Monday, December 30, 2013

Monday Post: Don't let the door hit you on the way out, 2013. What's that? Your Dhoom 3 and Chennai Express money will cushion your ass so it doesn't matter?

The Hollywood Reporter has a questionable round up of 2013 in Bollywood to include Inkaar?! And Woody Allen refusing to put the "No Smoking" warning on his films. Seriously, HR? That's the best you can do?

I've been thinking over my own list and neither of those events made it on. Inkaar? Does anybody even remember that? Did the author just go to the "Bolllywood of 2013" Wiki page and just pick the first film on there? Seems to me the big stories were the failures from Too Big To Fail teams (Zanjeer, Besharam, etc), successes from films nobody expected anything of (Grand Masti, R…Rajkumar), an uncomfortable ramping up of Hollywood suck-ups (especially from Team Lunchbox and Priyanka Chopra, bet you she didn't send her Zanjeer reel to her Hollywood PR agents) and overwrought Internet fanboys (Himmatwala signals the end of society; Ship of Thesus is genius/a copy, pick one).


Saturday, December 28, 2013

Filmi Girl's Selections for Best and Worst Performances of 2013

These are just my personal opinions and (mostly) only based on the Hindi films I saw.



Friday, December 27, 2013

Friday Post: Dhoom 3 again this weekend!

Well, first of all… HAPPY BIRTHDAY SALMAN KHAN!

Here's to the People's Hero rocking the box office with Jai Ho!


Wednesday, December 25, 2013

HAPPY MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

From Filmi Girl! Photo courtesy of my brother…

And for you lovely folks, my favorite Christmas video: Helen and a special guest in "Yeh Pal Chanchal."

One year I'll have to re-create this! I just need somebody to make me that outfit.

HAPPY MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYBODY!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Quick Christmas Eve IIFA update

The schedule was released for IIFA 2014 in Tampa, Florida!

• Thursday, April 24 includes welcome events at Tampa International Airport, two media events at the official, but as-yet-unidentified IIFA host hotel, the first day of a global business forum at the Tampa Convention Center and an "IIFA Rocks" concert and post-party at USF's Sun Dome.

• Friday, April 25 includes more arrivals at the airport, another media briefing at the hotel, the second day of the global business forum at the convention center and a "Magic of the Movies & Technical Awards" show at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre at the fairgrounds, plus an IIFA post-party.

• Saturday, April 26, has a film workshop at the IIFA host hotel, a media briefing and the IIFA awards show at Raymond James Stadium, plus a post-event party.

I'm going to try my damnedest to go…

And since I was posting anyways, a few more stories for you! I'll see you again the 26th! MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYBODY!!!


Monday, December 23, 2013

Monday Post: Water is wet; Ranveer in annoying; Dhoom 3 is rocking the box office… tell me something I don't know.

Good morning, MUMBAI! (And the rest of the world!)

I'm not sure what my posting schedule will be like through the holiday but I can definitely tell you that Christmas will be a rest day. I'll also tell you that I've been using my free days to catch up on some fun, older movies available for streaming on Hulu. Americans should definitely check out the selection available (and then check out Justin Timberlake being charming on this past weekend's SNL; seriously this guy needs his own variety show.)

Up first is more Dhoom 3 talk! Check out the latest episode of Upodcast over here! Asim and I get into the nitty gritty of Dhoom 3

And speaking of Dhoom 3, it cracked the American Top 10 for weekend box office!

There is also the Saltz's typical tone deaf review in which she spends precious words complaining that Abhishek Bachchan has no songs and using her best Taran Adarsh thesaurus to describe things instead of, you know, reviewing the movie. HOW DOES SHE GET PAID FOR THIS SHIT?! I seriously don't get it, New York Times. She is hands down the worst American reviewer writing on Bollywood.


Sunday, December 22, 2013

Filmi Girl's Top Hindi Songs of 2013

Just a little something I cooked up.

Enjoy!

(In no particular order)


Saturday, December 21, 2013

Saturday Bonus Post: IN DEFENSE OF KATRINA also isn't SRGAY kind of played out already?

Wow. I'm glad I didn't read any reviews or follow the buzz on Dhoom 3 before I saw it. Not just the pained hinting around the spoilers but I swear it's only a matter of time before I run across the film fanboy claiming Aamir has "raped" him of his time for appearing in a big budget masala film.

We've already got critics speaking from on high with one of my least favorite phrases: "lap it up", as in:

While the action-thriller is far from mediocre, and will probably appeal to the popcorn masses that have lapped up the likes of ‘Krrish 3’and ‘R... Rajkumar’ in the recent past, one simply can’t help but expect something a little more edgy, and at times, far less ludicrous, from an Aamir Khan-starrer.

Because the guy who made Andaz Apna Apna is never allowed to have fun or get silly or go over-the-top?

Then there are the trolls with (by my count) 32 appearances of the phrase "SRGAY" in the comments section of this review.

And I'm really disappointed at the sexist dismissal of Katrina's role as eye candy in a skimpy costume by the so-called professionals. Katrina's character was written to show how much that "sexbomb" thing is just an act. She wears the skimpy costumes on stage but off stage is as fully covered and "real" as can be. I loved her character and found her to be a refreshing change from the dippy, miniskirted newscaster needing-to-be-saved heroines you always see in action films. She's her own woman with her own dreams and--at least in my viewing of the film--was not defined by the hero's interest in her.

If you look back at both Dhoom 2 and Tashan, while neither film would pass the Bechdel Test, the heroines were both sharp women with characters and motivations of their own. Even if they did wear bikini tops, they didn't lose their brains to do so and the men were at least as objectified in both cases.

I'm not saying Dhoom 3 is a great work of art but it is a great movie.

ETA: I was thinking about this as I looked up other things but, you know, the conspiracy theories that flow out in the comments section of every review and article are really quite indicative of a public that has zero trust in the media, especially the filmi media. Every box office number comes under speculation, every reviewer is accused of being paid by this side or that side. And people aren't wrong most of the time, that's the scary thing… I think I'm pretty open with my preferences and about the fact that I don't receive one single penny from anybody but even I get accused of being a paid reviewer from time to time. I'd like to see those checks because none have reached me.


Friday, December 20, 2013

Dhoom 3: The 100% SPOILER FREE review.


Let me preface this review with a couple things. First of all, I enjoyed Dhoom 3 enough that I plan on going again tomorrow and will probably have more to write about at that point. The second thing is that I’m going to keep this review 100% spoiler free but I can guarantee you that not everybody is going to be so kind and I recommend staying away from reviews if you want to enjoy the film the way it was intended (aka without Taran Adarsh’s thesaurus-filled plot synopsis at the back of your mind.)


So with that in mind, do read on if so inclined but if all you want to know is whether or not to go see it, ask yourself this: How much do I like Aamir Khan? And then ask yourself this: Do I need every plot point in a film explained at great length or am I able to just go with it? If you like Aamir Khan well enough and don’t mind that A.C.P. Jai Dixit’s beat has been extended to Chicago for no particular reason, then you should definitely go.


It’s great fun.

Quick PSA: Avoiding all news/spoilers until I see Dhoom 3

Sorry for the radio silence!! I haven't abandoned you!! I'm just keeping my nose clean and my head clear of any and all buzz and spoilers over Dhoom 3 so I thought it would be best to avoid the Bolly-corners of the Internet until I see it--which will hopefully be at the first show at Loehmann's this afternoon. Okay!! Bye-bye until then!!


