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Showing posts from November, 2006

signed, sealed, delivered

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In the mail this weekend I received a nicely designed and very academic-looking newsletter from the University of Chicago South Asian Studies Center , the lovely and whip-smart folks who organized our pre-Fulbright seminar orientation this summer. Now look how the newsletter was addressed. Somebody, somewhere, likes me.

I wonder if anyone has written a thesis on this? Amar Akbar Anthony

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This movie is a hoot. It's got such a gleeful mix of everything I hardly knew what to expect next - except, of course, that the family would be reunited, since it was clear from the get-go that there was heavy moral order going on here. You don't dump your kids off at the feet of Gandhi on Indian Independence Day if you're going to be noncommittal about how things wind up. Since there's no possible way that I have anything to say about this movie that hasn't already been said, I'll just say that it's really fun and everyone in it is great and then share a few of my favorite things: Vinod Khanna is so cool he can snap on the interrogation lights. This has got to be my favorite Amitabh fight scene ever. And this might just be my favorite Amitabh scene of any kind ever because he's so very, very funny. On second thought, wait. I do have something else to say - or, rather, ask. For reasons that are still not entirely clear, even after a solid 24 hou

we always hurt the ones we love; or, a turkey a day early

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So awhile back I was on MTV Desi 's "The Big Picture" to talk about Aap Ki Khatir . My handler was off that week so I had to get ready for the show all on my own, and since it was on an MTV channel, I figured, hey, why not do what all the American kids - and that Britney Spears girl's husband, he seems happenin' - seem to do these days: put on something vaguely hip-hop and an I'm-so-cool-that-I'm-bored attitude. Voila! The all-white and the chains and the Caesar hair are all that and a bag of magic masala chips , na? I know Beth has a new outlet for her opinions on what I wear and all , but I figured since she doesn't even have cable,* she'd never spot this one. Anyway, what does she know about being a movie star making promotional apperances? Nada. It pains me that because of this outfit I can actually compare him to Britney's ex (and well played, Britney, actually).** He looks like a Saturday Night Live parody of George Clooney prepping

research question #2

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My friend Teleport City wants to know: who is blue dude in the middle? And also, Electric Vindaloo is an awesome name for an album. I'm really sad I didn't think of it. Update to post (October 1, 2007): Teleport City has found the answer! Well, almost, anyway. The blue dude comes from Dharmendra-starrer Saazish (1975). Bravo!

not additionally spicy

I just discovered Dishant.com and am listening to "Saiyan Dil Mein Aana Re," a remix that includes strains of "Wannabe." I admit to liking the Spice Girls, even if not as much as I like Bollywood, but I'm pretty sure this is wrong somehow, probalby because the singers sound very clipped and proper, as opposed to the broad, attempting-cheeky tones of the Spice Girls. I cannot believe I am analyzing the musical style of the Spice Girls.

compare/contrast: Umrao Jaan and Bethelein

Abby and I saw Umrao Jaan today. I thought it was very pretty and not as bad as various reviews had led me to believe. I only looked at my watch once, and that was partly because I had to leave town not long after the end of the movie and was trying to figure out if I would have enough time after it finished to grab a quick bite to eat. It was sad, but not excessively so; it had a leisurely pace, but not excessively so; it had gorgeous costumes, excessively so, in a good way; it had footage proving why Abhishek deserves any and all "sexiest XYZ" list titles, and I can always use more of those. [Pause to think about Abhishek. Damn. ] I don't have anything else in particular to say about it. As Umrao began her courtesan training, I found myself thinking, "Wow, I'm sure glad I wasn't taken away from my parents' house and plonked down in a school for companions of the rich and powerful." (Good thing, too; the instructors would never make back their in

close, but still one click away from my actual post

Finally I have gotten around to writing something over at Bollywoodbloggers . Maybe now Michael will say something cute about me again. I have such a platonic international crush on him (a list which is taking on alarming proportions lately, must do something about that). Tomorrow is Umrao Jaan at the art theater. I'm so excited to see all the pretty on the big screen even though everyone says the movie is terrible.

