Friday, November 30, 2012

Thuppakki: Murugadoss is just messing with us, right?

About halfway through Thuppakki I began to wonder if A.R. Murugadoss wasn’t just having a huge laugh at the audience’s expense. It was the only logical explanation for how could such an intelligent filmmaker make such an aggressively stupid film. Was he just getting back at us for not fully appreciating last Diwali’s ambitious (and underappreciated) 7aum Arivu by making the most regressive, jingoistic, sociopathic, cockblocking, blatantly pandering film that he could?

Friday gossip... get ready to Talaash!

My big news of the day is that some jerks decided to ruin Talaash for everybody by tweeting the ending @ movie fans . And Aamir specifically asked us NOT to ruin things! Look, if we've learned anything these last few years, isn't it that Aamir is always right? Why fight it?

Sigh. Trolls be trollin'.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Mon... no Wednes... no THURSDAY GOSSIP! Back from Brazil Edition!

Good morning! YES! I'm back from Brazil! I had a fantastic time and although technically I probably shouldn't start blogging again until Monday (because I should be studying for the JLPT which is on Sunday) I couldn't resist! I missed everybody!!
And a big congratulations to my friend Eric and his new wife Erika!!

Sao Paulo!


Also, I had to talk about Priyanka Chopra getting cast as Mary Kom in the biopic. SERIOUSLY?! Even putting aside my dislike of Priyanka, it just seems really shamefully "Hollywood-like" to cast a tall, slim, typical North Indian beauty queen as Mary Kom - short, buff, and from the Northeast. We rarely see actresses with the distinctive Northeastern features in Bollywood and it looks like even Mary's are going to be erased. Who knows... maybe they'll just set the biopic entirely in Delhi or something.

It's really disappointing to see the "new" "realistic" Bollywood following in the homogenizing footsteps of Hollywood.

Masochon Zimik, anybody? She played a girl from Mary Kom's home state of Manipur in Chak De India.

A quick hunt on Google reveals plenty of gorgeous Manipuri actresses (like Bala here) who would probably love to play the role of one of their state's most famous women.

Maybe I'm just being idealistic but I believe there is more beauty in the diversity of the human race in shape and size and feature than in some arbitrary standard set by a corporate board in Bombay or New York.

Anyways. Let's just hope they don't slant her eyes like Deepika Padukone wanted to for Chandni Chowk to China.


Thursday, November 22, 2012

Filmi Girl talks to... Reema Kagti

[Reema, center, with Rani Mukerji and Javed Akhtar]

Upcoming suspense film Talaash has been on my radar since at least January 2011 and I have been eagerly following its progress by tracking the media reports. Talaash caught my interest not only for Aamir Khan (who has a reliable barometer of future trends in Bollywood since he gave us Lagaan and Dil Chahta Hai in 2001) and not only for the casting coup of Rani Mukerji and Kareena Kapoor but for the woman behind it all – Reema Kagti. Reema has been kicking around in the Hindi film industry for some time, working as an assistant director and writing scripts (well, a script - last year’s surprise hit Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara.) Reema has certainly paid her dues and I am intensely curious to see what this formidable woman can accomplish in the notorious boys club of Bollywood.

I was lucky enough to get a few minutes of her time over the phone while she was doing press for Talaash.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Happy Birthday to HELEN!

Let's wish the dancing queen of Bollywood a happy 72nd birthday and many more to come. She was and remains one of the cutest and classiest women in Bollywood...

(I have one more post to get out before I leave... hopefully I'll make my self-imposed deadline!)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

PSA: Andy Zaltzman in Mumbai!

If you are going to be in Mumbai in the near future, be sure to go check out one of Andy Zaltzman's gigs.

Andy is hilarious, knows way too many facts about cricket, and is half of my favorite podcast: The Bugle.

There is November 22nd at Bonobo with Sorabh Pant.

November 27th at YB Chavan Auditorium, Nariman Point with a bunch of other comedians.

And November 28th at Hotel Bawa Continental in Juhu for the Schitzengiggles.

Tuesday Gossip... going back on vacation edition!

