July 31, 2006

Sarkar - Oh those Eyes!

Yesterday evening the last of the four "Sommer-Kino" Bollywood films got screened in Viennas´s Filmcasino. Sarkar. I haven´t seen this one since last fall, where I actually liked it. Judging from yesterdays screening I can´t remember why.

Sure, you have Abhishek looking hot and menacing, which in itself can count as a very legitimate reason to watch a movie. And Daddy is cool too. In fact the whole male cast was great. The females roles though were forgetable. If you do a movie that is supposed to be a hommage to the Godfather then you should not only concentrate on formalities like lightening or tempo. You need to get the essence of the characters, capture the soul of a story otherwise your movie will be sterile. And thats what is wrong with Sarkar.

I get more and more disappointed with RGV films. At the moment I only really like Company and Naach. I remember that in the beginning I was impressed with his way of storytelling and his visuals but lately I have got the feeling that he is only repeating himself, actually for quite some time now. And his backstabbing of other artists like the director of James or even SRK is declassifying. I mean being self-confindent is important but you should treat very carefully if your own products are not genuine or your films and film ideas are not executed with the necessary care.
So I´m more then worried about his plans to remake Sholay.

Oh, and if anyone ever dares to say Govinda, Govinda to me, I´ll slap him

July 25, 2006

Contrast Program - Golmaal and Rang De Basanti

Last Sunday we were spoilt for choice. We had 2 once-only shows up for decision. A 14:45 show of Golmaal or a 18:30 show of Rang de Basanti at the other end of the town. So what did we do? Duh! Watch both of course. Left Golmaal when the credits started rolling, jumped into a taxi (a 30$ ride) and arrived just in time for RdB.
Now that was fun. Especially since we could not have watched two more diverse movies. Had I not seen RdB before that I guess I would have skipped Golmaal but since I had and wanted to go only to finally see it on the big screen it was a cool combination. Weird, but cool. And both shows were unique. Golmaal had no subtitles and RdB was a copy that had the Aamir horseriding scene in it.

My Hindi is pretty rudimentary so I was curious as to how much of Gomaal I would understand. Clearly I had the most problems with the word-plays but hey *pads herself on shoulder* I even got some of them. And I had no problems following the plot. Which actually is no big achivement. The film really is, as most reviews stated, a "check your brain at the entrance and enjoy the ride" kind of entertainment. And I thoroughly enjoyed it. Ajay cant dance for his life. Sharman Joshi has incredibly o-shaped legs and that went very well with the mini-skirt he was wearing in one scene. Arshad had some great Circuit dialogue and Thushar Kapoors Uh-Uh-Ah-Ah voicing mute character should have been annoying but was played with such delight that it was really hilarious.
So watching the four good for nothing guys trying to con everybody (including themselves) for money and the girl was cool. Also the storyline with Paresh Rawal as the blind houseowner who is made to believe that his grandson has come for a visit by the four (Ajay does all the talking, Sharman is the body and the other two are just there to confuse the whole thing) was fun. Again, you had to switch your brain to bypass mode otherwise it would have been really bad. But I did just that and had a ball. So much that I will buy the DVD and watch it again (this time with subtitles).

The Rang de Basanti copy was crap. Really worn out, with some very bad cuts in the middle (the whole Lalkaar and ice block sequences was missing which reduced the impact of the following scenes immensely), sound that kept going from mono to stereo to surround. Cracks and even some frames that had something written on it.
But. But it had the original Rang de Basanti song sequence in it. Its really a pity that the
Animal Welfare Board of India used this scene to get some P.R. back at the time for the release of RdB and had it censored. There are some scenes in that version that complemented the song much more beautiful then the one that now is in the final release. And the timing in the song was tighter and plainly better.
But even though it was not as good as it should have been, it still made its impact. The three of our group who had not seen it before, where visibly moved. And I, of course, cried my eyes out. Again.

So, a very cool Bollywood filmi day. If only every Sunday could be like that. Wait. Next Sunday we get to see Sarkar (Abhi and dad and Kay Kay on the big screen. Yay!!) and for the Sunday after an Omkara screening is announced. Bahut Accha. Babasko khuch hoon.

