Today in gossip - an adorable story about a professor who moonlights as a poet and some other stuff! (Ix-Nay on the A-Ray One-Ay...)
* Sigh. Let's just get this out of the way. The 3D conversion for Ra.1 is not yet complete. Arjun Rampal was specifically asked not to do publicity for the film and on top of that, Ra.1 has to deposit one crore with the Bombay High Court before they can release the film. Why? Potential copyright violation.
The court added that if the defendants failed to deposit the money tomorrow, an injunction against the movie's release would become operational. "It is the most unfortunate part of the film industry that people use others' concepts and then don't want to pay or give them credit," the bench remarked.
Can I just get something off my chest? It's not that I don't like Shahrukh. I may not be an SRK fangirl but I love Chak De and Veer-Zaara and Main Hoon Na. Dil Se is one of my all time favorite films! I think Asoka is highly underrated!
However, the marketing blitz that has accompanied Ra.1, a blitz that feels like it's been going on for over a year at this point, has really eroded every last bit of good will I have towards this film. It's to the point that I except Shahrukh to fall out of my cereal box in the morning yelling, "GO SEE RA.1 IT'S JUST LIKE HOLLYWOOD!" How can any human being sustain this frantic pace?
And the last year has seen Shahrukh look increasing thin and increasingly frail, as if the moisture in his body has evaporated along with his ability to sleep. His face is flushed but not with health - it's a frantic, desperate flush, clinging to whatever it is he's getting out of this marketing mania. It doesn't help that he's spewing some obviously false modesty about being a "small time actor." That may have played well 15 years ago but it's really unpalatable coming from a 45-year old global superstar who obviously doesn't mean it.
I don't want Ra.1 to be a blockbuster, not because I hate Shahrukh, but because I don't want to encourage other filmmakers to take this route. Yelling at us to go see a film because "India deserves a superhero that can compete with Hollywood" and not because we'll enjoy it; bombarding us with information and branding - from Google to bicycles to video games to God knows what else. And, lastly, the selection of Anubhav Sinha as director really just shows a lack of care towards the final product - so, beyond everything else, I just get the feeling that nobody but any thought into the film as a complete and enjoyable product.
My takeaway from the film so far - which I already feel like I've seen a hundred times - is that it was made to generate slick tv spots and cool visuals, not to provide an enjoyable filmgoing experience for people.
But that's just me.
If you don't like my opinions, I won't be offended if you want to cleanse your palate with this extremely positive blog post about Ra.1.
Ra.One's previews and song videos promise to show us a lot that we have not seen or experienced in a Hindi film. But I am hoping it will also have the loveable SRK with a golden heart who almost never disappoints us. I just cannot wait for Diwali day, when the film opens in theatres around the world.
(Although I do question what it is we haven't seen or experienced before... except maybe Akon and the visual of Shahrukh slapping some ass.)
* A film I really do want to see - Mujhse Fraaandship Karoge is doing well at the box office! Congratulations, guys!
* NOW! On a totally different note - American football wants to break into India, even though the sport is popular nowhere else in the world.
* Esha Deol is engaged and the cynical heart that beats inside my chest feels that this has to be a leak from the increasingly worried Hema Malini.
* I question the journalist's understanding of Lolita in this piece. Also what on Earth is five-dimensional filmmaking? And why doesn't the journo question Sashilaal Nair about it?
* Meet Sridevi's new costar - French actor Mehdi Nebbou.
* Prateik Babbar is working with Ahana Deol next. What happened to that film with Amy Jackson? That looked promising...
* Will we see Simbhu in a Delhi Belly remake?
* Sachin Joshi, who attracted absolutely no notice in Azaan talks about the resistance he faces... 100% of which comes from making a mediocre film but Sachin thinks it's because he's an outsider. Hmm... maybe we should ask Ranveer Singh about that...
* Somebody else who needs to STFU about how "tough" things are is Abbas Tyrewala who laments the fact that scripts "aren't important." Um... what planet are you living on, Abbas? Scripts are very important, it's just that heroes are important, too.
* Check out a pricy new service for South Asian cinema on demand called Mela. The "sample" list of films looks pretty tame. Has anybody tried this?
* Let's end on a positive note - a very cute story about a professor who moonlights as a lyricist!
The student reviews of Inderjit Nirdosh on ratemyprofessors.com are, for the most part, favourable. He is, writes one chemical engineering undergrad at Lakehead University “an excellent educator.” Another describes the 68-year-old professor as “extremely helpful” while a third grades him as “awesome!!!”
But what the engineering crowd at the Thunder Bay university doesn’t know about Professor Nirdosh could fill volumes — of poetry, as it turns out.