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Wednesday Post: Let's PARTY DA MOOD!

I forgot about this! Yash Raj trying for force cinemas to go digital in order to combat piracy. I wonder how many single screens managed it…

I'm not convinced that this is the best way to get people into theaters, seems like pirated DVDs will be available no matter what.


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Tuesday Post: GUESS WHO IS BACK?!

I don't think we can go around calling the biggest hits of the year yet with DHOOM 3 still set to release.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Monday.. Is it Monday?

Somebody whose name just might be "Filmi Girl" partied a bit to hardy last night and slept in this morning. Oops!

But please have this trailer:

And now none of us have to see Gunday.

It's too bad because the teaser was a lot of fun but… I'm kind of done with these half-baked 1970s-ish films full of anachronisms and a lot of slow walking. They don't try to capture the feel of 1970s films and are full of too many anachronisms to feel like the actual 1970s so you end up with a 1970s-ish film. Why? What's the point? Is there really a huge demand for these nostalgia fests?

Also, it looks like IIFA is getting pushed forward. No word on the Times Of India Film Awards yet.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

The 90s Canon: D…D…D… Darr

Twenty years later Darr (Yash Raj Films, 1993) holds up surprisingly well as a thriller and as a film. The visual aesthetic is very much of its era--hair everywhere, chiffon saris--but unlike other films from the early 1990s, the difficulty in watching Darr with a fresh eye is not just a matter of looking past dated hairstyles. Darr is not just a film, it lingers on in the Bollywood mythos as both a campy punchline and a cultural signifier. Darr may have been one of the final films directed by the legendary Yash Chopra, but rather than looking backward, it signaled a changing of the guard. The response to the film, to Shahrukh Khan, the charismatic new actor hired on as the villain, could not have been predicted and once unleashed, it could not be put back in the bottle.


Friday, December 13, 2013

Friday Post: ROAR.

The big story today is obviously THE PEOPLE'S MAN!

*ROAR*

So, we know what my favorite part was.

Here are a few caps of the cast!



Is that Mukal Dev I spy?



AND THE PEOPLE'S MAN!

Says Mr. Salman Khan:

"I stand for justice every say. I consider myself as a common man as I do things which a common man does in day-to-day life. Like I ride bicycle, rickshaw, I prefer taking fresh air while travelling in car, etc. Whatever I am today...a superstar is because of my fans. If they wouldn't have loved my first film Maine Pyaar Kiya, then I wouldn't be here," Khan said.

Preach it, brother.

A whole movie based on the idea of "pay it forward" with goonda bashing and Tabu? Even if this movie is a hot mess--especially if this movie is hot mess--I plan on enjoying it to the utmost!


Thursday, December 12, 2013

Thursday Post: Jai Ho trailer NOT out yet. Damn.

It's a sad, sad day for human rights in India with the Supreme Court ruling to re-criminalize homosexuality.

We can't control who we love but we can control what kind of society we want to live in. This is what we've been seeing in Russia and, indeed, certain areas of the United States, where gay people (and women and other cultural minorities) have become a scape goat for people's very real fears of loss of cultural identity in the face of the American/Western cultural export machine and for frustration at the riches that remain out of reach but forever waved in their faces.

There have a been a few articles collecting quote from stars, like the one linked above. Some are clueless; some are from inside a bubble of privilege. Farhan gets it right:

“The Supreme Court got it wrong today,” tweeted actor-director Farhan Akhtar.

Another article from TOI has more in-depth quotes from directors and actors about how it will affect films.

For Reema Kagti, whose Honeymoon Travels Pvt. Ltd. showed the dilemma of a gay man stuck in a straight marriage, the verdict is a "slap in the face of democracy". "Forget about being the largest democracy, we don't even live in a democratic society. I'm horrified by the larger implications of the verdict and can't even think about what it means for cinema."

India Today runs down a sorry list of Hindi films that include gay relationships. Although they've totally misread Fashion. From what I remember, the gay couple in that was Priyanka Chopra and Kangana Ranaut.

And The Telegraph gets Karan Johar's opinion on the subject. For no reason in particular.

“People are desperate to maintain saleable images and while homosexuality may be practised, it is never openly flaunted. Even those who are known to be openly gay, or are perceived to be so, are shy of publicly acknowledging their sexuality,” he said.


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

A VERY DHOOM ADVENT CALENDAR DAY 11

To celebrate the release of Dhoom 3 and to countdown to my favorite holiday (CHRISTMAS!), I present an alphabet advent calendar Dhoom style!

Click to open the window for day!


Wednesday: Like LMFAO without the humor.

End of the year lists… this worst of the year seems pretty on point, especially since it gives a solid definition of "worst" as film that was expected to do well and really, really didn't.

1. Zanjeer

2. Besharam

And etc.


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Nawazuddin Siddiqui: No Longer an Outsider in Bollywood

I was lucky enough to have the chance to sit down with Nawazuddin Siddiqui at SAIFF 2013. Admittedly this interview was unscheduled and took place at a cocktail party where I had nothing with me to take notes other than a day planner and a green pen. Some translation assistance was very thoughtfully provided by Prashant Bhargava, who directed Nawazuddin in the excellent Patang. Quotes are as accurate as circumstances allow.


(Nawazuddin loose in New York City. Photo credit to Mo Pitz. Please contact her for use.)


A VERY DHOOM ADVENT CALENDAR DAYS 8-9-10

To celebrate the release of Dhoom 3 and to countdown to my favorite holiday (CHRISTMAS!), I present an alphabet advent calendar Dhoom style!

Click to open the window for day!


Tuesday Post: Who put my poster up in the multiplex??

The end of the year lists are trickling out again… I don't know how interested people are in those. I have a feeling it's going to be a lot of the same names from the same consensus films cycled over and over in every different outlet.

Blah blah Ship of Theusus, blah blah Farhan Akhtar, blah blah LUNCHBOX SHOULDDA BEEN A CONTENTAH… *yawn*

Maybe I should tally them! See how consensus the consensus films are?

And get to work on my own list of awards!

i.e. The 2013 Item Girl Who Most Resembles an Unbent Straw--Nargis Fakhri

The 2013 Best Mustache--Ranveer Singh's Ram Leela mouche

The 2013 Film Most Embarrassingly Dug Up From the Vault--Govinda and Piggy starrer Deewana Main Deewana














Monday, December 9, 2013

Monday Post: Sorry, Sasha, I was snowed out...

Oh, poor Sasha!! I saw some titles of R… Rajkumar reviews and they seemed brutal. As you may have guessed, the snow kept me from the theater yesterday but if there is any possible way for me to see this film on the big screen, believe you me, I will get there. *Stupid snow storm*

At least the box office seems okay? That must be some consolation but the media narrative has been brutal. Building, building, building it up as SHAHID'S LAST CHANCE FOR A COMEBACK OH NO and then gleefully reveling in the moderate response as SHAHID IS THE WORST!!!!!!!!!!

It's fucked up.


Sunday, December 8, 2013

Ankhon Dekhi: What the eye sees...

I was lucky enough to catch a screening of Ankhon Dekhi at the South Asian Film Festival in New York and you’ll have to forgive the lack of specifics as far as names go in my review since I have no press materials or even a wikipedia entry to work from. If there is anybody reading this who would like to pass on promotional photos and a cast list, I would be very grateful and will happily edit them in. ETA: I have edited to add in the names of the actors where appropriate.


