Showing posts from July, 2010

Quid Pro Quo: Adventures in £1 DVDs

When I was in Oxford last month, the wonderful Celi, one of the officers of the (Somewhat Un)official Shashi Kapoor Fan Club on Facebook , took a break from working on her PhD to hang out with me for a day. She sent me home with five DVDs she purchased at Poundland , a chain of "everything costs £1" shops that must be truly magical if you can find foreign films there (I don't think I've ever seen anything from a country other than China at the $1 stores I've been to). We agreed that such a boon provided a great opportunity to discuss whether price and easy availability relate at all to the quality of a film - and before you answer, note that last year she also got me a copy of my beloved Merchant-Ivory Shakespeare-Wallah at Poundland. That should also answer your question about whether these are legal/official DVDs. I'm also curious if there's any rhyme or reason to what ends up in the £1 bin. On the surface, Poonam Dhillon appears to be a

Aan Milo Sajna

My thoughts on this fashion-fantastic 1970 romance/comedy/drama basically go like this: Vinod Khanna (Anil) is sooooooo handsome and his clothes are incredible. And sooooooo baaaaaaaaaad. His desk drawer. And his character is introduced with gambling, smoking, and whoring with white prostitutes! Anil is so bad he doesn't care about his mother! !!! !!!!! I'm not sure I've yet met a Hindi film character who proclaims he does not care if his mother lives or dies! This is interesting! Asha Parekh (Varsha/Dipali) is so adorable! What is it about this vintage of heroine that I love so much? I don't know beyond "stylish and funny and smart and not self-sacrificing, whimpering lame-brains," but I sure do eat them up with a spoon. Rajesh Khanna (Ajit) sure is good. Saintly amounts of good. But, fortunately, not in a cardboard way. Ajit has a sense of humor and is even the teensiest bit saucy sometimes - and also, despite his angelic community-serving ways, se


It's here! " The Voltron of Bollywood podcasts ," featuring Filmi Girl , Totally Filmi, Upodcast co-host Asim Burney, and me discussing 2010 so far, is now available. It's long, it's a little bit unorganized - you know how passionate conversations go - and two of us have hardly seen any of the films released this year. Still. (And yes, I hate hearing my voice in recordings. I sound 14.)

just another day at the bubble factory: Ajab Prem Ki Gazab Kahani

A film that opens with an extended crotch joke - one in which people, including the hero, are yelling for over 50 seconds - is already on my bad side. But even in that aggravating minute, there were things to like: the colors of the shops on the street, the lovely billowing sari, the bunch of cheerful balloons. And so Ajab Prem Ki Gazab Kahani continued all the way through its run time, full of colors and light and even a totally appropriate brawl among bubbles - but also way too much loudness, wackadoodle scrambling around, and an air-headed heroine. The boisterous comic book spirit implied by the promotional graphics was used consistently, sweeping up sound effects, sped-up action, interesting wipes between scenes, the story, and even the acting into a colorful but very lightweight package. But even when it was screaming in my face or being just plain ol' dumb, I couldn't possibly turn it off, thanks entirely to Ranbir Kapoor. Couldn't agree more. Guh. I con