Friday, November 25, 2011

Friday Gossip!

GOOD MORNING! Happy Desi Boyz Day!

I had a wonderful Thanksgiving - lots of food and family time. It's one of my favorite holidays here in the US, a reason to get together and just celebrate family and the important act of having a meal together. I'm lucky that I live so close to my family that I can celebrate with them.

Now! Time for some news and gossip and you won't believe the variety of things I dug up today - everybody from Ram Charan Teja to Ajay Devgn to SRK to Aditya Chopra...

* It's been a long time since I've gotten to post a piece from a Clueless Western Journalist - On Bollywood 'Fantasy'.

The biggest move towards more realistic cinema comes from India's burgeoning new wave of filmmaking fuelled by the country's young middle class. While the vast majority of Indians go to single-screen cinemas, the urban generation with money to spend flock to newer multiplex cinemas seeking films that are a little more daring and challenging than Bollywood crowdpleasers.

UGH! I hate this bullshit attitude. It's pretty clear that Mr. Tom Brook assumes that any person who goes to see those 'mass entertainers' is after braindead entertainment and that only so-called 'realistic' cinema is worthwhile. Well, Mr. Tom Brook, first of all how do you explain a politically aware no-song film like Raajneeti that did excellent business at single screen cinemas? And secondly, your narrative assumes that 'daring' and 'challenging' mean 'closer to Hollywood' because I have seen plenty of mass entertainers that take on interesting topics and topics that mean something to people watching the films. Things like the themes of media literacy in Tamil hit KO from this year.

The key ingredient your analysis is missing is that most of those happy ending-romance Bollywood films are aimed at A DIASPORA AUDIENCE who enjoy seeing a shiny, happy India. Do your research - single screen viewers are not flocking to see I Hate Luv Storys, they are going to see regional films like KO.

And on top of that, films like That Girl in Yellow Boots, which you mention, wouldn't do gangbuster business in the United States, either - so why hold India to some weird standard where audiences should all be flocking to 'important' films only?

* Sigh. And the same journalist brings you this. It's one thing when Bollywood journalists pull this kind of interview with Shahrukh Khan because we expect a certain level of flattery from them but really, BBC?

But after nearly 30 years in the business - and more than 70 films under his belt - 46-year-old Khan remains unexpectedly shy and still can't quite fathom why legions of fans commonly refer to him as the King of Bollywood.

"I get amazed they call me that - and I think maybe deep down inside my heart I don't deserve all of this," he says. "I feel very grateful and very odd. I don't even know why people like me so much."

After you've enough interviews with Shahrukh, the false modesty just grates. Really, we're still playing the "gosh, am I popular?" game after all these years?

This interview reveals nothing that you can't Google for yourself in many other interviews.

And Shahrukh hasn't been king of the box office in a long time... if he ever really was.

* Meanwhile, guy who actually scored the most hits in recent years - Mr. Ajay Devgn - has no such affections.

Yet at times the actor agrees to have made a wrong choice. When asked if he regrets doing any film, Devgn’s response is candid, “So many of them. (Laughs) I would not like to name them, but there are films which I knew, even while shooting, were wrong… Also, back then they were making only such kind of films. Those days nobody used to listen to the story. You knew there were four action scenes, it had good music and some of them did well.”

* The Curious Case of Frieda Pinto (whom I actually liked in The Immortals, even if the rest of that film was pretty god-awful.)

“Also, the Slumdog effect should never be underestimated. Its incredible success, the magic that its poverty-porn pitch created among mesmerized viewers in the west, its stark, raw realism … and in the middle of it all, her character Latika, petite, fragile, with her quiet charm, all lost in love in a violent, ugly, cruel world… Danny Boyle’s sharp eyes for what sells in the west catapulted the film into a different stratosphere — taking Freida Pinto along! The fact that nothing of this kind remotely happened in India is indicative of the way we perceived and consumed the Slumdog Millionaire phenomenon here, as opposed to the west.”

* Seven commercials that tell a story in under 60 seconds.

Regional cinema has been known for its superior quality, often inspiring Hindi movies – be it in terms of storyline, treatment or technique. An equivalent in the genre of advertising films is the Tamil classic – the Asian Paints ‘Pongal’ commercial directed by Rajiv Menon. This early Asian Paints ad celebrates tradition. It’s a story of a son’s homecoming and a mother’s love. When the son makes it back just in time for the puja, the mother is overjoyed. Her face crumples with emotion for an instant as she greets her son happily – it is an image that is so real, so expressive of the essence of the Indian mother, it stays with you.

* Bodyguard director Siddique signs another Hindi film.

* Mumbai is installing a walk of fame!

* Shruti Haasan is not out of Gabbar Singh?

* Osthi release is being pushed up to December 8th.

* The trailer for the unfortunately named Ek Main aur Ek Tu (it sounds like a 90s YRF production with SRK with some pastel cardie around his shoulders) will release with The Dirty Picture.

* Bebo chooses Randeep Hooda for Heroine.

* Sorry ladies, Ram Charan Teja is engaged!

* Shiney Ahuja is going to be a showstopper at Delhi Fashion Week. I'm really curious to see how Ghost will fare. I can't in good conscience go see it but I'll be curious to see if others can forget Shiney's gross personal life.

* I don't usually post relationship rumors but this is too good - have Aditya and Rani finally parted ways?! (Rani, if you're single now, you should totally call me...)

* T-Series gets shut down for copyright infringement.

* Harry Key's Dam999 is banned in Tamil Nadu because of old tensions over the Mullaperiyar dam.

But the director says the film has nothing to do with Mullaperiyar or any other dam in India. In a press statement, he said the story was based on a real incident: the collapse of Banquiao dam in China in 1975, in which 250,000 people were killed.

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Note from Filmi Girl:

I love Bollywood - and all the ridiculous things that happen in Bollywood - but it doesn't mean that I can't occasionally make fun of various celebrities and films.

If you don't like my sense of humor, please just move on by - Trolls are not appreciated and nasty comments will be deleted.

xoxo Filmi Girl
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