Thursday, December 31, 2009

Filmi year 2009.

Stars of Kanthasamy, Vikram & Shriya.

Or, as I should better call it, the year out I missed out on a lot (a lot).

To be fair, I always do and I always will. There's no way for me to watch things in theaters, so I end up either going pirate or waiting for DVD release, and neither one is optimal for catching things when others are discussing them after their release. Sometimes I catch those initial discussions and end up deciding against seeing a film, and sometimes enough time passes that I become quite unexcited to see a film I was initially really psyched about. It doesn't even need to be everybody hating it that does it; sometimes it's simply that people who saw it seemed very lukewarm about it, and I tend to assume my reaction would also be really lukewarm.

Anyway, going through my blog for the past year, I noticed I've only really seen the following 2009 films:

Chandi Chowk to China
Dil Bole Hadippa
Konchem Ishtam Konchem Kashtam

That's a total of nine Indian films. Nine! Even if I was peeling the cream de la creme, that is pretty bad. I'm technically watching three industries (Hindi, Tamil, Telugu), though admittedly I only stay on top of Hindi films and then handpick whatever my favourites are doing in the Southie industries, so the pool to choose from is wide. I should have seen more than nine films total.

I don't really feel comfortable making lists of any sort. Out of those nine, my biggest favourites were Kaminey (for pure quality and pleasure), Wanted (all my favourites huddled up in one awesomely action-packed entertainer!) and Kanthasamy (Vikram being deliciously Vikram-y). But still.

Nine films, yaar.

Off the top of my head, here's what I definitely plan on seeing in '10 in order to catch up a bit:

3 Idiots - Duhh. Love all three stars and Rajkumar Hirani promises good stuff.
Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani - AAA's my favourite comedy film, nuff said.
Delhi-6 - I know I'll probably be disappointed but still.
Love Aaj Kaal - I dread there'll be a call coming through saying I'll have my Saif fangirl license revoked unless I see one of his latest releases. Make the effort, self.

Films I might end up seeing, but promise nothing:

Dev. D - Curious about this one.

Wake Up Sid - I know everybody and their mothers and aunts and neighbours' cats get excited just thinking about Ranbir Kapoor but I don't dig the guy (yet) and so I'm just enormously apathetic about everything he's in and people are all a-squee over this and I'm just like, "really? umm I guess I should but I dunno.." and this is becoming a problem.

Luck by Chance - You know, I began this, and I was like "oh it's all right" and then I read what people thought and it was like this huge cult of LbC and it was all "best thing ever!!!" and I've been apathetic about seeing it ever since. It's got Farhan, it's commenting on the industry itself.. Why am I so unenthusiastic? Weird, yaar.

13B - Maddy's done another Hindi film and I totally missed it! Shame self, shame.

Paa, Kurbaan, New York, Rocket Singh - Maybe? But all of them are pretty big maybies.

Well, that was all pretty dull. Let's just wing this one!

Biggest "This Lady is Awesome and Should Get Better Roles" Realization in '09 (For Me Personally, Obviously):
Lara Dutta. I think Billu and a rewatch of Jhoom Barabar Jhoom did it for me. Get with the times, Bollywood! She's foxy and charming and could do with better offers.

Biggest Reason I Really Should Leave The House More:
Spotting Priyanka Chopra on the cover of a Finnish women's magazine. Right under her chin the headline reads, "Safe love and how you can get it". I won't act like this is the height of fame but it cheered up my day.

Biggest "Bollywood Hits Western Consciousness" Moments:
Slumdog Millionaire's Bollywood-inspired dance sequence (clumsy but worthwhile) and ARR at the Oscars was a positive. Continuing Benny Lava-fever on the other continues to made me grumpy, this year I found a way to phrase why.

Most Fun Rewatches:
Andaz Apna Apna & later on, Khiladi. Proving nothing beats the 90's. Nothing. No, really.

Times Spent Wishing for a Time Machine:
A few. Mostly when rewatching Vinod Khanna films or at certain points of Chandi Chowk to China, because somebody really should've advised everybody against making that movie.

Times I Wrote A Plot Outline for a Film:
Only once, if you can believe it.

Times I Wrote A Pretty Serious Thinky-thoughts Post:
A number! Of course, depends on the parameters but there was.. Bollywood & queer representation, cultural appropriation problematizing etc, Chak De India & feminist thinkythoughts, more feminist blabber and Slumdog, Bollywood & "The West". Ain't that nutty.

