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Showing posts from March, 2007

All this and she approves of my FPMBF? What a pal!

You know how when you like a thing, and get all excited about the thing, and you try to get your friends all excited too, and they're all "No thanks, but I'm happy for you" so you finally give up and just enjoy your new thing all on your own? And then two years later the most unyielding of them goes with you to an Indian restaurant in London and the restaurant is playing a song DVD of hits from 2005 or something? And then the really friendly staff chats with you about how it's kind of amazing that you know all these songs and that you like them, and then they actually give you the DVD right out of the player and let you take it home with you? And then a few weeks later your unyielding friend says "Hey have you watched that DVD that the staff of Light of India gave you yet?" and you say "Oh, I totally forgot!" and then you put it in and proceed to dance about for half an hour, and then she likes it so much that you lend her your only other song…

So it's either today, Friday, or next week, but anyway, let's all wish Akshaye, shall we?

It would be decidedly inappropriate to gather up all the pictures just at the moment, since I'm at work and all, so in the meantime, please join Michael and me in fêting our favorite Bollywood boy. Acting-wise, he has never let us down, even when material and peers around him stink. He wears his pleather and hip-hop ensembles with a knowing, barely-perceptible tongue in cheek. He smiles without mugging. He's funny without mania. He arm-flings without flailing. All that and coming through the bubble song with his dignity in tact. I don't know how he does it.

thither lies someone else's review of Chokher Bali

Yeah! What she said!

I need to just get over feeling sheepish and stupid when I don't like a serious flim that most people seem to think is wonderful and important and finely crafted.* But I didn't like this movie at all, and I happily admit this is probably because I did not remotely understand it (nothing to do with subtitles - lots of voice-over narration that I couldn't follow). Very pretty to look at, though, with heaps of visual deatails showing the influences and pulls of the various cultures and traditions in nineteenth-century Calcutta. Anyway, Filmi Geek, who was my viewing companion, has nailed the movie's problems very well; she and I had a chat going while we watched the movie and both kept typing "WTF" and "Pause! I need to go back!"**

* There's probably a discussion to be had here about terms like serious and art film and Bollywood, but I tend not to be interested in those discussions, even though I use the terms and thrived in my f…

And he does his little turn on the catwalk...

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and is far, far too sexy.


via Now Running via Michael

Trishul

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Sometimes knowledge finds you at just the right time. Not two minutes ago I was emailing with Desi Dancer about how to capture the feeling of "listen up, bitches" in Hindi.

So, quality-control team at EROS (or the whole company, whatever): suno, saala. What exactly do you think you're doing putting out crap like this? I can deal with your idiot boasting about your role in promoting Bollywood. I can deal with the Tilda basmati folks (to be honest, I love the flying cauliflower). I can deal with all your ads for things I already know about.

But I cannot watch a movie with subtitles that cover, at best, 20% of what's being said and generally whimper along without the joy of complete sentences. The following list is just a sample of what you subjected me to under the guise of subtitled dialogue (with / indicating a new screen). All of these accompany lines spoken by one character in between speeches by other characters, which I assume is a pretty standard unit of dialogue…

Fore!

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(Trishul, 1978)

Sharmeelee

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Note: I tried really hard to write this without referring to too many plot points, but I just couldn't make it work, so if you don't want to know what happens in the movie, don't read any further. But you won't leave empty-handed. Enjoy this!


I really don't know what to make of this movie, but I also don't know if that matters, because most of it is really fun to watch. Visually it's lovely, with pretty locales, pretty people (Shashi Kapoor and Rakhee x 2), and an endless rainbow parade of fashion (I took over 100 screen captures, so if you want more, just let me know).



I'm a big fan of both lead actors, and both deserve praise for handling with ease the varying components of their characters. Despite how much there was going on in the movie, with plot twists every fifteen minutes or so, I never felt that the characters themselves lurched. Shashi plays the good-natured but not-too-perfect Ajit with oodles of charm and truthful emotion; Rakhee gives diffe…

Akshaye v. Shashi, round 1: Shashi

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I just stopped by my local Indian grocery store - Annapoorna, whose website I have just discovered and am happy to pitch, because the store has provided me no end of happiness - in search of the 70s classic Deewar. The alphabetizing gods were smiling today and I quickly found it and had a momentary burst of joy before realizing it was the 2004 one and grumpily shoving it back on the shelf.

