Monday, June 19, 2006

Let's just call this post "masala" and be done with it, okay?

Alright. I know my recent posts have been everything but writeups of what I've watched, mostly because I am running around getting ready for my trip and spending my evenings with my friends instead of film stars (Akshaye is pretty sad about this, let me tell you). But I have in fact watched two new movies lately, although with the return to California of my laptop, it's hard to find time to write them up. So while there will be no proper responses as such, let it be added to the record that I watched my first Satyajit Ray film, Shatranj Ke Khilari, which left me with a feeling of "hmmm...I'm not quite sure I totally got that, although it was certainly interesting" (and I really liked the Monty Python-esque animation and was muchly satisfied by narration from the Big B) (and if I had had its imdb entry handy while watching I would have been on the lookout for a young Farida Jalal). Water finally made it to our art theater last week, so I saw that too. My thoughts on Water still haven't worked themselves out but I would like to ask if John Abraham was supposed to be dull and underwhelming or was he just not doing a very good job?

My parents came to visit this weekend and I showed them Bunty aur Babli.* I can't quite tell what they thought of it, except for a clear fondness for the neck-popping Dashrath Singh, but they both said vaguely positive things. Given that they are professional historians, maybe The Rising would have been a better choice, but that would have involved gonig to the video store, which was far too difficult in the heat and humidity that made Saturday so very unpleasant. (Yes, I know India will probably be worse than that a lot of the time. Don't remind me.)

I have been asked by the people running our pre-trip orientation to provide my colleagues with an informal introduction to Bollywood. I've sent around an email asking them what they'd like to know about, but I could use some suggestions from all you Bollywood freaks too. This talk/discussion will be done at lunch and cannot include a/v, so no clips. Just paper. I'm thinking of an illustrated "who's who" of the big stars and maybe a list of typical scenes and elements, using stills whenever possible. Pls advise.

* A certain reader has accused me of being a Bunty aur Babli evangelist. If said reader would just watch it himself, he'd understand. And he had better believe me: he will watch it (imagine my most threatening tone) (yes, ha ha). He'll watch it and he'll like it.

8 comments:

t.HYPE said...

Um, on Water, I feel you. It's like John Abraham was just there. Like he showed up and was like, let me put on my sweet and calming persona. And it turned really calming. Too calming. Hey, I guess that makes him a good actor right? [Contrast that to him saying "Dhoom was the most fun I’ve had with my pants on," in his website bio...]

BaB is on my list after your raving reviews also.

As for your colleagues, #1 be sure to tell them that Hrithik Roshan is the undisputed King of Bollydance and he is by no means impaired by his extra digit.

That is exactly and approximately all.

babasko said...

marco from molodezhnaja made this pretty cool overview/timetable/chart which could serve as a good start, I think

http://www.molodezhnaja.ch/asia/india-timetable.jpg

i´m not sure how good your german is, if you need help with the translation just email me.

:-)

Totally Basmatic said...

John Abraham can't act his way out of a paper bag, but he's soooooooo pretty to look at. I could watch grass grow for three hours if it starred John Abraham.

Regarding intro to Bollywood: I have no idea. That's something I've never been good at; maybe it's best to let people discover it on their own, and just give them a few pointers.

Obi Wan said...

The biggest stars in Bollywood, and their relationship to each other; the top movies of the last few years, and what genres of movies they were; the structure of a typical Bollywood flick(they better get used to the 'breaking into a song and running around trees' routine)... The rest they will just have to experience, any lecture will not help them get a proper feel of Bollywood!

Maja said...

Yay for B&B! (I just have to write that whenever I see it mentioned, it's a reflex)

I don't think I'm quite qualified enough yet to give you any suggestions about introducing people to Bollywood, but I think you definitely need to include a list of the biggest stars, preferably with a special mention of SRK and his magical eyebrows (feel free to use my photoshopped picture to make this point) ;) Also maybe make a list of the best movies and songs that they should know about.
And show them pictures, lots of colour pictures!

Beth said...

t.hype - never fear, Hrithik will feature prominently. Maybe in one of his "male stripper" outfits, as Maja so aptly describes them.

Babasko - that chart is very cool. Oddly, Entertainment Weekly this week has a little blurb called "Bollywood 101" but it's far less useful. It gives milestones in Bollywood, historically, but absolutely no description of the type of films or actors or any of that kind of thing. I will not be using it.

TB - so agreed re: bag. I would watch this grass movie if...hmmm...I'm trying to think whom I find so pretty that I could just stare. I'm big into voices, so usually talking is a huge attraction for me. Um. Let's see. Kunal Kapoor. He has a fine voice too, but he is pretty enough just to exist.

Obi Wan - I hadn't thought of the interconnections of stars. That's the kind of thing that translates well and people won't have to know who is who to understand nepotism. Good idea.

Maja - I second that "yay"!

Filmiholic said...

In terms of resources, there was a very good piece in Time magazine a few years back, or less, and Lisa Tsering's Salon piece, are both good starting places.

Just saw Krrish tonight (er, Thursday night) and thought it was pretty good. It's gotten a lot of press coverage (NYT, Variety) for the whole first-superhero movie.

I wrote a review on my blog.

I'd love to hear your audience's questions!

cheers!

Keith said...

First superhero? What about Mr. India?

In fact, Beth, if you want to give people a primer on Bollywood, just show them Mr. India and Don.