - Director(s) / Himesh Reshammiya - Music
Sameer - Lyrics / Running time: 2 hours 40 minutes
This article is something of a treat! In conjunction with my friends over at The Gorilla's Lament, we are presenting a small tribute to the late, great Amrish Puri. We wanted to select some films that showcased Amrish-ji's many talents, both as a villain and as a sympathetic character. I went with the softie role, and chose the one movie that had the title that I simply could not pass up. This brings us to our selection du jour: Taarzan - The Wonder Car.
Have you ever wondered what Christine would have been like if the car had possessed a softer side? Or how about if Herbie from The Love Bug had a murderous streak? This is another one of those movies that seems to be just a little hazy on who the target audience was. I'd think that most adults wouldn't feel the need for their homicidal cars to stop and save school children who are stuck in a ditch, blowing smoke smiley-faces after them as they leave. Nor would most kids appreciate the finer, subtle points of a scene involving a burning car smashing through a living room and running over someone as they called for help. Then again, I could be way off the mark.
For our cast, we have three repeat performers:
As I mentioned earlier, this film stars Amrish Puri in one of his more sympathetic roles. He's made previous appearances on AoM in the films Karan Arjun and Taal, as well as in some of the films mentioned in the Shorts collections, such as Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (Shorts Vol. 1) and China Gate (Shorts Vol. 2). The man has quite an impressive resume, and was best known for his villains. However, when he needs to, he can be as paternal and generous as the kindest soul.
Also returning is Ajay Devgan, last seen playing the feisty bad guy Angre in Khakee. His role is somewhat limited in this film, as most of the time he is represented by the car itself. However he does have enough screen time to merit a special mention here.
Finally we have Gulshan Grover, who had one of the smaller roles in Ram Jaane as Bhau, the head of the crime syndicate. It seems from his recent filmography that he's gone legit, and is mostly playing police officers now. I watched two Hindi movies this weekend, and Mr. Grover showed up playing practically the same character in each of them. I'll be covering the other film in a later recap, as it was a doozy.
For this outing, we have on the roster:
|Raj (Vatsal Seth) - Our hero. The son of Devan and the creator/designer of Taarzan.|
|Priya (Ayesha Takia) - Raj's ladyfriend and his staunchest supporter.|
|Kartar Singh (Amrish Puri) - The gruff and grumpy owner of the garage where Raj is employed. He seems to have difficulty with his less than gifted son.|
|Mr. Saxena (Shakti Kapoor) - One of five co-conspirators who try to steal Devan's car designs and murder him to preserve the secret. A board member at "Four Foxes Autos."|
|Inspector Sharma (Deepak Shirke) - A crooked cop, and conspirator #2.|
|Mr. Kapoor (Pankaj Dheer) - Conspirator #3 and a fellow board member at "Four Foxes."|
|Mr. D'Costa (Sadashiv Amrapurkar) - Conspirator #4 and a fellow board member at "Four Foxes." Also "blessed" with an unfortunately dim-witted son, Jojo.|
|Mr. Chopra (Mukesh Tiwari) - Conspirator #5 and a fellow board member at "Four Foxes."|
|Inspector Khurana (Gulshan Grover) - An honest, if not somewhat slow cop who is investigating the mysterious deaths.|
|Devan Chaudhary (Ajay Devgan) - Raj's father, and the soul within Taarzan.|
|Grandma (Farida Jalal) - Raj's grandma. Perhaps the sweetest lady in all of Bollywood.|
|Jojo D'Costa - Give him time folks. It takes him a little while to catch up to the rest of us.|
If anyone notices that Tobey Maguire has gone missing, I'd look for him in India using the name Vatsal Seth. I swear these two are related. It's just spooky.
After a cup of coffee is poured, we see who the hand belongs to. Devan Chaudhary takes a sip of his drink and stares at his monitor for a moment. On his screen are the bare bone drawings of a new car model he is designing. We watch for a bit as he clicks around and adds various features until the car looks to be fairly complete. A quick transition has us watching him as the sun comes up. With a satisfied look, he has the computer perform a final render on the model, and we can see the new car rotating in 3D. With his work completed, Devan goes to wake up his son.
Devan sits on little Raj's bed and tells him that it is time for school. Grandma also comes into the room to give Devan some coffee and to fill the audience in on how things have been lately. It seems these all-nighters are something of a common event for Devan, and she's worried that he is working too hard. Devan reassures her that the project that had been keeping him so busy is finished, and he shows them the plans for the new car. He says that he has a few meetings today with various manufacturers to discuss who will make the vehicle. His first visit is to the Four Fox company.
Devan is introduced to the board: Mr. Saxena, Mr. Kapoor, Mr. D'Costa, and Mr. Chopra. They all settle in to have a look at Devan's specifications. After it is over, they are all very pleased with what they've seen. They ask Devan what his terms are for buying his plans. Devan wants 20% royalties, and his name to be the brand of the car. The board tells him they can't put his name on it, and will pay him a flat fee for the designs - not royalties. Devan sighs but politely declines their offer. The board members look at each other with shifty expressions, and reluctantly return his materials.
We cut to the conclusion of the same presentation at Harsh Motors. This company has agreed to all of Devan's terms and plan to start production planning within a week. Devan returns home with the good news for the family. Grandma is pleased and even little Raj comes out to show Devan his own drawings of cars. Everything seems to be looking good, doesn't it?
Later that day, Devan is outside washing the car we saw in the opening credits while Raj looks on. Raj asks Devan why he washes the car so much and spends so much time taking care of it. Devan explains that it is important to take care of the things you love. This car belonged to his father, and was passed down to Devan when he was old enough. Raj will one day own the car as well.
Devan gets into the car and dusts off a Tarzan action figure that hangs from the rear-view mirror. He explains to Raj that the car is strong and powerful just like Tarzan, so that's the name he gave to the car (and at some point added an extra "a"). After a nice father and son moment, Grandma steps out of the house to let Devan know that he has a phone call.
Oh, and yes those might be some ominous storm clouds gathering on the plot's
Over at the offices of Four Foxes, the board members are larking about in their dimly lit office discussing some underhanded business techniques. Their revelry is interrupted by Devan who accuses them of stealing his designs and bribing the patent registrar to alter the dates on their paperwork. Kapoor tells Devan to his face that is exactly what they did, and there's nothing he can do about it. Devan tells them that he has the receipt of his own patent application and the original documents, and will take the lot of them to court. He storms off to get the authorities involved.
Devan is discussing his plight with Inspector Sharma at the police station. He goes over all the details, and Sharma makes a call to the Four Foxes offices. He learns they are at one of their farmhouses, so they go off to confront them with the evidence. Much to Devan's dismay, he finds out that Sharma is on the bankroll of Four Foxes, and will be on hand to both kill Devan, and to make sure there is no investigation into his death.
Devan does not agree with their plans, and starts kicking their asses. For an automobile engineer, he's pretty good with kung fu! After a fairly well-done fight, Devan manages to escape outside to Taarzan. His plans are foiled when the men come outside and start smashing Taarzan up with various blunt objects. Once the windows are gone, they then start hitting Devan and eventually knock him out. Sharma tells them not to kill him this way. They need to make it look like an accident. They decide to push his car into the lake with him inside.
As the car sinks below the surface, Devan wakes up and stares at the men through the back window. Not sure why he didn't instead swim out of the broken windows to save himself, but then we wouldn't have the rest of the movie. The screen fades to black as the men taunt Devan and congratulate themselves on a job well done.
A title card comes up to let us know that it is now twelve years later. We fade into a shot of some feet pedaling a bike. A long distance shot slowly becomes a tight angle frame on a young man - Raj, all grown up. If this guy wasn't intentionally modeled after Tobey Maguire in Spider-Man, then we have one colossal coincidence.
