Random Friday

Written in bits and pieces as soon as I have something to say. Halla Bol: can’t tell if it’s a good movie or not, because the so-called English subtitles were either very bad and ridden with typos or non-existent and un-synchronized to the dialog. So I have not a very clear idea of what they were saying at any time. I guess this movie wasn’t meant to be seen outside of India… Like others I’ve stumbled upon (I already mentioned missing or badly written English subtitles, didn’t I). Alas my Hindi is still non-existent, so maybe one day I’ll watch it again. Maybe.

Same DVD had also Welcome. Slapstick comedy, one of those where people don’t brake and keep going with their car after losing the wheel (an action scene in a supposed rom-com) and other silly visual tricks. Except there were probably lots of funny thinks said, but I could only guess them because – yes, once again, the English subtitles were clunky or non existent. I got the idea of what it’s about more than the prefious one, but I probably missed half the spoken jokes.

I guess Bollywood doesn’t care about actually exporting its movies, or they’d do a better job with English subtitles – they might be good for Hindustani readers, but not for everybody else in the world. Either this or those are “minor” productions not meant to go abroad. I mean, Jodhaa Akbar had perfect subtitles (even signed) and the first movies I saw on British Airways (KANK, Dostana) also had good subtitles…

Oh, gosh, just discovered how Dostana is called in Italian (IMDB gives me the Italian title when available only because I’m in Italy, I hate it, but I don’t know how to get rid of it. And I tried to watch Dostana on the Italian TV one Saturday night, but switched it off after 20 minutes – hated the dubbing): “Appointment (as in “date”, but I kept the word similar to the Italian one) for… 3″ – now, if they really wanted to keep the 3-thingy, is should have been “Apartment for… 3″, because that’s what the movie is about! 😦 I hate dubbing and I also hate re-titling of foreign movies in this country. More often than not they make no sense at all. They don’t do this with books that much, luckily…

Anyway. back to subtitles: the award for Worst English Subtitles goes to the first DVD. I thought it was because it was one of those “2 movies on one disk”, but then I tried a “3 movies on 1 disk” and Krrish (which I already own as single movie on DVD) had the same subtitles than my copy! 😉 I might steal that one as my copy of Krrish is a little faulty and blocks itself at the beginning – but then, I mentioned that the first half of the movie isn’t as good as the second, so who cares! 😉 Looking forward to the sequel… Come on, Hrithik, get done with it!! 😉

Along with it there was Anthony Kaun Hai? which also had decent subtitles and is also a very decent story with Sanjay Dutt and Arshad Warsi (seen in Kabul Express next to John Abraham). Sanjay Dutt is always overpowering and very good as a hitman although not as scary as he was in Agneepath. Songs were so-and-so for my tastes, but it’s a good story, so you should check it.

Also on that DVD was Gangster with Emraan Hashmi (seen in The Dirty Picture). But I’ll watch it during the weekend, as I started writing, therefore I’d rather not stop until I’m done with draft 0, LOL!I also want to rewatch a couple of movies and buy Magic Mike ASAP for inspiration on the body switch, so stay tuned… Have a wonderful weekend! 🙂

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  1. Wow! You do watch a lot of Hindi movies! I don’t know how you stand them…at least most of them. They make me feel like an idiot. It’s impossible to trace the logic of the story through most…and I just hate the editing! One of the movies that I happened to watch on television (I think it was one of the myriad “Raaz” movies) had an old man walking with a stick that had half its stem missing. I think that about 95% of our producers and directors believe that the average Indian movie-goer has an IQ of about 70!


    • You know, I watch movies (all movies) for entertainment, so as long as there’s a story, I’m good. Yes, sometimes my suspension of disbelief is really challenged (people not braking immediately when their car malfunctions to create those spectacular car crashes even the Americans are so fond of, beaten up hero gets back on his feet to kill villains, etc), but well… I like the music in most Bolly-movies anyway, and the dances and the use of slow-mo (long forgotten in Hollywood in favor of fastened shots, yikes), so… I’ll keep watching movies from all over the world! 😉
      (hate WP at work with IE that doesn’t allow me to reply to comments on the post – had to copy-paste this in the notifications, GRRRR!)


