Sunday, July 31, 2011

From the Vaults: Bheegi Raat

Another blast from the past, the other Kalidas film I've seen is Bheegi Raat (1965). I also wrote this one years ago when was going through a Ashok-Meena phase and this was, unfortunately, not quite the film I wanted it to be.

And a warning: SPOILERS AHEAD since this was before I learned how to write posts without them.

From the Vaults: Half-Ticket

I wrote this years ago but since I just put up a post on a Kalidas film, I thought I would dig up my old posts on Kalidas films. So, please excuse the lack of substance and just enjoy the enthusiasm!

Saazish... is it 1975 in here or is it just me?

I was in the mood for something light and silly when I requested Saazish from Netflix and the film did not disappoint on that front; it’s a frothy comedic-thriller packed with glamour, gals, and gadgets. Dharmendra and Saira Banu share fabulous chemistry, Helen glams up a storm, and comedic spy-jinx abound! I only had two questions when the film ended - 1) What on Earth just happened? and 2) Why hadn’t I seen this before?

Sunday Gossip!

My apologies for missing yesterday's gossip post! I had a bit too much fun on Friday night and, well, I slept Saturday morning away.

Today in gossip - new song promo for Aarkashan; Sanjay Dutt refuses a father figure role; Shirish Kunder never said anything about Sonakshi's weight; Rakhi Sawant is hilarious and possibly drunk; and more!!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Beauty Beyond Size Zero...

I know I say this all the time but I can't emphasize enough how tired I am of the Body Nazis of Bollywood monitoring every starlet's weight loss progress. It's not that thin isn't sexy but the problem is that thin isn't the only figure type that's sexy... and recently, that is the message we've been getting from the Bollywood media machine.

Friday Gossip

Today in gossip - Sonakshi Sinha needs to give Shirish Kunder a tight slap; song promo for Mausam; CHARMEE is back in the picture; Karan Johar is in raptures over Sanjay Dutt; Vivek Oberoi is bouncing checks and MORE!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Thursday Gossip!

Today in gossip... NEW SONG PROMO for Mere Brother Ki Dulhan; producer busted in a housing scam; Big B faces protests; Delhi Belly's Poorna Jagannathan is ready to skip around trees; Bollywood vs. Jihad; and MORE!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Filmi Girl talks to... Ruchika Muchhala!

If one judged by the Bollywood gossip pages, making a film requires little more than the right hero and heroine. They show up, the director points a camera, and magic is made. The truth is a lot more complicated and a lot more interesting. A staggering amount of work goes into creating the effortless glamor of a Bollywood film. Not only are there actors to put on camera but there are costumes to be sewn, lights to be hung, dance steps to be performed, sets to build, stunts to coordinate, equipment to rent, and somebody must make sure that everybody is getting paid. It is this hard-working behind-the-scenes world that filmmakers Ruchika Muchhala and Adam Dow explore in their documentary, The Bollywood Project.

The Bollywood Project began in 2007 when Ruchika and Adam, both working for Realnetworks in Mumbai, needed an idea for a web series. Ruchika suggested doing something on Bollywood, a perennially popular topic. The web series came and went but Ruchika and Adam found themselves fascinated by this world they had stumbled into. They kept filming. And now the documentary, which is in the final stages of editing, takes a closer look at four people in the industry - Premji, a union boss; Harry, a white Australian actor; Pooja, a dancer; and Ojas, a top make-up artist. The film follows their daily struggles, their successes, their heartbreaks, and their failures. Nobody said glamor was easy.

Ruchika Muchhala was kind enough to take the time to speak with me about making the documentary and what she learned in Bollywood.

[You may want to view the trailer for the film before you read this. It’s available


Sonakshi Sinha at Delhi Couture Week!

Lovely Sonakshi Sinha!!

What? Delhi Couture Week is over and besides you've already seen this?! Nahiii~iiiiin! I'm not listening!

Wednesday Gossip!

Today in gossip... more Sanjay Dutt than you could hope for; Hema is pulling out all the stops for Esha's re-launch; the Deols in 3D; LOLO will be back on our screens; and MORE!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Arjun Rampal at Delhi Couture Week

That is all.

Tuesday Gossip!

