My cyber evening with Amitabh.

Here I sit, wishing I were in L.A. attending this evening’s The Unforgettable Tour! But I’ve been told by posters to this site, jen (start a blog girl!) and theBollywoodFan, that they’ve taken me along to the show in spirit, so I feel good. I’m happily checking my blog statistics and spy that there are some incoming hits from AMITABH BACHCHAN’S blog

 

This may be the closest I ever get to Amitji, but I’ll take it! I know it doesn’t mean he actually read the comment, or even clicked through to this blog, but it’s a touch of something special anyway, a way for us all to somehow be a part of his world and to show our enthusiasm and appreciation for his work.  I did my research and I found on day 87, that monkey made the 508th comment.  Thanks for making my night world wide web, monkey, Amitabh Bachchan’s blog and my cyber dosto for bringing me to the show in spirit. Here’s monkey’s comment:

 

508. Monkey Says:
July 20th, 2008 at 7:25 pm

hey mr. B check out this blog website dedicated entirely to you and your tour.

http://bollywoodfoodclub.wordpress.com/2008/04/12/the-unforgettable-tour/#comment-1533

its for ur support and to keep u pumped. fans basically commnicating to one another.

Then I clicked over to Mr. Bachchan’s blog and fired off a post.  Imagine, my little comment made it to the same post!

716. sitaji Says:
July 27th, 2008 at 11:00 am

Dear Mr. Bachchan,
I wish I were attending your show tonight in LA. I wanted to alert you to the enthusiastic repsonses I’ve had over at my blog regarding your tour:

http://bollywoodfoodclub.wordpress.com/2008/04/12/the-unforgettable-tour/#comment-1628

The comments on this post I did regarding The Unforgettable Tour just keep coming. Welcome to America and all the best!
Sita-ji

What FUN!

Makes me wanna sing along with Lata, Asha, and Mahendra to Pyar Zindigi Hai!

Thanks for the video BollywoodArchive.

Please take note one of my favorite things in Bollywood in this video: Johnnie Walker being consumed.

Bollywood meets NASCAR? Ta Ra Rum Pum (2007)

Ta Ra Rum Pum (2007) starring Saif Ali Khan -n- Rani Mukerjee (or Mukerji if you feel like spelling it that way) is sort of NASCAR meets Bollywood. In my commitment to watch all Hindi movies available through my local library system, I forced myself to watch TRRP. I also forced myself to write about it in order to a.) warn you and b.) remove the yolk of this movie from my mind. So let’s begin! Chalo dosto! I’m not sure if you’ve figured this out yet, but in case you haven’t, I’ll let you in on a little secret: some, okay, most every Bollywood films have two mismatched people who are thrown together. TRRP is one such tale. It’s the story of a guy and a gal from two different worlds: one is poor, one is rich; one is very honest and plans everything, the other likes to bend the truth and is more fancy free; and one is a classically trained pianist, the other a race car driver. So different, yet love binds these two together. That’s Bollywood!

I don’t like my Bollywood set in the USA. I prefer India, and will accept New Zealand, Thailand, parts of Greece, Australia, Sri Lanka, and Mauritius, but I really don’t like the USA for a setting since I’m already here. Strike one! I’m not into auto racing. Strike 2! But what saves this movie from a strike out for me was the rather sick twists TRRP took, even more sick when you consider it’s mostly aimed at a kids’ audience. More on that later! Rani (Radhika Shekar Roy Banerjee Singh a.k.a. Shona), against her rich business tycoon father’s wishes marries Saif (Rajveer Singha.k.a RV ), a successful race car drive, who becomes increasingly successful in the first years of their marriage. They havea little girl and a little boy and they live in a fancy Frank Llyod Wright-esque home. Happy? Yes! But for how long? Not too long! Tragedy strikes and their happy family is challenged with super hard times after Saif/RV gets in a crash during a race.

Bummer! He’s not only suffers physically, but mentally too. How can he be a man if he can’t support his family? What is his worth? Saif tries to make his race car driver comeback but just keeps losing! The former star loses 10 races in a row. During these tough economic times it was fun to see commentary on frivolous spending, and the danger of spending beyond one’s means. Dad loses his job, the family goes into debt.

Before:                                                     After:

As a result they must leave their fancy Manhattan haveli and move to “cabbie row” which apparently was dangerous, since immediately upon arrival the kids witness a knife wielding robber barreling down the street. The parents have decided not to tell the kids that they’re now suddenly poor, but instead that they’re on a reality show called “Don’t Worry Be Happy” and that there are hidden cameras around. The parents lie to the kids and say if the fake show’s hidden cameras” see that they are seen frowning and not smiling they will lose the challenge, lose the lucrative prize and fame. How do they explain their new dangerous neighborhood with the robber and the knife, well it’s a toy knife and all part of the reality TV show. SMILE! No matter what, struggle, after struggle, you must smile.

At this point this make believe is sort of cute and acceptable since it’s done to protect the kids. Then they discover the apartment has no pani, I mean water, and the parents again cheer the kids up and have them swim in a fountain to bathe. Is this just a subtitling quirk, or do Indians really say “swimming costumes” instead of swimsuit?

For no reason there’s a scene with RV doing push ups. Why? Maybe to show that even in their new meager surroundings he’s still going to work out, despite not havig a treadmill and other fancy workout equipment.

In one of the film’s first sick twists, Saif/RV decides to give away the cherished family pet by setting it free in a park. This is supposed to save some money.

