When I drove by the movie marquee reading Mira Nair’s The Namesake (2007) last spring, in my head I accidentally said, “Na Me Sa Ke.” Since I read Mira Nair’s name first, I figured it must be a Hindi word. DUH! I was fully into my Bollywood hobby (obsession) so my mind eager for all things filmy, tried to morph the title into a more bolly-appropriate title. Even though I know Mira Nair’s movies aren’t Bollywood, my brain would not accept it! I did rather quickly figure out my amusing mistake and treasure it as one of my best ever! I finally saw the movie this week and was hypnotized by Tabu’s character’s strength and vulnerability. The scene where she receives the phone call about her husband and runs through her split level suburban home flipping on all the lights and finally emerges through the open garage onto the lawn was brilliant! I have a non-homsexual-homosexual crush (from George Costanza on Seinfield) or girl crush on Tabu, which has grown stronger from her work in this film. Irfan Khan’scharacter was equally fabulous.
THE NAMESAKE is the story of the Ganguli family whose move from Calcutta to New York evokes a lifelong balancing act to meld to a new world without forgetting the old. Though parents Ashoke and Ashima (Irfan Khan, Tabu) long for the family and culture that enveloped them in India, they take great pride in the opportunities their sacrifices have afforded their children. Paradoxically, their son Gogol (Kal Penn) is torn between finding his own unique identity without losing his heritage. Even Gogol’s name represents the family’s journey into the unknown. (FoxSearchlight)
On behalf of all Americans, I extend an apology to all Indians, NRIs, and Bengali immigrants in particular, for Maxine’s (Jacinda Barrett) behavior, especially her behavior at the funeral.
Fine Maxine, you’ve got truffles, but do you have ladoos? Doubt it.
Time I spent crying during the film = 10%.
Time I spent sobbing during the film = 5%.
I thought Jhumpa Lahiri did a fabulous job capturing the immigration experience. Use this clip to jog your memory and tell me what you thought of The Namesake, or what I like to call…The Na Me Sa Ke.
Here at the Bollywood Food Club, we LOVE Dr. K. Chaudhry. He has uploaded many (500+!) fine videos and leans toward covering Mohammed Rafi and Kishore Kumar tunes. We haven’t posted one of his cover tunes in a while, and stumbled upon this tonight. Obviously others in the USA have a love for Dr. K. and started a fan club. How do I sign up? Where was this dinner? Here’s what Dr. K. Chaudhry says:
Hi friends in USA
About 310 of you inauguated fan club on April 5, 2008 with a musical evening. Parnav, Varun, Mathews and you all have always been sacrificing their sleep to call me during my day time. Just after 17 days you are celebrating dinner meet at a restautrant.That cannot be described just as a sentimental relationship between a man in Delhi and some hundreds in America. That is a carry forward relationship from some past lives. I remained away from you for 63 years. Now we shall remain together until we live together.
Enjoy Dr. K Chaudhry:
Video thanks to drkchaudhry
More of Dr. K. Chaudhry from BFC here.
I have spent much of the weekend watching live coverage of Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to the U.S.. I have fallen in love with him like I’ve fallen in love with Bollywood! He was adorable and his papal coat of arms reminded me of India’s emblem for no particular reason other than it looks very official. I even think it looks like the Pope’s feeling the bhangra beat in this photo, doesn’t it? I thought he was German, not Punjabi! I watched the coverage on EWTN and got so enthralled I missed my weekend dose of Bollywood. I did however think of my favorite portrayal of Catholicism in a Bollywood movie: Ajay Devgan in Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam (1999). I love the wisdom of Bollywood and Devgan’s characer gets to the heart of his views on what love is. Here’s one of my favorite Bollywood scenes of all time and shows the beauty of purification through suffering. I think that Pope Benecidt said nearly the same thing while he was here, but Bollywood said it fewer words:
I’ve posted about Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam two other times here before, and The Bolly Blog has a great synopsis of the film here. As an extra bonus, the film has a tight slap to the face that takes place in a church of all places! Talk about sacreligious. Now back to the religious, today’s video: “Dholi taro Dhol Baje” with music by Ismail Darbar. The playback singers are Karsan Sagadia, Kavita Krishnamurthy, and Vinod Rathod. It’s picturised on Aishwarya Rai and Salman Khan and is one of the many excellent songs from the movie.