Raj happily pedals his way to a college campus, and parks his bike. He hears some mocking voices from off screen that belong to a group of four tough looking guys. They throw a few derogatory nicknames for people who wear glasses at him, and tell him that he has selected a parking spot that was not intended for his use. Being the nice guy that he is, Raj moves his bike elsewhere. The guys call him over and make some intimidating gestures and vague threats against him, which do rattle his cage a bit. Their routine is interrupted by the Principal coming over and asking what's going on. Raj surprisingly tattles on the guys who are then threatened with "rustication" by the Principal since he too wears glasses.
Raj goes over to meet a friend of his, but everyone is distracted by a flashy red car that pulls into the parking lot a little too quickly. The car skids into a parking spot with the squealing of tires. As everyone looks on, a very attractive young lady steps out of the car and begins strutting over to where the four troublemakers are staring slack-jawed at her approach.
She smiles and asks the guys for directions to the principal's office, since she is a new student at the college. They give her directions, but instead of making it to the office, she ends up at the door to the men's restroom.
Priya (I know her name, so I'll use it) makes a face as laughter starts to build behind her. The four roughnecks from the courtyard tease her and tell her that they'll meet her inside. Having seen enough, Raj pushes his way through the guys and tells Priya that he'll show her the way to the office. Sure enough, moments later Priya is in the right place, and Raj wanders off smiling like ... a guy who's just shown a beautiful girl the way to the principal's office.
Later that day, we see Raj at work at Kartar Singh's garage. One of his co-workers comes over to see what Raj is working on. Raj shows him the designs he has worked up for the car he is remodeling. The mechanic seems impressed, then tells Raj that it is payday, and he's to report to the manager's office to get his money.
Up in the office we see Kartar Singh himself handing out the salaries. We also see his, how to put this nicely, intelligence-free son Golu munching on a little cake and smiling at the phone on the desk. As it begins to ring he asks if he should answer it, and Kartar tells him to go ahead. As this is happening, Raj comes in. Kartar tells him that he's docking his pay for the time he missed last month. Raj explains that he missed work because he had to attend to some of his grandmother's needs. Kartar asks him what he gets paid for - working in the garage or working for his grandma? He then sends Raj back out into the work area.
Kartar then notices the empty pitcher on his desk. He tells Golu (who is off the phone now) that he had put milk curd in the pitcher with some ice to cool off, but now it's empty. Kartar asks him if he knows what happened to it. Golu proudly explains that a customer had come in with an overheating engine, so he poured the ice cold milk curd into the radiator to cool it down. As one might guess, Kartar is not happy about this, and threatens to keep Golu out on the lot with the used cars. Kartar adds a swat to the head to emphasize his point.
We cut to Raj's house as he arrives home. He calls out for Grandma to have dinner and talk about the day. Grandma asks him how the first day of college went, and gets an overly technical reply. According to Raj, the day was 75% good. The other 25% was bad due to his run-in with the upperclassmen. After an awkward pause, Raj asks his Grandma if she thinks he is good looking. She smiles and tells him that he's one in a million.
Raj doesn't accept this answer, and tells her to be serious. He asks her to imagine herself as being a teenager again. Would he be someone that she would like to come over and talk to her? Grandma gets to scheming, and figures out that Raj met a girl today. She tells him that boys today are very smart, and know that the girls are looking at the boys' features, and not their futures. (I thought that was kind of clever, personally.) Grandma asks who the girl is. Raj explains that she's a new student that has transferred here from Oxford University, and already has quite a following. He also adds that some of the guys gave her a tough time, but he helped her out. Grandma tells him that she understands now why the other 75% of his day was good, and follows that up with her opinion that if she were a teen, she would think Raj was handsome.
Raj gives her a look that can only be described as "happy at the reply, but realized he just asked his Grandma if she thinks he's hot."
The next day we find Raj lurking around in the library. He spies Priya browsing the stacks and smiles to himself. He spends a few moments peeking at her from behind a variety of shelves before he is accosted by his friend Mickey who asks him what he's doing. His cover now blown, Priya notices him and comes over to thank him for his help the other day. She formally introduces herself to him, then excuses herself to get some schoolwork done. She goes over to sit at one of the tables and starts gnawing on her pencil.
From behind another shelf, the four roughnecks from the previous day notice she's there. They comment on how lucky the chair must be, as well as the eraser of her pencil which is currently being chewed out of shape. The "leader" of this clique decides he's going to make a move, and sits down across the table from Priya. He tells her that he's been searching for her since yesterday to apologize for their misbehavior. He hopes that she will forgive them, as some mischief is to be expected among friends, is it not? As he's delivering his speech, he puts his hand on hers. Priya angrily slaps his hand away and tells him to get lost. She warns him that if they mess with her again, she won't tell the school administration - she'll go right to the cops.
At a nearby table, Raj and Mickey chuckle at the turn of events, and are noticed by the roughnecks. As the shamed leader removes himself from the table, Raj is caught looking at Priya. He quickly pretends to be focusing on his books. After the episode at the tables, we see Mickey and Raj outside. Mickey asks Raj if he's coming to the big game that week, but Raj tells him he has to work. Mickey seems disappointed but understands. Raj continues on his way, and sees Priya getting into her car. She drops her purse as she sits down, and drives off without it. Raj picks it up and tries to get her attention but she's too far off. He hops on his bike and begins to chase her down.
After falling down several hills and a few near misses with oncoming traffic, Raj arrives at Priya's house just as she does. He breathlessly tells her that she dropped her purse at the college and gives it to her. She thanks him, but says that he could have just given it to her at school the next day. Raj tells her that he didn't want her to spend all night worrying about her money and other assorted items. Naturally Priya finds his concern endearing, and invites him inside for some tea. Raj starts to go in, but remembers there is something he has to do. He tells her he'll come back another time, and Priya jokingly asks if she'll have to drop her purse again to get him to come over. Raj assures her that is not the case then takes his leave, but not before tripping over his own bike and falling down in the driveway.
On his ride back, Raj glances in the direction of an old junkyard. He spies a familiar outline among the wrecked cars, and stops for a closer inspection. Sure enough, dangling from the mirror is an action figure. Raj has a detailed flashback of his father's explanation of the action figure, and realizes that this is his dad's old car.
We also get the awesome theme tune playing in the background with this scene. It's quiet, with a heartbeat rhythm thumping away while a faint male voice croons, "Taaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrzaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan!" Kind of silly but I got a tickle out of it each time it got played.
The manager of the junkyard notices Raj snooping around and comes over. Raj asks him where he got this car. The manager seems irritated at the question, and hastily explains that it's just a wreck someone sold him for scrap metal, and he doesn't know the details. Raj asks how much it would cost to buy the wreck from him, and learns it will set him back 5000 rupees. Raj doesn't have it on him, but will be back in a week for it. He asks the manager not to sell it to anyone else, to which he reluctantly agrees after learning the car used to belong to Raj's dad.
Raj rushes home in a fit of excitement. He asks Grandma if she loved her son very much, as well as the things he had. Grandma tells him that these are silly questions. She asks why Raj is asking her all of this, and he tells her that he needs five grand. She asks him why he needs the money, and he tells her that he's found something to buy that will make her extremely happy.
Grandma tells Raj that she has some bonds that are maturing soon, and will be happy to give him the money. Raj is pleased as punch about this, and heads off to work.
Speaking of work, who should pull into the garage but Priya and her sporty little red car. Raj spies her arrival and calls out to her. She comes over and giggles as Raj unintentionally blackens his nose with grease. Priya takes a hanky and cleans him up with one of those mildly awkward "this is sort of an oddly romantic thing we're doing here, isn't it" moments.
With that accomplished, Raj asks her why she's come in today. Priya describes an interesting new habit her car has developed - it randomly dies on her. Raj vows to set things right immediately, and goes to work. Priya asks him how he manages to hold down both a part time job as well as keeping up with his schoolwork. He tells her that it does interfere with his education, but there is no one else at home to bring in any money so he has little choice.
