Monday, February 28, 2011

Deepika Padukone in Dum Maro Dum: Sexy or Not?

There has been a lot of discussion in the comments section on my blog recently about my annoyance at the media’s coverage of Deepika Padukone’s item number in Dum Maro Dum. We all know I think Deepika’s talents are middling at best and we all know that I prefer to watch actresses with a “healthier” (i.e. plumper) physique than Deepika has. I realize that other people have different opinions on those two issues and that’s fine. We all have different qualities that we look for in heroines and life would be so boring if everybody agreed on everything all the time but that is not what I want to talk about today. I am going to discuss my complaint with both the hype around Deepika’s item number and the item number itself - neither of which has anything to do with my personal feelings of dislike towards the lady herself.

[Just to reiterate: This post is not about Deepika’s talent (or lack thereof) nor is it about me disapproving (or in any way passing judgement) of how slim she is. Please do not comment refuting my opinions on those points - we’ll save it for another time.]

The issue I want to raise here is the juxtaposition of her trumpeted sexiness with her existing image and behavior.

An example of the coverage from

Rohan Sippy stated “Deepika is naturally very sexy, but she has never done anything this brazen. It is a very irreverent attitude that she needed to carry apart from being sexual on the screen.”

Let’s start off with a mental exercise: think of an example of a sexy item girl.

Who came to mind? Mallika Arora Khan, perhaps? Bipasha Basu? Yana Gupta? Mumaith Khan? Maybe even Rakhi Sawant or Jackie Fernandez?

These are women who project a sexually experienced and available image, promising the audience a good time if only we could transport ourselves into the screen. Sexiness in an item song is all about titillating the audience. Encouraging us to give into hedonistic impulses - they take place in jam-packed clubs, dimly lit, with the camera getting all up in the item girl’s business. Being sexy means never holding anything back and completing ignoring things like good taste.

Mumaith Khan in “Jhuki Jhuki” from

Yana Gupta in “Babu Ji Zara Dheere Chalo” from

The hedonistic impulse is part of the reason why a full-figured actress like Namitha is such a sex-bomb and is always careful to include a skin show in her films. Looking at her figure, the audience can imagine squeezing that delicious flesh and picture her indulging in food, drink, and... other things. Those magnificent curves are the on-screen equivalent of gazing at a delicious chocolate torte or a meal dripping with butter - a rich visual treat. Compare that with Bebo’s highly publicized and massively unpopular size zero look - which only makes the audience think of restrictive diet and exercise regimens needed to maintain the perfect size zero. [One of the reasons I think Bebo’s “Chaliya” failed to catch on - not to mention the failure of Minnisha Lamba, Amrita Rao, and Ameesha Patel’s bikini looks to catch on.]

And I think that keeping this hedonistic impulse at the center of the item song means that women like Malika Arora Khan and Helen can give genuinely sexy performances while pushing 40 - or even 50, as Rekha has shown. [To gender-flip it, that edge of hedonism is why Govinda’s dancing will always be sexier than the latest young chocolate boy.] Hedonism is not about a perfect image or rock solid abs, it’s about letting loose and doing what feels good.

Especially when the song is “Dum Maro Dum,” this hedonistic impulse is exactly what a sexy song picturization needs to capture. (Don’t believe me, read an English translation of the lyrics.)

Now, that is not the only way to do an item song. You can have items songs that are showcases for a dancer or that are “friendly appearances” to help get more butts in the seats at the cinema halls but those are not billed as “sexy.” For example, Bebo’s item song
Its Rocking was called glamorous and the talk was around her “glam quotient.” It’s a fun song and Bebo is shown as being very attractive and idolized but sexy never enters the arena.

Here is the conundrum: Bollywood in the last three-four years has adopted the Hollywood double-standard when it comes to women’s sexuality. It is still uncomfortable with heroines giving into their hedonistic impulses but they are being encouraged to act “sexy” as part of their performances. In other words, heroines are now supposed to perform those outward signals of item girl “sexy” (bikinis, suggestive dance moves, etc) while still maintaining their virginal image (i.e. never appearing to actually have sex). “Sexy” but with no hints of actual sex - the combination of Madonna and Whore that has been the curse of American actresses for the last 15 years or so. How is any woman supposed to do that convincingly?

