Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Tuesday Post: Shut up and Bounce

Let's start today with an interview with Ranbir Kapoor, in which he says absolutely nothing of consequence.

Except maybe this: You have to understand film-making is a very expensive medium, and by doing in film endorsements sometimes you cover a large part of your cost. But you have to do that sensibly. It cannot seem forced because you are anyway trying to create a world and make people believe in that world that you are showing and if you are holding a packet of detergent powder and advertising that in a movie through your character it doesn’t make sense unless it’s part of the screenplay. So I don’t believe in that myself.

Very interesting to see his take on endorsements as something practical that you do for cash.

But, like anything, there are consequences to taking this money.


Imagine Shahrukh wearing that Gap sweartshirt today, knowing that Gap makes their clothes in the same kind of death trap factories that have caused so many deaths in Bangladesh. What is his responsibility, if any?

But coming back to "Pepsi," Ranbir's character in the upcoming film, soda and sugary drinks, taken in moderation, are perfectly fine for health but there are also huge negative impacts on the environment. When there is water insecurity and drought for many people across India, is supporting these huge multinational companies that contribute to this problem the right thing to do? Or is it just a sugary drink? And what does this corporate funding mean when it comes to who these films are being made for? i.e. People who can afford to buy a Gap sweatshirt instead of the people who make them.

I'm not saying I have the right answer or that taking corporate money to fund a film is necessarily wrong but what I am saying is that taking corporate money means these questions never get raised - especially in the films that they fund. We won't see Ranbir dishooming any factory owners or participating in garment worker strikes but we will see him in a Gap sweatshirt, drinking a Pepsi and I don't know if he's even thought about his decision.

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A call for more grown-up romance from Anuya Jakatdar over at Firstpost.

So how about this, Bollywood? How about you retire that ideal love story, that epic saga, that search for une grande passion between impossibly perfect people and give us a real love story instead? No more Aashiqui 2 (if I wanted to watch an alcoholic star in action, I’d show up outside Salman Khan’s house on Tuesday nights) and no more Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, which seems like a well-meaning movie about a love story between the same popular kid and nerd kid stereotypes that are the cornerstones for Hollywood’s rom-com empire (the town square is made entirely of Meg Ryan’s lips.)

I second that last part SO HARD. Hollywood is just as bad, if not worse as this perfect-perfect-stereotype nonsense. Rom-coms give me hives.

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From Vashna Jagarnath in South Africa, on a similar topic, here is an interesting break down of Bollywood weddings and their effects, through the lens of Gupta-gate...

The new generation of Bollywood films, with their refreshed plot lines, deal with young love in a manner that resembles the cheesiest of the 80s high school romances popularised by Hollywood. But they add a peculiarly Indian form of glamour, and have an appeal that resonates way beyond India and its diaspora. This new crop of films with their sleek production values also became far more palatable to a broader audience in Europe and the United States. The remoulding of India as a modern rich nation with the big fat Bollywood wedding as one of its chief cultural features meant that the Bollywood wedding theme became popular and coveted even amongst global celebrities like Elizabeth Hurley. And of course for the film set in Bombay, real-life marriages occur in the full glare of the media, often mimicking the filmi-type wedding at every turn, further blurring the lines between film and reality.

Emphasis added by me.

Maybe it's just my recent, extremely reluctant dip into weddings-ville (I AM NEVER DOING THIS AGAIN) here in America but this piece resonated with me. Especially this line at the end:

...freedom has, for many, become about personal access to wealth.

Welcome to America's world.

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And one more - as long as I'm going all in today - an open letter to Karan Johar on the subject of his segment in Bombay Talkies.

Didn’t it occur to you that this opportunity also came with some measure of responsibility? For the thousands for whom your film might be the first exposure to real gay characters (after the faux-gay jokes of Dostana), gay will now mean the guy who comes to dinner and steals his hostess’ (and best friend’s) husband on the way out without any moral qualms at all, not even a moment’s misgiving.

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Trouble from the Punjab for Shootout at Wadala.

At least 200 local inhabitants of Moga in Punjab stormed Sonu Sood's family home in Moga demanding that the actor who is a pivotal part of the cast of Sanjay Gupta's Shootout At Wadala, issue a public apology for the alleged insult in the film to the revered Sanskrit scholar Valmiki.

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The next part of Jerry Pinto's series on 100 years of Bollywood!

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CNN-IBN has the list of Indians going to Cannes.

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Shahrukh Khan: yup, still banned from Wankhede.

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I'm only linking to this because the article title sounds like the set-up to a really raunchy joke.

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Shahid to share the screen with Salman Khan? Oh boy...

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Apparently yesterday was "No Diet Day"? Well, any excuse to look at gorgeous ladies who haven't dieted themselves into emaciation!

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Now a white people corner!

Dear American fashion bloggers,

this orange monstrosity would not be worn by anybody in Bollywood.

Iggy Azalea's "Bounce."

I'll just say up front that I'm not a fan of hers. She's not a great rapper, has no rhythm, and her main talent seems to be being Barbie-doll pretty and very, very white. As for the video, um... I don't know how comfortable I am with the pancake make-uped white goddess descends from heaven to show desi people how to have a good time imagery. If the intention was to poke at the stereotypes of white item girls (a more effective Imported Kamariya, if you will) than okay but I don't think that's what they were aiming for here.

On the other hand, it is nice to see Bollywood song conventions done straight. And kudos to BRTHR for getting that part right.

At the very least, Iggy is a far better dancer than Sunny Leone.

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And, finally, just because it's my blog and I can do what I want...

AKSHAY KUMAR DOING KARATE!!!!! "You think anybody wants a roundhouse kick to the face while I'm wearing these bad boys? Forget about it!"

God, I love Akshay Kumar.

3 comments:

odadune said...

Danggit, Angry Mob...Sonu Sood was playing a VILLAIN in SAW, and a non-Hindu villain at that. Character's not required to be a model of respectful, ecumenical behavior towards the classics.

(He and his shirts are basically the second and third best thing in SAW, after Manoj Bajpay.)

Oh, yeah, and Sonu and Prakash Raj are gonna be in the Sajid-Farhad directoral debut...possibly as comical/reformable baddies on the the Singh is King/Welcome model. I'm actually halfway excited about that one now.

Tady said...

UGH!!!! How is that Bollywood inspired!??!?

sunil said...


Hi filmi girl.How are you?This is my first comment on your blog.Just wanted to say that aamir khan also endorsed coca cola.I will comment on your blog sometimes.



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