After Raj brings Priya up to speed on his home life, he proclaims the car to be rectified. Priya asks him how much she owes him. As she does this, Kartar appears in the background and watches them intently. Raj insists that the work is free since all he had to do was make a minor adjustment. Priya still insists on paying him for his work. Raj tells her that if she ever has any problems to bring her car to him, and he will fix it for free. He also adds that she should come by later and he'll give it a good once-over for service.
As all this is going on, Kartar watches with a satisfied smile on his face as he nods his head. Priya finally heads out as Raj waves happily after her. Kartar comes over and stops his waving. He explains that as long as Raj does his waving and work for free, he will make a beggar out of him. Kartar then asks if Raj does all his work in exchange for "thank you's." If that's the case, then he'll stop putting cash in his pay envelope and leave him thank you notes instead. Raj tries to explain that he knew Priya but Kartar cuts him off. He tells him that any car that pulls into the garage is going to pay at least 500 rupees for the visit. If he wants to work on her car for free, he should do it on his own time, and somewhere else.
Kartar ends the discussion by telling Raj that he's going to dock him the 500 rupees that he should have collected for the work on Priya's car, and threatening Raj with termination if he ever does anything like this again. Kartar then notices Golu pouring a bottle of soda into the engine of a car. He shouts at him to stop, and asks him what he thinks he's doing. The happy explanation is that he's putting oil in the engine, but Kartar points out the mistake. Kartar then calls out to another mechanic to lock Golu in the truck of a car so he doesn't get into any more engines.The next day Mickey is encouraging Raj to tell Priya that he likes her. He points out that Rose Day is coming up, and that's a perfect opportunity to do it. Raj seems to think this is a good plan, and we cut to the Rose Day party in full swing. Priya is seen dancing with a group of friends while the four roughnecks look on from a distance. Raj arrives on his bike wearing a bright yellow suit and black shirt. Mickey comes over to tell Raj that he's looking fine, and points out where Priya is grooving. Raj straightens his jacket and psyches himself up before calling over to her. Priya notices him and very energetically greets him.
Confused? Well don't worry, this was all Raj's imagination. Priya is still over with her buddies who are all busy furiously cutting a rug. Raj tries to compose himself after his hallucination, and Priya notices him standing there looking out of sorts. She makes an inquisitive face as Raj whips the rose he's holding behind his back. Priya walks over and asks him what he is hiding from her. He plays it off, and she helpfully doesn't press the issue. She compliments him on how he looks, and tells him they need to go dance. Raj declines, citing his lack of dancing skill. She tells him this isn't some serious dance competition, she just wants to go have fun with him. As they debate, a waiter comes over with a tray holding two drinks. Raj takes the one closest to him, and hands it to Priya. He then takes the other for himself.
From a short distance away, the four roughnecks react in dismay. Apparently they've slipped "intoxication pills" (as the subtitles label them) into one of the drinks, intending it for Priya. However, Raj has picked up the spiked drink. The guys are frustrated and think the plan is ruined, but the leader tells them it's cool - now that Raj is drunk, he'll act "insolently" with her.
Several gulps later, Raj is indeed looking a little unbalanced. Priya asks him if he's all right, but Raj instead tells her that he was hiding a rose for her, and that he's loved her since the moment he saw her arrive at school. The four roughnecks come over and watch with proud smirks as Raj proceeds to spill his heart out in front of the whole school. Raj continues to rant for a bit, taking flowers out of everyone's hands (as well as the one in Priya's hair) and giving them to her, then he heads up towards the stage to truly confess his feelings in the way only a Bollywood hero can. Let's all enjoy "Oo La La Re Oo La La Re!"
This is a fairly standard issue love song about how much Raj loves Priya, but we do learn a few things about our boy here. One, he's got unsettlingly flexible hips. Two, he can do some fairly impressive acrobatics as part of his dancing involves mock-fighting with the four roughnecks. His overtures are apparently well-received however, much to the chagrin of the roughnecks and despite the fact she keeps hitting Raj in the face with her butt (seriously). Finally Raj collapses in a drunken heap having spent all of his energy.
The scene fades out on Raj cuddling up in a pile of confetti, then fades back in over at Priya's house. Ms. Priya is seen walking out of her front door and getting into her car. She heads down the driveway and sees Raj is waiting for her near the end of it. She stops the car and greets him. Raj immediately begins apologizing. Priya asks him what he's sorry for. Raj explains that Grandma told him he was talking in his sleep about Priya. Priya doesn't seem phased by this, and even jokes with him a little bit. She tells him that she's not surprised, since he said quite a lot in her presence too! She tells him to get in the car, and they'll have a talk.
Priya tells Raj that he was pretty wasted the day before. Raj tells her that he ordinarily does not drink, and he thinks that he was a victim of a prank. She tells him that whoever did this prank actually did him a favor. He cut loose for once in his life, and got the whole party dancing and having fun. She does admit that he did make one mistake. He told her that he was in love with her, but did so while he was intoxicated. She explains that in order to do it properly, one needs to be sober. She then proceeds to demonstrate her lesson. She leans forward and gives Raj a kiss on the cheek, and tells him that she loves him.
Remember this everyone - getting drunk at a party results in true love. What other proof do you need?
Raj is naturally quite happy to hear the news, and replies with one of the rarest of the rare - an on-screen kiss! Check it out. Raj tells her that he loves her too, making Priya so happy that she yanks on her red cap and peels the car out in the middle of the street.
As they ride off down the road, Raj explains to Priya that this is turning out to be a pretty fantastic day. Not only was his friendship with her not shattered by his "insolent behavior," she actually digs him. On top of that, he's got a stop to make. He directs Priya to the junkyard, and tells her that he's going to buy something very dear to him.
As Raj looks on, we see a tow truck backing up and hitching to Taarzan. Raj quickly gets out of the car and runs over to see what is happening. A man in a dashing plaid cap is seen fiddling with the attachments, so Raj picks him to interrogate. He asks where they are taking Taarzan, and learns that the car is to be melted into its base components and reused. Raj tries to tell him that he was there to buy the car, but he is referred to the manager of the yard.
The manager tells Raj that he promised to hold the car for a week. It has now been ten days, so the car is up for grabs. Raj goes back to the man in the plaid cap and explains that the car used to belong to his father (Raj's dad. We don't know who Plaid Cap's dad is), and is very dear to him. He suggests that he take any of the other old cars, since all he wants is the scrap.
Plaid Cap tells him that he accepts Raj's argument, and will use another car. Raj is elated, and we immediately cut to the house where the car is being unloaded off of a trailer. Raj goes inside to tell Grandma that his surprise is ready. She comes out and sees Taarzan, and remembers some of the wonderful times she had with her family that involved the car. She gets weepy, and thanks Raj for bringing this back to the house. They both agree that it feels almost like Devan was back with them now that they have his prized car. Raj tells her that he will rebuild it in honor of his father. After about five minutes of all this, Raj remembers that Priya is standing there with them and introduces her to Grandma. They all go inside for some tea.
That night, we see Raj working in a darkened garage while Kartar starts closing down the shop. He notices that Raj is still working away, trying to cram as many hours of overtime that he can to make some extra cash. Kartar asks him how he's going to do his homework with all of this extra time at the shop. Kartar takes on a very kind and paternal tone as he asks Raj if there has been some trouble at home. Raj tells him no, and begins to explain about Taarzan, and how important it is to him and his Grandma that he get it working again. Kartar is so touched that in an age where the young people were kicking their old family out of their houses, Raj is sacrificing his education to restore his father's memoirs. He tells Raj that instead of working the extra hours in his shop, he should spend that time working on Taarzan. Kartar even tells him that he will pay him overtime for all the hours he spends working on it. Raj thanks him sincerely for his offer. Kartar explains that they are all mechanics. It's not just their job to fix problems - it is also their religion.
