Monday, December 30, 2013

Monday Post: Don't let the door hit you on the way out, 2013. What's that? Your Dhoom 3 and Chennai Express money will cushion your ass so it doesn't matter?

The Hollywood Reporter has a questionable round up of 2013 in Bollywood to include Inkaar?! And Woody Allen refusing to put the "No Smoking" warning on his films. Seriously, HR? That's the best you can do?

I've been thinking over my own list and neither of those events made it on. Inkaar? Does anybody even remember that? Did the author just go to the "Bolllywood of 2013" Wiki page and just pick the first film on there? Seems to me the big stories were the failures from Too Big To Fail teams (Zanjeer, Besharam, etc), successes from films nobody expected anything of (Grand Masti, R…Rajkumar), an uncomfortable ramping up of Hollywood suck-ups (especially from Team Lunchbox and Priyanka Chopra, bet you she didn't send her Zanjeer reel to her Hollywood PR agents) and overwrought Internet fanboys (Himmatwala signals the end of society; Ship of Thesus is genius/a copy, pick one).

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Filmi Girl's Selections for Best and Worst Performances of 2013

These are just my personal opinions and (mostly) only based on the Hindi films I saw.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Friday Post: Dhoom 3 again this weekend!


Here's to the People's Hero rocking the box office with Jai Ho!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013


From Filmi Girl! Photo courtesy of my brother…

And for you lovely folks, my favorite Christmas video: Helen and a special guest in "Yeh Pal Chanchal."

One year I'll have to re-create this! I just need somebody to make me that outfit.


Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Quick Christmas Eve IIFA update

The schedule was released for IIFA 2014 in Tampa, Florida!

• Thursday, April 24 includes welcome events at Tampa International Airport, two media events at the official, but as-yet-unidentified IIFA host hotel, the first day of a global business forum at the Tampa Convention Center and an "IIFA Rocks" concert and post-party at USF's Sun Dome.

• Friday, April 25 includes more arrivals at the airport, another media briefing at the hotel, the second day of the global business forum at the convention center and a "Magic of the Movies & Technical Awards" show at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre at the fairgrounds, plus an IIFA post-party.

• Saturday, April 26, has a film workshop at the IIFA host hotel, a media briefing and the IIFA awards show at Raymond James Stadium, plus a post-event party.

I'm going to try my damnedest to go…

And since I was posting anyways, a few more stories for you! I'll see you again the 26th! MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYBODY!!!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Monday Post: Water is wet; Ranveer in annoying; Dhoom 3 is rocking the box office… tell me something I don't know.

Good morning, MUMBAI! (And the rest of the world!)

I'm not sure what my posting schedule will be like through the holiday but I can definitely tell you that Christmas will be a rest day. I'll also tell you that I've been using my free days to catch up on some fun, older movies available for streaming on Hulu. Americans should definitely check out the selection available (and then check out Justin Timberlake being charming on this past weekend's SNL; seriously this guy needs his own variety show.)

Up first is more Dhoom 3 talk! Check out the latest episode of Upodcast over here! Asim and I get into the nitty gritty of Dhoom 3

And speaking of Dhoom 3, it cracked the American Top 10 for weekend box office!

There is also the Saltz's typical tone deaf review in which she spends precious words complaining that Abhishek Bachchan has no songs and using her best Taran Adarsh thesaurus to describe things instead of, you know, reviewing the movie. HOW DOES SHE GET PAID FOR THIS SHIT?! I seriously don't get it, New York Times. She is hands down the worst American reviewer writing on Bollywood.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Filmi Girl's Top Hindi Songs of 2013

Just a little something I cooked up.


(In no particular order)

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Saturday Bonus Post: IN DEFENSE OF KATRINA also isn't SRGAY kind of played out already?

Wow. I'm glad I didn't read any reviews or follow the buzz on Dhoom 3 before I saw it. Not just the pained hinting around the spoilers but I swear it's only a matter of time before I run across the film fanboy claiming Aamir has "raped" him of his time for appearing in a big budget masala film.

