The first thing you need to know about Thank You is that it ISN'T the tackfest sleazoid film you are probably expecting it to be. When the promos hit the net prior to its cinematic release in April, I remember there being a kind of ripple effect of disgust...it seemed like a whole lot of people were offended and outraged, over a whole RANGE of things. There were the scantily clad white girls in the song Full Volume – seen as reinforcing the Hindi film stereotype that western girls are skanks;
there were more scantily clad girls PLUS general sleaziness and outrage over the way the film remixed Pyar Do Pyar Lo – TRAVESTY!
And there was the whole “Anees Bazmee attempts another tacky comedy about infidelity” angle.
I can't speak to that last part – because I haven't actually seen No Entry, so I can't compare the two films. As for the first two points – well – I admit on seeing the promos even I thought Thank You looked a bit vulgar. But I also knew that I would be seeing it anyway, based on:
- My insane love of Bobby Deol and my pathological need to see every single film he has ever appeared in. Basically, this point trumps ALL OTHER POINTS.
- The way Irrfan wobbles his head in Pyar Do Pyar Lo. Something about it convinced me that the film would be COMEDY GOLD.
- My enduring love and lust for Akshay Kumar, and also the fact that for some reason, many of his more silly comedies make me laugh so hard my flatmate sometimes thinks I am brain-damaged.
- This review by Filmi Girl. Kara and I sometimes have totally opposite opinions on things (Abhishek Bachchan is example #1) but sometimes we are on EXACTLY THE SAME PAGE and films like Thank You (and Housefull) are an example. I've seen Thank You twice now and I agree with Kara's p.o.v 100%!
Thank You is like a weirdo fairytale about relationships. Raj (Bobby Deol), Vikram (Irrfan) and Yogi (Suniel Shetty) are serial cheaters who have no remorse about constantly cheating on their wives – respectively Sanjana (Sonam Kapoor), Shivani (Rimi Sen) and Maya (Celina Jaitley). Things get tricky for them when their wives, suspecting adultery, hire a private detective: Kishan (Akshay Kumar) to prove their infidelity, and Kishan sets out to destroy them, turning the friends against each other, and helping the wives to get revenge on the men.
Both times I've watched Thank You I've laughed REALLY EMBARRASSINGLY hard at various points, including that bit from the preview where Akki is wrapped in pink fabric
Sue me, I laughed at Akki getting in a fist fight with a monkey in Housefull too.
and Suniel Shetty clinging on to Celina Jaitley's leg being dragged out of a hotel foyer. This film is frequently hilarious or else my brain is actually slowly rotting. Or maybe both.
Once you set aside the fact that Thank You is really telling an unhealthy tale advising men and women to punish each other and get revenge rather than, I don't know, be loving and kind in the first place and treat each other as equals,there were a couple of things I actually liked about the treatment of relationships in this film:
- I actually liked Sanjana (Sonam Kapoor) and the way her character was presented – I thought it was a sympathetic representation of a woman who loved her husband and had no reason to question him, and who then feels humiliated when she realises she has been defending and believing a liar. I probably wouldn't have taken him back, but then I was ignoring all the weirdo relationship advice her friends were dishing out to her.
- Even though it's so not healthy, I thought the combative relationship between Vikram (Irrfan) and Shivani (Rimi) was hilarious – and I liked that though Shivani acted like a good, deferent wife to appease Vikram's chauvinistic tendencies, she was all the time the one in control. Also, I TOTALLY do exactly what Shivani does when I make people cups of tea and don't use a saucer.
Irrfan and Rimi REALLY ARE comedy gold!
- I actually REALLY liked Akshay's character, Kishan - and the second time I watched the film, I liked him even more. He clearly acts in a way that is motivated from pure honest intentions and a respectful love of women – and when his motivations are revealed, this becomes even clearer. I really liked all the scenes he had with Sanjana when he showed concern for her state of mind, particularly at Niagara Falls.
All the people who complain that Thank You is tacky and vulgar and exploitative clearly haven't seen the film. Sure, there are scantily clad women – but there are women of different sizes, different shapes, and different colours, AND MEN TOO (as Filmi Girl pointed out in her review) and it's Kishan's role to ensure everyone is feeling loved.
The second thing you need to know about Thank You is that, although I found it wildly entertaining, a bunch of people HATE IT and I totally understand why. Because anyone who has EVER been in a relationship, or who is IN a healthy relationship will probably find some of the gems of 'wisdom' imparted by ANY of the characters at best dubious, at worst, incredibly insulting.
I mostly ended up choosing to find it funny.
Basically, part of being able to sit back and enjoy the film depends on TOTALLY IGNORING THE COMPLETELY WEIRD, KIND OF OFFENSIVE, FUCKED UP MESSAGES about relationships that Thank You builds its ENTIRE NARRATIVE around. I can totally do that, because to me, it's just an entertaining movie, and I choose to just ignore this weird crap:
Believe me, there's PLENTY more "wisdom" like this.
in favour of you know, quality Bobby time,
Delivers the goods on that front. OMG YOU GUYS I HAVE SUCH A PROBLEM I LOVE BOBBY SO MUCH.
and laugh/drooling (what? It's a thing) scenes where Akshay Kumar manages to be stripped of his clothes while fighting off attackers (because that is TOTALLY a hazard of fighting off attackers)
Other highlights include random parkour scenes (awesome); Akki in a bathtub (AWESOME).
and this one part where I laughed really really hard at Suniel Shetty WHO I DON'T USUALLY EVEN LIKE YOU GUYS (it's when the three cheaters are chasing after Akki, who is getting away, Akki winks at Suniel and SUNIEL WINKS BACK! And then realises he's supposed to catch that guy! Yeah...maybe you had to be there).
Because it's just a movie, and as films go, I have seen a bunch that are way more chauvinistic and offensive than Thank You – RamAvtar, hello? At the heart of it, though it maybe goes about it in a weird way, Thank You is actually a kind of warped love story, that tries to be kind of oddly feminist and makes the men in it look like idiots. Though to be honest, everyone kind of ends up looking idiotic.
But mainly these three. Also Bobby? I HATE that shirt. Kthanxbye.