Monday, April 30, 2012

Farewell April... Monday Updates!

Happy Monday! Man, this year is just flying right by.

Okay, we have to start with some sad news today...

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Pune 52: Marathi Detective With Subtitles!

A major tip of the hat to OG for pointing this out to me...

Here is the synopsis from the Facebook page:

Pune. Circa 1992. The life of a private investigator with a failing marriage takes a dangerous turn after he takes up a case that is both highly complex, and deeply personal.

It looks like Pune 52 is set to be Marathi Noir, which I am looking forward to exploring! Hopefully the subtitles on the trailer are a sign that the entire film will be subtitled when it releases.

Kiccha: Starring Kiccha Sudeep.

[Image from a compilation of Kiccha Sudeep songs because I couldn't find a poster of Kiccha anywhere.]

I was first introduced to the wonderful Kiccha Sudeep in a charming Kannada film (that I recommend you seek out) called Mussanje Maathu. His lanky charm combined with his heartfelt performance as a radio DJ who needs direction in life was enough to make me add a few more of his films into my DVD shopping cart. And one of the batches of DVDs I ordered some time ago contained a copy of Kiccha Sudeep’s namesake film - Kiccha (2003).

Sunday Gossip - Slow News Day edition...

It's kind of a slow news day so if you'll indulge my continued mocking of Bollywood's favorite charity case by linking to a zing from this actually very fair review of Tezz:

Zayed Khan must be a proud man for all the Parkour stunts that have been credited to him, thanks to the stunt double.

Aw... snap!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Billa 2: Two new song teasers!

Yes, these deserved a separate post!! I'm so psyched for this movie.

Okay, number 1, it's AJITH. And not only that but we get to see Vidyut Jamwal in his first role since Force and my buddy Soumik Sen is the one who wrote the script and I trust him to craft something I want to see.

"Madura Ponnu"

"Yedho Mayakkam"

These are both TEASERS and quite short but I'm getting a good feeling about Billa 2.

Saturday Gossip!

Good morning, all! I have to share that I had an epic troll yesterday tell me he was really sorry for me that I couldn't understand the Smash "Bollywood" song as a "parody" - which made me laugh so hard. Oh, trolls, do you never learn?

Speaking of laughing really hard, it seems Tezz is exactly the film we all thought it was going to be - boring with some nice action pieces. Kind of like Blue, which also featured Zayed Khan. Helpful rule of thumb: Never go see anything with Zayed Khan in it.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Friday Gossip!

Today in gossip... Tezz totally blows and other (non) stories!

So, let's hit it!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Forest Press Meet!!!

I was actually invited to this. Unfortunately for everybody, I am in America, not Mumbai, and couldn't attend.
But despite that small niggle, I can't deny myself a chance to indulge my inner Javed Jaffrey fangirl, so please have some promo pictures!

To quote the press release I got: Ashvin Kumar is the youngest Oscar Nominated Director and has recently won a National Award for his documentary - Inshaallah Football. The Forest marks his debut in feature films. "The Forest focuses on human behavior and extremes where the inner animal of a human being takes over. This thriller also gives a message to its audience by making them aware of the repercussions of human encroachment into the animal lands", said Ashvin as he talked about his upcoming release.

Actually, that really is an important issue right now. Even in the United States, one of the biggest problems for animals - especially large carnivorous animals like bears - is humans moving into their territory. We move into their territory and then complain and shoot them when they do things like knock over garbage cans and eat our pets. Um... we're the ones intruding on THEIR HOMES, not the other way around.

But onto more important things.

Oh, hello, handsome!

2-fer Song Promos!


(I think this would blow the minds of those American critics saying that the Smash number was "complicated" and "crazy.")

Secondly, EMRAAN-PITOBASH JODI! This movie is going to ROCK! I'm so fucking psyched for Shanghai!