At home, we see Raj sitting in front of his dad's old computer, using the same software to design the new Taarzan that Devan used on his plans twelve years ago. He concentrates hard and the sketches slowly begin to take shape on the screen.
The schematics look quite a bit different than the original shape of the car, as Raj's plans unfold. It would seem that the new car will have a bit of an aggressive shape, and almost look a bit dangerous. I'm sure it's totally harmless, and will lead to nothing but happiness and sunshine.
This planning leads us into a building montage musical number aptly titled, "Taarzan." We see Raj and Priya working on the car together, as well as some friends from the garage coming over to bring some supplies.
During the course of the song, we see that some substantial changes are taking place. Sections of the car are cut off and used elsewhere, and a lot of welding is being done.
Oh, and not only is the car getting a makeover. Priya takes Raj to a "contact lens clinic" and gets rid of those oh-so-terrible glasses (oh come now, he looked fine! And no, I'm not just saying that since I too wear glasses. Really.), gets him a new hairdo, and updates his wardrobe. Now that Raj's conversion to Ultra Cool Raj is complete, it's time to finish the car.
We wrap up the song with our first look at the new and improved Taarzan. Let's compare, shall we?
Now I'm not going to suggest that they are completely different cars, but I would admit that Raj seems to have a rather bright future in the custom car industry. Raj completes the package with the hanging of the ceremonial Tarzan action figure from the mirror. He fills Priya in on the back story, and she asks if they can go for a ride. Raj tells her that a ride is not possible at this time. The fuel pump is rusted to a point of uselessness, and they'll need a new one. He tells her that Kartar is working on finding them a replacement.
Speaking of Kartar, we cut to him on the phone. He thanks whoever he's talking to, and turns to Raj with a dejected sigh. Apparently the model of car that Taarzan started out as is so old that the manufacturer is no longer making parts for it. All of his leads in the scrapyards have also turned up empty. The only thing that can get this car to start now is a miracle.
That night, Raj stares dreamily out of his bedroom window at his beloved, yet inert Wonder Car. Grandma comes in to see if he's doing all right, but finds him in a state of depression. She reassures him that the car will run one day. God gave him the opportunity to find the car, and the strength and determination to rebuild it. She tells him to have faith, and to get some rest.
After all the lights are out, a fell wind blows across the yard stirring up the leaves and dust. An eerie glow begins to radiate from beneath Taarzan, shining out through the grille and windshield. Eventually the light moves to under the hood, where it intensifies. With an anticlimactic "clunk," the latch pops and the hood bounces up an inch. Then the light fades and all is quiet.
Raj takes a quick survey of the vehicle, noticing that it is covered with leaves. As he begins to brush them off, he notices the hood is unlatched. He raises the hood, and notices that the fuel pump is spraying what I would assume is fuel. Raj reaches in to make a small adjustment, and the spraying stops. Raj anxiously enters the car, and decides to try starting it. After a few tense and labored attempts, the engine of the mighty Taarzan roars to life!
The next morning Raj has called Priya and Kartar over to see the car. Grandma comes out to bless the new and improved Taarzan, and they all talk about what a miracle it is that the engine started. Raj decides to take his ladies out for a meal to celebrate the new car.
they arrive at their destination, Taarzan cruises past the four roughnecks who are in awe of the sleek vehicle.
I have to give the movie credit, the new Taarzan is indeed a pretty cool looking car. If you like, you can click here to see some hot parking action. (~1MB)
The roughnecks' admiration turns to scorn once they notice who is getting out of the driver's seat. They are even more disgusted when they notice Priya is traveling with him. Raj takes Grandma and Priya up to the table area while the guys go down to look closely at Taarzan. They comment on how Priya must have inspired this new car, since she's also done some work on Raj's glasses and wardrobe. They decide it is their humble duty to remind Raj of his position in the social food chain.
As Raj tries to arrange a nice dinner for his guests, the guys gather around him and start teasing him about his new look and attitude. They then follow him over to the table and give Priya some flak about how she's turned Raj into a very different person. Raj stands up and tells the guys they have gone too far, but they refute his claim and start getting a little touchy-feely with Raj's new clothes. Grandma tries to speak up, but one of the gang members tells her to be quiet, and then smacks Grandma in the face. Yes, that's right - the sweetest lady in Indian cinema got smacked. Well, Raj does what I would do and punches the guy in the head.
As one might guess this leads to a fight. Raj and the main offender get into a scuffle in the middle of the outdoor eating area. Raj seems to be doing quite well, but the security team arrives to break it up. Raj takes Grandma and Priya to the car. As they are pulling out of the parking lot, the guys come back and start banging on the windows and taunting Raj to come out and finish things. Raj doesn't stop to oblige them, so the guys vow to get him at school the next day.
Later that evening, we see Raj's house at rest. The camera pans over to Taarzan's little coop, where we notice that Taarzan seems to be going off on an adventure of his own. He begins to silently roll down the driveway to the street. Just to make sure we get it, a close-up of a sleeping Raj confirms that Taarzan is devoid of a driver. Once he reaches a safe distance from the house, Taarzan fires up his engine and "opens" his headlights. After a few throaty roars of his engine, Taarzan heads out into the night.
We join the roughnecks at an outdoor plaza where they are drinking and fuming about the insults that have been heaped upon them. They notice a very bight light that is blinking on and off at them, disturbing their "man, we're soooo gonna get that guy" speeches. They notice that the lights are Taarzan's headlights, and decide that now is as good a time as any to have their vengeance on Raj. As the guys come over to the car, Taarzan revs his engine and takes off. The guys hop onto their motorcycles and give chase, ending up at a mostly empty warehouse that is suspiciously well-lit.
This leads to one of the more confusing moments of the movie. That is, the confusion pertaining to who the intended audience for this movie was. We have some silly chases around pillars and boxes as the bikes and Taarzan quickly drive around in circles, all the while the men yell about how they're going to break his legs. Oh, and we also learn one of the guys is named Vicky!This chase goes on for some time. Finally the guys notice that it's turned more into a case of them being chased by Taarzan than the other way around. Eventually three of them crash into a pile of stuff and flip off of their bikes. The one remaining biker taunts Taarzan again, causing the car to retaliate. Taarzan guns his engine and causes a rather suspect stunt involving the rider flying through the air and landing perfectly through a manhole cover into what the others refer to as "the gutter." The rider rises from some muck covered in chocolate syrup, and tries to climb out of the hole. Taarzan has crept up to the hole, and with a quick flip of his tire knocks the manhole lid onto the hole, trapping the guy inside.
The remaining three guys are hiding in an office area nearby. They observe that Rider #4 will likely suffocate down there, and one of them really should go and help him out. The bald guy gets sent out to lift the lid, and gets rammed by Taarzan while his back is to him. This launches the bald guy into a series of UTL'ed somersaults. The other two guys come out of the office to see what's going on, and are struck by the rapidly flipping bald man. Naturally according to the laws of physics, this puts a stop to the bald man's flips, but sets the other two men off on their own series of tumbling flips as the camera is undercranked.
The bald guy runs off and hides himself inside a large plastic barrel. He ventures a peek outside, and notices Taarzan is staring him in the face. Taarzan gives the barrel a nudge, flipping it onto its side. He backs up and strikes the barrel again, just as Bald Guy is trying to climb out of it. Since the barrel is plastic, it has astounding elastic properties. Bald Guy is jettisoned out of the barrel at a tremendous speed, sliding across approximately forty yards of the warehouse floor, coming to a rest as his head connects with a concrete block at a good twenty miles an hour. Lucky for Bald Guy, he took a few lessons from Atul, and is able to shake off this impact with absolutely no ill effects at all. He makes an undercranked climb up some nearby scaffolding and tries to catch his breath.
