Okay, first, head over to Get Filmy to check out her take on the whole Nargis debut fiasco. It just goes to show you how lightly even an "indie" director like Imtiaz Ali takes heroines.
To quote GF:
It’s really too bad that Imtiaz dropped the ball on this – that’s the kind of stuff Nargis should’ve been doing to prep for Rockstar. To be that neglectful of your lead heroine is just unforgivable.
I lost a lot of respect for IA over this.
And over at Satyamshot, Anurag Kashyap is taken to task for his cheerleading of films like Love Aaj Kal and Delhi Belly as masterpieces when, clearly, they are not.
You praised Love Aaj Kal to the skies. Here I was bewildered not because I felt you were being hyperbolic but because I didn’t see what there was at all to praise here. Or by these liberal standards very much coming out of Bollywood could be praised. I remember being extremely disappointed by Imtiaz Ali here. I felt he had Joharized himself. Or performed a kind of upgrade on that kind of cinema.
And now onto your daily dose of newsy goodness!
* Fans can donate in memory of RDB's Kuly who passed away recently from brain cancer.
* How many variations on Bollywood is growing up does a girl have to read?! Yes, it's great that films like Vicky Donor exist but a) the distribution isn't actually that large when compared with blockbusters like Bodyguard and b) it's not true that Bollywood has NEVER made challenging and dark films before Anurag Kashyap showed up.
If anything, all that films like Vicky Donor show the emergence of a middlebrow flim culture. These aren't high art nor are they aimed at a mass audience - it's the American Beauty mode of film making. There's nothing wrong with that and some of these films are quite good but can the Western press just stop with these stories proclaiming the birth of a new, improved Indian film already?
* Speaking of Westerners, I thought this review of Rowdy Rathore from a complete Bollywood neophyte was pretty interesting.
When he single-handedly stands down two dozen armed thugs in the film’s midpoint set piece and then goes to work on them with a circular saw blade (most of the gore is implied rather than shown), there’s absolutely no trace of the rakish thief the audience got to know just a few minutes ago. He tells the heavies that death will have to go through every last one of them in order to get to him, and you know what? I believe it. No wonder this guy is a movie star.
* I was going to post this YESTERDAY but my post got eaten and well... Richa Chadda on the Cannes fuss about whether Bollywood is respected internationally or not.
I feel Bollywood is an imaginary landscape. We work in the Hindi film industry and its the only one in the world that has stood the onslaught of Hollywood. Perhaps, that's intimating for the sales teams of the movies abroad. We are so secure in our space with our jhatkas and action. We watch their films but our still sell more.
Richa seems like a smart cookie.
* The Despite the Gods shit show travels to the Sydney Film Festival.
Ironically in what is perceived to be a spiritual country, Lynch and her 12-year-old daughter come across as the most spiritual people on set. Lynch notes many people weren't captured at their "most spiritual moments". Yet, she says, "It's not that life is too short to do things you hate or be upset at or have a bad attitude; life is too long to have a bad attitude and do things you don't love."
This is the first piece I've read that's sympathetic to Jennifer Lynch. (Also, yes, I call bullshit on that "Indians are a spiritual people who walk around chanting sutras all the time" nonsense.)
* Can Kunal Kohli just go away already? Every iota of attention we give this windbag just serves to inflate his own self-importance.
"The film is a young story about soul mates. No one has really dealt with the subject of soul mates and the topic has not been explored too much in our films. I found it quite interesting for my next subject interesting."
Right. "No one" has dealt with soul mates before Kunal Kohli came along. And by "no one," I'm assuming he means ALMOST EVERY FILM MAKER EVER. AH! TERI MERI KAHANNI LOOKS SO MEDIOCRE I CAN'T STAND IT!
* Is Simbu's new film a remake of Mere Brother Ki Dulhan?! Honestly, if it is, I'd be thrilled. Simbhu has so much more charisma that Imran Khan and as much as I enjoyed it, that movie could use a sparkle boost.
* Aamir Khan refuses to apologize to the Indian Medical Association for his episode of Satyamev Jayate. I'm working on a piece about this, actually. I think Aamir is doing a good thing.
"If the medical profession has been insulted and defamed by anybody, it is probably by those who are indulging in unethical practises," Aamir said.
* If this story is to be believed Shahrukh is jumping on the current South Indian remake bandwagon with Aishwarya Rai as his heroine.
* Ram Gopal Varma is making a film on the terrorist attacks of 26/11 but has been denied permission to shoot at VT station. For all our sakes, I hope this film is a departure from his recent style of flop filmmaking.
* Tamil film Profile claim to be making the real story of Silk Smitha.
* KJo's Student of the Year has been postponed indefinitely.
* After the positive response to the Bol Bachchan trailer, people are willing to gamble a little more scratch on Abhi. Hera Pheri 4 is back on with Abhi and Ritesh replacing Akshay and Suneil.
* Prithviraj signs onto another Yash Raj film. I think he's an interesting character - his reputation with the Malayalam fans is a complicated one. Maybe it's better if he moves to Hindi films.
* Ravi Kissen and Ram Kapoor are also signed onto a Yash Raj film.
* A pairing I can safely skip - Aditya Roy Kapur and Shraddha Kapoor for Nepotism 2... I mean, Aashiqui 2.
* Random quote from Filmi Girl favorite villain Mukesh Tiwari.
"The children in my building don't know my real name! They are so fascinated with my 'Wasooli' look that they call me Wasooli Uncle."
* And on a lighter note, did Apun Ka Choice deliberately pick this image to illustrate Duck Lips promoting her Women's Health magazine cover? It looks like she just smelt a fart... I hope they did. I like to imagine some catty editorial assistant who hates Nargis going, "Hmm... let's use this one."
Isn't there something else happening? It starts with an I... I~ce cream? I~celand?
HO SHIT THAT'S RIGHT! IIFA! Prepare for the media-gasm of pointless stories about celebrities saying stuff and doing shit!
* My buddy Pitobash is there (TWEET HIM SOME GOOD WISHES) and the media is happy to take his comments and run with them.
Says Pitobash, "Please stand corrected because ROWDY RATHORE is Akshay-Sonakshi's second film, and though it has released earlier, it was the shooting of JOKER which took place much before ROWDY RATHORE. Let me tell you that I am not surprised. The tuning or chemistry (or whatever you may term it), between Akshay and Sonakshi was evident to me during the shooting of JOKER itself. I was sure that it would go a step ahead in their next film, ROWDY RATHORE."
YES! Thanks, Pito! I'm very happy to hear that...
* India Today has disjointed celebrity news that may as well have been compiled from Twitter.
* Shabana Azmi says IIFA wants to incorporate more regional cinema to justify that "Indian" part of the name. (Though to be fair BIFA sounds kind of dumb and HIFA is worse.)
"Indian cinema is not homogenous, just like our culture, so IIFA is slowly trying to provide a global platform to regional cinema as well. This year we have South, we'll slowly move to other regions as well," added Azmi.
Um... yeah. Well, she's trying. That's the important part.
* But putting all that aside, let's get to the big story of IIFA... ready? OMG IS SRK SKIPPING THE AWARDS BECAUSE OF SALMAN?!!11!!1!
* And, related, PIGGY CHOPS ATTEMPTING TO COZY UP TO SRK'S CAMP!
Not only that, Miss Piggy made a PR trip to the sets of Heroine... for no other reason than to remind us all that she was in the crap-fest called Fashion. I'm sure Bebo was thrilled.
Bodyguard's Hazel in an item for Maximum! I'm looking forward to this film!