Saturday, April 29, 2006

Mr. and Mrs. Iyer

When I watch movies like this and then think about what I want to write about, I feel like I'm a completely different person than the one who squeals about Akshaye Khanna and uses bright pink. I certainly don't respond to the movie in the same way - becuase it's not the same kind of movie. Okay, that said, this was amazing. I loved how quickly it flipped between magical and harrowing, sweet and harsh. Somehow the quiet gentleness with which the whole story was told made the horrifying things in it seem all the more frightening. When the militants broke on to the bus, none of us knew what would happen. I was really worried for all those people; since I'd already seen a bit of each of their lives, I felt like I knew them a little.

This movie is a lovely example of a story created and told with care, which is the kind of movie I find myself responding to most in the last few years. I feel this way about Wes Anderson movies, for example. And of course we have the protagonists, who exemplify caretaking.

As a "lapsed Presbyterian,"* as I usually call myself when asked my religion, the idea that I might be on a bus ride somewhere and then have to identify my religion in order to save my life is something between** horrifying, impossible, and unreal. But after I turned off the DVD and went to bed, I kept thinking about that very question. What would I have done if I had been on that bus? What would have been the right answer? And while that violent a level of prejudice doesn't make itself visible around here too often, what goes on in more subtle ways everyday, all around us?

My favorite moment in the whole movie was when Meenakshi was standing outside the forest house and an elephant walked by in the background behind her. She never turned around, she never knew it was there. She was worried about safety, understandably, and Raja hadn't yet encouraged her to look at the magic and details of the forest. I think this is what they gave each other, in addition to safety and companionship (which is an affection of its own kind; I'm not sure I think they felt romantically towards each other outside the dramatic setting they were in): he encouraged her to look carefully, and she showed him the sweetness of being with other people. Neither of them was ignorant of these joys without the other, but I think they brought these traits out in each other.

* That isn't the whole story - I'm not just lazy - I deliberately stopped going to church as soon as I started college becasue somewhere in high school I realized I didn't believe in the major tenets of Christianity, and as I studied the reformation in college I got even less certain of what I thought made any sense. I enjoy thinking and talking about religion, as long as people don't get pushy. I admittedly have some strongly-held opinions myself, mainly based either on what I feel is the right way to treat other people or on my experiences with individuals who are members of certain faiths, but I know I need to look for chances to be challenged on those and not oversimply what people believe and why.

** Technically that should be "among," I think, since I listed more than two things. But it felt really weird.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

ugh: Neal n Nikki

There are many things I love in this world, and Bollywood and Canada are at the top of the list. So it was with trepidation that I rented Neal n Nikki (it pains me to spell it like that, just so you know), because I knew that if anything could make me cranky at a Bollywood movie, it would be messing up a portrayal of my adopted home. And sure enough, they did it wrong. Nothing too heinous, but enough little things to make me feel like the filmmaker hadn't read up. For example, during the water volleyball game, Nikki's ex's girlfriend is wearing a bikini printed with an American flag. No Canadian would ever do this (right, Rachel?). (And I think we have to assume she is Canadian, because we're in British Columbia and her nationality isn't given). Overall, the idea of BC as a hedonistic playground full of girls in bikinis is just hilarious to me. I mean this with all respect and affection for BC; while I have never been there, this does not at all fit with the stories I've been told by multiple friends from there.

Don't get me wrong: I have met some skanky Canadians, and as a general rule this is a country that knows how to enjoy a few beers. But, writer/director, you just can't trash up a country just because your story is morally bankrupt. You can't just strip a place of its character to play into one audience segment's notions about "the west." No one messes with Canada on my watch!

And speaking of which, I was amused to discover that said writer/director is also the writer/director behind Na Tum Jaano Na Hum, which also featured the classic "looking at a car from the outside, you see a woman suddenly pop into view, and she can only have come from the man's lap" gag.

