Thursday, December 22, 2005

this message brought to you by the Ministry of Really Stupid Ideas: Chori Chori Chupke Chupke

This movie features what is surely one of cinema's top ten plots driven by bad, bad ideas. Many questions are raised, such as:

  • how on earth does a Hindi film present a character married to saintly Rani Mukherji sleeping with a prostitute? A prostitute played with great glee by Preity Zinta, but still. The surrogate is a fine idea, but 1) be honest about it to everyone and 2) get the doctor's help in order to prevent years of under-the-surface seething, guilt, etc. If anyone knows how this movie was received in India, please let me know.
  • why does Preity's item number dress look like a 1991 prom reject, and why is it paired with glitter moon boots?
  • why does Salman wear a (p)leather shirt? Not jacket. Shirt. Around the collar of which is worn a tie.
  • why does no one notice that Madhu, not Priya, is at the ceremony? And isn't it interesting how the effect of having a stiff shawl over your head makes you look like a Star Wars character?
  • does chewing gum really make you look so cheap and young? I'll have to stop.
But then again, why ask why? Just enjoy. Which is precisely what I did. Especially the opening song, "No. 1 Punjaabi," whose boy-vs.-girl dance might just be my new favorite of its kind. And also, "The sparkle of your bangles keeps me up at night. I would carry you away; just give me a sign" is a great line (thanks to Bollywhat for translations).

(Note: thet plot of this movie did actually bother me in some serious ways, but I kept telling myself "It's just a movie, and there is so much you don't understand about the expectations of and pressures on women in this culture," even when Priya says she is incomplete becuase she can't be a mother. Becuase otherwise I would have had to turn it off, and if it were a movie from my own culture, with its own wacked-out concepts about the roles and worth of women, I would have.)

Increasing exposure to Salman Khan has not demystified his appeal for me. I can see how maybe he is a pretty good dancer most of the time. But that's all I can say on his behalf.

And, despite my very positive memory of seeing it on the big screen in 1990, owing entirely to holding hands with Chris Lisak, the second of my seven crushes on boys named Chris, Pretty Woman does not merit any kind of remake, tribute, or similar. It's a bad, morally bankrupt story.

9 comments:

Obi Wan said...

Haven't watched Chori Chori Chupke Chupke, so won't comment on the specifics. For a slightly more sensitive handling of a similar subject, pls try Meghna Gulzar's 'Filhaal'.

Salman's appeal, from whatever I understand as a fan,lies in his killer looks and gym-toned body, his devil-may-care attitude both on-screen and off-screen, his boyish charm and an aura of being tough yet vulnerable! The masses just love him!

Accidental Fame Junkie said...

Believe it or not, I did see this movie. Can't say much about it except that I had some big problems with the central concept. But then I let it go. After all, this was a Bollywood movie.

If you notice, the surrogate mother bit was played out in a foreign soil rather than in India. As if that would allay the anti-surrogate motherhood sentiments at home!

Beth said...

re: Salman's appeal: yeah, I've read about all of those reasons, but none of them resonate for me. Then again, I have never been a fan of the "bad boy" type, whether in celebrities or people I know in real life. Yuck.

re: CCCC - I am so with you, AFJ. I had been properly warned about the story before I started it, but I was still surprised to see just how oddly the concept was treated - there was absolutely no reason not to have Madhu artificially inseminated, especially since they were in cahoots with a doctor! The plot could still have had all the wackiness about having to pretend that Priya was also pregnant, Priya choosing to save Madhu at the end, etc. - but they could have avoided the very icky idea of a married man sleeping with somebody else and his wife being happy about it. It's gross.

I will say that the main reason I finally watched this movie was to see Preity's cowboy hat, and in that I was not disappointed. Sexy indeed!

Angela G. Skylar said...

Yes, I agree Beth that in order to watch this movie one really has to kind of forget reality all together if one is to accept the bizarre plot. But what saved this movie for me was that it made me cry, I mean really break down at cry at the end where Priety's running away with the baby in her stomach and Rani is pleading with her. Very touching and emotional scene. Plus, the two actresses have great chemistry which helps. But other than that, I was just glad that Salman Khan wasn't his "wanna be too cool self" in this movie, it made me hate him less.

iluvmovies said...

I watched it with my friends.And all of us agreed that this was one of the most silly movies that we've ever seen.The central theme was ludicrous. It doesn't have anything to do with the culture.People who couldn't conceive used to adopt in the olden days. (from within the family)

Beth said...

I wondered why they didn't adopt. As you say, SO silly!

Morgaine said...

What I found the most ridiculous was that they simply ignored the existence of in vitro fertilization...that took all the credibilty of the film.
****

Slytherin said...

I've been wondering about Salman's popularity as well; I wouldn't mind much except for the atrocious women he seems to give unexpected opportunities to like Katrina Kaif. What a talented actress might have done with all the opportunities that Salman gifted Katrina on a silver platter. And to add to that, with passing years, he's started to resemble a bulky midget and that to me is such an unattractive look. His bulky body would be likeable if his height was at least 6 feet. But he's half that and with all the bulk, I notice that he can't even walk properly. He has this odd strutting gait. I'm glad some actors are resolutely against this over-gymming trend Salman's started; the top person that comes to my mind is Abhay Deol. HOw I love his lean look; it also helps him sink into a character instead of playing himself (something Amitabh, Salman, Shahrukh and to an extent, Amir, do in their films all the time) Thanks for the write up!

Beth Watkins said...

Hi Slytherin -
I agree about the problems of bulk - and by extension, probably, that would include some other physical traits that get in the way of the physicality of enacting of whatever the role is. (For example, I find Dev Anand's hair poof totally distracting since it shows up in films where it doesn't make sense.) And of course some filmmakers seem to be very happy to work within those constraints - surely his Dabangg dance moves ("dance moves") are for a reason in addition to humor.

However, personally I'd take distracting physical traits over distracting voice, facial expressions, etc any day. I can ignore the lumbering walk much more easily than I can someone who never sounds like they're actually in the situation they're supposed to be enacting, or someone who cannot move their face (AHEM KATRINA AHEM).