Thursday Gossip

So, I had a small amount of pushback on my criticism of that god-awful Smash song - saying that a) Bollywood is far from culturally sensitive so why should the West be worried about it and b) this song could possibly lead people to watching "real" Bollywood songs. I'm willing to concede the latter point for sure - it's one of the reasons I don't trash Bride and Prejudice like a lot of people do. But to the former... I think this is different from what Bollywood does. That Smash song was being presented as representing Bollywood, which the West seems to feel is a catch-all for Indian culture in general. It was exoticizing orientalist bullshit, conflating all the brown people from Morocco to Bangladesh into one bizarre mishmash of cultural misunderstanding. Sure, Bollywood has it's own stereotypes of evil whiteys and what have you but that is completely different from what is going on in that Smash song. The evil whitey having some historical basis, first of all. And secondly, these days at least, with so many films taking place overseas, Western culture isn't a mysterious unknown to be represented by people in red coats and powdered wigs.

Basically, that Smash song just revealed that Americans in general have an almost complete ignorance of what people are like outside of their borders. And that is very different from any cultural insensitivity towards the West in Bollywood film.

Or something. It's early here.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

"Gangster" song teaser from Billa 2!

Is this our first look at Vidyut Jamwal?! OMG I CANNOT WAIT FOR THIS MOVIE!

Aa Re Pritam Pyare... teaser!

Yes, this deserves it's own post!! SONG TEASER FOR "AA RE PRITAM PYARE"!!! Is that Mumaith Khan I see? BE STILL MY HEART!

Wednesday Gossip!

People of Toronto: I am very jealous that you will get the opportunity to see that Jennifer Lynch Hisss documentary before I will. If you go, please make sure to report back!!!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Smash: "A Thousand and One Nights" (Alternate title "I thought all brown people were the same.")

Will Darcy: I'm a hopeless dancer, but this looks like you just screw in a light bulb with one hand and pat the dog with the other.

Lalita Bakshi: You know what? I suggest you find yourself a simple, traditional girl to teach you to dance like the natives.

Bride and Prejudice, 2004

In case you (like me) don't follow American pop culture, then you (like me) probably missed out on the television show Smash, which (according to wikipedia) is a musical about the production of a Broadway musical about Marilyn Monroe.

This is the Smash take on the Bollywood song picturization style. If I understand correctly, is part of a dream sequence initiated at (where else) an Indian restaurant.

At first glance, the theme of the song seems to be the wedding dance from Bride and Prejudice crossed with imagery from A Thousand and One Nights.

Tuesday Gossip!

Johnny Lever is touring the UK. I don't know why you WOULDN'T go to this.
And today in gossip... a whole pile of odds and ends from cheerleading to Miss Lovely.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Vicky Donor: An Entertaining Sperm...

It’s official! According to the Bollywood media, John Abraham’s first home production is an unqualified success! Vicky Donor, the story of a sperm donor in love, is a solid middlebrow entertainer and well worth a watch, even if you (like me) don’t usually go for middlebrow films. And I don’t think it’s taking anything away from the Vicky Donor team to say that a large part of the appeal of the film is its matter-of-fact treatment of some, er, sticky issues because, frankly, compared to the hysterical news coverage of Poonam “I’ll Strip For Spare Change” Pandey, Sunny “I’m Not Giving Up My Career in Adult Films” Leone, and the rest of the “bold scene” crew, it’s refreshing to see a film treat sex like just another part of life instead of like a nuclear weapon.

Public Service Announcement: The Bureaucrat

Writer Anuvab Pal (Loins of Punjab Presents..., The President is Coming, etc.) has a new play out!

(Check out a review over here.)

If you're in Mumbai on April 29th, definitely check it out. Tickets available here.

Monday Gossip!

Some great discussion yesterday on what we like in our love stories. "S" made an especially insightful point that is worth highlighting here: Actually I think that's what made older romances so much more relatable. Since the conflict was usually external, the movies weren't completely focused on the romance. Now most external conflicts have been lessened (especially for the rich/upper middle class urban characters Bollywood focuses on) so filmmakers have shifted to using internal conflicts, which sometimes leads to a lot of privileged navel gazing.