We've already got critics speaking from on high with one of my least favorite phrases: "lap it up", as in:

While the action-thriller is far from mediocre, and will probably appeal to the popcorn masses that have lapped up the likes of ‘Krrish 3’and ‘R... Rajkumar’ in the recent past, one simply can’t help but expect something a little more edgy, and at times, far less ludicrous, from an Aamir Khan-starrer.

Because the guy who made Andaz Apna Apna is never allowed to have fun or get silly or go over-the-top?

Then there are the trolls with (by my count) 32 appearances of the phrase "SRGAY" in the comments section of this review.

And I'm really disappointed at the sexist dismissal of Katrina's role as eye candy in a skimpy costume by the so-called professionals. Katrina's character was written to show how much that "sexbomb" thing is just an act. She wears the skimpy costumes on stage but off stage is as fully covered and "real" as can be. I loved her character and found her to be a refreshing change from the dippy, miniskirted newscaster needing-to-be-saved heroines you always see in action films. She's her own woman with her own dreams and--at least in my viewing of the film--was not defined by the hero's interest in her.

If you look back at both Dhoom 2 and Tashan, while neither film would pass the Bechdel Test, the heroines were both sharp women with characters and motivations of their own. Even if they did wear bikini tops, they didn't lose their brains to do so and the men were at least as objectified in both cases.

I'm not saying Dhoom 3 is a great work of art but it is a great movie.

ETA: I was thinking about this as I looked up other things but, you know, the conspiracy theories that flow out in the comments section of every review and article are really quite indicative of a public that has zero trust in the media, especially the filmi media. Every box office number comes under speculation, every reviewer is accused of being paid by this side or that side. And people aren't wrong most of the time, that's the scary thing… I think I'm pretty open with my preferences and about the fact that I don't receive one single penny from anybody but even I get accused of being a paid reviewer from time to time. I'd like to see those checks because none have reached me.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Dhoom 3: The 100% SPOILER FREE review.

Let me preface this review with a couple things. First of all, I enjoyed Dhoom 3 enough that I plan on going again tomorrow and will probably have more to write about at that point. The second thing is that I’m going to keep this review 100% spoiler free but I can guarantee you that not everybody is going to be so kind and I recommend staying away from reviews if you want to enjoy the film the way it was intended (aka without Taran Adarsh’s thesaurus-filled plot synopsis at the back of your mind.)

So with that in mind, do read on if so inclined but if all you want to know is whether or not to go see it, ask yourself this: How much do I like Aamir Khan? And then ask yourself this: Do I need every plot point in a film explained at great length or am I able to just go with it? If you like Aamir Khan well enough and don’t mind that A.C.P. Jai Dixit’s beat has been extended to Chicago for no particular reason, then you should definitely go.

It’s great fun.

Quick PSA: Avoiding all news/spoilers until I see Dhoom 3

Sorry for the radio silence!! I haven't abandoned you!! I'm just keeping my nose clean and my head clear of any and all buzz and spoilers over Dhoom 3 so I thought it would be best to avoid the Bolly-corners of the Internet until I see it--which will hopefully be at the first show at Loehmann's this afternoon. Okay!! Bye-bye until then!!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Wednesday Post: Let's PARTY DA MOOD!

I forgot about this! Yash Raj trying for force cinemas to go digital in order to combat piracy. I wonder how many single screens managed it…

I'm not convinced that this is the best way to get people into theaters, seems like pirated DVDs will be available no matter what.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Tuesday Post: GUESS WHO IS BACK?!

I don't think we can go around calling the biggest hits of the year yet with DHOOM 3 still set to release.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Monday.. Is it Monday?

Somebody whose name just might be "Filmi Girl" partied a bit to hardy last night and slept in this morning. Oops!

But please have this trailer:

And now none of us have to see Gunday.

