Ram Jaane (1995) featuring a mini SRK tribute.

I love a good orphan film, and there’s not much more I can say about Ram Jaane than hasn’t already been said so well by Fortune City and Post Punk Cinema Club, but I can show you some of the parts that I really enjoyed.  Just look at the cool movie poster from the film with bloody fisted, red headband wearing SRK and I think there’s ample evidence that this is a good film.

Ram Jaane (1995) translation: “Ram Knows” or “God Knows”) is a 1995 Indian Bollywood movie directed by Rajiv Mehra about an unnamed kid (portrayed by Shahrukh Khan) who grows up to become a gangster. He uses the name Ram Jaane after meeting with a priest who in response to the kid asking about his name said “Ram Jaane” (God knows). The movie ranks the 8th highest grossing Hindi movie of 1995 and is also the fourth time Shahrukh Khan is playing a negative role after BaazigarDarr and Anjaam. (source)

So here we start with a feisty young street lad, Ram, who meets his childhood companions who he continues to befriend into adulthood.  Prior to being named Ram, short for Ram Jaane, he was known as Footpath.

Eventually he becomes officially known as Ram Jaane.

He’s a small time hustler with lots of style, the bad boy you can’t help but love.

Sometimes his goonda living and dacoitery catches up with him and he lands in the clinker, and he suffers and bleeds from the mouth, which is something that I firmly belive King Khan does better than any actor!  Dekh:

One day I’ll do a post on a collection of SRK screen captures from various films where he bleeds from the mouth. Devdas would have some good mouth bleeding  material, na?  The story has the love triangle plot between the 3 life long friends.  After a bit of jail time, Ram reunites with his childhood pals Murli (Vivek Mushram) who helps the street kids, and Bela (Juhi Chawla).

Ram falls for Bela, but realizes that his pal Murli also loves Bela, or is it Bela who loves Murli, details.  Either way, Ram Jaane becomes a tad jealous and insecure as a result of this situation.  He begins to question his self worth.

Ram eventually is overtaken by what the viewer may think is blind rage and he roughs up Bela, and eventually gives her a tight slap to the face, which he immediately regrets.

BUT, but, but did he hit her out of a jealous rage? Did he hit her because of his inability to soothe his own psyche independently of his love object?  Nahin!  As it turns out he hit her out of love, because he knew his friend loved her and by hitting Bela she would turn to Murli for love.  Problem solved!  Hey, I’m not saying it’s a good idea, but it worked.  Now clear your mind from the disturbing image of SRK’s character being violent with his love interest, and enjoy the title track from the film Ram Jaane with playback singers,  Alka Yagnik,  Sonu NigamUdit Narayan, and music by Anu Malik.

A while back I did a post on B.Rohrer’s SRK Fantasies in which the artist pays tribute to SRK in a series of creative pieces.  Recently I was lucky to run across another such creative fan on youtube and Breaking Free of the Box has taken things to a whole new level with this video tribute to Ram Jaane.  How can my humble collection of screen captures from the films measure up to the devotional nature of Breaking Free of the Box‘s work? It can’t, so now, I’ve saved the best for last so sit down and get ready to be entertained.  In the words of Breaking Free of the Box:

Here’s a miniature tribute to Shahrukh and Juhi . . . Let’s hope that someday they make another romantic film as intense as their earlier ones. . . Enjoy!! (source)

Did you notice the Central Jail on the mini set?

To wrap things up neatly as Bollywood so often does,  let’s take a moment to empathize with our film’s orphan:

Let’s now go on to be uplifted by the orphan, who has been enlightened through his suffering, only to go on to inspire us all!  Jai Bollywood wisdom:

P. S.  Due to heavy international pressure from the blogging community, and to avoid further mutiny from blog commenters, I must make mention of SRK’s style of wearing a suit jacket without any shirt underneath (think of the ring around the collar!) in the film and link in the song Pump Up the Bhangra.  Thanks readers for keeping me on my toes! Now pump up some bhangra!

Sita-ji’s favorite Bollywood films from 2000-2009

Namaste yaar!  As 2010 dawns, I’d like to offer up some of my favorite films from the past decade. Technically I should wait until 2011 to count a full decade, but I’m doing it anyway.  I waiver from the blog’s subject of Bollywood quite often, but here I will try to focus on pure Bollywood filums, no Tollywood, Kollywood, no art house or parallel cinema, only sirf what is what I consider pure Bollywood. Shall we begin?

