Saturday, July 31, 2010

Filmi Girl on Item Songs!

If there is one thing I love, it's item songs. (If there are two things I love, it's item songs and Mumaith Khan but that is for a different post).

Asim over at
UPodcast invited me and the Paresh half of The Curry Smugglers on to talk about item songs.

You can listen to the show

Do let me know what you think!

And just for you guys, one of my all time favorites...

The Train!

Once Upon A Time in Mumbaai: A Flashback Worth Watching

Apologies for missing my morning gossip, duckies, "somebody" had too much fun last night and was too hungover to type this morning. I was feeling well enough to hit Once Upon A Time in Mumbaai this afternoon, and by the time I left I was ready to run off and join Sultan Mirza's gang. Just a note for anybody going to see this at Lohmann's Twin in Falls Church - the subtitles are set about 5 minutes off through the entire film. You have been warned.)

Now without further ado, I bring you my review!

While I was caught up in the adventures of Sultan Mirza and Shohaib Khan, one book kept coming to mind -
Columbine by Dave Cullen. For those of you unfamiliar with the high school shootings at Columbine, they took place back in 1999. Students Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold attempted to blow up their high school and when the bomb fizzled, they went on a shooting spree until finally turning the guns on themselves. The reason I thought of Columbine is that in his book Dave Cullen makes a strong case that Eric Harris was a psychopath - a person devoid of empathy, utterly self-centered, and strongly amoral but with the ability to manipulate others.

There is a psychopath at work in
Once Upon A Time in Mumbaai and he's just as brutal as Eric Harris.

The movie begins in 1993 with ACP Agnel Wilson (an ultra-sexy Randeep Hooda) being fished out of the ocean after attempting suicide. He launches immediately into flashback mode, telling the story of the rise of Sultan Misra (Ajay Devgn). Mythic overtones fly and furious as we see the young Sultan rise from the ocean and bestow a coin on an old woman who looks strikingly like Nirupa Roy. Just like the young Vijay in
Deewar, we know right away that Sultan is not just an honorable man but one touched by God.

But all isn't sunshine and rainbows in 1970s Mumbai and we see Sultan's polar opposite in Shohaib Khan (Emraan Hashmi), who rampages through life like an elephant in

Where Sultan is controlled, Shohaib lashes out. Where Sultan shows love through quiet but meaningful gestures, Shohaib bullies his girlfriend into dressing like Dimple Kapadia in
Bobby and then has sex with her. Sultan treats elders with respect; Shohaib takes pleasure in mocking his father. They are two sides of a coin - a Robin Hood who only breaks the government's laws but never his conscience and a psychopath who does whatever he can to come out ahead.

Rounding out the cast of characters are tragic actress Rehana (Kangana Ranaut, who looks SMASHING in the period make-up), Shohaib's ladyfriend Mumtaz (cute as a button Prachi Desai), and the aforementioned ACP Angel Williams, who is determined to destroy Sultan.

Part of the selling point of the film was the throwback to 1970s style and the film did not disappoint. This was no
Johnny Gaddar borrowing the kitsch factor of classic films, Once Upon A Time in Mumbaai captures the soul of vintage masala films. Not only was the film scripted like a classic film with a leisurely episodic pacing, the look of the film felt very vintage. Everything was stylized but completely unironic. Nobody winked at the camera and the inside filmi jokes felt very restrained. I have been disappointed with other 'retro' films in recent years, so I was especially happy that Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai delivered on the 70s charm hinted at in the trailer.

It's not just the story and style that hooked me - producer Ekta Kapoor and director Milan Luthria have clearly spent time and effort on every aspect of the film. Milan Luthria got performances from the cast that were universally excellent, especially Ajay Devgn's tough but tender Sultan, who oozed power out of every pore. To anchor a film like this is not an easy job and Ajay nailed it. He showed a vulnerable side as Sultan that equalled his performance in
Omkara. When Ajay strutted across the screen in his white shirt, I really felt like I was seeing the rebirth of Ajay. And Emraan Hashmi put in the best performance I have seen from him, ever. Kangana and Prachi didn't have large roles but they both acted the heck out of them. One scene from Kangana particularly impressed me. Her character and Sultan are hosting a dinner and Shohaib comes up to greet them. Kangana's face in that moment did this wonderful mixture of "Who is this tacky guy?" mixed with "I'm being polite as the hostess." Now, she didn't need to make that expression. The scene would have worked just as well without it plotwise but Kangana added something that made the scene really pop because that is just the kind of film this is.