P.S.: Blooger is acting up, so I cant upload any pics. I you still want to see some go to IndiaFM. Here for Gomaal and here for Rang de Basanti.

P.P.S.: I am gone until Sunday again. This time to visit meri nani and meri very pregnant behn. I wont have webaccess down there. But I packed some nice SRK DVDs, Grandma just loves him. There is so no escaping Bollywood. See you all next week.

July 21, 2006

Maine Pyar Kiya - nice birdie, good birdie

I need to reconsider my dislike for doves. Not that I like them better after watching MPK . Its just that I´m really scared of them now, and I never want one to get pissed at me.
Maine Pyar Kiya is one of the films that patiently waited to be watched by me for quite some time now.
In short, its Nuvvostanante Nenoddantana with a white pigeon, some 80ies trash and Salman. Nuvvo is the Telugu remake, with some (minor) changes in the story. And, thank god, less songs.

Again we have rich boy and poor girl. Blossoming true love. Evil spirited business associates. Boy proving his worth to girls father by working in a quarry. Btw here the boys mom is the good one and dad the stupid bloke, where you ask yourself, how can a person like that become a business tycoon when he, apart from everyone else, can´t see that his closest business partner is rotten to the core?
To find out which one of the two movies I prefer, I also had to rewatch Nuvvo yesterday. Sigh. Pity me. Of course Novvo wins.
But there are some small treasures in MPK that I love. Like this one:

A scene from one of the, not really good and way too numerous, songs. Watch closely. The little red balls are actually apples. Hundreds of apples. Very, very, very naughty!!
The dove. Divine intervention. Very agressive when bad boy tries to kill hero and heroine. (And way to fast to get a decent screenshot of the action)

A nice mud fight. You know by now how much I like cool fights. And this one has lots of rain and mud in it too.

Not to forget.
Maine Pyar Kiya was Salmans second film and his first leading role. Even though we nowadays get to see a lot more muscles, we are already treated to the Salman trademark. (about 10 min after his character appears on screen)

July 20, 2006

Humko Deewana Kar Gaye - old school

Akshaye Kumar has eki chotii problem.

He is engaged to beautiful sucessful fashion designer Bipasha Basu. And he just got a cool promotion at work.

Noooo, thats not the problem. The thing is, he has to go to Canada for some months. Still no problem. Bips has some work in Paris anyway, while he´s away.
Magar, soon after his arrival he meets Katrina Kaif.

And here is where the trouble starts because:

  1. Destiny seems to throw them together whenever possible.
  2. The two seem to be made for each other.
  3. Katrina is engaged too.
  4. They are attracted to each other.
  5. The fiance is Anil Kapoor.
  6. With a newer version of his early 90ies hairstyle (but at least the same amount of hairspray).
  7. He´s clearly not the kind of fiance to mess with

So, we´re right in the middle of the 1990ies Bollywood trademark love quartett. But its well executed. Colorful, lots of coincidences, "funny sidekicks", even some fake beards show up. A pleasant timepass. Watching it you feel almost nostagic.

PS: Big pluspoints for a special appearance by the incomparable, wonderful, irresistible Helen

Naach - Shake It Baby B.

My sister is one of those fortunate humans who can wear any kind of headcovering device and it looks good on her. Abhishek is not. Dekho naa:

But then he´s not the only one with a wardobe nightmare here. A fitting description for the selection of all the costumes of the song sequences in Naach would be: Bakvas hai. Most ugly ever. Worse than Suriyvanshi. As bad as Rocky.

Dressing people nicely is not one of Ram Gopal Varmas strongest points. Doesn´t matter if its boys or girls, btw.

However who cares? Naach is still one of my favourite RGV and Abhishek movies. And it has Riteish Deshmukh. And Antra Mali. So who cares about clothes. Especially if you get stuff like that with it too. Hai naa?

