19 May 2009

Marigold: Ack, they're playing Dhadak Dhadak! A good big chunk of it, too. Easily amused, I am.
Yes, I'm watching Marigold. The idea of a romance starring Ali Larter and Salman Khan was just too mindboggling NOT to watch.
Marigold: She lands at Bombay airport, then takes a 10hr taxi to Goa? Are there no flights to Goa? Must brush up on my travel knowledge.

10 May 2009

Confession No. 4



Yes, I loved Fanaa. It blew me away. It was one of the very first Bollywood films I ever saw, and I had never heard of the Hindi film masala format where a light-hearted romp with a naïve(ish) blind girl on vacation with her friends and a scarf-wearing rascal(ish) tour guide could suddenly turn into an action drama of the type it turned into, namely

[SPOILER ALERT - highlight the blank space to see]


a terrorism action drama, with the romantic hero of the first half becoming the villain of the second half; or if not the villain, then at least a conflicted bomber-type person in love.

What? Who knew that was going to happen? Obviously not me.


I saw the movie in the theatre, so there was a proper fifteen-minute intermission, and I can still remember how boggled I was at the turn it took right before the end of the first half (as well as how the intermission chai and samosas tasted, too, mmm. I can smell the cardamom now).  Maybe it's just me and I am an idiot about not paying attention to what's going to happen next; I can usually be easily surprised at plot twists in films because I like to let the movie happen without trying to think too far ahead about how it will come out. And maybe if I had seen other films like it before, I would have had some idea what was coming, but at any rate, I was not prepared.

Oddly enough, though, I was prepared in one tiny area: I had seen the website of the film, which was quite fancy and high-end (lots of Flash) in preparation for seeing the movie, and it drilled the soundtrack into my head. And I also somehow knew that this film was Kajol's big comeback after six years away from films to have children (even though I didn't have any previous knowledge of who Kajol really was)

Fanaa 1 Kajol

and that the buzz was that Aamir Khan was thought to be a little too old to be playing that particular hero, or not as good-looking as he would have been several years earlier (I don't know, I didn't see any problem at the time, but now I can kind of see their point, sort of).

Fanaa 2 Aamir Khan


My experience with Bollywood/Indian films up to that point consisted of Monsoon Wedding, Bride and Prejudice, and a couple of Aishwarya films, neither of which had the clearly enormous budget that had been lavished on Fanaa. The fancy movie website! The "Des Rangeela" dance number in the outdoor amphitheatre with the packed audience! That huge beautiful cabin in the mountains! I was totally smitten. And boggled.   

09 May 2009


I went over to Anarchivist's house lthe night before last to watch Billu Barber, and when the film was over and the credits rolled, I turned to her and said, "Priyanka Chopra was in this film? Where?"  My brain acknowledged all the other big stars in Billu: Lara Dutta as Irfan Khan's wife - check; Om Puri as the cheapskate villager - check; Deepika Padukone with Shah Rukh Khan in the sci-fi film set number and then Kareena Kapoor again with Shah Rukh in the "Maarjani" song - check and check. But, Priyanka, no. Even after I vowed to remember what she looked like, after I watched and liked her performances in Salaam-e-Ishq and Dostana, somehow she managed to totally get past me here again in Billu. This girl needs to get a job as a spy. 

Confession No. 3

Next up in the I-did-not-like-at-all-but-everyone-else-seems-to-love department: Dil Se.

I did not like this from the beginning, nor in the middle (I never really bought into the so-called love story), nor at the end (well, okay, the ending was dramatic, but if you have zero investment in the story . . . ).

I watched Dil Se right after reading two very long discussions (the first one over at Beth Loves Bollywood, about the Chak De! India scene where the girls beat up some boys who harass them at McDonald's, and the related discussion of so called "eve-teasing" [i.e. harassing of women; what a terrible euphemism] over at IndieQuill), and I couldn't help but notice that Amarkanth's (Shah Rukh Khan's) behavior in Dil Se matched some of the descriptions of  eve-teasing I had just been reading about in all the blog comments.  It was stalking! He mooned over her, just wouldn't leave her alone when she gave him no encouragement whatsoever (that I could see), and was generally a pest. Blehhh. Maybe I wasn't paying enough attention, but I didn't see that Meghna (Manisha Koirala) had any inner opinions one way or the other about how he behaved to her. He pushed, she didn't reciprocate, he pushed some more, she acquiesced. She accepted his behavior toward her but it didn't seem to matter to her what her own feelings were, or what she herself thought of the whole "relationship". That may have been part of what her character was going through and related to the past problems she was already dealing with, but I just couldn't handle it.

And to top it all off, the movie was BORING.

On the other hand, and this is getting ahead of myself to Confession No. 4, but I loved another drama with a similar theme that everyone else seemed to think was garbage! There is no accounting for taste!