Saturday, 24 February, 2007

Chukkallo Chandrudu

Is there anything more exciting than to fall in love? Teek hai- you are absolutley allowed to say no. And if you are in love right now than maybe you will giggle like a fourteen year old. But on the other hand it is also really exciting to watch adorable actor Siddharth falling in love with three women the same time. And it will make you laugh as well. This movie creates a lot of (unspectacular but entertaining) tension by letting you in the dark who will be his final heroine.



Some might say, that this movie is just about Siddu. Well, thats true. But not unfortunately. There are some extraordinary nice scenes...




And by now it is prooved that Siddharth and puppys are a great match. It´s already three in this scene! Is this a sign of a increasing siddu-puppy-trend? To finsish this stupid controversy, i would like to say, that everything is allowed to let Siddu look even more sweet. Bas.



Te followind screener shows Siddu screaming "She loves me" while throwing flowers. I liked his girl-like-funny voice and overacting behaviour...



And here we have the Rang-de-Basanti-sort-of-revolutianary Siddharth while screaming "Inqualab Zindabad" ("Long live the revolution") to a group of greenpeace-sort-of-studentactivists. Amazing.



Go watch it. Its just a nice movie.

Sunday, 18 February, 2007

ACEBA

Namaste!

Cause i was busy programming the voting-tool for the current ACEBAs, i am a little tired now and therfor want just to quote the invitation to participate from bollywoodblogger babasko.

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4th Annual Central European Bollywood Awards
Yay, it´s award season.

Marco the Swiss Bollywood guruji of the german-speaking BW-community has just opened the polls for the 4th annual central european bollywood awards. So if you´re located in Central Europe and can read German you´re eligible to participate.

Just go there. Register. And vote!

All you other wonderful people. Sorry. But you still can get to the nomination list here. And if you like, give a prediction here.

PS: Nana Patekar is nominated for Taxi 9211 in the best lead actor category. Shabash Marco, shabash.

(end quote)
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Personally I would like to see "Dor" and "Don" winning some prices but inconveniently i am much of a moral humanbeing. So i wasn´t able to cheat while programming the tool. And my diligent (by wish anonymous) partner (who was by the way the ingenius head of this operation) wouldn´t let me anyway.

Wishing all the best for the ACEBAs. I suggest we will have an incredible number of participants.

Friday, 16 February, 2007

Alaipayuthey - analyzing the Bollywood-momentum


Bollywoodmovies are made for people who love a good cry. And - of course - for those who like to fall in love all over again. This happens to me sometimes as well- and it doesn´t correlate exclusively with adorable actors or actresses. Some movies are just well composed and some just have this wonderful moment - which i want to call the "bollywood-momentum" respectively the "bollywoodfactor".

It is a specific remarkable moment, in which something profound in the narration is shifting and suddenly you are able to see (and feel) the whole thing. You could also call it "catharsis" (which was a term from Aristoteles to describe the cleansing-effect of antique drama) or purification. In many indian movies this would be the point, where the flashback ends. In an emotional view its the point of no return. If the narration caught you somehow before (and you were sympathizing with the protagonists), then this is the moment where you may start to cry. Or youre noticing at least a little foreknowing feeling that you will start to cry veryvery soon - because many of the movies will start to celebrate the drama right after this moment. Actually its difficult to say something in general because the moment could be as well in the middle but also in the very end of the movie (f.e).
Ok, Whatever.



"Alaipayuthey" ("Jumping waves") is actually not a Bollywoodmovie, which roots from Bombay-industry, but its a southindian Tamil film (from the year 2000) directed by ingenius Mani Ratnam. But it has a nice and dramatic "Bollywood-momentum", which made this movie seeworthy for me. The film made its European premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival in 2001 . Therefor it might be a movie which is a little more popular in germany then other movies from Mani Ratnam. But (like in comparable cases - according to indian movies) this dosn´t necessarily mean that is an exorbitant good movie. Which it isn´t, if you ask me...

Story: Engineering graduate Kharthik (R. Madhavan) is eyening Shakti (Shalini) everyday while their trains are passing each other. They are sweet.





But suddenly things are speeding up. They want to get married. Usual cinderella-like problems with the in-laws are following. Kharthik and Shakti are getting married in secret and for a while everything is fine. But slowly further problems occur during they are exploring their feelings. Take a look at the DVD-Cover to see what i mean. The movie has this existential dimension. And Mani Ratnam takes his time to develop it (156 min).

Spoiler: The film gets really exciting in its final parts. While facing death the protagonists are finally able to answer the question what the phrase "I love you" means for them. I would locate the Bollywood-momentum in the second when we realize why Kharthik is smiling in the very beginning and what this traffic-accident was all about.

