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Showing posts from October, 2016

Ae Dil Hai Mushkil

"It's one of those Karan Johan films where I leave feeling sorry for Karan Johar," said a friend on twitter (whose account is private, so I can't link you to it). If My Name Is Khan was an angst-gasm over cultural identity and Student of the Year over sexuality, Ae Dil Hai Mushkil is one over un-mirrored love. I don't know if I'm supposed to be moved by Ayan's (Ranbir Kapoor, who is very good, as he should be, given his experience with the aspects of this role) years of pining for Alizeh (Anushka Sharma) or just sort of intellectually appreciate his devotion, but it's exhausting. There's some empathy in that exhaustion (we've all been there, no?) but it's a tricky subject to do much with because it is fundamentally kind of boring and unchanging. It's also hard to share—as a cameo character says later in the film, it's a selfish kind of thing that only the lover him/herself can participate in—and thus maybe the kind of subject bett…

catching up on 2016 Bollywood

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Ki & Ka
If you forget about the Amitabh and Jaya Bachchan part—which you immediately should, because it is bloated and self-congratulatory—this is not a bad little exploration of gender- and relationship-based expectations. The story is more often from his perspective or from within sympathies towards him, I think, but no women are particularly demonized (though the bit about Kia's jealousy over Kabir's housework-based fame could be handled better, IMO), and in fact Kia's career ambitions are supported by other women and rewarded in terms that she likes, which feels HUGE for a mainstream film. It's still vaguely maddening that socio-economically privileged men are fawned over for doing basic household work and for being friends with stay-at-home wives/moms, but it also seems quite likely that that's what would happen if these characters were real people. I like that these characters are the way they are because they've thought about issues and their own per…