Friday, January 20, 2012

Friday Gossip!

HAPPY FRIDAY! No new releases this week so I'll be using the time to catch up on a few things... or maybe going to see Vettai again. Hee!

I got an e-mail yesterday from a reader who had taken offense at my comments on Amy Jackson. First of all, I want to encourage anybody who feels strongly about something I write to please e-mail me or leave a comment. This blog isn't just me dictating my opinion but an invitation to dialogue and if you disagree (or agree) I do want to hear it!!

In case there were a few more people who felt like she did, I thought I should say something about it here.

We all know there is a fairness bias in Bollywood. And added to that, recently, there has also been a bias towards very slim figures. Most (as in 99.9%) of desi women are not very fair and very thin and yet this is what we see in films - when Bipasha Basu is at the far end of the dusky and curvy spectrum, you know something is out of whack with the scale because while gorgeous, she is not really all that dusky or curvy. At least not compared to some of the normal women I have met over the years.

So, where does Amy Jackson fit in? She is a very young woman from the UK who initially came over to India to play an Englishwoman in Madrassapattinam. It seems she had many additional film offers after the success of that film and has decided to try to make a go of it as an actress in India. Do you blame her?

The article I linked to yesterday, had a comedian saying that he was offended by her presence in the industry because it implied "our" actresses weren't good enough.

What I felt was disingenuous about that comment was 1) he was himself American with no stake in the Hindi film industry and 2) his main complaint with Amy seems to have been that she wasn't desi. That's it. He didn't seem concerned with the fairness bias or with all the producers falling over themselves to offer her roles while ignoring actresses like Shahana Goswami but more that she wasn't part of his special club.

Is it right for Amy to be playing an Indian girl in upcoming Ekk Deewana Tha? Maybe. Maybe not. Is it right for Kalki Koechlin to be playing Indian girls? What about the extremely fair-skinned half white girls like Nargis Fakhri or Katrina Kaif or Dia Mirza? Should we hold them accountable, too? I think we aren't going to get anywhere by blaming these women. It's not their fault what their skin color is any more than my soon-to-be sister-in-law (who is desi) has a skin tone that's close to dark cocoa.

Instead of pointing the finger at them, how about taking men like Imtiaz Ali to task for casting these very fair-skinned women as normal Indian girls?

Instead of blaming Amy Jackson for something she can't control, how about we send messages of protest to celebrities who promote products like Fair & Lovely?

And as to the question of whether a white woman should be in Bollywood - I think the answer lies in what you want Bollywood to be. Is it an exclusive club only for South Asian people? Or is it an entertainment industry with global reach and accessible to anybody who wants to watch it?

The Bollywood I love has space for both non desi Helen and very desi Jaya Bhadhuri; for Tom Alter and Naseeruddin Shah; and for an actress like Amy Jackson.

Will she make it? I don't know. Maybe. Maybe not. But it doesn't seem fair to blame her for trying.

Save your anger for the producers who perpetuate the fairness bias.

And that's my paanch rupaiyya, barah aana
on the topic.


* Film critic Nikhat Kazmi has passed away after a battle with cancer.

* Ranveer Singh to star in the remake of Magadheera to be produced by Anurag Kashyap's Phantom.

* Neil Nitin Mukesh is out of the Saheb Biwi aur Gangster sequel, to be replaced with Irrfan Khan.

This like replacing a slice of processed American cheese with a raw milk camembert from a small farm in France.

(Also, I am kind of hungry for cheese at the moment.)

* Rajinikanth is so powerful that his websites work WITHOUT the Internet!

* Is Sajid Khan keeping us from Jacqueline Fernandez?

* Madhavan causes riots in Riyadh.

* Vijay Galani says he doesn't owe Salman money.

* Sunny Leone is not giving up the adult industry.

And to put some sunshine in your day:

I just loved this video of the crowd cheering Ram Charan Teja at the Snehithudu audio launch.


Moimeme said...

I realize it was inadvertent, and I realize you also said "news", but to say, "Onto silly gossips and news" and immediately follow that with the item about Nikhat Kazmi's death, was very jarring. :(

Having said that, here's a some happier news: Lara Dutta gave birth to a baby girl, and mother and baby are reported to be doing fine.

Filmi Girl said...

@moimeme I'm just putting my foot in my mouth all over the place today!

I didn't mean to do that. I wrote up all the links first and then the big rant and then the tag... I'll fix it.

Thanks for pointing that out!

Moimeme said...

Thanks for the correction, Filmi Girl. I knew I could count on you. :)

Don't beat yourself up too much. These kind of slips are inevitable once in a while.

BTW, I didn't get around to commenting on your 1500 post video. But it's awesome that you've got to that total. I know how hard it is to keep at it day after day, and to keep people interested, too. Great job! I hope you continue for another 1500 posts for people like me. :)

Filmi Girl said...

@moimeme And I'm glad I have wonderful readers who point out my mistakes kindly instead of in anger. :) ♥

OG said...

Hey FG,

Ranveer Singh in the remake of Magadheera sounds really interesting!

I just hope they faithfully stick to the original and not turn down the masala factor in it!

I love that film!

ay's rhymeyreasoninng said...

I haven't read your comments on Amy Jackson but absolutely agree that the actresses are not at all to be blamed for someone else's casting decision.
I must say though, when I saw the ek dewana tha trailer with an Amy Jackson that was shades darker, I thought to myself- If this was a hollywood movie, quite a bit of furor would have been raised. Remember all the flak the social network caught for their casting of the actor who plays Divya Narendra.

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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