Sunday, January 20, 2008

Bhagam Bhag and Partner

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice...and apparently I get a Govinda/Lara Dutta/Rajpal Yadav double header. Yes, these movies helped a little with my occasional investigation into the all-important question "What is with Govinda?": I enjoyed his dancing very much in Partner and can see how he and Salman were appropriate counterparts of the cast of Hitch. Govinda projects a bumbling, eager sweetness, and Salman is more than believable as someone who thinks he knows all about women but doesn't have the skills to make his own relationship work. Partner made me think that I might have to add another question to my investigations: "Why does Katrina Kaif keep getting work?"

I should include the usual caveat that I realize that not knowing Hindi is a hindrance in comedies, especially frantic ones like Bhagam Bhag, so I'll happily accept that I'm missing a skill needed to enjoy either of these. I have at best an inconsistent track record with Priyadarshan and David Dhawan, so I really should have known better than to watch these, no matter how glad I am someone made good on the potential of the heroin/heroine joke.

I've been trying to think of a clever way to write about these movies, such as an advice column based on what I learned about relationships from Partner...or maybe a Bhagam Bhag-inspired mad lib to show that anything you could put in an outline of the plot makes as much sense as the movie they actually made. And then I realized the less brain power I wasted on these forgettable movies, the better.

However, that's not a very hospitable way to run a blog. Kaddele and I spent a long time chatting while I was watching the movie, and some selected portions of our conversation are available for your enjoyment by clicking here.

12 comments:

Subconscious Mind said...
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Subconscious Mind said...
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Banno said...

I don't think that even if you knew Hindi, you'd get the films. You just laugh because it's Salman and Govinda, end of story :)

bollywoodfoodclub said...

Beth, I haved lived through both of these movies and reading your thoughts took me back, and I'm not sure that's good. They are in the "modern wacky" genre. Unfortunately, I'm a Bollywood whore, and will watch almost anything, so when "Honeymoon" came in for me at the library I watched that and it's probably worse than "Partner" or "Bhagam Bhag." Have you seen this movie?

http://www.indiaglitz.com/channels/hindi/moviegallery/8971.html

I suppose the only interesting thing is that there are 2 gay men portrayed, something I haven't seen in Bollywood movies.

There are so many great Bollywood movies, yet I still will waste my time on the bad ones when they come my way. I've come to justify my addiction to Bollywood and watching even bad movies by thinking that at least I'm hearing more Hindi, and moving towards learning a bit more.

And as far as Katrina, I agree. WHY!?!?! I have a small theory that here sort of vacant and confused look in her eyes which is sexy for some men. It makes her look feeble minded and thus easy prey.

All the best!
Sita-ji

Beth said...

banno - then I'm sunk :)

sita-ji - Yeah, I know the feeling, though I prefer the term "investigatively-minded fan" and justify the bad movies with 1) helping with Hindi, 2) learning more about whoever stars in it, directed it, etc., 3) getting bits of information about whatever segment of Indian culture liked it in the first place, and 4) enjoying the sets, especially if there are any domestic scenes, because I loves me some Bollywood residences.

I also use the term "wackadoo" and generally try to avoid anything that I can discern ahead of time to fit that category. However, there are always other aspects to tempt me, and in both of these cases I made the wrong call. I have it on very good authority that Honeymoon Travels is fantastic, so don't fear that. The best treatment of a gay character I've seen in Bollywood so far is Jhoom Barabar Jhoom, hands down.

I won't even start on men who find feeble and confused attractive - or on productions that propagate such stupid tropes.

bollywoodfoodclub said...

I will replace my "Bollywood whore" term with the much more accurate and improved "investigatively-minded fan." If we were in a movie I'd say "Manzoor!" to that. Yes, I side stepped "Welcome" this weekend because is seemed in the "modern wacky" AKA "wackadoo" genre. But as you point out there is a lot to see and learn, and indeed some fly residences. I mean all those huge central staircases and wonderful courtyards. Rishi’s stalker room room in “Chandini,” plastered with pictures of Sridevi, reprised by SRK in “Darr,” I could go on and on. As far as the architecture, I like the sliding doors found in gangster's headquarters, ala "Don." I’m also a huge fan of bar scenes, like the "Lovers' Paradise" scene in “Muqaddar ka Sikandar.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lPugMopyIbk

Talk about some great interior design. Also, I like all brothel scenes. I like it all Beth!
All the Best,
Sita-ji

Filmi Geek said...

Sita, never fear - *Honeymoon Travels* has nothing in common with the David Dhawan - Priyadarshan type of comedy. It's a light and sweet with occasional moments of delicacy and sophistication. You might like or not - I don't know what your tastes are - but its variety of comedy is not even a distant relative the loud, slapstick, silly-hat type of comedy characterizing films like the ones Beth has written about here.

bollywoodfoodclub said...

Thanks filmi geek. I don't like slap stick. BTW, I've been a fan of your site for some time, it's even on our blogroll!

Beth said...

Sita - Yeah yeah, those are the house features I love! Plus people often having giant framed photos of themselves - and not snapshots but...well, Glamour Shots, for lack of a better term. And the huuuuuge living rooms with sofas for 30! Sliding doors are also choice. Definitely.

bollywoodfoodclub said...

YES! Those huge glamour vanity shots, see them a lot. OK Beth, the timing of my reading is too good! Speaking of houses in the movies....I'm reading this book called "Motiba's Tattoos," by Mira Kamdar, a memoir about an American born Jain woman. (I'll add it to my Good Reads site soon) I'm not expecting anything Bollywood from it and then yesterday I read about her time spent in Mumbai as a kid and read THIS:

"The slum was still cloaked in darkness, but on the other side of the street, the mansions of stars were lit up here and there with the garish florescence of hundreds of high-voltage projector lights illuminating the last of the nightlong marathon of shooting. “Bollywood” movie stars are rich people in a poor country. Their real-life homes provide ready-made back-drops for the improbable lives of the wealthy heroes, heroines, and villains they play in their films. We children would often go up to the rooftop terrace of our Jehu apartment building after dark and pick out the homes of the stars where scenes were being filmed. ‘Look! Over there. Tonight they are shooting at Amitabh Bachchan’s house over on Tenth Road. You know who is starring’ Hema Malini. Star struck teenagers in the neighborhoods waited patiently outside the gates of these villas for hours hoping to capture a glimpse of a favorite actor. When shooting was going on late into the night at Meena Cottage, directly behind our apartment it was hard to sleep. The bright lights and the knowledge that just yards away from where we slumbered, on famous star or another was breathing, walking, sitting, or drinking tea was simply too enervating.” (p.150)

Did you know they used their real homes? I’d never hear or thought of that. See, I’m trying to be responsible, reading a book, not watching Bollywood, surfing the net and I come across this passage and I’m on fire!

Sita-ji

bindifry said...

i can't express how thrilled i am to have found this blog.
thank you

Shweta Mehrotra Gahlawat said...

Hey Beth- with due complements, I am lisitng ur blog on mine- :D- "Apni East India Co."