When I was a little girl, I didn’t understand what it was that businesspeople did all day pushing paper around. As far as I was concerned, they weren’t doing anything useful, like making cars or putting out fires or cooking. Whatever their work was, it seemed imaginary, far less real than the math worksheets I assigned myself for homework. Finance, business, money, math. They were all imaginary numbers games, so why did grownups pretend otherwise? Now, as I’ve gotten older, I know that seven-year old Filmi Girl had a lot of naive ideas about how the world worked--for example, I’m not currently married to Coreys Haim and Feldman--but, sadly, the 2008 global financial crisis proved that she was spot on about the financial world.

And I suspect the protagonist of Rajat Kapoor’s Ankhon Dekhi (which I think you could loosely translate to something like What the Eye Sees) would agree with that young Filmi Girl on that point, too.


Saturday, December 7, 2013

A VERY DHOOM ADVENT CALENDAR DAYS 6-7

To celebrate the release of Dhoom 3 and to countdown to my favorite holiday (CHRISTMAS!), I present an alphabet advent calendar Dhoom style!

Click to open the window for day!


Saturday: BONUS post! Making news myself!

Yes! I'm back from my day at SAIFF 2013 and I had a blast! I wish I could have stayed longer but duty calls…

Anyways, I got to meet the super-duper handsome and funny and just plain delightful Nawazuddin Siddiqui!


*caught mid-interview by Mo Pitz, photo credit to her*

Hopefully I can get that posted soon.

I also saw Rajat Kapoor's amazing film called Ankhon Dekhi. I was blown away by the story and the performances and everything. I will try to post that review soon, too.

And before we get to the news round-up, I would be remiss if I didn't mention the fan mail I received from the one and only Luv Sinha!


Yes, dude, it is indeed very fun--although apparently not as much fun as googling yourself! Seems like both of us have nothing better to do, which is why he is one of my favorite topics to blog about! LOL! He kept hassling me, so I had to finally block him on Twitter. Being butthurt at me is not the best way to get me to stop writing about your lack of career… #justsayin (Now if there was a phone call from Sona involved, I may change my tune.)

Thursday, December 5, 2013

A VERY DHOOM ADVENT CALENDAR DAY 5

To celebrate the release of Dhoom 3 and to countdown to my favorite holiday (CHRISTMAS!), I present an alphabet advent calendar Dhoom style!

Click to open the window for day!


Thursday Post: (Not the) Best Song Ever

Whatttt? Is this one of those overly-detailed (and hilarious) Key & Peele videos? No! It's those little fuckers from 1D showing (yet again) that 99.9% of Westerners have no clue about anything outside their own hermetically sealed cultural bubbles and are uninterested in learning except in the interest of a cash grab and/or mockery.

I have no problems with cultural mingling--I mean, if the idea of the rock group hadn't been exported, we wouldn't have SYMT or Sakanaction--but there is something just so infuriating about seeing these little douchebags making absolutely no effort and yet wanting some sort of praise for acknowledging there are other people in the world who may not wear denim and sneakers everyday.

Look, Aamir Khan tap-dancing is better "Bollywood dancing" than whatever this is.

1D piss me off for many, many reasons--first among them is that they have no respect for entertainment, entertainment, entertainment. (That lack of respect is basically the entire plot of their Best Song Ever video.) I'm extremely pro-boyband as I've written before and extremely pro-pop music, so don't take this as a snob argument. What bothers me about 1D is that their entire "boy band" shtick is being the cute and somewhat mean popular boys in high school. That's it. There's no dancing, no acting, no entertaining… and their singing is nothing special. So, what's the point? Where's the joy? Where's the passion? Why should anybody pay attention to them?

I mean, say what you want about Justin Bieber but at least the kid has respect for the game and seems to really enjoy performing.


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

A VERY DHOOM ADVENT CALENDAR DAY 4

To celebrate the release of Dhoom 3 and to countdown to my favorite holiday (CHRISTMAS!), I present an alphabet advent calendar Dhoom style!

Click to open the window for day! 


Wednesday Post: Filed under T for Things I Like.

So, thanks to the lovely Mo, I am going up to New York to see Q's Tasher Desh on Thursday. If you will be there or be around, give me a wave!


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

A VERY DHOOM ADVENT CALENDAR DAY 3

To celebrate the release of Dhoom 3 and to countdown to my favorite holiday (CHRISTMAS!), I present an alphabet advent calendar Dhoom style!

Click to open the window for day!


Tuesday Post: She's oversold. And people in the front rows keep dancing!

Whoa. Rajpal Yadav and his wife have been sent to ten days in jail for lying to the court in this case:

Rajpal and Radha have been engaged in a legal battle after Delhi-based businessman, M G Agarwal (owner of Murli Projects), filed a case against them in the High Court for failing to repay a loan of Rs five crore which the actor had taken in 2010 to make his Hindi debut directional film 'Ata Pata Laapata'.

That just hit me in the gut. Poor Rajpal Yadav… he must be in bad financial shape. Even acting in 200 comedian roles a year can't pay the bills.


Monday, December 2, 2013

A VERY DHOOM ADVENT CALENDAR! Day 1-2

To celebrate the release of Dhoom 3 and to countdown to my favorite holiday (CHRISTMAS!), I present an alphabet advent calendar Dhoom style!


Monday Post: RIP Paul Walker...

Sad news today: a big RIP to Paul Walker, star of the Fast & Furious movies. There aren't too many Hollywood films that I enjoy but the Fast & Furious series remain some of my favorites. Films with big action and big heart. He'll be missed.

But I hope all the Americans out there had a nice Thanksgiving weekend.

And now the countdown to Christmas and Dhoom 3 really begins!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Tuesday Post: What happens when my coffee pot breaks? This.

You guys!!!!! I went to switch on my coffee pot this morning and *zap* NOTHING HAPPENED!!!!!

So, please excuse the lamest post ever. Without coffee, my critical thinking skills are essentially at this level:

*pink glitter*

*swishy sound effect*

*Lolo is so pretty*

So have the handful of stories not involving Aishwarya's in-law drama or Farhan mouthing off to the press about how movies now have layers. (NOW?! NOW?!!!!!)


Monday, November 25, 2013

Monday Post: Mr. J-J-J-Joe B Carvalho!

Good morning, good morning! I'll be updating today and tomorrow and possibly Wednesday but it's Thanksgiving weekend here in America so I'll be with family for the long weekend.

So, do you know, I ended up watching Darr on Netflix streaming last night and, wow, does that film hold up well!! I think that's one which definitely stands up to its reputation. It was really nostalgic somehow to see the young Shahrukh just chewing scenery with all his heart and Juhi! Poor Sunny, though. It's like he knows, even while they're filming, that he's irrelevant.

Let nobody say I don't give credit where credit is due. I would chew my own arm off to get out of watching Chennai Express or MNIK but Darr is a-ok!


Friday, November 22, 2013

Friday Post: She's armed with sunglasses...

A BIG HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO HELEN!!!

I can't believe I missed it yesterday!

She's 75 years young~ and still as gorgeous as ever!

I couldn't resist!! I found this digging around youtube. Helen has always been such a good sport. Happy Birthday, ma'am!


Thursday, November 21, 2013

Thursday Post: But who else would you cast in a Bollywood "300"?

This weekend, the big new film is Tamil!! Arya's fantasy epic Irandaam Ulagam!!