Tuesday, 13 February, 2007

Baghban - explore the dark side of K3G

This movie reminded me much of Rowan Atkinson`s "Mr. Bean: The Ultimate Disaster Movie". In both films you are getting nervous seconds before something realyyreally bad is going to happen. And both films are not missing any chance to confirm a brainscript which is very easily created. Finally both movies are showing us worst-case-scenarios. "Baghban" ("the caretaker") is a terrible familydrama from the year 2003, starring Amitabh Bachchan, Hema Malini and Salman Khan. I was somehow forced to see this movie, after somebody touted too charming. I was not much surprised that i actually hated it... no, i mean i loved to hate it. I would say it is a seeworthy average movie with a soundtrack that didn`t knock my socks off. But it was good to bridge some time. And finally now i can see why people in fact like Salman Khan (who deserves one or two glorioles for this movie).



Story: Raj (Amitabh Bachchan) and Pooja Malhotra (Hema Malini) are married since 40 years. They are so nice together, that you can barely sit still watching them soft-soaping each other. All his life Raj did everything for his four sons. And in many acts of self -abandonment he also gave away his annuity to fulfill the wishes of his kids. See? He is a very nice bighearted father. Furthermore he adopted a street kid (Salman Khan) and funded his education. Now imagine what should happen if Raj rentires....For the first time in his life he is asking his sons for help. The four Sons (and their wifes) should savoury contest about who may take care of their parents, right? Bad selfish sons doing the opposite. They dare to isolate them from each other and try to get rid of the unpleasent situation by thinking up a sickly roundsystem, where every son has to take one parent for six months. Shame on them. Notice how sad Raj and Pooja look, because they will get parted for the first time since 40 years:



And here is what happening right before they will get seperated: One of the sons is going to get the two doggys of Raj and Pooja, while saying something like: "I take them with me. I cannot see them stay apart and suffer". Pfff. I know... thats ugly. And it hurts. Again thats a bad case of not proper functioning of indian film-censorship. Here is the evidence-screenshot.




The next two hours we are confronted with the misarable, heartbreaking agony both of them are going through. Here you can see Raj, whose eye-glasses are broken by accident from his nice little grandson. Poor Raj is not able to read the loveletter of his wife. Guess what his son is replying to him, when Raj is asking his son to repair it: "its not possible, maybe next month".



Message from "Bagbhan": Life is unfair sometimes. Children could become very bad and selfish. Modern Times are dangerous `cause Respect is missing. People who let their parents suffer are bad. Take a good look on the follwing screenshot and see how bad people look like.



So, tell me, why is it that this highly manipulative movie became a Superhit in India? Is it simply because it shows how things are developing if you don´t give a damn on traditional values (like respecting the own parents)? Is it because it is the exactly opposite of (also highly manipulative ) "Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham..." (2001)? Is it possible that "Baghban" has the potential to balance our western (suposable overstated) emotional K3G-feelings out? Hmm...not exactly i guess...

Monday, 12 February, 2007

Dor


Last year i saw so many Bollywood-Blockbuster, which were starring the usual staff, that i was growing a little tired of them. Especially the women. I am a overdozed with Preity, Rani, Aishwarya and Kajol. And actually i am preety much disturbed by some female role-models which seem to appear all over again in Bollywood-movies. I yearned for strong women in indian movies. Finally- here they are. The movie is called "Dor" (from Nagesh Kukunoor, 2006). Actually i don't have a clue what the title means. If you know it please share it with me.


Story: Zeenat (Gul Panag), a strong self-assured muslim woman, lives in pittoresque Himachal Pradesh and found true love up there. But her Husband Aamir has to leave India to work in Saudi Arabia. Sadly we will not see much of him again- which is awfull because they have such a fine chemistry.



Aamir meets Shakir in Saudi Arabia and somehow they become roommates. Shakir is the beloved husband from Meera(Ayesha Takia) and used to live with her in Rajhasthan. He was forced by his parents to make money in Saudi Arabia. An unfortunate accident takes place. Shakir dies. Aamir is charged to take the guilt. He should be executed within two months- unless Meera, the wife of Shakir, signs a paper which frees Aamir from capital punishment. So Zeenat starts her journey to Rajhasthan and searches for Meera - who meanwhile had become an opressed widow and suffers under the terrible treatment of her heartless in-laws.





With the help of the trickster-character Behroopiya (Shreyas Talpade), Zeenat finds Meera. And this is the very precise point where we should stop talking about the plot. Immediately.



Review: "Dor" is not a classical Hindi-Movie (but at least it has one wonderful dance-sequence). I would say it is a romantic but very realistic high-quality Drama, with great cast, strong feelings and great visuals and aestetics all´a "Himalaya meets desert". And the protagonists are speaking such a nice and slow hindi, that you really can use this movie for hindi-learning.



Like Deepa Mehta's"Water" (which is Kanadas Oscar-nominee 2007) "Dor" shows the oppression of widows in India. But the story of "Water" is settled in the 1930s, while "Dor" plays right now. In both movies we are reminded about human compassion and the importance of sisterhood and emancipation. Hopefully many konservative people will watch "Dor". And hopefully the (incredible-very-decent- and-beautyful) kissing scene in the beginning is not scaring them.

Nuvvostanante Nenoddantana

Do you know Telugu-Movies? I was introduced to southindian cinema some weeks ago, when i saw this wonderful film with this tongue breaking title. Try and read it a few times. Watch some videos on youtube. And then go there and order it immediatley. Its impossible to not like this high-energetic-overloaded, bombastic and funny Blockbuster from 2005, starring adorable Siddarth and Trisha.