So, here we have Deepika Padukone - a heroine who exudes a clean, sporty, girl-next-door image. Her roles to date have been of the girlish college-aged heroine type and while she wore a bikini in
Housefull, extremely trustworthy reports circulated that she was very unhappy about doing so. And reports are circulating about her song in Dum Maro Dum - she was unhappy about the short skirt she was asked to wear because it was too revealing; she was unhappy about the dance moves, which were too suggestive; and she was unhappy about mouthing certain vulgar lyrics. Plus, there are the reports that she had been working out nonstop to get in shape for the song.

What about any of that says hedonistic impulses and letting loose and giving into temptation? Where is the “Dum Maro Dum”? All I’m sensing is an uptight desire to appear perfect - the complete opposite of what a sexy item song is supposed to be. Deepika Padukone playacting at a Yana Gupta style of item song feels gross when Deepika is clearly uncomfortable with the sexually bold Yana Gupta style image. Items girls don’t care if somebody spots them without panties - Deepika Padukone very much would. And that makes this song gross and voyeuristic, not sexy. The industry needs to leave the sexy songs for ladies like Yana Gupta who are confident in a sexy image and don’t make the audience feel like they are committing sexual assault by simply watching the screen.

There is a difference between
sexy - which is what “Babu Ji” was all about - and sex - beautifully used in Band Baaja Baarat. Anushka Sharma in BBB showed that an actress can be sexual in a film without having it be a performance to titillate the audience - nobody is filing outraged vulgarity cases against Anushka Sharma like they are for “Munni” and “Sheila.” And sexy isn’t needed in a film to show romance or passion. I just watched Kati Patang this past weekend and one of the most passionate songs I’ve seen had the heroine in a white sari that covered all.

Audiences are always going to enjoy a sexy skin show - it’s human nature, we enjoy being titillated - but it’s really silly to insist that all actresses need to (or are able to) do it. There are other ways to appreciate an actress than by ogling her body. I hope Deepika (or her handlers) decide against this kind of thing in the future and use her name recognition for a “friendly appearance” style item song. Let Deepika save her bikini body for her swimming pool and maybe in another 5 or ten years when she is a bit more experienced in sex, she can give this kind of item song another try.

ETA: Okay, apparently I wasn't clear enough. It's true we haven't seen how comfortable or uncomfortable Deepika looks in Dum Maro Dum but I will direct you to exhibit A: "Dhanno" from Housefull. Just compare how sexy Jackie Fernandez is thrusting her pelvis around with Deepika Padukone demurely doing the same moves. You can call Deepika cute or attractive but nothing about her body language or the way the camera is filming her is meant to titillate.

Monday Gossip!

Where does the weekend go? It seems like just yesterday I could sit around in my pajamas all day and today I have to go be productive...

* Another
confused piece on popular Indian films from the Western media - this time from Peter Rainer, who is an expert on all Indian film and qualified to write on herogiri because a) he spent two weeks in Kolkata and b) is an expert on Satyajit Ray.

I had always believed that India's vast poverty and illiteracy explained the success of the frankly escapist Bollywood movies, with their sudsy plots and deliriously spangly musical numbers. (I coined the term "Busby Beserkeley" to describe Bollywood musicals, and the phrase stuck.)

[REALLY? You "coined" a term that is in use where? Your classroom? - FG]

Imagine my surprise when I discovered, in speaking with the Kolkata college students, most of whom were highly educated and relatively well-to-do, that they, no less than the uneducated poor, were obsessed with Bollywood stars.

Instead of exploring what he could talk about with some authority - his preconceptions of popular Indian film and how those preconceptions changed - Mr. Rainer treats us to a patronizing rumination on the amorphous idea of "heroes" that makes no sense to those of us with more than a passing familiarity with mainstream Indian and East Asian movies.

How you portray heroism is often a function of movie-making economics. Rather than trying to beat Hollywood at its own game, film-makers outside America are more likely to favor moral heroism over physical heroism – for one thing, it's less expensive to produce. Colin Firth's stammering George VI in The King's Speech embodies courage against fearful odds and you don't have to wear 3-D glasses to enjoy his triumph.