Hindi-wise, we'll have to see if Sunny's Singh Saab can halt not just the "Tattad Tattad" Express but the film that is probably best described as an excuse to gaze at Bebo's shiny, shiny hair for 2 hours. Although, it appears like we're getting Singh Saab this weekend… Somehow I don't think either Past-His-Prime Sunny or Bebo's hair (amazing as it is) have much of a chance against Ranveer's oiled up chest.

----

Get well soon, Hritihk!! The poor guy is facing health problems again.


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Wednesday: Good Boy; Bad Boy.

Sorry, E!News, but there is NO WAY Bebo would be caught dead in something like this. Maybe Hollywood Reporter-approved Bollywood superstar Sophie Choudry could be coaxed into it...

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Tuesday Post: My goal is to act in two movies a year and produce one film every 18 months.

Good morning, all! So, how many plays has "Tattad Tattad" racked up on your playlists? (1 million? 2 million?)

So… it was brought to my notice that some people were butthurt over my Ram-Leela review because I found Krrish 3 more emotionally moving. But, you know, we're all different, my friends. I'm not a big romance person and I never have been. There are many, many worse things out there than to not get to marry the person you're in love with. Sure, that sucks big time but it's not like a tragedy in my books. I did really enjoy the film, though--don't get me wrong--but what's so wrong about finding Rakesh Roshan's melodrama more engaging on an emotional level than SLB's romance?

I've always been a big fan of sci-fi and Krrish 3 used one of my all time favorite tropes--the non-human who learns how to feel emotions only to have them used in a heartbreaking way when she sacrifices herself for the greater good!!!! *crying already*

Let's all just get along, okay?

Now! TUESDAY! It's TUESDAY! Hit it!


(I covered the Ranveer Refusing to Shave His Mouche story already, right?)

Monday, November 18, 2013

Monday Post: Ask Salman about it...

The thing about movie finances these days means if "highest grossing" is your only tag, somebody else will come and dethrone you soon enough. Krrish 3 just overtook Chennai Express… and Dhoom 3 will probably tromp Krrish 3.


Sunday, November 17, 2013

Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela: SLB's The Color Red.

I don’t think it’s taking anything away from Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela aka Ram-Leela aka The Color Red if I say that the image which lingers, hours after I’ve seen the film, is of Ranveer Singh jiggling his oiled chest in Tattad Tattad. It’s a rare treat to see such a tour-de-force show of charisma and an even rarer treat to see it set in a good film. In fact, Priyanka Chopra’s heaving plastic bosom aside, the only major complaint I have with Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela is that no amount of whistling would make the projectionist replay “Tattad Tattad.”


Friday, November 15, 2013

Friday Post: In which PC pretends Kangs doesn't exist!

I'm desperately trying to avoid all buzz and reviews for Ram Leela so, like with Krrish 3, I'm going to ask that you refrain from posting spoilers, etc. as comments--although that didn't stop everybody last time. Sigh.

Isn't it a nice thing to go into a film with no pre-formed opinions?

Ah! People in Washington, DC! I went to the Kennedy Center last night to see Matthew Bourne's Sleeping Beauty and it was wonderful!! I highly recommend you check it out if you have a chance. The lead dancer is really good!! And the choreography and sets and costumes were so cool!! There was even an Isadora Duncan inspired dance, which set my inner teenager all a-flutter because I went through an (embarrassing) Isadora Duncan period of swanning all around my bedroom to music.

It's funny. Looking back now, my mother says she wishes she had signed me up for ballet lessons since I loved dancing so much but I'm actually glad she didn't. With my body type--tall and with a broad frame--it would have been miserable in the end, right? But maybe there's some adult learner classes or something...

Anyways, quick news today!


Thursday, November 14, 2013

Thursday Post: It's Children's Day… in India!

I can no longer contain my glee at Vivek Oberoi delighting in his own self-importance! I should have perhaps linked to this yesterday morning but I was a bit groggy and couldn't quite put the words together (as you may have gathered.)

But now… Vivek thinks he's Heath Ledger as the Joker. Which, no. He's really not. Vivek was good as Kaal and Kaal was a great villain opposite Hrithik but Heath Ledger owned that movie and Krrish 3 was purely a Hrithik Roshan affair.

I feel so happy and ecstatic the way the audience has accepted the character of Kaal. Some have complimented my role of Kaal to the legendary Gabbar Singh of 'Sholay' or that of 'Mogambo (Mr India) while others have compared my performance to international level, like that of Heath Ledger's portrayal of Joker in 'Batman,'" said Vivek in an interview with Unitezz.com.

Would those "some" be named "Vivek's family and/or his hangers on"?

Just joshing ya, Vivek! Never stop giving delightful interviews like this. As my love for Kareena Kapoor's interviews can testify, I love a star with an inflated sense of self-importance and no filter.


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Wednesday post: The Bandar-car is outraged. OUTRAGED!

Abbas-Mustan's Baazigar is 20 year old! Check out Shahrukh and Kajol's Filmfare performance of "Yeh Kali Kali Ankhien."

Deepanjana Pal writes on the film over here.

Baazigar established Khan as bona fide Bollywood and from then on, there was no looking back. The role of Ajay Sharma in Baazigar had been turned down by a number of actors, including Akshay Kumar. Unsurprisingly, not too many were comfortable playing a character whose solution to every problem is murder. Khan got the role and he played up the calculated evil of Ajay’s action so convincingly that by the end of the film, you found yourself feeling sorry for the man who has killed his girlfriend, two of her friends and her father.

I feel like going on a 1990s movie binge now.


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Tuesday Post: Luv Sinha is a self made man and other fairy tales.

Irrfan Khan is still banging on the International Cinema drum.

"We need to find a way of telling stories where a universal audience finds itself engaged in the storytelling. That's one thing we need to do, and that's one thing we have not been doing," said Irrfan, who believes the onus lies on directors and producers.

Why? And who is this mythical "universal audience"? If you really want to do the Hollywood thing, you'd have to start chasing Chinese money.

Along with the change in the nature of subjects and storytelling, India also needs a renewed understanding of the importance of an Oscar, advised the versatile actor, whose "The Lunchbox" was a frontrunner as the country's selection for the foreign language film category at the Academy Awards this time.

Gujarati film "The Good Road" was chosen over "The Lunchbox". Irrfan is not complaining, but he believes a larger understanding of the ballgame needs to persist.

But he's not complaining. Even though Krrish 3--old fashioned masala at heart--is doing gangbusters at the box office, Bollywood just needs to change everything it's doing and send The Lunchbox to the Oscars.

But he's not complaining.


Monday, November 11, 2013

Monday Post: Johnny Walker Appreciation Day.

Today is Johnny Walker's birthday! RIP to a talented comedian. I love watching old Johnny Walker songs; they remind me of a more innocent time.

Here's a list of ten great Johnny Walker songs!


Sunday, November 10, 2013

Sunday Post: My heart is with you today, Filipinos!!

What an awful storm hit the Philippines!!! And 10,000 dead?! If there are any Filipino readers, please know my thoughts are with you.

Here is a Filipino band rocking "Yeh Ishq Hai" from Jab We Met which is all I could find for videos linking the two.

And as long as I was posting, here is some news:


Friday, November 8, 2013

Friday Post: Shamelessly Unnecessary.

The Library of Congress has awarded the Indian nonprofit PlanetRead for their work teaching literacy through Bollywood!! Congratulations, PlanetRead!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Thursday Post: Krrish 3 again this weekend? Yes/Yes?

