Thursday, June 17, 2010

Shakira for Bollywood?

MUMBAI - COLUMBIAN pop queen Shakira, the star of the World Cup song Waka Waka, is to sing for a Bollywood film in the latest move by a global star to target the Indian market, a music director said on Thursday.

Shakira, whose catchy Africa-themed football anthem has had a mixed critical reception, is to follow in the footsteps of fellow pop diva Kylie Minogue who made a move into Bollywood last year.

The song will be composed by a team of brothers known as Salim-Sulaiman, who collaborated with South African singers to record Waka Waka (This Time for Africa) which is based on a traditional African soldiers' song.

'We are hoping to start recording next month,' Salim Merchant told AFP, declining to reveal the name of the movie in which Shakira's song will appear. 'There will be a lot of Latin influence in the song,' Mr Salim added. It is common practice in Bollywood for music companies to pre-record songs to be used later for movie soundtracks. Indian actors or actresses then lip-sync the songs during the film.

Mr Salim and Mr Sulaiman are up and coming music directors who have scored hits with Bollywood movies like Kurbaan (Sacrifice) and Chak De India (Come on, India). Kylie Minogue teamed up with India's double-Oscar-winning composer A.R. Rahman for a song for an underwater Bollywood extravaganza Blue. US R&B and rap stars Akon and Snoop Dogg have also both worked in Bollywood.

Blue, a thriller that was partly shot in the Caribbean, starred action hero Akshay Kumar, Bollywood 'bad boy' Sanjay Dutt and leading lady Katrina Kaif. -- AFP

Monday, June 14, 2010

Doppelganger: Ranbir Kapoor, Robert DeNiro and Gerard Depardieu

All through Rajneeti (and Wake Up Sid) I kept thinking of how vacuous and blank a look Ranbir Kapoor had... define his features a little and you get Robert DeNiro, twist the nose a bit and get a Gerard Depardieu. Haha anyway was watching ZOOM last night, where they had a red hot countdown of hottest single guys in Bollywood. Ranbir Kapoor (what?! say that again1?!?!) came out tops!??!!?!? Shahid Kapoor was number 2, and Abhay Deol number 3.

Ok just watched Dev D, (but havent watched Devdas before) so I recently found out who Abhay Deol is. WHY is Ranbir Kapoor number 1? Also watched this ZOOM clip of Katrina Kaif adjusting the mike on her shirt (below her neck) and Ranbir Kapoor asking her if she needed help and she snapped her face around and looked SO angry and disgusted and said smth like "You cannot do things like this." I felt like slapping him too.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

On the New Iranian Sanctions

Obama: What Change?

Last night, I was watching live on BBC as the UN Security Council as it voted through a new resolution imposing fresh new sanctions on Iran. 12 for, 2 against (Brazil and Turkey) and Lebanon abstained.

When Mohammad Khazaee responded in his speech (Iranian representative to the UN, picture above), bringing up past injustices wrought onto Iran, Susan Rice (US rep to UN, picture below) laughed incredulously. Or at least, it was presented in that way on the BBC footage.

I know this is a Bollywood gossip blog, but do take some time to watch this series: Iran and the West (BBC docu) on youtube, and make a new judgment. There is definitely more material around, but take this as a starter.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Doppelganger: Paris Hilton and Kareena Kapoor!

I'm sure people have noticed it before, but it just occurred to me!!!hhahaha

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Rajneeti at Sapna Cinema, East of Kailash, Delhi

The first bollywood movie I watched in India was Love Aajkal, and it was also at Sapna Cinema. Sapna Cinema, according to my roommate Richa is where all the autowalla pervs go, who start screaming sex sex sex randomly and get very horny when there are guy-girl scenes, regardless of the degree of intimacy actually shown (anticipation of sexual content is all that is needed to set them off).

I watched it with Aradhna, sans subtitles, but with helpful translations from her from time to time, as well as a post-mortem on the rickshaw to GK1 M block after, where she made the connections with the Mahabharata and we recalled the linkages with The Godfather.

So anyway, the most important revelation of this movie (to me of course) is that I find Nana Patekar SO CUTE!!!! Like Crushable cute. Just because intelligence (even if manipulating, and conniving, and morally dubious and shady) with suaveness and calm calculating-ness is attractive. Naseerudin Shah had only a token bit part at the start, but still, his attractiveness has been known to me for some time. Anyway, so at the part when he and that Bharati woman start making out at the start, Sapna-walla-pervs at the back started screaming away already.

Katrina Kaif was so bad, I don't know why the Indian audience bother to indulge her and say "considering it is KK, it's really not bad." She was positively SMILING when she was supposed to be crying, and her eyes were REALLY REALLY weird in the scene when she went to confront Ranbir Kapoor's character Sameer when she finds out that he has somehow managed to marry her off to Prithvi. Weakness in plot there too : they didn't make it sufficiently like DEAD END for KK's character, put more obstacles, get her father to slap her around a bit, force her into that political marriage.... right now it just seems, in Aradhna's words, like she just gave up too easily and doesn't convince.

ALSO, the way KK goes "kyon?!" Also the same scene where she barges into the office to confront Sameer on marrying her off to Prithvi -- she says it with an aspirated K like K-lots of air coming through-YON?! KYON KYON? She does this twice, but the more memorable one is the one in this same scene... where she is trying to act angry and upset. SIGH. KK. But what to do?

The boards of KK were also so tall... if they can digitally edit people to become taller why not to become shorter? They were towering over the banks of Varanasi, and looked very unstable. She was also extremely stiff (I was told this is to emulate Sonia Gandhi's stiffness...) but KK's stiffness is a class all of her own. Hur hur.

