Oh, the weather outside is frightful... but having electricity back is so delightfullllll!
Good morning, all! This is the best morning I've had in all week and I'm using it to play catch up, so this might be an epic post.
AISHWARYA RAI ON THE COVER OF VOGUE!
* Take a look at all the The Khans in Bollywood.
Khans have been in the Hindi film industry since its beginning, according to Shahab Ahmed, who is currently writing an ambitious book documenting all the Khans in the Hindi film industry. He cites the example of Mohammed Wazir Khan, who sang the popular De de Khuda ke naam pe in India’s very first talkie, Alam Ara, released in 1941. Despite his humble role of a fakir in the film, the song got him everyone’s attention, and he acted in all the three Alam Aras. “Although the Khans in the 1940s were proficient actors and music composers, they weren’t influential,” says Ahmed. “The invasion of Khans in the Hindi film industry began in the next decade, with Dilip Kumar, Madhubala and Ajit.”
* Then read about what Madhuri Dixit is up to.
In a country where people grow up on pop culture encouraging them to wear emotions on their sleeve, such adulation is not shocking. What is unusual is that in a hero-centric and youthobsessed industry, the object of this adulation is a 43-year-old woman who lives in Denver, US, who last achieved Bollywood success eight years ago (in Devdas). A monitor outside relays the audience’s wild cheering — actor Rani Mukherjee is lying on the ground, her hands folded in a gesture of genuflection in front of Madhuri Dixit Nene. Vidya Balan breathlessly explains that watching Madhuri dancing to "Ek Do Teen" from Tezaab was when she decided to become an actor. Right then, Madhuri walks out of the studio flanked by bodyguards — cameramen and fans alike forget about Balan, swarming around Dixit instead.
* This article actually made me kind of ill. So, apparently Sick City, written and directed by an Englishman, is more Nepali than actual Nepali films.
This film has no hero who can beat a dozen goons, no rape scene to titillate the viewers and no villain who rules the streets of Kathmandu. But it is a Nepali film all the same and more Nepali than the ones that are released every week in the cinema halls across Nepal. It is Sick City, scripted, directed, edited and produced by England-born Murray Kerr.
I'm sure Sick City is a fine piece of world cinema but why does praising it have to involve bashing the films made for Nepali people to see at the theater?
* And along those same lines, the white folk over at The Independent now think Bollywood is finally getting serious about disabilities. These articles always kill me because HOW DO THEY KNOW that Bollywood is getting serious? These aren't industry watchers.
Speaking to The Independent, Roshan, who suffered a stammer as a child, said he still had to spend an hour every day on speech exercises in order to get through ordinary conversations, never mind film scripts. "In the greed of entertainment, we use people's disabilities to garner a cheap laugh, which is completely wrong," he said of films that still portrayed disability for comic effect. "My stammer was always a cross [to bear] in my life. I remember the first time somebody asked me what I wanted to do in life and I tried to say I wanted to be an actor, but I couldn't get the words out. I got stuck on the word 'actor'. I could feel a loss of breath as my stammer came and my facial expression stuck. The more anxious I felt, the worse it got."
There are some interesting bits to the article - like Hrithik talking about his stammer - but the overarching tone of condescension from the writer is annoying. I mean, if (according to the article) Bollywood only got "serious" about disabilities with Black, where are all the Hollywood films about people with disabilities that Bollywood is supposed to be living up to? I recall films about chronically ill characters and characters who lose limbs and characters who have other physical and mental disabilities - may have been melodramatic but that doesn't mean that we weren't supposed to feel real empathy for characters like Hrithik in Koi... Mil Gaya! or Shahrukh in Koyla.
* And one more - The Washington Times feels that No One Killed Jessica signals some new roles for women in Bollywood. Look, I'll make the same complaint here, too, - how does the author know? Did he not see Page 3? And what about Umrao Jaan? Pakeezah? Sahib Bibi aur Ghulam? Strong female leads are not a new phenomenon. Why do everybody's "the new Bollywood" stories seem to use 2009 as a starting point?
* Have the Filmfare Awards lost their sparkle over the years?
Over the years, award ceremonies have multiplied. The award events no doubt pull large crowds but while doing so, have diluted the standards that adjudicate winners. Apparently, the award ceremonies no longer felicitate those who deserve, but reward personalities who represent the award committee. And with immensely talented actors like Aamir Khan and Ajay Devgn boycotting them, it only confirms the loss of its authenticity.
* It's still worth tuning in for Madhuri Dixit and Shahrukh Khan's performance.
* It seems like Shahrukh Khan is always in trouble for something or other - well, he can breathe a sigh of relief that at least one case has been dismissed.
* Aamir Khan prefers Ranbir Kapoor to nephew Imran.
* The Bodyguard shoot got busted for working illegally long hours.
* Rajinikanth's next film will be called Rana!
* Vijay is back in 3 Idiots.
* Luscious Jacqueline Fernandez is playing up the Mallika Sherawat connections in Murder 2.
* It's nice to see Amisha Patel in the news for something other than B&E - she has a new film coming out.
* Deepika Padukone has been invited to Davos... for some reason. Glamor, I suppose. Bringing a Bollywood star to add sparkle to your economic summit doesn't seem like a great idea when there is rioting and people accusing you of being unconcerned with the poor people around the world.
* Shahrukh is playing a teacher in Student of the Year!
* Akshay is fighting crocodiles for a new cola advertisement.
* There were allegedly 6 crores of unaccounted money in Katrina Kaif's house.
* It's Rishi and Randhir for Housefull 2!
* No plans for the 7 am Arivu Hindi remake... boo!
* Sonu Sood will be seen as a police officer in Buddha!
* Ajay Devgn tells Saifeena not to get married.
* Ranbir postpones his world tour!
* Hrithik Roshan explains that the new Agneepath is going to be completely different. Right, it has a "glamorous" prostitute in it!
Your next role is Agneepath, done to National award winning perfection by Mr. Bachchan.
A lot of people think I am foolish to attempt a role that's been done by Mr. Bachchan. But I am not here to fill the God's shoes. It's a script and character which have been considerably re-worked. How can I even dream of replicating what Mr. Bachchan has done? It's a completely different script from the original Agneepath. I reacted positively to it. I've started preparation.
Maybe I'm just being stupid here, but if it's a completely different story then why call it a remake of Agneepath except for the press attent... wait, I just answered my own question.
* And a sequel for Tere Bin Laden.
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