Time to check in with The Bollywood Food Club’s favorite entertainment correspondant, Suzi Mann with the latest Bollywood chugli:
From April 4th:
Shahrukh and Hrithik dance off for Krazzy 4, One Two Three too many rude gags? Will Smith ever ask Aishwarya Rai to work with him again?
From March 28th:
Shahrukh and Amitabh pals after Bhoothnath shoot, Race a winner but how permanent is Saif’s Kareena tattoo?
I had the pleasure of escaping to Puerto Vallarta again this year from Minnesota’s extra long winter. During my recent trip I met a lovely Indian couple from Michigan, Sheela & Chaitanya. I saw a man several times in the hotel’s lobby who looked like Sanjay Dutt. Of course it wasn’t him, but when I saw this couple I knew they would perhaps understand my glee. “Hey, have you seen that guy who looks like Sanjay Dutt? It’s not him, but he looks a lot like him!” They kindly tolerated my Bollywood obsession, and never once called me a pagli gori. I asked Sheela-ji for her movie recommendations and upon her advice I watched Chameli.
Chameli is the story of a prostitute, (Kareena Kapoor). Aman Kapoor (Rahul Bose) an investment banker, lost his wife in a car accident on a rainy night. Neha was pregnant with their child. The accident left him depressed and lonely. He drowned his grief with alcohol or smoking. Chameli was sold to a brothel by her uncle when she was young. She is now a tough, street smart girl. On one rainy night, Aman and Chameli, two strangers, meet each other in Mumbai. The story shows how their relationship develops and how each other’s lives change. (wikipedia)
Kind hearted Chameli sponsered a little street urchin and upon finding out he was chewing tobacco, she threatened to give him the “tight slap to the face.”
Lately I’ve noticed that there are eunuchs who are sometimes prostitutes in many of the Bollywood movies I’m seeing: Jodhaa Akbar, Water, Ek Chalis Ki Last Local, and Raja Hindustani to name a few. Chameli had one too!
The Kapoor dynasty magic! As Chameli, Kareena is so strong, yet so vunerable:
So on a rainy night, I watched this movie of a rainy night and was particularly fond of the tune “Bhaage Re Mann” with music by Sandesh Sandilya and lyrics by Irshad Kalimby. The fantastic playback singer is Sunidhi Chauhan, and the song is picturised on Kareena Kapoor and Rahul Bose
Lyrics in Hindi. English lyrics are included in the comments below. Many thanks to TheBollywoodFan.
For more on Sunidhi Chauhan, read Dr. Mandar’s article at cinema sangeet.
I came across The Unforgettable Tour site today and my mind wandered with possiblities. Would I ever attend this tour? Which city would be the best place to see the tour? Would YOU go to this tour?
There is some question about who will participate in this tour. Salman Khan was considered at one point? Is Lara Dutta out? Is Akshay Kumar in?
Elephants are my friends! I was inspired after seeing this elephant. Don’t you want a pet elephant now too? Haathie Mere Saathie is a cute little movie and was the first movie I saw that starred Tanuja. It’s an orphan movie, which always makes for a good plot. Raju and his elephants were so misunderstood! Over at Memsaab’s blog, haiku has been dedicated to this fine film.
Haathi Mere Saathi (1971) is an Indian film and a favourite with children in the early 1970s. The movie has a Disneyesque appeal with an Indian twist. Orphaned Raju, (Rajesh Khanna) in the company of four elephants, has to perform with them at street corners, in order to keep alive. Slowly he amasses a fortune, and is able to build his own private zoo, housing tigers, lions, bears, and of course the four elephants. He treats all the animals as his friends. He meets with Tanu, (Tanuja) and both fall in love. Tanu’s dad, Ratanlal, is opposed to this alliance, but subsequently relents, and permits the young couple to get married. Tanu is unhappy with the amount of time Raju spends with his animal friends, and this causes some bitterness between them. Things do not improve when a child is born, as Tanu fears that one day the child will be harmed by one of the animals, and hence Raju is told to make a choice between his animal friends or his wife and son. (wikipedia)
Chal mere saathie and enjoy Kishore Kumar’s playback singing of the Laxmikant-Pyarelal tune, “Chal Chal Mere Saathi.”