Now, let's all chew on that this fine Monday morning...

Are you in Manchester?! Asian Image has a contest to win tickets to see Atif Aslam!! He puts on a great show, so I hope you can make it!

And... apparently American reality show The Amazing Race went to India and this is the result:

You can watch the full episode on if you're curious!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Sunday Gossip!

Good morning!!! Rainy day here in Washington. So, I saw Vicky Donor last night and it's a solid middlebrow film with a lot of laughs and a good heart. I really wish that this was the kind of film that got sent around to international festivals instead of vapid big-hero flicks like Don 2 but what are you going to do... those are the films with money to burn.

Congratulations to John and the team! I'll be posting up my review later today.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Images from Ishaqzaade...

As snagged from the Ishaqzaade Facebook page.

By God I'm looking forward to this film!

Saturday Gossip!

So... I went to see The Chaser last night at a special director's screening with Na Hong-jin and it was really good!! If Murder 2 was "inspired by" it, they would have had to do a lot of whitewashing of the plot - even if it was a Bhatt production. Going to try to catch his next film on Sunday. If there is a Q&A, I'll try to ask if he's heard of Murder 2. I'd be curious to hear about that... 

Anyways, onto news! 

Friday, April 20, 2012

Get ready to Chinta Ta Ta!

Rowdy Rathore song teaser!! Get ready to "Chinta Ta Ta"!

Fact: I need more Akshay Kumar in my life.

Friday Gossip...

Oh, yuck! They finally made me switch to the new Blogger template and it's so fugly. Sigh. We'll see how it actually works as far as posting goes... but if things look a bit different today, don't blame me - blame our Google overlords.

Also, on the "yuck" spectrum - can the media stop reveling in the details of each of Meenakshi Thapar's body parts found? She was a human being and deserving of some dignity in death. And can Western media outlets stop calling her a "Bollywood star"? She was like one step up from a junior artiste and nobody knew her name before they found her torso.

Now... onto less gruesome matters.

Thursday, April 19, 2012


He may not be one of the Three Khans but he's my No. 1 HERO!

Happy Birthday, Arshad! I know 2012 is going to ROCK!

The greatest song picturization of all time. Fact. Have you ever seen anybody dance with Rekha like that?!

Breaking it down to "Backstreet's Back!"

Cracking both me and Ritesh up on ZOOMing in with Omar!

Like the title says: Golmaal 3 Funny Scene. I laughed SO HARD at this that my sister came from across the house to see what was wrong.

(And in case you want to re-read all my Arshad reviews in honor of the man - check here!!)

Thursday Gossip!

Just checked the cinema schedule and it looks like we're getting Vicky Donor and OKOK this weekend! Woo! I'll be trying to get to at least one of the two. Both if I can manage it. I hate missing out on the new Tamil films because while Hindi films are easy enough to find after release, Tamil films are much more difficult to track down.

Now! Today in gossip... nonsense! And lots of it! (I'm assuming you all can google the gruesome actress murder stories on your own. I linked to it once. I don't need the mental images that the play-by-play of the police investigation is dredging up.)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Dangerous Ishhq images...

I posted these to FB yesterday but there can never be enough Lolo in my life. Like ever.

Wednesday Gossip!

Thanks to everybody who commented yesterday, we had quite the interesting discussion on Irrfan's remarks on why Bollywood isn't popular in the West. Honestly, at least in America, no foreign films are really popular with mass audiences just because people don't really want to read subtitles and mass audiences generally want stories that reflect themselves, not people far away. And Bollywood is far too "massy" to ever really click with Western art house audiences.

The films that should be heading West are the ones like Irrfan's Paan Singh Tomar, which really would find a nice audience in the art house cinemas with foreign film fans.