Roti, Kapada, aur Rum's Rum sent me a link to this silly review of Krrish 3 this morning. I hate these reviewers obsessed with picking out references--as if everything in every Hollywood film sprung directly from the head of the filmmaker like Athena. What's wrong with Rakesh Roshan assembling bits and pieces of the Western superhero mythos into a uniquely masala superhero product? I've seen X-Men and Iron Man and whatever and was bored stiff. I was riveted during Krrish 3. There's the only thing that matters.

And it seems like audiences agree with me and not Reviewer Pulled From The Set Of The Big Bang Theory.


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Krrish 3: Love, Peace, and Hrithik

I apologize for this review coming so late! I had two functions to attend last weekend and just barely managed to fit in a screening of the film itself. I’m going to try and keep this as spoiler-free as possible, respecting Rakesh Roshan’s wishes, but really I would suggest just seeing the film if it seems at all like something you would enjoy.


If you are the kind of person bothered by the fact that there is no Krrish 2, then Krrish 3 is definitely not the film for you. Much like Rakesh Roshan’s numbering of the series, his narrative is more concerned with what feels right, as opposed to what would make logical sense. Fortunately, that’s exactly the way I like it. What Rakesh Roshan (and co-writers Honey Irani and Robin Bhatt) have given us is a wonderful mix of science-fiction, family drama, action, and good old-fashioned masala dil. Krrish may look slicker and more musclely than heroes of days past but his heart is firmly anchored in the time when we cheered for Vijay, not Don.


Wednesday Post: The Human Factor.

I saw the trailer for Sunny Deol's Singh Saab this weekend and do you know what? It actually looked pretty good!! What do you think?

The film is in trouble with the censors for one of the songs which allegedly has objectionable lyrics.


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Tuesday Post: Another slow news day...

Yay! Krrish 3 enters the 100 Crore Club!

Wow, Diwali celebrations mean not too much news today, I guess, unless you want the media creeping on Aamir Khan's 16 year old daughter. I was hoping for more of Shahrukh Khan's delightfully surly teenage son looking like he would rather be anywhere else in the world than at his Dad's dumb work party but all the media vomited up was a slide show of photos snagged from the Aryan Khan FC, which is CREPPY ON SO MANY LEVELS.


(And yes, review is half written but the media aren't the only ones who partied too much this weekend. Ooof.)

Monday, November 4, 2013

Monday Post: It's Magic!

Krrish 3 is doing well at the box office it looks like! I'm happy for Hrithik and Rakesh!! I really, really enjoyed the film and I promise I have a review coming. Let me put it this way: I enjoyed the film enough that I didn't even hate Priyanka!!

So, don't listen to wet blanket reviewers; if you liked the first two films in the series, you'll enjoy this one, too.

All I can say right now is that Rakesh Roshan really understands me.

----

The TOI floats the idea of a film called Mr and Mrs Tapori starring Ranbir and Parineeti.

And Mid-day has Ranbir turning down a two hero film with SRK.


Friday, November 1, 2013

Friday Post: Happy Birthday, Aishwarya!

Happy birthday, Aishwayra Rai!!!

It's been quite a journey! Please keep making films, Aishwarya!

And, people, NO SPOILERS for Krrish 3--I'm not reading a SINGLE review before I go, okay? Nobody is going to ruin this for me. NOBODY. We're so information saturated about every film before we see it. It's tiring.


Thursday, October 31, 2013

Thursday Post: Dhoom Machale, Dhoom Machale, DHOOM!

There's only one REAL story today: DHOOM 3 TRAILER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (!!!!!!!!!)

I cannot wait. I've been on Team Vicky since Dhoom 2 and I loved Tashan enough to see it TWICE in the theater and many more times after that. The circus angle interests me quite a bit, too. I've long been fascinated by all things circus and magic related--magic as in stage magic and not the fantasy bullshit, I mean.

Adding to my enjoyment is the upside down view of the trailer from Luis Gomez at the Chicago Tribune. It's interesting to see what somebody with no idea of the franchise or the stars thinks the movie is about:

The third movie in the buddy cop, action franchise – which revolves around a supercop and his joke-cracking sidekick...

And later:

I was, however, able to gather that the protagonists are trying to capture our bowler hat-wearing friend (played by Bollywood mega-star Aamir Khan), who is the villain in the third film.

Imagine walking to Dhoom 3 thinking Abhishek and Uday's buddy act is the main point!! I mpossible, right? I'm not ripping on Luis. He has no way to know the history but it's funny to see the film described like that. Context matters. I haven't seen it yet but I can guarantee you Vicky wrote this with Aamir as the lead.


Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Wednesday Post: Spoiler alert...

Bollywood media. Dudes. Can you NOT put spoilers for Krrish 3 and/or Dhoom 3 in the titles of articles? I know you have no restraint but let's at least try, okay? Let Aamir keep his top secret trailer top secret. Nobody takes any pleasure in having the plot of upcoming films spoiled drip, drip, drip through stupid news blurbs.

Also, this nonsense is unacceptable. I get that everybody loves the stream of free content flowing from Priyanka's press team but one poorly danced "modern mujra" is not overshadowing Deepika in Ram Leela--especially since the movie isn't even out yet. Just chill on the cat fight nonsense.

Just chill, chill. Just chill.


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Tuesday Post: If Priyanka is "rounded," what does that make us non size zero types? Elephants?

We'll start today with Aamir and Priyanka in America.

Aamir Khan gets a thoughtful write-up in the Washington Post for the first America Abroad Media award.

“I want the viewer to take one step toward me,” says Khan, rather than channel surf from cricket match to soap opera to reality show and back to him. “We had no idea whether people would be interested in watching a really heavy topic like child sexual abuse or domestic violence.” They were, it turns out, because Khan is charismatic, empathetic and influential.

Meanwhile Priyanka Chopra's press team exploded all over American ladies media with gushing reports about how she is the first Indian Guess model.

From the last link:

"I'm pretty much quintessential Guess—feminine, the big hair, the big eyes, the doe-eyed look," Chopra told me in an exclusive interview at the Guess studios in downtown L.A., adding, "I really do believe that women should always be feminine and beautiful and not skinny, but rounded."

Wait, Priyanka considers herself NOT skinny? Okay, then... To my eye, what this means is Guess Jeans wants some of that sweet, sweet, upper middle class diaspora/metro money.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Monday Post: Injar Pinjar!

So, obviously, I didn't see Mickey Virus this weekend but I suspect this cranky review from Manoj Krishnan at the New Indian Express comes closest to how I would have felt:

This movie, however, is a feel good movie for nerds. Although, I don’t know too many nerds with such a good muscle tone. I doubt they even exist. This could, as usual, be attributed to the real world unrealism we see in Bollywood. Spoiler alert: The nerd gets the girl, and for nerd standards, she’s a regular Lara Croft.

*sigh*

Just like Hollywood!

Which perhaps explains why Dude-Bro over at Variety seemed to think it was aiight.


Sunday, October 27, 2013

Theeya Velai Seiyyanum Kumaru: Just because it's on Netflix, doesn't mean it's good.



