Vikram-ji! Many happy returns of the day!

It’s Vikram’s birthday today, and Bollystalgia! put out a call for us to celebrate worldwide by posting about Chiyaan.When India is sweltering in heat and Chiyaan is working away at various locations across the globe or in some film studio in Chennai, many a cold climate dwelling filmi fan got through the brutal winter by imagining that south Indian heroes like Vikram did our chores; from the strenuous to the more simple things, like changing our clocks for daylight savings time.  Liz from My Year of Prakash Raj organized those images at Ayoo! South Indian Heroes Do Your Chores.  Vikram did many chores as evidenced by Liz’s site, one of which was wishing me happy birthday (and doing my snow shoveling), so it’s the least I could do to reciprocate, and wish him many happy returns of the day.
 
I first fell for Vikram when Apunbindaas, the Hmong Chick who loves Indian cinema, was kind enough to send me  Anniyan (2005)  all the way to Minnesota from Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

Anniyan is the story of “Rules” Ramanujam Iyengar alias “Ambi” (Chiyaan Vikram), a lawyer who suffers from Multiple Personality Disorder. Ambi is an innocent and honest lawyer. If he comes across anyone not obeying the law, he files cases against them but all his efforts go in vain. (source)

Doesn’t reading Multiple Personality Disorder let you know already that this movie is a winner? 

It’s one of those multiple personalities that makes the film.  Once I saw Vikram’s Remo character (the crazy side of the multiple personality) that was it, I was in filmi love like never before!  Enjoy Vikram in his crazy Remo character here in the tune, Kadhal Yanai  with Nandhini (Sadha) playing the love interest and Yana Gupta as gori extra, (playback singers Nakul, Nelwyn & G. V. Prakash Kumar) and be sure to watch it all the way through so you can see Remo’s  love detector.

 Yes!

Arul (2004) also captured my attention when his passionate character went bilkul ballistic when he heard anyone engage in swearing or poor language, which he refered to as dirty talks.

Really makes you think doesn’t it?  Arul makes you want to be a better person, hai na? I liked Arul (2004) so much that I’ll write that up soon, but in the meantime head to Filmi Girl’s entertaining review of the movie HERE.

I also loved seeing Vikram in Mani Ratnam‘s Raavanan (2010) as a marvelous villain (misunderstood and surely with a heart of gold), but have yet to see him playing the good guy in Raavan, the Hindi version of the same film.  I saw  Raavanan on the big screen last year without subtitles, and now am fortunate to now be able to see it again in Minneapolis next week,  but this time WITH subtitles in English since it’s part of the 2011 Minneapolis-St.Paul International Film Festival.

Vikram speaks here about the process of filming Raavan (2010, Hindi)  and Ravaanan (2010, Tamil)  concurrently, playing separate roles, in different languages:

For more honors to Vikram on his birthday, head over to FilmiGirl in the USA, and click across the globe to New Zealand and read what Ness over at Shahrukh is Love  has to say about Bheemaa (2008).  Now head back to Bollystalgia, representing Boston, MA and Detroit, MI and every place in between to see her Happy Birthday Rampwalk Remo  post.  Huppy Burday to Chiyaan!  Now is simply the intermission until I see another Vikram film!   Until then, I feel like I’m behind bars!

What Vikram movies have you seen?  Tell me your favorites and your recommendations.  Check out Chiyaan Vikram’s website HERE.

Dil Hi Dil Mein (2000) aka Kadhalar Dhinam, My first hybrid dubbing experience.

When I saw Dil Hi Dil Mein (2000), I felt like a genius, or an idiot, or both.  I kept thinking that since this was originally a Tamil movie titled Kadhalar Dhinam (1999), that is was probably dubbed into Hindi.  But then I’d see scenes where the lips were completely synching up with the Hindi, and Bollywood actors like Anupan Kher and Johnny Lever.  These guys don’t do Tamil movies, right? I felt like I did when I was a kid seeing dubbing for the first time in some Godzilla film on TV some Saturday afternoon.  As a 5 year old watching that, I knew there was something off with the voices; adult women pretending to talk like kids for the children’s parts, and lips not matching up with the voices.  Well here’s the genius part, when doing my post movie internet research I read this:

The film’s success prompted Hindi Distributors to dub the film in Hindi as “Dil Hi Dil Mein”. However, director Kathir had actually reshot scenes in Hindi featuring actor Kunal and Anupam Kher [Replacing the Kunal-Manivannan tracks] conversing in Hindi while Johnny Lever’s scenes replaced the Goundamani Tracks [Even though he appeared briefly for the Chand Aaya Haisong] with the same Titanic hairdo. Even the tracks dubbed from the Tamil version were re shot with Hindi synchronization sans for the first line of Roja Roja. Actor Nasser, though dubbed in Hindi, had given his Hindi synching in the song “Sawar Gayee”. Though actors Kunal and Sonali Bendre had synched their dialogues in Hindi, the rest of the film was dubbed and became a flop at box office. (wikipedia)

So there!  It’s not completely dubbed over, since some portions were actually re shot in Hindi, so those no-dubbing lips were completely synchronized, since they were speaking Hindi after all.  So this is what I will now term a hybrid dubbing film, since I don’t know what else to call it. Do you?  Here’s a bit about the film:

Kadhalar Dhinam meaning Lover’s Day (English) is a 1999 Tamil film directed by Kathir. This film is based upon love which started upon an internet chatroom and how it developed. The movie stars Kunal, Sonali Bendre, Nassar, Manivannan, Goundamani, Rambha, Visu and Chinni Jayanth. This film was also known as the transition film between the 20th Century and the 21st Century.Produced by A.M. Rathnam and the music was composed by A.R. Rahman. The film was released April 1999 and was a box-office record breaker.(wikipedia)

What I enjoyed most in this movie is the story of how Rosa’s wealthy, accomplished father, played by the very handsome Nassar, once was an orphan. Who doesn’t love a good orphan story? With his orphan background, he’s naturally drawn to help out Raja, who he has no idea is in love with his very own daughter!

Orphans unite! Here are some images to show the rough start Roja’s daddy had before winning his hard earned success. 

Well one of the things wrong with begging in this case was that they didn’t give the little girl milk, so she’d cry with passion and get more money from begging.  But they went too far and she died.

As an young orphan boy, Roja’s dad, aka son of the eclipse, was blamed for his sister’s death, since her begging money went to pay his tuition and satisfy his lust for education.

Well it sounds to me like his mom was projecting her guilt over her beti’s death onto her son. I hope he eventually grew to understand this. I do love these neglected orphan tales though.  All the suffering!

I found the Dorthy Hammil hair of the lead star, Kunal, distracting.  For those who aren’t old enough to recall, Dorthy Hammil was the gold medel winning figure skating darling of the 1975 Olympics, who stormed the world with her sassy hairdo.

Even Johnny Lever’s character wore the Dorthy Hammil hair:

“…and your tresses look like those of Dorthy Hammil.”

When I tried to find out more about Kunal, I was saddened to see that he committed suicide on Feburary 7, 2008, which is incidentally my birthday.  I heard Dorthy Hammil interviewed on the radio recently and she spoke of her struggles with depression, which must have been what Kunul suffered from, since untreated depression is the cause of suicide.  So sad.  But we have this nice movie to remember him by.

Now on a lighter note, who doesn’t like dancing with sticks? Do you know if there’s an official name for this style of stick dancing? You can see it here in “Daandiya Aattam,” from DHDM, with music by A.R. Rahman:

Thanks to memsaab for coming through with the answer to my question.  The dancing with sticks is called dandiya raas which has an interesting history you can read about at Dandiya: The Great Indian Social Dance. Look! The type of dance is right there in the title of the song, “Daandiya Aattam.