Biggest "Stars are Just Like Us!" Realization:
Twitter taught me we all tweet boring crap sometimes. Even if we were India's only semi-legit rockstar (Vishal of Vishal-Shekhar), Amitabh's only son (Abhishek Bachchan) or an amazingly beautiful and talented actress (Lara Dutta, Preity Zinta, Priyanka Chopra), we would.

And that concludes my filmi year 2009. Have a great New Year, you guys. See you next year.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Indian Film Advent Calendar #24: The one script to completely disgarded.

Writing a plot outline to a successful Hindi film - how hard can it be? Armed with only some pictures and an imagination largely unused for the better part of this decade, I set to task.

This is going to be largely nonsensical, probably terrible and any resemblances to existing Hindi films are intentional and nonconsequential because nobody's going to make this, right? Right?! (All producers reading, if you're crazy enough to give me money - it is the season of giving in my part of the world! - the email is culling.songs@gmailDOTcom.)

The film is simply called - Paramparaparamparamparamparapa... bas! (short international title: P..b! or Pb or What, Are You Kidding Me? or Nobody Is Going to Ever Make/Watch This Movie). Our story takes place in an alternative historical universe, where India exists in a peculiar timewarp between our current world and ancient Mesopotamia. Only not really. Think Dharam-Veer, only less sensical, because historical accuracy has never been my strong point. But to make this wildly unique, the universe is entirely of its own. Anything can happen ..and does!

Aamir Khan plays Ram, a humble prince of The Royal Kingdom of Neo-India (the old one was run into the ground by an emperor played by Uday Chopra - there was a flashback scene of this but we cut it out ..instantly), who just want to drink Coke and find the love of his life. Little does he know that he is actually second-in-line to the throne, and separated at birth from his identical twin (yes! wait, what?)..

..Raju, played by Akshay Kumar. As you can see, Raju works as a humble mechanic nowadays, constantly covered in oil but not always wearing shirts. But for the sake of the censors and the health and safety of the audience, he does always keep his jeans buttoned up. Promise!

Raju was kidnapped as a baby by an evil witch Roberta (played by black-and-white-Helen, because with modern technology we can do that sort of stuff). After the witch passed away, her clumsy, evil son Robert (played by Akshaye Khanna) left Raju to live with a childless mechanic Girilal (played by ..uhh we'll figure it out later - he'll probably die a tragic death early on in order for Raju to feel a sense of loss and make sure he stands up to the evil that is the Kingdom).

But little does he know that Robert is still around! Doing ..something evil! Look at that evil grin! So evil!

So Raju loses his guardian and after wiping some of the excess motor oil - but not all, are you crazy? - he goes to the King (which are mostly just images of Prithviraj Kapoor from Mughal-e-Azam because we gotta save money somewhere!) and demands justice. Because, you know, if it weren't for the awful kingdom and their taxes and something something, his guardian Girilal would be still alive today! There he meets Ram, and the two brothers clash over the issue of oil costs. Stern political debate follows. Statistics are brought up. We'll probably cut that bit out.

To solve the issue, Ram has to go visit Raju's workshop and there he runs into..

Sita, Girilal's daughter whose mother passed away years ago. She has separated herself from the world of motor oil and instead writes poetry, helps sick children and models on occasion. You know, the usual. Ram naturally falls in love with her but disguises the fact by pretending to be a university friend of Raju's. Sita questions this because Raju never went to university. Ram explains this is the university of mechanics design and time travel. He demonstrates this by singins a song where they are transported to 1990's Switzerland. Sita is impressed and falls in love with him.

Meanwhile Robert plots something evil to overthrow the King and kill Ram. His initial plan of turning the 90's Switzerland in which Ram and Sita (hey, that sounds familiar -- maybe I'm just imagining things) have travelled to into a molten lava pit, but his actions are thwarted by ...

Satyajit, a magical angel (played by Shahrukh Khan), who has protected the twins (yes, really!) Ram and Raju and has since their birth. He was, however, at a wedding when the evil witch Roberta kidnapped Raju, but can you blame him? Who wants to miss out on a wedding? Free food, good music!