It's too bad because the teaser was a lot of fun but… I'm kind of done with these half-baked 1970s-ish films full of anachronisms and a lot of slow walking. They don't try to capture the feel of 1970s films and are full of too many anachronisms to feel like the actual 1970s so you end up with a 1970s-ish film. Why? What's the point? Is there really a huge demand for these nostalgia fests?

Also, it looks like IIFA is getting pushed forward. No word on the Times Of India Film Awards yet.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

The 90s Canon: D…D…D… Darr

Twenty years later Darr (Yash Raj Films, 1993) holds up surprisingly well as a thriller and as a film. The visual aesthetic is very much of its era--hair everywhere, chiffon saris--but unlike other films from the early 1990s, the difficulty in watching Darr with a fresh eye is not just a matter of looking past dated hairstyles. Darr is not just a film, it lingers on in the Bollywood mythos as both a campy punchline and a cultural signifier. Darr may have been one of the final films directed by the legendary Yash Chopra, but rather than looking backward, it signaled a changing of the guard. The response to the film, to Shahrukh Khan, the charismatic new actor hired on as the villain, could not have been predicted and once unleashed, it could not be put back in the bottle.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Friday Post: ROAR.

The big story today is obviously THE PEOPLE'S MAN!


So, we know what my favorite part was.

Here are a few caps of the cast!

Is that Mukal Dev I spy?


Says Mr. Salman Khan:

"I stand for justice every say. I consider myself as a common man as I do things which a common man does in day-to-day life. Like I ride bicycle, rickshaw, I prefer taking fresh air while travelling in car, etc. Whatever I am today...a superstar is because of my fans. If they wouldn't have loved my first film Maine Pyaar Kiya, then I wouldn't be here," Khan said.

Preach it, brother.

A whole movie based on the idea of "pay it forward" with goonda bashing and Tabu? Even if this movie is a hot mess--especially if this movie is hot mess--I plan on enjoying it to the utmost!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Thursday Post: Jai Ho trailer NOT out yet. Damn.

It's a sad, sad day for human rights in India with the Supreme Court ruling to re-criminalize homosexuality.

We can't control who we love but we can control what kind of society we want to live in. This is what we've been seeing in Russia and, indeed, certain areas of the United States, where gay people (and women and other cultural minorities) have become a scape goat for people's very real fears of loss of cultural identity in the face of the American/Western cultural export machine and for frustration at the riches that remain out of reach but forever waved in their faces.

There have a been a few articles collecting quote from stars, like the one linked above. Some are clueless; some are from inside a bubble of privilege. Farhan gets it right:

“The Supreme Court got it wrong today,” tweeted actor-director Farhan Akhtar.

Another article from TOI has more in-depth quotes from directors and actors about how it will affect films.

For Reema Kagti, whose Honeymoon Travels Pvt. Ltd. showed the dilemma of a gay man stuck in a straight marriage, the verdict is a "slap in the face of democracy". "Forget about being the largest democracy, we don't even live in a democratic society. I'm horrified by the larger implications of the verdict and can't even think about what it means for cinema."

India Today runs down a sorry list of Hindi films that include gay relationships. Although they've totally misread Fashion. From what I remember, the gay couple in that was Priyanka Chopra and Kangana Ranaut.

And The Telegraph gets Karan Johar's opinion on the subject. For no reason in particular.

“People are desperate to maintain saleable images and while homosexuality may be practised, it is never openly flaunted. Even those who are known to be openly gay, or are perceived to be so, are shy of publicly acknowledging their sexuality,” he said.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013


To celebrate the release of Dhoom 3 and to countdown to my favorite holiday (CHRISTMAS!), I present an alphabet advent calendar Dhoom style!

Click to open the window for day!

Wednesday: Like LMFAO without the humor.

End of the year lists… this worst of the year seems pretty on point, especially since it gives a solid definition of "worst" as film that was expected to do well and really, really didn't.

