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Showing posts from December, 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 Fox - 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 someth…

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 looks fanta…

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 Sey 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 the…