Monday, October 31, 2011


RANVEER SINGH in "Aadat Se Majboor" from Ladies V/S Ricky Bahl and can I just say... it's about time we had some more Ranveer in our lives! What do you think? I'm definitely looking forward to this one.

Two more song promos under the cut from The Dirty Picture and Desi Boyz!

Monday Gossip!

I feel like a giant weight has been lifted from my shoulders... the long hurricane of promotional activities for R*** is over! And knowing Farhan Akhtar, we won't be seeing something on the same magnitude for Don 2... at least until just a few weeks beforehand. So, everybody take a deep breath and enjoy the calm!

Today in gossip - ROWDY RATHORE, casting news for Kangana and Malaika and Mallika, the Chhote Nawab is now the actual Nawab of Pataudi, and more!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

7aum Arivu: From Chennai (Chowk) to China

I’ve been having a few on-going discussions with various people about what goes into a good film. Can a film be good if it has a flawed story? (And what makes a good story, anyways?) Cinema is essentially an experiential medium - visuals, audio, editing, and acting all add their parts to making a film good or bad. On top of that, the shared experience of watching a film as part of an audience adds something to a film. Reading a written screenplay is a very different experience from seeing a film in a packed movie theater. I’m of the opinion that story is only one part of making a good film - so if the direction, cinematography, music, acting, and feel of a film are good, I do think it can make up for a flawed script.

I thought about all of these things again while driving home from the theater after watching 7aum Arivu because - though it does have an imperfect narrative - I think it's a good film.

Oops! No News Post Today...

"Somebody" (i.e. me) stayed out too late last night and is too tired to crawl through the tabloids for your amusement. (Not that there is much out there anyway.) Instead, please enjoy the making of "Ringa Ringa" - the utterly delightful hero introduction song from 7aum Arivu

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Saturday Gossip!

Okay... um... let's see what the news columns dredged up!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Friday Gossip!

The coverage of a That.One.Film is still dominating the media landscape but it has taken a bit of an interesting turn. Since I've been laid up with a cold for the past couple of days, I've had plenty of time to haunt the comments thread over at the Satyamshot Open Post and posters there have had a lot of insight into the box office numbers games and after looking at all the numbers from all the sources, the consensus seems to be that the 25 crores on the second day number is inflated.

It seems to me - and many others - that Shahrukh feels like a hit or even a superhit is not enough; he wants to smash box office records. While That.One is set to make bank, it's not set to break the record of 3 Idiots or even Bodyguard. That doesn't stop certain segments of the media from twisting around themselves to make it appear that the film is breaking records - even though it's not. If only Shahrukh hadn't set up the media narrative to be THE FILM IS GOING TO SMASH EVERY RECORD EVER, this level of success would seem like, you know, success.

One does have a small sliver of sympathy for Shahrukh if he is unable to enjoy his success just because it's not the best success... Shahrukh hasn't really been King Khan of the Box Office since Om Shanti Om and it doesn't look like the film is the one to re-crown him.

As far as reviews go, the American media has been mostly very kind, although the cynic in me can't help but wonder if they've been so dazzled by filmi magic that they are really reviewing "Bollywood conventions" and not the film. For example:

If you’re bored by the action scenes or the love story or the dopey domestic comedy, just wait three minutes for something else to come along — and whoever you are, you won’t be bored by the musical numbers!

I'm sure this is true of the film but it's also true of almost every hardcore commercial film coming out of India.

On the flip side, the handful of negative reviews of the film coming from American media do the same thing in reverse.

Much more interesting to me was this piece on some of the nastier undertones to the film.

This film is made for a pan Indian audience. How many kids in India can afford these kinds of games? How many Indian kids can relate to gaming heroes? And why is it that being a ‘dood’ is supposed to be ‘cool’ for Indian kids? Why can’t Indian kids be cool eating with their fingers? Also why do they have to look and dress in such a way that they can ‘pass’ for a white American kid? The kid’s deepest concern is that his father is not cool. His dad eats with his fingers and says ‘dude’ instead of ‘dood’. The kid is a gaming junkie with attitude. He doesn’t like fat kids and does nasty things to them, but we are supposed to like this kid. The disturbing thing is that kids in the audience do like him.