~ 2000 ~

Up for my nomination were Alaipayuthey (2000) but I disqualified it since it’s Tamil, and this is Bollywood decade in review, not Kollywood. I know it was remade into Saathiya in Hindi later, but not in 2000. I also enjoyed Zubeidaa (2000) and Hey Ram (2000) but those are both too art house, so disqualified! I almost chose Dhadkan (2000) because I love how crazy Sunil Shetty was in that movie. I ended up choosing Fiza (2000) because I like how Karisma Kapoor changes into some acid washed jeans to TCB (take care of business!) and heads to the northern border to go and search for her once sweet brother who has turned into a wayward terrorist. Don’t you hate when that happens? I mean the terrorism thing as well as acid washed jeans.

Plus, the word melodious was used in the film, so that automatically catapults it to the top of my list:

~ 2001 ~

So much to choose from in 2001.  My first choice would be 2001 Kandukondain Kandukondain (2001), but alas it’s Tamil, so disqualified. I also loved  Lagaan (2001), but that’s an obvious choice.  I have a soft spot for the especially freaky and melodramatic Lajja (2001), but it’s not the best of 2001.  One of my all time favorites is Chandni Bar (2001), but it’s parallel cinema, not Bollywood, so I choose the fantastic partition drama, Gadar: Ek Prem Katha (2001) starring Sunny DeolAmisha Patel, and Amrish Puri. I can still hear Amrish Puri’s character screaming, and picture  Amisha Patel’s character learning how to fold Sunny Deol’s turban.

Plus I really like the tune Main Nikla Gaddi Leke.

~ 2002 ~

Well the clear choice here could be the beautiful Devdas with all of Aishwarya and Madhuri’s lovely dancing,  and Shahrukh Khan’s fantastic overacting. And speaking of Aishwarya and 2002, I adored Chokher Bali, but Tagore and high brow Bengali cinema are not Bollywood, so I nominate Shakti – The Power (2002) starring Karisma KapoorNana Patekar, with an extended appearance with Shahrukh Khan, where he bleeds from the mouth like he does so often in films. Nana and Karisma freak out in this film like Amrish Puri to the 10th power, which means it’s ultra dramatic. Have you seen this one?  Do you remember the drama? I can still taste it!

~ 2003 ~

Kal Ho Naa Ho (2003) has a special place in my heart since it was one of my first Bollywood films, but I’d like to nominate Pinjar (2003) as my favorite for that year, since like I said above, I love a good Partition movie, and though it’s nearly a parallel cinema movie, it’s just Bollywood enough to count. Urmila Matondkar and Manoj Bajpai and Sanjay Suri are fantastic, and like all good movies, it still lurks in my memory.  Head over to Philip’sFil-ums for an excellent examination of  Pinjar.

~ 2004 ~

I loved Veer-Zaara (2004) and Swades (2004) as well as  Raincoat (2004) where Ajay Devgan and Aishwarya Rai do a magnificent job, but my rule says no parallel cinema, so for 2004 I offer up Ek Hasina Thi (2004), though nearly parallel cinema, it’s more mainstream Bollywood than Raincoat. I still remember what Urmila Matondkar‘s character did to  Saif Ali Khan‘s character, and if you don’t know what I’m referring to, see the film! You can also go over to Bollywood Deewana’s blog to see a slick review of the film.

~ 2005 ~

Water (2005) is a beautifully sad film but doesn’t count as Bollywood since it’s directed by NRI Canadian, Deepa Mehta. The other films from 2005 that stand out for me are Iqbal (2005) and Parineeta (2005), but for my decade review, I will award Ramji Londonwaley (2005) as my favorite.  Southie star Madhavan (wasn’t he fabulous in 3 Idiots?), and his charisma made this movie a favorite for me.

~ 2006 ~

If I could choose a Telugu movie for the best of 2006, it would be Bommarillu (2005), but it’s Bollywood, not Tollywood, so nahin! 2006 was a good film year for me; I loved FanaaOmkara, and Guru, but choose to mominate the slightly lesser known Taxi Number 9211 (2006) for the fantastic chemistry  John Abraham and Nana Patekar delivered in their lead roles, plus it taught me a new word in Hindi: gyarah, eleven!  Now if it has John Abraham, Nicki’s  blog (Hmong Chick who loves Indian Cinema) will have covered it, DEKH!

~ 2007 ~

Jab We Met ,  Namastey London,  and Om Shanti Om, were my favorites from 2007.  Wait let’s not forget Ta Ra Rum Pum…just kidding! :)  A lesser known film released that year  which I loved was Traffic Signal (2007). OK, technically it’s parallel cinema since it’s directed by Madhur Bhandarkar, but I love Kunal Khemu and Konkona Sen Sharma‘s work in the film, so it won! Read more about the film HERE at Ajnabi’s blog, Paisa Vasool.