Both protagonists are grating - he's a smug skank, she's a whiny flake - and make stupid choices. And the dialogue and plot just try so hard to be saucy, innuendo-laden. The whole thing is completely belabored and fails quickly underneath its own effort. I thought Uday and Tanisha did okay with what they were given, although she was a bit squeaky. This would have been even worse in the hands of, say, Kareena.

I will say, though, that for once the inclusion of cheerleaders made sense. I am completely baffled by the ubiquitous Bollywood cheerleaders. Do colleges (heck, even high schools) in India have cheerleaders with pompoms? This the kind of hard-hitting intercultural investigation I'll be undertaking this summer.

I also really liked that there was a big pretty dance scene in a barn. That's just about my ideal event right there. Bollywood + barn dance = happy, happy Beth.

Update to post (April 24, 2006:) Thanks to Azuregoddess, I now know that the writer/director is from Canada. So he definitely knows it better than I do. But I still maintain he did Canada wrong. I know I may have very little to stand on here, but it's a feeling I just can't shake. I think Azuregoddess is completely right when she says he seems to be reimagining his own homeland. Which I guess is his perogative. But his version is bizarro Canada, that's for sure.

Update to post (April 30, 2006): When I returned this DVD today, the nice man who is always working at the store when I drop by said "It was bad, wasn't it?" I agreed, and I told him I would spread the word about its badness. He said, "No no, I'll lose business that way! [The advice] was just for special friends." I'm a special friend! I love Bollywood.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Rock it Bollywood style, you say? Done and done!

That's what the announcer said we were going to do, and rock it Bollywood style we did.

Except for Saif, who is recovering from surgery but was a real trooper, doing dainty twirls with a delighted audience member and a few gentle arm flings (well, flingettes, anyway) with Preity during "Salaam Namaste." He worked the mic a lot, though, so there was still plenty of Saif to go around. One of his entrances included a great lingering view of him in his jacket with his "Super Saif" logo on the back - does anyone know why he keeps popping up in that (other than him being beyond a doubt super, of course)? Very enderaingly, Saif also explained how he was going against doctors' orders by being on stage that night - "My doctors don't know me like you know me! You know I would never miss being in Shee-kah-goh for the greatest crowd ever!" I love him.

It's hard to know where to start. I should probably start with the drive up there, which consisted of me spilling the much-anticipated travel snack (Combos - the pretzel with cheese kind - none of that pizza nonsense) all over the floor of the car before we even left town (Si - we were on Prospect headed to the interstate and had to make a quick turn on to Church to recover - tragic!) and Abby realizing, an hour in, that she had left her binoculars at home. The latter resulted in detour to our friend Dana's mom's house to borrow theirs. We also got to say hi to Dana's mom and her new puppy ("Senor Toby"), so all in all well worth the extra 20 minutes. Anyway, despite the insane construction on one of the major expressways, we got to the arena, on the completely unscenic Chicago campus of my university, a good half hour before we had anticipated. Dana and Wendy were already there (Dana hadn't been up for the show, but since she works at that campus she graciously agreed to meet us for dinner), while Tamara was attending to someone in the hospital. We ventured to Greektown for dinner and sat in front of the restaurant's open windows, watching the passers-by on the sidewalk, including a very tacky-looking woman who was clearly 1) wearing fake hair and 2) trashed. And her outfit, which I'm sure you can imagine, was just a warmup for what we were to see later. Tamara was able to join us for baklava and then we sauntered over to the arena.

When we got there and milled around the gates with the rest of the audience, we were amused to discover that we seemed to be the only white women at the show. I saw two white guys, but they were both with South Asian women. (Sorry for the detour into ethnography - when you're a white girl in the midwest, it is a very rare thing indeed to be the only one of your appearance.) And we could not have been more drab. I was wearing the most interesting shirt I own - it's blue and green paisley, with little gold threads running through it - and I felt like month-old slush. There was so much of fuchsia and gold and chartreuse and scarlet.