And this piece from Samit Basu who lays out the details of what went wrong with the story.

What does our supervillain, R***, want?

World domination?

Nuclear warfare?

The destruction of Facebook?

No, he wants to kill a small boy who was kicking him around in his videogame.

Granted the small boy was extremely annoying, and R*** had my sympathy for most of his few appearances, but you know what? This is not the kind of earth-shaking conflict situation you base a superhero movie on, unless it's a flat-out comedy or parody.

Okay - so for the news that doesn't involve Shahrukh Khan...

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Thursday gosssssip!

Good morning, everyone! I'm actually a bit under the weather at the moment and have a nasty cold, but I hope everybody who was celebrating had a wonderful Diwali!

I know that one or two people will be disappointed at this but... I decided for my health and sanity (and after reading almost every review out there, positive AND negative) that I probably shouldn't see that movie that everybody is talking about, even to satisfy my curiosity. To be fair, some of the negative reviews are picking on things that don't usually bother me - inclusion of songs, broad comedy, and massive plot holes. But both positive and negative reviews mention one thing - Shahrukh's manic energy, which is something I find really unpalatable. I like Akshay Kumar enough to give him a pass for a joke about "over enthusiastic" air port security screening in Kambakkht Ishq but I know that the same kind of joke by Shahrukh would infuriate me. It's not "fair" but personal taste is never "fair."

So, knowing that I found Shahrukh's sentimental/comedy act in Kal Ho Naa Ho extremely off-putting and his cool-dude/nerd act in Rab Ne Bana De Jodi so annoying that I turned off the movie an hour in and felt no desire to finish it, it's safe to say that if Shahrukh's manic energy is the glue that holds This Movie together, then it will not be to my taste.

BUT, it seems that if you DO enjoy Shahrukh's act then this is a hugely entertaining film... even if it is not really The Future Of Hindi Cinema, but nobody was really expecting that from Anubhav Sinha anyways.

Fair enough, Shahrukh Fans?

On to gossip - not much happening but a few new trailers!!!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Wednesday Gossip!

The only big story today: Reviews of That Film I Can't Name For My Own Sanity... and they're kind of terrible... well, a couple of other things were reported...

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

From the Vaults: De Taali - Clap your hands!

I have quite a few flaws but holding a grudge isn't one them. So, for my new Internet buddy Abbas Tyrewala, here is a review I wrote back in February 2009 of a film he had a hand in - De Taali. I remember really enjoying this but I haven't seen it since then... perhaps I'll add it to my Riteish Deshmukh sub-series of Box Office Poison. (Poor guy, apparently he doesn't work as a solo hero for anybody but me. Aftab Shivdasani, on the other hand, I most gladly banish to the land of Third-String Hero in Abhishek Bachchan Films along with Zayed Khan and Neil Nitin Mukesh.

I hope AT appreciates this because it's so embarrassing reading how terrible my writing was back then!

See, kids! When you blog consistently and frequently, your prose improves mightily!

Tuesday Gossip!

Today in gossip - Shiney Ahuja fights in vain against his new public image as a total pervert; Aamir Khan seems set to do Jacki Shroff a big favor; Vishal Bhardwaj and Rakesh Roshan scrape the bottom of the barrel, and, hmm... something else that has slipped my mind. Isn't there a big film releasing tomorrow? Gosh, too bad there has been no press about it... now what was that title...

ETA: I have been (very rightly) been scolded into pointing out that Sayali is also accusing Amitabh Bachchan, Sajid Khan, and Arya Babbar of sexual harassment AND that I'm not ragging on Beth for her Tell Me O Kkhuda post. I genuinely thought it was cute that she is looking forward to it and in no way do I think she is getting paid by the Deol family to write the preview. Even I get accused of that from time to time and it's frustrating.