*Review contains some plot spoilers but you shouldn’t watch the film anyways.*

I’m on record as a committed romantic-comedy hater but the truth, like 2009 Meryl Streep/Steve Martin/Alec Baldwin starrer It’s Complicated, is complicated. It’s not that I hate love or even romance--in fact, I remember enjoying the ironically titled 2003 Ewan McGregor/Renee Zellweger starrer Down With Love among others--but I have come to loathe the Hollywood conventions of the romantic-comedy genre and I loathe even more the Bollywood rush to adopt the same. And now those same tired conventions have pushed even further South to Chennai.

Welcome to the hell that is Theeya Velai Seiyyanum Kumaru.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Friday Post: The Lionheart arises...

It seems like Micky Virus is getting okay reviews but I can't stand the look of the hero. His face annoys me for some reason. I guess it's a good thing I had no interest in the film to begin with. Something about these movies with a bunch of guys chasing after some Hot Girl... I'll be avoiding, yaar.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Tamache Pe Disco: Did I think I would be this pumped for Bullett Raja?! NO, I DID NOT!

There's something appealing to me about "Tamache Pe Disco" where other campy disco songs have really turned me off. (Yes, I'm looking at you, Aamir and Ranbir).

I think it's a) the RDB factor, b) presence of Sona and Jimmy Shergill, and most importantly c) Saif goes big but not TOO big. He doesn't overdo it and drown the song in a pile of smugness at how clever he is not to be in 1977 right now.

Whatever... DANCE, SAIFU! DANCE!

Thursday Post. Sad news today...

This is some very sad news--Manna Dey has passed away.

A couple of greatest hits lists.

Some reminiscences from Sandip Roy:

Till the end of his career there were very few Hindi films where all the hero’s songs have been sung by Manna Dey. He got the reputation for singing old men’s songs, difficult songs, semi-classical songs. He bristled at those memories.

“Every song is classical,” he said sharply and sang a line from his famous Bengali song “Aaami je jalshagharey” and quickly segued to “Kaise kaatey raat” tracing the notes – re ga ma pa dha ma. “ People who have not learned what sa re ga ma pad dha ni sa is will not be able to sing this. Andaaz se kabtak gaatey rahogey ( how long will you sing by guesswork?) To be a singer you have to do your homework first.”

Old is gold.

Rest in peace, Manna Dey. Today my thoughts and prayers are with your family and friends.


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

HAPPY LOVE DAY!

Happy LOVE day!! My favoritest idol group new album titled LOVE releases today!! My copy has been shipped but you are welcome to order your own over here.

And, yes, this group does in fact contain "Yatterman"!

Definitely recommend this one if you like pop music and/or disco. It features some of the tastiest disco jams this side of Daft Punk.

And now!


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Tuesday post! And the most disappointing film of 2013 so far is... *suspense*

Somebody in my building is making pancakes and they smell heavenly. It's a Tuesday morning but do you think they would mind if I stopped by with a plate and some Grade B Maple Syrup?

Mmm... pancakes...


Monday, October 21, 2013

Monday Post: The bitch is back! Did you miss me?!

Good morning! Yes, everything is more or less back to normal here in DC and that includes my writing schedule! I'm sorry for abandoning you for a couple of weeks but it looks like I didn't miss too, too much except for drama over online ticket booking for the Mumbai Film Festival that rivals the healthcare.gov dramatics and Shahrukh getting a cold or something and the media spinning 200 stories about how he was watching his own movies on Netflix (or something--I skimmed.)

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Blog returning on MONDAY!!

In the meantime... enjoy "Gandi Baat"! Wow! This song is so catchy!!

I should also get to see Boss sometime tomorrow. I know the reviews are bad but what to do? I am the charter member of the Akshay No. 1 Ladies Fan Club after all.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Update from Hiatus-Land

In case it wasn't obvious, things probably won't be back to normal for at least another week and maybe two but I thought I would pop in with some updates!

FEARLESS NADIA! Did that get your attention? A restored Fearless Nadia print will be shown in Melbourne on October 13.


Sunday, September 29, 2013

Mini-hiatus, hopefully not too long.

Parineeti Chopra walking the ramp in a special tribute to Yash Chopra--more heroines walked, including Madhuri Dixit and Rani Mukerji; pictures over here!

Just a little treat to beg your forgiveness in advance. As you may or may not know, I'm based in Washington, DC and the situation here is currently very stressful and I'm afraid I don't have much mental energy left over to spend on being entertaining or writing about much of anything. Hopefully everything will be resolved soon but in the meantime, please forgive my absence until this budget crisis passes. And, Americans, please spare a thought for the hundreds of thousands of hard-working civil servants caught in the middle of this mess.

At least the only thing at the theater this weekend was Chennai Express so... no worries about me missing that.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Curly, wurly Friday post! I should wear my hair down today, hmm...

Elle Magazine discovers Bollywood exercise classes... but...

When I was speaking to Bollywood Funk’s Ayesha Khanna about some of the ignorant and misguided online comments about our new Miss America, she said that Bollywood sends the opposite message. “I think Bollywood is very open and that’s how the world should see it,” she told me. “Anybody can be a part of it. We welcome everyone.”

Um... I don't know how to phrase this without sounding combative but I wish they had phrased this better: Bollywood doesn't welcome everyone; Bollywood dancercize classes can and do welcome everyone.


Thursday, September 26, 2013

Thursday Post: FG puts on her Jagga T-shirt and Jagga backback with a Jagga notebook inside and some Jagga-braded cool drinks and snack bars and watches Jagga spin-off videos on her Jagga phone and... and...

Hello, hello, people of the world! The sun actually hasn't risen yet--that's how early I get up every day for you--and neither has the schedule for this weekend been posted. I do have a backlog of things to watch via streaming. For one thing, if you missed Eega, which is , you can catch it on this newly launched Telugu film streaming site with English subtitles!! I am very interested in watching again with English subs in order to catch some of the dialogues I missed... and because who doesn't need more Kiccha Sudeep in their lives? Am I right?! (*Sudeeeep!*)

I'd also enjoy writing a review that could talk more about the plot than the first time around. I do try not to give too many plot spoilers in my reviews and for the most part, if I'm talking about a new release, you can feel safe reading my reviews unless I specify otherwise.

PS Is there any interest in photos from the Besharam press meet in New York? I received some but will only post if you're interested.


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Wednesday Post: The Oops! Ranveer Singh's shirt fell off edition.

Moimeme had the best comment on The Lunchbox Oscar fuss on yesterday's post:

Since last night I've been convinced that the real reason Kashyap & Johar and their cohorts have been kicking up such a fuss is to raise the box office collections for The Lunchbox. Consider -- the film opened to lackluster collections on Friday, but since the announcement about The Good Road selection and all the "protests", its collections nearly doubled the next day. Great publicity to get the film into the public's consciousness. :)

Oh ho ho! Good point!


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Tuesday Gossip: BUT MAAA! I DIDN'T WANT THIS IN MY LUNCHBOX! Why can't I have Lunchables like the other kids?!

So, I just tried to do my news search and basically the only story today that wasn't planted by Priyanka's PR team is MORE WHINING ABOUT THE LUNCH BOX. Are you kidding me?! This is getting obnoxious on an almost Shahrukh-ian scale...

It's almost enough to make me think that the FFI has pulled off A DELIBERATE AND EPIC bit of trolling of the Corporate "Indie" Bollywood establishment--a real frying pan to the face, so to speak.


Monday, September 23, 2013

Monday Post: Welcome back, drama!