Having been adequately warned by Anand's delightful comments about the Heat show in LA, we were content to people-watch for awhile before the show started. But things were underway within twenty minutes of start time, even though "things" first consisted of blaring ads for local business that had sponsored the shows. Indulge me for a minute. All four of us were completely baffled by the looong spot from the tanning salon - because everything I've ever read about the cultural aesthetics of skin tone in India says that fairer is better (my waspy self could not be pastier, so maybe I'll play well). What do I not understand?

Anyway. The backup dancers - who were fuh-AB-ulous (ahem) - came out first, wearing gold...I'm not sure what to call them, but I'll go with flamenco pants, because they were flared pants with tiers of ruffles starting at the knee going all the way down. There were, as Anand promised, ridiculous introductory ramblings from the MC and from the stars themselves (although only one per act, thankfully), who took turns introducing the person coming on after them. Celina called Saif "the cool dude with all the moves" or something like that.

One of the fun things about the show was enjoying it with so many other people. Even though the arena was at least half-empty, there were well over a thousand other people as excited as I was. Well, probably not all of them were quite as excited as I was, but still. At least they knew whom they were yelling about. I spend so much of my Bollywood time by myself or with a few like-minded friends (in person or virtual) that I have no concept of which actors and movies are the most popular in general. Based on the screeching from the fans, Sush and Akshay are far cooler than Preity and Saif, which made me sad, because I really like Preity and Saif and think they're superwow.

A fashion note. I don't remember the song(s), but at one point the female backup dancers had on the most horrible outfits (female) I have ever seen in Bollywood. Yes. That's right. Not the antepenultimate word in horrible. Not the penultimate. The very final word in horrible clothing has now been had. I started to draw a picture, but then my graphics program crashed, so that will have to wait and we'll see if I can do it justice in words. First you have to imagine that the skimpy-looking tops turned out to be made like ice skaters' costumes, with transparent meshy fabric holding all the bits in place (thanks, binoculars!). On top they had bikini top thingies that were hot pink mesh (or maybe crochet, I couldn't quite tell) with bright yellow as a lining. Then they had on denim shorts with plum garter belts over, attached to pink pleather...well, kind of like legwarmers, except pleather and almost all the way up their thighs. So we'll call them legwarmers....anyway, these things were pink pleather and were scrunched up and then tucked into knee-high black boots. I think there may also have been sheer hot pink armwarmers (remember what Sanju wears in MHN? those things) on the right arms, but it's hard to recall anything through the sense of shock I had at the time. They were truly bad. Whatever laws there may be governing the layering of mesh, denim, and pleather; whatever laws there may governing how many tones of pink should be on one individual at any one time; whatever laws there may be about putting underthings on top of jeans - they were violated.

The music - apart from being incredibly loud with so much bass you could hardly tell anything else was going on - was totally enjoyable. I'm not sure any one song was played for its whole length, and someone had had a lot of fun doing remixing. I know at least one reader will be happy to know that snatches of "Woh Ladki Hai Kahan" were present in Saif's first set (although sadly minus the flapping). I also heard bits of "Tumse Milke Dil Ka Jo Haal," "Hum Tum," and some stuff I know from Monsoon Wedding but I think comes from older movies. Also, Celina, proving herself not completely useless, did "Kajra Re," with Akshay and Saif filling in for Big and Little B. Very funny. I really liked that they made the most of Saif's injury by having him do that stupid walrus move, which was about all he could muster through the rest of the show anyway.

I have to say again how amazing the backup dancers were. The stars themselves were fine, except for Preity, who was fantastic and totally stole the show. Akshay spent a long time running back and forth across the stage, then into the audience, as did Sush, who picked up someone's little child and walked around with her (I wonder if that was prearranged), as people thronged to the aisles to get up close. One of the silliest moments came when Sush very carefully climbed up the backs of some of the dancers to stand on a table and shimmy around. It was completely unimpressive, especially with the dancers holding the table (to be fair, it was wheeled and looked very fold-up-able). I mean, my friend Melina has done better, all on her own, at the local country bar, and I don't see her getting her own stage show. (Yet.)