All the actors brought their A-game. As did the casting director, who brought in so many interesting looking people to fill in background roles. There were the bit actors who all vaguely resembled classic villains and thugs, the white party goers who looked neither like Russian prostitutes nor like Australian backbackers but like actual pretty girls of the sort you would see at a club or party, the aging hero who was staring opposite Rehana in a film, the hoity-toity customers who came into Mumtaz's jewelry store, and just the regular folks in Shohaib's neighborhood. Even with so many people crowded into frames, the screen never seem cluttered and each person was interesting to look at.

(And on a side note, I wish Hindi films would bring back the pack of thugs that hang out with the villain when he's up to no good. I just watched Jr. NTR's film
Ashok and there is a scene near the beginning where Prakash Raj figures out that a wedding is bogus as soon as he sees the two men brought forth to witness the ceremony. How? Well, it's totally obvious since the two men are played by guys who are thugs in every Telugu movie ever. Of COURSE they were evil. It's like if somebody was all, "Yeah, baby, it's cool, I'll just get my friend to drive us" and then the friend turns out to be Shetty. Any right-thinking heroine would obviously be suspicious!)

The music was also top notch. Not only were the songs catchy and well-placed in the film but the background score was phenomenal. Whenever anything bad-ass was going to happen, this punchy, strutty music would start playing and I would pump my fist in anticipation of the bad-assness.

In fact, everything was so well put together that even though I wished we could have seen more of Rehana and her adventures making movies in the 1970s, I understand that adding anything more would upset the balance.

So, should you see
Once Upon A Time in Mumbaai? Absolutely. It's got a fantastic story, powerhouse performances, incredible production values, and a bumping soundtrack. And most importantly, it passes the Filmi Girl test of true quality - Once Upon A Time in Mumbaai grabs you in the gut with the three-ring circus of entertainment and then once it has you watching, it gets your brain in on the action.

Item girls and something to think about.


Friday, July 30, 2010

Friday Gossip!

Let's just get this out of the way.... yes, everybody who knows me from my nerdy Internet circles, I know about The Guild and their Bollywood dance video.

You can see it for yourself:

I'm just going to go ahead and roll my eyes at this - while it's better than the abomination of Devendra Banhart's "Carmen Sita" video, it's still pretty bad. They managed to make a video free of any ties to
actual Bollywood picturizations and with some bonus "Wow, isn't Indian culture hilarious" moments just for good measure.

When will Westerners just stop trying to be clever with Bollywood - you don't understand how it works, people, and until you sit and at least one Bollywood film, you never will.


Moving on...

* Unreleased Mohammed Rafi and Madan Mohan songs
were released! They are available to listen to here.

* The BBC interviews
Sonam Kapoor while showing endless clips of Aisha that all seem to involve shopping. Sonam insists that she wants act in any language - "Cantonese, Spanish, English..."

And an interview with
The Hollywood Reporter.

You are also well-known as a fashion icon. so how did “Aisha” give you an opportunity to indulge in your fashion fantasies?

I love dressing up even in my other films but yes, my character in
Aisha is really into high-end fashion and indulges in luxury brands and designwear. Despite this, we still managed to stay within our budget! The other interesting thing is that we wanted to show a multi-cultural blend as that's what these times are all about. So you have characters wearing not only Western labels such as Dior and Ferragamo, but also top Indian designers such as Anamika Khanna and Manish Arora, among others. This is a good place to be in.

And a double interview with
Sonam and Rhea.

You know how girls always need pieces to mix and match everything. I buy only those things...jackets and plain pants. And Sonam buys ridiculous things; she obviously can't wear a ridiculous thing and go for coffee. So she just takes my things all the time," said Rhea.

* Bollywood and film festivals -
the inside story.

