Thursday, June 7, 2012

Thursday Gossip!

I was smart today and wrote this up before putting it in Blogger. Ai yoo~ that was awful losing everything yesterday.

Okay, first, head over to Get Filmy to check out her take on the whole Nargis debut fiasco. It just goes to show you how lightly even an "indie" director like Imtiaz Ali takes heroines.

To quote GF:

It’s really too bad that Imtiaz dropped the ball on this – that’s the kind of stuff Nargis should’ve been doing to prep for Rockstar. To be that neglectful of your lead heroine is just unforgivable.

I lost a lot of respect for IA over this.

And over at Satyamshot, Anurag Kashyap is taken to task for his cheerleading of films like Love Aaj Kal and Delhi Belly as masterpieces when, clearly, they are not.


You praised Love Aaj Kal to the skies. Here I was bewildered not because I felt you were being hyperbolic but because I didn’t see what there was at all to praise here. Or by these liberal standards very much coming out of Bollywood could be praised. I remember being extremely disappointed by Imtiaz Ali here. I felt he had Joharized himself. Or performed a kind of upgrade on that kind of cinema.

And now onto your daily dose of newsy goodness!

* Fans can donate in memory of RDB's Kuly who passed away recently from brain cancer.

* How many variations on Bollywood is growing up does a girl have to read?! Yes, it's great that films like Vicky Donor exist but a) the distribution isn't actually that large when compared with blockbusters like Bodyguard and b) it's not true that Bollywood has NEVER made challenging and dark films before Anurag Kashyap showed up.

If anything, all that films like Vicky Donor show the emergence of a middlebrow flim culture. These aren't high art nor are they aimed at a mass audience - it's the American Beauty mode of film making. There's nothing wrong with that and some of these films are quite good but can the Western press just stop with these stories proclaiming the birth of a new, improved Indian film already?

* Speaking of Westerners, I thought this review of Rowdy Rathore from a complete Bollywood neophyte was pretty interesting.

When he single-handedly stands down two dozen armed thugs in the film’s midpoint set piece and then goes to work on them with a circular saw blade (most of the gore is implied rather than shown), there’s absolutely no trace of the rakish thief the audience got to know just a few minutes ago. He tells the heavies that death will have to go through every last one of them in order to get to him, and you know what? I believe it. No wonder this guy is a movie star.

* I was going to post this YESTERDAY but my post got eaten and well... Richa Chadda on the Cannes fuss about whether Bollywood is respected internationally or not.

I feel Bollywood is an imaginary landscape. We work in the Hindi film industry and its the only one in the world that has stood the onslaught of Hollywood. Perhaps, that's intimating for the sales teams of the movies abroad. We are so secure in our space with our jhatkas and action. We watch their films but our still sell more.

Richa seems like a smart cookie.

* The Despite the Gods shit show travels to the Sydney Film Festival.

Ironically in what is perceived to be a spiritual country, Lynch and her 12-year-old daughter come across as the most spiritual people on set. Lynch notes many people weren't captured at their "most spiritual moments". Yet, she says, "It's not that life is too short to do things you hate or be upset at or have a bad attitude; life is too long to have a bad attitude and do things you don't love."

This is the first piece I've read that's sympathetic to Jennifer Lynch. (Also, yes, I call bullshit on that "Indians are a spiritual people who walk around chanting sutras all the time" nonsense.)

* Can Kunal Kohli just go away already? Every iota of attention we give this windbag just serves to inflate his own self-importance.

"The film is a young story about soul mates. No one has really dealt with the subject of soul mates and the topic has not been explored too much in our films. I found it quite interesting for my next subject interesting."

Right. "No one" has dealt with soul mates before Kunal Kohli came along. And by "no one," I'm assuming he means ALMOST EVERY FILM MAKER EVER. AH! TERI MERI KAHANNI LOOKS SO MEDIOCRE I CAN'T STAND IT!

* Is Simbu's new film a remake of Mere Brother Ki Dulhan?! Honestly, if it is, I'd be thrilled. Simbhu has so much more charisma that Imran Khan and as much as I enjoyed it, that movie could use a sparkle boost.