Today in gossip - Cocaine takes over Hyderabad's filmi elites; Neha Dhupia talks Eva Braun; Masti 2; I may have to eat my words over Bol Bachchan; Pakistan's stylish Love Mein Ghum; and MORE!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Tashan Mein...

Despite being made from a solid masala formula of lost-and-found, juiced with some riotous action, and sprinkled with some biting commentary on the state of contemporary filmmaking, Tashan nonetheless managed to flop pretty spectacularly. Audiences hated it; critics hated it; and even some Akshay fans were disappointed. [Not FG, though, who saw it a record three times in the theater.] Yet, as I was live-tweeting my re-watch of Tashan the other day, I was genuinely surprised at how many Tashan fans popped out of the woodwork. Much like the flop-at-the-time Jaan-e-Mann, somewhere in the past few years, Dhoom series scriptwriter Vijay Krishna Acharya’s directorial debut appears to have become a beloved cult classic.

Monday Gossip!

Good morning! I thought I would share with you a new podcast I did with the team over at upodcast. We talk about Bollywood copies, remakes, straight lifts... and how they are treated by fans, fanboys, and critics.

You can probably guess where I stand on remakes of classic films... (NEVER!)

So, go listen and make sure to send in your comments. I think this is a good discussion to have.

Now, today in gossip - Sanjay Dutt's straight lift of Pink Panther... and not the good version; Rachel Saltz farts out another terrible review; Ameesha Patel's brother is in trouble with the law again; Ajay Devgn doesn't care for gimmicky promotions (I LOVE YOU AJAY); and MORE!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Anaganaga O Dheerudu: Once Upon a Siddharth

One of the surprising new fads in Indian cinema these days is the children’s film and who better to lead the charge than the Walt Disney Company, purveyor of quality American children’s films. Disney joined hands with the Telugu film industry with the aim of creating something quite different – a children’s fantasy film the likes of which had never been seen before. Anaganaga O Dheerudu (Once Upon A Warrior) was that film. Starring everybody’s favorite chocolate hero, Siddharth, as the mystical warrior Yodha who must defeat an evil sorceress and save his kingdom, the film released in the Indian market back in January to mixed reviews and an underwhelming response at the box office.

(Undeterred by this, Disney plan to include
Anaganaga O Dheerudu as one of three films it will be releasing on DVD, iTunes, and streaming formats on July 26th. Check the official site here for information.)

I was lucky enough to have a chance to review the film prior to the official USA release and I have to say that I, too, was underwhelmed and I completely understand why it tanked at the box office.

Sunday Gossip!

Today in gossip - Raghav hits Bollywood; Singham faces trouble in Karnataka; JUST DANCE; and more!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Singham: The Lion Growls...

Recently there has been a lot of discussion on my part of Twitter about recycling story ideas, whether it be as a remake or an homage or what have you. And based on those discussions, I think it’s worth mentioning here at the beginning of my review that Singham starring Ajay Devgn is an “official” remake of Singam starring Surya. I haven’t seen the Surya version - although I have seen the trailer - but I can guess that the story and some of the action sequences of Singham are probably pretty close to Singam. Does that make Singham any less boss? No. And if you suggest it, I will call Bajirao Singham to come give you one of his trademarked lion paw smackdowns.

INTENSE 2011: Atif Aslam and Sunidhi Chauhan

Last night I attended INTENSE 2011 featuring Atif Aslam and Sunidhi Chauhan at DAR Constitution Hall in Washington, DC. I had a wonderful time and thought I would share with you a bit of my experience.

(You can also check my review of
IMPACT 2010 which featured Atif and Shreya Ghoshal.)

Saturday Gossip

Before gossip, I want to say that my thoughts and prayers are with the people of Norway. I spent a very happy time working in Oslo when I was in my early 20s and it made me sick to my stomach to following the events yesterday. Violence belongs on cinema screens, not in the real world. And for a people like the Norwegians who have worked so hard to become the sincere and open society that they are today... well, I wish the full wrath of an angry Rajinikanth on the man who did this to Norway.

Anyways, today in gossip - Dharmendra becomes the Darling D; Deepika speaks out; the khiladi clashes with the... singham; Sonal Chauhan is rather refreshing; a NEW promo for Bodyguard; and MORE!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Friday gossip!