The independent filmmaker, who doesn’t have money to cast big stars, loses out on certain festivals due to an increased number of mainstream films as competition. So with an increased number of Indian films sent to the festival, the chances of being selected are limited. “At times my fellow programmers and I are often heartbroken because there are so many more films that we love for which we just don’t have the slots,” says Courier.

Kenny adds, “With competition from mainstream Bollywood, the wait, to find a producer or distributor, may just get longer for the independent filmmaker. Instead of finding a buyer in a month, they may find a buyer in a year’s time.”

* Amol Palekar says
only mainstream films are talked about.

"We need to make people aware of other films as well, so that it is not limited to just a niche audience. People say now with multiplexes, small films are getting their space, but it's not so. Even in multiplexes, small films get two shows and big films get 19 shows, so how will it be visible?"

Ah... the perennial complaint from art house cinema lovers.

Film making is a business, lovies, and the reality is that if
Wanted is going to pack audiences in, then theater owners are going to play it 19 times to No Smoking's 2.

Art is all well and good but you can't expect theater owners and distributers to subsidize it.

* Suriya's
Hindi debut has been postponed until September.

* Poor Asin can't catch a break -
another group is boycotting her films.

* I cannot wait to see how much
uncomfortable chemistry the Deepika-Neil Nitin Mukesh love-making scene has in Lafange Parindey.

* Saifu visited the
Ra.1 sets looking more human than I've seen him in a long time. Loving the short hair, Saif!

* Aamir Khan has an interesting take on
what rural audiences want - and I actually agree with him.

* Finally, in your human interest news of the day, it's Pride Week in Vancouver and the newspaper there spoke with
a woman who is South Asian, out, and proud - although she lost her family in the process.

Mandy, who didn’t want her last name used, had similar struggles coming out. The decision cost her her family.

“We don’t talk,” she said. “It was a very hard decision. In the end I just couldn’t (live) any other way.”

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Thursday Gossip!

Good morning, world! You will be pleased to know that I managed to force myself to go to bed at a decent hour last night and am not nearly as zonked today as I was yesterday.

So, let's do it, to it!

You know what releases tomorrow....

The PR is flying fast and furious!

* Refresh your memory of the
real Haji Mastan.

* There is a mention of Amitabh Bachchan in
the film - not by name but we all know who the "Angry Young Man" is.

* Read a
hilarious interview with Kangs!

What is your idea of a hot guy?

Subtle sexuality. Not insecure, or trying hard to impress. He should be effortlessly hot.

I hope she is referencing Mindy Kaling's fantastic parody girl group
Subtle Sexuality.

Also, Kangana wants to write the
story of her life. Sweetie, why don't you wait until you've lived a bit longer than 23 years - especially since you know Adhyayan Suman will want to play himself.

Dabangg's choreographer says Salman is a moderate dancer. I would agree with that as far as his recent work has gone. There was a time in the 2000s where he was really horrible but he has worked on his dancing since then - especially in Wanted but even going back to Partner...

* "Evergreen" Dev Anand is going to be playing a role in his
next directorial venture. How much do you want to bet that he still personally "auditions" all the heroines? Ewwwwww!

You know who should do a remake of
Grumpy Old Men is Dev Anand and Rajesh Khanna. NO!!! Amitabh Bachchan and Vinod Khanna in a Grumpy Old Men remake! Why hasn't this been done yet?

* Jr. NTR is recovering from a
minor injury.

* Sonakshi Sinha has broken up with
her boyfriend.

* An arrest warrant has been issued for
Preity Zinta - nothing serious, though. The dimpled diva didn't show up for a court date.

* Aishwarya Rai is doing a cameo in
nip/tucked into a robot.

* Madhuri Dixit is
joining Twitter?

* And read about NBC's Outsourced!

Is the intent of the show to help people see Indian workers as real people striving to improve their lives and not as caricature?

Most Americans have had some experience talking to an Indian in a call center. Our show will put a face to that voice, and introduce America to the human being at the other end of the line.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Wednesday Gossip!

Just two more parts of Dhoom 2 left to go! I hope you are enjoying the final countdown...

And a reminder that as soon as 50 people sign up on my Alex Meraz fan page, you lucky readers will get a
DDLJ/Twilight mash-up video!