Well, maybe that's true if the only films produced outside America that you see are the ones that end up screening at the local art house theater. For example,
Udaan fits in The King's Speech mold but anybody who has seen Salman Khan or Mahesh Babu beat up rowdies knows that the idea that "physical heroism" is owned by Hollywood is bullshit.

Who let this guy write an article on Bollywood heroes and why did nobody challenge his assertions?

* It's funny, I was just reading about globalism and agriculture and here is an article about how American nut growers are using
Asian actors and actresses to promote their products in Asia.

In India - Karishma Kapoor.

* Shobba De is planning a book on

“It will be on the lines of an acclaimed book based on Victoria Beckham. The book will trace how Kareena Kapoor became the brand Kareena Kapoor... how she became a name to reckon with from just being Lolo’s sister,” the source added.

* Women are making inroads in the
Malayalam film industry.

* The Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra's remake of
Everybody's Famous is coming along slowly because he can't find a heroine who looks 19.

* The Mumbai Mirror digs to the real story
on Salman Khan and Yash Raj.

* Sameera Reddy has been sent to the
hospital with "exhaustion" after she fainted on set. I'm sure this has NOTHING to do with her recently slimmed down figure. Nothing whatsoever... by which I mean she's probably not eating enough and taking care of herself.

And looked who showed up to the Oscars!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Kati Patang: Kites in the Sky...

Writing up these older films is tricky - especially when Memsaab and Sita-ji have done such a thorough job. I will do my best and highlight a few of things that stood out for me while viewing.

Completely unintentionally, I purchased
Kati Patang (1970) and Phool aur Patthar (1966) at the same time – two films about widow remarriage in which the heroines spend most of the film swanning about in voluminous white saris.

Kati Patang was not at all what I expected. The previous Rajesh Khanna films I’d seen had all featured him as an annoyingly noble and macho jerk. And the one song that I had seen (many times) was “Mera Naam Hai Shabnam” – which features the heroine, Asha Parekh, in that sour white sari and a sour look on her face as Bindu bounces around. I had put off watching this for so long because I was afraid of a humorless, izzat-filled film… with some killer songs.

Imagine my surprise when I found that
Kati Patang is actually a heroine-driven film with some progressive values, superb melodrama, grown-up romance, a big masala heart… and some killer songs.

Asha Parkeh plays Madhu. Now, Madhu runs away from her arranged wedding – before even seeing her future husband – because she decided to chuck it all in for true love with her boyfriend.

Her boyfriend PREM CHOPRA.

You and I know that immediately this is going to be bad news due to the shirt open to the navel, the giant gold medallion, and the PREM CHOPRA .

Madhu takes a little longer to catch on but having already severed her family ties, she wanders aimlessly until she runs into her recently widowed friend Poonam, who is on her way to her in-laws house with her baby. Poonam has never met her in-laws before. You see where this is going.

Circumstances arrange themselves so that Madhu has no choice but to masquerade as Poonam at the in-laws. And guess who is Poonam’s husband’s childhood best friend Kamal…

Yup. That’s right, enter Rajesh Khanna! And we’re only 20 minutes into the film!

I don’t want to spoil the rest of the plot for you, so let me just run through some of the things you have to look forward to when you dust off your DVD of
Kati Patang (or watch it legally online).

1. Asha Parekh reacts to stuff. This film is a tour-de-force of Asha Parekh making excellent facial expressions. No wonder she won the Filmfare Award for Best Actress for this role!


Bindu hiding behind the curtain!

Attempting to stop a cabbie from driving off with her money!

Listening to a romantic song!

Disbelief at seeing Bindu in her “Mera Naam Hai Shabnam” outfit!


Asha Parekh is so lovely…

2. Madhu and Kamal have a very grown-up and very sweet romance.

This was the first film that I finally got Rajesh Khanna. Look at that dreamboat expression!

I love romances where neither party can admit their feelings.

They become close but can’t break the taboo against widow remarriage and it’s extremely hot.

3. Bindu and Prem Chopra are awesome.

They just are.