Enough bashing. On to positive things. Ranbir Kapoor. Ok lah upon reflection the acting is not SO bad, just not soooo impressive. But good enough, held up well. Arjun Rampal's scene where he fucks that girl who wants a party ticket also set the Sapna-walla-pervs off on a screaming spree, but that was a pretty good scene I thought.

Cinematography at the scene where their father is in the hospital and the policeman comes to slap Ranbir Kapoor, so hard till he falls down. As he falls down the camera angle jumps up, we have a bird's eye view but the camera spins, giving the same kind of perspectival shock I guess when somebody slaps you so hard your ears start ringing as you collapse to the floor. I really, liked that effect. Good going, cinematographer guy, editor guy, and all the anonymous heroes of everyday movies. ha ha.

Sarah the gori girl looked a bit like a white version of Nafisa Ali, but that could just be me. She sounded a bit weird when she was going on her speech about how Sameer had become "conniving", but otherwise quite likeable.

However, how come so many people get pregnant in the movie? Okay random.

Ajay Devgn, I don't have much to say. Good only, big beefy bulk. Aur kaun tha??

OH yes, plot-wise... intense, fun, enjoyable, mazaa aya, loaded references... but after a point in time people kept dying (and each death is like a critical turn to the plot) to the point I found it quite amusing (plot kept turning and turning in this quasi-predictable fashion - deaths came unpredicatable but the plot plodded on predictably) I guess it's like De Dana Dan after a point people kept entering the fray it's like wtf hahaha how blasphemous this must be to some

but overall... ENJOYED!!!! Now can't wait for I Hate Luv Stories!!!

So cute. too cute.

Too cute!!! :D

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Problem with Indians and their Movies: What do Badmaash Company, KANK, and Kites have in common?

Badmaash Company, Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna and Kites are three movies which I have enjoyed and found rather pleasant, that have unfortunately been collectively despised by the Indian audience (to varying degrees), according to my friend Sharma, who claims to be representative of the Indian consciousness, which I find infinitely strange since I spent one year in and out of classes in DU learning that there is no Indian nation there was no Indian nation there is sort of some Indian geographic entity but really, read your history and you can see there is no India butbutbut.... there is a collective Indian verdict on the yay or nay of Bollywood movies. (ok ok ok i know the counter-arguments to this too but im ignoring it)

So at least Sharma appreciated Badmaash Company, which actually had quite a fun and smart plot! Unfortunately, people in hostel condemned it and said it was boring; the only good thing about it was that Shahid Kapoor was looking cute. (and not even tHAT cute here, he looks nicer with shaggy hair a la Dil Bole Hadippa -- another one of those films crucified by Sharma's India) So Badmaash Company was really not bad, Anushka Sharma can actually act better than Deepika Padukone!!! Although her language was too 21st century to be virgin liberalizing 90s India, but that can probably be attributed to the scriptwriter who was listening to Lily Allen or Limp Bizkit while writing it ha ha ha.

Kites.... apparently traumatised Sharma on facebook. I commented that it was a wonderful film (so apparently my irony goes undetected) and Sharma promptly lauded me on my courage because now I was going to be judged by whole of facebook. Predictable plot, gratuitous glitz, gratuitous car crashes and environmental unfriendliness, but really yaar. I think it got crucified because it was too in-your-face rich and pretty and it was Hrithik Roshan and Barbara Mori and subconsciously everybody is on Sussanne Roshan's side or something, I have NO idea how the Indian mind works. It is a bad movie in many ways, but not SO traumatising. I think it is just fashionable to crucify big budget brainless productions, and even more fashionable to exaggerate your criticisms.

So ya man, think of Kites as your best friend who grew up in Monaco, who is beautiful blonde but brainless and everytime you have lunch with her your conversations aren't so profound but you still get some utility, enjoyment, entertainment (even at her expense, but she doesn't seem to mind). Like the ending in the water was funny, unrealistic car chases and small victories over chasing bad cops were funny, Hrithik Roshan shamelessly checking out Barbara Mori in front of their fiances/fiancees was really really so wtf it was funny... Kites is just spectacle + visuals, like you don't go to the Circus or Cirque du Soleil for great plot right.... you just go to get wow-ed, on a very superficial level (not intellectually wow-ed). Now people will say Kites didn't even wow me, on the most superficial level even. I think then, as Sharma hypothesizes and I develop her hypothesis further, that perhaps everybody has this quota of bad bolly movies to be filled, beyond which you just stop appreciating/enjoying trashy bolly movies; thus I have yet to fill this quota.

Now, on to KANK. It gets draggy at the end yes, it gets overly sentimental at parts yes, but if judged as a soap (maybe I just have a higher threshold for soaps... all those Korean Japanese Chinese shit I'd grown up watching...but I'm sure Indians have their fair share) I felt real tension (crossing road scene where SRK goes to meet RM but PZ bumps into them) and the plot was quite well developed, well executed, the songs were nice, etc etc. Ok beyond a point how do you debate taste right? The preference for Kal Ho Naa Ho over KANK I still don't understand. Kal Ho Naa Ho had bad SRK sentimental acting... when he tells the camera he has some disease and he will die... I hate the Pretty Woman song, I thought the initial failure of the restaurant and subsequent success as banal and predictable as HR and BM's car crash sequences in Kites, like you KNOW they will prevail ultimately duhhh... at least with KANK... you keep wONDERING if the adulterous couple will stay together.

Okay, I have taken enough time off work. Next post I will comment on more movies that I have disliked/found boring but... the Indians liked. hahaha. Sharma don't kill me. I still love you. LOVELOVELOVE!!!

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