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Showing posts from January, 2011

mini-reviews: one out of four ain't bad

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December and January have proven quite productive for movie-watching...but not for movie-reviewing. Perhaps because I'm so swamped at work, I just haven't had the energy to write up - or even mention - many of the things I've seen: Shaheed, Pyare Mohan, Mother India, Ganga Jamuna Saraswati, China Town, Mahakaal, Athadu, Welcome to Sajjanpur, Mixed Doubles, and Sahib Bibi aur Ghulam. A few of these, like Mother India and Sahib Bibi aur Ghulam, are on the "re-watch and write about later" pile because I was too overwhelmed by them to write at the time; many of the others inspired no interesting or notable thoughts. The remainder are a mixed bag of things that don't require further consideration before discussing, for better or worse.

Let's start with "worse." Recently I've bailed on not one, not two, but three films, an all-time record for me. Before January 2011, there were only three Indian films I had switched off without finishing (K…

If there's one thing we've learned from the internet, it's that there is always someone out there even weirder than we are.

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Following 4DK's hilarious and eyebrow-raising lead, here is a short list of some of the most amusing and confusing search terms that led people to Beth Loves Bollywood over the last year. Apparently many readers share my curiosity about Akshaye Khanna's hair, providing several variations on that theme: Akshaye Khanna hairAkshaye Khanna hair lossAkshaye Khanna losing hairwhat did Akshaye Khanna do to his hairWhat, indeed! Perhaps he should ask Rekha, whose enviable tresses yielded:Rekha secret for long hairwhat is the secret of Bollywood Rekha ji for her beautiful hair
Family Khanna sent much love my way, far more than Shashi Kapoor:is Akshaye Khanna gayAkshaye Khanna girlfriendVinod Khanna shirtless in Qurbani video is Rahul Khanna gaySome specific inquiries make sense, especially given my particular interests and writing style:Shashi Kapoor fan blogShaitani Dracula reviewMaha Chor bellbottoms3rd person singular madlibAsoka sexy
Krantiveer love rap lyrics [I'd like to know t…

Quid Pro Quo: Adventures in £1 DVDs part 2

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After the dismal Khel Mohabbat Ka, I was really wary to try another of the £1 bargain-bin wonders from my friend Celia in the UK. But curiosity won out - as it so often does when it comes to Bollywood films that I have reason to fear - so into the DVD player went Anokha Rishta, a slightly creepy 1986 take on Daddy Long Legs. Rajesh Khanna stars as Bob, the benefactor of an orphaned teenage girl, Mary (Sabiha). Once at college and away from the shelter of her Catholic orphanage, Mary falls in love with Bob without realizing who he is.

Karan Shah plays Will, a good-for-nothing playboy type who works for Rajesh and falls for Mary.

Smita Patil also appears as Dr. Padma Khanna, Bob's long-ago star-crossed love interest, and I'll tell you that if there is one thing I have now seen more than enough of in my life, it is fog-laced, soft-focus snuggling between Smita Patil and Rajesh Khanna.


The reason I say "creepy" is that, in addition to Rajesh beginning to look plastic-y…

mini-reviews: I Hate Luv Storys and What's Your Raashee?

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Neither of these movies was as painful as I was expecting, but I'm still having as much fun considering a combination of their names as a title for this post as I did watching either. Luv and Hate. I Hate Your Luv. I Hate Your Raashee. I Luv Your Story. Luv: A Story. What's Your Story? And, most importantly, I H8 How U Foolz Spell Ur Moovees.

Anyway. I Hate Luv Storys didn't come to my cinema when it released and I couldn't have cared less. I very much dislike Sonam Kapoor based on Saawariya and Delhi-6 and thought "Oh dear me" when Filmi Girl said she had turned it off after 10 minutes. But Netflix Instant kept trying to get me to watch it, so one cold and snowy afternoon over the December holidays I gave in. I made it through the whole film and have very little to say for my efforts. It's so rare that I'm interested in the romantic bumblings of 20somethings in ironic t-shirts, and there was nothing otherwise appealing about either lead to make up for…

Dabangg

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What a difference some lightness, shadow, and cleverness can make! In some ways, Chulbul Pandey is a close cousin to the lumbering, grunting, glowering hero of Veer, but thank Helen above (as Arbaaz Khan did in the credits!) he seems aware of and completely comfortable in his limitations and context. Veer wants to be great and wound up an epic fail, but Dabangg wants to be a winking entertainer with a nice masala dash of something for everyone and does so gloriously well - so much so that as we all look back on 2010 Dabangg has obliterated Salman's poor personal pet project from our collective consciousness.

I watched Dabangg twice within a few days, and after the glee of the growling, flying, and silliness has worn off, the well-structured and -paced story remains. The second time through, what I noticed most was how the story shifted focus or a new arc appeared before I realized I was ready for that happen but without lurching or short-changing any ideas or characters. The…

in a twitter for Rahul Khanna: an interview

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Before I started following him on Twitter, here's what I knew about Rahul Khanna. In a resumé that is modest in size by Bollywood standards, he had attended a film and theater program in New York whose alumni roster includes many other names you know, won a Filmfare Award, and worked with people as diverse as Imtiaz Ali, Deepha Mehta, Konkona Sen Sharma, and Mithun. He spoke up for animals, blogged a bit, and, wherever he appeared, looked completely at home in a suit. And then, thanks to his incredibly real-sounding and personality-filled tweets, we filmi fans learned a little more: the foibles of his family's pets, his admirable balance of yoga with chocolate, his interest in art and literature...and, Helen above, the man can write.

In a sea of celebrity tweets full of SMS spellings, extraneous exclamation marks, and vapid retweets and project promotion, here was someone who communicates real thought and character and likes talking with fans. From the moment he first sent me…