Look at that face! Do you trust that face? No. But thank goodness the heroines always seem to, because sleazy Prem Chopra is so much fun to watch!

4. “Mera Naam Hai Shabnam” is outrageous! They do not make them like this anymore. The vocals are all Asha Bhosle breathing and rhythmic sing-songy taunts and Bindu’s squeezes her voluptuous curves into an outfit that needs to be seen to be believed - it's essential a nude body stocking with some scraps of orange and green fabric covering her important bits.

There are no rear views like that in Bollywood today!

Not to mention whatever that is on her head!

My favorite part is, obviously, the delightfully Sapphic undertones to the song lyrics – in which Shaboo teases Madhu about “secrets” that they share and a night spent together while bridal music played.

Anybody else hot under the collar?

What other film involves a heroine getting hipchecked by a vamp in a spangly bodysuit and spilling her tea?

5. Whoever did the casting for
Kati Patang is my hero. There are so many excellent bit players to watch!

The most hideous child I’ve ever seen!

This lady in a party scene – she must have been somebody wife and she was clearly just really excited to be next to Rajesh Khanna.

THE Honey Irani (to the far left) as a giggly prospective bride.

Any film with Honey Irani as a crabby teenage girl is clearly doing something right.

6. The songs by R.D. Burman are simply amazing – superb even. And the picturizations are really good, too.

Watch the picturization for “Jis Gali Mein Tera Ghar” to see what I mean – notice how the strings swell as Rajesh Khanna rows each stroke. That right there is some really classy scoring.

The whole song is beautiful; the whole film is beautiful and I’m so happy I saw it today!

Sunday Gossip! Song promo edition!

Good morning, everybody!

First things first, the
Thank You trailer is out:

Regressive gender roles? Check. But if this is about Akshay Kumar being a
khildadi everywhere and charming Anna, Irrfan, and Bobby Deol's wives, then I can live with it.

Look, I'm only human! What do you want me to do when Akshay is pelvic thrusting all over the place? I can't resist that! Plus, it's nice to see Bobby Deol back in action and there is something really satisfying seeing Master Thespian Irrfan Khan get all

Now, let's see what the gossip columns have thrown up for us today:

* A new song promo for
Game! "Mehki Mehki" feat. Sarah Jane Dias.

Now, finally, here is something in
Game to look forward to!

* There is a cranky new book on
film songs: "A Journey Down Melody Lane: Making of a Hindi Film Song" by Raju Bharatan

The harshest words, in the context of Bharatan’s perceived decay of Hindi film music, are however reserved for the Big B, who he blames for prioritising violence and violent dialogue over music. In a chapter titled "The Great Fall!", he punches hard, “If you, therefore, asked me to underpin the one solid reason for the decadent decline of Hindustani cinesangeet, I would say it is Amitabh Bachchan. ....the Big B...betrayed a sad lack of social conscience in the thoughtless idolising of violence ...”

* If the IIFAs bring on
Akshay Kumar as their brand ambassador this year, I will be a VERY happy girl.

Deepika Padukone might be doing an item song for Power Star Pawan's adaptation of Love Aaj Kal.

I've said it once and I'll say it again - Deepika Padukone is NOT SEXY nor can she dance. Cute? Fine. Some people think so but Deepika has that look of the innocent girl next door. Of course, I am willing to be proven wrong - I love a good item song - but nothing we've seen from Deepika before merits the kind of fuss going on in the Bollywood gossip columns about her song in
Dum Maro Dum. If it's even as good as, say, Jackie's in Housefull, I'll eat my hat...

This is just embarrassing... for everybody. She can't lipsync. You can see her counting out the (very simple) moves in her head. And instead of a sultry expression, she just has a nervous grin.

Please, tell me what is so sexy about this that everybody is allegedly so excited for in
Dum Maro Dum.

You know, I think Preity Zinta is actually the actress that Deepika should be taking her cue from. Preity has that same "girl next door" energy about her but Preity makes it work for her. She's not sleazy or seductive in her item song from
Main aur Mrs Khanna but she gives off a healthy sexual aura.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Filmi Girl talks to... Botown!

