Friday, October 30, 2009


Finally - London Dreams and Aladin!! Both of which have gotten mediocre reviews, which means nothing to me. Actually, I'm more inclined to go see the movies than if the critics were raving about them because me + critically acclaimed do not mix.

Speaking of the critics - I've got two articles that could loosely be grouped under "Bollywood for White Folk."

Foreign Policy in Focus gives a general overview of Bollywood for white folk, focusing on films like Mr. and Mrs. Iyer.

More interesting is this look at Arshad Warsi vehicle Dhamaal by FilmThreat.

Everyone has heard about Bollywood, but few people outside of India and the Indian diaspora have ever sat down and watched a Bollywood film from start to finish. I just experienced my first Bollywood film, a 2007 comedy called “Dhamaal.”

As one of the "few" he is talking about, I was curious to see how this played out. The reviewer is confused by the songs, sound effects, and many references to Hollywood films - all things singled out for derision. And this is the problem with showing something like Dhamaal to a Bollywood virgin - he has no context. I can guarantee that there were as many tributes to old Bollywood films as there were references to old Hollywood films but those would have gone right over his head. And the sound effects are unremarkable for somebody used to the Rohit Shetty school of filmmaking. They just are - mixing into the background to provide ambiance, like canned laughter in a sitcom.

Still, it's not everyday you get to read a review of a Bollywood film written from somebody whose idea of "international" cinema is probably closer to Mr. and Mrs. Iyer than Golmaal: Fun Unlimited. Maybe he should read the Foreign Policy in Focus Bollywood for White People article to get some better ideas of movies to watch.

But... okay - Gossip.

* Gopichand and Prabhas's new film is going to be called Partners. Although the article mentions that Gopichand plays an "encounter specialist" in the film he's working on now. What does that even mean?

* I might have mentioned this before but Bebo is looking certain for Ra.1.

* Golden Star Ganesh is filming in Goa!

* Kurbaan is going to feature a music video of Saif surrounded by images of Kareena.

* Shashi Kapoor will be honored at the Mumbai International Film Festival!


Prashant Mehta said...

This is funny... A bollywood virgin starting with Dhamaal!

A lot of times people have asked me to review the foreign films i see (Hollywood, Iranian, Latin, etc). They ask me to go outta Bollywood and explore other/better pastures. I bluntly refuse to them. After reading his review of Dhamaal, i think i have taken the right decision of not reviewing foreign films.

In his article i see a few supposed contradictions. At one instance he says:

". I just experienced my first Bollywood film, a 2007 comedy called “Dhamaal.”

At the other he says:

"At this point, the film kicks into trademark Bollywood style by introducing a completely irrelevant musical number."

Even though he hasn't seen many Bollywood movies, he knows what Bollywood trademark is! Looks like Bollywood 'trademark' is also known to ppl who haven't seen a single flick!

Filmi Girl said...

@Prashant Isn't that funny? Maybe I'll do a post on his review but I noticed some interesting things, too. He seemed to be viewing the film through the lens of his preconceived notions of Bollywood ("irrelevant" songs) and by trying to pick out everything that could possibly have been "borrowed" from Hollywood instead of taking the film on its own terms.

Prashant Mehta said...

Yes it is. And that is dangerous. I know, it is difficult not to have a preconceived notion - but that's what makes a good review different from a biased opinion.

shell said...

Kareena in Ra.1 hey. I think I may finally be on the bebo bandwagon after seeing Kambakkht Ishq (which I actuallly liked and may need you to back me up on when I get to my review! - I think almost everyone hated it). Even if I didn't really get the connection in Asoka, I could definitely see her being the strong lois lane type along side Shah Rukh's superhero.

Filmi Girl said...

I will back you to LA and back on Kambakkht Ishq! I actually purchased my own copy which is currently waiting to be re-watched. XD

Anarchivist said...

It's pretty funny that the "Dhamaal" review says "CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: Unlikely at the moment." It sells on Nehaflix for 7 bucks. :)

Kiran said...

Filmi Girl, here is what i found in wiki regarding Encounter killings:

myrna-nora said...

I have not seen Dhamaal, but the reviewer clearly has no idea what he is talking about. The point of his article seemed to be: "Bollywood is cheap and stupid and I am here to confirm it, with as little research as possible."
And what is his point about "bootlegs?" It took me less than a minute to find a region 0 Shemaroo-brand of the DVD.

Filmi Girl said...

It looks like I should do a post on the "Dhamaal" review. XD

I'm glad everyone took a look at it, though - it seems a very representative review from a somebody whose idea of Bollywood has been gleamed from The Love Guru.

And thanks, Kiran, for the link to the encounter killings!! I am really looking forward to that movie if Gopichand is playing a guy who does that! Sometimes, Indian English uses words that American English speakers - like myself - do not have the vocabulary for. :D

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
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