Ghajini

Nov. 20th, 2009 07:43 pm
lesbiassparrow: (Default)
Holy Mother of God, the medical student in Ghajini is annoying. I have rarely wanted to shove a character under a bus quite so much. Also, despite how much I like the music of this film, I am finding the dance numbers a bit underwhelming. Even (astonishing!) Guzarish. Even shirtless Aamir fails to impress there. Can the girl not dance at all? Is that why this is all just shots of them standing or twirling?
lesbiassparrow: (SRK)
I just spent the afternoon at a friend's house watching the glory that is Tashan. It may have been the company (these people are the BEST for watching Bollywood with), it may have been the amazing Indian food they cooked, it may just be my Saif Ali Khan love taking, but I DON'T CARE. I am willing to announce that it is one of the best* Bollywood films I have ever seen. THE FINAL SCENE WITH THE FLAME THROWERS AND THE NINJAS AND THE HAND GRENADES AND THE JET SKI AND THE BICYCLE WITH KNIVES IS ALONE WORTH THE PRICE OF ADMISSION.

* Where 'best' may have a definition other than that normally used.
lesbiassparrow: (Default)
A bunch of people on my flist seem to be having bad times lately; in an effort to cheer you up I bring you a link to Learn Hindi from Bollywood movies. Even if you are not interested in Bollywood or Hindi it is very funny. I am up to podcast 5 and already I have learned how to deal with rejection (especially if it involves being commanded to put my head on an editor's feet),* how to nurse resentments for years, curse my employees' blood, and how to know when my boss trusts me (it's when he tells everyone not to shoot the doorman: you'll be happy to do that).

I haven't learned much Hindi (well, Hindi that I could use) but it is vastly entertaining.

ETA: I am now learning how to deal with getting visas when you come from one of the many European countries that has wronged India and how to tell the girl you want to pick up that my blood is not made up of lemon soda, thus reassuring her that I am indeed human and filled with manly vigour.

* I also learned the valuable fact in this one that every writer is entitled to 5 seconds of self-respect in their lives.
lesbiassparrow: (Default)
In my search for more materials for learning Hindi, I came across the absolutely hilarious "Learn Hindi from Bollywood" podcasts. While it is not really useful for learning the language it is a riot to listen to not just because of the selections the author makes from films, but also because it comes replete with his hysterical commentary. I especially loved the one on rejection with the recounting of the rejections that a tender young author must go through. BRILLIANT.

I also bought a learn Hindi book today but I am sure it will not be nearly so much fun. (And some Dresden novels. I thought about getting some more of Kage Baker's Company novels, but although I am enjoying The Garden of Iden I think I could get tired of the main characters quite quickly. It's hard to really want to hear about people who are so superior to mortal people and so conscious of their superiority; they're just a bit too smug. But the novel is still really interesting.
lesbiassparrow: (Default)
You know what makes me happy? Sholay, the evergreen classic jewel of Bollywood, that's what. And while people have told me of this wonder for a long, long time, teasing me with mentions of dancing on glass to save one's true love and massive amounts of Hoyay THEY SOMEHOW FAILED TO MENTION THE ARMLESS MAN. How could you miss this bit! He is simply the greatest role that Indian cinema has ever written.

Photobucket Image Hosting
Sholay is the story of two simple, good-hearted thieves who like to travel on trains while handcuffed to each other. This increases their deep but manly love for each other while also impressing police officers.

Cut for images and spoilers )

Baabul

Sep. 6th, 2008 08:46 pm
lesbiassparrow: (Default)
You know, I never thought I'd see a Bollywood where I thought of the bits with Salman Khan as the good bits.
lesbiassparrow: (love is never wrong)
It's hard to describe this Bollywood film because it couldn't really decide what film it wanted to be; the genre changed about every five minutes. But that's not important. What is important is that because I couldn't quite believe it was as strangely and fascinatingly about the love of Bobby Deol's character for Arjun Rampal's as I remembered, I rewatched it. And lo! I bring you photographic evidence of their true love.

massive picspam of the love behind the cut )
lesbiassparrow: (Default)
This weekend I saw this and, wow, that's a lot of pretty settings and people all being misused. I'm not even a Hrithik Roshan fan and even I thought he was wasted in this role. The entire plot seemed to be 'let's make everyone in India say how great a ruler Akbar is.' FOR OVER THREE HOURS. Every time you thought it was about to end they had to go and find that one guy who hadn't worked out that, yes, Akbar was best guy EVER IN THE HISTORY OF INDIA.

