Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Wednesday: Queen! More Queen!!

The beginning of the year has been not-so-great for box office. (According to TOI.)


A testy interview with the director of Gulaab Gang. Why is he making it so hard to support a masala potboiler with a woman protagonist and antagonist? WHY?

Does Sampat Pal figure in those groups?

Is this an interview about Sampat Pal? Next question, please.


A court asks why Sanjay Dutt is at home instead of in jail.


Kamal Hassan's younger daughter Akshara is making her Bollywood debut. She apparently "kind of a tomboy."


Good luck, Akshara! Don't let them femme you out if you don't want that…


Suniel Shetty and his wife Mana talk about their daughter's debut.

Is she fashion and weight conscious?

Suniel: I don't think so.

Mana: Her attitude is, "Let the world say anything, I don't care!" That says it all.

I hope they warn her away from industry men (esp. douches like Sooraj) but other than that, both parents and daughter seem to have a good attitude!


Sonam in a political romance produced by her daddy? Why does a romance between two politicians just sound like such a depressing idea for a film...


"Word has it" aka Neil Nitin Mukesh called up Mid-Day to tell them he's under consideration for a role as Salman's brother.


The Band Baaja Baarat remake didn't do well.

The film has not been appreciate because it is a frame-to-frame copy of the original, says Trinath.

"While some critics liked it, others panned it because it lacked southern sensibilities. Most of the scenes were recreated from the original. Moreover, they shot in one language (Tamil or Telugu) and dubbed it into the other. Even that didn't go well with the viewers," he added.

I have to say that from the promos, it did look like an uninspired copy.


Akshay in Gabbar.


Good for Alia. College isn't for everybody and why waste time and money getting a degree in something you'll never need? I'm feeling rather anti-academia these days. More and more, especially in America, I feel like kids aren't actually learning anything in college except how to think exactly like their professors. Better to learn by doing if you can, Alia! Good on you!


There were a couple articles wrung out of a recent talk from film scholar Geoffrey Nowell-Smith in London. He made a couple good points--at least if he's being quoted correctly--although I'm not sure what conclusions the press is drawing. They seem to be trying to put him in the "Indian cinema needs to advance" narrative when what he's saying seems to be "it would be nice if Indian cinema was distributed outside the diaspora."

"Indian cinema in Britain is booming at the moment...and its not cheap (the tickets)...the kind of Indian cinema popularly known as Bollywood is no longer working-class fare, either in content or in audience composition...but this popularity is deceptive," Nowell-Smith said here.

And a few studios Hollywood AND Bollywood have fallen for that deceptive popularity… see: Saawariya, Chandni Chawk to China, etc.


The Bandar-car is going to be "scouting" babes for Calendar girls… What? No rumors of top actresses fighting each other for this one? Not even the credulous press would believe that?


Open Magazine profiles Jaaved Jaaferi.

When Jaaved himself looks back at the long slog of his career, he likes to believe that some things were just not meant to be. Hero roles, for one. He was convinced, early on, of his ‘hero material’ worth. He had all the talent— exceptional dancing skills, a booming baritone that recalled a young Big B, and not to mention, his deadpan comic timing. In 1985, Subhash Ghai sent word that he’d like him to play a villain in Meri Jung: ‘a villain who dances’. That was strange, because usually in a Hindi film, especially of those days, the hero got to sing and dance as an assertion of his heroism. “Anil Kapoor was the film’s hero,” says Jaaved. “I was the bad guy. But I had an item number of my own: Bol Baby Bol.”

Agreeing to a villainous role—not the film, he makes it clear—was his biggest regret, a “bad decision”, as it were. The industry can be cruel. It loves nothing more than reducing you to brackets. His father, Jagdeep, came to Bollywood to be a hero but ended up as a comedian.

I love Jaaved Jaaferi. What a talented, talented actor and criminally underused. I am always happy to see him turn up in a film, even if it's just as a weirdo Australian guy who says 'eggjactly.'


Music launch of Queen! Who's excited?!


Anonymous said...

Good luck to Kangna, and Madhuri and Juhi (even if their director is a bonehead) and Athiya and Akshara.