The storyline offers a kind of behind the scenes look on newcomers in the Mumbai filmindustry and their struggle to get to what they dream of. Abhishek and Antra´s characters have a different approach as how to. The Synopsis on the back of my DVD puts it very nicely:

Abhi is a struggling actor
Rewa is a struggling choreographer.
Abhi is practical.
Rewa is idealistic.
Abhi has ambitions.
Rewa has aspirations.
Abhi wants to make it big.
Rewa wants to make a difference.

One day both meet and at first a professional (Abhi takes dance lessons from Rewa), later (was there any question about it?) a personal relationship ensues. The switch from friends to lovers gave me my favorite love declaration. Ever.


Here´s a transcript and the matching screenshot pics:

Totally soaked from running through the rainy night, they sit down on a bench under a bridge, Abhi looks at Rewa and says, in a casual voice: "I love you"
Rewa turns her head and just looks at him.
Short silence, then:
"I love your eyes, I love your hair, I love your coffee" He raises his voice and the tempo a little "I love you ears, I love your earrings"
Rewa interrupts: "I´m not wearing any"
He smiles impishly and continues: "I know, but if you wore any I´m sure I´d love them"
Rewa gets up, and walks to stand right before Abhi facing him and asks: "And what else?"
He smiles and answers: "I love it that you´re short, I love you because you´re very very boring.
He points to her naval piercing: "I love that, whatever it is"
Another short pause, he gets a bit more serious and says: "I love the way you never smile"
Rewa laughs, walks out into the rain and turns a pirouette


But of course there´s trouble ahead. Their different approach to fame is bound to lead to trouble their relationship. Mainly because Rewa is stupid and pigheaded (but thats just my take on the story). Why? Well, Abhi is the first of the to get work and fame. And Rewa categorically refuses to be helped by him. And they split. Only after meeting a young director (Riteish) she is able to achieve her visions on her own. So now we have a successful Rewa, a young director who has a crush on his choreographer and filmstar Abhi who finds out he still loves Rewa. And they all get to work together on a movie. Haan haan bilkul emotional drama hai.

All that mixed with cool songs (Adnan Sami! Yey!) sometimes very weird set design and - as I mentioned before - terrible costumes.

I Love it.

P.S.: can anyone get me that flat?

P.P.S.: Sorry guys, I know Antra is nice too, but this post turned out to be one for the Ladies *g*

July 17, 2006

Aayutha Ezhuthu

My Mani Ratnam collection is growing steadily. This now is the Tamil Version of Yuva. Shot by Ratnam parallel to the Yuva shoot.

Here we have Madhvan playing the character of Inbasekar (Lallan in Yuva played by Abhishek),

Surya Sivakumar (of Ghajini fame) plays Michael (Ajay in Yuva) and Viveiks role was done by "Schnuffel" Siddarth.

Trisha has Kareenas role and Ranis is done by Meera Jasmine. Only Esha Deol was cast for the same character in both films.

The location got changed to Chennai but the storyline is the same, with only some minor details changed. Marco set up a
page with screenshots from both films where you can compare the two.

I really like the story and narration of Aayutha Ezhuthu/Yuva. And the very very cool thrashing on the bridge. Haan, main lanbaa chaudaa action fan hoon.
Which of the films do I prefer? Hmm tough one. If I had to choose I would take Yuva. Om Puri is better as the corrupt politician. I also prefer Rani and Abhi to their counterparts (which by no means will diminish my adoration for Madhavan) or maybe I still take Aayutha Ezhuthu? Because of "Schnuffel" and Trisha?

Aare yaar, its really tough to decide. The Tamil Michael is a more "lets tackle the problems" kind of guy, more physical, very nice. But then again I like Ajay too. Ach, stop. I give up.
My recommendation: watch at least one of them. Or even better, watch both and face the same dilemma as I do. Pretty please?

July 16, 2006

Short german interlude

Todays Sunday Kurier (austrian mid-quality newspaper) brought an article today about Bollywood style dancing in Vienna. The journalist came to our dance-class (yes, I do Bollywood dance once a week, because its fun, not because I´m any good. Usually I take private lessons with 2 friends, but our teacher, Neha, is home in Mumbai for the summer, so we joined a class at community education centre) And hey, I got quoted. He even got the facts almost right. So here are some excerpts from the article (in German, its too hot for translating today)

Hello, Bolly

Im Bollywood Tanzkurs leben Filmfans ihre Indien-Begeisterung mit vollem Körpereinsatz aus.