Good morning, folks! I had a lovely day bopping around DC yesterday with an old friend who was visiting from Boston--


*still as cool as ever*

Jenn is one of the smartest and most dedicated people I know. If you're at all interested in literacy or education, you should check out her blog or the blog posts of her ESL students, one of whom was featured in a documentary about little Malala Yousafzai, who was shot by the Taliban for trying to get an education. These kids have a lot of truth to tell and it's quite moving reading their statements.


Sunday, September 22, 2013

Phata Poster Nikhla Hero: Delightful, delightful, delightful.

I’m not sure what was in the Kool-Aid served up to Bollywood’s finest movie critics but I’m very glad I didn’t listen to their moaning. Take note: Phata Poster Nikhla Hero is delightful, as is the titular Hero, Shahid Kapoor. The feel is closer in tone to Khiladi 786 than Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani; it’s a comedy first and foremost but with a nice strain of family drama and some fun out-and-out action. This is masala in the old-fashioned definition of the word--there is something for everybody, from kids to grannies.

Going up the country... for brunch!

Hey, friends! I hate to do this to you but Phata Poster review will come later tonight. It's only about half written at the moment but I'm meeting some out-of-town friends for brunch and can't be late. Although I've drifted (more or less) over to Desi Standard Time the last few years, my friends are pretty punctual, so off I go! ♥

I said this on Twitter last night but if you're wavering between seeing and not seeing Phata Poster I would definitely recommend going if any of the following apply to you:

1. You even mildly enjoy Shahid Kapoor.

2. You enjoy clean but funny comedies.

3. You like maa-centered family drama.

Because--don't get me wrong--Ileana does a fine job here but the real love story is between mother and son. A very refreshing change from the usual Romantic Love Is The Purpose Of Life sop we're fed. ♥

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Saturday Post: Of lunchboxes and more important things.

Goooood morning, MUMBAI! And the rest of the world!

I woke up this morning and--at least on my Twitter timeline--you'd have thought the Film Federation of India had personally taken a dump in every former PFC-er's tiffin because the butthurt was flying fast and furious over Gujarati film The Good Road being selected as India's entry to the Oscars instead of... The Lunch Box.

Now, you know me, I had zero interest in this film before all the hype and even less interest now that the hype has reached hysterical levels. Negative interest. While there is nothing inherently wrong with making a small, self-contained, film about a romance between a housewife and an office worker, I do think it's ridiculous to slather on the praise so thick--unless I'm seriously missing something and the housewife ends up going all Second Wave on the menfolks and starting her own lunchcart business? Or going all Fire and running off with her daughter-in-law to have a torrid love affair in Goa or something?

Because otherwise, my interest in The Lunchbox extends about as far as this Faking News article: Housewives Request Dabbawalas to Commit More Mistakes.

Frustrated and angered by their illogical demands, Ghule Bhau is reported to have told the women to ask their husbands to shave off mustaches and buy sunglasses, and they will have Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi right at their doorsteps.

Come on, PFC-ers, The Good Road has Sonali Kulkarni in it and she's awesome. So deal with it.


Friday, September 20, 2013

Friday Post: Kuuu-ku-kuuu!

As much as I found Grand Masti really distasteful, I am happy for Riteish that he has a hit! But I do hope that he gets a film more worthy of his charms and talents.

Speaking of actors who often select dicey projects, I'm kind of amused at the handful of reviews I skimmed for Phata Poster Nikla Hero which say that Shahid and Ileana don't have Ranbir and Kat's chemistry from Ajab Prem because I remember all the same critics trashing that one when it came out, too. (Something Google confirms if you feel like trolling through old reviews.) I liked Ajab Prem a lot; I like Shahid a lot; ergo if Phata Poster is like Ajab Prem but starring Shahid instead of Ranbir, I'll probably enjoy it.

Ah~ I remember when I really liked ol' Ganglu...

----

Vivek Oberoi joins the list of stars with tax troubles.


Thursday, September 19, 2013

Thursday Post: BUT I WANT TO SEE SHAHID NOW! *cry*

Good morning, Thursday! What is it about fall that makes everything better? I love the switch to cooler weather. AND guess what we're getting this weekend?! PHATA POSTER NIKHLA HERO! EEEE! Shahid Kapoor on the big screen! And it feels like he's really taking his career seriously... (Most of these Shahid interviews cover the same talking points.)

“I am not 45. I am not at that stage where people have seen 20 years of my work. So I feel it is important to keep presenting yourself to the audience. There will be times they will like you; there will be times they will not like the film. I have learned over 10 years that films will come and go, but people must like you. And therefore your performances must be consistent,” said Kapoor.

Good luck, Shahid! I like you even when I don't like your films--but usually I like your films, too. Even the ones everybody else hated. I stand by both Mausam and Chance Pe Dance, damn it!

The other film playing is... Ya Ya! I saw the trailer for this a while ago in the theater and it looks good!

But definitely one I would need subtitles for. I love Santhanam's comedy! ♥


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Wednesday Post... not too much news of interest today. Dilip Kumar is still in hospital... :(

Because I'm weird like this, as I was dozing this morning in bed, I was thinking about this Emily Nussbaum post I read yesterday on fans watching media (in this case Breaking Bad) "wrong." Before you comment here, don't worry, she gets taken to task in the comments section for her judgemental use of language and I'm certainly not going to accuse anybody of watching "wrong." What I was musing on--and it ties into conversations we were having in the comments earlier this week--were the films made for people who don't watch movies (and song picturizations) like I do, preferring a more MTV/Hollywood style of film meant to be put on while you're doing something else starring celebrities whose main talent is selling gossip magazines and featuring songs meant to be played on iPhones while waiting in line at the grocery store.

There is nothing wrong with that--let me emphasize again, no negative judgement implied--but there's no point in me caring about Poonam Pandey and Gauher Khan when I have much easier access to (and to be honest, more cultural investment in) in Lindsay Lohan and Miley Cyruse and Demi Lavato. AKA The stuff whose main value is for me to have something to make small talk about with people in my day-to-day life. I do understand the value of having an Imran Khan to gossip about--as somebody who moved back to America as a teenager and had to teach herself American culture in order to fit it, believe me I do understand the value there.

Anyways, there are still lovely films being made that are for people watching films like I watch films and I am overjoyed at the Ram-Leela trailer! And really looking forward to Shahid's upcoming films and Akshay's and Dhoom 3 and anything Rakesh Roshan puts his hands on. But I'll be honest, as somebody with a love for stories AND songs, I do miss the richer musical palate of the older films, the way the emotions were deepened through music. Filmi-Contrast opened up a question on a previous post but I don't think too many people follow old comments chains so I'll re-post here:

I still feel like it is rare to see the type of plaintive individual lament made famous by Mahudbala in M-e-A: "Mohabbat ki Jhooti Kahani." Or the poignant rebuke/lament, like "Jab Bhi Jee Chahe" from Chopra's Daag (1973). Whether or not it was ever a common type of musical expression in any decade, I wish we had more of it! Does anyone have any thoughts/examples on where the individual lament songs are in films today/recent years?

I feel like mostly these types of songs--if used at all--are done as montages:

And... I do miss seeing the characters actually SING their feelings. It feels more immediate and intimate and, yes, "real" to see them singing versus the audience just observing the action, you know? But maybe I'm just old-fashioned. And I know John Abraham would say I'm trying to hold Indian cinema back from competing with the West but I would politely disagree with Johnny and say there is value in using songs in a narrative in the unique Hindi cinema way and who cares what some Hollywood critics think.