Video of the Day: “Dhak Dhak Karne Laga” from Beta(1992) and the Texa Tonka Mall

Yesterday I had a life just like Babita in yesterday’s video clip. Such generous dosto were Nandini, Brahmanadam and Gurubhai! Hard to believe it was Gurubhai‘s first time eating Indian food. They showered me with unique, lovely and valuable gifts, the most valuable being their waqt. We dined on scrumptious delicacies at Best of India in the cozy little gem of a strip mall: The Texa Tonka Mall. Strip malls can really be quite charming if you give them the chance.  The Texa Tonka not only has a great name, but is home of Best of India, Namaste Plaza, and Axman! After the great meal with yaaro, I was lucky enough to watch Beta, which has the most tight slaps to the face I’ve ever seen in a Bollywood movie.  A perfect birthday fo Sita-ji!

 Beta (Hindi: बेटा, Urdu: بیٹا, translation: Son) is a 1992 Bollywood movie directed by Indra Kumar. The film featured the pairing of Madhuri Dixit with Anil Kapoor, who were previously paired in Tezaab and Parinda. The film is perhaps best remembered for the hit song “Dhak Dhak Karne Laga”, which earned Dixit her nickname as the “Dhak-Dhak Girl” (“dhak-dhak” = heartbeat). Beta won four Filmfare Awards including Best Actress (Dixit), Best Actor (Kapoor), Best Playback Singer (Anuradha Paudwal for “Dhak Dhak Karne Laga”) and Best Supporting Actress Aruna Irani. It’s a remake of Tamil blockbuster Enga Chinna Raasa directed by Bhagyaraj. Beta is the story of Raju (Anil Kapoor), the only child of a widowed multi millionaire. Raju’s father can provide him anything he wants but Raju’s only desire is to get mother’s love,beta.jpg in order to please Raju, his father gets married to Nagmani (Aruna Irani), thinking that she will take care of Raju more than his real mother would. Raju becomes completely devoted to his stepmother, doing whatever she wishes. Time passes by, Raju grows up and gets married to Saraswati (Madhuri Dixit). Saraswati discovers that Nagmani’s motherly love for Raju is fake and all what Nagmani is interested in, is capturing Raju’s wealth. And thus begins a battle within the household between daughter-inlaw and mother-in-law. (wikipedia)

beta1.jpgToday’s video is so caliente, it should be rated R for racy!   My movie watching yaar fell in love with Madhuri during this song, and his love only deepened as the movie progressed. Can you say Filmfare award? Enjoy “Dhak Dhak Karne Laga” by playback singers Udit Narayan and Anuradha Paudwal from Beta.  

Thanks fo tilluskc for the video.

Lyrics

Video of the Day: “Pretty Woman” from Kal Ho Naa Ho (2003) or “How Kal Ho Naa Ho changed my life!”

Today’s video is “Pretty Woman” with music by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, by playback singer Shankar Mahadevan, picturized on King Khan from the movie Kal Ho Naa Ho.  I’ll get to that later but let me give you a little background first.

This is a pivotal Bollywood movie for me because it’s partly responsible for my current addiction to the genre. I had seen Devdas along with Nandini and other dosto at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis back in September 2003; the seed was planted. In the following years I saw Monsoon Wedding, Bend It Like Beckham, and Kandukondain Kandukondain. These Indian related movies swirled in my head a few years. Skip forward to August of 2006 and I’m looking at a Netflix page thinking, “Hey, I’d like to see that guy from Devdas in something.” I figure “that guy” is Shah Rukh Khan and put Kal Ho Naa Ho in the queue because it’s recommended. So I watch this movie and am stunned by how LONG it is! I’m disappointed that it’s set in what is supposed to be New York. Hey! This isn’t right, I wanted a real Indian movie set in India. Then I see this “Pretty Woman” scene and get that feeling you get when you’re embarrassed by someone, even worse that being embarrassed for yourself. But THEN the movie takes this turn that I never expect. Shah Rukh Khan is so dramatic that I’m sucked in. It has a love triangle, self sacrifice, and an emotionally wrenching hospital scene. So half way through, I accept it as a good movie and all I know is I want more! Then I saw Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, followed by Main Hoon Na. Then I watch Main Hoon Na again with Nandini and I sense another Bollywood junkie. It’s like SRK was a gateway drug to Bollywood. Next discovery is the pure cocaine of Amitabh, and the angry young man movies. HOOKED! I pick up a Hindi street naam of Sita-ji after watching Dance Dance, to keep it real. So the addiction begins! I stay with Bollywood, because it’s what I know, it’s safe. I believe that if I slip into Tollywood and Kollywood, and I’ve had a taste of the Telugu and Tamil scene people, it would be like taking crack, possibly meth. I have to stay away from Rajinikanth for now. And Lollywood would be like heroin, unmanageable. I need to stay as clean as I can, so it’s mostly Bollywood for now. I saw Nandini the other night, and we whispered a bit about Nollywood, careful to not let too many people hear, but knew to back off, it was just too dangerous. And we know that kal ho naa ho, but it’s still good to play it safe.