      • “sometimes my suspension of disbelief is really challenged”!!!!
        Barb, don’t you think that’s the biggest understatement of the year? I think that your disbelief is never suspended when you are watching a Bollywood movie – you disbelieve everything! But then who says that we can’t enjoy something that appears oh-so-totally-contrived? I guess the only good thing is the music, and because I am tone-deaf, I miss out on it too 😦
        Hrithik still riding high on Ms. Barb’s popularity meter?


        • Hey, I’m a world creator and write mostly fantasy because I like to make up stuff, so my own improbability meter is quite high! 😉 (Ops, that wat the impprobability drive of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy… why do I always end up with Douglas Adams when I answer to your comments?!)
          Yep, Hrithik still high on popularity meter… just below the Muse! 🙂 (sometimes over, but don’t tell Keanu! ;))


          • ok. I’ll not tell Keanu. A World Creator has to work a lot harder to create and sustain suspension-of-disbelief 🙂 Star-trek and Avatar are two excellent examples. I think you can stop defending Bollywood movies…I’ll not stop arguing with you 🙂


            • I quite like “arguing” with you! 🙂
              And that suspension of disbelief is very weak also in HOLLYwood action movies, so I’m not defending Bollywood. It’s just movies and both industries sometimes really stretch my suspension-of-disbelief.
              In Chicago I went to a panel with doctors and they talked about Hollywood mistakes with injuries – you bet they had never heard of Bollywood. I applied what they said to all movies! 😉


  2. HALLA BOL sucked. You missed nothing. And when you say ‘in the same DVD’, I assume that to mean that it’s not an original. The problem with Bollywood movies outside of India is that it’s so easy to get pirated copies, that the subtitles are usually coded by someone who doesn’t have a good grasp of English themselves, or breeze through the movie typing out Subs without knowing what they are in context to the movie. Bollywood has a large enough international market now, that their original DVDs usually have pretty flawless Subtitles. Sometimes these multi movie DVD may have the original DVD Rip burned onto the Disc, however most are unreliable and glitchy. All comes down to finding a decent store / place to purchase reliable movies from. Don’t know if that’s in abundance in Italy?

    As always, it’s great to hear your thoughts on Bollywood movies. But I feel like you’re wasting your time watching some mediocre films like HALLA BOL & ANTHONY KAUN HAI. I liked MAGIC MIKE and thought GANGSTER was atrocious. Although, I have a feeling you’ll like Shiny (his real name) Ahuja in that one. :p

    Can’t wait to hear your thoughts.


    • I didn’t buy that DVD – and I’m glad I didn’t. I didn’t buy the other either – lending from my Hindi teacher. Might spare myself Gangster unless I find some free time this weekend.
      Sometimes I found mostly missing subtitles on “official” DVDs (like The Dirty Picture, sometimes the guy talks – voice over – and there are no subtitles). Sometimes they’re a little clunkier or unsynchronized (a couple of the DVDs I bought in Long Island were like that, see my post https://creativebarbwire.wordpress.com/2012/09/21/random-friday-33/ Karam review) but never as bad as those two.
      There are no Bollywood DVD shops in Rome, as far as I know, so I usually buy them either in England or on Amazon UK (used to be Amazon.com, but the mailing expenses were more than the item’s price). The only exception was last year when I visited my friend in Long Island and she took me to that Bollywood DVD shop owned by a Hindustani lady – and then I looked for one when I was in Chicago and ended up visiting Chicago’s Little India. I still have to discover London’s Southall, though.
      As soon as I get Magic Mike, I’ll watch it – and I need to rewatch a couple more for inspiration purpose. As I haven’t reviewed them here yet, I’ll probably do a whole post about them when I’m done… stay tuned and thanks for stopping by (and the useful info on those subtitles)! 🙂



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