The subtitle of this interview should be: From Memphis to Mumbai!

I uploaded the interview as a podcast which you can either download from
here or just click the link and stream it online.

I hope you enjoy it!

(Photo from Botown's official site:

Wired Magazine: Y U SO LATE?

I'm a big fan of Wired Magazine.

Really... I pay for my issues dutifully and read them with great interest.

That is why I was so disappointed to see
this post on a Wired blog about "Bollywood Sci-Fi" featuring... Endhiran.

If the giant mechanical snake and the heavily armed android don’t catch your eye in the trailer for the Bollywood-style sci-fi film Endhiran: The Robot, the elaborate song-and-dance numbers surely will.

Mashing together a surreal mix of CGI robots, outrageous action and cornball choreography, the clip — which proclaims the film “the biggest spectacle ever” — racked up millions of views on YouTube. It also caught the eye of the genre freaks who run the legendary Alamo Drafthouse theater chain out of Austin, Texas.

In what might be the first theatrical deal cut solely on the strength of a viral video, they made a snap decision and snagged the rights to screen
Endhiran in Austin, sight unseen.


Look, I realize that not everybody keeps up with the latest Indian film releases but there is something really frustrating about the fact that this is a movie that was released in October in the USA with English subtitles AND reviews from mainstream outlets like
Variety and yet it's being treated as a "cult" phenomenon - a "discovery" by the "genre freaks."

The only reason they didn't bother to watch the film before snagging the rights is they were too lazy to go to the theater when it came out and/or to order a copy of the DVD which has been available
for purchase for some time.

While I am glad to see that mainstream Indian films are FINALLY getting through to the cult film community, do we really need one of these, "Wow, India makes cool movies, too" posts every few months? These are just as annoying as the "Wow, comic books/video games/genre fiction novels are not just for kids anymore" stories that make the newscycle every once in a while.

I would strongly encourage people to go see
Endhiran at the Alamo Drafthouse because the film is awesome but I would also like to let those "genre freaks" know that a) it's more than a little patronizing to refer to the trailer of a hit film that has been released for a while as a "viral video" because b) they are not discovering anything that millions of people haven't already seen in the theater and enjoyed.

(I for one, reviewed it THREE TIMES - one two three.)

Nobody let me get away with that kind of nonsense when I "discovered" Beverly Hills 90210 on Netflix last year.

Filmi Girl: "Have you heard of this show? It's hilarious and awesome. Brandon and Brenda are like twins and..."

Annoyed Co-worker: "Um... yes. I was alive in the 1990s and it ran for like 10 years on TV."

Filmi Girl: "Don't tell me who Brandon ends up with!

The moral of the story: Just because it's new to you doesn't make it a "discovery."

Saturday Gossip!

Greetings, lovely people! I bring you all the odds and ends from the Internet - except stupid marriage rumors. Do Bollywood journalists really have nothing better to do than go around and make up rumors about every couple spotted together? I suppose the answer to that is: No. No, they don't.

Anyways, let's see where today takes us...

* Thank god not all the critics are being bitchy about
Tanu Weds Manu. It's a sweet film and I'm glad it's doing well!

* Amitabh Bachchan is letting the script speak in
Aarakshan and has no comment on the politics of Reservation.

In fact,
nobody is talking.

“Reservation” means “reservation” [Deepika] Padukone said when asked what the word meant to her. She plays a college student with Bachchan as her father. “I would not like to reveal my role,” she said after praising the view from her hotel room, which had “a calming effect on her.”

To be fair, actors are hired to play a role in a script - the person who should be answering the tough questions is the guy who wrote it.

(Check out Hema and the Big B
on set!)

* Farhan Akhtar is suffering the curse of the actor-director with
Don 2 holding up work on Dhruv.

* Yesteryears actor
Biswajit - of "Kajra Mohhabat Walla" - is in a bad situation.

* Will I go see a Nikhil Advani-directed movie starring Akshay Kumar as a
superhero? Absolutely. I'll probably love it and go see it twice. The question is, will everybody else?

Raveena Tandon is not doing any steamy scenes with the Big B in Buddah.