Meanwhile, the other two guys come out and chat loudly about how they had underestimated Raj's cruelty. Bald Guy tries to indicate that Taarzan is nearby, but after several "humorous" "we don't get what your hand signals mean good sir!" moments, they are chased into what seems to be a small apartment for the warehouse manager. They bump into some shelves, and knock over an open can of industrial adhesive. This pours onto their hands and clothes, causing them to stick to each other. The noise finally draws the attention of the man who was supposed to be watching the warehouse. He finds the two guys in his room, and proceeds to deliver Warehouse Justice to the interlopers.
As part of their sentence, the guys are tossed through a window and back into the main area of the warehouse. Taarzan is waiting for them, and stops just inches from their landing spot. The guys beg for mercy, and tell him (via one of the best subtitled lines in cinematic history) that they are done hassling him and his friends.
Taarzan silently accepts their apologies, and drives away.
Mickey tells them all to get to class and laughs at them while Raj looks very confused. That night we see Taarzan in his coop again, and as before he rolls off down the driveway on his own. He makes his way to Chopra Mansion, Plot 7 (thanks for the sign!) and lies in wait as a white car pulls up to the house. The villainous Mr. Chopra from Four Foxes gets out of the car and begins speaking on his cell phone. Taarzan overhears (not quite sure how, he has a noticeable lack of ears) Chopra's travel plans for the following day, and also notices a sticker for Kartar's garage on his car. Taarzan waits until Chopra and his wife go into Chopra Mansion Plot 7, then he inches up and breaks both headlights on Chopra's car.
We get a rather well done transition from Taarzan's blazing headlight to an arc welding torch. Said torch is being wielded by Raj, who is on duty at the garage. Kartar instructs him to go to a customer's house and tow his car back to the garage. Plot point here - Raj is not at the garage, and not in Taarzan. Got that? Okay, let's move on. After Raj heads out, Kartar has another round with Golu about how not to repair a car. Apparently Golu used one of Kartar's belts to replace a fan belt in a customer's car since they didn't want to pay the full price for a new part. Kartar tells Manglu (the other mechanic, who seems to spend most of his time wrangling with Golu than fixing cars) to lock Golu in the house before he gets him closed down.
A familiar white car shows up at the garage to have some headlights replaced. Taarzan's headlights "open" and he "watches" Chopra pull into the garage. Chopra explains what he needs to have done, and Kartar tells him that breaking glass is a sign of good luck. The only reason I mention this is because of Chopra's reply:
"If this were possible, then I would have lived in a glass house, and would have messed with every crazy man carrying a stone."
This is good stuff, people.
Soon thereafter, Chopra's car is all set, and he's off on his road trip. He seems to be taking a leisurely pace, and is literally driving down the middle of the road. We hear a car honking and trying to pass, so Chopra lazily slides over to one lane. The honking car zooms past him, and he takes up his former position in the center of the street.
The camera stops following his car for a moment to show us a rapidly moving plume of dust whipping down a dirt road not far from the paved one.
Taarzan gets up close and begins ramming Chopra's car as the chase gets faster and faster. We then come to another moment that seemed out of place. Okay, Taarzan is clearly attempting to kill Chopra, so the natural thing for him to do now is to pull over and help a busload of stranded kids. The chase takes them past what (at least to me) resembles the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile without the bun. Taarzan stops chasing Chopra, and backs up to push the bus out of the ditch it has slid into.
As the bus drives away with the merry and thankful children safely on their way, Taarzan sends them off with an exhaust smiley face that winks at them!
Okay, what were we doing... oh that's right, murdering a man. Chopra pulls up to a closed railroad crossing gate and breathes a sigh of relief. A quick check in the mirrors shows no sign of the scary purple car, so he begins to relax. The oncoming train blows its whistle, startling Chopra and making him tense again. He has good reason though, since Taarzan has caught up and is presently ramming into his trunk again. Each time he is hit, his car is pushed up closer to the tracks as the train passes by. Eventually Taarzan gets Chopra's car far enough up on the tracks that the rear end begins being shaved off by the passing train. However we run out of train before Chopra's car can be completely destroyed, and he manages to get off of the tracks.
Chopra gets out of his seriously damaged car and pulls out a pistol. He puts several rounds into the windshield of his antagonist, then moves in close to get a look at who was driving. When he opens the door, he notices that (gasp!) the car is empty! The door closes itself, causing Chopra to panic and run back to his car. As he does so, Taarzan revs his motor again, then performs a stunt I'll admit I've not seen before. Taarzan swerves sideways and begins doing barrel rolls along the ground to slam into Chopra's car. As one might imagine, this is just as hard on Taarzan as it is on Chopra's car. However he has enough moxy left to pull around and slam into Chopra's car one more time, sending it improbably airborne and exploding when it lands. Scratch one crooked executive off the list.
After a moment of quiet as it seems Taarzan is catching his breath, we see the severely dented and broken Taarzan begin to repair himself (why yes, exactly like Christine did). Once his repairs are complete, we have a resounding wail of "Taaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarzaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan!" from the soundtrack and Taarzan drives away.
ater in the day, we see a group of police officers at the scene of the explosion. Inspector Khurana is on the scene, and thinks that this is more than just an accident. After his subordinates hassle everyone the crime scene investigator comes over to report that there were two sets of tire tracks, and not is all as it seemed. Khurana seems pleased with himself about his hunch, and sets about beginning the investigation.
From the autopsy they are able to determine that it was Chopra in the car, so they go to his house for the funeral. Khurana questions Chopra's widow about any possible enemies that her husband may have had, but she tells him that he didn't have an enemy in the world. Mr. Saxena and Mr. D'Costa of the Four Foxes come in and speak with the Inspectors. We are also introduced to D'Costa's son Jojo, to whom every little fact becomes "the latest news." This is a joke that wears out its welcome quite quickly. Khurana tells them both that if they can think of anything that would help in the case, they should let him know immediately.
There is some rather pointless discussion about how they should not be too broken up about Chopra's death, since all they were were fraud partners, and they should get on with their lives. Oh, we do learn that the fourth partner, Kapoor, is out of the country at the moment. This may or may not be important later, so just file that away. They all depart the funeral to get ready for their new year celebration that evening, leading us to our next musical number which I feel may have been mistranslated for the menu on the DVD. There, it's called "I Am Fall In Love," but the line in the song (oft repeated, and in English) is "Gonna Fall In Love (oh baby)." I'm opting for the second title.
This goes on for some time, but we do see the two partners from Four Foxes arriving at the club and joining in the festivities. Taarzan takes notice of their arrival. He overhears Saxena telling the manager of the club that he left his wife at home, and hoped he had some friendly ladies in the club for him tonight. Equipped with this news, Taarzan starts up and leaves the parking lot.
While the party rages into the night, Taarzan pays Saxena's wife a little visit. He pulls up outside the house and starts revving his engine and honking his horn. Somehow these two sounds get louder and louder, seriously distressing Mrs. Saxena as well as breaking lots of windows and impossibly shorting out the lights. Panic-stricken, she calls the club to tell Saxena what is happening. He tells her to get the plate number and call the cops, and he'll be home as soon as he can.
As this conversation takes place, Taarzan leaves the house and heads back to the club. He manages to get there in time to block Saxena's path as he heads home. Annoyed that the road is blocked, Saxena gets out of his car and goes up to see what's the matter. After pounding on the door gets him nowhere, Saxena opens the passenger door and leans in to see who is driving.
As most of us can say, this is not a good idea. Taarzan closes the door and traps Saxena inside. Taarzan begins speeding around the road, hitting bumps and making sudden stops so that Saxena is slammed around the inside of the car. Taarzan stops and opens the glass door on his back, and Saxena tries to get out through it. The door starts slamming down onto Saxena's head, then the whole car begins spinning violently around.