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Kal Ho Naa Ho (Devanagari कल हो ना हो, Nastaliq: کل ہو نہ ہو, English: Tomorrow May or May Not Be) is a 2003 Bollywood film set in New York City. It stars Jaya Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Preity Zinta, and Saif Ali Khan. The film was directed by first-timer Nikhil Advani; it was produced and co-written by Karan Johar, better known as the director of the hit films Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998) and Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham (2001). This movie resembles Dil Chahta Hai (2001) in blending Bollywood and Hollywoodconventions with high production values. While copyright violation has long run rampant in the Bollywood film industry, Kal Ho Naa Ho is notable for having licensed the rights to Roy Orbison‘s “Oh, Pretty Woman” for an extended musical sequence taking place in the streets in New York. Because of its familiar setting and music, accessibility to non-Indians, good production values, and respect for copyright, Kal Ho Naa Ho has been used to introduce Bollywood to markets where Indian films have been rare. Naina Catherine Kapur (Preity Zinta) is an angry young woman, for more than one reason. Her father committed suicide when she needed him the most, leaving Jennifer (Jaya Bachchan), his wife, to raise their children all khnh2.jpgalone. Lajjo (Sushma Seth), Jennifer’s mother-in-law, blames Jennifer for the suicide. Furthermore, Jennifer is unhappy because Lajjo refuses to accept Gia, a six-year-old girl whom Jennifer adopted, as her granddaughter. In addition, the restaurant Jennifer operates is faltering. The only factors that redeem Naina’s life are the toiling and tolerant Jennifer and Naina’s bumbling MBA classmate Rohit (Saif Ali Khan). Aman Mathur (Shah Rukh Khan), a happy-go-lucky man, arrives in Naina’s neighbourhood and soon changes everything with his contagious joviality and zest for life…(wikipedia)

And speaking of New York and India, our friend Brahmanandam, a.k.a. Tim, sent a great link to Indian restaurants in New York City; “A Passage to India,” by Matthew Fishbane. Click here to check it out the article published in the January 13, 2008 in the New York Times.

So here it is, “Pretty Woman”:

Thanks to nacromanser for providing the video.

Video of the Day: “Kannalanae” from Bombay (1995)

Today’s song is “Kannalanae” from Bombay (1995). I remember seeing this film and thinking in the music numbers the lips weren’t matching what they were singing and that Manisha Koirala should really work on her lip syncing skills.  I then much later realized that they were singing (or pretending to sing) in Tamil, and the movie was dubbed into Hindi. Duh! Of course I fell for Arvind Swamy  after seeing this movie. Didn’t you?

bombay.gifBombay (1995) is an award-winning Tamil feature film drama directed by Mani Ratnam, starring Arvind Swamy and Manisha Koirala, with music composed by A. R. Rahman. The film met with a strong reception upon release. The film is centred on events, particularly during the period of December 1992 to January 1993 in India, and the controversy surrounding the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya. Increased religious tensions in the city of Bombay (now Mumbai) led to riots. Shekhar (Arvind Swamy) is the son of traditional Hindu parents. He is studying journalism in Bombay and returns to his village where he comes across Shaila Bano, (Manisha Koirala), a Muslim schoolgirl. The story revolves around their relationship in the midst of religious tension. The film caused huge controversy upon release in India and abroad, for its depiction of inter-religious relations. Well received critically and commercially, it was screened at many international film festivals including the Philadelphia Film Festival in 1996 where it was an audience favourite.It was subsequently dubbed in Hindi and Telugu. The film was banned in Singapore, Pakistan and Malaysia upon release. (wikipedia)