* Aamir Khan refuses to apologize to the Indian Medical Association for his episode of Satyamev Jayate. I'm working on a piece about this, actually. I think Aamir is doing a good thing.

"If the medical profession has been insulted and defamed by anybody, it is probably by those who are indulging in unethical practises," Aamir said.

* If this story is to be believed Shahrukh is jumping on the current South Indian remake bandwagon with Aishwarya Rai as his heroine.

* Ram Gopal Varma is making a film on the terrorist attacks of 26/11 but has been denied permission to shoot at VT station. For all our sakes, I hope this film is a departure from his recent style of flop filmmaking.

* Tamil film Profile claim to be making the real story of Silk Smitha.

* KJo's Student of the Year has been postponed indefinitely.

* After the positive response to the Bol Bachchan trailer, people are willing to gamble a little more scratch on Abhi. Hera Pheri 4 is back on with Abhi and Ritesh replacing Akshay and Suneil.

* Prithviraj signs onto another Yash Raj film. I think he's an interesting character - his reputation with the Malayalam fans is a complicated one. Maybe it's better if he moves to Hindi films.

* Ravi Kissen and Ram Kapoor are also signed onto a Yash Raj film.

* A pairing I can safely skip - Aditya Roy Kapur and Shraddha Kapoor for Nepotism 2... I mean, Aashiqui 2.

* Random quote from Filmi Girl favorite villain Mukesh Tiwari.

"The children in my building don't know my real name! They are so fascinated with my 'Wasooli' look that they call me Wasooli Uncle."

* And on a lighter note, did Apun Ka Choice deliberately pick this image to illustrate Duck Lips promoting her Women's Health magazine cover? It looks like she just smelt a fart... I hope they did. I like to imagine some catty editorial assistant who hates Nargis going, "Hmm... let's use this one."

Isn't there something else happening? It starts with an I... I~ce cream? I~celand?

HO SHIT THAT'S RIGHT! IIFA! Prepare for the media-gasm of pointless stories about celebrities saying stuff and doing shit!

* My buddy Pitobash is there (TWEET HIM SOME GOOD WISHES) and the media is happy to take his comments and run with them.

Says Pitobash, "Please stand corrected because ROWDY RATHORE is Akshay-Sonakshi's second film, and though it has released earlier, it was the shooting of JOKER which took place much before ROWDY RATHORE. Let me tell you that I am not surprised. The tuning or chemistry (or whatever you may term it), between Akshay and Sonakshi was evident to me during the shooting of JOKER itself. I was sure that it would go a step ahead in their next film, ROWDY RATHORE."

YES! Thanks, Pito! I'm very happy to hear that...

* India Today has disjointed celebrity news that may as well have been compiled from Twitter.

* Shabana Azmi says IIFA wants to incorporate more regional cinema to justify that "Indian" part of the name. (Though to be fair BIFA sounds kind of dumb and HIFA is worse.)

"Indian cinema is not homogenous, just like our culture, so IIFA is slowly trying to provide a global platform to regional cinema as well. This year we have South, we'll slowly move to other regions as well," added Azmi.

Um... yeah. Well, she's trying. That's the important part.

* But putting all that aside, let's get to the big story of IIFA... ready? OMG IS SRK SKIPPING THE AWARDS BECAUSE OF SALMAN?!!11!!1!


Not only that, Miss Piggy made a PR trip to the sets of Heroine... for no other reason than to remind us all that she was in the crap-fest called Fashion. I'm sure Bebo was thrilled.

Bodyguard's Hazel in an item for Maximum! I'm looking forward to this film!


Yunus Perveez said...

how long has Student of the Year been in the news? They'll probably need to change the setting to PDH students instead of High School :-)

Also in a way I m happy they went for some proper actors for Ashiqui 2 as I dont know if you were looking at the youtube competition they were running? Man, if you ever want a laugh, search for that. worst than anything else on Xfactor or Some Country has Talen

OG said...

hey FG,

The very short teaser of vaalu is out and it does not look like MBKD:

and Prithviraj can/will never move to Bollywood..... He will always be the SI who has an accent in Bombay!

thediva_1 said...