The story of this movie is not new: Rich,hyperbolical NRI-sunnyboy meets decent indian girl from the landside. They fall in love. And there are some evil eyes and problems with the "should-be-in-laws". But as hindustanitimes-columnist Prasoon Joshi formulated it a while ago: "In Hindi films, it’s not about what, but how." With "Nuvvostanante Nenoddantana" you will find the perfect match for this sentence. Its a pure-hearted, well-choreographed, super-creative Telugu-Movie, with tons of little moments, which will make you forget all your daily problems. And it is guaranteed that you will fall in love with Siddharth and Trisha. I dont't dare to spoiler anybody- please go here for another nice review with more content and explore the siddhu-effect.



If you are going to watch it, be prepared and focus on this wonderful mickey-mousing effects (means that sound and pictures are perfectly nice synchronized). Maybe you should be also warned, that it is full of overacting, colors, and heartbreaking and badly manipulative moments (+ it has a irresistible soundtrack). And surely it is a very controversial point, if Siddarth really needs two puppies in this scene, to look even more sweet.



Screenshoting this movie was fun. So here are some more.





Saturday, 10 February, 2007

Satyam Shivam Sundaram

Hi again. You may think it is a little early to start my travelblog one month before actually going. Well, you are right, but the journey in my head has already begun and i have to bridge the time anyway.

Lets quote the legendary first posting from my adorable Bollywood-Guru Babasko to describe what is currently going through my bharat-maniac head: "since i am spending most of my free time with hindi movies, so why not blog about it too?".

Haan. If you are looking for reallyreally good and supercool english and hinglish bollywood-reviews you are going right there.
If you are happy with just reallygood ones, please stay here, take a seat, have a chai, do some eye-yoga and go on reading.

Chalo. Lets start with the last movie i saw.


"Satyam Shivam Sundaram"

A late 70s Bollywood movie with prince charming Shashi Kapoor in the male leading role. Title stands for "Truh, Godliness and Beauty" and could be translated as "Truth is God and God is beautyful". I think there must be millions of reviews out there - what an awsome, psychodelic and also very naughty movie. No wonder it had major problems with indian film censor board. The awful-poor Heroine Rupa (Zeenat Aman) has to wear the Sari of her childhood- which is self-evidently not qualified to disguise her fruity overwell gifted grown up body. This very body- and her beautiful singing voice- are enough reason for the Ingenieur Rajeev (Shashi) to fall in love with Rupa. But problem hai: Rupa has this ugly scar from a childhood-accident on the right side of her face and neck. And furthermore all of the villagers, including her father have this unfortunating believes about her- also cause Rupas mother died when giving birth to her. Rajeev, who has a great sense for beauty, misunderstands her mysterious behaviour for shyness. Rupa is hiding her scar from his amourous glances- and, well this leads to a row of serious problems...

Point is that Rajeev is a very very bad man. And he maybe stands for all of the bad men out there, who dont have a sense for inner beauty. He should close his eyes and diligently play blind for Rupa (I think there is a story like this also in the Mahabharatha, isn´t it?). He should consider getting hypnotized - for example by her ever-present boobs. But no. If she would have 11 fingers i think it would be the same problem with rajeev...perfectionistic nerd...
Bas.




pictures stolen from missionbas, mirie and marco


Sure, the scar-thing is nasty. But there is a scene, which is really even more discusting and by the way shows one more time that indian film-censorship doesn't always work as it maybe should. I am speaking of Rupa puking into the well. I mean- anywhere else would be ok... but the well? And moments later people start asking questions: "What about Rupa? Is she not well?". Well. No...

On the other hand i had no problem with halfnaked Zeenat, who brings a little erotic to the landside and the temples. There is also a kissing szene and this waterfall-romantic-thingi which probably divided the indian cinema-audience back in 1978 in basically two groups: the ones where blood is flowing and dammed up in reddened heads - and the other ones, where blood is stowed in lower parts of the humanbody.

All in all it is a luscious and delicous movie with great special effects and charming actors and a psychodelic dream-sequence that killed me.
And i definitly want to know where this waterfall can be found...



Namaste

Dear friends, family, in-laws, colleagues, and whoever!

Yes! Finally it´s happening! I am going to india! After reflecting about indian film industry for the last months for my thesis (and then my book) i definitly had to do this. Still i am unable to stop reflecting things, as you may soon perfectly understand while reading this blog.

I confess that i have become an online-junkie through the last year. This has to stop. Lets say blogging is just my Methadone.

What else? i was lost in india before, i loved it and -as most people would sum their india-experience up- i was also shocked by this country (but that sounds always so harsh). This is the reason why i will start this journey in Goa and not in Bombay or Delhi. I am just not fit enough for this megacities with no ending (And yeah, well, furthermore my one-way-flight from condor was simply to cheap to deny).

If there is something i learned from my past journeys it is, that it will totally depend on your perceptions and descisions what you will experience. what a simple truth. But so bloody true for a trip through india. I suggest you find it out for yourself sometimes(+ consider to read my blog meanwhile ;-).