Anyways, today in gossip... a little bit of everything! Drama, feuds, casting rumors, and remakes galore!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

H20: Upendra's Watery Delight

I purchased Kannada film H20 a while back, sight unseen, because it is a Superstar Upendra film. Upendra is one of those rare actors who also doubles as a force of nature - every film he touches generates a huge swirl of interest. I’m not sure why it took me so long to get around to H20 other than perhaps I needed some time (like a year) to put the pieces of my brain back together after having my mind blown by Uppi with A. And I needed all my mind fully assembled to begin this because H20 is not just a regular film, it’s a filmi allegory for the Kaveri River water dispute that has raged between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka for over 100 years. Though I don’t think one has to be aware of the specifics to be moved by the film, it certainly does help to provide context for why the film was so controversial when it was released and why any DVD of the dual-language film will either have the dialogues dubbed into Tamil or Kannada, depending upon which side of the Kaveri River you purchase it on.

Shanghai Images!

I have to admit that I wasn't overly impressed with Dibakar Banerjee's Oye Lucky Lucky Oye (I got bored and turned it off halfway through) but I did enjoy Khosla Ka Ghosla and after having seen the trailer for Shanghai, I think it's going to be good!

I found these images while browsing over at the Shanghai facebook page.

Handsome is as handsome does.

Tuesday Gossip

Okay, I got some pushback yesterday on how flippantly I treated the Arjun Kapoor weight loss story and I just wanted to briefly address the issue because this one is important to me. I hadn't realized that Arjun had been clinically obese and I think it's great that he took steps to improve his health and get himself into shape.

"Oh ho, Filmi Girl, so now you think weight loss is good!"

Wrong. I think getting healthy is good.

I don't think weight loss in and of itself should ever be a goal because that kind of thinking is dangerous. If somebody has bad eating and exercise habits and changes them to better eating and exercise habits, weight loss will probably result. Just focusing on weight loss as a goal leads people to try all sorts of dangerous and (yes) unhealthy diets and obsessive exercise. The severely underweight starlet is just as unhealthy as the tubby girl in McDonalds and the obsessive exerciser is just as unhealthy as the couch potato.

How many painkillers do some of these Bollywood muscle men have to pop to get through a song and dance number that your uncle could do with no problem?

How many more hours a day does one of those bikini starlets spend obsessing over food than on doing something productive... like taking acting classes?

I know it's asking too much for an image-focused industry to care more about health than how many ounces an actor has gained since lunch time but that is my take on it. Images are deceiving and we have to be ever vigilant against images that want us to feel bad about ourselves in order to get us to buy products - whether those be fairness creams or diet plans.

Anyways... onto less controversial issues...

Monday, April 16, 2012

Monday Gossip...

You may have noticed there was no post yesterday! Sorry, guys! I caught a late-late show of Cabin in the Woods and didn't get home until way past my bedtime so I was a little too sleepy to dig through the daily rags yesterday morning.

Now! There is some really awful news and some silly news today... prepare yourselves.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Saturday News!

A nice quiet day in the news... except for all that murder and the continuing media hysteria over Shahrukh Khan. You know, the usual.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Billa 2: The Beginning

And in non-controversial news: BILLA 2 TRAILER!

Friday Gossip feat. Another SRK Detention Story.

Are you in Moscow? Check out the Indian Cinema Cultural Festival!

Okay, prepare yourself for today's news...

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Thursday Gossip feat. a Piggy Chops rant.

So... yeah. When I found out certain news yesterday, I was none too happy.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

THE FOREST: A public service announcement

Gentle readers, I don't often post publicity material here because, frankly, most of it gets spammed to every news outlet and will be posted everywhere from Glamsham to Desi Hits to the Times of India but I had to make an exception for The Forest because it stars one of my favorite actors - the perpetually underrated Javed Jaffrey.

Wednesday Gossip!

Just a warning, image links on some older posts may not be working for a while. I am aware of the problem and am slowing working to fix it. Please be patient!!

Okay, I lied. Another warning for sensitive souls - you probably won't enjoy this piece on Bollywood's classic rapists but for the rest of us, to quote Ranjeet: Ehhhh....

