Friday, July 12, 2013

Friday Post: I wish Manish Malhotra styled me for work...

The big release this weekend is one I have absolutely no interest in, biopic Bhaag Milkha Bhaag. Farhan Akhtar being self-important, montages of running around, and very likely gratuitous use of white women in bikinis? No, thank you. But, what does interest me is that the film is being sent around on the Miramax circuit here in the US.

This means... film review in my local paper.

The film’s copious montages of training runs also tack on needless minutes to the film’s run time. While some offer the chance to insert music into the movie’s catchy soundtrack, there are only so many times the audience needs to see Milkha running in circles.

Very interesting to see how well one of these Miramax-style films plays outside the Bollywood media bubble... although the Hindie crowd doesn't seem any more positive about it. Too filmy for them.


Akshay Kumar on the safety of stunts.

You perform your own stunts. Is safety a concern?

Of course I fear for my safety, but the trick is to never let fear control you. Your adrenaline helps keep you alive and stops you from making potentially life-threatening mistakes. The day I take either my body or my work for granted will be the day you hear that I’ve smashed every inch of myself to pieces. In nearly 25 years of doing stunts, I made my first real mistake recently. I’ve never felt more ashamed.

Commenter Odadune also linked me to this scanned article possibly from the same round of phone interviews with the Khiladi. I don't like the idea of CGI being used to replace all stunts, though. Safety absolutely should be a concern but CGI is not replacement for the thrill of seeing the human body perform incredible feats. I'm sure stunt men and women feel the same way. If everything is done via CGI, what's the point of even having movies? (And, no, I can't stand those Pixar type films. I hate CGI animation.)


Kiran Rao never ceases to impress me. I may not share her cinematic tastes but it is extremely refreshing to read an interview with a thoughtful, intelligent, and talented woman. She talks to Open Magazine.

On the celebrity news circuit:

It’s actually indicative of how trivial and superficial our interests have become. But on another level, it’s sort of pathetic how, in general, the whole world of serious reportage has taken a beating in the process. A film that [shows this] is Peepli [Live], where you see such a desperate situation becoming this farcical circus. I have to say we as celebrities have got the better bargain. For us it’s not such a big deal if someone writes rubbish about us in the newspaper.

(What? Stalking Kat and Ranbir as they party in Ibiza isn't hard news?)


As we have now firmly established, every further bit of news about the ill-conceived Mary Kom biopic further infuriates me.

Physical trainer Samir Jaura, who is working with Priyanka to get the right look for the character, told IANS: “We are working on building her muscles, but I don’t want her to build extra muscles. I want her curves to get the right look, and not ruin the femininity.”

Oh, just fuck everybody involved. Mary Kom is an athlete not a beauty queen!! All these men are afraid a woman showing REAL physical strength. "Oh, but two muscly ladies hitting each other while wearing baggy shorts isn't sexy...." NO IT'S NOT! IT'S CALLED SPORT!

Here she is a few years ago fighting Sweden's Natalie Lungo Vesenne. Mary's body is a tool - those arm muscles, thigh muscles. Just... it's infuriating to see the trainer worry that "extra muscles" will "ruin" the appeal of the film. As if the casting of PC didn't already mean that this biopic is going to be nothing more than an excuse for Priyanka to wear booty shorts and be sweaty. What a way to celebrate the accomplishments of an athlete.

Speaking of Piggy, Mumbai Boss has a nice write up of "Exotic."

As for the video however, it’s about as generic as they come, with Chopra cavorting on a beach in a series of swimsuits and Louboutins. Apparently shot in Miami, it looks like it could have been filmed just about anywhere. They may as well have saved some money and had it shot in Goa, and used the cash to hire a lyricist instead.

Most outlets have picked up on the bikini as the biggest USP of the song.

Well, then.


Manish Malhotra talks fashion. (TOI link but it's a good interview.)

I entered the scene in the 1990s and found it quite strange to see heroines wearing their hair short in a western outfit, then long when wearing an Indian outfit! That's when i started the whole element of styling, introducing a one-look feature with Gumraah, Sridevi maintaining short hair throughout the film. With Rangeela, i gave the girl-next-door a glamorous look. I played with colours and it caught on in a big way.

How much would I love a glossy coffee table book of filmi fashion edited by Manish? Or better yet, an exhibit of costumes!! We'll get Beth to help curate. Although I wonder how many of these old costumes have been saved...


Madras Cafe trailer and... not my kind of film. Nargis's flat American accent and dialogue delivery is only slightly less grating than her dubbed voice but at least she doesn't look like she's giving Pooja Chopra a run for her money. Overall the film looks rather dull. But, for those who enjoy this kind of thing here's Asim's much more positive take over at upodcast...



Moimeme said...

I see that you've now taken to giving a warning every time you link to a TOI article. I guess you're still smarting from your scars during the TOIFA in Vancouver (BTW, Christy Clark won her by-election and so is now a member of the legislature as well as the premier).

But frankly, you continue to link to a lot more questionable and much less reliable sites without any kind of warning. To be consistent, you should also put a warning for articles from Mumbai Mirror, Mid-Day, and the many blogs/unverified "news" sites you like, such as Bollywoodlife and Oneindia, to name only two. Then there are also questionable journalists, who have been known to fabricate "interviews" and "news". And then all the sites have varying degrees of credibility among themselves, as well as among the various articles from one individual site. You might normally think of Open magazine (from which you linked the Kiran Rao interview) as a credible source, but then it also runs Rajeev Masand's weekly gossip column on Bollywood stars, which is not at all credible. Even in the "credible" news sites, a particular article can be influenced by outside pressures, or even be outright paid. So how're you going to alert your readers about those? You'll have to develop a whole system of warnings on credibility, like the MPAA ratings, or the DHS terrorism color codes. I'm sure you'll just love developing those. :)

Why not just have a general caveat that everything written about any Bollywood personality can have varying degrees of truth in it, from zero (or even negative, if the article is spreading deliberate disinformation) to a maximum of 7 out of 10? (I don't think they ever get everything right.) Or how about this? Anything that comes from unnamed "sources" should be automatically rejected. If you just post this general warning at the top of your blog, you can salvage your conscience (or rather mine, I guess, LOL), and not have to decide for each and every TOI link whether it's worthy or not.

odadune said...

Having just seen Rangeela and been impressed by the way it uses clothes as a characterization tool, I have to salute Manish. And heck yes to the coffee table book/museum exhibit. Man totally deserves it.

On the stuntwork side of things, as I've said before, I think there are cases where it's worth the risk and cases where it's not. For the stunt that injured Hrithik (thirty-story dive into pool) unless they had a camera strapped to his body, recording all the way down, I don't think they'd actually get any interesting visuals that they couldn't achieve with a bungee jump (and wire erasure in post), a relatively "short" dive one or two stories high, rigorous continuity between the two and maybe a reaction shot to cover the divide.

"Big name So-And-So has the guts to do something dangerous" is not sufficient justification for a dangerous stunt, however much it might please his/her fans. It should play to his/her strengths, it should look good and not be easily achievable otherwise, it should look *distinctive.*

Mo Pitz said...

I just suffered some serious second-hand embarrassment watching "Exotic" -- good LORD that was generic and awkward. I have to blame the director as much as anyone else. Laaaame.

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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