The show sort of fizzled out by about 11:30, with Akshay doing...I don't know what he was doing, but it was a video of him surrounded by different wise-elder types and gorgeous Indian landscapes and clouds whooshing by, with a golden "om" shining down on people's faces. He also actually sang at one point, I'm pretty sure. But that was after he came onstage with nunchuka. Abby, who has studied such things, was quick to point out that what he was doing was really hard and she had injured herself on some of her own attempts to do likewise. He also had a big staff at one point. I was afraid he was going to hurl it into the audience, as Preity had done with teddy bears and Sush with her hat. Preity and Saif wound things down with dialogue from Salaam Namaste (I was disappointed when no one yelled "Hambarrrrrrrr! Hambarrrrrrrr!") and then pulled an eager married couple up on stage to do a ridiculous, stereotype-laden bit about how the two sexes view marriage. Barf. (This bit was a huge hit with the crowd, by the way, second only to the first appearance of Akshay.) Then they danced to "Salaam Namaste," though, so I was happy.

Before heading back to Chambana this morning, we made a jaunt down Devon (the thoroughfare of Chicago's Indo-Pak neighborhood) in search of treats. Posters in the storefronts alerted us that there is another Bollywood stage show coming to that fair city in May, this one starring Kareena, Salman, and Zayed Khan, among others.

Only one of the video stores was open, but someone was looking upon us kindly this morning, for it was staffed by the nicest man - so kind he put on different CDs for us so Abby could hear what she was thinking about buying and gave her the store's big poster for the show we had seen the night before. I bought Swades and the soundtracks to Love You Hamesha (I haven't seen this, but Akshaye looks superyum on the cover and it's by A. R. Rehman, so how could it be anything other than great?), Taal, Dil Chahta Hai, Main Hoon Na, Kal Ho Naa Ho, and Bluffmaster. I haven't seen Bluffmaster, but the guy played us a few songs when we were in the store and I immediately decided it's my new favorite thing.

And then I realized I was at an important crossroads in life. I could either go back to the way things were, pre-Heat Live, or I could embrace the glorious, inspiring lesson I had learned. I will now be accompanied, at all times, by the Trickbaby remix of "Sabse Bada Rupaiyya/Bluffmaster!" and a team of ten - yes, ten - male backup dancers clad in vests and pants of that black pleather that is so shiny it looks liquid. I expect this to be particularly effective when I'm dancing around the streets of various cities this summer singing "Good Morning India" from Khushi. I know Fardeen had a different crew, but I'm doing things my way.

Goodness, that was a long post. Well, it was a long night. And you asked.

Anand, please email me (address is on my blogger profile). We must discuss this show in further detail!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

introducing my partner in crime

My friend Abby, who is the only person in town I can reliably count on for watching Bollywood with me, and who is going to the Saif/Preity/Akshay/Sushmita show with me on Friday, has started a blog. She's a vet student and is going to Uganda this summer to research monkey pox or something like that, something dangerous and important, and has promised to write about Bollywood too. She says her first post will be about the show, so next week check out her report at The Pox Diaries.

Abby is the inventor of the phrase "the non-shirt collection" to describe the contents of Shahrukh's wardrobe. She also summarizes the typical SRK character's M.O. as a quick-change combination of "sexy beast" (think gazebo in KKHH) and "tee hee" (think nonstop pranking in DDLJ). She's very funny.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

I really want to like Govinda, but, so far, no dice: Chalo Ishq Ladaaye

Well-intentioned cheese is usually right up my alley. But yet I can't quite come to terms with Govinda. I don't get him. I read that he's a great dancer, but I'm not sure I've seen it for myself - there's a scene in this movie, for example, when he and Rani seem to be trying to see how slowly they can do that thing you do with your arms if you're in a conga line but not holding the waist of the person in front of you. "Tujko Hi Dulhan," spangled with red, orange, and gold, stood out for me as the kind of scene I look to Bollywood for because so much of the other dancing was the two of them trying to do exactly the same movements at exactly the same time in lackluster settings. Govinda is fine, but he's got nothing on any of the people named in the dance discussion we had a few posts back. Anyway, I don't really have anything against Govinda, but I don't have anything for him, either.