Public Service Announcement: My friend Matt King is entering the final hours of his Kickstarter goal to fund his steampunk project The World of Steam. Check it out! Even if you don't donate - stop by and just check it out. ESPECIALLY if you like fantasy or sci-fi. (Which I totally do.)

And the second part of my PSA, yes, I'll be leaving for Brazil and won't be posting gossip again until I get back - in about a week and a half! On the one hand, I feel bad for abandoning you during the massive holiday release season but on the other... sometimes real life is more important than movies. (*gasp* DID SHE JUST SAY THAT?!)

Sometimes I just need to break up the routine, and I always appreciate films all the more when I return to it. Plus, no massive melt-down over the overwhelming amount of SRK-related publicity this year! So, maybe it's for the best? Although I know some of you would appreciate me going off on how silly some of the news articles have been on the Jab Tak Hai Jaan box office. As we discussed in the comments section yesterday, it's done "well enough" but considering the advantages of screen numbers, quality and type of theater, and the cast... AND that it's Yash Chopra's last film, "well enough" isn't exactly a ringing endorsement from the public.

I think it's more impressive that Son of Sardaar has managed to hang on and do respectable business - and most of that coming from less desirable single-screen theaters!

We'll see what will happen over the weekend, I suppose. As Moimeme correctly pointed out yesterday, neither film has joined THE 100 Crore Club, despite the confusing press releases with various accounting methods floating around.

Anyways. Most importantly - PRAN IS OKAY!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Monday Gossip...

I'm back from Austin!! But only for a couple of days... I'll be heading to Brazil on Thursday.

And, wow, did I miss a lot of things. First the sad news... Pran has been hospitalized and Shashi Kapoor is also rumored to be doing poorly.

Oh, right, Bal Thackeray passed away and Mumbai ground to a halt - affecting collections for both Diwali releases.

(And a girl gets arrested for anti-Bal Thackery facebook posts.)

The Times of India has an article explaining his long connection with Bollywood... beyond just the harassment of film sets and Muslim actors by Shiv Sena.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Jab Tak Hai Jaan: Is the Only Story Today

There was only one story yesterday: CELEBRITIES ATTEND THE JAB TAK HAI JAAN PREMIERE.


And, though she is a far from objective source when it comes to Shahrukh Khan, here is Anupama Chopra's review of the film:

In what world would a beautiful, fabulously rich girl who cruises around London in a chauffer-driven Bentley fall in love with a waiter? In Yash Chopra's world, of course!

It helps enormously that the waiter is played by Shah Rukh Khan with charm turned on high-beam. In any case, you don't go to a Yash Chopra movie to delve into realism or the messiness of relationships. You go to partake in a fantasy of swooning, idealised love - and Jab Tak Hai Jaan delivers plenty of that.

Here's a video from the red carpet, if you're really curious! (Or if you have time to waste.)

And that's it for me for the week! I'm heading to Austin tomorrow and won't be back until Sunday. The following week, I'll be leaving for Brazil on Thursday and will be gone for a week.

I should have access to the Internets, so I may check in from time to time but daily news will be on hiatus while I'm on vacation. AND IT'S A MUCH NEEDED VACATION!

If you are in Austin, Brasilia, or Sao Paolo and want to say hello, do drop me a line!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Monday Gossip: The Chicken Feed Edition


But first, I was just pointed towards Project Bolo, which is a collection of oral histories from LGBT Indians. Please check it out!!

Sunday, November 11, 2012



There has been so much discussion and noise over Dabangg 2 - the fight between Arbaaz and Abhinav Kashyap, especially - that it's a relief to finally see that the trailer looks fantastic!

I saw some rumblings somewhere that Dabangg 2 has been influenced by the remakes of Dabangg from the South industries. If this means we get a song as amazing as Osthi Maamey I am behind this all the way. I haven't seen the Telugu remake yet. I wonder if I could get the DVD before Dabangg 2 releases.


And the first song promo...! I'm already in love with Dabangg 2 and we still have over a month to go... *cry*

Sunday Gossip: The Psycho-Analyzed by Taran Adarsh Edition!