(Unless Johnny is just angling to elbow his way onto the cushy Irrfan Khan international film festival press junket circuit and then more power to him. I bet Irrfan gets some SWEET goody bags and other swag. Hollywood does have cash and is appears to be more than happy to throw it around.)


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Tuesday Post... oh, you copyrighted that? T...y Post. No? T...T

We have a desi Miss America and she's had to put up with some INCREDIBLY racist bullshit since winning.

But her talent was... dancing to "Dhoom Taana!"

Incredible! I guess Bollywood is really going mainstream in America, too!! Just wait until Miley Cyrus gets her hands on some Mumaith Khan numbers...

Regular readers can skip this but for anybody just Googling around for more information about Nina Davuluri and her "Indian Classical-Bollywood Fusion Dance" who's landed on this page--the original song is from a movie called Om Shanti Om and you can watch it here. No, that's not what all Bollywood movies are like. Om Shanti Om is a deliberately campy film but if you've never seen anything Bollywood before, it's not a terrible place to start. You'll be dazzled even if you don't get all the jokes.

For films available on Netflix Instant, I'd check out Jab We Met (romantic comedy featuring a very likable lead couple) and Lagaan (historical-sports-political drama that was an Oscar finalist). There are other good ones, too, but I'm not sure if the charms of a Tashan or Vettai (actually a Tamil language film) would be apparent to somebody not used to the style.

People interested in more typical mainstream "foreign films" from India that aren't uber-depressing slum dramas should check out Peepli Live and Kahaani--both on Netflix Instant.

If you like them, come back and tell me and we'll talk!


Monday, September 16, 2013

Monday Post: Get well soon, Dilip Kumar! Then you can see Ranveer PWN the Ram Leela trailer with the rest of us!

Very short post today, mostly because I wanted to join the people wishing Dilip Kumar a speedy recovery--he was hospitalized with a heart attack yesterday.

I never thought of songs as one of Dilip-saab strong suits but browsing through things to post, there are some lovely ones out there:

Is miming the piano a lost art now?


Sunday, September 15, 2013

Context: Do you have it?

I don't have a new review for you, so have a mini-post touching on some ideas I've been mulling over recently!

Last night I stumbled across a new addition to the Criterion Collection on Hulu: the Japanese film Fall Guy (1982). By happy coincidence it happened to be based on a play by the playwright I’ve been researching--Tsuka Kouhei (つかこうへい), who seems to be a Neil Simon-y type figure. Even with my library access, it’s been difficult to find anything out since very little seems to have been written on him in English and Japanese language books aren’t exactly easy to come by. But my difficulties in geeking out on research are neither here nor there; the reason I bring this up is that the film got me thinking about context.


Sunday Post: Short and sweet.

Oh, dear lord! Grand Masti is the fourth biggest opener in India this year?! WOW! So, Neha Dhupia is proven right once again--the only things that sell are sex and Shahrukh.

And Irrfan Khan--at least in the West. I'm already fed up with "Oscar Buzz" around The Lunchbox and it's still September!


Saturday, September 14, 2013

Saturday Post: GOOD MORNING TO YOU!

GOOD MORNING, FRIENDS!

Sorry for missing yesterday's post--it was entirely unintentional. I woke up feeling very poorly... but today is a bright and shiny new day! And there is just a touch of fall in the air. I love the autumn, don't you?

For many here in America, though, autumn means AMERICAN FOOTBALL--a game for the life of me I've never been able to muster any interest in. (WHY DOES 60 seconds of play last half an hour?? WHY?!) But apparently the NFL is attempting to drum up international interest in their product by hiring a celeb trying to drum up American interest in her assets. Yup, Madame Piggy tossing around the ol' pigskin. And they are welcome to her--in fact, I'd be thrilled if Piggy fully crossed over to Hollywood so I never had to see her again!

Hey, Hollywood, how about a Katherine Heigel x Priyanka Chopra two heroine rom-com I never have to see!!


Thursday, September 12, 2013

Thursday's Half Assed Post!!

Good morning, everybody!

I woke up a little late today so.... have some pictures of lovely Parineeti in Toronto.

And you can watch the press conference for Shuddh Desi Romance!

And Akshay's specially penned Ganpati version of Boss. Just do yourself a favor and DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES read the comments underneath the video on youtube. I got curious and scrolled down... big mistake.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Wednesday Post where I thought it was Thursday... but it wasn't. Yet.

I'll open with this because... it's a terrible crime blotter story.

What an awful way to die. RIP, Anil.

(And way to keep it classy, Firstpost. That headline! DEAR LORD!)

Also awful is that some reports had him working on the film "based on" poor Jiah Khan's life and death.


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Tuesday Post! KRRISH 3 TIME IS COMING!

OH YEAH!

Not even my loathing for Piggy and her dumb bimbo heroine act can keep me away from KRRISH 3! LOOK AT HIM MOVE! *whistle whistle*


Monday, September 9, 2013

Monday Post and a big HAPPY BIRTHDAY to the Khiladi!

Wowwwww... I think everybody got up on the wrong side of the bed yesterday. Cranky interviews galore today but first...

A BIG HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO THE KHILADI!

Still the most virile man on the Bollywood screen!

The horse in the water kills me every time!

And... REMEMBER DESI BOYZ?!

I cannot wait for Boss! CANNOT WAIT!


Sunday, September 8, 2013

Happy Birthday to Asha Bhosle!

Posting today as an excuse to with Asha Bhosle a VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

She's celebrating 80 years old!

I'll never forget seeing her sing live... incredible voice!


Friday, September 6, 2013

Friday Post: Happy birthday to my sis!!

Bad reviews can convince me to see a movie, especially if the reviewers are complaining about things that I enjoy--see also: my viewing of Himmatwala after Ajay bashed it.

That does not seem to be the case for Zanjeer, however, where reviews seem united on two points:

1. It's kind of boring.

2. Piggy is annoying as fuck.

From the first linked review: Priyanka Chopra as Mala seems to be trying too hard to be bubbly and be the comic relief in the movie.

If there were words that could keep me away from a movie theater besides "starring Shahrukh Khan" those are them.

(Speaking of: oops.)

SO... Riddick this weekend? Yes/Yes? Hands up who loves Vin Diesel! Two hands up who loves Katee Sackhoff! (ME!) Dear lord, if there were an article designed to get me into the theater...


Thursday, September 5, 2013

DHOOM 3: THE TEASER IS HERE!

Okay, so, number 1, it's actually really good to see Uday and Abhishek together again!

AND NUMBER 2, I CAN'T WAIT!

Just imagine me dhooming around my apartment right now.

I think this definitely calls for a double-feature rewatch right before the release? Who's in?!

Thursday Post: Bosssss, Boss, Boss.

The schedule is out for this weekend and... we're getting Zanjeer, Shuddh Desi Romance, AND a Tamil film called Varutha Padatha Valibar Sangam. I'm not sure what I should go for... usually, I'd pick the masala film but Zanjeer just seems like a hot mess of a film. I mean, I would also have to suffer through Piggy hamming it up in booty shorts. But I'm not a huge romance fan, either... what to do...

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Wednesday Post: Early morning...

A big HAPPY BIRTHDAY to one of Bollywood's favorite grumpy, old men--Rishi Kapoor!

He can still go toe-to-toe with the charmingest men in the business.

Keep making films, sir, and I'll keep watching them!

(But not Besharam because Ranbir in the trailer gives me a headache.)


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