Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Tuesday Gossip!

Okay, I'm sure you have read my epic posts on Guzaarish but let me just say that I don't care if the film was inspired by a Spanish film or not. Unless something is an exact duplicate - and I mean exact duplicate... a carbon copy, a frame by frame remake with text copy-pasted - then I don't really care.

I know I've said this before but I don't think that "originality" is all that important. If it was, would we still remember Shakespeare? He certainly borrowed his share of stories. A story is just that - a story. You can spin it any number of ways. To give you an example, I'm a big fan of the fairy tale "Beauty and the Beast." I own a number of different adaptations of this story - does that mean that all those books and movies are all invalid because they aren't "original stories"? No.

In the same way, just because there are other stories about paraplegic men fighting for the right to die, doesn't mean that the existence of those things makes
Guzaarish invalid somehow. Especially if the main audience for Guzaarish - like me - hasn't seen the Spanish film it's allegedly based on. And I say allegedly.

If give the choice I will always pick the version of the story that has the actors I like - so why do I need to see
Hitch if I already love Partner?

Anyways, I can address this in more depth if anybody cares but I just wanted to put that out there.

I'm sure you've heard the big casting coups - two I'm
very excited about!

Shirish Kunder's
Joker is going to be Akshay Kumar and... SONAKSHI SINHA! This is a pairing I'm very excited about!

Aamir Khan's new film is going to be with... Rani Mukerji and Kareena Kapoor! Woo hoo! Age appropriate heroines for the Perfectionist!

Saif Ali Khan - who has
completely ruined his looks in the last few years with plastic surgery - is replacing Ajay Devgn in Prakhas Jha's next film.

And it's Ileana for Shankar's
3 Idiots.

Now, time for gossip!

* Upskirt alert -
Yana Gupta was spotted without panties at an event and the copy is hilarious!

Though Yana tried many poses to hide her secret asset, it all ended in a smoke and she went up showing which no one usually shows.

* Check out an article about
The Kominas!

If Vital Signs in the 80s represented the shareef, slightly rebellious boys who loved both gori and sanwali girls, of Pakistan, more than 20 years later, it’s the Kominas who are their antithesis.

* Read a lovely long
interview with Sanjay Leela Bhansali!

Hrithik actually learnt magic tricks and got flabby to play the quadriplegic in Guzaarish?

I don't believe in method acting. I don't instruct my actors too closely. I just tell them what I want. I wanted Hrithik to know his character's state of mind. If he played a magician, he knew he had to learn magic tricks. A person who is in bed for 14 years had to be flabby. I am glad Hrithik has reached a stage in his career where he's ready to surrender to a part and not be concerned only with looking good. Audiences want to see the stars do something new. They want to see stars become part of the drama. He plays a character who taps his weaknesses and strengths to emerge stronger than adversity. I won't make only happy or sad films. I won't make time-pass films. I want to invest my creativity into films that have more to say than just have a good time.

* It's almost time for Thanksgiving and guess what?! There will be some
Bollywood at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade!

[T]his Thanksgiving, the Parsippany based Arya Dance Academy will become the first to perform a Bollywood dance routine in the parade. Sixty instructors - most of whom hail from the garden state - will walk the 2.5 mile route and perform a minute-long routine on NBC.

* Freida Pinto has some major sour grapes about never breaking into
Bollywood and has decided that it's not that her dancing and acting weren't good enough for Bollywood... no, she's interested in "reality."

"I wouldn't want to do a Bollywood film per se, but I would like to do an Indian-language film. For some reason I think Bollywood has become synonymous with commercial cinema, which is song and dance and everything that is larger than life, and I am interested in the reality... It is great to have entertainment, but I think there needs to be something that also makes you want to go back and think about what you've seen."

Like the reality that Freida is a mediocre actress who lucked her way into a role in a film that happened to be a Hollywood success?

* Mannisha Koirala is going through
damage control mode after posting on FB that she wanted to get divorced.

* Katrina talks about her
relationship with Akshay.

"We don't talk on phone. We are not buddy types. If I am not working with him, it’s not like I ask him how you and all are. Sometimes the charm is lost when it is overdone."

I kind of agree - there are very few real life couples who are also good to watch in
reel life.

The lovely Kat has also unveiled her
Barbie Doll!

* Subhash Ghai is taking a
break from films for a little while.

* Will we be seeing Aishwarya and Hrithik in an
adaptation of Hamlet?

* No matter how hard he tried Madhur Bhandarkar couldn't get any reputable actress to do his
sleazy film and his rewriting.

* And no matter how hard SHE tries, Minnisha Lamba
isn't getting any attention... although posting a picture of herself in a bathing suit will only get her noticed by Madhr Bhandarkar.

* Some kid gets his
mother to help him stalk Asin.

* Finally, enjoy
Abhishek Bachchan being self-important!

Abhishek revealed that he, too, was overwhelmed reading about the lives of these teenagers. "It has been a journey that has taught me many firsts," he said, adding, he has now committed himself to working towards bettering the 'patriotic sense in our country' every single day.

"No problem... no prooooblem!"


Anonymous said...