This was one of those movies that looks a lot older than it really is. I spent a good half hour weighing recent-ish fashions against the Bollywood costume wrinkle in the space-time continuum and came up with 2000. But no, 2002. That's what Govinda does to movies.

Anyway. I've never seen Throw Momma from the Train or Strangers on a Train, so instead I'll give my usual list of unconnected points.

  • In the world of filmi reality, Puppu is found delightful for behavior of someone who should be arrested with all due speed
  • imdb didn't list where this was filmed, and I'm fascinated by some of the architecture - along the river, the street where Puppu tells his rollerblading girlfriend to get back on the train, the complex where the bad cop explains his evil plot - all of these were gorgeous and I want to add them to my list of places to visit someday. And they're an interesting contrast to most of the shots of San Francisco, which are utterly unremarkable. If you're going to bother to teleport to California, choose more wisely.
  • A remarkably restrained Johny Lever, whose only annoyingness was his lines, so not even his fault!
  • Govinda and Zohra Seghal prepping to take down the baddies with their fake karate sounds struck me as a quintessential Bollywood moment - so ridiculous it went way beyond ridiculous to some other enjoyable place but then came right back again
  • Govinda's repeated stick-twirling
  • The motionless crowd watching the opening scenes of "Masti Masti," I presume filmed somewhere in California? Either these are Californians jaded by seeing film shoots wherever they go, or their minds have been blown by Govinda in pleather and Rani in Spice Girl boots.
  • My ability to catch film titles is improving, as I got a lot more of them in the dialogue here than I did last time I watched MPKDH.
  • Sunil Shetty leading a slow clap! What could be better than that!

Thursday, April 13, 2006

quotes with Karan

I just read on one of the Bollywhat blogs that Karan Johar once said "Controversies in your own life: very depressing. Controversies in other people's lives: very exciting." I find this very, very funny because it's completely true. If he did say it, then dangit, how can he have created such emotionally bloated scenes yet also have made such a keen statement of my own philosophy?

(And yes, I know, he makes some really lovely and resonant scenes too.)

fake-pretend relocation

I've had it. I'm moving to Bollywood. I know I've talked about this before, but this time I'm serious. After my seminar is over this summer, I'm going to find the magic door that goes through into bizarro India, where everything works like the movies, and I'm not coming back. I'm tired of real life and its dramas, its hurting people, its confusion, its messes. I'm going to spend my days fixing up my hill station bungalow, playing cricket with the neighborhood kids, helping out at the local museum, sitting on the porch with a cup of tea, chatting with the neighbors. And my nights - "our" nights, I should say, as Akshaye will be there - at the nightclub, dancing away and occasionally cheering on the local boy who has suddenly morphed into a phenomenally good dancer.

Oh, it won't be perfect. I may cry, but my tears will actually make me feel better. I may have to run through the jungle in my pajamas with a flashlight, but I'll find what I'm looking for (or at the very least an elephant, which will do in a pinch). Akshaye may leave from time to time, off on a noble hero-type mission involving his favorite professor or a stranded journalist or something, because that's the kind of guy he is, but he'll always come back, dusty and worn and even more full of love for our little world. There will be problems. But they will be solved by trying to do the right thing, and they'll be over within four hours.

Aside: not really. Real life has too many precious things among all the messes, and there's so much to learn from it all, and I wouldn't give them up for anything. But I'm exhausted, and it seems my corner of the world is getting hit hard lately, and I don't know how to handle one more sad friend, one more injured person, one more draining situation. But if they come up, I will handle them, because that's what real people do. Unless they come up in July, in which case, screw you guys, I'm going to India.

