First let me make one thing very clear—Ta Ra Rum Pum is a cinematic experience like no other; it has the best of everything—the best Halloween-inspired hairstyle, sported by Rani Mukherjee, a daughter whose name is ‘Princess’ (yes, yup), a son whose legit name is ‘Champ’ (you don’t say?) and the best car racer in the world, the father of Michael Schumacher, Shri Shri Saif Ali Khan.
The story starts with a flashback where annoying daughter Princess narrates the story of how her dad, the “best, best, best racer in the world”, and mom, the “best, best, best piano player in the world”, met. I dare you kid, say the words ‘best, best, best’ ONE more time.
Rani Mukherjee aka Radhika Shekar Rai Banerjee (even Albus Dumbledore had a shorter name than that) meets Saif Ali Khan aka RV for the second time in a party in some random back alley of New York.
A song and dance later, he starts calling her ‘Shona’ out of nowhere. I mean they’ve met like one day ago, but sure. Not creepy at all. According to him, ‘Shona means sweet in Bengali’. Umm. No, it doesn’t. The last time I heard this word was at a jewellery store during my sister’s wedding, because we Bongs call gold, shona. So much money and they couldn’t spend a few thousands to hire a fact-checking intern. Anyway, moving on.
Some mind-numbingly boring BS, his first car race and one cringe-worthy song later, RV proposes to girl-with-perpetual-bad-hair-day with a ring from Tiffany’s (guy doesn’t have money to pay rent, mind you)!
Now I must admit one thing, if there’s anything remotely realistic about this movie, it’s this scene where Shona decides to make RV meet her dad (played by Victor Banerjee).
All seems okay till cray cray daughter tells her father that RV does NOT have a college degree.
For those of you who’ve never dated a Bengali girl, this is how pretty much all Bong father’s work:
“Dad, he is a dopehead.”
“Dad, he is an alcoholic.”
“Dad, he looks like Tusshar Kapoor.”
“Dad, he is marrying me for my money”
“Dad, he doesn’t have a college degree.”’
“WHAT DID YOU JUST SAY YOUNG LADY? Yeh shaadi nahi ho sakti!”
Darling daughter doesn’t listen to dad’s very sane advice and goes ahead and marries uneducated sportsman RV against his wishes.
And post shaadi (which takes place in a car), they start living in a house he wraps in a giant ugly red bow and gifts to her. What is she? TWELVE?
And I’m not even kidding (pun intended), because literally the very next shot is this:
These people are faster than Flipkart deliveries. So now, Adam’s family is complete with freaks like RV, Shona, Princess and Champ.
Anyway, cut to the present and RV is racing, while the trio cheers from the stands. Also, now that she is a rich racer’s wife and stuff, Shona has smoothened and straightened her hair, thereby looking relatively human. Thank god for small mercies.
But OMG some gora angry-looking racer named Rusty (lol why is everyone in this movie named like this?) hits overconfident RV’s car and it topples like a Scorpio in Rohit Shetty’s films!
Family members be like:
The kids are still annoying as ever…
So after one year RV is finally back on the race track competing against that same dog-named man called Rusty.
But he has memory flashes of the accident and poor RV is all, nahi chalana gaddi meko and slows down.
RV finishes last in the next 10 races, gets fired from his team and is replaced by archrival Rusty. His BFF-cum-manager Harry (Javed Jafri) asks him to retire gracefully but the egoistic rat RV is, he cusses, creates a scene and loses his only friend in the world. Nicely done.
They’re obviously poor now because in one year, not a single dollar was earned. So there goes the car, credit cards, that swanky bow-tied house and even the Tiffany’s ring. Ouchie.
They shift to a small one-room house and tell the kids that they are just pretending to be poor and it is all part of a reality show called Don’t Worry, Be Happy where they can’t show they’re sad. But the kids are called Princess and Champ, so obviously, they fall for this sh*t story.