* Cyrus Broacha is hosting the Golden Kela awards this year. Abhishek Bachchan came to the ceremony last year to accept his award for his "American" accent in
Dehli 6. This year Cyrus thinks:

"I think Shah Rukh Khan is also one of the actors with an excellent sense of humour and won't mind collecting one."

Really? Shahrukh Khan? The same guy who accepted the Filmfare Award for best actor for the very role you want to give him the Golden Kela for? Good luck with that. I suspect that SRK will not be making an appearance at the awards ceremony.

* Speaking of the Badshah, his
catchphrase for Don 2 has been revealed.

“Don Ke Dushman Ki Sabse Badi Galti Yeh Hai, Ki Woh Don Ka Dushman Hai.”

I'm already tired of
Don 2 and it won't be released for MONTHS. Sigh.

* Vidya Balan is doing her own dubbing for
Urumi - a film I cannot WAIT for! I hope it comes to my local theater!

* Or at least this Prithviraj one
directed by Anurag Kashyap!

* The role Rekha has been offered in
Rana is not just that of Rajini's sister but it's also a negative role!! And she hasn't turned it down yet!

Marathi films are getting big budgets.

This interview with Priyanka Chopra was done at the preview screening for 7 Khoon Maaf and is highly entertaining.

“I look almost scary in some scenes,” she happily agreed. “I was supposed to. In any case, I don’t think I’m the most beautiful person on earth,” she added without vanity. “That’s not my USP. I don’t think I’m beautiful. I’m a decent looking girl, I’m easy on the eye, that’s about it. I’m not arrogant about the way I look, I don’t think much of it as a matter of fact. For me I’m an actor."

Which is why she wears lightening foundation an inch thick in every film? Sorry, naughty Filmi Girl slipped in there. The interview really is quite charming. Priyanka must be a lot of fun to interview - and Ranveer Singh shows up.

Just then a whirlwind called Ranveer Singh blew in. No, no, no, no way was he going in to see the film so late.

“Oh, a congregation of great ladies!” he quipped gallantly. “I came to say ‘hi’ personally instead of sending a text message,” he told Priyanka. “I can’t come for the 9 pm show either, I have an event to attend. But I want to pay good money, buy a ticket and watch your movie in the theatre,” he smartly said.

“Actually I paid to see your film, so you also pay and see my film,” Priyanka volleyed back. “I’d gone with six people to see
Band Baaja Baaraat, you take seven to see my film!”

“After I see your film I’ll text you. You’re going to be a smash hit,” he predicted. ”I can tell from the trailer.”

Friday, February 25, 2011

Tanu Weds Manu: I want to wed this film!

I would rather see a standard story done well than an original but mediocre one.
Tanu Weds Manu is a standard love story - boy meets girl; boy falls for girl; girl eventually falls for boy. The fun doesn’t come from plot twists but from character moments. And believe me, there are a lot of wonderful character moments in a film packed with almost all my favorite character actors.

The main story goes like this: Manu (R. Madhavan) is a doctor in London. He comes home to India because his parents have been after him to get married and he’s tired of saying no. Tanu (Kangana) is a drama queen who will go out of her way to avoid doing what her parents want at all costs. Unfortunately for Manu, Tanu’s parents adore him. The action moves really quickly in the first half as events are set up but then things calm down post-interval until the very, very end when the film ends with a big blowout!

I hadn’t seen anything from director Aanand Rai before but I was suitably charmed. While the story itself moved rather slowly, there was always something to watch on the screen. Crowded shots of the weddings or hordes of family members would give way to richly textured urban landscape – never have I seen so much of a film take place on terraces. This is the kind of film that will really open up to a second viewing because I’m sure I only caught a small percentage of the background action. Things like my favorite little moment – a very tall security guard and a very short security guard talking to each other, carefully framed to the far right of the screen as Manu drives his jeep up to the house.

The music was well integrated into the story. There was only one dance – which is done (and done right!) to that old chestnut
Kajra Mohabbat Walla – and one lipsync song but for once I actually didn’t mind the montage songs. They flowed a lot more naturally than in other films… or maybe it’s just that Kangana and Madhavan know how to make soulful eyes look dynamic and interesting instead of vapidly staring at the camera.