The family Thanksgiving get-together this year is going to be awk-ward: Parvarish*

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I won't lie. I ordered this movie from a nehaflix sale bin because I wanted to see my FPMFIL again. It's been awhile since Muqaddar Ka Sikandar and...I miss him. And I swear it has nothing to do with the insanely tight flared trousers. But every girl's crazy 'bout a sharp-dressed bad boy with a coconut-shell grenade, na? What I enjoyed most about this movie, apart from the delightfully masala plot and thoroughly effective cast, were our two fun-lovin' heroines, who showed considerable oomph, their questionable ethics notwithstanding. They have two great dance numbers, one in which they rip off the citizens of Mumbai while wearing crazy 70s patched pants and one in which they dance with guns on a stage decorated with guns and famous buildings of India. The guns, in context, make perfect sense; the buildings do not, but I really like them and would gladly prop a few up in my yard. There are many details in this movie that should not be overlooked, such as t

Forget the 1978 original - what about the nod to Raja Hindustani?!? Don: The Chase Begins Again

[spoilers ahead] Two nagging points out of the way first, because if I don't express them I'm going to lose it. 1) I know this isn't a problem unique to this film, and if I watched more action movies I could spout off a host of other examples, but: why, why, why must the police be such awful shots? Obviously DeSilva wasn't always going to be on the target we expect, but everyone else? And why does no one shoot out the tires of escape vehicles? And wouldn't prisoners on a transport plane have handcuffs on? {Babli voice}What crap!{/Babli voice} 2) If anyone remotely connected to the Hindi film industry is reading this, I'm begging you, please get someone to proofread the subtitles. It's instead of its , you"re instead of you're (as a twist on the mistake you'd expect), and, a personal favorite, Deepu education will be taken care of . I'll do it for free. Just email them to me and I can turn them around in forty-eight hours. Like Filmiholic

so clearly my big Bollywood break will have to be as a playback singer

I just giggled my way through a Bollywood workout DVD. I am a bad dancer. That's about all there is to say. At one point, trying to do some kind of hip-roll move that I'm sure is supposed to be alluring, an image of Main Hoon Na 's Ms. Kakkad flashed in front of my eyes and I had to pause the DVD for a mo to collect myself. The nice instructor on the video said not to worry if at first you find some of the moves difficult, as practice makes perfect; she did not, however, say what to do if you remind yourself of a ridiculous comic side character. I've always assumed I was one of life's sidekicks, and usually I'm perfectly okay with that. It's just that one would like to be able to muster the teensiest bit of dance-based allure should one find oneself in a situation that called for it. That must be one of the things I like about Bollywood - generally, people fare very well in dance-based situations, and if they don't, it's often becuase they deserve i

resistance is futile; or, happy birthday, SRK

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For days I've been thinking about what I want to say about the man - the legend [that's a joke from my trip this summer, by the way, which you can read about here if you're curious] - on this, his forty-first birthday, and I still don't have it figured out. What do you say about someone that you adore even though the more artistically discriminating part of your brain raises an eyebrow in reproof and says "Really? That guy? The one pretending to rap to 'Pretty Woman'?" I even put him on my list of top five embarassing crushes last year. Kuch Kuch Hota Hai was my first SRK movie and I very clearly remember thinking that Anjali must be out of her mind and then being a little relieved when Salman's Aman first came on the screen, as he was actually comprehensibly attractive, whereas that guy with the weird nose was so obnoxious and cheesey. I mean, I actually said to myself, "Ah, that's better" after Salman hit the dance floor. But a

Khan-nundrum

In praise of all things Dharmendra-related (IPATDR?) has tagged me to list my four favorite Khans. This is not only a good warm-up for tomorrow's birthday celebration for SRK, but also a question that many Bollywood fan has no doubt pondered to herself, rising naturally as it does from the ubiquity of Khans. Here are all the Khans I can think of off the top of my head (and have seen in at least one movie): Aamir Shahrukh Saif Ali Salman Zayed Fardeen Amjad Kader But you know what? I'm going to start my list at number four with Farah Khan. The world would be a much more drab and boring place without the incomparable awesomeness of Ms. Khan. I love her. I love her for Main Hoon Na alone; but then there's Paheli 's puppet dance and Koi Mil Gaya 's ode to "Singin' in the Rain" and Asoka 's steaminess and Kal Ho Naa Ho 's "Maahi Ve" and Dil Chahta Hai and Monsoon Wedding and...and.... You get the drift. She's fantastic. I don'