The new house has plumbing issues, so like all normal parents who are scrambling to get the kids ready and pack them off to school, THEY GO TO A FOUNTAIN IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD, WEARING SWIMMING COSTUMES WHILE SINGING AND DANCING.
They sing, they dance, they make merry… Even though RV is getting hired by exactly zero people.
So now RV changes tires at race tracks to earn some money, while the “best, best, best piano player in the world” plays at birthday parties and funerals.
To add to their troubles, the kids are used to their posh Manhattan school, but to keep them there they need the monies. Lots and lots of monies!
Eventually (thankfully!), Princess figures out that there’s no reality show and they aren’t living in Big Boss’ and that they’re actually poor. So she and Champ decide to start saving their lunch money without telling their useless parents so that they can pay the school fees themselves. Good plan, kids.
Since Victor Banerjee’s cheque doesn’t justify his screen time so far, they bring him back for one more annoying scene to establish Rani Mukherji’s stupidity.
Rich daddy offers daughter a cheque of $50,000, but madam (whose kids are on the verge of being kicked out of school) tears it into pieces and rattles off a passive-aggressive monologue on self-respect. She’s cool with stealing food at kids’ parties, but too proud to ask daddy for help. Totally makes sense.
Back home, RV is like “Kar lene deti meri beizzati. Cheque kyun fada?”
By the way, quick note here: By this time, I’m so bored, I can feel my brain cells committing mass suicide. I’m almost tempted to tell my editor that I don’t need the money and I don’t want the beer. But then good sense prevails and I’m like, okay half an hour left… Let’s finish this and go buy a crate! So, moving on.
Liar RV tells his cabbie pals that his daughter has caught pneumonia and has been hospitalised, and they need money for her treatment, so all these nice people pitch in with whatever they can. With that money, he goes and pays the school fees. And celebrates Champ’s birthday where RV is dressed up as Johnny Depp. Not. Even. Kidding.
The ordeal continues with a choreographed animated dance number with 4 bears. Were the makers under the influence of cocaine or is it just me going mad?
Shona finds out that loser husband has used their daughter to collect money and SH*T FINALLY HITS THE FAN! Champ chooses this exact moment to fall unconscious.
Doc says they need $65,000 for the treatment in 2 days and obviously it’s not like these well-planned parents ever bothered with health insurance. So obviously RV goes begging to his former boss Billy (because at this point, he is literally the only person he hasn’t borrowed from), who offers him 300 bucks and kicks him out. Seeing all this, Harry (the BFF, remember?) decides to leave the team and help RV build their own.
Pops gets ready to race once more, to save Champ’s life.
But Rusty keeps hitting RV’s car, because that’s just what professional champion racers do.
And look what happens? Sweet revenge. Rusty goes all dusty on the track.
And, hello, this is Bollywood, you don’t need ME to tell you the end. Obviously, RV wins. *Rolling eyes*
Champ’s life is saved and RV goes back to regular racing, Shona finishes her degree, continues playing piano and the kids continue remaining a pain in the posterior. I swear each time I wrote Shona in this article, a puppy smashed its skull on a cupcake and died.
Okay so is the movie over now? NO!
Note: The only purpose of adding that above picture was because of future fiance—I hope you’re watching this. *Wink, wink. Nudge, nudge*Note: The only purpose of adding that above picture was because of future fiance—I hope you’re watching this. *Wink, wink. Nudge, nudge*
I’m a survivor. I feel like James Franco from 127 hours.
This is a movie not about car racing—but about investment and planning—so watch it at the end of every financial year and sob while paying the useless taxes that the government takes from us year after year, to do absolutely NOTHING.
In closing, I would like to say that after this ordeal, I want to make a call to my Daddy and thank him for not naming me Princess and giving me a normal childhood that did not involve dancing with animated bears. Heading to the wine shop now, thanks. Bye.
(Note: This post of mine was originally published in Yowoto on 21st November 2015)