Yes. You heard right. I was disappointed to find an Akshaye Khanna movie. This is what a budding love of Shashi Kapoor can do to a person. And anyway, I can't watch that Deewaar without Babasko - it wouldn't be right.

So instead I got Trishul. As I checked out my movie, I mentioned to the owner - I have got to ask him his name, but every time I think to do it I get panicked and shy - that I had just discovered Shashi and was excited to see this movie. "Oh yes," he said, "He is very good. Very good. His dancing was very good. But now...he has gotten fat, fat...." Ever quick …

Whoever said German wasn't a romantic language?

So I was reading Paint It Pink about...well, Shashi, probably, and also a post about Disco Dancer, and the Google translator had no idea what to do with the word Schnuffig (and it also thinks post, as in a post on a blog, is "post office." ). So I called in the author, and she explained:Schnuffig (and I don't think you'll find that in a dictionary ...) means cute, cuddly, sweet, adorable etc. It's usually used in combination with a high-pitched squeeking sound :D The noun is Schnuffel and totally applies to crumpety guys like Shashi or Siddharth. Hm, crumpet could be a good translation for Schnuffel, actually ...See? My new plan to brush up on my German is totally working.

This word is way better than...anything, really. I plan to put it to use immediately, probably in my upcoming post office about Sharmilee, in which Shashi is überschnuffig.

happy birthday Rani Mukerji

Whom I love even more than Shashi - even more than Akshaye, actually, on a purely performance-related scale. Even if her only good performance was Babli, I would love her forever. Fortunately there's Yuva and Black and Paheli and Hum Tum and Mujhse Dosti Karoge! and.... She's crazy talented and she makes me laugh. Right on, Rani!

(There seems to be a slew of late March birthdays. I'm not sure I can keep up [I only knew of this one via Michael] but there's one more I will be sure to mark....)

happy birthday Shashi Kapoor

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Behold! A gallery of neckware! So close to SRK's Don's pattern-on-pattern look*, yet so much less stupid, even though ordinarily I wouldn't think that paisley on polka-dot-and-different-paisley would work.




For more, please visit MissionBAS's ode to Shashi fashion or the true shocking story of his ties.

Since I knew Rishi and Shammi first, I never thought I'd have a Kapoor on the FPMBF list. But so it is. Encouraged by Babasko, Kaddele (who may also be celebrating his birthday, I hear), and Filmi Geek, I officially have a crush on Shashi - alhtough it's historical, since that's how I know him. It's a little bit the eyelashes and a lot the curls, but even more I just think he's really good, even though I've only seen him in three things. So far I am impressed by his handling the masala lurches from serious to loony, and in Doosra Aadmi his performance is so charasmatic that you can't help but understand why Rakhee blindly searches for someone j…

a little gutsy: Doosra Aadmi

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I think this movie was about forgiveness (of both self and others), or maybe temptation, or recognizing the flaws in one's sense of reality, but I'm not sure. The question I've been thinking about all day is what it meant to say by including small, simple scenes of things you don't see very often in popular Hindi films - not making a big production out of being shocking but just showing adults, both younger and older, making decisions without thinking them through as far as they should have. Some characters demonstrate a lot more id than responsibility and others are self-sacrificing, and generally these behaviors coincide with values that are basically categorized as modern or traditional.* Yet I don't think the movie is saying "non-traditional is bad, look what happens to people when women stay single and have jobs alongside men, look what happens when a couple gets married without parental approval." There's something about the everyday-ness (at le…

"Aaya India"

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This morning I finally watched the "Aaya India" video and I was actually moved by watching Shahrukh charge forward with the flag and found myself feeling a little bit peppy after the song finished. Somehow I am so won over by SRK's charisma-oozing shenanigans that I got a little bit excited about a sporting event - even though I don't know the first thing about cricket (except that there's a position called silly mid-on, which sounds exactly like it was made up by Monty Python) and I'm not from the country whose team is being sappily and a bit hurrah-for-the-homeland-edly advanced. I mean, he's literally flag-waving, which I hate, and I cannot imagine any Hollywood actors in any such video having any effect on me other than "urgh" and changing the channel. Usually celebrities pointing at me and trying to get me to feel or do something is annoying.

