Showing posts from May, 2010

Dayavan: what went wrong?

[Spoilers!] "Why isn't this working?" I thought to myself, as I pressed play on Dayavan on attempt #4 to finish it. It wasn't so awful that I gave up entirely, but now that it's over, I'm frustrated that it raised some thought-provoking (if, er, "classic") questions without doing anything very interesting with them. Principally, I think (though am not absolutely certain) the film says that it's perfectly okay to be a lawless vigilante thug if you've been abused by the system. That's not my personal code; worse, it just makes the already bleak world of this film even more distressing and dangerous, and the only person who seems to question the dangerous choices is the person who suffers most. Shakti Velu/Dayavan (Vinod Khanna) thinks his life was thrown off the standard moral grid when he was still a child, when he is first lied to, then betrayed, then made an orphan by some fantastically awful police officers. All alone in the world

Cha Cha Cha! Bahut Accha! Award: you can't make this stuff up

HRH Pitu Sultan has brought to my attention a very Friday-appropriate song that leaves me speechless. Behold the glittery disco spy tap dance top hat totem pole garter belt silver geometric set pieces cowboy hats tuxedo pants random Superman oversized golden gun that shoots dancers WONDER that is "Udi Baba Udi Baba" from Vidhaata (1982): As if all that weren't enough, Tom Alter is in there! Of course, somebody/bodies actually did make this stuff up, and to them I am eternally grateful. Don't know about you, but I'm about 1000% more ready for the weekend than I was before I watched this.

Khanna-o-Rama: Romance Restored

When we left off at Bollyviewer's site (this post won't make sense unless you read hers first): the SMILE coalition was all but forced out of CHARM by the Vinod-led SMOULDER faction. SMOULDER wanted the men of India to simply scowl, storm around, and spit at their lady loves. Some of the leading heroes and all of the villains were following Viond's lead, relieved to finally find a romance technique that would work for them since they were unable to master the subtle, gentle, thoughtful style of the SMILE coalition, led by Shashi Kapoor and practiced to great effect by his newphew Rishi, Jeetendra, and Rajesh Khanna. Even leading middle-ground proponents like Dharmendra and Amitabh Bachchan were finding it hard to resist Vinod's arguments...well, his angry mutterings more than proper logic-based statements, but when he rode up carrying rifles, it was hard to stand up to him. Shashi headed to Delhi to consult with the PM and apprise her of the formal split i

Doli Saja Ke Rakhna

This might be the shortest Khanna-related film review I ever write. What I learned from watching Doli Saja Ke Rakhna (apparently a remake of Aniyathi Pravu ) is to be careful what you wish for: I'd been looking forward to seeing this for years because of its beautiful early vintage Akshaye Khanna, and on that front it did not disappoint, but that is one of only two aspects about the film that are noteworthy in any way. DSKR is a late 90s spin on young lovers (Jyothika as Pallavi and Akshaye as Inder) whose families do not want them to be together. The little bits of tension along the way to a predictable and satisfying ending derive from wondering 1) how many times Pallavi's brothers (Mohnish Bahl, Paresh Rawal, and Tej Sapru) will beat up or otherwise bully Inder and his family (Anupam Kher and Moushumi Chatterjee) , 2) whether Jyothika, about whom I have heard great things but who here does very little of interest, will employ any facial expressions other than this