Everybody happy!?


Monday, October 24, 2011

Rowdy Rathore = YES.

My Filmi Mix Tape Season 2, Episode 3

I bet you thought I forgot! Nope, back to torture you again with my questionable taste in music. This week I just picked songs that had a similar kind of feel to them - no real rhyme or reason. Maybe one will catch your fancy...

Download Season 2, Episode 3!

(In case you missed them: Episode 2 and Episode 1)

Episode 2.3 Tracklist

Monday Gossip!

Today in gossip - TONS of Akshay Kumar goodness; some assorted casting news; Mahesh Babu's husbandly skills; and a funny story about Govinda and Javed Jaffrey that (if I were writing it) would most definitely end in a dance off!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Ko: I Turn My Camera On

"Sorry, but I am not optimistic at all. I think we are f*****. There's no dearth of writers in India, but there's a great lack of writing that has the life and smell of this nation.”

Abbas Tyrewala at the Mumbai Film Festival, 2011

It’s become very clear to me that Abbas Tyrewala and I must not watching the same films. While he has been quoted (more than once) bemoaning the state of screenwriting in India, I have been watching a steady flow of smart, well-written films from all over India - e.g. Shor in the City (Hindi), Naan Kadavul (Tamil), Maanasare (Kannada), and Urumi (Malayalam). Perhaps Abbas got his copy of Game stuck in his DVD player and can’t get it out - that film on a loop would surely make anybody feel fucked.*

So, I couldn’t help shaking my head at Abbas (once again) as I watched the highly entertaining Tamil film Ko this weekend. Smartly written by K.V. Anand (who also wrote and directed Ayan) with a sharp eye towards the the intertwined nature of the media and politics, Ko amuses, delights, charms, and, most importantly, makes you think.

(I will not be going into spoilers for the plot in this review. If you do plan on seeing the film, please do yourself a favor and stay away from the wikipedia entry because you will want to see this film with fresh eyes.)

Sunday Gossip!

Today in gossip Shiney's Ghost co-star confirms that he is a TOTAL douchebag; Anupama Chopra explains herogiri to the Los Angeles Times; Vikram's new film; Sanjay Leela Bhansali explains himself; and whoever paid for Chirag Paswan's debut film is about to lose some money...

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Saturday Gossip!

Today in gossip - Rajinikanth is a class act; Jackie is too classy for Krrish; Aamir goes scuba diving; and Ranbir does The Doors? PLUS MORE STUFF!

Friday, October 21, 2011


Today in gossip - an adorable story about a professor who moonlights as a poet and some other stuff! (Ix-Nay on the A-Ray One-Ay...)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Thursday Gossip!

Today in gossip - assorted nonsense in which I'm annoyed at Ra.1 promotions (STILL! YES, I KNOW! I CANNOT WAIT FOR THIS FILM TO GO AWAY!) and excited for Saif Ali Khan's coronation!

And just a small note - I had somebody accuse me on Twitter last night of shoving my (uniformed) opinion down their throat. Do you know what the solution to that is? Don't follow me on Twitter and my opinion will not show up in your timeline. Done. Finito.

Do you know what is not helpful? Haranguing me with your opinion and refusing to drop the argument when I clearly have stated "let's agree to disagree."

Sigh. How I wish I could "unfollow" all the Ra.1 promotions... sadly, the Internet does not have such fancy filters.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Which are YOU going to see this Diwali?

Two heroes enter the ring... in the left corner, the aging superstar desperately clinging to relevance with Ra.1 and in the right a talented hero at the top of his game!

On the left, a derivative sci-fi extravaganza scripted by focus group and directed by Abhunav Sinha, whose last film was the floptastic Cash in 2007. (Remember that one? Yeah, me neither.)

On the right, a forward-looking sci-fi extravaganza written and directed by auteur A.R. Murugadoss, whose last film was the record-busting (in multiple languages) Ghajini.

We'll let the free market battle this one out but I know who my movie ticket money is on... Bookie, put $15 on 7aum Arivu for a Box Office KO.

