Thursday, December 29, 2011

Top 11 Top 11 Lists of 2011 #8

Counting down to 2012, I thought it would be fun to do my Top 11 Top 11 Lists of 2011!

List 11 - Top 11 Indian Film Songs According to Filmi Girl's iTunes

List 10 - Top 11 Scene Stealers of 2011

List 9 - Top 11 Films Filmi Girl Never Got To See

List Number 8...!

Top 11 Things Filmi Girl Doesn't Want To See in 2012

[Alternate title: Filmi Girl is on par with Hollywood!]

#11 Imran Khan

No, this one is cool.

This one, too.

Yes. This one.

Is there a less essential hero right now than Imran Khan? Mere Brother Ki Dulhan was a Katrina Kaif film; Delhi Belly was an Aamir Khan film...

He just seems to sleepwalk through every single film he’s in, as if he had nothing better to do that day and just wandered on set. Maybe he’s bored by romantic comedies but nobody is forcing him to act in them.

I just get the feeling that Imran is in it for the paycheck at this point and I really have no desire to see his glazed over expression staring at me from yet another half-assed Yash Raj romantic-comedy. I’d almost rather see Neil Nitin Mukesh in some of these roles. At least Neil is trying, man.

Imran Khan with his fancy pedigree and mediocre performances is infinitely less exciting than young, bright talents with no pedigree like Ranveer Singh and Saqib Saleem but who keeps getting cast?

That’s right. Imran Khan.

He needs to get his bored self TFO my cinema screens in 2012.

#10 The obsession with “ironic” nostalgia for old films

Yes, I like movies from the 60s and 70s, too. Really. I like them a lot. However, I don’t need to see “ironic” references to them in every single movie ever. If I want to watch Rajesh Khanna doing his thing, I’ll watch a Rajesh Khanna film. Why on Earth would I want to see some chocolate hero in some half-baked tribute to Rajesh Khanna instead?

There is still a large portion of the Hindi film viewing audience that hasn’t lost the ability to connect unironcially with films from past eras and it’s really annoying to have “ironic” references to films I found very meaningful spewn about contemporary films like, “Wow! They sure were dumb for liking sentimental films back then.”

And even beyond my personal annoyance... this “ironic” nostalgia is symptomatic of a greater identity crisis in Bollywood. It’s like all those UCLA/NYU trained filmmakers came back and decided to answer the question: How to be “on par with Hollywood” while still being desi? With: Throw in some references to DDLJ and Amitabh Bachchan.

Well, I ain’t falling for it.

#9 The hiring of very white and thin models as heroines

As a white lady myself, I don’t feel bad saying this... what is the deal with all (essentially) white Victoria’s Secret models populating films these days? Are you filmmakers for serious with this shit? Is this part of being “on par with Hollywood?”

No wonder all the sexiest item girls and heroines with the biggest doe-eyes and bad assest fighting ladies end up in Kannada, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, and Bengali films... if you aren’t creamy fair, weigh 100 lbs (with 0% body fat and prominent fake boobs), and be willing to prance around in a bikini, there is no work for you in Bollywood.

#8 Pretending 40+ actors are still “youthful.”

One of my favorite gags of 2011 (list to follow) was in Desi Boyz when Akshay’s character Jerry returns to complete his degree at university. He’s standing in the empty dorm room when his roommate Sameer (played by 20-something Rajat Barmecha) enters. “Oh, you must be Jerry’s dad,” says Sameer.

I just about died laughing.

There have always been evergreen heroes in Bollywood and I’m completely on board with our 40-something heroes in masala flicks where reality is a heightened “reality” anyways. A 40+ Salman Khan in college is no more or less realistic than that same Salman Khan’s shirt fly off because he flexed his pecs. My issue is with all these films that are now supposed to be real realistic (or at least “on par with Hollywood” realistic - see point 4 below.)

You can’t have it both ways, Bollywood. Either our 40+ hero is a HERO or he is a 40+ actor. Choose one.

#7 Publicity campaigns that start a year before the film comes out.

Dear actors and directors and producers,

I understand that you are excited about whatever film it is you are working on. I also understand that you may be nervous about recovering your investment. However, in this era of media overexposure and youtube and the Internets, the one thing an audience really values is... something fresh If I’m tired of the soundtrack more than month before the film comes out, you’re doing something wrong.

Take a page from Aamir Khan and advertise smart not a lot.

Also, take a page from whoever did the promos for Mere Brother Ki Dulhan and don’t give away all the good stuff before the film even comes out.


Filmi Girl

#6 Actors oversharing their personal lives

Spilling the beans about every link-up and break-up may get you the cover of Stardust and some television coverage but it doesn’t make you a better actress... and I say “actress” because they are the worst offenders. I may find Imran Khan deathly dull but at least he’s not dishing dirt on his marriage every five seconds to the press. The attention may feel good now, girls, but just wait a couple years when those girls who let their work speak for them are still, you know, working, while you are reduced to earning a little cash for showing up at appliance store openings in a tiny dress.