Today in gossip... assorted nonsense! Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Tuesday Gossip!

Are you in San Diego? You're going to want to check out the San Diego Asian Film Festival! Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara is going to be screened - that's a film so good, I would definitely go see it again on the big screen! Those lush visuals are really something else... (Hurry and announce your next film, Zoya!)

I'm glad everybody enjoyed my travels through Google's suggested search results! I have a few more to add... maybe I'll put those up tonight. Kangana Ranaut's were particularly amusing.

Now! Today in gossip... The douche olympics! Casting news! And some song promos!

Monday, April 9, 2012

A Blog Post Starring Magic of Google's Suggested Search!

Today I happened to check in on what keyword searches that lead people to find my blog and I disappointed to find that (yet again) sonam kapoor fat is right there in the top 10.

To be clear, I'm not disappointed that people are curious about Sonam's previous weight - she talks about it often enough that obviously people are going to be curious - I'm disappointed that it's a topic of discussion at all. Why is it such a major part of Sonam's public persona that she used to weigh more than she does now?

I vented a bit about this on twitter and my dear friend Asim mentioned that sonam kapoor fat was high up on the list of "suggested searches" in Google. That got me curious.

Bearing in mind that these are not universal across Google, here is what Google has found us searching in my part of the world:

Monday Gossip!

Happy Monday!

And a big eff youuu~ to all the critics acting like Housefull 2 was some sort of cinematic abomination because it wasn't about the trials and tribulations of some spoiled rich kid discovering the true meaning of "being ordinary." Well, Housefull 2 has had a fantastic opening weekend despite the cricket!!

Congratulations to Sajid Khan and (especially) to Akshay Kumar who really put 110% into this film and it shows. The man really needed a hit and now he has one! Here's hoping 2012 is the YEAR OF THE KHILADI!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Housefull 2: Thank God for Sajid Khan.

When I reviewed the original Housefull way back in 2010, I subtitled it if Sajid Khan didn’t exist I would have to invent him. My sense of humor was guided along by my father to appreciate things like The Three Stooges, The Marx Brothers, and classic Warner Brothers cartoons. I love sound effects, ridiculous outfits, terrible puns, visual gags, and full-body physical comedy. Some people hate all of these things (my mother, for one, along with every working movie critic in Bombay) but, if you ask me, there is nothing inherently stupid about physical comedy. Bits like Chico Marx playing the piano or the epic mime battle from Golmaal 3 take a lot of practice and skill to pull off. (Are there any actors out there who have tried getting the pace right for a scene with no dialogues?) Not to mention, in the case of the Golmaal 3 gag, a sound engineer who has a feel for comedy sound effects. In other words, just because Housefull 2 features John Abraham taunting a snake by saying it can’t even give him a high five, does not make it an inherently terrible film - it just makes it a hilarious film.

With that in mind, let’s move on to the review!

[No spoilers here, no matter how much I want to talk about a certain spoiler in particular.]

Sunday Gossip!

Housefull 2 review posted up in a bit! Spoiler alert - I thought it was hilarious and so did the audience I watched it with. Critics just don't have a good sense of humor.

Other observations: Tezz looks a lot more interesting when there is no Zayed Khan in the trailer; the Vicky Donor trailer got a surprisingly big response from the crowd; I heard more than a few people repeating "Don't angry me" amongst themselves after the Rowdy Rathore trailer; and, wow, does Teri Meri Kahaani look even more boring on the big screen. (Seriously, who keeps giving Kunal Kohli money to produce films? DID NOBODY SEE THODA PYAAR THODA MAGIC AND BREAK KE BAAD?! Are there people just giving sacks of money away to anybody who can confidently sit in a director's chair?

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Saturday Gossip!

It's the big day... HOUSEFULL 2! The theater is showing an optimistic 4 shows today, instead of the usual 3, so I hope people turn out. Apparently, it's started quite well. (The link also contains the unsurprising news that Agent Vinod was a FLOP. Add one more to the list for potential Box Office Poison reviews!)