(On a side note, who cares about Genelia and Ritiesh's TOP SEKRIT relationship? Sigh... Filmfare, enough with the People magazine bullshit. We read Stardust for that shit because they have the better dirt.)

Wednesday Gossip!

Today in gossip - Australia tries to kiss and make up; Simbhu shakes his belt-buckle; Sridevi takes a bite of the Big Apple; Shahrukh's signing spree; and MORE!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Urumi: Feel the sting of Prithviraj's Blade...

The West remembers Vasco Da Gama, when we remember him at all, as a brave explorer who faced the open seas and hostile natives to bring spices back to Europe. I know because I just listened to a program about him on my favorite radio show that completely glossed over the bloody trail of mutilated corpses Vasco Da Gama left behind in India when he returned to Europe with his precious peppercorns, as if the spices simply hopped into his boat of their own accord. (Age of Discovery, indeed!) While the descendants of the indigenous peoples the explorers “discovered” continue to fight for their very right to exist, the global consumer culture encourages us to remember nothing at all - not the glorious explorers of previous centuries nor the atrocities they committed nor even the people whose lives they permanently changed.*

Shilpa Shetty in... THE DESIRE

Look, you know me - I'm not a fan of "So Bad, It's Good." I want to stress that The Desire doesn't look bad - it looks wonderfully melodramatic and cheesy! 

I got some strong Taiwanese television drama vibes from this trailer... I think it was the grand reveal of... THE PAINTING!

Oh, yes. This is going to be good!

Tuesday Gossip!

Today in gossip - London folks may want to check the weather forecast because it's going to be RAINING KHAN; more Ra.1 promo shenanigans; absolutely the WORST interview I've ever read with Ranbir Kapoor; tantalizing images of Vidya doing her Dirty Picture; and MORE!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Monday Gossip!

Don't forget to check out my interview with Joseph Mclean, one of the Scottish actors from Mausam. You don't want to miss his hilarious story about shooting that ballroom scene...

Now, today in gossip - Subhash Ghai employs the casting couch; Yash Raj threatens to remake ALL THEIR FILMS in the regional languages; Abhishek takes a pay cut; and a few other odds and ends...

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Joseph Mclean: Outsider in Bollywood (Mausam Special)

For previous entries in this series, please check the Outsider in Bollywood index.

Scotland is no stranger to film sets. Along with the films produced in the country itself, Scotland has hosted everything from Harry Potter’s quidditch matches to Mel Gibson’s Braveheart. But one type of film that Scotland* has not seen much of is the Bollywood film. So, when Pankaj Kapoor decided to shoot part of his romantic epic Mausam in Scotland’s capital city of Edinburgh, nobody could have been prepared for what was about to come rolling down Prince’s Street.

Because Pankaj Kapoor had decided to set part of the action in Edinburgh, a handful of local actors were hired by the Mausam
team to play friends and co-workers of the main characters Harry (Shahid Kapoor) and Ayat (Sonam Kapoor) - and one of those local actors was Joseph Andrew Mclean, from Glasgow, Scotland!

Sunday Gossip!

Today in gossip - Sid and Shruti's Oh My Ex-GirlFriend; find out if a junior artiste get more respect if he's wearing a suit; and "a well placed source" spills the beans on Shiney "Even IF He's Not a Rapist He's Still a Major Douchebag" Ahuja's recent activities...

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Saturday Gossip Post!

Today in gossip - Ajay, Shahrukh, Fraaandships, the usual assorted nonsense, and psychedelic bachelor boys (don't YOU want to know!)

Friday, October 14, 2011

Important Desi Boyz update...

Song trailer for John and Deepika in "Jhak Maar Ke!" What a cute song and picturization!

Malaika Arora Khan for Pond's Cold Cream

I know some folks really take offense at the idea of actors and actresses partnering with products as brand ambassadors but let's get real...

... when the result is an excuse to post pictures of flawless Malaika Arora Khan being flawless, I think we can put ideological differences aside.