Raju, after having cleaned up most of the motor oil off and wearing a shirt, meanwhile is researching the price of oil at the National Library of The Royal Kingdom of Neo-India's Capital City Archives, where he runs into...

..a university student named Nisha (portrayed by Katrina Kaif). They debate the cost of motor oil and whether one is allowed to dog-ear library book pages. Nisha thinks it's perfectly acceptable, while Raju thinks it's sabotaging otherwise good books. They part ways in anger but can't get the arguments out of their minds.

And they probably fall in love, too. There's a song.

At the palace, the little sister of our heroes, Princess Ratnapriya (played by Raima Sen), has a problem of being courted by our terrible villain Robert and as if that's not enough, he has cast her under a spell to manipulate Ram into killing Raju. Ram, after falling in love with Raju's beautiful sister, however doesn't want to kill the man, as he is now forced to pretend their friends, which they are not. Comedy ensues. (Possibly. It might actually not be funny at all. If all fails, we'll do another time-travel scene.)

Satyajit the Angel - or as the audience calls him, Shahrukh - is observing the situation and making popcorn. There is a song sequence where he romances The Devil (played by Kajol), because we've got to draw people into theaters somehow, and borrowing a page from Karan Johar never killed anybody (if it has, please contact me immediately).

As luck should have it, and because if you think you're tired of reading this, I am far too tired of typing it, the Chancellor Daman (Boman Irani) who is like an advisor type person to the King finds a hankerchief that belongs to the evil witch Roberta at Raju's shop while visiting it to get a repair job on his scooter. This proves to Daman that Raju is indeed Rajeev, the missing prince who inexpicably ended up with a similar name under the guard of his former father-figure Girilal. He rushes to let Ram know of this discovery, but his attempt is thwarted by the evil Robert who challenges Daman into a game of internet karom, his only weakness.

Then Robert realizes he could've used magic and so he does, making Daman fall asleep against his keyboard.

Upon seeing this, Satyajit decides it's time to swing into angelic action, but he finds his hands tied - his powers are limited and he cannot tell the brothers that they are indeed brothers as him speaking would blow up their puny human minds. So he does what any good employee does - call his boss to ask how to deal with the situation.

So the Creator Of All Things, Yes, All Things (Rani Mukherjee) decides to some stuff needs to go down and fast.

And she employs all of her powers and sends her God Squad to help out Satyajit.

There's Goddess of Beauty (Deepika Padukone)...

..God of Gambling (Abhishek Bachchan)...

Goddess of Grace (Sharmila Tagore)

God of Non-chalance (Saif Ali Khan) and finally..

..Goddess of Dance (Hema Malini). You know, all the important ones. Obviously.

The God Squad is set to help Satyajit prevent the marriage between Princess Ratnapriya and Robert, which would allow him to directly get the throne after poisoning Ram and Raju at the wedding banquet (this is so why I never eat at weddings). During all this, Daman has woken up and is rushing to the palace to deliver the hankerchief that proofs the connection between Ram and Raju. But as the wedding festivities begin, Robert has one more ace up his sleeve not even the God of Gambling could've detected... Robert has the power of black magic to summon Death Himself (Vinod Khanna), pictured here with his missus, the lovely Lady Deceit (Neetu Singh), to aid him in his wicked deeds.

As Death Himself and the God Squad do battle on the metaphysical realm (which looks a lot like the glorious fields of Punjab), Raju comes to terms with the fact that Ram is in love with his (sort of-)sister Sita, and the price of motor oil is still rising. However, after developing a deep affection for books, he has now decided to quit his mechanic business and go to university to get closer to Nisha.

Little does anybody know that Nisha too is of royal descent, and secretly the princess of 1990's Switzerland, who has decided to study in Neo-India in order to avoid being recognized.

Wedding festivities continue (there's a song or twelve - hey, it worked for HAHK!) and Daman finally reaches the palace with the hankerchief that proves the brothers to be brothers. The truth comes out just as Satyajit reveals the wedding banquet to be poisoned and Robert's mother to be the evil kidnapper of Raju. Robert breaks down, claiming he did all his evil actions because of love for his mother, who has now passed away. He releases Ratnapriya from his spell, but it turns out Satyajit had already done that, and Ratnapriya was truly in love with Robert, secretly hoping her love would redeem him and his evil past.