#5 Films that are essentially lifted from Hollywood but with an extra 45 minutes of boring material and no songs. (I’m looking at you, Yash Raj.)

I think the bullet point is self-explanatory.

#4 The phrase “on par with Hollywood”

Says director Prashant Chadha "People have congratulated us for shooting the film like a Hollywood movie. We haven't compromised at all as we want audiences to see cinema which is on par with Hollywood standards. - Article on Azaan

The visual effects and state of the art production techniques of the film have set a new standard in Bollywood films making, on par with Hollywood in many respects. - Article on Ra.One

The Ra.One trailer was the slickest thing Bollywood had churned out, with production values on par with Hollywood, but then we have a Don 2 just taking it a notch even higher. - Blog post on Don 2

Why do people care so much about “Hollywood” and being “on par” with it?! Ra.One was by far the worst offender with it’s ON PAR WITH HOLLYWOOD tag line but the floptastic Azaan ran a close second.

How about this - instead of worrying about being “on par” with some nebulous “Hollywood” standard,just make good films with good stories and don’t worry about what Michael Bay is doing. If people want to see Hollywood VFX, they’ll see a Hollywood film. Focus on what Bollywood as an industry can offer instead of trying to compete with filmmakers that have budgets 100 times the size of yours.

#3 Kunal Kohli’s new film

One of the biggest surprises for me of 2011 was discovering just how much I hated Kunal Kohli’s work as a director during a re-watch of Thoda Pyaar Thoda Magic for my flops feature. Kunal Kohli is a conceited hack and his new film starring Priyanka Chopra, who can’t act her way out of a paper bag, and Shahid Kapoor, who is a chronically poor judge of films, sounds like the worst piece of tripe cobbled together from the notes left over from Aditya Chopra’s last audience test screening. Annoying retro song? Check. Annoying and trendy time leaps and multiple story lines? Check. It-couple from like three years ago? Check.

Somebody stop him before it’s too late!

#2 The media hounding actresses over their weight

Here is a newsflash for the body nazis writing all of Bollywood’s bitchiest gossip columns - actresses do not need to be skeletons in order to either a) be attractive or b) turn in a good performance. The relentless emphasis on “flab” and “shedding pounds” and who’s not eating what are doing nobody any favors. Is it just a weird coincidence that Vidya Balan and Kareena Kapoor gained appreciation for thier figures as they gained pounds? I’m going to go ahead and say... no.

I know I’m railing against a flood of marketers trying to make women feel insecure so they can sell us diet plans and exercise DVDs but I’m going to shake my fist at them all the same.


#1 Shahrukh Khan’s “ham” persona

I would like to declare a moratorium on Shahrukh Khan doing any films that play on his hero persona instead of real, actual acting. I’m not heartless; I don’t hate the man and I certainly don’t think his time is up as an actor but I do think that the expiration date has passed on his twinkle and films that rely on said twinkle are starting to smell increasingly moldy.

Remember those Rishi Kapoor Cosby Sweater starrers of the 1990s where he was really tubby and kind of stank of booze? I have a feeling we’ll be looking back at these late-period Shahrukh Khan All-Cigarette Diet starrers the same way... embarrassing.

Shahrukh, please, for the love of film fans everywhere, forget about six-packs and being “cool” and make a few more kosher (i.e. no ham) films like Chak De that show off your talent.


Diwali said...

Applause!!! :)

I just want to make a postscriptum to #2: "NO MORE HOUNDING ACTRESSES ABOUT THEIR WEIGHT" - can we please add "No more hounding ACTORS about their weight"? Sometimes I think actors are only good and accepted if they flaunt abs and sixpacks. Why are actors written off as soon as they sport a little paunch? (Yes, dammit, I'm thinking of Sanju who looks terrfic in the Agneepath promos even though he's not lean and slim anymore, and as sure as hell he'll deliver a great performance. So what??? He's an actor, not a model. *g*)

Thelondongirl said...

ooooh the irony. yes yes and more yes. dont you feel when they trivialise a film you actually like into this kitchy b.s. that its like they are saying "er you're stupid and 'im not" enough already

thediva_1 said...

this post cracked me up, especially the "on par with Hollywood" part. Like come on movie makers, listen to what we say...we are the REAL overseas audiences that you all are always trying to please. We could watch Hollywood if we wanted to...stop trying to be like them!

AND HELL YES for #1. SRK just needs to stop. The last time I sincerely liked him in a film was...probably Veer-Zaara. His Don 2 act was atrocious.

Chrism929 said...

Yes yes yes! You said it! I'd only second Diwali's comment on the body image discussion: PLEASE.NO.MORE.SIX.PACKS. Or hounding actors about them. That's almost as bad as what they do to actresses about their weight. Give me real men for actors, not pumped-up and photoshopped grotesques. Of course, then they'd have to come up with real stories, not whatever it is they're doing now.

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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