Thursday, December 31, 2009

Ishqiya: My most anticipated of 2010!

Okay, okay! I know I promised to get offline today but I couldn't resist when I found these pictures from Ishqiya - taken from here!

People who know my tastes in film know one thing - I adore Arshad Warsi. He is consistently overlooked for reasons that I don't know. Maybe because he isn't from a filmi family? Or maybe he's unpleasant in real life? I have no idea. But what I do know is that I will see the crappiest movies because Arshad Warsi is in them. So, imagine my delight when he appears in what looks like it's going to be a phenomenal film... and opposite somebody who can actually act: Vidya Balan. Well, then you have my most anticipated film of 2010.

So, Vishal Bhardwaj is on my naughty list after boring me to death with Kaminey but I think this might just redeem him because it looks like it has that Filmi Girl Filmi Necessity - AN EMOTIONAL HOOK. Also, Vidya Balan appears to DO STUFF in the film unlike Piggy Chops in Kaminey - but maybe that's because he can trust Vidya to, you know, act.

The delays due to censorship, Vidya swearing, etc. only make me MORE anxious to see this, so I'm really excited that it's finally coming out on January 29th and the OST release is set for January 10th!



3 "Idiots"? No, 3 amazing actors!

The rest of these are "behind-the-scenes" snaps!





And a song trailer with the most hilarious title on youtube of ALL TIME!



Thursday Gossip! Happy New Year's Eve Edition!

Hi, all! This is going to be short today because I have a friend visiting...

Okay! Basically the one story that is dominating the Bollywood news right now is:

* AAMIR KHAN PWNS THE WORLD WITH 3 Idiots.

He's mashing records for Bollywood films overseas and at home grossing 100 crore in just days and is up for 21 Star Screen Awards. Of course, Aamir himself won't be showing up to collect them. (The full list of nominations is here.)

* Check out the top grossing films in Mumbai.

* Read an interview with Omi Vaidya who played Chatur in the film.

* Abbas Tyrewalla thinks Rocket Singh was a terrible film.

* And Bollywood folk list their worst films of 2009! Most were too polite to name anything but here are some highlights (lowlights?):

Piyush Jha - Even though I directed it, I believe worst film of the year was Sikandar. That's because no one saw it and the media totally ignored its significance. Perhaps that happened because Sikandar didn't have stars/big backers/comic entertainment. Whatever is the reason, the fact is Sikandar was ignored, and that is the real truth. [note from FG - HA HA HA!! Somebody is bitter...]

Tusshar Kapoor - Worst of 2009 would be all those films that were released during the strike. Ha ha ha!

Ramesh Taurani - Victory, which came at the beginning of the year, stays on to be the worst film of 2009 for me.

That's all she wrote today! And I hope we'll all be doing this tonight!!!




Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Best Dances of 2009!

The end-of-year lists keep flying fast and furious but I'm going to add one more to the mix!

The tail end of the 2000s has seen two trends rise up in Bollywood hand-in-hand: a) the preference for montages over picturizations and b) the beginning/ending credits song. While I have no problem with the second, I find the first troubling. Bollywood producers clearly understand that people enjoy hearing original songs in films but a certain segment of the Bollywood production fraternity also finds it embarrassing. The resulting compromise between throwing a bone to the masses and 'competing' with Hollywood is the half-assed song montage -- which bores and annoys me.

To that end, I bring you a list of some of my favorite dances of year! A celebration of the joys of song picturizations!

In no particular order:

#1 "Chandni Chowk to China" from Chandni Chowk to China


Choreographer: Pony Verma

Why? I'm one of the few people who enjoyed the entire film but even haters have to admit that this picturization is pretty darn entertaining! I hate on Deepika a lot but she manages to be just the right amount of charming and haughty here and Akki looks especially good in his 1940s look. Pony Verma does a great job wrangling the herds of back-up dancers for a seamless picturization.

#2 "Bhangra Bistar" from Dil Bole Haddipa


Choreographer: Vaibhavi Merchant

Why? Rani the cutest cross-dresser this side of Saira Banu and Rakhi Sawant's over-the-top item girl character is the perfect foil for her. I love the somewhat seedy aesthetics of the setting and the stagy choreography. The entire song is a ridiculously fun romp!

#3 "Aa Gale Lag Jaa" from De Dana Dan


Choreographer: I couldn't find it. Anybody know?

Why? It's a sultry, rain-soaked gem of a song picturization. This is what directors are missing when they give us boring montages of the hero and heroine gazing in each other's eyes. From the close-ups of Kat's butt wiggling in her drenched sari to the candy-colored fantasy background, I have yet to tire of this song.

#4 "Ghazab" from Aa Dekhen Zara


Choreographer: Harshall-Vitthal

Why? It's a party and Bipasha Basu is firmly in charge! She rules this picturization with an iron fist and I love watching Neil Nitin Mukesh try to keep up. With the gritty bar setting and actual Thai back-up dancers, it's a fun song and an unusual visual treat!

(Check out the making of! I didn't know Shaan was so cute.)

