Friday, November 11, 2005

Main Madhuri Dixit Banna Chahti Hoon

was watched last night. Its a frothy, clean and cutesy love story. Rajpal Yadav is terribly cute and makes one convincing small town boy as compared to his co star Antara Mali who is plain annoying at times.

I have been trying to get in touch with my roots by watching Hindi movies for sometime now. Thanks to Netflix I don't have to go to the local Indian store to get the pirated copies with cover art describing the movie as "bestest from director X" or "actor Y plays hanarable man Z" or even better "with originaal subtitals". Anyway this is not about pirated DVD's with bad English, this is about Indian DVD's in general. What kind of depraved human being/corporation would subject humanity at large to the horrors of Hrithik's gyrations, some nameless, pantyless starlet's acrobatic stunts and a million other such travesties for the first five minutes of every DVD. You cannot fast forward this part and get to the main menu...no sireee!! you have to watch this soul jarring repulsive montage of Indian cultural superiority every time you pop the DVD into the player. Why, Why, Why?

On a slightly different note, I understand that the sudden appearance of pouty, slithering, moaning waif in what was otherwise a murder film till then is called an "item number". I also understand that this is a highly specialized art form practiced by some very profesional starlets (see description above). But here's the bummer - are the singers of these item songs highly specialized too...you know the ones with Ila Arun type hoarse voices? Then what about specialized song writers and music directors? For all I know this could be one highly specialized industry by itself - the item number wallah's. The next time I hear pasher barir Biren Kaku's daughter Neeta practicing classical music in her banshee like voice early in the morning to the accompaniment of an equally unharmonious harmonium, I know what to do. I shall go over and praise her, encourage her (make sure Kakima is within earshot) and then suggest a career in singing item numbers!

6 comments:

Amlan said...

You have turned to Bollywood to get in touch with your roots ... I am speechless. No wonder you are so disturbed :)

Anyesha said...

I have been accused of being a snob art film watcher by many...so I decided to check out what the majority of the country watches...before writing such a huge body of cinema off one should atleast give it a try.

Amlan said...

Hmm... maybe you need to get back in touch with your 'snob' roots, after this brief excursion into the world of the masses ;)

Ayush said...

Bolywood does produce a lot of crap, but then which industry does not? Not saying that watching artistically done movies, or independent movies is wrong either.

also, the item numbers have entralled, entertained, annoyed, and mesmerized countless people. I think they almost define mainstream Indian movies. Its what sets it apart. At an age, when the mainstream Indian cinema is mindlessly trying to ape hollywood, the item number is the only thing that is preserving its character, and reminds us city folks of the old nautankis!

yay to bollywood
ayush

Amlan said...

Yikes!!! 'Item Numbers'have nothing to do with Nautankis. By the way, I hold Hollywood in great disdain as well these days. Mainstream cinema sucks because it is driven by commerce. I look upon cinema as a form of art that at requires to be driven by a desire to express, at least, if not skill.

I love old Hollywood and Bollywood movies... the ones where the directors were artists not box-office crankers.

Given the 'market driven' nature of mainstream cinema today, the best I can do as an aware and opinionated member of the market is to not watch them.

Anyesha said...

I am not sure I am informed enough about cinema to make any profound statements about the art of cinema or the art of nautanki and how it relates to cinema....But I guess I know what is good cinema and what is bad and consider myself to have good taste. Commercial movies can be fun which fulfills its main objective -entertainment. It can also be crass, vulgar and with pitiful storylines(like 90 percent of the recent Hindi films ). Even then the basic objective of entertainment is achieved as someone somewhere is really entertained by it. But it does not work for me, in the same way that highfalutin French cinema with its usual claptrap of sexual freedom and sexual expression does not.