Friday Gossip

Somebody (i.e. me) stayed out too late last night after the Aziz Ansari show at University of Maryland, so this is going to be a little short.

And the big story today is...

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Thursday Gossip!

Today is the 100th anniversary of Ashok Kumar's birth. I think Bollywood still misses Dadamoni a great deal. You can read my piece on him for the Encyclopedia Britannica blog.

To the end of his life, Ashok Kumar remained an important figure in Bollywood. He lived up to his nickname, ‘Dadamoni,’ Bengali for ‘older brother,’ not just with his own two younger brothers, actor Anoop Kumar and legendary actor-singer Kishore Kumar, but to the industry at large. He had a reputation for being humble, generous—even to the point of sharing his lunch with the film crew on set—and so soft-hearted that when younger brother Kishore Kumar passed away on Ashok’s birthday in 1987, he never celebrated his birthday again.

Can I also get on a soap box really quick - I've spotted a few articles in the gossip rags demanding to see Aishwarya's "baby bump." I would like to tell those people to go to Hell. You absolutely DO NOT have any right to see Aishwarya's "baby bump." Just because she is an actress doesn't mean that you deserve to be privy to every detail of her private life. AND, just because certain starlets are content to be famous for their relationships instead of their films, it doesn't mean that therefore EVERY actress must comply to that standard of candidness.

One more announcement - are you in Los Angeles? Then you want to go see a Ramsay Brothers screening
on October 14th.

Now onto gossip!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Fact: John Abraham is THE MAN!

This man is beautiful. I'm really happy that Force did so well for him! Next up... DESI BOYZ!

Wednesday Gossip

Is anybody near Milpitas, California? If so, you are lucky enough to have ONE WEEK to check out Lifeu Ishtene on the big screen! I'm super jealous, since I always have to wait for DVD for Kannada films.

Today in gossip - Ajay Devgn is going to PWN the box office in this upcoming film; Shahrukh is too old to play Hamlet; Gopichand runs with the lions; and MORE!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Mr. Perfect is Absolutely Perfect.

Please be aware that I go a little more in detail into the plot than I usually do, but only minor spoilers for things that happen pre-interval.

While I am really grateful that there is a movie theater showing Indian films near to where I live, it is a little frustrating that they generally only screen Hindi language films, along with the occasional Tamil film – usually either a Vikram or Rajini film. Although I haven’t had to sit through as many this year, Bollywood in the last ten years or so has been suffering from a Hum Tum hangover. You know what I’m talking about – the NRI romance, conveyor of tiny mini-skirts, impossibly huge apartments, product placement, and no concerns other than “love.” Maybe it’s just me but one of the reasons I got so frustrated with Hollywood film, especially the romantic comedies, is this idea that romantic love is the most important thing ever and if one doesn’t find and marry one’s TRUE LOVE than one is doomed to eternal spinsterhood and reruns of Sex and the City. Well, that’s bullshit.


A heart-felt HAPPY BIRTHDAY from me to the big guy - the one and ONLY superstar of Bollywood.... AMITABH BACHCHAN!

Tuesday Gossip!

Today in gossip - Vidya Balan is tired; The Big B turns sixty-fine; Dia and Zayed celebrate... something; the mid-life Hero crisis; andddd more!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Monday Gossip!

Today in gossip - Heroines galore!! MORE HEROINES! And, also, Ranveer Singh and Shiney Ahuja!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

My Favorite Things - Last Day!

A full week of birthday celebrating seems more than enough. I hope you enjoyed seeing some of my favorite things!

Today, I bring you my all-time favorite thing... INAPPROPRIATELY SEXY SONGS!

Possibly the greatest day in Internet before the unleashing of the Desi Boyz trailer was when Eros Entertainment uploaded "Naach Meri Jaan" in HD.

Arshad Warsi appears to be ready to rip all of Rekha's clothes off as soon as the camera turns away and I LOVE IT.

