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Animation / Roadside Romeo

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Left to right: Laila, Romeo and Charlie Anna.

Roadside Romeo is an animated 2008 Bollywood film distributed by Disney (yes, Disney) and Yash Raj Films. It is the second Bollywood film to be released in North America, but only in a handful of theaters.

The film centers around a pampered dog named Romeo who, after being abandoned by his rich owners, is forced to live out in the streets of Mumbai. Romeo is cornered by a street gang and almost beaten up by the crew, but manages to convince them to open a dog grooming business after he lulls them by giving them all new haircuts. Everything's going great until Chhainu, the right-hand dog of a disgusting mobster named Charlie Anna, comes by to collect the business's protection money (in the form of bones). When Romeo kicks him out and refuses to pay, his friends fear retribution, and head over to kiss his ass so Anna doesn't kill all of them. From there on out, the film is about Romeo and his friends trying to escape the clutches of Anna, while Romeo simultaneously tries to woo a dog named Laila, whom he met while dancing on the rooftops, and who he's fallen in love with.

Roadside Tropes:

  • Accessory-Wearing Cartoon Animal: All the furry characters.
  • The Ace: Romeo both plays this straight and subverts it, often at the same time.
  • Alliterative Name: The Angels have these.
  • Almost Kiss: Happens after Romeo and Laila's dance on the rooftops.
  • Animated Actors: The characters are revealed to be these in the Hilarious Outtakes.
  • Big Bad: Charlie Anna. The dog catchers too, despite only making two appearances in the whole movie and just doing their job.
  • Bilingual Bonus:
    • More like Bilingual Requirement. India has two national languages: Hindi and English. Most of the movie's dialog is in the former, though a fairly large chunk is in the latter, so you have to be bilingual to understand the whole thing. Though the film is still somewhat accessible even if you only speak one of the languages. Somewhat.
    • The use of English is really well done. Romeo speaks the most English out of anyone in the cast (justified since he did have wealthy owners) and it's so flawless that English viewers can get the gist of what's going on. When the other characters drop the occasional English, they speak it flawlessly as well.
    • Interval plays this trope straight. The majority of his lines are an imitation of a famous Bollywood actor.
  • Bird-Poop Gag: Happens to Mini after the intermission, where a pigeon poops on her.
  • Butt-Monkey: Chhainu.
  • Camera Abuse: A couple times Romeo grabs the camera and swings it to another position, and during "Chhoo Le Nah" the camera actually runs into a dog during a fly in shot.
  • Canines Primary, Felines Secondary: The main character is a dog named Romeo. Every other major animal character is a dog except for Mini, who is a cat.
  • A Cat in a Gang of Dogs: Mini, the only cat of the group, insists she's just as dog as the rest of the pack.
  • Catchphrase: Charlie Anna's "Be happy, my chappie."
  • Chekhov's Gunman: The mouse that keeps popping up during the movie.
  • Chick Magnet: The opening song implies Romeo was this before he lived on the streets. He may have been one even while living on the streets, too.
  • Don't Explain the Joke: Charlie does this a lot, but most notably when he introduces his trio of deadly female dogs called "The Angels."
    Charlie: "These are my angels. Charlie's Angels! *laughs* Jokes."
  • Downer Ending: Subverted at the very, very, very last second.
  • The Dragon: Chhainu.
  • Fat and Skinny: Charlie and Chhainu.
  • Fat Bastard: Charlie is fat and is the Big Bad of the movie.
  • Gasshole: Charlie Anna. He seems nonchalant about breaking wind in front of Romeo, and in general.
  • Gratuitous English: The characters switch between Hindi and English seemingly at random.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Charlie Anna has one at the end of the film when Romeo prevents Anna from getting captured by the dog catchers. Not only does Anna repay Romeo by freeing him, but he also helps Laila fall in love with Romeo again.
  • Hilarious Outtakes: "No animals were hurt or injured during the making of this film...can't say the same about the crew though!
    • In addition to animated gags, the outtakes also include footage of the actors recording their lines.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters:
    • All the humans featured in the film are dog catchers, pedestrians speeding down the road, or people throwing garbage at the dogs from their windows because they were barking/howling too much.
    • Don't forget Romeo's former owners, who got bored of him and left him with a caretaker when they moved, with the intention of getting a new dog once they got to London. And the caretaker shoved him out on the streets.
  • If I Can't Have You…: Charlie has a crush on Laila. Laila wants nothing to do with Charlie. So Charlie admires Laila from afar whenever she sings on stage at a club and tells all the other dogs that if they so much as touch Laila, they can kiss their lives goodbye. Romeo doesn't get the message.
  • Important Haircut: When Romeo runs into Guru's gang, they're a band of badasses who have no trouble mugging and killing Romeo for invading their territory. Then he gives them all a haircut. For the rest of the film, they're Romeo's friends and complete cowards whenever they run into Chhainu or Charlie.
    • Charlie and his thugs were criminals with a reputation, mind. Romeo was just some stray nobody knew about.
    • Laila asks Romeo for a haircut before they go on their date, asking him to "make [her] look like [his] Laila."
  • Love Makes You Dumb: Oh, Romeo...
  • Mook–Face Turn: The Angels after being wooed by Guru, Interval and Hero English.
  • Moonwalk Dance: At one point the mouse does Michael Jackson's signature moonwalk and pelvic thrust. Complete with crotch grab.
  • Never Say "Die": Charlie: "THE END!!!!"
  • Not So Above It All: The Angels, twice. Once during "Cool Cool" where they eventually start to dance along, and again at the end when they're inexplicably swooned by Guru, Interval, and Hero English.
  • Pair the Spares: Charlie Anna's Angels are swooned by Romeo's friends.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Mini the cat gives Charlie an almost hilariously ruthless one when she's disguised as Laila.
  • Save the Villain: In the climax, Romeo allows himself to be captured by the dogcatcher instead of Charlie. This leads to a Heel–Face Turn and Charlie saves him in return.
  • Shout-Out: Charlie Anna keeps three female dogs as his personal enforcers. Their name? The Angels.
  • Slow "NO!": Romeo's friends give one when he's doing Laila's hair.
  • Summon Backup Dancers: The movie includes 4 female dogs whose only purpose in the movie is to be backup dancers for the musical numbers.
  • Talking Animal: Just about all the characters are talking dogs or cats.
  • Toilet Humour: All over the place. Pooping birds, burping rodents, Chhainu spitting, Chhainu spitting, Chhainu spitting again, Charlie farting, Charlie eating his own ear wax..., Charlie plasting a mucus in a paper and giving it to Romeo as an autograph... This trope was taken literally when Chhainu actually fell into a broken down toilet he was sleeping on.
  • You Need a Breath Mint: Chhainu, while ranting to Romeo about who he is and what Anna will do to him if he doesn't pay collection money, gets a little too close to his face. Romeo subtly waves a paw in front of his nose.