Taarzan decides he's had enough playtime, and drives out to the lake where he was submerged twelve years ago. He opens his door and swerves to launch Saxena out of the car. Taarzan reverses to get some room, then runs into Saxena very hard, flinging him (with two very broken legs) into the water.
Saxena splashes around for a minute while screaming for help. Taarzan contentedly sits on the shore and revs his engine at the rapidly drowning man. Eventually Saxena slips beneath the surface and does not come back up. Two down, three to go.
An undetermined amount of time later, we see Raj and Priya arriving at the campus. Khurana is waiting for him, and tells him that they're going to take him to the police station to ask him a few questions. He mentions there's been a murder, and they have reason to believe he may be involved.
In an odd turn of events, they arrive at the station in Taarzan, and Raj is driving Khurana there! As they pull up to the front door, Mrs. Saxena comes out of the station. She sees the car and immediately flips out. She starts accusing Raj of killing her husband, but they pull her off of him and take her away. Inside the questioning begins. Khurana thinks it odd that Raj says he doesn't know Saxena or where his house is, yet his car was there, and his license number was reported. The CSI guy comes in and confirms that Taarzan's tire tread matches those found at the various crime scenes.
Raj tells them that he's done nothing wrong, and has alibis for each case they're talking about. Khurana tells his underlings to get on the phone to Kartar's Garage and check out Raj's story. Outside the office we hear a disturbance. D'Costa has arrived with Jojo to see what's going on. Saxena's widow tells them they have captured Raj and that he was the killer. D'Costa bursts into the office and starts threatening Raj. Khurana tells them all that this is not their investigation and has them removed from the office. As they are leaving, we see Kartar as well as six or seven other people arriving at the station. Much to my surprise among the group are the four roughnecks. I'd have thought if anyone would support the theory that Raj was dangerous, it'd be these guys. Whatever, on with the show.
Khurana asks Kartar if he knows Raj. Kartar says that he does, and implies that he thinks Khurana is an idiot for even thinking that Raj would be capable of murdering people. Khurana asks him if he could account for Raj's whereabouts on the day of the first murder. Kartar says that Raj was running an errand for him in the company towing vehicle that day, and his car must have been parked at his garage since Raj wasn't driving it. Mickey and the other people all then state that they were with Raj at the nightclub the night of the second murder. Much to his chagrin, Khurana admits that he doesn't have sufficient rights to detain Raj at the station, so he is free to go once everyone has made an official statement.
Outside, D'Costa is trying to console Saxena's widow. Jojo informs them that the "latest news" is Raj and his pals are all coming out of the station. They conveniently stand in front of D'Costa's group and confirm their trip to Poona in two days' time. As they take their leave, D'Costa vows revenge and kicks Taarzan in the rear bumper. This awakens the Wrath of Taarzan, and he retaliates by angling his tailpipe upwards and blasting D'Costa in the face with a cloud of thick, black exhaust. This amuses Jojo, and he comments as such.
Well, we're getting sidetracked from all the killing. I think we also need a little extra drama to spice things up. We cut to Priya's house where the phone is ringing. Priya puts the caller on speakerphone, and is happy to hear that it is her father calling. One thing we should point out - we have yet to hear Priya's family name. Just so happens that she is the evil Mr. Kapoor of the Four Foxes' daughter. She tells him of her weekend plans, then runs outside where Raj is sweetly and loudly blasting Taarzan's horn.
Priya asks Raj to get her door for her since she has applied mehendi to her hands and doesn't want to mess up the artwork. Raj is impressed and helps her out. Now, Priya's a little crafty. Since her hands are basically useless for a while, she takes advantage of her situation to escalate the flirting a bit. She comments that the wind is blowing her hair into her face, and asks that Raj tie her hair back with a scarf. Oh, and the scarf is wedged into her back pocket, below her rather elaborately laced little vest shirt thing she's got on. Raj takes his time getting the scarf out and tying it carefully on her noggin while Taarzan hurtles down the road at normal cruising speed.
Taarzan takes notice that Raj is not watching the road, and starts steering for him and avoiding the oncoming traffic. Said traffic is honking and making lots of noise, but I guess that is one challenging scarf to tie, since Raj doesn't look up for a moment. Pleased with her first attempt, Priya begins Phase 2. She begins to squeal and wiggle around in the seat, complaining that she has an itch. We get about a minute of "nope, lower, lower" etc until Raj is poking her back just above her waist. She gets a sly grin on her face and pays him an odd compliment, but that's just what he needs to put the moves on her.
Now, I can understand being distracted by a pretty girl who wants attention, but I think out of a sense of self-preservation I would at least stop the car before making out with her. Raj throws caution to the wind and starts smooching Priya without even tapping the brakes. Bear in mind, he is not aware that Taarzan can steer himself, so this strikes me as pretty irresponsible. But whatever. Taarzan takes the wheel again while Raj and Priya "tell secrets" to each other for a while. He even goes so far as to flatten himself to get underneath a semi trailer that is blocking the road. Very nice!
As often occurs, Raj is so endeared by this display of affection, he can only truly show his happiness in song. Raj and Priya lead us through our final song for the movie, "O Sajan, O Sajan."
After the kids are done singing, we are jerked back to reality by a monstrous traffic jam. Taarzan stops short and slides sideways to fit snugly between two giant trucks. The police are on hand to sort out the mess, and who should be among them but Inspector Sharma! Taarzan's headlights go wide with the realization that another of his prey is on hand. Sharma comes over and asks Raj a few questions about his unique vehicle, then accuses Raj of using his flashy car to transport drugs. He orders Raj and Priya out so he can search for heroin.
Sharma has Raj open the trunk, and he leans in to have a look. Taarzan is having none of this, and slams down the lid onto Sharma's neck. After some Winnie the Pooh styled comedy involving several grown men trying to pull Sharma's stuck head out of the car, they manage to get the lid up to free him. Angry and wounded, Sharma tells them to get lost. As a parting gift, the mysteriously dexterous tailpipe makes another appearance and pulls Sharma's leg out from under him.
Raj and Priya finally arrive at the engagement party, and are led off by their friends. Taarzan wastes no time in getting back to business, and pulls out of the parking lot as soon as Raj is out of sight. We see Sharma driving down the road in his white Jeep (and sporting a neck brace). Taarzan spots him and takes off after the Jeep, while the exciting chase music we enjoyed as Chopra was stalked rolls in on the soundtrack.
Taarzan gets to bumping the Jeep off the road fairly quickly this time, and waits patiently in the middle of the road as Sharma gets out on foot. Sharma approaches Taarzan, and orders Raj to get out or else he'll kill him. As he draws his gun, Taarzan begins to drive backwards, keeping distance between them. This goes on for quite a while, leaving them several hundred yards away from the Jeep. Sharma grows tired of the little game and fires a shot into the air. At this, Taarzan stops and lets Sharma get close.
Sharma goes to the driver's side window and orders him to open up. Taarzan lowers the window to reveal the empty seats, and the predictable "oh gosh I am frightened" response arrives for the third time. Sharma does what any sane man would do, and walks to the front of the car so that he's right in Taarzan's path. Taarzan begins to drive forward while Sharma runs backwards as fast as he can. After stopping for a herd of goats and cows that have wandered onto the road, Sharma manages to make it back to his Jeep only to have it pushed down a hill by Taarzan. Surprisingly, the Jeep does not explode on contact and Sharma makes his escape to his house.
Sharma discovers that he has mislaid his keys in all the excitement, and can't get in through the front door. He goes over to the garage instead to try another door. To no one's surprise, Taarzan is waiting for him in the garage. In the ensuing scuffle some bottles of flammable liquids are spilled, giving Sharma the bright idea to light Taarzan on fire, while he is still in his garage.
Somehow this tactic gives him time to go inside and get on the phone to call for help. As he does this, we can see through the large window in his living room. A brightly burning Taarzan comes around a corner and smashes through the window, striking Sharma and continuing through the opposite wall. Sharma was able to get the license number to the authorities before being annihilated, so we may have some problems soon.