#5 "Ore Saawariya" from Aladin



Why? It's a hilarious send-up of those wedding songs where the hero and heroine spar via dance. Except in this case, poor shy Aladin is literally being chased around BY THE SONG! Vocals by Amitabh Bachchan only add to the fun!

#6 "Prem Ki Naiyaa" from Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani


Choreographer: Ahmed Khan

Why? RANBIR KAPOOR! You either like him or you don't and I adore him. The song is a fun celebration of having a crush. I love the part where he is following her through the grocery store. Ranbir is one of the few up and comers who can actually dance and I hope more films take advantage of that fact.

#7 "Le Le Maza Le" from Wanted


Choreographer: Prabhudeva? (I couldn't find anything that said for sure.)

It was so hard to pick just one song from Wanted but when was the last time you saw an old-fashioned cabaret song in a villain's den?! It's all 1975 up in this joint and I LOVE IT!

#8 "Salma O Salma" from Dhoondte Reh Jaoge


Choreographer: I have no idea.

Why? I wish more people had seen this film! It's both a tribute and a send-up to songs like this one- just a guy wooing a girl by doing sexy dance moves with his best buddies. Or something. Whatever - I just like it!

That's all I got - I burned out on "Baaware" and "Kuke Kuke" is funny but needed more Govinda. What about y'all? Favorite dances of 2009?!

ETA: Okay I could resist looking up more songs - I've got the runners up for you!

Runner up #1 "Kuke Kuke" from Life Partner


Why? It's hilarious but there isn't as much dancing as I would like (MOAR GOVINDA PLZ). Check out the cute making of video! Genelia d'Souza is the cutest thing on the planet. Pretty much.

Runner up #2 "Happening" from Main aur Mrs. Khanna


Why? Because I love a mujra! And I love Preity Zinta! It's just a shame that the choreography and costumes are so boring and poor Preity is stuck dancing with some of the woodenest men this side of Aftab Shivdasani.

Runner up #3 "What's Up" from 99


Why? Kunal Khemu dancing is the best thing ever - not the best thing ever, sticking this song over the credits instead of giving Kunal like 10 dance numbers during the film.

Wednesday Morning Gossip!!

Folks in the Washington, D.C. area should hurry up and get their tickets to the big Desi New Year's Eve Party at Heritage! Just one day left!!

You can get your tickets here!

And read more about it: Washington Post, Metromix calls it " worth dressing for", and
NBC Washington!

It should be a good time so hurry and get your tickets!!!

So, now... GOSSIP!

* Actually, no, first is the cutest thing you will read all day - I promise!!!

Prepare yourself, from 14-year old Manpreet Kaur Sandhu in Kuala Lumpur comes this letter on NST.com:

Bollywood films have definitely made an impact this year with the number of movies released. In India, there’s a huge actor and actress fan following. Even in Malaysia, the fan following is not bad at all. Other than the story lines, songs and choreography, some Hindi films send out good messages that should be remembered by everyone.

Don’t stop watching Bollywood movies as they are bound to get better next year!

Click on the link and read the whole thing because it is SO CUTE! (And, apparently, Manpreet and I have exactly the same taste in films.)

* UTV announces their upcoming releases, which include: Chance Pe Dance, Rajneeti, Guzarish, and Delhi Belly!

* Bebo is confirmed for Golmaal 3 - and even better, she is not anyone's love interest! She's doing pure comedy! Also interesting is the choice to include both Sharman Joshi AND Shreyas Talpade. This is going to be hilarious! I can't wait!

* Bollywood Hungama gives a positive review for Pancham Unmixed - the RD Burman retrospective book and DVD.

* Neha Dhupia makes me realize that she is in Rat Gayi Baat Gayi with the folks who did Bheja Fry. I might actually go see this one, now. I like Neha - she was great in Dus Kahaniyan, Singh is Kinng, and De Dana Dan.

* Ahhhh! I love Akshay Kumar!!! He is waiving his fee for the next two films. He explains that if the films are hits, his production house will be getting a share of the profits, so he'll get paid then. It's also nice that he's stable enough in the industry to be able to afford to do this.

* A variety of Bollywood directors list their favorite films:

The lists are a lot of 3 Idiots, Paa, Avatar, blah blah, but here are a few of my favorite favorites:

Tarun Mansukhani: “Wake Up Sid. An actor was discovered, a writer-director was born and a great story was told. What more could be asked for?”

Prakash Jha: “I haven’t had the time to watch any of the films this year.”

Rensil D'Silva: “Dev D. Anurag Kashyap did a fresh take on a story I’ve always disliked. Dev D made me fall in love with the story!”

* I like this review of the OST for Dulha Mil Gaya even though Esha Razdan starts out trashing it. It's a really funny piece; she starts by being annoyed at the retro sounds - especially of "Aaja Aaja Mere Ranjha" - but then finds herself liking it almost despite herself. I've totally done the same thing before with albums (I'm thinking of my Kurbaan review) so it's funny to see somebody else do it.

* How about a LOL!Tastic list of the Worst Films of Year?!

Highlights! (Lowlights?)

Overrated!