And the score! The songs were pretty but every time that Akbar did anything we would have dramatic music. Akbar gets up? Dramatic music. Akbar glances sideways? Dramatic music. Akbar moves at all? DRAMATIC MUSIC. It reminded me of this:

lesbiassparrow: (srk)
I just saw this, the latest Shahrukh Khan film, and it was AWESOME. There was a lot of shouting and running and field hockey and most importantly Shahrukh Khan doing all of these things often at the same time. I now want to go out and shout Chak De! to people. And if I wouldn't die of a heart attack I would take up playing street hockey once more.

Cut for discussing the most awesome scene which is also obviously a spoiler )

ETA: And now I will destroy my cheery mood by watching the last two episodes of Silence. I keep having to pause this one because the angst is too much. It's almost superangst it is so powerful. The only way I keep myself going is by hoping that the evil dad gets run over by a truck or thrown out of a plane into the desert to suffer. IF THIS DOES NOT HAPPEN IT WILL BE ONE MORE PROOF OF AN UNJUST UNIVERSE.

ETA 2: I thought it wasn't possible for me to hate Evil Dad anymore than I did. Turns out I was wrong. My hatred of him is so pure and burning it gets me through the angst in the other scenes because I am hopeful of a horrific fate for him. I just sit there devising new ones as the episodes go on.

ETA 3: Hey, Evil Dad? You know when you say that maybe god is punishing you? I'd take out the 'maybe' if I were you because I'm pretty sure any just deity would like to do so for your horrible treatment of your wife and son for over 20 years, breaking your son's heart, blackmailing his OTP into leaving him, firing half the workers in your factories, deserting your first wife and never taking care of your daughter by her, and sundry other offences including being a grade A wanker who is horrible to everyone around them.

ETA 4: Well, that was depressing. I think I've read happier Dostoevsky novels.
lesbiassparrow: (kank rain)
You know, I may now be deeply caught up in the thrilling angst and melodrama of doramas, but nothing will ever displace my one true love: Bollywood. And the greatness of Shahrukh Khan. The first time you see him, you wonder what the fuss is about. And then you watch him for a bit and somehow you're interested and there's a certain something about him that makes you understand why he's a Bollywood megastar.

Here he is in a still from Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna, walking away from his love - who happens to be married to someone else. This was a very shocking Bollywood because of the adultery theme, but I really liked it (and I am generally not mad about adultery being the focus of a film).

cut the image because I didn't quite realize how horrendously large it was )

Behind the cut some youtube videos to hopefully convince of his awesomeness )
lesbiassparrow: (Default)
This was an odd film for me, because there were stories I really liked and stories that gave me the creeps.

Salaam-E-Ishq: more love stories than you can shake a stick at )

Er, do you think it's odd when you are watching something and you think 'x person on LJ would love this?'
lesbiassparrow: (irbe)
Please do not let the Rangers win. Not only do I dislike them on general principal, any team that Brendan Shanahan* plays for must earn my ire.

*This is a very long story involving his behaviour when he was captain of the Hartford Whalers. I usually start foaming when I think about it, so I will not go in the graphic detail of the betrayal.

It's a bit sad that I don't really have a team I'm rooting for in this year's cup. I guess it's Buffalo by default and the Senators, but I don't feel attached to any of them in any meaningful way, so while I enjoy it's not like I invest in it. Though that is easier on the old heart and emotions.

Also, I am home sick today watching the Bollywood film Duplicate which features SRK dancing around in an apron and also appearing in drag. Um. It's one of those situations where you are not sure what to think...