Robert begs the princes to allow him to make amends with himself and being as magnanimous as Ram and Raju are, both being so humble and noble human beings, they agree to this - but they banish Robert from the Kingdom and insist that he transport himself to 1970's Hindi film industry, which they've heard is a pretty cool place. Ratnapriya decides to go with him, because she's a huge fan of Amitabh Bachchan.

Death Himself leaves the scene unnoticed and instead of a wedding between Robert and Ratnapriya, the festivities continue celebrating the reunion of the brothers and their love for the young women they met during these amazing (well, sort of) adventures they had and of course, the lowering price of motor oil.

And they all lived happily ever after.

Especially Satyajit, who took permanent residence in 90's Switzerland, and met a pretty cool girl on Eurorail...


This is the final Indian Film Advent Calendar post as it's now Christmas Eve. Happy Holidays to those who celebrate something during this time of year, have a great end of '09 for those who do not. Thanks for reading and not getting bored with these posts. It's been fun writing them!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

IFAC #23: There's a reason we all know what "deewana" and "paagal" mean..

Thanks to the Twitterati folks for coming up with suggestions for topics of my last two entries in this Advent Calendar. It's shown me exactly why I don't blog about Indian films daily - I feel like I keep repeating myself, the same talking points and I just kind of get sick of my own words.

But today's topic is the craziest things you've done out of love for Indian films. Numerized list in no particular order of my own pagali things follows. To be honest, they're not all that crazy.

1. Blow 40 euros on a DVD. This was, in retrospect, simply really stupid. But back then I didn't know of anything better! I didn't know how to order films online, where to order from, what places to trust etc. So instead I took a painstakingly long route to ensure I'd have DDLJ to watch and rewatch until end of time. I ordered through a shop in Finland, who ordered the DVD through some other means they had (probably a shop in the UK) and through that, I got my damn DDLJ DVD. But the cost, plus the fact I had to pick it up from the shop myself to avoid extra costs? Not cool at all. Thankfully I've learned a thing or two since then. But sometimes I think it was worth it, because DDLJ is really that much a favourite.

2. Force my friend to take the longest metro ride ever to buy some Tamil DVDs. London, early 2008. An agonizingly long metro ride and walk to Colliers Wood, a part of London seldom visited by tourists, I'm sure. And what for? Ayngaran Video, of course! But what can I say? So so worth it. The DVD's are way cheaper than in their online shop, but still good Ayngaran quality, the guy who worked there was super nice and recommended good films (which I knew to be good because I'd already seen them!) and I ended up buying way more than I intended and good times was had by all. Well. Not sure about my friend...

3. One word: fanvids. Be it Sakshay set to Spice Girls, more Sakshay set to Spice Girls, a celebration of Saif&Shahrukh hosting or Siddharth + Sufjan Stevens, I'm a classy, classy fanvidder. Who's actually not very good.

4. Decorating with filmi posters, regardless of how cheesy they are.

The thing is, I've completely lost touch with the outside world in regards to what is cool and unique and what is just painfully cheesy and cringeworthy in terms of interior decoration. Somebody might walk into my room and be all, "Oh god she's crazy I have to get out of here!" but I just look around my room, my cheesy posters (I admit I unironically adore the Keemat poster - yes, really .. so much leather and awesome ladies, how could I not?) and I just feel kind of ..home?

5. Two words: Sakshay Manifesto. Oh, you haven't seen it? Click on this (it's in my livejournal).

I mean this is really something. I can just imagine myself explaining this to a total ignoramus of all things Indian cinema.

"You see, there are these two Indian actors. They both had careers a little above the gutter during the 90's, and they did some films together.."

"Oh, were the films good?"

"Not really. Well, some of them are. Well, one of them is okay, some of them are worth watching for the cheese and the rest aren't really worth mentioning."


"But I sort of developed this odd fondness for the films and these two guys acting alongside one another. I mean, they're just really good together. Actingwise. Well, sort of anyway."

"...I see."

Hell, sometimes I feel like even most Hindi film fans wouldn't understand. Sometimes I don't even quite understand it myself.

Maybe I really am nuts.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

IFAC #22: My top five of Bollywood heroes.

I wrote a post about my favourite heroines nearly two years ago and decided to finally work out a top five ..ish of my favourite heroes. This one was arguably a lot harder to make. It bears mentioning that since male characters are at the forefront of pretty much every film, they tend to also be better-written and developed and simply more interesting. So this list was pretty much impossible to compose and I had to leave out a bunch of characters I love. I suppose more accurately this could be "top five of my favourites right on this moment", as it might look different if I typed it two months from now, or even tomorrow.