To complete his victory (and to just look cool) the still-burning Taarzan is seen zooming up a road towards the camera. Slowly the flames are absorbed into the car, and it looks as good as new again.
Back at the engagement party, things are winding down. Mickey and his bride-to-be are escorting the guests out to the parking lot. In a brief moment of tension, we are shown that Taarzan hasn't made it back to the event as of yet. Raj and Priya helpfully keep their backs to the empty parking spot until the last second, when Taarzan rolls into his spot. With that bit of stress aside, it's time to check in with D'Costa.
D'Costa and Jojo are seated outside, hearing the latest news from Khurana. Khurana mentions that Inspector Sharma has been killed, and the connections are starting to fall into place. All of the recently murdered people were former associates of D'Costa's, so they feel he has reason to be alarmed. They offer him police protection, and strongly suggest that he take them up on the offer.
This leads to several minutes of comedy material involving Jojo and D'Costa. Some of it is actually pretty funny, but it might be a little tedious for me to describe how they spend the next few minutes of screen time panicking and chasing each other around the house. The image to the left here is a good example of the routine, so just have a look at that for about four minutes and we're nearly there!
The chase scene ends with D'Costa implying that Jojo was not much brighter than a donkey. Jojo is weary of such malicious epithets, so he sets out to prove his worth by intercepting the killer before he can reach D'Costa. The next day finds Jojo with a Jeep load of cohorts waiting outside the college campus where they have tracked Taarzan. Jojo calls in an anonymous tip to Raj that D'Costa will be taking a trip to a nearby city soon, and would be vulnerable to an attack. Raj doesn't know what he's talking about, but the ever vigilant Taarzan is within hearing distance of Jojo's Jeep, and makes a mental note (if a car can do such a thing). As Jojo explains the rest of his cunning plan to his friends - that being they will follow Raj as he moves to kill D'Costa and eliminate him before he completes his task - Taarzan pulls out from behind them and makes his way to the highway unnoticed.
We cut to the open road where D'Costa is congratulating himself on making it out of town unscathed. Jojo calls him to tell him of his plan. D'Costa notices a few tactical errors in Jojo's reasoning, and angrily disconnects. He spots some thatched huts not too far from the road, and decides he will spend the night in one until the threat blows over.
As he approaches the huts, one of them begins to shake back and forth, then actually begins to slide along the ground towards him! D'Costa hightails it back to his car and speeds off down the road with the hut in hot pursuit. The hut is not large enough to cover the tail end of Taarzan sticking out of the back, but this goes unnoticed by the terror-stricken D'Costa.
Somehow Taarzan throws the hut on to the top of D'Costa's car. After some careful braking the hut is dislodged, and the proper chase begins. Once more for emphasis, we have the victim noticing that there is no one driving the deadly purple car, and he freaks out. He does manage to maneuver Taarzan into striking a light post and buys himself a little time.
Back at the campus, Jojo notices that Raj and Priya are coming out of the buildings. They all crouch down behind his Jeep to watch them head out. Raj notices that Taarzan is not in the parking lot, and worries that if something happens again he will be blamed for it. Priya says she will drive him to the police station so he can file a report and hopefully avoid blame. Jojo sees them head out, and hops back into the Jeep. In his excitement, he drives off before his buddies can get in, but this fact goes unnoticed for quite some time.
Back at the chase, D'Costa is forced off the road near a little rest stop area. After a few threatening advances, D'Costa seems doomed. However, a small boy playing with a beach ball wanders between D'Costa and Taarzan, forcing Taarzan to halt his advance. D'Costa notices that Taarzan won't hurt the boy, so he picks him up to use as a human shield. Up until now, D'Costa had been more of a comic relief character, but this officially elevates him to human slime status.
Taarzan backs up and pulls out of the lot, so D'Costa drops the kid and runs for the phone booth.
At the police station, Raj and Priya are seated in Khurana's office explaining what's been happening while Jojo listens outside. As they are talking, D'Costa calls Khurana's office. Khurana tries to explain that Raj isn't trying to kill him, since he's sitting right in front of him. D'Costa tries to explain that no one is in the car, but is less than coherent since he's noticed Taarzan is coming back towards the rest stop. As he screams into the phone for Khurana to save him, Taarzan plows into the booth and claims another victim.
Khurana tells Raj what happened, and poor misguided Jojo looks shocked. We get an quick scene of Raj and Priya as they wonder aloud who it could be that is taking Raj's car and committing these crimes, but they give up wondering and just go home. Thanks movie!
We cut to Raj walking up his driveway at home. He notices that Taarzan is back in his parking spot, so he runs inside and calls Khurana to have him come and check the car. When he arrives, Khurana asks if there are computer systems or robotics inside that might control the car remotely, but of course there are none. He asks Grandma if she heard anything when the car was brought back, but she did not. Khurana is visibly frustrated, and accuses Raj of giving his car to someone else and somehow forcing them to commit the murders. Grandma is furious at such ideas, and points out that if the car had been out smashing into phone booths and whatnot, shouldn't there be some sort of damage on Taarzan? She gets rather insulting with the cops, but they do back down. They settle for chaining Taarzan to the ground until they can sort things out. Raj promises that Taarzan will not be involved in any more cases of wrongdoing, or else he will bear the blame for all five incidents.
We have a short montage of Raj hammering giant spikes into the ground and running some good sized chains through the spokes of Taarzan's wheels to hold him in place. I got to thinking about this. Raj built this car basically from scratch. Shouldn't he know a more reliable method of ensuring Taarzan was immobile? How about disabling the ignition? Draining the fuel tank? Removing a tire? Perhaps I am overanalyzing again. On with the show! Oh, before the scene ends, we are treated to another stirring rendition of "Taaaaaaaaaaaaaaarzaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan!"
Well let's lighten things up here. Over at Priya's house, Kapoor comes home from his business trip a day early to surprise his daughter. He promises to go to meet Raj's family and announce that Priya is welcome to marry Raj. In the meantime, he wants to go and see his old friends.
Over at D'Costa's house, Jojo brings Kapoor up to speed on the state of his old pals. He tells Kapoor that all of them were killed by the same car. That car happens to belong to Devan Chaudhary's son. He warns Kapoor that if word gets out that he was an old partner of the others, he'll definitely not live very long.
That afternoon, Priya and Kapoor arrive at Raj's house to meet the family. Taarzan notices them pulling up and glares at them with his headlights. The initial meeting goes well, with everyone getting along famously. That is, until Kapoor notices Devan's picture on the mantle, and puts all the pieces together.
Kapoor experiences a vivid hallucination of Raj explaining that he only pretended to love Priya to get him to come home from his trip so that he might kill him like he did the other partners. Kapoor snaps out of it, and complains of not feeling well. He quickly gathers up Priya and says goodbye. When they get home, Priya stops him at the doorway and demands to know what the heck is going on. Kapoor tells her that all she needs to know is that he does not want her to marry Raj, and that's the final word. Priya defiantly tells him that she's going to marry Raj no matter what he says, and stomps off to her room.
Thinking quickly, Kapoor puts a plan into motion. He has Jojo call Raj, impersonating his gardener, and tell him that Kapoor is taking Priya away to London with him so they cannot be married. He tells Raj to come over right away and save her!
The ruse works, and Raj tells Grandma what's going on. She tells him that she will come too, in the hopes of convincing Kapoor that this is a mistake. They run off to catch a cab, leaving Taarzan all upset. He scoots back and forth until he manages to break free of his chains and speed off to Priya's. Taarzan being the somewhat faster car gets in the lead, and notices a roadblock and detour sign. He follows the sign and heads off the paved road. After he disappears, Jojo emerges from hiding and clears the fake roadblock. Oh no!