But enough service announcements... onto gossip!

Who is going to the Toronto International Film Festival? Lucky attendees get to see the premiere of Aamir Khan's
Dhobi Ghat and Anurag Kashyap's The Girl in Yellow Boots!

* Comedian Ravi Baswani
passed away.

* Akshay Kumar must be
crying all the way to the bank. Despite poor reviews, Khatta Meetha has done well financially.

* "Evergreen" Dev Anand wants to
remake Hare Rama Hare Krishna. The article also mentions that Hum Dono has been colorized and will be re-released.

Just do not want - either thing. I hate colorized versions of films, they always look a bit off.

Once Upon A Time in Mumbaai is in more legal trouble. This time it's Haji Mastan's family, who wants to make sure that any scenes allegedly based on his life are done correctly.

* Mallika Sherawat is taking on a role in
Double Dhamaal! I think that's a great fit, actually. Mallika is pretty darn funny.

* Indian Ocean did
two songs for the soundtrack of Peepli Live.

* Rajkumar Hirani is
still talking Munnabhai Chale Amrika... (Come film in Washington, DC!)

* Anurag Kashyap says
Bollywood came late to the party for Udaan.

Endhiran audio release is set for July 31st.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Tuesday Newsday!

Good mornings! Another lovely day today and another lovely batch of gossip!

And don't forget to go back and check out part 20 of
Dhoom 2!

* Javed Akhtar discusses

"When something like this happens, we try to rationalise and try to find out the logic behind the success. If there's logic, then there should have been many films made of the same stature. It just happens. I am afraid there is no foolproof formula to make such a film."

* One of the big stories making the rounds today is the box office collections of
Khatta Meetha. People can't decide if it was a success or not. Is it a semi-success? Did it just do well on single screens? Flop at the multiplexes?

I think
moderate success sounds about right.

Bombay Velvet is still being speculated about.

Ishqiya director Abhishek Chaubey is working on the script for his next film.

* Anil Kapoor is
tired of Slumdog Millionaire. (You and me both, brother. ) And he is proud of his daughters' work in Aisha.

* Maddy is
not doing the 3 Idiots remakes.

* As if I already didn't want to see
Agent Vinod enough, now rumor has it that Deepika Padukone is doing a "parallel lead" in the film.

The Internet has a saying for times like this - Do. Not. Want.

* A film I do want is finally coming to the US...
Tere Bin Laden!

* Is A.R. Rahman too good for

* Salman Khan is kind of a jerk. Apparently he tried to keep Sonakshi ultra-slim on the sets of Dabangg by only feeding her salad and by making her walk from the hotel to the shooting set.

* Bebo, lovely Bebo is
a healthy size, which is making Karan Johar mad because he wants her Size Zero for his new film.

You know what, Karan Johar and Salman? Go loose weight yourselves! Bebo is a superstar and the healthier she is, the better a performance you get out of her. And the single-screen audiences that will go see Dabangg would probably prefer Sonakshi to have a bit of a jiggling belly.

If all you wanted was a slim figure, why not hire Deepika or Sonam or Dia Mirza or somebody?

The body policing MUST STOP!

Also, Bebo is memorizing dialogues in Chinese for
Ra.1, for which I give her mad props. That is not an easy language.

* Salman Khan and Kangana are
paired together in an upcoming film. That should be REALLY interesting.

* Aamir Khan
just talks.

What is your view of Bollywood today? The big star/big film formula is not clicking anymore. 2010 has been one of the worst years for the industry. Nobody knows what works at the box office.

There are a lot of positives right now. There is a lot of talent, a lot of youngsters doing some really good work. I’ve always believed that it is important for creative talent to be responsible for a film’s economic success. I’m making what I want to. I’m telling the kind of stories that I want to. But there is a lot of responsibility in the process which I take seriously. If I’m getting the money to do what I want to, then it’s up to me to ensure that the people who are giving me the money are getting it back.

Right on, Aamir!

First of all, that question is bullshit - the big star/big film formula is totally clicking! What do you think the two hits of the year
Housefull and My Name is Khan were? What was Wanted?