In no particular order.

Amar from Andaz Apna Apna

I know you're all thinking, what, seriously? Yes. Seriously. Heroes come in all sorts; ranging from pacifist to violent, poetic to plain-spoken, funny to serious, but rarely are they as mistakenly ambitious and as absolutely certain of themselves as Amar is. He's an absolute riot as the selfish, cocky, confident bewakoof (fool) that he is, and I love him for it. I think more often than not, my love for an actor boils down to one role that I absolutely loved them in, and for Aamir it's probably this one. I liked a lot of what I saw of him after AAA, but Amar was something else. Truly.

Raj from Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge

Oh how cliché of me. But as I've said before, Raj is the reason I will always love Shahrukh on some level, even if I don't understand what his biggest fans see in him, or why he's king over all others. There's something so great and simple about this character - he's an inconsiderate goof but learns to be more than that, and ends up being the quintessential romantic hero. And he maintains that sense of humor throughout the movie. It's just wonderful.

Rikki from Jhoom Barabar Jhoom
Bunty/Rakesh from Bunty aur Babli

Two Abhishek Bachchan characters get to share this spot simply because I couldn't really choose between them. BaB was the film where I knew I had to see more of this actor, but both roles sort of encapture why I love Abhishek so much. They're both funny, goofy characters, but terribly lovable because of it. The sort of roles I think Abhishek was truly meant for .. though I don't want to undermine the quality of his serious roles, either.

Santosh from Nuvvostanante Nenoddantana

The more I think about the parameters of this post, the more characters I want to include. It's tough, especially considering how I now notice similarities between these heroes; they all seem to be carved out of the same tree. Most of them are more funny than romantic, which is exactly the kind of thing I don't mind at all. NVNN takes from DDLJ and Maine Pyaar Kiya, both movies I really enjoyed. I'm not sure how much Santosh as a character takes from Prem and Raj, but I do know I love him, at all stages of his journey, from the hyper child to the determined young man.

What's interesting is that I also noticed how similar my favourite heroine characters were - and how no film, at least according to these lists, has both my favourite heroine types and my favourite hero types in them. I guess it's all about how a film is a driven by one character. The heroines I named definitely seemed to be driving the story in their films - at least in some ways. In other instances, the hero is usually the one who the film is centered around. Sometimes it's pretty much equal between the two (like BaB).

Monday, December 21, 2009

IFAC #21: Bollywood and queer theory; thoughts.

Yesterday I watched a really fascinating documentary called The Celluloid Closet (1995) about the depiction of lesbian and gay characters in Hollywood films. Naturally my thoughts turned to Bollywood, where a lot of the similar patterns were recognizable, but the social context is so different, that the depictions vary as well.

It goes without saying that in a country where homosexuality was made legal only a short while back, the depiction of gay and lesbian people in cinema has been very limited, very veiled and often completely unspoken of. With gay rights movement making strides in recent US history, it felt like the scriptwriters of the 50's could now sit down in front of the camera and admit to writing homosexual relationships and characters in a veiled manner. They could admit they knew what they were doing, writing the subtext, and so could the actors, without fear of stigmatization. Bollywood doesn't seem to have this freedom, and it's not likely that it will radically gain it in the next couple of years.

Censorship is one massive part of film-making I think we fans - including myself - often forget about. Reading the little I have about the Hayes code that affected Hollywood for decades and the tough censorship that continues to affect Hindi cinema. The hoops directors have to jump through to get their film out there are incredible, it seems like a constant debate and compromise to please the censors, whether the issue is cursing, violence, sexual content or depiction of religious groups. So it's no wonder that even if a director is brave enough to tackle a subject like homosexuality openly, the issues they might run into when trying to release the film could be paramount.

But what have we seen? We've seen characters possibly coded - or definitely coded - as homosexual, often as the stereotype of the feminine male character, or as the documentary labeled the cliché in Hollywood films old and new, "the sissy". The idea naturally being of gay people as existing in some sort of state between sexes - they're not fully male, but they're not fully female, either. The Hollywood stereotype doesn't quite extend to the Bollywood one, because the Indian context has no great lack of "third gender" individuals in the form of hijras. I'm not Indian, so I can't really analyze hijras or their significance - based on what I've seen in movies, it seems like there's an ambivalence towards them. In a lot of scenes, they are there to make somebody uncomfortable. They're rarely heroes, but they can be of help to the hero (like in Amar Akbar Anthony).