Speaking of our heroine, Kangana Ranaut really shines as Tanu. She has the tough job of playing a free-spirited girl without making her a
Manic Pixie Dream Girl - the kind that only exists to teach the Hero a lesson about life. Kangana plays Tanu as free-spirited but with a bit of a dark edge to her. Tanu may have a big heart but she is also selfish and childish. A less talented actress would have descended into shrill caricature but Kangana makes Tanu a real person. When Kangana’s eyes flash with sadness or frustration, even if she is smiling, you feel so sorry for Tanu, trapped into the persona she has built for herself.

(And while Kangana may not like her image as a wild girl, I have to say that the biggest laugh from the audience during the whole film was when Manu is shown a picture of Tanu looking demure before he meets her.)

And Maddy… where would we be without R. Madhavan? The role of Manu isn’t a flashy one and Maddy ends up playing the straight man to the action happening around him but he does a great job. It’s all about the shy smiles and disappointed looks. You can tell that Manu is probably a pretty dull guy, which is why he is so charmed by Tanu, but he’s also forgiving and kind and dutiful.

The real scene stealer of the film was Deepak Dobriyal as Manu’s friend Pappi. He knocked every laugh line right out of the park with ease. Jimmy Shergill was surprisingly convincing as the swaggering Raja – who would have thought he could play vaguely menacing but there you have it. Swara Bhaskar is great as Tanu’s friend Payal. I love how she’ll put up with Tanu’s nonsense for a while but then will let her have it when she crosses the line.

For flashy originality head into the next theater over for
7 Khoon Maaf but if a warm and heartfelt love story is your desire, then I hope you book your tickets for Tanu Weds Manu.

Friday Gossip!

TANU WEDS MANU TONIGHT! Yay! Reviews seem good - critics are mostly complaining about predictability and, hello, it's a romantic-comedy! What did you think was going to happen?

Now, all of the media is on notice for the ridiculous stories about how Katrina Kaif and Ranbir Kapoor are getting married. I guarantee you that they are not getting married. Do you really think Rishi Kapoor is going to let his son marry Katrina Kaif? No. End of story.

Now, let's see what else is floating around the Internet:

* Ranbir Kapoor in a
Magadheera remake?! If this happens, there needs to be a dance off with Rishi Kapoor.

* Oh, Kangana... you know I think she has
reasons to be paranoid:

Its’ said that you use names of A-list actors to add to your brand equity.

If I could win so many awards- there are close to twenty lying in my house- without dropping names and without even working with big actors, then why would I suddenly start now? That too at a time, when I am actually doing better for myself.

I suspect sabotage. I know people who bitch about me; they are nice to my face though

* I really, really dislike Madhur Bhandarkar. He talks about
his films:

This pretty much goes in line with the statement - 'It's the budget that fails, not the film'. After all 2010 saw quite a few turkeys as well with some huge films failing.

Exactly. If you are making unusual cinema then actor and director have to control the price. The producer also has to look at the viability of a film and not just make a proposal. As I said, I always keep that in my mind. I am happy that I could make a film like
Dil Toh Bachcha Hai Ji in a moderate budget. It was not a Rs. 35-40 crore film; it was made in Rs. 21-22 crore. I got good commercial success with it and I am happy with that. Fashion did Rs. 26 crores and Dil Toh Bachcha Hai Ji should cross Rs. 30 crores. I do feel though that Rs. 6-7 crores more would have been added to it had the Censors not given it an 'A' certificate.

JUST DROP IT! You got an 'A' certificate because it was an adult comedy based around sex humor - no families would have gone to the film anyways.

And while he does make an excellent point about keeping budgets under control, he needs to shut up about that certificate. His film did okay, accept it and move on.

* Shahrukh's
Zor Ka Jhatka gets some of the lowest ratings ever for a show featuring a Bollywood star. Even Rakhi Sawant did better.

* King Khan also explains that
Mughal-e-Azam is a classic and shouldn't be remade... coming from the guy who remade Don, that's a bit rich. I don't think classic films should ever be remade. If they are adapted from books or stories, I think it's fine to go back to that source material and come up with another take on it - like Devdas or Parineeta - but some things should be left in our memories.