What's not clicking is the big star/
Hollywood formula film - like
Kurbaan, Blue, etc.

Of course, if you want a juicy answer, always ask Aamir Khan about himself - Always.

You were the first actor to start blogging and now everyone’s joined the social networking bandwagon. You are on Twitter too.

I started the blog so that I could directly communicate with my audience. I joined Twitter because Amitji (Amitabh Bachchan) said I should and I can never say no to him. But Twitter, as I’m finding out, is really not meant for me. I find it difficult to restrict my thoughts in 140 characters. It’s a great tool of expression but my personality is not meant for it.

Picture Time!!

Bebo and SRK on the sets of

They look SO CUTE! I love you, Kareena!! You could boss me around
anytime. I'll even hold your purse while you go shopping... *swoon*

And what is up with the styling for Prachi and Kangana?

Who let them leave the house like this?

And Kangs is looking scarier by the day. Somebody needs to sit that girl down and talk to her about the dangers of too much plastic surgery...

Monday, July 26, 2010

Monday Gossip!!

Good morning to you all! I hope everyone had a restful weekend. I certainly did - although I was up far too late last night watching Skins. What a great show! And it stars a super-young Dev Patel! They don't make television like that here in the US. I tried watching Jr. NTR's Ashok but it got bogged down in Second-Half Syndrome. There was far too much of boring Sameera Reddy and stupid father-son drama with Stealth Hottie Prakash Raj and not enough of Sonu Sood chewing scenery and waving his sword around (that's not a double entendre but I do believe the sword was a metaphor for... something.)

Also, I recorded another podcast with Paresh from Curry Smugglers and Asim from UPodcast and we talked all about ITEM NUMBERS! That should be coming soon, so stay tuned!

Okay, then, moving on - let's see what happening in Tinsel Town.

* Katrina Kaif talks
sex appeal.

“To me, sex appeal is more than just looking good or wearing short clothes. It is in the attitude you exude and how you carry yourself.”

Dostana 2 has been delayed. (So, there is time to hire Alex Meraz for his item number! Just do it, Karan!)

* Take a look at the stars Bollywood has
been ignoring... Jimmy Shergill, Sonu Sood, and more!

* Ali Zafar had been
kidnapped two years ago by an Osama Bin Laden supporter.

* Salman Khan was told to
lose muscle for Dabangg.

* Trisha deals poorly with
negative reviews of Khatta Meetha.

“Friends were honest to say that they didn’t like me in the commissioner’s role. They like me as a college girl. It was a risk because I have never done something like this. Even in South, I have done different kind of roles, but never this kind of a role."

Sweetie, you're 27 - you don't have many years of "college student" left. Ladies don't get away with that age-bending as much as the Heroes do.

* Akshay Kumar is producing an
Indo-Canadian film.

* I will never understand why people get so up-in-arms about cigarettes. Luckily,
Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai has wafted its smoke past the censors.

* Tomboy Bebo is
hot! I like her de-glam look so much better than the Size Zero Barbie look.

* I find this much more depressing than it was intended to be - young directors talk
the future of Bollywood.

Tarun Mansukhani

“The new trend signifies that content is king. Small films like
Tere Bin Laden or Udaan are working because their script is strong."

Is that true, though? They might work because the budgets are small enough that they can earn back there money just from multiplexes in the big cities but the mass audiences are never going to embrace those small films. There is a reason
Housefull has been one of the biggest hits this year and it's not because the script was strong.

E Niwas

“I think big actors will not mind playing a small character in a film which has a strong story and interesting characters. Hollywood actors have been doing this for long, India is catching up now...Actors are slowly realising that hero-oriented roles come with a lot of baggage."

This isn't bad a thing, if big actors do begin to take smaller, character roles. The thing with Hero-oriented roles is that they aren't
roles, per se. You are either a Hero or you aren't. Actors don't play Heroes, they are Heroes - which is why there are only a handful left in Bollywood. And of the up-and-comers, only Ranbir Kapoor has the acting cojones to be a Hero.

Puneet Malhotra

“The absence of lip sync songs is going to be the next big trend in Bollywood. In the context of making our films global, more and more filmmakers are not giving their actors an option to lip sync songs on screen."