[...]Viele Teilnehmerinnen - Männer sind in der Minderzahl - können die Tänze schon fast perfekt. Sie gehören zum harten Kern der Bollywood-Fangemeinde, die sich in einem Internet-Forum austauschen, Partys organisieren und ihre Indien-Begeisterung in allen Lebensbereichen - vom Essen bis zur Wohnzimmereinrichtung - auslebt. "Ich bin eben ein Filmfreak und interessiere mich für Hintergründe", sagt Barbara [that would be me], die nicht weniger als 170 Bollywood-DVD´s zuhause hat. Sie ist schon aus dem Alter hinaus, in dem Mädchen Stars "total wawa" finden und Schauspieler wie Shahrukh Khan anhimmeln wie andere Leute Brad Pitt - sie ist eher ein wandelndes Lexikon der kulturellen Eigenheiten des Bollywoodkinos[...]

and then the article goes on about the dance class teacher. and another quote of me on dancing (which I´m not sure I said it that way)
[...]"Es ist eine wunderschöne Bewegung, sexy und elegant. Und die Musik ist mitreißend" schwärmt Barbara [...]

Accompanying the article is a small box with general info about Bollywood and some weblinks. Now that was the suspenseful part as we gabbed him up with tons of background info. So did he get it right?
Bollywood. Das Wort ist eine Mischung aus "Bombay" und "Hollywood" und bezeichnet die in Mumbai ansässige Filmindustrie. Diese produziert etwa 250-300 Spielfilme pro Jahr (die oft genannte Zahl von 900-1000 Filmen bezieht sich auf die gesamte indische Produktion) Trotz einer großen Bandbreite von Filmen gibt es "typische" Bollywood-Movies mit Tanz- und Musikeinlagen, romantischer Handlung und oft über 3 Stunden Länge.

Not too bad. Hai naa?

btw: our media coverage will continue. For next tuesday a visit of the local city TV station has been announced

Blog plug..

Just a short note.

If your´re interested I put some pics of our Jeep Camp trip on the other blog.

July 15, 2006

Jab Jab Phool Khile

This is, apart from Mugal-E-Azam, the oldest Bollywood movie I watched so far. And its a close relative to the 50ies/60ies movies from Germany (the ones with Peter Kraus or Peter Alexander). Very tame and virtuous. With a very young Shashi Kapoor. And ain´t he sweet.

The heartwarming story goes something like that: Somewhere in a house in Marine Drive Mumbai lives rich daddy´s little princess. And is very progressive as she tells dad that she will only get married to a guy she approves of.
On that note her as well progressive parents even allow her to go on vacation to Kashmir (alone!!) to become clear as to what kind of guy she wants.
So off she goes, while dad heads back to the country club and mom sticks to wearing the same lilac dressing gown thoughout the film (who´s story runs over a timespan of about 1 year)

Arriving in Srinagar little missy is not content with the choice of houseboat the local travelagent is offering instead she chooses the boat of Raja (not caring that his boat is already booked by some other guests).
But Raja, being a guy takes one look at snotty missy and dumps his other guests. Ts ts. Men. He soon starts to regret his deed as missy is somehow in constant PMS mode.

Until...Well, until she hears Raja sing. She mellows somewhat to Raja and even starts to teach him how to read and write. Why he never learned, is a sad story we can forget for the moment. So summer vacation passes with tuitions, singing, a boatrace and other fun stuff until a wire arrives with the news that daddy met with an accident. Thus ends summerfun. Rita leaves hastily. Raja is heartbroken but hopeful as Rita promises to return next summer.

As it turns out daddys accident was a minor one (my guess: he slipped while playing tennis) but he has other news in store. He wants his girl to marry the son of a business partner. Not so progressive all of a sudden hai naah?
Missy is not content as she now wants sweet Raja. And goes back to Kashmir a summer later. One hitch though: She has her fathers choice Kishore in tow. Had to promise dad at least to check him out. What a snobbish bore. Gets in the way of Rita and Raja all the time. But not stupid. Catches the vibes between Rita and Raja real fast. And acts: Calls in Daddy, hits Raja on the head with a paddle and while Raja is unconcious takes Rita home to Mumbai. Cheat.