ETA: O mighty hockey gods I salute you for your greatness and beneficence! Take that, Rangers!
lesbiassparrow: (may not be stupid)
Oh flist who knows all:

1. Is there actually an official version of the Tdrama Mars with English subtitles? If there is I'd like to buy it, but I am not sure where to look. (I can't seem to find it on Yes Asia).

2. Outside of nehaflix and ebay where is a good place to get Bollywood? I want to get Oh Darling Yeh Hai India and it's not available on either. I fear some of the sites out there.

3. Where do you buy (translated) manga online? There are some shops here I can go to but I'd also like a good online source.

Thanks very much!
lesbiassparrow: (Default)
I’ve just watched Swades and it moved me unreasonably to copious tears in almost every scene. I come from the back end of nowhere in Ireland (we were 10 miles off the coast of Ireland and were cut off for weeks in the winter) and this desire to link between modern information circuits and remote areas just gripped me so much and reminded me of my youth and that wondering about what was out there which was so naive and so desperate and so many other things too. I am not ashamed to say that I cried because of the wonders of satellites and the much smaller wonders of 24 hour electricity (when I was small we lost the electricity for at least an hour a day while the generator transferred and much longer if the petrol was in short supply) and because someone believed that people from nowhere could make a difference. I don’t know why but the magic of power is still alive in me even now and I don’t take it for granted – even if I know that in Ireland we are part of the digital age with a vengeance and all of this is inconceivable to someone who grew up in the last ten years.

I am a dinosaur who guards a past that doesn’t even exist any longer. And I'm glad it doesn't exist any more.
lesbiassparrow: (Default)
Well, it wasn't quite that bad, but it was no Don! And considering we had driven down to Artesia to see Don, which was suddenly not playing, that was not good.

Dhoom 2 is a thrilling tale of....well, actually, I am not sure, because it really abandoned any semblance of a plot very quickly on and instead decided to show shiny, pretty people dancing and doing stunts without a lot of clothes on whenever it might need to have any sort of narrative. (Hrithik Roshan must have a clause in his contract that he must dance around oiled and shirtless for at least 40 minutes in every one of his films. If I liked him more I would approve of this.) I think there was something about a master thief and the cop who chases him, but that's as far as I'd venture a guess. There were some mighty long scenes of wet basketball playing. And lots of leaping off things. And Hrithik Roshan and Abhishek Bachchan engaging in mildly suggestive conversations, which seemed to suggest that they far more interested in each other than their love interests.
lesbiassparrow: (Default)
This took longer than I thought, so here's [livejournal.com profile] cryptile's and [livejournal.com profile] annous' for the moment.

5 Roman Matrons Who Totally Should Have Been Emperor )

5 Bollywood Moments That Make You Cry Like a Baby )

And for [livejournal.com profile] dangermousie: 5 Hottest Bollywood Moments )

ETA: Subtitle hell: I am watching an official copy of 'Heaven's Wedding Gown' which manages the feat of having subtitles for English that are a) completely different from what is being said in the English and b) be completely incomprehensible. I should have not expected much given that the back of the box has sentences like this 'Two people simlutaneously had a liking for a small wooden horse in an individual artistic shop quarrelling, finally under shop owner's tactitly consenting to.' Eh?

ETA 2: I am no longer watching 'Heaven's Wedding Gown' as it was incomprehensible and also rather cheap looking. I have transferred over 'Long Vacation' which also looks a bit cheap (filming on video tape is never a good idea) but has much better acting. Though there is also an unnerving bad English pop sound track in the first episode which is a bit off-putting.
lesbiassparrow: (Default)
I just don't know what to say about this film, it's that bloody amazing. It's the sort of film you show people when they say Bollywood is all silliness and dancing and singing and nothing under the surface. Because this is the film that gives the lie to that.