But why do you want to alienate your core audience that LIKES lip-sync songs in pursuit of some "global" audience? Who do you think is actually watching Bollywood films?

Vikramaditya Motwane

“I think films made by Indians and for Indians will be the next big thing. The NRI-centric films are no longer exciting."

Somehow, I think this is just wishful thinking. Again,
Housefull - takes place in London. Also, the big USP of 3 Idiots was a nostalgia for India - aimed at the global audience even if it didn't take place in Singapore or Toronto.

* Finally, speaking of -
Rajkumar Hirani is working on his next film.

Sunday, July 25, 2010


Basically, I cannot wait for this movie. When the trailer aired in front of
Khatta Meetha I got a shiver up my spine...

Salman Khan stars as Robinhood Pandey, a corrupt UP cop and he does some stuff!! Also in the cast are Dimple Kapadia, Mahie Gill, Sonu Sood, and VINOD KHANNA!

So, just to get everybody hyped up, here are some stills!



"What was that, punk, you thought
Veer was a joke? Try saying that to my face. I'll give you a golden hand..."



I'm loving Sonakshi Sinha's look - she has a bit of a spark, don't you think?

Here is the trailer if you haven't seen it!

Sunday Sunday Sunday!!

Good mornings!

I've really enjoyed my weekend home - it's been a while since I've had one. Today is all about laundry, cleaning, and attempting to get some writing done. Glamorous, I know, right? Well, even a Filmi Girl needs a day off once in a while, no?

Okay, then!

There actually isn't much gossip today - I refuse to report on the stupid stories from the PR teams of Mugdha Godse and Neil Nitin Mukesh (although, in full disclosure, the
Lafange Parindey trailer is pretty entertaining and makes the film seem extremely LULZy, which I enjoy.)

So, what else do we have?

* Felicia Day and the popular web series "The Guild" are doing a
Bollywood number for the new season! It should be pretty entertaining!

* The
Times of India asks what happened to the hot models of the 1990s.

* We get a little more information on
Golmaal 3.

* Rhea Kapoor reinforces some stereotypes about women while
trying to break them. She doesn' t mention the part where you just have your boyfriend do stuff for you.

* Akshay Kumar knows how to deal
with poorly reviewed films.

* Ogle at some
scantily clad heroines!

* Hindi is becoming a popular language to learn in
Singapore because of the growing popularity of Bollywood.

* And check out the challenging
Diss Your Favorite Star piece for

Here is mine:

Akshay Kumar works harder and releases more films than any of the Khans and yet so often he chooses films that could have been good but end up ruined by incompetent direction; a total professional, Akshay always puts in a wonderful performance, but the films themselves are terrible. Submitting completely to a director is fine if the director is Priyadarshan (five, soon to be six hits with Akshay) but not with other directors. He selects things here and there without concern for his image (like Shahrukh), how much the public will like them (like Salman), or what kind of message they have (like Aamir) and adds no post-production input, leaving his image entirely in the hands of people like Nagesh Kukunoor (8 x 10 Tasveer) or Anthony D'Souza (Blue). Not very smart, Akshay.

I was a bit too optimistic about the collections of
Khatta Meetha, I think.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Khatta Meetha: A Movie From Another Era

Yet again I find myself on the opposite side of the critical divide because I did not think Khatta Meetha was the worst film ever made. Actually, I found it quite charming and endearingly sincere – like a picture of another era, which makes sense since it is a remake of an older film. The slow pacing and dusty scenery may bore people looking for a De Dana Dan but thankfully I was in the mood for something a little more sedate.

The story of
Khatta Meetha is fairly simple. Akshay Kumar plays Sachin Tichkule, a hardworking but hapless builder and Khatta Meetha is his journey from pawn of the system to major player. Directed by Priyadarshan with a light masala touch and starring a veritable who’s who of quality Bollywood character actors (including Rajpal Yadav, Johnny Lever, Aruna Irani, Tinu Anand, Manoj Joshi, Asrani, Kulbhushan Kharbanda, and Markand Deshpande) Khatta Meetha rewards the patient viewer with a film that explores the small aspects and unfairness of everyday life – the everyday tragedies and the everyday comedy and the everyday romance.

