November 28, 2007

Yes, The Easiest Way Out of Writing Original Stuff is Recommending Stuff That's Wayyyyyy Better.


Why I love Aamir Khan:

A column that reminded me of English, August so much that I just had to put it up here:

And to all those slaving away to become "auditors":

Clarification: Links to the right are those that are great, but that are expected to be consistently great and hence get replaced by themselves week on week (Eg. Barkha Dutt, Vir Sanghvi, once in a while Karan Thapar and Shashi Tharoor). Links here are the ones I love, with no continuity factor.

November 11, 2007

One And A Half Movies

Yeah, the newspapers are tacky enough to discuss it. The news channels are bikaoo enough to air promos all the time. The remaining channels are zonked enough to call the goddam "stars" to every reality show. It's time we stood up to this media circus and ignored it all. Ignore it, and they'll automatically fail.

Filhaal, you guys can do that. Ignore the circus. I, on the other hand, shall add my two bits worth to the millions of opinions floating around, and pretend that people read this blog and are affected by what I write.

For starters, let me make one thing clear. Sanjay Leela Bhansali is a genius. A magician. He's achieved the impossible. He's done something that I thought no one would ever be able to do - make a movie that I walk out of in the interval.

Yep, I walked out of Sawariyan. My whole family did, in fact. And there were others leaving the theatre with us who sounded like they were never coming back.

I don't believe in wasting energy on crap movies. But this is a fascinating sort of crap movie. It's aesthetically pleasing - I love the way he's used lighting, though the whole blue-green effect does make you feel like you're swimming 2000 ft under water. And sometimes reminds me of moss and algae. Yech.

The first half is a showcase of the esteemed director's dream city - cobbled roads, gondolas, train chugging through, towers, etc. All very interesting if you're an architect. Or a psychiatrist. Bhansali now confirms my opinion - he seems to only see, not hear. To him, maybe, aesthetics and beauty are a substitute for substance and reality. As, indeed, they are for much of his audience, and he's welcome to that adulation and support. But his movie - just like the "shringar and ghunghat" comments (ref. post below) - proves that all he seems to care for is eyes, not ears or minds. I'm sorry for him.

Anyway, I can't comment on the second half because by that time I'd fled the theatre (to freedom and happiness, let us escape) and headed to the theatre next door where a bunch of friends were watching Om Shanti Om. Got there in time and saw the whole movie.

Maybe it's just that after watching Sawariyan, even Hulchul would be enjoyable. Maybe it's just that I find those digs at the 70s, at Hindi movies, at South Indian movies, hilarious. Maybe at the end of the day, I'm just an Indian who wants to be entertained out of her mind when she watches a movie - "Paisa vasool" hona mangta hai. Maybe shallow ploys (like getting Hrithik Roshan into the movie for a measly 4 seconds) get me excited. But whatever you say, I enjoyed the damn thing.

There's no logic. And the only reason why this is acceptable is because the film doesn't pretend to have any logic. It's jazzy (especially the 70s bit), melodramatic (mostly throughout), and funny. SRK weighs in with a decent performance (Who would've imagined? The man is getting better... the 3rd decent movie in 15 years! Gosh.) mostly because it's the kind of character he loves to play. The best thing about the movie is, I guess, that it spares no one. It pokes fun at everyone and everything, and kudos to Akshay Kumar and AB Jr for being so damn sporting and funny.

Khoya Khoya Chand hasn't released. Aaje Nachle, with gorgeous Madhuri Dixit, hasn't either. What do you have? Om Shanti Om and Sawariyan. No prizes for guessing which one I'll back. (Though Apahij Pyaar and Mind It would be still better.)

Until then, "Shotgun, Murugan... Yenna rascal-a...! Mind it!"

PS - "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn." Nice touch... But I hate it when people don't get it!

PPS - SRK's six packs and Ranbir's towel - yech. Spare us, please. Former looks like a coolie and latter like an Italian taxi driver.

PPPS (Later) - I love the digs at Sooraj Barjatya, Govinda, Shabana Azmi, Manoj Kumar, actresses' mothers... damn, the list is endless.

November 04, 2007

When Celebs Put Their Foot In Their Mouth, And Feel Happy About It

Younis Khan (Pakistani cricketer), in an interview to HT Cafe...

Your favourite actors?
Anil Kapoor and Hrithik Roshan.

And actresses?
Aishwarya Rai and the one who was about to get married to Abhishek Bachchan... but didn't... Rani Mukherji.

And Madhuri Dixit?
Nahi yaar, unki to shaadi or bache ho gaye hain.

But even you're
I'm a guy.

Forgive me for being dense, but the connection is...?


And then there's Sanjay Leela Bhansali (director of the interesting Khamoshi, over-the-top Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, disastrous Devdas and overhyped Black) in the Mumbai Mirror with...

Your women seem to belong to another age.

The modern Indian woman does not excite me. My women are strong. But they're also covered, guarded, cherished. My women are strong without screaming about
feminism. The Indian girl has lost her identity today.

That's not true at all. You forget that the Indian woman is still fighting
against a tradition of subjugation.

Does she need to cut her hair to do that?

The Indian woman plays a lot of roles in life. May be it's just simpler to
manage short hair. What's wrong with it?

Then cut your hair! But my heroines in my films won't. Where is the shringar today? The beauty is lost. There is a certain beauty in the ghunghat too. When a man loves his woman a lot, he doesn't want others to see her, he wants to protect her.

That may mean claustrophobia to women. That's when it's obsession, not love.

Oh, I don't mean the veil literally, nor do I mean negative obsession. But
there is a positive obsession in love. But why are we discussing all this, we're
going off track.

Strange, I haven't seen anyone yet say that Indian men have lost their identity when they cut or grow their hair, or fight for their rights (which is what feminism ultimately is, even if "screaming" about it seems to bother Mr. Bhansali so much).