1. Zanjeer

2. Besharam

And etc.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Nawazuddin Siddiqui: No Longer an Outsider in Bollywood

I was lucky enough to have the chance to sit down with Nawazuddin Siddiqui at SAIFF 2013. Admittedly this interview was unscheduled and took place at a cocktail party where I had nothing with me to take notes other than a day planner and a green pen. Some translation assistance was very thoughtfully provided by Prashant Bhargava, who directed Nawazuddin in the excellent Patang. Quotes are as accurate as circumstances allow.

(Nawazuddin loose in New York City. Photo credit to Mo Pitz. Please contact her for use.)


To celebrate the release of Dhoom 3 and to countdown to my favorite holiday (CHRISTMAS!), I present an alphabet advent calendar Dhoom style!

Click to open the window for day!

Tuesday Post: Who put my poster up in the multiplex??

The end of the year lists are trickling out again… I don't know how interested people are in those. I have a feeling it's going to be a lot of the same names from the same consensus films cycled over and over in every different outlet.

Blah blah Ship of Theusus, blah blah Farhan Akhtar, blah blah LUNCHBOX SHOULDDA BEEN A CONTENTAH… *yawn*

Maybe I should tally them! See how consensus the consensus films are?

And get to work on my own list of awards!

i.e. The 2013 Item Girl Who Most Resembles an Unbent Straw--Nargis Fakhri

The 2013 Best Mustache--Ranveer Singh's Ram Leela mouche

The 2013 Film Most Embarrassingly Dug Up From the Vault--Govinda and Piggy starrer Deewana Main Deewana

Monday, December 9, 2013

Monday Post: Sorry, Sasha, I was snowed out...

Oh, poor Sasha!! I saw some titles of R… Rajkumar reviews and they seemed brutal. As you may have guessed, the snow kept me from the theater yesterday but if there is any possible way for me to see this film on the big screen, believe you me, I will get there. *Stupid snow storm*

At least the box office seems okay? That must be some consolation but the media narrative has been brutal. Building, building, building it up as SHAHID'S LAST CHANCE FOR A COMEBACK OH NO and then gleefully reveling in the moderate response as SHAHID IS THE WORST!!!!!!!!!!

It's fucked up.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Ankhon Dekhi: What the eye sees...

I was lucky enough to catch a screening of Ankhon Dekhi at the South Asian Film Festival in New York and you’ll have to forgive the lack of specifics as far as names go in my review since I have no press materials or even a wikipedia entry to work from. If there is anybody reading this who would like to pass on promotional photos and a cast list, I would be very grateful and will happily edit them in. ETA: I have edited to add in the names of the actors where appropriate.

When I was a little girl, I didn’t understand what it was that businesspeople did all day pushing paper around. As far as I was concerned, they weren’t doing anything useful, like making cars or putting out fires or cooking. Whatever their work was, it seemed imaginary, far less real than the math worksheets I assigned myself for homework. Finance, business, money, math. They were all imaginary numbers games, so why did grownups pretend otherwise? Now, as I’ve gotten older, I know that seven-year old Filmi Girl had a lot of naive ideas about how the world worked--for example, I’m not currently married to Coreys Haim and Feldman--but, sadly, the 2008 global financial crisis proved that she was spot on about the financial world.

And I suspect the protagonist of Rajat Kapoor’s Ankhon Dekhi (which I think you could loosely translate to something like What the Eye Sees) would agree with that young Filmi Girl on that point, too.

Saturday, December 7, 2013


To celebrate the release of Dhoom 3 and to countdown to my favorite holiday (CHRISTMAS!), I present an alphabet advent calendar Dhoom style!

Click to open the window for day!

Saturday: BONUS post! Making news myself!

Yes! I'm back from my day at SAIFF 2013 and I had a blast! I wish I could have stayed longer but duty calls…

Anyways, I got to meet the super-duper handsome and funny and just plain delightful Nawazuddin Siddiqui!

*caught mid-interview by Mo Pitz, photo credit to her*

Hopefully I can get that posted soon.