Sachin Tichkule is an interesting and unusual character but fits Akshay Kumar’s image perfectly. Akshay is, was, and will always be a man of the people and as Sachin he looks right at home among the working people. He looks natural riding his bike, wearing his low-fashion clothes, and rifling through his pockets for 20 paisa. Sachin is not a bad man but he is an intellectually lazy one and we see him getting pushed about by fate for much of the movie, including a very sad scene involving his sister. We, the audience, sit in anticipation for the Hero to emerge from Sachin.

Akshay’s emotional performances were up to par. Gone is the tired-looking Akshay of
De Dana Dan and Housefull. Here, he looks rested, refreshed, and fully engaged – selling me completely on Sachin’s transformation.

As for the rest of the cast, Trisha performs admirably as the Municipal Commissioner. Her role is actually fairly small but she plays it well. (I honestly don’t know what critics are complaining about in her performance. It’s not her fault her role is small.) The film isn’t a romance and what romance there is, is mostly kept to the song picturizations, which suited me just fine. Rajpal Yadav stood out as Rangeela, Sachin’s right hand man. The two of them were hilarious together and the fact that Akshay does have such great chemistry with comedians like Rajpal Yadav makes me like him that much more. No other Hero really plays off of comedians the way Akshay does. Can you image Saif and Javed Jaffrey sharing screen space for an extended amount of time? Salman? Aamir?

I also want to mention Tinu Anand’s role, which is small but very important. He plays the faithful driver of the Tichkule family. Tinu Anand has that hang-dog face which is just so instantly sympathetic that his fate, which comes early in the film, is really quite shocking and signals that
Khatta Meetha is not going to be a playful romp.

More so than
Billu, Khatta Meetha uses the masala film-making techniques but on a more naturalistic scale. The mix of family melodrama, slapstick, music, politics, wordplay, and romance works exactly like it is supposed to. Just as I would start thinking, “Gosh, I wish there was a song,” up would come a song and just when things would start to get too serious, Johnny Lever would show up. The crowning moment of the film is a big dishoom-dishoom sequence towards the end – it explodes in a shaky-cam, uncoordinated burst of violence. Akshay is very graceful at stunts and here he uses his physical abilities to give us a fight that looks like how people who don’t fight would fight. It’s another unusual choice in an unusual film.

So, do I recommend
Khatta Meetha? Yes, I do, but be warned that there is blood, death, violence against women, and Johnny Lever. While it has comic moments, Khatta Meetha is not a comedy and you will be very disappointed if you go in expecting a Laff Riot. If you go expecting an earnest masala film about a man who learns to take a stand, then you will be rewarded.

Saturday Gossip!!

Good morning, everyone!

I'm really looking forward to
Khatta Meetha today! I know the negative buzz against Akshay Kumar and the film but I can't help it - I am the founder and president of the Akshay No. 1 Ladies Fan Club, after all.

(Can we trust
IBOS? They say it's done a good opening...)

Let's run through today's gossip!

* Highly appropriate since I'll be talking item numbers tomorrow is this list of
forgotten sex bombs.

* The Indian Film Festival in London wants to
cut through cliche.

"Bollywood has never really crossed over," says Sawhney,who programmes Indian films for the London Film Festival,has been involved with promoting Indian films in the UK for over 15 years and has wanted to set up this festival for as long.But why should it cross over,he asks."It's a separate species of cinema.Why should white people bother when it's not made for them?"

* Kangana is saucy at
Delhi Couture Week! Also, she may be working with David Dhawan in an upcoming film! Woo hoo!

I'm glad Kangs is finally taking B-town by storm. The girl is fierce, talented, and drop dead gorgeous!

* Will we soon have a
Junior SRK starring in Bollywood? That makes me feel so OLD!

* In shocking non-news news, Aamir Khan likes
his own films!

* We are not exporting Sonam to
Hollywood after all. They'll just have to make do with Frieda Pinto.

* I suppose it was inevitable after all that fuss earlier this year -
Om Puri is getting divorced.

* Former Glam Girl Antara Mali
is going bald for a film role. That's actually pretty brave.

Here she is in her hair glory days.

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