Sometimes knowledge finds you at just the right time. Not two minutes ago I was emailing with Desi Dancer about how to capture the feeling of "listen up, bitches" in Hindi.
So, quality-control team at EROS (or the whole company, whatever): suno, saala. What exactly do you think you're doing putting out crap like this? I can deal with your idiot boasting about your role in promoting Bollywood. I can deal with the Tilda basmati folks (to be honest, I love the flying cauliflower). I can deal with all your ads for things I already know about.
But I cannot watch a movie with subtitles that cover, at best, 20% of what's being said and generally whimper along without the joy of complete sentences. The following list is just a sample of what you subjected me to under the guise of subtitled dialogue (with / indicating a new screen). All of these accompany lines spoken by one character in between speeches by other characters, which I assume is a pretty standard unit of dialogue, and therefore each should stand on its own as a complete idea.
- Move aisde Gita! / a man's patience / several times in business! / between Sheetal and me! / he could do to our family! / without retaliating even once! / tolerate what he has done! / What harm have we done to him?!
- against you... / you have done to me... / go and question your father!
- married tomorrow. / in the ceremony. / his house and against his wishes. tell you is that... / attend the wedding tomorrow. / Because, in the father's absence... / who gives away the bride."
- I've had today / of tennis this evening
- comes from the heart / 3.
I hate that you create an obstacle to Bollywood.
The first three examples above, while not grammatically sufficient, do express some of what's going on in the scene, and they did augment my understanding of the plot. I still can't say they're good, though, because obviously they don't read the way people generally talk. However, the latter two - I don't even know what to say about these. I can't imagine the two elements of the tennis one could even be from the same sentence, becuse how could the speaker have already had something that is happening later that day (they character was eating lunch, so evening hadn't happened yet)? And the last one...I can only hope that this is a cryptic augur of the eventual emotional, dramatic family reunion of the titular Gupta triumvirate or something.
(Sorry for the big words there. I'm all worked up.)
I'm so angry and disappointed. I really can't say that I saw this movie at all. How much of a badass was Amitabh?
Well, bad enough to light his cigarette with a dynamite fuse, but other than that, I don't know. What did Amitabh's dying mother say to him? I don't know. What were the details of Amitabh's scheme to bring down Mr. R. K. Gupta?
I don't know. Was Shashi a playboy gadabout or an actual asset to his father's company and otherwise standup fellow?
I don't know. (I do know he has some awesome clothes, though.) What were Shahi's flirty exchanges with Hema about the role of modern women?
I don't know. How did Amitabh manage to dance off with Shashi's girlfriend?
I don't know. Was there anything shady about Shashi's sister's fledgling romance? I don't know. Who were all the other businessmen? I don't know. Does it matter that I don't know these things? I don't know that either.
I made informed guesses for the answers to the above questions, based not only what was going on on screen but also on my very tiny grasp of bits of Hindi and on what I assume would be happening in a revenge drama from 1978, but any fine points of this - especially the Salim-Javed dialogues that reviewers rave about - were completely lost to me. One of the reasons I'm so disappointed in this DVD is that this is the first time I've seen Amitabh as Angry Young Man, and I can't imagine I'm not really missing out.
So there you go. My thoughts on a movie I didn't really see.
A few other visuals-based points....
- Having been warned about Shashi occasionally overdoing his megawatt smile, I laughed a lot through this movie because he certainly trots it out a lot - it seemed to suit his character, which came across to me as a good-natured flirt and slightly doofusy loyal son. During his first song with Hema, I said out loud "Hey there, Shashi, save something for the honeymoon!"
- In said song, Hema and Shashi go golfing (and play tennis and do yoga). With the risk of opening a gigantic can of worms, I was startled by the dramatic difference in skin color between the stars and the caddies. Of course I've read and been told all about the beauty standard of fair complexions in Bollywood, but I'd never noticed such a stark contrast that also seemed to correlate so strongly to social status.
If anyone wants to comment on whether these extras were cast on purpose (or maybe they are actual workers at the golf course), please go right ahead. This may be a completely unimportant or irrelevant thing to comment on, but, well, I noticed it, so there you go. On a sillier note, the white bell-bottoms on both leads are enjoyable - and Shashi even has VPL. No one quite rocks the white bell-bottoms like my FPMFIL, but still, A for effort.
- I love street/city scenes that include posters for movies starring people who are also in the movie I'm watching. Here we see Hema with Dharmendra in a poster for Dream Girl (ha ha). I can't decide if this is sloppy or wink-wink.