TALKING FILMS

Who dubbed it better? ‘Deadpool 2’ versus ‘Avengers: Infinity War’

The latest ‘Avengers’ movie beats the ‘merc with a mouth’ hands down.

Deadpool 2 is the latest big-ticket Hollywood movie to have been released in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu versions. Following the mammoth successes of Hollywood releases in India – the most recent one, Avengers: Infinity War (2018), grossed over Rs 250 crores – the marketing team behind Deadpool 2 left no stone unturned to make the film appealing to Indian audiences.

Ranveer Singh was roped in to voice the merc with a mouth for the Hindi version. The Hindi trailer featured a host of Indian references, including local quips (“Iski maa ka Saki Naka”) and hat-tips to the headlines (“Main swachta abhiyaan ka fan hoon toh socha kyun na sabka vikaas main hi kar dun”). The Hindi version, however, is a hit-and-miss affair, unlike the near-flawless dub of Avengers: Infinity War.

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Deadpool 2, in Hindi.

The Hindi Avengers: Infinity War, written by Mayur Puri and Abha Jai Prakash, is on point. The story, with several parallel timelines, is communicated perfectly. “Infinity stone” becomes “anant mani” in Hindi. The popular line “I am Groot” is not translated.

The humour in Avengers: Infinity War is adequately communicated to Hindi speakers, especially in the scenes involving Drax. Remember the scene in which Thor lands up in the Guardians’ spaceship and Drax tells a jealous Peter Quill that Thor is not a “dude” but a “man” and that Peter is a “dude”? In Hindi, it becomes: “Banda tu hai, yeh mard hai.”

While in the English version, Thanos mockingly refers to Peter Quill as “the boyfriend” (of his adopted daughter, Gamora), in Hindi, he calls Peter Quill “damad ji”.

At several points in the Hindi version, characters slip into popular Hindi film dialogue (“Keh kar lete hain”, “Kismat kutti cheez hain”), and they work in the context of the scene.

Humour aside, the film has its darker moments involving, among other things, revenge over the killing of siblings (Loki) or loved ones (Gamora), and this opens up space for what in Indian commercial film idiom is known as punch dialogue. The ghee-soaked lines of threats and counter-threats issued between the umpteen heroes and the villain (“Gyaan ka shraanp sirf tumhe hi nahi mila hai”, “Badey totkey jaante ho, jaadugar”) are never laborious translations from the English.

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Avengers: Infinity War, in Hindi.

However, there is a small problem with Avengers: Infinity War that becomes magnified in the case of Deadpool 2.

In a sequence in Avengers: Infinity War, movie buff Spider-Man suggests to Iron Man, Doctor Strange and others to get rid of the villain, Ebony Maw, by taking cues from the climax of James Cameron’s Alien (1986). Moments later, Ebony Maw is blasted out of the spaceship and in the next shot, a frozen Maw floats off in outer space, which is a direct homage to Aliens.

In the Hindi film, Alien becomes Museum Ke Andar Phas Gaya Sikandar, which was the Hindi title with which Night at the Museum (2006) was released in India. The entire fun of the scene goes missing, and that happens a lot in Deadpool 2 as well.

Deadpool 2 is not as strongly plot-driven as Avengers: Infinity War, and its entertainment value comes from its irreverent, R-rated, and often, juvenile humour. Writer Mayank Jain tries to find Indian equivalents for every single pop-culture reference made by Deadpool in the English version, and not all of them stick.

In the original, Deadpool compares the box-office gross of the first movie with that of The Passion of the Christ (2004), another R-rated blockbuster. He notes that though The Passion of the Christ beat Deadpool as the highest-grossing R-rated film in the United States of America, Deadpool beat it back in the overseas market.

In the Hindi version, The Passion of the Christ is replaced by the Baahubali films, and the logic of the dialogue falls apart.

Some solid comedy writing in English, such as when taxi driver Dopinder explains in uncomfortable detail that he wants to be Kirsten Dunst from Interview with the Vampire (1994) to Deadpool who could play Tom Cruise, is ruined in Hindi with an unfunny reference to Tiger Shroff and Baaghi 2 (2018). In another scene, a depressed Deadpool finds hope in his mistaken belief that David Bowie has not died. In the Hindi version, Bowie is replaced with Kishore Kumar, and the joke is wasted.

