Friday, May 21, 2010

Friday Gossip... KITES Edition!

Today is the big day - the release of Kites! And let us see what the Western press has been saying!

Surprisingly, there were quite a few positive reviews!

Some were overly concerned with Hrithik's abs...

Thankfully, my nemesis over at the
New York Times did NOT review Kites, instead Jeannette Catsoulis gives us this review, which Hrithik, of course, retweeted:

A shorter version of the film (retooled by Brett Ratner) will be released next Friday, but Mr. Roshan requires viewing uncut: writhing on the dance floor or just gazing into space, the man was made to drive women crazy, one movie at a time.

I wonder why Hrithik liked it so much... hmmm.... just kidding! She speaks the truth, of course.

Liz Braun at the
Toronto Sun appreciated it on a different level:

Intense close-up seems to be the shot of choice in Bollywood movies, and we think we know why. After the camera lingers in Roshan’s green eyes or likewise swims around in the peepers of the beeeayutiful Barbara Mori, viewers are hypnotized into watching the rest of the movie. Seriously.

Some reviews got it so completely that I want to hang out with the reviewers and watch old Bette Davis films with them:

Kevin Thomas at the
Los Angeles Times says:

The film is free of both subtlety and irony, and it demands of its charismatic stars, Hrithik Roshan and Bárbara Mori, that they act their hearts out with the utmost sincerity. The result is an exhilarating escapist entertainment that plays out like a violent and floridly poetic allegory.


Mick LaSalle over at the
San Fransisco Gate likewise says:

This is opera. This is the big stuff, folks. This is a choir, a drum machine, a synthesizer, a 17-piece orchestra and an echo chamber all screaming "Love! Love! Love!" Go in smirking, but by the time it's over, you'll believe.

Ted Fry at the
Seattle Times says:

Bonnie and Clyde and Romeo and Juliet may come to mind amid the volatile theatrics, but the overblown action is all part of a piece in a giddy, hyperbolic style that has made Bollywood more popular than Hollywood to much of the world.

I got the sense that he didn't like the film but he understood that other people would, which is what a good reviewer does.

Here are a few of my favorite boneheaded and unintentionally funny things that Western reviewers wrote!

From Danny Gire at Chicago's
The Daily Herald:

With a small amount of tinkering, Kites could easily become the Airplane of Bollywood movies, a ridiculously funny sendup of the genre conventions.

But this wants to be taken as a serious movie. Sometimes, a little too serious.

Um... no. You have to understand Bollywood conventions to send them up and you clearly don't. Just because you don't understand something doesn't make it funny.

Carrie Rickey at the
Philadelphia Inquirer liked the film but says:

Tonally, the film from director Anurag Basu has more personalities than Sybil. Basu strictly observes the B-movie convention of giving the audience an embrace, explosion, or chase sequence at regular intervals. If you don't like the genre, wait three minutes.

The way she phrased this kind of rubs me the wrong way but, yes, that is how
masala works.

The title of this review says it all -
These Slumdogs Look Like A Million Bucks.

Pardon me while I *face palm* at that.

And, finally, comes the review that probably echoes the American 'cinema buff' fanboy sentiment...

Will Sloan at says:

Popular Hindi cinema does have a fundamentally different film, but it's not just the long running times, dance numbers or awkward tonal shifts; it's the complete absence of irony. This is a film industry that still worships its stars as royalty, and is still enraptured with the basic sensual pleasures of glamour and melodrama that the rise of irony and postmodernism have halted in the West. Sure, Hollywood films are known to linger on the beautiful bodies of their leads, but look at the scenes in Kites where Hrithik Roshan reveals his action-figure abs ― the camera focuses on his ludicrously perfect physique with the single-minded intensity of pornography.

I will never understand why some people need every piece of media handed to them in between sarcastic air quotes. I bet he hates
Twilight, too.


* Check out my write-up of the roundtable discussion with
Rakesh and Rajesh Roshan! Rakesh completely intimidated me. He potificates like nobody's business and humorously did things like take a phone call in the middle of him pontificating and talking over his brother every time Rajesh spoke for more than 30 seconds. Still, the man knows film...

And he thinks it might shine a new light on Indian film for Western viewers. Rakesh explains, "They will not find the film to be Indian. Most of the people staying abroad feel that India is all snakes and we want to show the people that no, India is not that. Even after seeing Slumdog [Millionaire] they ask me, 'Are there so many slums? Where do you stay in India?' So that perspective - that thing - I wanted to remove."

* Anita will be amused to see that
Kites has been banned from Karnataka.


* Arshad Warsi is doing stuff!! Like

* Akshay Kumar is doing stuff, too!! Like hosting

Paki, the Vivek Oberoi starrer for which he inisisted his heroine be more than 10 years younger than him, is running into problems.

* And
Aisha may premiere at IIFA!



never-evil said...

I have been loving your Kites coverage!

ajnabi said...

Once Upon In Mumbaai looks like SO MUCH FUN!

It's nice to see so many good reviews for Kites; like you, I'm pleasantly surprised.

Filmi Girl said...

@never-evil Once I realized the film was amazingly Bollywood, I got into it!

@ajnabi I KNOW, RIGHT?! I want to see OUTIM (we need a catchier acronym - just OUT maybe?) right now!

doonboy said...

Another good review.

honeycombveils said...

I can totally see how Rakesh would be intimidating. There's something quite scary about him, almost as if he stepped out of a 70's mob-movie.

I'm going to see Kites on Sunday!!! So excited!!

myrna-nora said...

I plan to see KITES in all its uncut glory tomorrow! yay!

I like how the trailer for O.U.T. IN MUMBAI tells us what we're gonna get: ROMANCE, SMUGGLING, CABERT, MAFIA! It looks good.

myrna-nora said...

Cabaret. Typing too fast. Can't spell even when I'm looking at the word. :P

Is there a way to edit comments and I'm missing it?

Filmi Girl said...

@myrna-nora I don't think so... if there is, I don't know it either. You can also trash your comment and post another one, though...

Rum said...

WOWOWOWOW these reviews of Kites have sold me on it and I'm gonna trudge on buses and trains just to see my Hrithik!
But the Once Upon A Time in Mumbai looks wicked, I can't wait for that one especially since they outlined the key ingredients lol!

claire said...

yeeeeah "one upon a time in mumbai" looks really fun and interesting. did you recognize who was dancing in the cabaret bit?
also it appears to be mumbAAi (but then on some others posters it was mumbai and bombay, so go figure). obviously the extra A must mean the film will be extra awesome :P

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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