“Kannalanae” with playback singer K. S. Chithra, I think that this is the Tamil version, maybe tomorrow I’ll add the Hindi version titled “Kehna hi kya,” or do I have that the other way around?

Thanks to aruhten  for the video.

For about the film, check out The Bolly Blog’s review HERE.

Video of the Day: “Munbe Vaa” from Sillunu Oru Kaadhal (2006)

Today’s video is the song “Munbe Vaa” from the movie Sillunu Oru Kaadhal starring Surya, Jyothika Saravanan and Bhoomika Chawla.

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Right from childhood Kundavi has been brought up in a small village called Ambasamudram. She has two good friends right from school and one day both of her friends got married and leave. Kundavi’s father then fixes up her marriage with Goutham (Surya). Both look gloomy and dull during the wedding. Then the scene drifts to a period after six years in Bombay where they have 5 year old daughter and live as a happily married couple. Goutham works as a chief mechanic and he designs a new function for the car and he gets to go to New York for a short period. During this time, Jyothika somehow catches hold of Goutham’s old diary during his college days and the story goes back showing Goutham as a college wiz kid. In college, he was the popular guy who gets attracted to Aishu (Bhoomika Chawla), a local MP‘s daughter. Gautham and Aishu fall in love and they decided to get married. At the registrar’s office after Gautham ties the thali, Aishu’s father and his men beat him up and takes Aishu away. At the end of the diary, Goutham had written a note that basically said “if I have one wish, it would be to live with Aishu happily at least for one day.”From flashback, the scene now turns to the present as Goutham comes back from New York and finds his wife changed. She works late and avoids him. At this point, Kundavi goes and finds out Gautham’s lost love Aishu. Aishu has changed to a western clad modern girl in contrast to the salwar kameez girl in college. Kundavi tells Aishu to come over to her house and she tells her husband that he should live happily with Aishu for a day. Half heartedly though, Kundavi leaves her husband and goes. What happens in this one day forms the rest of the story. (wikipedia)

I’d sure love to see this movie! Any English subtitles? This is my Christmas wish: Tamil speaking people of Kollywood, I beg you, please subtitle your movies in English, like the kind people of Bollywood do! Must I learn Tamil to partake of your movies?  (Yes, I know some of the Tamil movies DO have English subtitles, but not as many as Bollywood.)

I LOVE this song! I love Shreya Ghoshal‘s voice!

Music composed by A.R. Rahman, with lyrics by Vali, playback singers, Naresh Iyer & Shreya Ghoshal. (Selected as Best Song of The Year 2006)

Thanks to rajhanish for the YouTube video. Lyrics in Tamil, sorry no English translation yet. Here’s a good blog about the movie.

p.s. It’s August 30, 2008, and I finally watched Sillunu Oru Kaadhal, and of course easily found an English subtitled version at Netflix. I really enjoyed it!

Video of the Day: “Kannamoochchi” from Kandukondain Kandukondain (2000)

kandukondain_kandukondain.jpgHere’s some more Tamil, like yesterday’s video it’s from Kandukondain Kandukondain (2000). The movie stars Mammootty, Aishwarya Rai, Tabu, Ajith, & Abbas.  Here’s my co-blogwallah Nandini’s favorite song from the movie, “Kannamoochchi.” The song’s music is by A. R. Rahman, lyrics by Vairmuthu, and features the fabulous vocals of  Chitra & K.J. Yesudas, picturized on Aishwarya Rai‘s dancing.

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Lyrics in Tamil with English translation. Here are the Lyrics and English translation for all the movie’s songs.