Taarzan finds himself in an isolated location facing down Kapoor. Kapoor challenges Raj to get out of the car and face him, but Taarzan lurches forward to run him over. Kapoor dodges, and Jojo rams into Taarzan from behind in his Jeep. The blow forces Taarzan over a small cliff, where he lands in a million pieces on a beach below.
I don't know much about how cars are held together, but from the looks of how easily Taarzan comes apart, I'd say it was a combination of chewing gum, thumbtacks, and a strip of Velcro.
Jojo and Kapoor go back to the house and congratulate themselves on a plan played out to perfection. Unfortunately they hadn't counted on Priya hearing them. She bursts into tears and goes out to see for herself. Down at the beach, Raj and Grandma survey the wreckage and wonder how the heck Taarzan even got there in the first place. Priya finds them there and tells them that her dad engineered this little "accident." Kapoor was apparently hot on Priya's heels, since he's now standing next to them and punching little Raj in the head.
Things break down into a general melee at this point with everyone tugging on everyone else's arms and slaps being thrown about with wild abandon. Then Kapoor commits the ultimate crime, and throws Grandma down. Her head glances off a rock in the tumble and she is out cold on the sand.
Kapoor throws Raj onto his boat which happened to be moored nearby. As he takes them out into the water, he tells Raj that he is going to kill him just like he killed his father. He binds Raj's hands and throws him overboard.
Raj is more buoyant than Kapoor anticipated and keeps bobbing back up to the surface. In a fit of anger, Kapoor begins to poke Raj with an oar to get him to stay under. Back on shore, Taarzan begins to twitch his individual pieces and starts rebuilding himself. As this is happening, Grandma wakes up and stares in amazement as all of the scattered pieces start sliding along the ground and flying together.
Once his repairs are complete, a brilliant light from Heaven beams down into the driver's seat, and a spectral image of Devan coalesces behind the wheel. He looks out at Grandma who is astonished at what she is seeing. Devan gives her a smile, then closes the windows.
Out on the water, Raj has finally stopped struggling and begins to sink deeply into the water. Devan guns the engine and plows the car right into the ocean. Taarzan dives deep into the water and maneuvers under Raj's inert form. Taarzan then begins to ascend through the waves. Devan somehow makes a piece of metal stretch up over the top of the car to hold Raj securely in place, then begins to drive across the water to head towards Kapoor's boat.
I'd like to take a moment to editorialize. Up until now, the effects in this film have been rather good. Lots of impressive digital effects on Taarzan when he repairs himself, etc. However, this is so clearly a Matchbox car and an action figure that I can only assume they were totally out of cash for more effects. Just a little disappointing to see this after all the other shots were so well done.
This chase goes on for a while, with some terribly exciting music thumping along on the soundtrack. Taarzan rams into the boat, causing Kapoor to fall overboard and become ensnared in a fishing net. Taarzan then "drives" over Kapoor who ducks underneath to avoid the blow. He is successful in doing so, but Taarzan catches the net Kapoor is still stuck in with his tailpipe, and begins dragging him around. He finally slings Kapoor up onto the beach, where Raj regains consciousness.
Raj is a little surprised to see Taarzan in one piece. He then looks through the windshield and sees Devan at the wheel. After sharing a warm smile with each other, Devan turns his attention back to Kapoor.
As Devan guns the engine and lurches forward a few feet, Kapoor scrambles back up the sand a bit. At that moment, Priya arrives with the cops, so Devan stops the car. He passes through the door of the car to stand on the beach in front of the amazed onlookers.
Devan walks over to Kapoor, who begins begging for his life. He pleads for mercy, but Devan asks if he was shown mercy when the roles were reversed. He asks Kapoor if he ever considered how his death would affect Raj and Grandma. He tells Kapoor that he could have killed him out on the water, but he wanted to make sure that everyone knew that Raj was not the one killing everybody so instead he brought him to shore.
Kapoor takes this opportunity to confess to the cops and everyone else all of the crimes he committed against Devan. He rushes over to Khurana and asks that he be arrested. Khurana cuffs him and tells him (basically) "this is what you get when you screw people over."
With the business side taken care of, it's time for Devan to say goodbye. He stops to speak to Grandma and tells her that if there is a rebirth, then he will one day be reborn as her son.
He then moves to Raj, and says he is sorry that he couldn't be with him as he was growing up, but he is happy that Raj could build such an amazing car. He also advises Raj that the next time he takes Priya on a drive, not to take his hands off the wheel. With that, the light from the sky comes back, and Raj walks off into it.
As Devan "beams up," everyone on the shore looks at him with dazed expressions. Our closing shot focuses on Taarzan's formidable hood, and the credits begin to roll.
are the boys who've taken the modelling
and film world by
Shahid Khattar-who made the girls go ga-ga with his cool act in
the Pepsi commercial featuring Shah Rukh Khan, Rani Mukherjee and
Kajol. Rohan Dey-the droopy-eyed boy with the winsome smile from
Rockford. And Vatsal Seth, who has been lighting up the TV with
his hazel eyes. Thrust into celebdom with their movies, serial,
ads and music videos, they are coping
with fame and fortune with surprising equanimity. Whereas one hears
of boy-wonders losing their head, these guys have theirs firmly
on their shoulders.
Boys II showmen!
These boys shot into the media limelight with the very first assignments they did. Here they get together to talk about fame, fortune, fun and fundas...
By Akash Shrivastava
|Taarzan can do everything a hero does'|
Vickey Lalwani | August 05, 2004
He cannot stop biting his nails. Nor can he sleep well.
It's obvious Vatsal Seth is very, very nervous.
And with reason.
His debut film, Taarzan: The Wonder Car, is just a few hours away from the public's verdict. Directed by Abbas-Mustan, the film costars Ayesha Takia.
Vickey Lalwani chats with the young actor.
You started with television but didn't pursue it. Why?
I started with a television serial, Just Mohabbat, when I was in the first year of my graduation. The serial and my character Jai became very popular. There were plenty of television offers subsequently, but I declined them. I did a few ads, though, like the Pepsi one with Shah Rukh Khan.
That means you always wanted to become a film actor?
(Smiles) Who doesn't want to take a quantum leap in life? I want to become famous and be known as Vatsal, not Jai.
How did a big banner like Baba Films take the risk of teaming two newcomers like you and Ayesha in their film?
You should ask this to the producer and director. Guess we are blessed!
So how did you land the role in Taarzan?
Abbas-Mustan had seen my pictures and said they wanted to cast me in a project. At that point of time, they did not have a script which suited me. When the opportunity arose, they called me. They didn't even take an audition.
Taarzan: The Wonder Car is a dream come true.
Even though the makers have insisted that the car is the hero of the film?
The car is indeed hero of the film. It is an attraction which will bring the public into the theatres. Today, people are not too keen to watch a new pair unless they are offered an additional attraction.
Tell us about Abbas-Mustan.
Both are in absolute sync with each other. If one doesn't like it, he does not ask the other. They seem to know each other's likes and dislikes thoroughly.
Tell us something about the wonder car.
Taarzan can do everything a hero does and much more. It can swim, fly, cross fires and fight villains.
What do you play?
An automobile engineer.
Ajay Devgan plays your dad. It's being said that his ghost makes the car fly...
(Interrupting) I knew this was coming. Many people have asked me this. But I am not going to tell you. Watch the film.
Hindi cinema is known for debutantes falling in love. Did you get attracted to Ayesha Takia?
We were definitely very friendly. But I have no time for love. I am concentrating on my career only.
You look like the cute boy-next-door, very unpretentious…
I like myself the way I am. I have no filmi background, no godfather.
Do you work out?
I am a regular at the Juhu Gymkhana, but just for keeping myself fit.
I am not here to build biceps and triceps. I am no beefcake. I want to act, not model.
Nothing at present. A lot depends on the public's response. Pray for me.
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