Bollywood


OK, this is not strictly about writing, but it is, as I find inspiration also in movies. And I’ve been obsesses with Bollywood lately. So also to thank Shafali for doing the caricature of my favorite Bollywood star, I’ll tell you my love-story with Indian movies.

First taste was in the 1990s with Mira Nair’s Salaam Bombay, Mississipi Masala (yummy young Denzel! ;-)) and Khamasutra (my absolute favorite). I know, that’s not Bollywood. I know it NOW. Back then I thought that was Indian cinema. Then came Gurinder Chadha with Bend it like Beckam (always yummy Johnathan Rhys Meyers! ;-)) and Bride and Prejudice – the latter being closer, but still not Bollywood, in spite of Aishwarya Rai.

In comes British Airways, your friendly airline, and a long flight to LA back in 2007… India might be independent now, but British Airways seems to think it needs to pay homage to the thousands of Indians traveling with them, and always has a few Indian movies on it long flights. Thus I discovered KANK (I”m using the acronym so I’ll make sure I won’t misplace the aches, but I can say it well because it’s also a song! ;-)) . In spite of the 3 hours (split in two, with a nap in between), I was blown away by this movie, its colors, its songs, the melodrama, old-fashioned slow-mo and, yeah, Shahrukh, even if his part is that of an asshole in this case and he can’t even dance because he’s limping from some accident (so I’m guessing I didn’t see him at his “best” dancing/singing routine!).

Since then, every time I take a long distance BA flight, I check the Indian movies. Thus I discovered Dostana, my favorite comedy. I bought Shahrukh “biography” on Amazon, and started jotting down titles, along with suggestions from bloggers (thanks Shafali and Hema) and an article on a French mag about Bollywood, where they spoke about his performance in Devdas (indeed very good, it’s now my third favorite) and others I still have to see (I saw one this summer dubbed in Italian with all the songs cut out, I’ll have to buy it on Amazon, I’m afraid…).

I bought Baazigar because it was the “remake” of A kiss before dying with Matt Dillon who was my first movie love. Some scenes are indeed lifted from the American original, but the story is different – and Shahrukh has green contacts! πŸ˜‰ So soon I’ll head to Amazon for another bunch of Bollywood movies.

I will close this post with the mention of a Bollywood-Italy crossover that came out this side of the pond: Oggi sposi (just married). It’s an episodic movie of four couples who want to get married for different reasons, and one of the couples has an Italian cop (Luca Argentero) engaged to the daughter of the Indian ambassador – and he’s the son of a southern peasant: feel free to imagine the crash of cultures between a highly placed Indian family and a stubborn Italian peasant! πŸ™‚ BUT it ends with the Hindi wedding in the Italian village and the Hindi wedding dances and I just loved it for it. I wanted to hop off to the Indian Embassy in Rome to find an Indian husband and have my Hindi wedding straight away! πŸ˜‰

8 Comments

  1. Shafali

     /  28/09/2010

    Barb,
    Believe it or not…I hadn’t seen a single Shahrukh movie before I did that caricature (I know it’s difficult to believe…but I see about an average of one Bollywood film a year). I did watch some episodes of the serial Fauji though.

    However when I researched Shahrukh for that post, I realized that he had done a lot of good movies and so I made a list. Yesterday I watched Baazigar. Shahrukh was wonderful, but I didn’t like the movie, “because” it was a remake of “A Kiss before Dying” which I had watched about 8 years ago! I preferred the Hollywood version, because it was more natural. The sad-mother, loving-son, deceived-partner, revenge drama is regular Bollywood fare – you’ve got to get sympathy for the hero…

    But you are right Bollywood movies are good – once in a while:)

    Are you interested in Salman too?

    – Shafali

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    • from the picture only, no, I’m not interested in Salman. Maybe if I see him act… have any nice movie to suggest? πŸ˜‰
      p.s. SPOILER AHEAD – Shahrukh drinking himself to death for love in Devdas is just great!

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  2. Barb, I enjoyed reading your take on the song-and-dance routines and strong portrayal of emotions in Bollywood movies! Looks like you have developed quite a taste for them. Let me mull over what others are out there that you may enjoy and email their names to you :). I love watching Chinese movies and an occasional Italian one, too (both with subtitles, of course). It’s a great way to get a peek into other cultures, in addition to reading books set in other countries.

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    • Absolutely! Can you believe I bought 2 Jackie Chan movies (well in one there was also Jet Li, slurp!)? πŸ˜‰ I also like finding independent gems from the US or England and France… and yeah, sometimes I also watch Italian movies! πŸ˜€

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      • Golly, looks like all of us bloggers are on the same wavelength (or spectrum) or something… I kept finding common threads in a lot of the blogs I visited today. I love movies featuring Jet Li, too — too bad he seems to have given up acting. My post today mentions a few of his movies!

        I watch any and all foreign movies with subtitles, as long as the premise looks promising. Did I mention that I am addicted to Korean dramas? πŸ™‚

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      • “Il mare” (on which “The lake house” was based) and “3-Iron”… πŸ˜‰

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  3. Bollywood…lol

    I watched dostana with mom and sis. It was very embarrassing, Karan Johar had made absolute fools of the hottest hunks in Bollywood while he left us laughing.

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    • I just loved how Abishek told his “love story” with John! πŸ˜‰ And those songs are just great… my second Bollywood soundtrack, but the most listened to, whenever I’m blue, I do the Dostana dance! πŸ˜€

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