This is a Bollywood version of Othello, so its subject matter is not what you would call cheery and the slow slide towards the end is just horrible to watch. The film has switched the locale to Utar Pradesh; Omkara (Othello) is a half-caste gangster working for a politician who has just been promoted leaving the inevitable power vacuum of his own successor. Like Othello he passes over the Iago character (Langda) to his own undoing. I don't think there's a perfomance that is offkey here, but Saif Ali Khan owns this film as the villainous Langda; I am not sure I'll ever see him in the same way again. The only problem with this film is that it is so depressing that I will not be able to watch it again - it's even more depressing than the play. It now joins Devdas in the category of 'films which blew me away but cannot ever be seen again for fear I will never recover from the depression.'

ETA: Yep, the more I think about it, the more depressing the film becomes. I don't know - I guess there is something about updating the setting of Shakespearean tragedies which makes them even more heart-wrenching?

ETA 2: But the DVD of this film reminded me that I really hate Eros' tendency to make it near impossible to get to watch the film without sitting through hours of ads for their products. Feck off! I paid good money for the DVD - I don't want to have to sit through silly ad after ad.

Bollywood!

Aug. 24th, 2006 08:51 pm
lesbiassparrow: (kank rain)
So I went to see KANK for a second time as it was being played in Pasadena as well for a few days, and that's a lot closer to me. And I loved it even more a second time around, though I still think the ending could have been tighter. But that is not why I write! The cinema it is being played in is an art house one, and when I went up to get my ticket the girl kept saying 'It's a Hindi film, it doesn't have subtitles. You won't understand it.' And I said that I wondered why it didn't have subtitles as the one in Artesia does and that's playing to pretty much an all Indian audience and that I thought they distributed them with the subtitles. And then I just said I didn't really care and that I'd take my chances. And I sat down and she had LIED. There were indeed subtitles. There were even subtitles for the trailers, which you don't usually get in Artesia.

The thing is she tried for about five minutes to persuade me that I didn't want to see the film because OMG! NO SUBTITLES. Why would you do this? Why would you not think, 'hmm, isn't it unusual that this one film has no subtitles. I wonder if I am right about this?' Also I could not find the cinema and when I called them from my cell phone all you get is a recorded message and you cannot get a real person for directions.

ETA: Someone on a board I post at said that they sat through a Bollywood marathon of four movies and felt like they wanted to kill themselves by film four. I am not surprised! That's probably at least 13 hours of viewing. I could not watch anything for 13 hours solid, not even Bollywood!
lesbiassparrow: (Default)
According to Nehaflix, Omkara, a Bollywood version of Othello, is already out on DVD. So, of course, I ordered it. But so I wouldn't feel absolutely suicidal after watching it I also bought Hum Tum at the same time (plus the soundtrack from KANK). It should be interesting seeing Saif Ali Khan go from being an evil plotter to being the lead in a romantic comedy.

KANK is playing today in Pasadena; I am wondering what are the chances of me staying awake long enough to make a second trip to see it, given that I woke up at 3 am for some strange reason and did not go back to sleep.

ETA: And HBO obviously wear pirate hats when they price their series; what the hell is the deal with the cost of Rome on DVD? I don't care what extras you are giving, that's an outrageous price for a series that short. They might as well be the BBC for the prices they slap on their stuff.
lesbiassparrow: (kank)
When I was down at Artesia I bought a copy of Fanaa,* a film which I am astonished to find myself not hooked by at all. Which is strange given my mad love for Aamir Khan. It's got some good moments, but overall I don't know, I just don't think it hangs together despite some good scenes. Given that I am typing this as I watch the ending it doesn't really speak for it grabbing me.

Also what is it with Bollywood and blind heroines who get their sight back through the magic of science?

But on the positive side, the more I think of Kabhi Alvida naa Kehna, the more I love it with a mad love that knows no boundaries. Well, maybe not no boundaries, but certainly very few ones. If only it wasn't so much of a haul to get to Artesia I'd certainly be seeing it again.


*For anyone who cares, this is a film about a terrorist who romances an innocent girl, then leaves her, bumps into her in the mountains, gets back with her while being chased by the Indian army, etc. It stars the great and wonderful Aamir Khan as the terrorist and Kajol, as the formerly blind girl he romances and betrays. Compared to many Bollywood plots this is pretty straightforward and restrained.

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