Today in gossip - India shuts down file sharing sites; the Roy Kapur family; lots of little bits on ZNMD; Ajay casting news; Bodyguard trailer; and MORE!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Salman Khan on Filmfare!

Here he is... the Bigg Boss himself! No other comment than I love that he's having a second (or third?) career innings as a
masala hero.

Thursday Gossip

Today in gossip - the WSJ explains the policy of Reservation in relation to Aarakshan; Jal's Goher Mumtaz hits the small screen; hear from the gora producer of Delhi Belly; Farhan Akhtar has no clue about money; Arundati remake is being talked about; new promo song for Mere Brother Ki Dulhan; and MORE!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Kaagaz Ke Phool - Paper Flowers

Kaagaz Ke Phool (Paper Flowers, 1959) is a flop film that details the harsh realities a flop film can thrust upon a director, harsh realities that were thrust upon Guru Dutt, the director of Kaagaz Ke Phool, when the film flopped. A bitter musing on love and fame, Kaagaz Ke Phool was inexorably tied to Guru Dutt’s legend when he overdosed on sleeping pills in 1964 after having separated from his wife - eerily echoing the ending of the film.

Wednesday Gossip!

Hello, blog friends! I'm sorry for the lack of real posts this week - I've been super busy and haven't had as much time to write when I get home from work. I do have three or four posts that I'm working on so hopefully I'll get those up at some point soon. I also have one interview in the bag and one to set up...

Plus, you know I'll be doing a concert review for Atif and Sunidhi on Friday!!

Now, today in gossip - No Smoking wins some praise from somebody besides me; Celina Jaitely is big in Karnataka; Akshay hits Hollywood; Frieda Pinto ignores Bollywood; and MORE!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Tuesday Gossip!

So... I finally got my tickets for the Sunidhi Chauhan and Atif Aslam show on Friday!! I'm excited, even if I've seen them both before. It should be a good show.

Okay, today in gossip - Ajay Devgn and Rohit Shetty talk
Singham; women rule television serials; Ra.1 hits Taiwan; some starlets scuffle with their directors; Vivek is excited for Krrish 2; AND MORE!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Monday Gossip!

I forgot to mention yesterday that went I went to see ZNMD in the theater, the trailer that affected me the most was for Vikram's new movie. How I wish that Tamil films were released in the US with subtitles!!! I know it's not just white folks like me who want to see these but don't speak Tamil... Anyways, it looks like a real tearjerker and even though I couldn't understand what was going on, Vikram was so good that I could just tell I would bawl my way through it. The title is Deiva Thirumagal but I would avoid the wiki page which seems to have given away the ENTIRE plot in the summary, which I hate and which happens a lot on Indian film pages.

Anyways, today in gossip - Aamir and Genelia dropped from some films; career change for Manissha Koirala; cultural meanings of Bollywood dance; promo for the adorable looking
Bubble Gum; and MORE!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara: Spanish Holiday!

“I hate this!”

-Little girl sitting in the row in front of me

I understand why that little girl didn’t enjoy
Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, it’s a movie about and for adults at a certain time of life. Much like Rock On, which I also enjoyed, Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara is about a bunch of guys who have been role playing adulthood and their journey to true self-discovery and self-acceptance. And there is not much in that journey for a 10-year old girl, no matter how much she likes Hrithik Roshan.

Sunday Gossip!

Oh, my blog friends... I have so much writing to do for you and so little time! Well, I will try my best! I have a review of ZNMD in the works (spoiler alert: I really enjoyed it) along with some other odds and ends.

But now, let's check in with the Bollywood gossip circuit!

Today in gossip - laments for long lost hairlines and for the extravagant sets of yesteryear; Shahrukh and Akshay are stuck with nuisance complaints; Jackie Fernandez speaks for herself; and MORE!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Golmaal 3 will blow your mind!

Go-go-go golmaal
Golmaal is back again!

After finally getting around to watching my
Golmaal 3 DVD this week, I was left with the frustrating task of figuring out exactly how to write it up. We all know it was a box office hit (and deservedly so) and reviews ranged from “stupid” to “stupid but you’ll laugh.” Is there anything else I could possibly add to the discussion? I’ll certainly give it my best shot!

Saturday Gossip!

