Kajol, girl detective!: Baazigar

I like it when I rent multiple movies at one time and discover that they share some theme or other that I wasn't expecting. Baazigar and Nayak both feature brief but important usage of a typewriter, as well as way more schlocky bright-red Bollywood violence than I know what to do with. Maybe not "themes," according to an English teacher, but delightful commonalities in any event. Or at least the typewriter is. Bollywood violence I can do without.

Still, I am glad to have seen this because it seems to feature prominently in SRK's rise to stardom and I come across references to it all the time. But I can't say I liked it, actually, apart from some delighted squealing at back-up dancers' costumes (those silver and red things, and I don't know which I like more, the men's hammer pants or the women's ribbon-wrapped styrofoam halos). I think I might be jodi-chemistry-judgment deficient because I got nothing from SRK and Kajol here, although that could be because his character was psychotically unhinged.

Here are some things I noticed that if someone had been watching this with me I would have nudged them to be sure they had noticed too:
  • In the first song, Seema undergoes an interesting Bollywood science-bending transformation that I have never seen before. While her outfit is the same pre-song to song, her manicure is not. Her nails change colors when the music starts. Nifty eh? Maybe just another testament to the power SRK holds. Stronger than acetone.
  • Vicky seems to be racing his car in either wing tips or cowboy boots. I don't know much about racing but surely one needs some kind of traction on the pedals?
  • Priya running around like she's had catnip after first meeting Vicky. I think we all know that feeling, or did once, back in junior high.
  • Seema's yellow and white polka dot party dress at the birthday party - with giant shoulder flounces, tight arms and bodice, and then several more flouncy layers of skirts, reminds me exactly of what my early-1980s Pretty Changes Barbie would have worn, even though technically she didn't.
  • the interlude of Pink Panther music
  • SRK really works a rather dated and unusual look, with two layered collars, both turned up, huge sunglasses, and puffy hair. Just like Steff from Pretty in Pink in all the right ways.
  • When Vicky and Priya take over the dance floor, and the real Vicky and his friend are watching, and Vicky nudges his friend and gestures towards the dancing to get his friend to watch, even though he already was.

Aside to the filmi industry: I would like to inquire about finding a job as an English subtitle checker, so that movies don't twice say "his" when they mean "her" and thus wildly change the meaning of a sentence or come out with opening titles like this:
"All characters in this film does not resemble to any body dead or alive if so by sheer co-incidence."


Talking about subtitles, there was this interesting sentence translationgone awry that I remember. We have a channel here (India) that shows - of all things - Hindi translations of Hollywood films. One of the lines was, "Are you nuts?" The translation for which appeared on the screen as "Kya aap akhrot hain?" which technically means "Are you a walnut?"
That's fantastic! I'm going to try to work that into my everyday vocabulary.
Obi Wan said…
One of the commonest errors in all small-medium budget movies, and even in some big ones, is the spelling- 'Dialouge' in the opening credits!
You will all be happy to know that I have already called one of my colleagues a walnut. But then had to explain myself....
Heyy Beth!! That's so cool!!! You are just as crazy as I am!! And it's so good to know that!
Unknown said…
I'm watching this movie at the moment, and I must say, I was surprised to see how cleverly plotted it is though the film depends a lot on SRK and his performance (much like Darr). As for Kajol, I too have wondered for years now as to what exactly is so appealing about her. All I ever see her do is screech; I guess she's lucky to have gotten the kind of stardom that she has.
As for SRK, I think he's his best opposite Juhi if both are given some clever comic dialogue to work with. One such otherwise humdrum film that I'd like to recommend is One2 Ka 4; its available on Youtube and honestly, I think SRK and Juhi elevate this otherwise mind-numbing film to a very watchable level. Thanks for the blog post!
I rewatched it recently and enjoyed it well enough, though I do much prefer Darr. I haven't seen One 2 Ka 4 yet - will give it a try!

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