Second aside: I don't think I've ever seen a museum in a Bollywood film. Which is probably because Bollyhoo's movie hasn't been made yet.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

"jhoot" 1; "pyaar," "mohabbat," "ishq," and "prem" 0

I'm listening to my Teach Yourself Hindi CD, just the first bit, with a keen-sounding man pronouncing the 12 vowels and 34 consonants. Much to my delight, the sounds are pretty familiar to me, after 79 movies. (Yes, I have a spreadsheet. I have many a spreadsheet.) And I recognize quite a few of the words he's using as examples, like...well, I feel guilty about writing them out in roman characters now that I have a devanagari font installed and a book right in front of me explaining which sound each letter makes. Oh, but I don't know how to type with it yet. Ha! Anyway, in addition to the above I heard "one," "two," "three," "five," "lie," and "friend," among others.

This is fun but a little overwhelming. This is my fifth start of a foreign language (bah! fluency is for the single-minded!) (and I shouldn't count Latin, because after a semester I ran away screaming, and probably breaking my Roman historian father's heart) but the first with a non-roman alphabet. So fun!

Monday, April 10, 2006

Are you trying to break my heart?

Oh, Akshaye. Seriously.

What's with the corporate headwear? Are you in cahoots with Nike? I'm pretty sure this isn't the first time I've seen you at a press-heavy event wearing their stuff. That plus the belt give you the look of a high school boy trying to dress nicely for a summer wedding - you know, when he came downstairs with the hat on, his mom shrugged and said, "Oh, alright, you can wear the hat, but at least tuck in your shirt," and he did, but he grumbled and pouted about it for awhile.

I've tried to figure out where a person might wear this outfit, and I have no idea. With the slightly safari-esque lightweight shirt and flat-front trousers, we could go for a summer stroll along the pier then have a nice cool drink on the veranda, leaning in for meaningful conversation, chorii se chorii from the world in a midnight-darkened corner. I shouldn't think it's quite right for a music launch, but I've never been to one, so what do I know?

And since I'm not as good at this as the Go Fug Yourself people, I'll get to the point and admit that what truly saddens me is your blurry expression, sort of smugly vacant but also sad and confused. Are you drunk? Worn out from the glamorous life? Weary from being up all night, glued to the phone, waiting for me to call? Whatever it is, you're clearly ready to bolt, one hand at the door handle and one hidden away.

I'm going to hope that's a pen, not a cigarette, and thus ignore it until I have more information, although with more scrutiny it does appear that you have a packet of cigarettes in your right front pocket. Please don't smoke. You know it's really bad for you, right?

Aside to any readers who think talking about celebrities is silly: you're quite right, it is, especially when I'm just making stuff up. But I enjoy it. And my fake-pretend Bollywood boyfriend needs to know how I feel.

Update to post (April 11, 2006): I'm sorry. Apparently it is actually difficult to be Akshaye Khanna, according to this Hindustan Times interview. Akshaye, for real, if work is the only thing that makes you happy, that's a problem. So c'mon, let's put my theory on that outfit to the test. My dil goes mmmm....

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Akele Hum Akele Tum

[sighing-type noise] Browsing the shelves of the video store, I came across this and picked it up simply because I remembered Aamir was in it. And so I found myself in a bad case of wrong movie, wrong time. When you're feeling confused and sad about relationships, don't watch a movie like this; if you're like me (and I think you might be, a little bit, since you enjoy Bollywood-type depictions of emotions), the sadness and hurt of these people are going to get to you in a way you wish they wouldn't, even though the story bears absolutely no resemblance to your actual situation.

This seemed a well-acted film; I appreciated its moments of humor; I squealed with delight when I could hear the Beatles in the background of the birthday party (Beatles and Aamir, all in one scene? What else could I ever want?); the little boy was the least annoying film child I've encountered in a long time; I was pleased that I couldn't completely write off either of the adults, despite their questionable choices, showing a more nuanced situation than we usually get in Bollywood. And that's maybe why it was difficult for me to watch - it's the subtle and complex parts of life that stay with you longest, that are the hardest to find your way in. That mean the most.