Today in gossip - Deepak Dobriyal speaks about Not a Love Story, Zarine Khan on not having a bikini bod, BOLLYWOOD VAMPIRES, and more!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Costume Appreciation Day: Kareena Kapoor in Golmaal 3

One of my (many) favorite parts of Golmaal 3 was Kareena Kapoor's tapori character.

Her name - Daboo.

Her favorite style choice - the simple T-shirt.

She's a...
heartbreaker... dream maker... soul shaker... in her sassy Pat Benatar tank and she'll punch you if you don't check the rest of these out!


First of all apologies to anybody who is following me on twitter and who doesn't care about Golmaal 3. I've kind of gone Golmaal-crazy the last couple days. Expect a few posts on the film... Go-go-go-golmaal!

Awesome new Singham promo, Q and Anurag Kashyap are teaming up, our dear Sunny Malik gets to hobnob with Jiah Khan, and OTHER ASSORTED NONSENSE!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Thursday Gossip!

I'm sure we all know the top story today... Bollywood celebs were NOT impressed with the terror attacks. So, terror plotters, if you were trying to get on Hrithik Roshan's good side - it didn't work. Not to mention the tragedy of Aishwarya Rai postponing her French honors... I hear there are to be candlelight marches in her honor.

Seriously, though, my heart goes out to the victims and I hope that life returns to normal for Mumbai as quickly as possible. The best revenge is not letting yourself be terrorized or taunted into lashing out at a certain community or group - because then the terrorists have really won.

We should all take a page from Amitabh Bachchan's book and just ignore the media's sensationalizing behavior.
The Big B is speaking out against the media on his blog for exactly the kind of stupid media-generated stories that his blog usually fodder for.

The awful events of yesterday do make the following 'news' stories seem much less important... but the gossip and PR firm released stories will continue flow...

And, you know, since I've started receiving some of those, it just becomes more and more clear how much bullshit clutters up the 'news.' And what's more shocking is how many of these stories I see posted almost
verbatim with different 'journalist's' names attached as the 'author.'

Anyways... click on in to see what's happening in Tinsel Town today... and to check out the awesome
Sahib Biwi aur Gangster trailer, feat. Jimmy Shergill, Mahie Gill, and Randeep Hooda.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Wednesday Gossip

Today in gossip - Sonu Nigaam does Britney Spears, Downton Abbey makes a Bollywood debut, Shekhar Kapur's Paani, Preity Zinta, trailer for Sahi Dhandhe Galat Bande, AND MORE!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Let us now praise famous... Neha Dhupia!

Hee! I don't know why that phrase stuck in my head. I've never
read the book but I do really like Neha Dhupia. I have for quite some time. I think she first made an impression on me in Dus Kahaniyaan as the woman who has a slightly off romantic encounter.

Neha is gorgeous, yes, but she also has a very charming onscreen presence and can effectively act
and vamp - as the situation requires.

She'll be playing Eva Braun in the upcoming (and already controversial)
Gandhi to Hitler... trailer under the cut.

Tuesday Gossip!

Today in gossip - Neil Nitin Mukesh picks up singing, promos for Shahid Kapoor's Mausam and Aarakshan, Lady Gaga pretends to have seen a Bollywood film, Priyanka's stunt double from Don 2 passes away, AND MORE!


Monday, July 11, 2011

Singham: You know you can't wait until July 22!!

Delhi Belly - my most anticipated film of the summer is Rohit Shetty's Singham. No lie, this poster is my current desktop background.

Here are two things I know:

1. Rohit Shetty makes fantastically entertaining films, most of which involve cars zooming around and flipping over and etc.

2. Ajay Devgn is looking
fine with his washboard abs.

So, obviously, when I got these promo pictures, I HAD to share them with you!!

Alas, Ajay's famous abs are not on display but enjoy!

Who is this guy?

From Tashan... he wasn't listed in the credits. Does anybody know him?

Monday Gossip

I'm ba~aaaaack! I hope everybody had a lovely week and weekend. I'm finally home after all my traveling and visiting and hopefully it won't take me too long to get back into the swing of things.

Shall we just dive right in?

Today in gossip - casting news for a bunch of films, Arshad Warsi heads off to shoot his new film, the trailer for John Abraham's Force, AND MORE!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Chandni Chowk to China: Jane Kaun Hoon Samajh Aaye Na

[The infamous poster...]

