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Showing posts from 2010

Filmi Secret Santa: The Twelve Days of Desai

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Inspired by Temple's collection in last year's Filmi Secret Santas , I put together a little Manmohan Desai-specific treat for my giftee, Raja Sen . Click on the picture to go to a zoomable pdf on google docs, and be sure to read from the bottom up. Or, for those who want to get new lyrics lodged in their head right away (and please sing it Muppet style): Twelve fun disguises, Eleven baddies scheming, Ten lords a-leaping, Nine ladies dancing, Eight helpful critters, Seven pairs of fab boots, Six modes of transport, Fiiiiiiiiive Kapoooooooooors, Four sad Nirupas, Three long-lost brothers, Two healed eyeballs, and Aaaaaamitabh in a booootttle! Wishing you everything merry and bright, my Bolly loves!

Tees Maar Khan

Before I get to the movie itself, I want to try to figure out what Farah Khan and/or her marketing staff's game is about this film being a very blatant remake of After the Fo x - which I just watched yesterday, and believe me, TMK is at least 60% the same as it unreels, in addition to the almost identical basic story. I haven't been paying attention to the kerfuffle, but from what I gather she originally denied that TMK was inspired by ATF but then later admitted it was a remake, and an official one at that . What a strange way to handle it: if you've got the rights to remake a film, then why not just say that that is what you're doing? Why not stop negative rumors right away and be proud you've done the right thing by going about it legally and ethically? On to the film! There's a broad spectrum of performance and writing possibilities between "less is more" and "broad as the day is long," and while it is unfair to ask this movie to be

mini-reviews: Udaan and Loins of Punjab Presents

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Good heavens it's been a quiet few weeks at Beth Loves Bollywood! I have, however, been doing tons of work for the Masala Zindabad podcast (and blog ) with Amrita , much of which has not aired yet. As episodes air, I hope also to write here about the films I watched in preparation for them - which means in the next few months there will be pieces on Love Sex aur Dhokha and Ishqiya (finally!), a romp through some early 70s Telugu films, and even something by a certain megastar. The other significant reason for my absence is that my actual job is eating me alive and will probably continue to do so until mid-February. But! I have managed to see a few things here and there. Udaan was barely on my radar until Cinema Chaat posted about it and I thought "Oh yeah, the one that screened at Cannes"! I should probably duck for cover as I write this, but I found Udaan predictable and corny despite what I think were extremely good intentions and some careful filmmaking. It lo

mini-reviews: Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey and Siddhartha

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If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all? Fine. I'll keep this short. Yesterday I saw both Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Se y and Siddhartha and have little praise for either despite my love of the male leads and historical topics. Worst thing first: Siddhartha. Conrad Rooks's 1972 adaptation of the Herman Hesse novel of the same name (which I haven't read) is mind-numbingly boring and inelegant. The script seems to be nothing - and I mean nothing - but the Big Moments and Deep Thoughts of the title character, who is a solipsistic, egotistical whiner on a life-long search for meaning. The story bounces from one trite "life decision" to another, sprinkled with philosophies cribbed from Dove Promises wrappers (for my non-American readers, these are chocolates wrapped in foil printed with gems from the worst self-help advice book for the most pathetic stereotype of a middle-aged soccer mom you can imagine). I couldn't decide if I liked most of

Filmi Secret Santa Project

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It's baaaaack! Remember in grade school (or in my case, high school French class) when you'd get assigned to be someone's Secret Santa and give them little presents for a week? And trying to figure out who gave you that cardboard book of Life Savers? So fun! I hereby invite you to participate in a Filmi Secret Santa program, and the rules are thus: Presents will be virtual - digital image collages, videos, song re-writes, new script ideas, poetic tributes, etc. In order to get presents, you have to give at least one. That is, to be assigned as someone's recipient, you will also get a recipient. The number of presents each Santa gives is up to them. Keeping your identity secret for a week or so somehow seems more fun. Obviously this could be tricky over email, but I will happily run interference if you want to send me your present and I pass it on to your recipient with the sender's details omitted. To participate, email me your name, email address, an

Chunaoti

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Somehow I imagined Chunaoti was going to be Neetu Singh's film - a story focusing on her character, driven by her decisions and needs, the important actions decided and performed by her. Silly me. It's at least as much Feroz Khan's film. I'll say this: if Neetu Singh is going to be upstaged, I'm glad it's by my #1 favorite macho-yet-vulnerable swaggering badass from Hindi films of yore, ably assisted by #3 (#2 being Shatrughan Sinha). Both Neetu (Roshni) and Feroz (Vijay) have a score to settle with dacoit Ajay (Danny Denzongpa), and the more description is added to their situations, the more evident it was that Roshni's arc would never drive this story. In the time-honored way, Chunaoti 's prologue before the opening credits narrates the historical connection of one of the protagonists to the villain. But in this case it's only the heroine whose life is long ago shattered by the the villain, with no trace of either Feroz or his extended fami