The English-language Deadpool 2 assumes that its audience is aware of every pop culture reference. The xenophobic treatment of mutants by humans in Deadpool 2, which ties to the X-Men movies and comic books and is referred to in several scenes and lines, appears out of place in the Hindi version. “Sarey hue mutants!”, a snarl by a henchman does not have the same zing as its English counterpart.

Dialogue is the unique selling point of the Deadpool films. In the Hindi version, the comedy works only when it is visual, such as in the case of the anticlimactic death of the X-Force team which would be funny in any language.

To be fair, Deadpool 2 is simply a hard film to translate. It does not have the distinct “Indian-ness” of emotions and character motivations, as Mayur Puri, the Hindi writer of Black Panther had earlier told Scroll.in. Perhaps, this has been reflected in Deadpool 2’s box office in India as well.

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Following a mountaineer as he reaches the summit of Mount Everest

Accounts from Vikas Dimri’s second attempt reveal the immense fortitude and strength needed to summit the Everest.

Vikas Dimri made a huge attempt last year to climb the Mount Everest. Fate had other plans. Thwarted by unfavourable weather at the last minute, he came so close and yet not close enough to say he was at the top. But that did not deter him. Vikas is back on the Everest trail now, and this time he’s sharing his experiences at every leg of the journey.

The Everest journey began from the Lukla airport, known for its dicey landing conditions. It reminded him of the failed expedition, but he still moved on to Namche Bazaar - the staging point for Everest expeditions - with a positive mind. Vikas let the wisdom of the mountains guide him as he battled doubt and memories of the previous expedition. In his words, the Everest taught him that, “To conquer our personal Everest, we need to drop all our unnecessary baggage, be it physical or mental or even emotional”.

Vikas used a ‘descent for ascent’ approach to acclimatise. In this approach, mountaineers gain altitude during the day, but descend to catch some sleep. Acclimatising to such high altitudes is crucial as the lack of adequate oxygen can cause dizziness, nausea, headache and even muscle death. As Vikas prepared to scale the riskiest part of the climb - the unstable and continuously melting Khumbhu ice fall - he pondered over his journey so far.

His brother’s diagnosis of a heart condition in his youth was a wakeup call for the rather sedentary Vikas, and that is when he started focusing on his health more. For the first time in his life, he began to appreciate the power of nutrition and experimented with different diets and supplements for their health benefits. His quest for better health also motivated him to take up hiking, marathon running, squash and, eventually, a summit of the Everest.

Back in the Himalayas, after a string of sleepless nights, Vikas and his team ascended to Camp 2 (6,500m) as planned, and then descended to Base Camp for the basic luxuries - hot shower, hot lunch and essential supplements. Back up at Camp 2, the weather played spoiler again as a jet stream - a fast-flowing, narrow air current - moved right over the mountain. Wisdom from the mountains helped Vikas maintain perspective as they were required to descend 15km to Pheriche Valley. He accepted that “strength lies not merely in chasing the big dream, but also in...accepting that things could go wrong.”

At Camp 4 (8,000m), famously known as the death zone, Vikas caught a clear glimpse of the summit – his dream standing rather tall in front of him.

It was the 18th of May 2018 and Vikas finally reached the top. The top of his Everest…the top of Mount Everest!

Watch the video below to see actual moments from Vikas’ climb.

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Vikas credits his strength to dedication, exercise and a healthy diet. He credits dietary supplements for helping him sustain himself in the inhuman conditions on Mount Everest. On heights like these where the oxygen supply drops to 1/3rd the levels on the ground, the body requires 3 times the regular blood volume to pump the requisite amount of oxygen. He, thus, doesn’t embark on an expedition without double checking his supplements and uses Livogen as an aid to maintain adequate amounts of iron in his blood.

Livogen is proud to have supported Vikas Dimri on his ambitious quest and salutes his spirit. To read more about the benefits of iron, see here. To read Vikas Dimri’s account of his expedition, click here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Livogen and not by the Scroll editorial team.