The Lost City of Truly Bad Actors

Pop Culture

The Lost City of Truly Bad Actors

Illustration: Saachi Mehta/ Arré


ast month, my daughter was reading Subhadra Sen Gupta’s excellent Let’s Go Time Travelling. After reading about the Mohenjo-daro civilisation, she wanted to see what the ruins looked like. I knew what was coming, but tried to evade it by looking up Google Images. We saw the standard pictures from the 5,000-year-old city – the Great Bath, the dancing girl statuette, the bearded priest/king, and the Pasupati seal. But when a dhoti-clad Hrithik Roshan came up in our expedition, my fate was sealed.

Mohenjo Daro the film, also known as “three hours of my life that are never coming back”, is based on the novel concept of killing off anyone who displays anything near decent skill in acting (or any department of cinema). The tone is set early when Hrithik Roshan, or Sarman, kills a method-acting CG crocodile in the first sequence. As the corpse is carried back to the village, the actors speak a weird gibberish that grates on your nerves, shredding them like cheese. That is until the language transforms into a hideous lovechild of Bhojpuri and Hindi, and you yearn for the gibberish with acute longing.