We've seen some honest-to-god gay characters in cinema in recent years. The best one that deserves to be brought up and applauded, has to be Onir's My Brother Nikhil. The story of a Goan swimmer (played by Sanjay Suri) who becomes India's first HIV-positive patient and the ostracization and humiliation he faces is touching and gripping, and the fact that Nikhil is gay and has a boyfriend, Nigel (played by Purab Kohli), is merely one string of the plot. In a very Indian manner, the struggles he faces also affect his family, and particularly his sister (Juhi Chawla) is there for him.

Then there are Konkona Sen Sharma and her characters in Life a Metro as well as Page 3. In both films, her briefly brilliant boyfriend turns out to be a closeted gay man who she walks in on having sex with another man. Now, gay or not, that's a scumbag thing to do to a girl - cheating, that is. So while both films are somewhat understanding of the circumstances, as it's not easy being gay in a country where the group struggles for rights and for visibility, the depictions are not very positive.

I suppose very telling of Bollywood's attitudes and how much there is still left to go is the film Dostana, which I've discussed - and ranted about - extensively before. Dostana has a field day on depicting gay people as "sissies". Dostana also takes great joy in playing with the idea of homosexuality between its male leads, but pedals back before you can even begin to process the possibility, at least when it comes to the film's marketing. Lure them in, but then pull back - no, no, no, they're straight, so straight, I can't believe you would even suggest they're not straight! Even though everything from the first promo is flirting non-stop with the very same idea.

But I suppose social change has to happen before the cinema that millions and millions enjoy catches up.

Another topic that was brought up in the documentary film, and which feels very strange for me to discuss in this context, is the question of subtext. Nowadays Hollywood script writers can feel comfortable discussing the subtext they wrote into their movies, slyly depicting homosexuality at a time when it was strictly forbidden. But when it comes to Bollywood, the question of subtext is a lot blurrier and tougher to pin down. What movie has it, what does not? In the end it's an interpretation as any other, but is it really there? Is it intentional or entirely imagined by the viewer who chooses to see things like that? I don't feel comfortable labeling films, apart from a few exceptions, because of my obviously different cultural background. And I'm sure not even the bravest of journalists would be courageous enough to bring up movies that may have subtext up with directors, writers or actors, and ask about their intentions. Did they do it intentionally, did they not? Even if they did, could they admit it?

These are just unorganized thoughts for a conversation starter. I don't claim any sorts of expertise on the subject, and haven't really looked into queer theory beyond watching the above-mentioned documentary. I trust you to comment on this intelligently, but should any homophobia emerge in the comments, I'll make sure to delete that crap straight away.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

IFAC #19: The obligatory Analytics post.

Every blogspot blogger loves Google Analytics, because to find out what people search for to end up on our blogs is hilarious. I've often mentioned these hilarious searches to people over IM but never made the obligatory "search key words" post. So here it is, get ready!

1. "haiku of farhan khan"

Um.. Either they mean Farah Khan or Farhan Akhtar. Since the latter one inspires more poetry in me, I'll freestyle a haiku. However, as it so happens, I don't really know how syllables work in English and haiku-ing in Finnish is easier so I'll just do that.

voi Farhan mä en
nimeäsi hämmennä
lohi sukeltaa.

Translation: Oh Farhan, I don't / confuse your name / the salmon dives.

2. "cultural proximity in kabhi kushi kabhi gham"

Hot damn, them's big words. While I wish I was able to pick apart KJo's films using such interesting terminology, I kind of don't have the interest, so ..sorry!

3. "im white but like bollywood movies"

Um. You're not alone?

4. "look a shiny thing"

Sorry, not much sparkle here! Unless you find Indian films shiny, which I personally do.

5. "purab kohli wife"

Dude, if I was his wife, I would not spend my days blogging about films. Or maybe I would, but I would also keep a secret blog secretively titled "HOLY SHIT you guys I am Purab Kohli's wife how did my life get this awesome?!".

