Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Wednesday post: RIP Akkineni Nageswara Rao

The big news today is thatAkkineni Nageswara Rao has passed away. The Telugu film industry will be shut on Thursday in mourning.

Rest in peace, sir.


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Articles like this are why I need to hurry and finish my book. The 'common wisdom' on Bollywood in Western media is just… nothing. There's no there there.

But, aside from rare crossover hits like "Slumdog Millionaire"…

SERIOUSLY? How many times do I have to yell in all caps that SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE WAS NOT A BOLLYWOOD FILM. It was made by Westerners, for Westerners.

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And this video of a tiny kid doing a medley of Salman Khan songs on India's Got Talent was picked up by Western media and the comments are exactly as disheartening as one might expect. From people clutching their pearls at his pelvic thrusts to jokes about his weight and everything in between…

It's so odd to see people watching this who have no idea who Karan Johar is or that Malaika Arora was "Munni" or that the kid is dancing to a medley of hit songs.

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Almost as annoying is Priyanka Chopra referring to herself as 'a musician' for the craptacular pop singles she's released. I'm also uncomfortable with her magnanimously dismissing racism in the West where she doesn't live or work when she is the one doing "squinty eye" make-up tests to play a girl from 'far off' Northeastern India who 'works in rice paddies'.

I don't necessarily think that she needs to say anything about the huge amounts of racism directed at South Asians and other groups from mouth breathing bottom dwellers in America and elsewhere in the West but I don't know if I'm comfortable with her just dismissing it either. But to be fair, there's plenty of racism and sexism and other things in India--where she lives--that she also seems remarkably unconcerned about.

But every time she does one of these Western promotional sprees, I'm always wondering why did she do the theme for NFL? Why exactly does she want a career here so desperately? What is it that appeals to her that she's willing to put her A-list, choice of plum projects Hindi film career on hold to do some generic bullshit that maybe (if I'm being generous) one of your lower-level Kardashians might otherwise be doing or possibly (if I'm not) Haylie Duff level projects?

Although, I will say this: if PC creating a Los Angeles pop career for herself means she's out of films forever, I will personally purchase a copy of her single.

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As long as I'm annoyed, how about this article? Apparently, for Nishikant Kamat, 'leading ladies' are superfluous and only there for glamor, songs are a distraction, and blah, blah, blah. Oh, and his film stars John Abraham because, you know:

Kamat feels the glamour, songs and cast including the female lead must not be dictated by the box office.

Well, if you're casting John Abraham as your solo lead, then you DEFINITELY aren't being dictated by the box office. Or acting talent. *BOOM* yes, I went there.

The only way this film is getting into my good graces is if John and his male co-star are just rolling in homoerotic tension that goes from subtext to text.

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Rakesh Roshan! Rakesh Roshan! You know how to talk to a girl, or rather this girl…

A: ...The minute I took the unpopular decision of releasing my film in partnership with single-screen distributors I knew I was looking for trouble.

Q: Why do you say that?

A: I haven't become corporatised yet. I am the only major producer, who still makes films and releases them without tying up with corporate houses. That makes me an easy target for everyone in the film industry. Or so they think.

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Randeep Hooda as Charles Sobhraj. I've never found him overly compelling as an actor but I am curious about this one.

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Kay Kay Menon is in Haider, which is set in the 1990s? Okay! I love Kay Kay.

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Kareena Kapoor has no idea what Bombay Samurai is about, does she? Well, we all know she'll rock it regardless!

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Alia Bhatt seems like she is a sensible girl. She apologizes for the Saifai controversy:

“I don’t want to stretch this topic because it is kind of over. I would say that nobody tried to hurt anybody… we are not sadistic people. We did good cause as well. I do feel bad for not being aware. I was aware of the riots… but I was not aware of the circumstances few days prior to the event. I feel bad about that and I genuinely believe I should be more aware of the happenings,” Alia said.

I hope she does try to stay aware of current events.

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Girish Kumar would love to work with Anurag Basu and Imtiaz Ali, says Girish in a article his daddy paid for in the TOI.

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Oh… has Sooraj Pancholi been formally charged with abetting Jiah Khan's death? It still breaks my heart to see photos of her. RIP Jiah.

And please be careful when clicking on Jiah Khan links--the one above is okay--because many trashy and unethical outlets are using her autopsy photos to illustrate these types of articles and it's really, really disturbing to have her corpse shoved in your face.

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Well, what a depressing round up of stories.

You know, last night I re-watched Band Baaja Baarat (again) and was blown away (again) at how wonderful Ranveer Singh is. What a hero! *whistle whistle*

He really did have 'star quality' written all over him from the very beginning. Bittoo (double t, double o) Sharma will long be remembered.

1 comment:

darius morgan said...

Hi, I am Western white male that has recently gotten more and more into Bollywood films. I heard the same Marketplace report on the radio the other day and had the same thought. I guess Slumdog Millionaire was at least set in India, lol.

My first Bollywood experience was actually Chandni Chowk to China in a theater. To be honest, much of the my enjoyment is still in reckognizing the ridiculousness of most movies from my Western perspective. But it's the whole-hearted devotion and sincertiy that shines through most films that make them hard to simply write off or laugh _at_. Mainstream Western films typically play things much safer, and therefore even if you can't pick out their imperfections as easily, they are often just totally forgetable. While both Hollywood and Bollywood obviously rely tirelessly on rehashing the same tropes and conventions, and even constantly subverting those convetions in the same ways, there is something more engaging in Bollywood.

I'm still a newbie to Bollywood, but thanks to Netflix catching up more quickly. Looking forward to reading your blog more. Thanks!

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