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Showing posts from August, 2007

see it for Vijay Raaz: Raghu Romeo

Raghu Romeo is an funny little film I stumbled across on Jaman. Despite having read a bit about its writer/director, Rajat Kapoor, somehow I'd never heard a thing about it - and I hope if any of you have seen it, you'll post in with your thoughts on it. Raghu (Vijay Raaz - yay!) is a waiter in a dance bar, where he quietly defends dancer Sweety (Saddiya Siddiqui) from over-attentive attentions from a bhai (Saurabh Shukla). But his energies are elsewhere - mainly channeled into staring at his tv dream girl, soap opera star Reshma (Maria Goretti). The paths of all four cross, and both wacky antics and commentary on fantasy and celebrity ensue.

While I'll give it a solid A for effort, for me this movie came off as lopsided. Sometimes it was clever and biting - a laughing club is the backdrop for an attempted assassination, an imaginary song-and-dance routine breaks out on a tv set - but other times it just went nowhere or had major plot elements that were inexplicable (and not…

wrong place, wrong time: Jab Jab Phool Khile

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Update (November 16, 2007): Post-Punk Cinema Club has written exactly what I what I wish I had. In retrospect I really chickened out with what I wrote, and while I still find this movie very frustrating, I keep coming back to what PPCC said: "They always said the devil would be like this."

[spoilers ahead]

I am, that is, not the movie. There's a lot I dislike about this movie, but before you yell at me, understand that I realize that I'm not the audience it was made for. The intended setting, I assume, is India in 1965, not the US in 2007. (What sectors of the Indian film audience it was aimed at, I'd love to know.) I don't mean to use the differences in setting as an excuse for not trying to understand the movie on its own terms - but that's a different thing from me in my own context liking the message it holds in its own context.

Some background, in case you haven't seen the original (or its retelling, Raja Hindustani): rich, modern girl Rita (Nanda) …

Kabhi Kabhie

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Yash Chopra
adjective (Yash Chopra-ier, so much of Yash Chopra)
• beautiful and stylish; romantic and dreamy; indulgent of emotion; using dramatic elements without going overboard: This film is delightfully Yash Chopra, as it maintains a delicate balance among its potentially ridiculous plot elements, such as a poet with unrequited love, an adoption, and an endangered engagement.*And that would just about describe it. Kabhi Kabhie is all of the above - and everything I hope for in a Yash Chopra movie.

The cast deserves special note. We've all seen big movies packed with big names and they disappoint, either because they're under-used or the actors turn in uninteresting (or even bad) performances. That is very much not the case in Kabhi Kabhie. This movie has three of my most favorite people from past decades - Shashi Kapoor, Neetu Singh, and Rakhee Gulzar - and they and everyone else do a fantastic job. Shashi is smiling and breezy but not careless or unfeeling. Amitabh is broodi…

fun with curly-haired girls

From a watch-along of "O Hasina Zulfonwali" (starring Shammi and Helen) with Filmi Geek....



BLB: Look at these ladies' awesome hairdos!!!

FG: Isn't it faboo?

BLB: most certainly
BLB: one of those ladies looks a bit like a drag queen
BLB: in a good way
BLB: lots of makeup
BLB: oh the shiny jacket

FG: It was when Helen started coming down the stairs that I exclaimed "the 60s are awesome"

BLB: There's very little to dislike about the 60s.
BLB: this girl lying on the curve - that's funny and random
BLB: Is he playing THE SPOONS?
BLB: Does that say ROCKY?
BLB: Does she have giant tulle pants?
BLB: WOW

FG: Shammi's character's name is Rocky

BLB: of course it is
BLB: I should have guessed.

FG: look at the mariachis
FG: so random

BLB: look at the eyeliner

FG: It's at least eight kinds of awesome, this song

BLB: look at the girls in red and green with pink hats
BLB: at least
BLB: oh em gee
BLB: is that a giant eye?

FG: I think we've identified ten or twelve kinds alr…

random assortment

1) Today I went to my local Indian grocery store in search of Shashi Kapoor movies, and the nice owner even offered to let me search his database if I had titles in mind (I didn't, other than Junoon, which he doesn't have). The down side of this story is that because I was going in to work this afternoon and needed cheering, I decided to wear my "I'm famous in Bollywood" t-shirt (a gift from my BFF). So I pull up to the grocery store and then realize what a moron I look like, so I had to do all my browsing with my arms crossed. Classy.

2) I got an update from Jo of Ganesha about her chat with SRK (first mentioned here)
So, we met King Khan yesterday. He’s small + sweet and quite human really - if not more pussycat than tiger! I thought I would be too too terrified, but actually, I was in a state of zen calm. When the presenter invited us to get a bit closer, I even managed a bit of cheek + asked "how close are we allowed?" Despite the cheek + the mom…

Aaja aaja!

Courtesy of the superwow Pardon My Hindi, I just learned that in her song "Jimmy," M.I.A. samples "Jimmy Jimmy" from Disco Dancer - and, even better, the video is...well, even better, complete with 80s graphics, a Bollywood backup dancer army, shiny lycra dresses, pouting, and what I take to be nods to Charlie's Angels and classical sculpture kitsch.

pretty pretty please

Bollywood or not, I luuuuuurve Monsoon Wedding. It's one of my favorite movies of any type, any language, any story, any whatever. Now I'm in desperate need of the text of the lyrics to "Mehndi / Madhorama Pencha" - I'm in a women's choir that does music from around the world and we'd really love to arrange that piece for our group. I loaned my director the movie awhile ago and she fell in love with the song too. If you can help, you can put them in the the comments of this post, email me (bethlovesbollywood at gmail dot com), or post them on the BollyWHAT lyrics forum here. If the song is in Hindi, which I'm not sure of, you can send the lyrics in Devanagari, even, and I'll work through them slowly but surely.

research question #4

Our friend Jo at Ganesha has just informed me that she has secured an interview slot with one Mr. Shahrukh Khan at the Chak De India festivities in London. She has graciously invited questions from readers of this very blog. So...post away - maybe your words will fall upon theeyebrowsnose ears!

Jo, if you're at a loss for words, you could always tell him about Mini Khan...or would that be creepy as hell? It's a fine line, really.