* Salman Khan saves a day of shooting on
Bodyguard by flying to the set in a helicopter when Bebo falls ill.

PVR Pictures is shutting down temporarily.

A source tells us, "PVR Pictures emerged as one of the biggest production houses of recent times, especially with a good mix of Bollywood and Hollywood films, which they distribute. They have been quite prolific in the distribution arena; however it is the production that has taken a backseat, especially after the heavy losses due to Aisha and Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Se."

Now, you know if I had written that article, it would be: SONAM AND ABHISHEK BANKRUPT PVR PRODUCTIONS!

* Priyanka Chopra hopped the first flight out of Mumbai after mixed reviews for
7 Khoon Maaf - and she has been dropped from consideration for Vishal's next film.

* Ajith's
new punch line has been revealed.

* And here's the real gem of the day - a
German teenager discusses being an extra on the set of Short Term Shaadi.

“The film stars Kareena Kapoor and Imran Khan. It is directed by Karan Johar. I played an American pulling a cart of vegetables in a supermarket which in the United States,” Brehmer told Pune Mirror.

He was taken to the studio by some agents while he was strolling on the seashore at Colaba. Brehmer was paid Rs 500 for the bit role. “From a foreigner’s point of view, the whole experience was very funny. Many people were shouting and the heroine, Kareena Kapoor, was treated like a goddess. It was as though she had a halo around her and nobody was allowed to touch or even speak to her,” he said.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Thursday Gossip!

Greetings, friends, today is another day!

Although, it's not Friday, like I wish it was - Thursday is still pretty good.

Okay, then, what have the gossip columnists written for you today?

* Here's the one real story today -
Youtube is looking to expand into the Bollywood and cricket markets for viewers outside of India! Now, if they are smart, they'll add regional cinema to that list, as well, because it is a lot more difficult to get regional cinema than it is to get Bollywood.

"For most Bollywood producers, distribution in non-traditional markets is a problem and then the only choice left for people in those markets is piracy," Gautam Anand, Director, Content Partnerships, Asia Pacific for Google , said in an interview. "At least this way we are legitimizing views and monetizing it."

* But this one is almost as good - Ranbir Kapoor has refused to endorse a
fairness cream.

* Rituparna Chaterjee over at
IBN questions if Priyanka Chopra is overrated.

What then is Chopra's staying power in Bollywood? Is she part of a well-oiled PR machine, moderately talented, willing to better herself, good looking or simply tenacious? Her balance sheet in the last seven years lacks any considerable hits that can be called her own.

* And Priyanka herself doesn't help matters by explaining that
she didn't do any of the intimate scenes in 7 Khoon Maaf - it was body doubles.

* Prachi Desai will be doing a
Tamil film opposite Arun Vijay.

* And Prithviraj is going to
Bollywood - potentially opposite Rani Mukerjee!

* Vidya Balan was spotted in Goa with UTV's
Siddharth Roy Kapur and the media is having a field day with all the speculation. I think it was probably just a business meeting of some sort.

Mahesh Bhatt was the only person to come to Rahat Fateh Ali Khan's aid in India.

* Literally the last thing any Bollywood film needs is for a
team of experts in the United States to evaluate it.

* Rekha turns down a role in Rajini's
Rana, because, HELLO, she's not the sister type. Now, if they offered her the sex bomb role, you know she'd accept in no time!

* Jackie Fernandez is going to play an
adult model... you know, the naked kind of adult model... in Jism 2.

* Deepika Padukone is so
high maintenance! She throws a fit over wearing the bikini in Housefull and now stories are out that she threw a fit about the outfit for her Dum Maro Dum item song and the lyrics of the item song and, well...

Dippy, it's called an ITEM SONG - it's going to be provocative. What did you think was going to happen? Did you think you would be doing a
mujra in an anarkali suit?

Ugh. And look at her rib cage - in no universe is Deepika Padukone sexy. She looks like she'd either burst into tears or break into two if anybody tried to touch her.

Mallika Sherawat in
Thank You - this is how you do a sexy item number. No rib cages on display, no whining... Mallika is a pure sex bomb!
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