Saif/RV has to become a cabbie to earn money, despite being freakishly opposed to that idea. I thought he liked to drive cars, but maybe he just likes to drive them really, really fast. The kids figure out that they really are poor so they secretly skip lunch to save money to put toward their “school fees,” so I’m lead to believe it must be a private school or that these NRIs didn’t understand about free public schools available in the U.S. of A.. So the kids are quietly starving. Saif/RV lies to fellow cabbies that his daughter is sick to get money for a “hospital” bill. The cabbies are generous and give him a couple thousand dollars. RV’s a LIAR! His beti is not sick! But instant karma gets him within hours when the same kind cabbies see him out with his “sick” daughter:

trpplie

The wife figures out his lies and then goes and breaks the truth to the kids, waking them up urgently from their sound and peaceful sleep. I love how sick this is, especially since it was a movie for kids. They want to protect the kids’ innocence, yet Rani/Shona was so stressed, disappointed, hungry, and exhausted from her new found poverty that she had a mini breakdown and forgot about the “Don’t Worry Be Happy” game and had to tell the kids the truth. I always thought concert pianists were a little more stable than this until now. As they say in Bollywood, she has tension. Here’s some poor parenting, not that she’s sharing the truth, but that she’s hysterical, and exaggerating, and does it by waking them in the middle of the night!

She tells the girl her dad is a liar and will do whatever he can for money, and then tops of her announcement with some more kid friendly news:

“OK sweetie, now go back to sleep.” :) And then there’s the second shot of instant karma: When Rani/Shona wakes up Champ in the middle of the night to tell him how bad his dad is, the boy is found with blood leaking from his mouth.

That’s usually not a good sign. Why was he spitting up this blood? Poor kid was starving, so he had to scavenge for food in the garbage, and he ate glass at lunch, either out of starvation or from a stupid mistake. Remind your children NOT to eat glass! So he has to have a $65,000 operation and Saif/RV must get the paisa, I mean money, somehow to save his lad (spoiler alert: a professional car race). I couldn’t stop smiling during this part. Am I sick or is Bollywood sick to have a family movie showing kids tumble from their high life to one where they are starving and eating glass? Boy I wish I had my own kids to show this movie, so I could sweetly threaten them, “Well, you may not like dinner tonight kids, but at least you don’t have to eat glass like that poor little Indian boy had to in TRRP. Now finish your dinner!” NOW Finally, this cute and macabre film (yes I’m using those words together) seems to achieve something that I didn’t think Bollywood could do: appeal to the NASCAR demographic. Bollywood just doesn’t quit!

I did really like the title track by playback singer Shreya Ghosal , music by Vishal-Shekhar, and maybe you will too:

Extra Credit!

I love learning new tidbits and this was a new one for me from TRRP: If you’re lying your tongue is black, if you’re telling the truth it’s pink. The little boy in the film, Champ, was know to fib, much like his dad, so he’s asked to stick out his tongue so his honesty can be checked. Apparently this is something children are told in India. I like it! Have you ever heard of this?

Is this the biggest Shahrukh Khan fan?

A friend, clever enough to ferret out such work, and thoughtful enough to direct my attention to it, sent me this image the other day. 

I demanded to know its source, which was passed on to me, and now to you. For complete fan dedication to Shahrukh Khan, visit Shahrukh Khan Fantasies. You’ll find many images of SRK there and the artist, B.Rohrer, explains this extreme tribute:

I have the highest regard for Mr. Khan. He’s been a source of inspiration for several years now, kicking my own creativity into new directions. I therefore hope that in the unlikely case he should ever see one of these images, he will not feel insulted. For me Mr. Khan is like my favorite gemstone… an opal. At first sight there is so much bedrock it looks like a plain brown stone. But as you turn it in the light it displays everchanging colors, surprising you with their brilliance. And yet… the opal is a tender stone, a sparkler only when held to the light. Treat it wrong and it will break.

You can also check out the images through this video:

Thanks B.Rohrer.

And you thought YOU were a real fan. :)

Bommarillu (2006) & Genelia D’Souza. Sometimes I sneak over to Tollywood.

I know this is a Bollywood blog, but sometimes I have to talk about Tollywood.

I saw my second Telugu film the other day: Bommarillu (2006).  The first Telugu film I saw was Varsham (2004), which I enjoyed just as much.  I was excited to see Genelia D’Souza in a movie, since her much anticipated Bollywood film Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na is set to debut this weekend. If you’re curious as I am about JTYJN, Nawab theBollywoodFan has translated the songs from the movie (music by A. R. Rahman!) and given a lot of great preview information at his site.  He’s also had some brushes with the film’s director, Abbas Tyrewala, that you can read about here.

D’Souza is adorable ADORABLE as Hasini in Bommarillu.

She’s like the daughter of Kajol and Rani if that were possible, with a dash of Tanuja, and twist of Gidgit; meaning if she were any cuter she’d explode.  The movie reminded me of DDLJ, KKHH, and Cinderella.  Its appeal is vast, but in particular, I think all 8-12 year old girls out there would adore this movie.  Second to D’Souza, my other favorite part in the film was the domineering father, marvelously played by the brutally handsome Prakash Raj.  I was delighted to find that when this move is remade in Hindi, one of my favorite hot villains, Nana Patekar, will play the father.

My favorite number from the film is Laloo Darvaja, with music by Murali, Naveen, Priya Prakash; lyricist: Kulasekhar.
Here’s another song from the film, Bommani Geesthe, with music by Jeans Srinivas, and Gopika Poornima, lyricist; BhaskaraBhatla.  Reminds me a bit of DDLJ :
Would you like to know more about Bommarillu?  Then head over to theBollywoodFan, Apni East India CompanySai and Shujath Talk Cinema, and Baba Aur Bollywood for some excellent insight. If you consider yourself to be intuitive, this screen capture from the film could be interpreted as a spoiler: