I haven't really been watching Indian movies in the past two weeks or so. Correction: I haven't really been watching new Indian films as of late, even with my awesome pile of Southie flicks and my existing pile of unwatched Hindi DVD's. Instead, I've been keeping my NIF friends on a steady diet. Here's what we've watched.
Rock On!! was sadly overshadowed by the presence of the brand new puppy my friend had gotten. The little thing was running around, biting and being chaotic as puppies usually are, and so the brilliant story-telling of the film was constantly taking a back seat to what was happening in the room. But nevertheless, they did see the film, and did enjoy the soundtrack.. Though again, with mixed success; one friend noted during Socha hai, "That dude can't sing", but the other one liked it enough.
There were no comments on the hotness of Farhan, but there was praise on Purab Kohli's comedic skills. Go Purab!
I brought over three DVD's with nothing in common except they're all favourites of mine that I wouldn't mind re-watching: Jab We Met, Dhool and Dharam-Veer. I introduced them to the audience. "This is romantic & awesome, this one has Anniyan Man in it, this one's got everything from samurai's to midgets to gypsies to pirates." One friend said romantic fluff, the other wanted brainmelting midgets and samurais. We rock-paper-scissors it, and Dharam-Veer won. The JWM-supporter friend started whining - she was tired, it'd been a long day, all she wanted was something relaxing and fun to watch. I tried arguing the merits of D-V; it was perfect "turn your brains off" fun! It was masala from the 1970's, for crying out loud,
D-V went into the DVD player, but you've probably already guessed the outcome; after non-stop whinging from Friend #1, Friend #2 succumbed and we turned back to JWM.
Shahid got the honor of being compared to a successful literary character: "He looks like Harry Potter." We giggled over the Harry Potter analogy throughout the first half, and Friend #2 groaned when Shahid begins singing on the bus. "Like you didn't know this was coming!" I old her.
Views on Kareena differed. Friend #2 thought she was "one annoying lady" while Friend #1 said, after the film, "I usually dislike the girls in Bollywood films, but I really liked this one!". Don't worry, Geet, at least you made one new fan!
Emotional appeal was established, probably for the first time since our viewing of Rang De Basanti - Friend #1 admited to getting teary-eyed during one of the heart-string tugging scenes. I consider this one an overall success.
Another evening, another film, and while I love Dhool to pieces, even after this umpteenth rewatch of it, it didn't reach the glorious levels of WTF that Anniyan did, and therefore left my friends a little cold. The songs were appreciated (though perhaps "Kundu kundu" a bit too brainmelting for Friend #2), but the typical "hero-against-corruption" didn't really engage my friends enough for them to truly appreciate the film.
Nevertheless, Friend #1 admitted she was warming up to Vikram's looks and that's good enough for me.
The pseudohistorical crackfest known as Dharam-Veer I watched together with Friend #1, Friend #2 being out of town (god, I really have to come up with better nicknames for them if I continue to write about our filmi sessions on this blog!). This time, the moment just wasn't right. The first half of the movie went swimmingly, my friend fearing constantly a Dharmendra up-skirt shot, which seemed to come around the corner but never (thankfully) did and us snarking the brilliant costuming in the film, and of course, the Wonder Bird Sheroo.
But as the movie continued, the complex, convoluted - maybe slightly stretched-out - plot began to bore me and my friend. The first two times I'd seen the film, I'd loved it to bits. Perhaps it was just the hour of the evening, the stress of the upcoming week creeping up to both of us.. Don't know. I still love the movie as ever, but I suppose it just isn't as tight in terms of direction as I'd want it to be. Then again, maybe Manmohan Desai films never are.
So, that's NIF Story Hour for this time.. I think my friends have had an overload of Hindi/Tamil films for now, but next time I'm considering showing them Nuvvostanante Nenoddantana, Jhoom Barabar Jhoom or Duplicate. Best keep it light.