KURBAAN - This film has got so many plot holes you'd want to bomb writer Rensil D'Silva's office. Characters, who seem to be smart, convincing and well fleshed out suddenly take buffoonish decisions.

The cringe-inducing scene: Kareena sleeps with terrorist Saif to 'steal some documents' instead of calling the cops. Vivek Oberoi turning into Homer Simpson towards the climax.

Unreasonably Horrid!

WHAT'S YOUR RASHEE - An unfunny, poorly-made, creepy vanity project. Looking at Harman Baweja for 210 minutes is not funny at all.

The Horror: Harman saying 'Jesus Christ!'

Vomit Inducing!

MAIN AUR MRS KHANNA - Utterly ridiculous, flat-out boring, thinly plotted, poorly dialogued trite material that seems better suited for afternoon shows on the small screen.

The Vomitory: Sohail Khan.

* Rajni did some sort of dangerous stunt on a train for Endhiran: OMFG IS THIS COMING OUT ALREADY?

* And I'm concerned that nobody tipped me off to this gem called High School.

Enjoy a song promo with that "oomph" queen Kiran Rathod!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

2000s: A Decade in Review - 2007

Oh, what a year was 2007! I will always remember it fondly as the year I finally lived close enough to a movie theatre that screened Bollywood films that enabled me to be able to go on a regular basis.

Also, this is officially the year that Akshay Kumar stole everyone's hearts with a ridiculous FOUR mega-hits.

THE FILMS

Here are the top grossing films of 2007:

#1
Om Shanti Om


#2
Welcome


#3
Chak De India


#4 Partner


#5
Taare Zameen Par


Other notable films:

The Akshay Kumar No. 1 Ladies Fan Club supported his hits (all of which made the top 10):
Welcome, Bhool Bhuliya, Heyy Babyy, and Namastey London.

For critically acclaimed films, 2007 saw
Guru, The Blue Umbrella, Manorama Six Feet Under, Cheeni Kum, Eklavya, Johnny Gaddar, and Life in a Metro.

Flops that found cult status include
Salaam-e-Ishq, Aaja Nachle, No Smoking, and Jhoom Barabar Jhoom.

And major flops that became cultural touchstones:
Saawariya and Ram Gopal Varma ki Aag.*

*I remember hearing Amitabh talking about this on Love Bollywood. I don't think anyone realized how big a flop this was going to be.

THE ACTORS AND ACTRESSES

The hit jodi of the last few years had its debut in
Namastey London: Akki & Kat!

Shahrukh was King of the World in
Om Shanti Om.

Madhuri Dixit's comeback was hyped and then fizzled.

Rani began her downward slide with two major bombs:
Tara Rum Pum and Lagaa Chunari Mein Daag.

Ranbir Kapoor and Sonam Kapoor debuted and charmed our pants off in
Saawariya.

Kareena and Shahid had a major hit with
Jab We Met and then broke up.

THE FILMFARE AWARDS (awarded 2008)

Best film:
Taare Zameen Par
Best director: Aamir Khan for
Taare Zameen Par
Best actor: Shahrukh Khan for
Chak De! India
Best actress: Kareena Kapoor for
Jab We Met
Best supporting actor: Irrfan Khan for
Life in a... Metro
Best supporting actress: Konkona Sen Sharma for
Life in a... Metro
Best male debut: Ranbir Kapoor for
Saawariya*
Best female debut: Deepika Padukone for
Om Shanti Om

Best music director: A.R. Rahman for
Guru
Best lyricist: Prasoon Joshi for "Maa" from
Taare Zameen Par
Best male playback: Shaan for "Jab Se Tere Naina" from
Saawariya**
Best female playback: Shreya Ghoshal for "Barso Re" from
Guru***

And Filmi Girl's honorary categories, as voted by me, for the awards that Filmfare is now too cool to hand out!

Filmi Girl's Best Villain: Arjun Rampal in
Om Shanti Om
Filmi Girl's Best Comedian: Ranvir Shorey in
Bheja Fry

*And what a debut! "Jab Se Tere Nainaaa..."
**I love Shaan (and this song!)
***This song was the best part of the film.

MEMORABLE SCENES AND SONGS


Mallika Sherawat showing off her comic chops in Welcome! With bonus hilarity from Anil Kapoor and Nana Patekar.


Vidya Balan in Bhool Bhuliya... you might not want to watch this one if you haven't seen the film.


Hero No. 1 of the year... AKSHAY KUMAR smoldering up a storm in Namastey London.


Salman Khan and Priyanka Chopra being adorable in Salaam-e-Ishq.


Ranbir Kapoor making his grand entrance in Saawariya.


The trailer for RGV ki Aag.


The hot couple for one film only... Shahid and Bebo.


And Madhuri's short lived comeback....



Note from Filmi Girl:

I love Bollywood - and all the ridiculous things that happen in Bollywood - but it doesn't mean that I can't occasionally make fun of various celebrities and films.

If you don't like my sense of humor, please just move on by - Trolls are not appreciated and nasty comments will be deleted.

xoxo Filmi Girl