Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Beth Loves Various Kinds of Popular Indian Cinema: Nuvvostanante Nenoddantana

Back in March, Babasko sat me down and we watched Nuvvostanante Nenoddantana, my first Telugu film. It's been a month, but what I remember is roughly as follows:

  • both Babasko and me nearly collapsing in squeals and giggles because it was so delightfully cute* and funny
  • ohhhhhh that Siddharth
  • the mean girl entering a scene while we hear "Oh Baby Baby"
  • "something something"
  • cow song! cow song!
Foggy as I may be, I still definitely recommend it. Good times. A little bit like Maine Pyar Kiya but not so much that I found it at all redundant or derivative. Definitely its own fun thing. Definitely, as Babasko says, a coconut with a flower inside.

Aside re: Bollywood in the title of my blog: I happen to mostly watch Hindi films. When I started watching popular Indian films about two years ago, I relied on my local video store, and with just a tiny handful of exceptions, Hindi is the language of the movies they have, so that is what I watched. Now that I know about the Indian grocery store's collections, I could definitely branch out. I admit that I think my exploration and learning are aided by having a focus, but it's important that people know I didn't choose this particular focus out of a feeling that northern culture is better or anything absurd like that. The focus was sort of there for me as I started and I've never worked to change it. It's like being at your favorite restaurant: do you go with the thing you usually get because you know you love it, or do you order something else that you assume you'll like because everything else you've ordered has been so good? That's how I feel about choosing a movie. If you want to send me recommendations for non-Hindi films I should watch, please feel free to do so.

* Cute gets a bad rap. I know it can imply that the thing so named is trivial or dismissible, but I try to employ it carefully to connote positive traits like "endearing" or "inviting" or "sweet yet substantial."

12 comments:

Sanket Vyas said...

Us Northern Indians tend to get somewhat 'holier than thou' when it comes to our languages & movies compared to our Southern brethren - very similar to what happens here in the States. But for me it all comes down to language - some languages (Hindi/Urdu & French) just sound nicer to my ear than others (Telugu, Tamil & German).

This is not to say that there are not good movies in those languages but I so enjoy the sweetness of Hindi that I have yet to see a South Indian movie. Most (nearly all actually) of my South Indian friends watch Bollywood movies and have never seen a South Indian movie either. For that matter I have seen very few Gujarati movies (and I am from Gujarat) just because the movies just aren't that good.

South Indian movies regularly get National Awards (the Indian government's awards for the arts) so they are good - just not good for me. And to be fair - South India (on the whole) is more literate, more lush, less polluted and is prone to less racial strife than those in the 'superior' Northern part.

Anonymous said...

Hi Beth

I think i have earler recommended a telugu movie called "Anand" to you.

It is a real good movie contemporary and very well made.

I am interested in reading your review.

I am not trying to be inflammatory here but the post above seems to run true to form about people making stereotype generalisations about movies from other parts of India.

To me good cinema is good cinema no matter the language ie Italian/French/ English/Hindi/Tamil/Telugu/ Malayalam/ Kannada/ Marathi/ Bengali or Gujarati

I have been lucky to see movies in different languages and enjoyed their richness!

Anonymous said...

Beth

Another recent Siddharth telugu movie that was a hit is "bomarillu" which means "house of dolls "

I hope you are not put off by the title.

It is really an enjoyable movie and I am sure you will like Siddharth in it.

BTW, Siddharth has also acted in Rang De Basanti as Karan

happy viewing!

--Sunrise-- said...

I feel you, Beth... I am a Telugu girl, but I am put off watching Tollywood movies thanks to what I see whenever I go to India... I LOVE Bollywood so much more... but I have had experience of Tollywood movies since I was a child, so I am not being tooo narrow-minded by preferring to watch Bollywood movies.. I hope! That's not to say all Tollywood movies are bad - example: NVNV (nuvvostanante nenoddantana)... LOVED that movie so much! The songs, the storyline, the direction (it was Prabhu Deva's first directorial venture - remember the guy who danced with Madhuri Dixit in Pukar? I'm sure you know him, lol...), the acting... everything! I totally agree, it is well worth watching..

I equate that movie (with all due respect to it) to something from Hollywood such as Love Actually, or whatever... in that it is a refreshing movie to watch... not too serious, but not too chick-flicky either... :)

Glad you're getting into Tollywood, though, despite having said all that... :D

And yeah - Bommarillu is another good Telugu Siddharth movie... only, watch out for a lack of solid storyline in Telugu movies... it is more the overall experience in Telugu movies - rarely do we get gems such as NVNV... but that is just my personal opinion, of course... :)

Argh - I am rambling too much! :D

Take care.

Nina said...

Coincidentally, my copy of NVNV was shipped to me today, so I am looking forward to some of that cuteness for myself soon!

But the question on all our lips is: is Siddarth FPMBF material?

Beth said...

Sanket - somehow that was the vague impression I had gotten from various people (admittedly my sample is skewed, since the people I have met to talk about movies with are people who read/write about Hindi films too). I was looking at the National Film Awards lists just the other day and noticed how geographically diverse the winners were (but again, the awards I have encountered tend to be the self-congratulatory Bollywood ones, so again, skewed). I got to go to a movie studio in Trivandrum and learned a bit about that cinema's history and breadth, but I have yet to see a Malayalam film, much to the dismay of Velu.

anon - I do recall someone telling me about Anand! Thanks for reminding me. And yes, I think most sensible people agree that a good movie is a good movie regardless of language - although for some it can be hard to access all of those movies, due to language or any number of other differences. You sound like an ideal candidate to enjoy the new Jaman website, by the way....

anon 2 - Bomarillu is what we were supposed to watch at the Vienna meetup, but there were problems with the shipping! I hear nothing but good things about it. And yes, I definitely remember Siddarth from Rang De Basanti, which is where I first saw him.

Sunrise - thanks for your input on this question. I hope more people will share their opinions/experiences.

Nina - let us know how you like it!
And, for the burning question (which made me laugh out loud, by the way): no, not as yet. He's definitely dreamy and all, but it would take a lot - and by "a lot" I mean on the level of Shashi Kapoor, say - to dislodge my current top five. That said, I know he is already causing waves of drool among my German-speaking friends, so I'm sure he's already racing up the charts in this particular social circle.

Anonymous said...

Off:
Is it possible you haven't seen Salaam-E-Ishq yet? I'd like to know what you think about this movie. I have my own copy of dvd, I ust like it so much that it's been ten times I have already seen it :D
Johnny is perfect, and Akshaye... :D But Ayesha did no good. Can she act at all?

Nisha said...

You should definitely watch some South Indian films. I can recommend some good Tamil ones, a Telugu one and at least one in Malayalam. They're pretty good. The production values don't always measure up to Bollywood's standards but they've got good stories and lots of entertainment. (The right kind. :P)

Michael said...

sweetie, you've definitly to watch more south indian stuff :)

Dinesh said...

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WATCH INDIAN MOVIES , TELEVISION CHANNELS, CRICKET

Mr. Imperfect said...

Beth agreed it was a cute movie. Btw the second half was from Pyaar Kiya to Darna kya :) A little bit.

bird's eye view said...

There are some awesome south indian films starring one of India's best actors, in my opinion - Kamala Haasan. try Moonram Pirai, and Ori Kaidhiyin Diary.