Maybe the song taps into a Lagaan-ish ability to spin India and cricket as noble and righteous. Ther…

Pip pip for Paint It Pink!

There are many reasons that I love Paint It Pink and its author (upon meeting her in Vienna, I do believe I may have gushed to her that she is a genius) - the OMG, the pink, the creativity, the giggling, the encouragement of love for Shashi Kapoor - but for starters, I'll share this Disco Dancer-themed post, which caught my fancy today.

I realize that the published rounds of "you're so great" "no, you are" stemming from the PEIBBM might be getting wearisome to some readers, but you're just going to have to forgive me because I'm having a long day and I need some cheering, and reading Kaddele's posts is just what Akshaye has suggested I spend my afternoon doing, since he's working and won't be home until late.

I went to Vienna for the Pan-European International Bollywood Blogger Meeting and all I got was a bunch of superwow friends

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...although to be honset I am excited about the t-shirt. Seriously, they're making t-shirts.*

So I'm back home, and while it offers comforts like my dog, a coffee maker I know how to use, and my very own bed, it is sadly lacking in crazed German-speaking Bollywood fans. I know, I know, that's no way to live. These people are fantastic - and completely out of their minds (I know they will take this in the complimentary and awe-struck spirit in which it is meant).

Maybe it's because I haven't seen any of my Chambana friends yet, but I'm a little down in the dumps today, missing all these new friends and feeling very disconnected from everything. This happens most of the times I travel, and on the plane from London to Chicago yesterday I found myself wondering what nationality has to do with one's sense of where one belongs - and then quickly decided that it must vary from person to person and that it is perfectly okay to feel that you belong in many different p…

meetup day, part 4

"WICKED."

No translation needed.

meetup day, part 3

I'm sitting next to Kaddele and she is a hoot and a half (if not more), as demonstrated by her cheering for the entrance of Mrs. Kakkad. And I notice that Michael is posting sounds as well as images of the gathering. It's getting a bit meta around here - a group of people who like Indian movies and write/read about them are sitting together watching an Indian movie and writing and reading about that very same event.

This is way too much fun. There must be an English-language meetup and soon, geography schmeography.

"Ich bin da." Tee hee.

You know, the two worst things about my crap German are 1) the folks here probably think I'm a sad-sack wallflower, since I mostly just try to listen as carefully as possible and don't join in conversations because I can't, and, more importantly, 2) I am not able to get to know these wonderful people whom I have no doubt would all be good friends if only I could communicate with them. Fortunately, I can pick up on the very s…

meetup day, part 2

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It's 2:15. We're all in one of Babasko's classrooms and she has distributed laptops for anyone who wants to post live. It is ridiculously techy in here, with over half of the 22 people typing away. We just got back from wandering the Naschmarkt and gathering food for lunch. I have opted for Haribo gummi cherries and a diet coke - no one can say I don't represent my homeland.

Main Hoon Na has begun! Michael, who is right in front of me, has already started chair-dancing (and he stole a gummi cherry, but I totally forgive him). It is important to note here that the subtitles are going to be auf Deutsch. I hope to take this as a learning opportunity, since I know the movie well enough not to need any help.

And by the way, in our carrom game, I got only one disk in until the very end, when I got the rani. Consider it broughten.