I've seen claims that Sooraj Barjatya had offered the kid brother role to some fairly big names who didn't see any point in playing second male lead (even to Salman) at this point in their career. There was a brief rumor that it had morphed into a dual role.

No idea whether Gabbar will actually be any good (hope springs eternal...), but it's going to be damn pretty. I've seen Vedam and Krishnam Vande Jagadgurum from the same director and he seems to have good visual instincts. Back that up with SLB's production values, and well, you're getting a glimpse of the results in that pic.

And yeah, you just summed up my feelings about modern college pretty well too.

Mo Pitz said...

Soumik Sen sounds like a douche. No no no, my film is not about empowering women! It's just set in this imaginary world where women actually exist as something other than supporting characters! It's crazy! "I have tried to make it a believable world where women are at the centre of everything happening." Half the population actually taking center stage for once? Unthinkable!

DPSF said...

I don't know what to think about gulaab gang. I think certainly they should have acknowledged that Sampat Pal's Gulabi Gang is the source of his idea, and they should have asked for her permission. But it would be difficult also because if they did so it would have to be a serious, realistic movie about Gulabi Gang and check every fact.
I just find it frustrating that you can't just make a masala potboiler with women protagonists. It has to be a smart movie that represents what is actually happening. But is Dabanng representative of how the policemen work? Is it an example of how they should work? No, everybody knows it's not meant as a documentary, but still it has some good messages...
It's the same thing when women have a "masculine" job (which is my case). I'm an engineer and I've been interviewed many times, everytime they need a picture of our lab I have to go on it and they try to give me this "woman of exception" tag. They ask me how and why I entered a masculine field, and if I feel like an example for girls or which message i want to give them. But the truth is, I never asked myself those questions until I reached there, I just considered that I was a human being and, why not, I could do that. I'm not particularly excellent at my work, I'm just like any man who does the same job. The fact that I'm considered as an exception, or that I'm singled out, just shows that it's not considered normal for me to be here. Also I don't have the right to make a mistake because I'm a "model" for girls...
I get annoyed by this and sometimes if I'm interviewed I'll brush this off and sound anti-feminist (though I really try not to say things like "I'm not a feminist" for "I'm not here to accuse men of anything")
I felt that Soumik Sen probably was seduced by this very powerful idea of pink sarees and wanted to make a masala movie out of it... But because it's about women, it's not considered a "normal movie" and the media expects it to give a very strong message about women's rights and actual struggles.So when he answers, I feel that he means that it's not a documentary ("My film is not on women empowerment") and that it really doesn't aspire to fight for women instead of them.
If he says it IS about Sampat Pal and women empowerment, he will get many more criticism for the imprecision/ the fact that this is not the real problems of women etc.
Only way he could do "right": make a movie with men. Then he would just get usual criticism like "It's a great/ not so bad /boring entertainer, good dialogues, the heroine is not very present but her one-line dialogue is very strong and she's gorgeous in her traditional avatar".
I wish this movie does well and the Gulabi Gang documentary too. I wish this "controversy" makes people watch both and think about them... But maybe I'm just partial because I love Madhuri and Juhi :)

Filmi Girl said...

@DPSF Believe me when I say I understand exactly what you mean. I've also worked in male-dominated fields and it's really unfair that you can't be seen as 'just' a person but have to work ten times as hard just to get the same respect as an average guy. But… until there are more women 'heroes' it will be like this. I am glad for Juhi and Madhuri and to have them in the spotlight.

My issues are the appropriation of the real world imagery without wanting to discuss it and then just dismissing the idea of 'woman empowerment' when it's clearly something a lot of people are craving. At least a discussion… pretending like there is no problem doesn't help, you know?

But I totally understand where you are coming from and it is a tricky issue.

DPSF said...

I see what you mean, he's indeed very bad at answering those questions, which he should have expected and prepared for. He could at least be interested by the debate after choosing such a topic...

Filmi Girl said...

@DPSF Exactly!! I'm not saying he has to make a film about woman empowerment but when you borrow this imagery from real life, people are going to make connections.

There is something to be said for using a 'made-up' setting for avoiding these issues. It's too bad 'realism' is the flavor of the day.

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