Disclaimer: I don't know if Purab Kohli has a wife, and if he does, I mean no disrespect to his wife by the above paragraph. I'm sure if she exists, she has better things to do than keep a blog. As would I, if I was really his wife.. God this paragraph is getting creepier than the last one, I better stop writing it.

6. "what is it called when they dance at the end of indian movies"

I think it's just called a dance at the end of a movie. If it's during the credits and obviously has nothing to do with the film, it could be a promotional song. Why am I answering a random Googler's question seriously?

7. "why did they dance slumdog millionaire"

I bet this and the person before are the same guy. Sigh. Listen, dude. Boyle came to India and worked with a lot of Indians and probably got an idea to end his movie off with a dance sequence in "Bollywood style" even though it wasn't really Bollywood style because Bollywood films rarely end on an elaborate song and dance sequence because audiences in Indian theaters typically start leaving when they know how the movie ends and don't stick around for the credits. It's just a little homage. It's no big deal in the context of Slumdog.

8. "mullet dance"

Nobody wants to see a mullet dance, yaar. Unless it's at the end of Slumdog Millionaire, in which case I would know Danny Boyle really knew his Indian films..

9. "manpain definition"

Angsty dudes. Come to think of it, I don't use this often enough to have it in my intro post's glossary. Shame, self, shame.

10. "saif"

Short and simple. I hope he had "SaifSearch" turned on! Ha ha ha -- oh forget it.

Friday, December 18, 2009

IFAC #18: Love, then and now - the Saif fangirl conundrum.

I was going to rehash another Livejournal post, one about my favourite Indian actors, and just repost it. But then I got all troubled about the list being years old, and which changes I'd have to make to it and whether I could really put everybody in order of preference in the first place.

The main problem was that the list had Saif Ali Khan as my favourite Indian actor. Now, maybe in 2007 that was easy enough, but since then my relationship with Saif as an actor has become very difficult and bizarre and strangely problematic for somebody who's seen over 20 of his films (more films than I've seen by any other actor, I should point out).

I wonder if it's just the films he's been in and the picks he's made. Like I said in my 2006 post, it's really easy to be a fan when the guy does movies like Omkara and Being Cyrus. But since '06? It's a list of disappointments of varying degrees.

I did not enjoy Eklavya much. I had a major problem with Tara Rum Pum. Race was absolute garbage, and no amount of shirtlessness could save it (yes, that bad). Tashan is a movie that makes me bipolar - one day I love it to death, the next day I sigh at the wasted opportunity. Thoda Pyaar Thoda Magic is actually the most recent movie of his that I really love. Too bad I'm the only one (poor Kunal Kohli - if I ever get to meet him, I'll buy him a cup of chai and I can tell him, "I get what you were doing, yaar. I get it.")

Now there's Love Aaj Kaal and Kurbaan, two '09 releases I haven't seen yet and honestly, I don't know when I will. I feel obligated, in the same way I feel obligated to follow the careers of my other big favourites. Only it's a lot easier to watch a Vikram film or an Aamir film. With Saif I've sort of tied myself into this weird fangirl continuity, because there's an emotional investment, however small, in how his career's going. Not just in terms of box office, since I'm BO-ignorant in general. It's more about how good the movies are, and how well he does in them. I have no clue whether I'll even like LAK - something tells me I won't like Kurbaan.

Anyway, this is way too many words on quite a simple subject at the end of the day. I'm a fairly critical person, but poor Saif, with his godawful early career, often gets me on my most critical. I just don't want him to go down the Crapola Path again. And so I'm continuously overly harsh. But it's love, really.

Well, most of the time, it's love. Other times, it's complicated.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

IFAC #17: Near-wordless Hema day.

[Sholay; Jugnu; Tum Haseen Main Jawaan (with Dharmendra); Meera; Laal Patthar; old photos from magazines.]

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

IFAC #16: Youtube gem re: best film ever.

Yes, it is indeed a Making Of/promotional interviews for Main Khiladi Tu Anari. I remember watching this and trying to decipher the Hindi in it. I think at some point Saif says a film like this has never been made before. Correctomundo!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Monday, December 14, 2009

IFAC #14: (Near-)Wordless Vikram Day.

[Kanthasamy promo still; Anniyan; Meera; Dhool; Arul; Kanthasamy screencap unedited because I haven't yet been able to screencap the film in full and edit all my screencaps.]