Dearest dears, according to a philosophy which says that every ...so they dance! post is somebody's first, let me once again explain NIF. It quite simply means Non-Indian Film [fan/ enthusiast/ viewer/ follower] and was invented on the BollyWHAT? discussion forums when people needed a name for those friends of theirs who weren't too into the whole crazy Indian film business and in most cases didn't quite "get it", or were in the process of "getting it", ie. warming up to the films that fans of this type of cinema gobbled up like it was pie they could never have enough of.
For the purpose of this blog, NIF mostly refers to friends I watch films with, who might've been a great number of films but aren't quite fanatic enough to buy them on their own or watch them on their own. That, or they're utter newbies, but curious enough to come over and let me pop one in the DVD player.
This past autumn I've had a number of NIF film nights, so I thought I'd share some stories.
How Anthony Ended Up on a Skate-boarding Video
Some university friends were invited over and I presented them with many options; comedies, romantic films, straight-forward masalas - whatever they wanted, we could watch. They picked, surprisingly enough, the classic 1977 Desai-masala Amar Akbar Anthony. Well enough, though I warned them that films of this type were a little out there with the epicness of the storylines but also, well, pretty much everything. Still, this was no Dharam-Veer so I figured we were on safe grounds.
The film went down well, with all its twists and turns and action. It's no short wonder the film's such a classic. The only thing I regret is that my DVD has no subtitled songs, so I was forced to try and remember what each song was about - when nobody understands the lyrics, they miss the context of the song, which can be absolutely essential in these older films. So that was rather a shame. Of course, there is that one English song - My Name Is Anthony Gonsalves - which is utterly delightful.
At some point, a bit of which I couldn't find a screencap, Anthony shows the inside of his tux jacket to reveal the number 420. This caused amusement in one viewer who quipped, "Oh, I have to get a screencap of that!". Now this was for the reasons obvious to anybody who doesn't automatically associate the number with the Indian penal code for 'fraud'.. I did explain this to my friend, but he was still captured by this tiny little bit.
Later, he borrowed the DVD to screencap it himself and told me it was for a skate-boarding video he and his friends were working on. So, congrats, Amitabh Bachchan.. While I'm sure the video is not in wide circulation, that's got to count towards ...something.
Organizing stuff can be a pain in the neck, so after I sent an invitation to another Bollytastic film night to a bunch of my uni friends, I had lots of preparations to make. Snacks to buy from the store, room to clean up completely, re-arrange the room for optimal film-viewing, haul all kinds of useless stuff out of the room and back into the cupboard, etc etc. So after I'd done all this, I could just back and wait for the people to arrive. Sadly, only four of them made it, in a car, and the rest gave up on the way, as the drizzle had turned into heavy rain as they began making their way over to my place.
Resigned, the small group of us settled in to watch something, and what my friends picked was 3 Idiots. I felt like a bloody waiter at a restaurant, wanting to congratulate them for an excellent choice. Because, really. 3 Idiots is just a film that works on so many levels, I have absolutely no reservations about showing it to anybody who likes films. Of course, it has got its caveats, its tiny flaws - but they don't diminish the viewing experience. It's just great. The audience reaction was extremely positive. I just would've hoped more people had been able to show up. Better luck next time, I suppose. All izz well..
And I am especially happy that I own the PAL-DVD because it looks smashing, much better than a lot of the other DVD's I've got.
1) Watch Wanted.
2) Repeat step 1.
3) Repeat step 1 until you reach the expected result.
My friend Mog has a really bizarre taste in men. Or rather, fictional men, actor crushes, that sort of thing. She hasn't really been into any Indian actors, at least not in the "ooh, him! I want to see more with him!" type of sense. It's been confusing to me, showing her all these films I really love with actors I really like and she just shrugs.
Now, I sold Wanted to her, Babz and another friend of theirs (who has witnessed the most unfortunate Indian films so far, but that's another story) as a fun action film. While I think I was the one who enjoyed the film the most - I love it to bits, I realize more and more with each rewatch, Wanted is just amazing, and utterly a favourite by now - it worked its ballistic magic on them, as well. And Mog? She kind of loved Salman. To the point that when I left she was busy looking up "Love Me" on youtube.
I understand the Salman love, don't get me wrong. Even older Salman has his moments, and Wanted is definitely one of them. But on the other hand ...really? You fall for this Sallu, not the fresh-faced MPK Sallu or the goofball 90's Sallu, who's still got a fresh face and eyes that look like he's slept well last night, or any of the nights last week? Well. Mog has always been something else. And if she loves Wanted, who am I to say no?
Sigh. Sometimes film viewing goes like that - somebody takes an attitude towards a film and so it doesn't work for them, and that brings the mood down in the whole room. It breaks your heart when it's a favourite that a friend dislikes severely. But sometimes, that's just the way things work out. Sadly.
There were a couple of other films I rewatched with friends recently as well, but I'll end this post here for now so it doesn't get too long and dull. 'Til next time!