Gems like this are rare, possibly because there is only one man who can handle all of Rekha's assets - Arshad Warsi - and he's a busy guy.

Sunday Gossip!

Today in gossip - Zayed Khan's hair gel; Rakhi Sawant blames other people for her lack of a career; and JR. NTR kicks some MAJOR BUTT!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

My Favorite Things Day 6

I just realized I forgot to post my favorite thing today!!

This scene from Golmaal 3 was so hilarious, I was laughing so hard I cried and then rewound it like 5 more times to watch it again. BRILLIANT miming from all the guys and the sound effects?! *mwah* BRILLIANT!

Rohit Shetty proves once again that he knows how to do comedy.

Saturday Gossip

Today in gossip - Some odds and ends. Chetan Bhagat; behind-the-scenes at Sony India; Salman's youngest sister might take up production...

Friday, October 7, 2011

Question: Do You Like Things That Are Awesome?

I was just tipped off to The Immortals trailer and I have to say... DAYUM! This looks like it's going to be really fun!

You know I love violence and action-filled potboilers, especially ones directed all artsy. Director Tarsem Singh is the man behind cult classic The Cell and rumor has it that The Immortals is much more insane (in a good way) than the trailer lets on.

The cast includes the always amazing John Hurt (from anything good ever), Twilight beefcake Kellan Lutz, Henry Cavill (The Tudors), Mickey Rourke (!!!!), one of the dudes from The Hobbit, some kick-ass blond Australian girl, and Freida Pinto in a role that I might just like her in.

So, yeah. I'm excited.

You know you are curious, so check out La Pinto in all her glory!

My Favorite Things Day 5!


Also, this song is ridiculously catchy... probably because it's been ripped from M.I.A., which is ALSO probably why I had such a hard time finding it uploaded somewhere.

Enjoy some classic Ganesh Chocolate-Heroing!

Friday Gossip!

Today in gossip - A lot of nonsense! Catch up with Shahid, Ranbir, Salman, John, and Ali Zafar! And guess which movie is getting a twenty part making-of?

Thursday, October 6, 2011

My Favorite Things Day 4

Mumaith Khan.
That is all.

Thursday gossip!

I realized something very important about the Desi Boyz trailer - Akshay Kumar is riding his segway properly (i.e. on the road and NOT on the sidewalk.) There is a segway tour down Pennsylvania Avenue that has almost run me over on numerous occasions because they ride ON THE SIDEWALK and I hate it. Thank GOD I could trust Akshay to ride his segway properly. See, there is a reason he is my favorite hero...

Today in gossip - Love Breakups Mediocre Reviews; some potentially VERY exciting casting news for Vidya Balan; the Ra.1 promo-gasm won't stop; and who is the new evil enemy in Bollywood? (Hint it's the same old evil enemy.)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Important Desi Boyz Update...

The first song promo is HERE!

Make some noise for the DESI BOYZ - uno, dos tres...

What think you? My only complaint is that it's only a minute and a half long. Also, somebody please tell me that the helicopter is a callback to Khiladiyon Ka Khiladi.

My Favorite Things Day 3!

I don't think it's any secret that I LOVE TASHAN.

This song is genius on so many levels... but you also have to love a certain khiladi's ability to convincingly sell the mini-thread of falling in love with Bebo's character through the course of this supremely wonderfully ridiculous song.


Uh oh... I believe it's happening... yes... "Dil dance maare..."!

Wednesday Gossip!

Today in gossip - Bagwati comes back to delight us again; Lady Gaga is unavailable for Ra.ra.ra.ra.1; some of my favorite punching bags return to the gossip pages; and a couple of very interesting casting rumors...

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

My Favorite Things Day 2!

My second choice is... this song!

Madrassapattinam was an amazing film and this song captures so much about what I liked about it - romance, humor, human pathos, politics, and besides all that - it's just plain gorgeous.

My review of the film is here and interview with star Alexx O'Nell is here.

Katrina Kaif for FEMINA

I choose... Katrina. Damn, girl! You're looking supa dupa fierce! Love it! 