Friday, April 6, 2012

Friday Gossip!

Oh, YES! I'll be going to see HOUSEFULL 2 TOMORROW! I haven't read a single review and I encourage you to do the same. Really, does it matter what some critics thinks about a Sajid Khan film? Either you like that kind of humor or you don't.

Are you in Kentucky? If so, what are you waiting for? Go get tickets to see Red Baraat!

Oh, dear lord! This has been a long week... okay here we go!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Thaandavam First Look!

Arya then VIKRAM?! Is Amy Jackson a lucky girl or what... I'm looking forward to this one.

Thursday Gossip!

Yes, it's Thursday! One more day to go before Housefull 2 drops! WOO!

I'm hoping we get to see the Rowdy Rathore trailer on the big screen before the show but who knows...

3 is still playing at my theater, too. I recommend checking it out if you get a chance. Definitely my favorite film of the year so far. (Yes, including Kahaani!)

Today's gossip post is a TRAILER-PA-LOOZA!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Dangerous Ishhq First Look!

Yes! Lolo! Lolo! Our girl is back! (What? This totally deserved it's own post.)

ETA: Added the trailer, which was released after I posted this.

Wednesday Gossip!

Do you attend Yale University? Shahrukh Khan will be speaking there on April 12th.


Tuesday, April 3, 2012



Happy Tuesday!

Today's gossip... enjoy karo!

Monday, April 2, 2012

BILLA 2: Every man has a past. Every don, a history.

I have been keeping my eyes peeled for a trailer for Billa 2 with no luck so far. But enjoy a teaser poster! I'm really hoping that my local theater will get this film. They seem to have pretty good luck with the big Tamil releases so... fingers crossed!

Monday Gossip!

Are you in Los Angeles? Get your tickets for the Indian Film Festival!!

And if you happen to get a chance to see Chittagong in it's WORLD PREMIERE be sure to let me know how it is, since one of Filmi Girl Blog's friends Alexx O'Nell is playing an officer in it. Other films of interest (to me) are Paan Tomar Singh and Black Friday but non-me types might also enjoy Agent Vinod, Delhi Belly, and Udaan.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

3: Me, Kolaveri, and my new love for Aishwarya Dhanush

I went into 3 with only one expectation - that I would be hearing “Kolaveri Di” at some point. I knew that the film starred Rajini’s son-in-law Dhanush along with Shruti Hasaan. And from the trailers, I had the vague idea that it was going to be a romance. I was not expecting to have my heart ripped out and handed to me. I was not expecting to be so charmed by Shruti. And I was not expecting to come home unable to gather my thoughts on what I had just seen. 3 is a complex film, putting a youthful romance in the larger context of society and weaving in some interesting meta-narrative analysis on the nature of the film hero himself.

[And please be forewarned: It’s going to be difficult for me to talk about this film without some crucial spoilers. If you are planning on seeing the film (which I recommend) and don’t want to know anything about the plot, you might want to wait until after watching to read this but I will warn you before I reveal anything really important.]

Sunday Gossip!

I hate April Fool's Day because it's an excuse for people like Chetan Bhagat to troll us all by doing things like tweeting that he's entering Bollywood.

So, take anything scandalous or ridiculous with a pinch of salt unless it's confirmed tomorrow. We all remember the infamous KARAN JOHAR IS GETTING MARRIED... TO A LADY! incident of last year, right?

Okay, so that out of the way - I saw 3 last night and I loved it. My review will be up later today. I'm glad I went in knowing nothing about a) the plot and b) the lukewarm reception it received. 3 isn't a crowd-pleasing masala film and it's not a sappy NRI romance. More than anything, the film reminds me a lot of my favorite kind of magical-realism films from filmmakers like Yograj Bhat. Go into 3 expecting a smart, subtle, and grown-up film that will tear your heart out, you won't be disappointed.

NOW! Today's gossip!

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