Monday, October 27, 2014

Paging Dr. Freud…

Thanks for the great response to my VIP review, everybody! I was really, really happy to get a tweet from Dhanush himself. My face flushed bright red while reading it.

I mean… DHANUSH! He's so talented and smart and what have I done that's so great? *pardon me while I swoon some more*

I do want to address Divya's comment because I think she brought up a good point about IT workers getting dumped on in mass films. I hope my review didn't give that impression of the film itself. The hero in VIP was trained in civil engineering and that's what he wanted to do. He didn't have any argument with IT professionals, in fact his brother was one. It might have been subtle but I think VIP made a distinction between the type of soul-crushing call center work and skilled tech work, which can be a productive and creative endeavor. So, I'm sorry if I implied otherwise!! I am an information professional myself and I love my job and find it very rewarding on a personal level.

Yes, I loved the "contributing to society" angle--which a couple people pointed out isn't exactly groundbreaking--in VIP but I also loved the promotion of the idea that you can find a lot of personal fulfillment in doing a job like civil engineering and doing it well. That was the real contest in the end, not IT vs other fields but the Lazy Second Generation Son doing a job half-assed because he wants the money and the guy who actually wants to do the work itself.

I don't know if that makes sense.

Anyways, if nothing else, my good experience watching VIP on got me to try another one--Jigarthanda! It is available with English subtitles! I'm working on my review and will hopefully have it up for you soon. What a fantastic film! The promise of Pizza times ten. The first 45 minutes are slow but stick with it and you will be rewarded.

In other news, Moimeme linked me to a couple articles. One on Haider I feel like I can't comment on until I see the film but the other touched on a lot of the things I find myself complaining about:

There is also a need to understand that a so-called off-beat movie may just be an alternative formula movie in its own right. There is an economic logic to multiplexed India, a silo of affluent urban Indians that the corporate honcho financing projects is well aware of.

aka something like Vicky Donor is just Ready but made for a different class of people.

The op-ed goes on to talk about the erasure of People Not Like Us from cinema screens, something I don't think I can comment on because I am an outsider. But I will say that in America, this has been the case for years. There is nobody Not Like Us on the cinema screen or television screen anymore. We use to have blue collar families like on Roseanne but now there's just self-involved upper middle class and wealthy people. Economic issues of fairness replaced with self-involved identity issues. Those type of things fall away pretty quickly when you don't know where your next meal is coming from… Oddly enough, I feel like Kevin Smith was one of the last filmmakers to bring People Not Like Us into the mainstream. Everybody else is making superhero and fantasy movies of one sort or another.

Last things, last. Happy New Year. Oh, boy. Basically, you would have to pay me to make me sit through this. Pay me A LOT. But… I've gotten no joy from the terrible reviews because I feel like they're all missing the point. You may as well have copy-pasted 90% of their complaints from Bang Bang or Kick or Dhoom 3 directly from those reviews and into Happy New Year. Apparently EVERY movie that's not The Lunchbox or Haider has a) no story, b) hammy acting, and c) is stupid. OKAY WE GET IT YOU'RE TOO CLASSY FOR MAINSTREAM FILMS. The way some of these critics act, it's like they hold the audience personally responsible for laughing. If only we didn't want to just relax and enjoy ourselves with Golmaal 3 or something then ONLY "QUALITY" FILMS WOULD GET MADE.

(Raja Sen points to an issue I heard from somebody who saw the film--what's with all the gay jokes? Is it just that Shahrukh just LOVES his gay jokes? It's been at least ten years since Kantaben and like seven since Dostana. Is implied gayness still that hilarious? Or should we call in Dr. Freud?)


Moimeme said...

You know, there's one aspect of Hindi film critics' reviews that I haven't seen mentioned anywhere, so I'll bring it up. With all their references to "Hollywood" and how only quality films are made/appreciated there, etc., they seem completely unaware that (a) the biggest money making films are not exactly "quality", meaning the people in the enlightened west are as much in search of pure entertainment as the unwashed masses of India; and (b)western reviewers don't dump on a film just *because* it is made to entertain rather than educate. They review the superhero films and animated kids flicks with the same seriousness and respect as they do for the Oscar bait ones. Heck, they even treat films like Bodyguard with respect and seriousness, and even appreciate them for what they're trying to do. And they never, never, lament the imminent demise of western culture and civilization, nor abuse the audiences for their brainlessness because the Oscar winning film of the year finished at No. 62 at the box office (12 Years a Slave). So, if they want "Hollywood" style films and audiences, how about starting by becoming "Hollywood like" critics first?

Filmi Girl said...

+1 to everything. :)

Apex said...

I don't know but I don't watch South Indian flicks --don't understand the language etc --maybe I'm missing a lot but I don't have any capacity for more 'data' right now lol
Good point by moimeme about the 'Hollywood like reviewer' --yeah it's a crap snobbish pseuodointellectual ghetto out there of such 'reviewers'

Btw the continued 'neglect' of this flick here and elsewhere is irking me

Seminal saif there (& a flick up my street --literally!)

Ahh with that off my chest --lemme tackle another one

Not sure what this film is (and who this 'actress' is since she is interesting? Can someone tell us --it's a mystery ?)
A regulation bog standard 'bread n butter' song --it's just that I like the 'butter' here --oops that was a bad one (even by my standards!)
enjoy folks...

Unknown said...

Why blame the critics, when a mainstream actor of nearly two decades, Saif Ali Khan says stuff like this:

Snobby SydneySider said...

Congrats filmi girl!

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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