I also saw Rajat Kapoor's amazing film called Ankhon Dekhi. I was blown away by the story and the performances and everything. I will try to post that review soon, too.

And before we get to the news round-up, I would be remiss if I didn't mention the fan mail I received from the one and only Luv Sinha!

Yes, dude, it is indeed very fun--although apparently not as much fun as googling yourself! Seems like both of us have nothing better to do, which is why he is one of my favorite topics to blog about! LOL! He kept hassling me, so I had to finally block him on Twitter. Being butthurt at me is not the best way to get me to stop writing about your lack of career… #justsayin (Now if there was a phone call from Sona involved, I may change my tune.)

Thursday, December 5, 2013


To celebrate the release of Dhoom 3 and to countdown to my favorite holiday (CHRISTMAS!), I present an alphabet advent calendar Dhoom style!

Click to open the window for day!

Thursday Post: (Not the) Best Song Ever

Whatttt? Is this one of those overly-detailed (and hilarious) Key & Peele videos? No! It's those little fuckers from 1D showing (yet again) that 99.9% of Westerners have no clue about anything outside their own hermetically sealed cultural bubbles and are uninterested in learning except in the interest of a cash grab and/or mockery.

I have no problems with cultural mingling--I mean, if the idea of the rock group hadn't been exported, we wouldn't have SYMT or Sakanaction--but there is something just so infuriating about seeing these little douchebags making absolutely no effort and yet wanting some sort of praise for acknowledging there are other people in the world who may not wear denim and sneakers everyday.

Look, Aamir Khan tap-dancing is better "Bollywood dancing" than whatever this is.

1D piss me off for many, many reasons--first among them is that they have no respect for entertainment, entertainment, entertainment. (That lack of respect is basically the entire plot of their Best Song Ever video.) I'm extremely pro-boyband as I've written before and extremely pro-pop music, so don't take this as a snob argument. What bothers me about 1D is that their entire "boy band" shtick is being the cute and somewhat mean popular boys in high school. That's it. There's no dancing, no acting, no entertaining… and their singing is nothing special. So, what's the point? Where's the joy? Where's the passion? Why should anybody pay attention to them?

I mean, say what you want about Justin Bieber but at least the kid has respect for the game and seems to really enjoy performing.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013


To celebrate the release of Dhoom 3 and to countdown to my favorite holiday (CHRISTMAS!), I present an alphabet advent calendar Dhoom style!

Click to open the window for day! 

Wednesday Post: Filed under T for Things I Like.

So, thanks to the lovely Mo, I am going up to New York to see Q's Tasher Desh on Thursday. If you will be there or be around, give me a wave!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013


To celebrate the release of Dhoom 3 and to countdown to my favorite holiday (CHRISTMAS!), I present an alphabet advent calendar Dhoom style!

Click to open the window for day!

Tuesday Post: She's oversold. And people in the front rows keep dancing!

Whoa. Rajpal Yadav and his wife have been sent to ten days in jail for lying to the court in this case:

Rajpal and Radha have been engaged in a legal battle after Delhi-based businessman, M G Agarwal (owner of Murli Projects), filed a case against them in the High Court for failing to repay a loan of Rs five crore which the actor had taken in 2010 to make his Hindi debut directional film 'Ata Pata Laapata'.

That just hit me in the gut. Poor Rajpal Yadav… he must be in bad financial shape. Even acting in 200 comedian roles a year can't pay the bills.

Monday, December 2, 2013


To celebrate the release of Dhoom 3 and to countdown to my favorite holiday (CHRISTMAS!), I present an alphabet advent calendar Dhoom style!

Monday Post: RIP Paul Walker...

Sad news today: a big RIP to Paul Walker, star of the Fast & Furious movies. There aren't too many Hollywood films that I enjoy but the Fast & Furious series remain some of my favorites. Films with big action and big heart. He'll be missed.

But I hope all the Americans out there had a nice Thanksgiving weekend.

And now the countdown to Christmas and Dhoom 3 really begins!

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