Aside to costume person: Aamir rocked the undershirt-as-shirt thing. (No, I won't call it by its more common and completely vile name.) Somehow it added to the rumpled, tired, devoted thing. The OC is ten years late on that.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

inverse epic proporitons: Mughal-e-Azam

I do not like epic films - except Asoka, for reasons I cannot quite explain, although I suspect they might have to do with its eerie, unreal quality, amazing music, and Shahrukh being noble and wet. I digress. I rented Mughal-e-Azam because it seemed like the kind of thing I should see in order to continue my Bollywood education. I don't respond well to insta-love and big decisions when they're couched in hand-to-forehead turn-away drama-o-rama. The more they crank out the conflict and obstacles, the less interested I am. Perhaps because the obstacles in real life, while perfectly dramatic, are often nuanced and subtle and unexpected, as opposed to punctuated by thunderclaps and edicts and armies. I know, I know, no one said the movies had to be like real life, and there are many decidedly unreal Bollywood conventions that I adore and respond to, but somehow my disbelief can't cover them.

I wish I could have seen it in black and white. I have read about the colorization proces, including the official website's justification of doing it (which has a pooh-pooh-to-you-for-questioning-us tone, in my opinion), but to me the results were mixed. Much of the time it seemed the colors really didn't go with each other, that they fought for visual peace. Other times I thought I was looking into a shoebox diorama - a lavish, lush, beautiful one, to be sure - with the actors on one plane, the archway behind them on another, and then the mountains on a third, with no flow in between layers.

The language, though. Wow. Lofty and powerful and rich, and I'm sure I missed huge amounts of it, reading in subtitles. Even though the dialogue mostly expressed ideas I don't believe in - "the only story of lovers is to pine, heave sighs, and choke to death" - it was a joy to read. Dismissive and curmudgeonly as I am about the plot, even I was enchanted by the words.

All this and elephants too! That's what I call a night (okay, three) at the movies.

Friday, April 07, 2006

groovy

Courtesy of my Bollywood-loving friend at work, I now know the greatness that is Bombay Beats. Now if only I could get those film clips to work....

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Who's with me?

There's a context for all of this, but I can explain that later: I think Aamir Khan is the best dancer of the Bollywood boys. I have never heard anyone else comment on his mahvelous moves. What say all of you?

Sunday, April 02, 2006

You don't worry about your biscuit: Jhankaar Beats

Abby and I watched Jhankaar Beats. We christened it with pina coladas at the end of a very long day, and this proved to be a mistake, because the pina coladas made us cold and sleepy, then bundling under blankets because we were cold made us even more sleepy. We both liked it okay, but we both have nothing in particular to say about it. I wanted more dancing. I enjoyed the Sholay references and when Rishi sang "Piya Tu Ab To Asja," one of my most favorite songs, for the little girl. I liked when Juhi put that cup or napkin ring or whatever that was on her head. I wanted badly to recast the leads with the superwow team from Dil Chahta Hai, even though these leads were fine (well, not the guy who was Nick, he was boring, although not awful). I wonder if DCH is what this movie wanted to be, but with a domestic twist, but maybe I just think that becuase there were three male friends, and DCH was the first Bollywood I saw about male friends.

I know people who really like this movie, and it just didn't do anything for me - although it didn't do anything against me, either, so to speak - so I'll just end by saying it really did need more dancing and that it had a few good quotes, one of which was "This is style. This is serious style." Oh, and that it should give Parenthood back its saucy traffic accident. And that there were several really good bits of dialogue throughout that could have been "one-liners" for the condom campaign and I kept expecting them to resurface, such as "Let's get on with it."

Aside to readers: the management would like to apologize for a post in which the majority of the sentences start with "I." The management realizes that trying to write a response to a movie while tornados are touching down is not a good idea.