To say Guzaarish is based on Mar Adentro is a stretch, inspired is maybe a better word, in the way Kurosawa's Rushomon inspired Reservoir Dogs or The Usual Suspects. Both have common themes and inspired acting from the lead actors but Guzaarish is not a copy of Mar Adentro. Mar Adentro (The Sea Inside) is available on Netflix Instant and is worth watching for Javier Bardem's fine performance.
To be honest the only problem I would have of line by line remake would be if they didn't credit it as a remake and tried to pass it off as an original work. To filmi girl's point there many great adaptations of Shakespeare's Hamlet on film but Hamlet can be traced to earlier stories, "The Life Of Amleth" being just one but that doesn't diminish Shakespeare's version at all.
I would simply enjoy a fine film by Bhansali with great acting by Hrithik and Aishwarya.

Bombay Talkies said...

My comments on your earlier post weren't intended to diminish Guzaarish as a film. I'm sure it's a fine film and I plan on seeing it. But it certainly has a very similar story line, and I think it's fine to recognize those similarities. Just because someone hasn't heard of or seen Mar Adentro doesn't mean that Guzaarish isn't still likely based on the story told in that film.

I've only been watching Hindi films for ten-ish years, but in those ten years I've noticed a troubling tendency of directors to claim that their scripts, while very obviously inspired by other films, are "totally original." I've lost count of the number of times I've read "Of course it isn't a copy of such and such, I've never even HEARD of such and such til today" when reading Filmfare or news stories. They're not fooling anyone and it casts a bad light on every film the industry produces which has even a passing similarity to a previous film.

Omkara very clearly says "inspired by Shakespeare's Othello." Karan Johar had little problem saying that We Are Family was a "version" of Stepmom. Etc etc. This is what I would appreciate from the industry--a bit of acknowledgment that their films took their inspiration from something that's already in circulation.

You seem to get quite defensive when someone mentions that a film looks similar to another one--I don't think any of us who commented earlier were accusing SLB of plagiarism. But there's nothing wrong with pointing out that the two films share a likeness. And I'd stake my small fortune on SLB having seen Mar Adentro--it's not an obscure film by any stretch of the imagination.

Filmi Girl said...

@lvrplfc4l That is my point exactly. :)

@bombaytalkies Thanks for your comments!

I do get defensive when people throw around plagiarism charges or insist that a film is "inspired by" something because in my day job I am a librarian and I care about information freedom.

I don't think it's necessary for people to acknowledge every inspiration for a film - they certainly don't do that in Hollywood. I think Bollywood gets a bad rap for plagiarism when all it's really guilty of is "inspiration."

While you may not have meant it as a slur, very often people use it as such. The journalists - or gossip columnists who write these stories about plagiarism charges on this or that film and "isn't it true that this or that film is inspired by..." seem to be engaging more in GOTCHA journalism than in addressing anything real about the films themselves.

At the end of the day, the main viewing audience for a film like Guzaarish - including me - had never even heard of Mar Adentro. Does it really add that much to the conversation about the film to bring it up?

I say no, which is why I get annoyed when I read these stories. You see differently and I get that. But I hope you understand my point of view.

Bombay Talkies said...

I definitely get where you're coming from. I certainly didn't mean to imply any sort of plagiarism. I'm just finding myself weary these days of seeing trailers for films and automatically recognizing it as a Hindi take on something I've already seen. Just the other day I was discussing with someone about how Lafangey Parindey is very "inspired" by Ice Castles.

I value entertaining film making but I also value originality. That said, I have no problem with remakes of films as long as I don't have to put up with a song and dance routine (ha) about how it *isn't* a remake. When that happens I start to lose respect for the director, not because he/she has made a remake, but because they think their audience is too stupid to notice. If the film isn't original then own up to it. I'm still going to go see it, and I'm still probably going to enjoy it. It being a remake doesn't bother me--it's the coyness the industry has about it that does.

I've seen the Mar Adentro comparison on a number of industry-watchers' blogs, so I feel comfortable saying that it *looks* like a remake. I suppose each of us will better be able to tell when we've seen the other film in question.

All that aside, how sad is it that when you said "gotcha journalism" I immediately pictured Sarah Palin? I even hear it in her voice. Shudder.

Sami Saayer said...

this promo was a yawn

Filmi Girl said...

@sami LOLLLL! Well, it certainly doesn't look like a "Must-Watch"... :)

Bluemay said...

I hope Kat was misquoted because if she really speaks like that, then she has poor command of her first language(English).

While Freida may have sour grapes about not breaking into Bollywood, she's having the last laugh. She's earning more in her short time on the international stage than she would have had she gotten BW roles. IMO, she's a capable actress given the director she works with. She just doesn't have the current BW look which is fair, tall and hour glass figure with acting ability optional. If Freida was a better actress and had family connections, she would be similar to Konkona Sen Sharma. Maybe one day Freida can reach Konkona's status. Until then, I'm happy that Freida is bringing attention to Indian actresses on the international stage. Maybe Western filmmakers will be more open to casting Indian-American or Indian actresses in non-Indian roles.

eliza bennet said...

lvrplfc4l, just to make it clear, Reservoir Dogs was not inspired by Roshomon, it is a bona fide remake of a Hong Kong film called City on Fire (but Tarantino had not acknowledged this openly).

I'm the first to admit that Roshomon is milestone in the history of cinema (and I loved the film) but it is a bit of a stretch to claim Usual Suspects and/or Reservoir Dogs were inspired by it.

As for the discussion I have no problem with "inspired by" films just as long as they are good (and even remakes sometimes can be better than the original imho) but I'd rather prefer that the film maker acknowledges the inspiration and mentions it somewhere in the credits.

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