It seems appropriate to tackle
Chandni Chowk to China next after Saawariya as it is possibly the second most notorious Hollywood-financed flop. Chandni Chowk to China (hereafter CC2C) was supposed to be everything Saawariya wasn’t, populist entertainment in the masala mode with an eye towards capturing both South Asian and Western audiences. The ingredients to this Chinese themed masala were simple – take one part khiladi, two parts buzzworthy Om Shanti Om starlet Deepika Padukone, add a hearty helping of comedy, sprinkle a soupcon of Shaan-style plotting, and serve on a bed of vintage kung fu. Sounds appetizing, right? So, why did it flop so miserably?

Anushka Sharma in Maxim!

Isn't she beeee~yooooo~tiful?!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Costume Appreciation Day: Babban in Ishqiya

As I was live-tweeting while watching Ishqiya the other day, Suzy tweeted back at me, fondly remembering Babban's party shirt in the film.

Well, I wouldn't be FILMI GIRL if I didn't take that tweet and run with it. Babban's buttoned down shirts were one of the highlights of the film for quite a few of us, so I captured them and now bring them to you!

Yes, Babban, your sartorial choices have plenty of fans!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Saawariya aka Sanjay Leela Bhansali's "Blue"

Backed by Hollywood’s Sony Pictures Entertainment (under the hand of Gareth Wigan, who produced Chinese cross-over hit Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon) Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Saawariya was announced in late 2005 as the start of a beautiful partnership between Indian talent and American cash. At the time, Sanjay Leela Bhansali was riding high on two well-received literary adaptations Devdas (2002, based on the novella Devdas) and Black (2005, based on Hellen Keller's first autobiography.) So, from Sony Pictures perspective, having Sanjay Leela Bhansali adapt Dostoyevsky's short story "White Nights" to Indian cinema was not such a bad idea. After all, the story had inspired, among other films, the Raj Kapoor classic Chhalia (1960). And if Sanjay Leela Bhansali could turn the drunken tragedy Devdas into an opulent romance, why couldn't he do the same for the wistful "White Nights?"

Bbuddah... Hoga Terra Baap! The Big B has still got it!

This has been mentioned in a few different reviews but I’ll mention it again here. It was an odd coincidence that brought Abhinay Deo’s self-consciously cool
Delhi Belly to theaters the same weekend as Amitabh Bachchan’s Bbuddah Hoga Tera Baap. The former is a film aimed at the Hollywoodized palate of the urban upwardly mobile youth and the latter is a good old-fashioned masala film written and directed by Puri Jagannadh (who is responsible for Mahesh Babu’s Pokiri, which later inspired Salman Khan’s Wanted.) If I was hack writer Rachel Saltz of the New York Times, I would use this as an opportunity to make a sweeping generalization about ultra-modern youngistan ka Hindustan, but since I’m not, instead I’ll say this: judging by the reaction of the crowd at the AMC Empire 25 in Times Square, Amitabh Bachchan still got it. Bbuddah?! Bbuddah hoga tera baap!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Shor in the City (OMG HAVE YOU SEEN IT YET?!)

When I met up with my
filmi friends this past weekend in New York City, I spent a good deal of time talking up Shor in the City. As in: “OH MY GOD YOU HAVEN’T SEEN SHOR YET?! WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU?!” (The response to that being: “Calm down, it just came out on DVD, ya.”) For all the hype about Delhi Belly being the Future Of Hindi Cinema, I think the real game-changing film came a few months earlier on April 28. Crisply edited and sharply plotted, Shor in the City is the kind of film all those NYU and UCLA educated young bucks can only dream about.

Saturday, July 2, 2011


I forgot to post this yesterday - I'll be on vacation until Sunday July 10th. I have a few things sort of half-written and I'll try to get those posted during this time but daily posts probably won't happen.

I'll definitely keep checking in, though, so if you need to get in touch with me, please do!

And to my fellow Americans... have a great 4th of July!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Friday Gossip!

Today in gossip - run through some Delhi Belly reviews, check out the making of "Paint It Red," read some interesting pieces on baby bumps and foreigners studying in Bollywood, and MORE!

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