Tuesday Gossip!

Today in gossip - the role of the burqa; some casting news; and... a Pithamagan remake? Find out more!

Monday, October 3, 2011

My Favorite Things Day 1

Because it's my birthday week, I'm going to celebrate with my favorite things!

Day 1 - "Mera Kya Sanam" from Talash featuring Helen

Everything about this is my favorite - the song, the film, O.P. Ralhan, and, above all, HELEN! Shake it, sister!

Monday Gossip!

Today in gossip - Zoya Akhtar has a naughty tongue; Players is still causing trouble in New Zealand; the Oscars; Bigg Boss; release dates; RAJINIKANTH; and MORE!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Happy Day Off to Me!

Somebody (i.e. me) partied a little too hardy at her birthday party last night and so I'm taking the day off from posting today but I wanted to pop in and thank everybody for their wonderful messages. I was really overwhelmed. I started this blog as an outlet for my ramblings about Indian film but have kept it up because of encouragement from all of you. Nobody blogs in a vacuum - or if they do, they're doing it wrong - and everybody reading this is just as much a part of this blog as I am.

I don't talk much about myself on here, mostly because you would find it VERY uninteresting but today I will share that there have been times when I was feeling very low and very alone but knowing that there so many wonderful people out in the world who have reached out to me has really been a comfort. I honestly couldn't tell you why I became so emotionally involved in popular Indian film, except that the pure joy that I can take while watching a particularly good masala film is a feeling I've never been able to duplicate in any other pop culture experience. Good masala is my heroine... to steal a pun from Force.

Anyways, in lieu of gossip today, I wanted to share with you my special birthday tweets - including some great Pakistani birthday songs - and a very, very special tweet from a certain favorite actor of mine...

arshad warsi

HAPPY BIRTHDAY my dear... Wishing u a super year ahead....

Does it get better than this? THANK YOU, EVERYBODY!

Read more below the cut...

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Force: Thoda Blood Thoda Violence

Recently I’ve been thinking a lot about how I review films and why I do the things I do. Unlike a lot of reviewers, I really don’t like to give “stars” or letter grades to films because I don’t think it’s a meaningful way to talk about film. Is it fair to give 2.5 stars to a film that I enjoyed, just because it didn't hit me as deeply as some other film that I also enjoyed but gave a 3.5 to? The whole ratings game is stupid and pretty useless in telling people whether or not I enjoyed a film and whether or not people reading the review will enjoy a film.

I’ve also been thinking about my tendency to give more positive reviews to films I see in the theater. The experience of watching a film, in the dark, on a BIG SCREEN where you can’t fast forward or pause to go get snacks, can tip a mediocre film into enjoyable territory for me. That is what happened with Action Replayy, for example. I know the film was stupid and the story was full of holes big enough to drive a time machine through but seeing those song picturizations done really big and just enjoying my favorite on screen were enough for me. Would that film work as well on DVD? Probably not. If I reviewed it again for Box Office Poison, I would probably rip it to shreds. On the small screen, with the ability to fast forward, things like Aditiya Roy Kapur’s annoying girlfriend (Sudeepa Singh) become intolerable. On the big screen, I have enough patience to wait her out. On the small screen, mountain top songs are boring. On the big screen, mountain top songs are majestic and overwhelmingly powerful in scope.

The reason I bring all of this up is because Force is not a “five star” film, nor is it one of those films that will translate well to home viewing, but it is a film I enjoyed watching at the cinema and it is one that I would recommend if you enjoy South Indian revenge films.

Saturday Gossip!

If you are in Chicago, you probably already know... the South Asian Film Festival is on! There are some good selections - I am Kalam and Stanley Ka Dabba have both gotten excellent reviews - so go check it out!

Not much in ye olde gossip today, especially if you - like me - don't particularly care about whatever drivel Dia Mirza is simpering about Love Breakups Zindagi or the Rascals crew trying to do damage control on the nasty stories that have been spreading around. I did dig up a few tidbits... so take a peek!

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