Am I the only one who LOVES love aaj kal and thinks it is far superior than Rockstar?

Moimeme said...

Thank goodness you didn't lose today's post!

Two comments:

1. The discussion with Anurag Kashyap at Satyamshot was ultimately about proving that Abhishek Bachchan isn't in films because of nepotism, but because of his superlative talent (Satyam's argument), and Anurag's position that Abhishek has absolutely no talent, but gets roles turned down by everyone else and because of highhandedness by his family/father. I don't know if you had time to read all the comments in both the threads, but it was really about Abhishek rather than Anurag.

2. I think you meant to say that Priyanka might be trying to get back into Salman's camp, not SRK's, right? (not that I believe all these rumors)

Moimeme said...

One more major point I wanted to make, about Satyameva Jayate, episode 4 (on medical malpractice). I don't know if you've been reading all the counter points being made by various doctors, specifically the ones involved in the cases highlighted on the show, but the facts seem to be completely the opposite to what was presented on the show. (You may have missed them since you were on vacation during the time most of them came out). They are at various places, but a good compilation of them have been posted at Satyamshot, though you'll have to wade through a lot of the usual arguments there.

Now this apology demand is silly, IMO, mainly because I find all such "demands for apology" silly, though they're rather big on them in India. But indeed there's enough factual misrepresentation that the medical community is preparing lawsuits against Aamir. I think the problem is that the show has gone for sensationalism rather than factual presentation, despite its claim to do the opposite. No one, least of all the medical profession, is claiming that there is no malpractice, but they are questioning the superficial treatment of the question.

Speaking of which, I felt that episode 5 must be the height of superficial treatment. If you have a society where some people with power are having others arrested on false charges, tortured by the police, and even murdered for going against their wishes/orders, isn't the problem that such a tremendous break down of law and order is there, that allows these people to get away with such crimes, and not that one of the instances where they exercise this power is about people marrying against their parents' wishes? So the problem isn't "love", it's the lack of laws, and that exists due to systemic corruption throughout the entire polity and society. But Aamir can't tackle or even mention that, because it's too big for him to handle, and he can't prescribe some feel good homilies to solve the problem. So it goes unmentioned. The same is true even of the medical malpractice issue. One of the points brought up in the counter arguments was that one reason why some doctors (not all) try to make money is because they have to pay such enormous amounts of money to get a medical education at private medical schools. And why do they have to go to private medical colleges? Because, due to the government's policy of reservations, many of the top scoring candidates can't get an admission into the government colleges. And who runs the private colleges? Politicians. This is just one aspect that wasn't mentioned, as well as the intimidation and even physical violence against doctors who don't conform to the demands of the rich/politicians. That is equally present as malpractice. You can't cherry pick a problem without examining it in depth.

Anyway, I'll stop my own polemic now. :) But I wanted to bring your attention to these points, since you said you were planning a post on the show.

Filmi Girl said...

@Asim Student of the Retirement Home? Ha ha ha!

@OG Good to hear! I'll definitely check that trailer out. And... lol! I guess we'll wait to see what the reaction is to his film with Rani. If Maddy and Sid can carve niche for themselves, maybe Prithviraj can, too.

@thediva_1 I'm sure there are people on both sides of the debate. :)

@moimeme 2. LOL!!!! Yes, you're right!! Dangers of posting early in the morning. ;)

1. I didn't have time to read the comments, just the bits on Anurag - an argument I'm sympathetic towards. One could say Kalki wouldn't be getting roles without her ties to Anurag, you know?

(You know my feelings on the Junior B and I'll just leave my opinion on him at that. ;P)

Filmi Girl said...

@moimeme Yes, I only saw episodes 1-3 so far! I can't comment on the other two... Seems my reaction post may be coming too late. :(

Moimeme said...