Some odds and ends today... it seems like Son of Sardaar vs. Jab Tak Hai Jaan has the Bollywood media as fired up as the American press was over Obama v. Romney!!

I wish the best for both films; I really do.

Although I might not get to see either - I'll be in Austin, Texas next weekend. If anybody knows if there is a theater screening either film there, do comment and let me know!


Saturday, November 10, 2012

Saturday Gossip: The Super Script Edition

It's an odd assortment of news stories today - ranging from horrific to haranguing to just plain tiresome.

Why not see for yourself?!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Friday Gossip! Love triangle edition!

IT'S FRIDAY and no new releases... boo. It's too bad Ajay couldn't have pushed Son of Sardaar up by two weeks.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Thursday Gossip: The helping that "other film" get good publicity edition!

GOOD MORNING!! I got up extra early for an extra special interview with Talaash director Reema Kagti. I hope to have it up by the weekend.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Wednesday Gossip: And I knew it al long time ago edition!

The big story today... CONGRATULATIONS, AMERICA!

Here is a helpful list of all the tweets from Bollywood stars on Obama's re-election. My favorite (natch) is Maddy:

Obama wins... And I knew it al long time ago.

Heh. ILU, Maddy. Make more movies, okay?

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

No News Today: VOTE! VOTE! VOTE!

No gossip today because I have to go do my patriotic duty and vote.

I was trying to think of a political link to post about instead (poll of favorite actors turned politicians; list of politics themed songs...) but, as somebody who “inside the Beltway,” I find myself frustrated by a lot of what passes for politics in films. Hollywood AND Bollywood.

Usually, politics in film plays up the back-stabbing and greed and personal foibles of the politicians, as if there are no real world consequences of their legislation. Alas, this is generally how the (American) media covers politics, as well.

No wonder we’re all so frustrated.

Three of the better films with a political bent that I’ve seen out of the Indian film industries in the last few years are:

Monday, November 5, 2012

Monday Gossip: The "it's a lazy walk" edition!

Goooooood morning! If anybody has cash to spare this portrait of Salman Khan by Rashid Rana is up for auction.

The auction includes a portrait of Bollywood superstar Salman Khan by Rashid Rana from his Ommatidia series of photomontages, estimated at Rs 7,50,000 to Rs. 10,00,000 (USD 15,000 to 20,000). Rana blurs the boundaries between advertising, painting, print making, photography and video. In this series, created in 2004, the artist comments on the social construction of celebrity and the role of fantasy. Salman Khan, the superstar of Indian cinema is idolized throughout South and West Asia as a paragon of masculinity and sexuality. This series of works, however, is not about the star. This portrait is composed of several thousand smaller images of ordinary Pakistani men, whose shared aspirations Rana believes uphold the entire industry.

And now on to the news!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Sunday News Post: Don't blame me, I voted for Kodos edition!

I went out to see DC United play last night! They made the playoffs this year, which is really exciting!

It's always fun to be in that big, cheering crowd of fans! And a big shout out to 19 year old Andy Najar (#14), who was really full of hustle last night. He's going to be a big talent...

Anyways, in film news!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Saturday News Post! It's anti-competitive!

HAPPY WEEKEND! And what a week it was. I'll be glad never to hear the words "Hurricane" and "Sandy" together again.

NOW! It's kind of a slow news day (you can always tell by the number of Poonam Pandey stories cluttering the news sites) but let's see what's up!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Friday Gossip: "Classy" edition...

Today we should all wish a Happy Birthday to Shahrukh Khan, who turns 47 years young today!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Happy Birthday to Aishwarya Rai!

On November 1st, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan turns 39 and more power to her. Aishwarya remains a captivating figure. Over her long (for a heroine) career, the former Miss World has transformed from a stiff beauty queen to an engaging on-screen presence and competent actress. She is beautiful, intelligent, and dignified - never stooping to the games of the level of the “he said-she said” media and somehow managing to resist the urge to tweet her every brain fart.*

Thursday Gossip: The "If you want Sallu, you have to sign on for SRK, too" edition.

I hope all my friends in Tamil Nadu are doing okay with Hurricane Nilam! I haven't seen much news on it but hopefully you are all okay!!

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