But Raja would not be the Raja we all love if he would not leave his underaged orphaned little sister (thats part of that sad story I told you to forget) and his business alone and rushes to Mumbai to ask for Ritas hand.
And now it gets ugly. Daddy having promised the freedom of choice of bridegroom to his princess divises a darksome plan to avert the poor sucker to becoming his son-in-law: He approves of Raja and makes Rita teach him the society ways - matlab trade the longhi for a suit, stop eating with your fingers, speak English, dance waltz vaghairah, vaghairah.

So Rita and Raju roam the city and sing and dance in Mumbai (oh there is a lot of singing and dancing in this film)

Lets move this already very long story towards an end. Daddys plan works. Raja, after learning and behaving like required from Rita has had it during a party where he is presented like a monkey. Words fly. Egos are bruised and Raja packs his bag. But daddy seems not to have watched too many movies before, as he makes that one really stupid mistake: he brags about his so well executed plan and -DUH!- is overheard by Rita, who finally sees that money is not everything and true values can only be found with simple rural chaps like Raja. So she rushes to the trainstation, tries to find Raja´s train, finds it, finds him, he being very pissed does not react to her pleas, so - and according to imdb.com a stunt done by Nanda/Rita herself - she runs beside the already starting train holding on to it still pleading until at the very last moment before the platform ends Raja pulls her in and takes her home to Kashmir with him.

Btw: Kashmir´s mountainside really looks like Switzerland/Austria:

If your´re not a Shashi fan, you can skip this one. Its rather lame. Too clean for my taste. What I liked apart from sweet Shashi was the beautiful Kashmir scenery (check Akshays photoblog for recent pics of the filmlocations like the floating gardens) and, for professional reasons, the use of syncsound throughout the movie - not perfect but cool.

July 14, 2006

Yay I´m back

After a hellish week at work my two weeks school holidays started this afternoon. In the morning I saw my husband off, who will be away at his parents for a week. So I will have one week all for myself to do whatever I want (which of course will mostly have to do with watching movies in cinema and on DVD). To mark the occation I´d like to resume blogging with a little experiment. Please go and watch this trailer first. Its one of my all time favorites.

And after that go and watch this version of the Omkara theatrical trailer.

And now tell me, why I had trouble concentrating on what was happening in the Omkara Trailer

July 04, 2006

One more thing...

Before I leave, one short question: Can anybody tell me anything about this killer Pic? Like where it is from and for which occation it was shot, why these guys... It somehow resembles those great Vanity Fair Covers.

It looks fairly new.. hain naa?

And she is gone again.

I won´t be able to post from tomorrow until monday as we are going to Croatia to do this:

Our annual Jeep Camp. Lots of dust and offroad and masti. I broke the car at the winter tour. So lets who´s turn it is at this years summer tour. See you.

Krrish - Revisited

Note to self. Screw press screenings. The Cons outweigh the Pros by far. Haan accha hai, watching a movie earlier than most, but in return you get to share a rather empty cinema with critics and they just don´t react to whats on screeen (except for some sniggers) Its basicly like watching the movie alone at home - only on a bigger screen...
That is why I watched it again with two friends yesterday. And oh my this movie really is nice. We kept drooling for most of the film. And chatting. And laughing.
So after having seen it for the second time I can add/fortify:

  • Hrithik is the dance god. Bas.
  • The Kalicharan story is actually funny.
  • I still have the urge to buy "Tide".
  • Priyanka Chopra does a great sulking face.
  • Priyas Boss (Archana Puran Singh) IS the worst played character in Krrish.
  • Krishna´s solo fight routine for that little girl is very well done.
  • The songs are cool. "Koi Tumsa Nahin" is loop playing since last night.
  • Just imagine! and Breaking news! are going to be integrated into my parlance.

You haven´t seen it yet? Aare yaar. Chale jao. Abhi!