We're 20 minutes in or so now and it is weird to see these characters speaking German. They sound exactly the same as always, but the text at the…

meetup day, part 1

Even though the brave Babasko and her very supportive, generous, and funny non-FPM true-for-real SO had announced their home would be open at 8:00 for morning visitors - and not edited the time after last night's rather longish dinner at a Sri Lankan restaurant - it was almost 9:oo before anyone showed up, giving us time to do last-minute scrambling and food prep. I say "we," though all I did was chop strawberries for the filling for Babasko's scrummy Austrian crepes, the name of which she has told me twice but I have forgotten. It's almost 11:00 now and there are at least 14 people here. Bollywood Fugly readers please note that somehow we are all color-coordinated, in neutrals puncuated with blue and orange (how Blogger chic, or Illinois chic, even, though I will not try to explain that to the people here).

I have absolutely no idea what people are talking about - or who everyone is, as the nametags the Vienna crew made on Wednesday night at Cafe Coffee Day (the …

give me your Bachchans, your Khans, your huddled masses yearning to make jokes about Johnny Lever

Alright, North Americans, and anyone else who wants to: we officially have to have a Bollwood blog writers/readers meetup. Soon. I don't care where, although preferably someplace like Chicago or New York or London that can be relied on to have several screens of Hindi films to watch. I only ask that it be primarily in English, because these Deutsch-wallahs are clearly having a grand old time and I can only understand bits of it. (Think about it. How fantastic would an English-language meetup be? I mean, it's the language of the Hindi film industry and often the lingua franca of India as a whole. It's the language of London, which everyone says is the best place outside of Mumbai for Bolly happenings. It's the language of the random ridiculous expressions in the movies.) Okay, yeah, so what I really want is a meetup that does not make me wish I could ask everyone to submit their witty comments in writing and accompanied by a dictionary (Wörterbuch - that one I know) and…

ein bißchen zusammen

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I am in the very. same. room. as Maria, MissionBas, and liebling Michael, otherwise known as Bollwoodblog.de (who has already posted pictures) - and Babasko too, of course, though that is old news by this point and I'm beginning to take it for granted.

It is superwow already.

Update to post (later that night): here we are! Thanks to Michael for the picture. Und ja, I am making a weird scrunchy face - a classic example of why, when the camera is on the timer, you do not move one teeny bit until you hear the click.


Kaddele, Maria, Michael, Beth, Barbara

Now that's a good cup of tea!

Thanks muchly to Cutting the Chai for naming BLB their eleventh Issspecial! Cutting the Chai is home of many a good thing, including a link to old soap commercials featuring Vinod and Akshaye in their hairier and more unsubtly sex god days.

update from Vienna

where I am sitting in the flat of the fabulous Ms. Babasko and listening to soundtracks. We watched Nuvvostanante Nenoddantana with the adorable Siddharth last night, which I will do a proper write-up of later - the keyboards here are arranged differently and I cannot keep track of where the apostrophe and dash are and I imagine readers have only so much patience for surprise ß and ö - but for now just be happy that there is a popular Indian film that includes "Oh Baby Baby" in it (announcing the seductress, appropriately).

Also, I just read that Rediff wants readers to vote for the sexiest Bollywood actress in honor of Women's Day on March 8, and they accompany the article with a picture of a dripping wet Bipasha Basu in a white shirt. Shame, Rediff. I'd like to think that they are just embracing women's right to be sexual and to control their own bodies and images, but somehow I doubt it. It smacks of skank, frankly. If they really wanted to honor women in Bolly…

it's in the bag

Or rather it is a bag, because I just got back from Ganesha, where I scored the aforementioned SRK-printed handbag. It is everything I hoped it would be - though puzzling to non-Bollywood fans, as Melina will attest. The shop owner and I had a grand time chatting about movies and celebrities - about which we seem to have the same taste from everything from Salman (no) to Baghban (ugh) to Disco Dancer's "Bang Bang" song (yes definitely) to Saif's health problems (tragic; she intimated that he's on steroids - now Saif, don't make me send Dr. Abby after you). Anyway, she was fantastic, and so is her shop, and I only regret that I zoomed off to the British Museum before remembering to take pictures of the outside of the store with its SRK mural.

Anyhoo. London is too full of other attractions for me to squeeze in any more Bollywood, but I'll survive. And go on to Vienna, which will be so full-on Bollywood there will hardly be time to sleep. Ta luvies - and see…