@Filmigirl, yes one could say that Kalki gets cast because of her association with Anurag, except that she's also been cast by others (Zoya Akhtar, Sanjay Leela Bhansali), and more importantly, she's been accepted by the audience and has even received praise for her acting from the critics (for what it's worth). It's somewhat like Katrina Kaif -- certainly she was helped by Salman at the beginning, but if she wasn't accepted by the audience, she wouldn't be where she is today, would she? With Abhishek the mystery is that the audience has said time and time again, in no uncertain terms, we're not interested in seeing this guy, and he continues to be cast -- and he keeps getting propped up with "special appearances" by his dad in many films of his. I thought we were finally past that era, when Amitabh shows up again in Bol Bachchan! So I don't think you can say he and Kalki are equivalent. To a certain extent *everyone* gets roles due to connections -- the film industry is very big on networking, after all, and not only for the acting jobs, but all the behind the scenes jobs like writers, music directors, lyricists, cinematographers, etc. But at least most of those people either deliver or stop getting jobs.

Filmi Girl said...

With Abhishek the mystery is that the audience has said time and time again, in no uncertain terms, we're not interested in seeing this guy, and he continues to be cast -- and he keeps getting propped up with "special appearances" by his dad in many films of his.

@moimeme You know, I used to think this until I started talking to Abhi fans!! It's weird, right? I think that it goes beyond the Bachchan name/connections and that the people making movies genuinely like the guy and believe in him. Add to that his fanbase, which is probably over-represented with NRIs and "multiplex viewers" (to generalize), and I can see why people would cast him. Abhi is like a slot machine with really terrible odds. If you gamble on him and it fails, it will fail miserably but if you gamble on him and he succeeds, you end up with a minor hit like Dostana.

The point he that he keeps churning out enough like Dostana to make up for the Players in the minds of the money men. Plus, filmi people like the guy.

Personally, I hate his "serious" acting and his "cool dude" persona but I find his goofy image likable enough and I'd rather see him than Uday Chopra or Zayed Khan any day. ;P

Wow. I never thought I'd be defending Abhishek!! Has the world gone crazy?! XD

Moimeme said...

@Filmigirl: Now you make me feel sorry for Abhi. To be preferred over Uday Chopra and Zayed Khan takes "damning with faint praise" to a whole new level. :)

Yunus Perveez said...

ok I'm back since we are on one of my favorite topics ie Abhishek

I seriously feel he is one of the top 2nd tier actors in Bollywood. He's done tons of great work and I kinda loved Rohit Shetty talking about him in his recent interview. He's taken chances with some filmmakers that have great credentials, if the movies don't work for one reason or the other as an actor what can he do? - I m paraphrasing here but I do see the point.
Maybe his name gives him clout but I also think he is not a douche bag in real life and quite fun to hang out with so people would probably prefer working with him then a Tushar Kapoor or Vivek Oberoi.

but even if he might get roles from his colleagues, he also gets the burden of being a Bachchan and the hate attached to it. And I think he manages pretty well without having to slap anyone or give douchey press conferences.

And I know FG doesn't like most of his movies but he has done quite a few good ones now and even some of his minor hits were actually pretty awesome, and at least had a sense of cinematic ambition be it Dum Maaro Dum or Delhi 6 or Raavan ( taking Raavanan out of the equation not to irk FG too much :-))

And seriously Players...he gave the money back... how many people do even do something close to that? ( and i m pretty sure they ALL knew they had a turd on their hand)

Moimeme said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Filmi Girl said...

@moimeme ;P I never said I liked the guy... ha ha ha! But, yeah, even I will admit he has a lot more going for him than some of the other nepotism cases kicking around B-town.

@Asim It's your steady arguments like that which finally brought me around. I still may not like the guy's acting and may not go out of my way to see anything he's in but I can't resent him for being in films. I think Players was a rejection of that whole genre of films, honestly. A bigger hero would have brought in his fanbase (i.e. Don 2) but I think Agent Vinod just proved that people are tired of slick Hollywood-style foreign set action-thrillers. No?

We'll have to see how Race 2 does but I'm betting that only a major skin show can generate any excitement - and not a skin show from Plastic Face Saif. (EWWWW!)

Moimeme said...

Regarding episode 4 of Satyameva Jayate (on "medical malpractice"), here's the link to the IBN report with refutation from the doctor involved in the kidney transplant:

There are also a lot of supporting documents linked from the article above.

Here's another letter from the doctor which was posted at Satyamshot:

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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