~ 2008 ~


Mumbai Meri Jaan (2008 ) is compelling and thought-provoking, while Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi (2008) is a sweet, feel-good, Bollywood film on the other end of the spectrum and I loved them both. I also thoroughly enjoyed the fresh style of Jaane Tu… Ya Jaane Na (2008) and the award-winning lush epic, Jodhaa Akbar (2008).  For 2008, I will call Ghajini (2008) the best of the best.  Maybe I’ll do a post one day to tell you all the reasons I enjoyed Ghajini, but if you’re reading this blog, no doubt you’ve probably already seen the film and know how spectacular it is.  It has all the key ingredients of a great Bollywood film: orphans, mistaken identity, super evil bad guys,  parking ramp fights, flash backs, unrequited love, mental illness, organ harvesting, A. R. Rahman soundtrack, fantastic acting, and of course a scene with balloons and a birthday cake! Huppy burday to ewe, Huppy burday to ewe…

Listen to the beautiful song form the film, Guzarish with playback singer Sonu Nigam and music by the incomparable A. R. Rahman maybe my favorite of the decade:

lyrics translated by TheBollywoodFan HERE.

~ 2009 ~

Dosto, finally we come to 2009!  What a filmi feast we have had this year.  Magadheera (2009) the  epic blockbuster would win my nomination, but it’s Telugu language is not Hindi, na?  I saw this in the theater without subtitles and it still was my favorite of the year.  I have a friend who also speaks no Telugu who saw it in the theater 4 times, THAT’S how great it is.  I you’re interested in Magadheera, read what Post-Punk Cinema Club said about it  HERE.  Billu Barber was so sweet and fun,  Kaminay (2009) was a fabulous film, but too parallel cinema to be pure Bollywood.  And let’s not forget Kambakkht Ishq, just kidding. I’m fresh off seeing the smashing  3 Idiots, which I think is going to be considered the best Bollywood film of 2009 with reason, but I will instead chose Delhi 6 (2009) for my favorite. The gorgeous music and breathtaking scenes of Delhi were absolutely wonderful, and the plot twists were unconventional.  I particularly enjoyed all the Ramayana references throughout the film as well as the metaphysical messages.  Delhi 6 still resonates in my mind, for its beautiful layered, often spiritually uplifting messages about how we should relate to each other. Read Darshit’s insightful review of Delhi 6 HERE.   Now I’ll leave you with one of the beautiful and uplifting songs from the film, Masakali, with playback singer Mohit Chauhan, and music by A.R. Rahman, of course:

Here are other Bollywood bloggers lists of best  and worst of 2009 or of the decade: TheBollywoodFan; Apni East India Company; So They Dance; Filmi Girl. If I missed you let me know and I’ll link you in.  Happy Hew Year!  See you next year dosto!

Mehbooba (2008) 2 brothers, 1 woman, a chandelier, and lots of balloons, slaps, and Johnnie Walker

Mehbooba was released in 2008, but director Afzal Khan began filming in 1999.  There are a lot of reasons why the filming took so long to finally be released which you can read about HERE.

mehboobaThe film stars Sanjay Dutt, Ajay Devgan and Manisha Koirala in the lead roles. Set on a huge canvas and shot across three continents, America, Europe and Asia, with four different countries as the story’s backdrop, with New York, Budapest, Austria, Bikaner, Jaisalmer and Mumbai as the key locations, the film boasts of lavish settings and locales, expensive sets. (source) Also check out the film’s official website for more on the story.

Come with me for a quick review of what I enjoyed from the film.  Fancy NRI New York City based businessman Sharvan Dhariwal (Sanjay Dutt) meets Varsha (Manisha Koirala) and they enjoy a balloon filled party.  mehbooba.balloons

The film has some huge dance numbers, like Kuch Kar Lo with playback singer Sonu Nigam

Varsha finds Mr. Shravan Dhariwal much too arrogant for her traditional Indian ways and he takes things too far at a fancy balloon filled New Year’s party.

mehbooba.slap

Varsha warns him, and then winds up for a  tight slap to the face.

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Look at the aftermath of the slap: one sad bollywood balloon,  Sanjay, I mean Mr. Shravan Dhariwal, left alone with his feelings of regret, a cigarette, and a half empty bottle of Johnny Walker, black label, since he is a business tycoon afterall. Even business tycoons have it bad sometimes.  I almost feel sorry for him, dekh:

mehbooba.balloon.bummer.JW

Don’t feel too sorry for him because he’s got an evil plan brewing.   While sitting there he decides he will win over this Varsha woman in order to take his revenge.  He now has a vendetta!  He begins to formulate his nefarious plan the next day on his yacht, complete with the requisite blond gori extra (to represent low moral values, hai na?),  a bottle of Johnny Walker, and a phone that reveals that even thought the film was released in 2008, this scene must have been shot in 1999. ( Addition to this post:  It should be noted that  along with the Johnny Walker,  Samir the oenophile was able to identify Champagne, wine, orange juice, Perrier and  Heineken in front of the gori.  Perhaps this is used to emphasis the evil decadence of America and what it can do to an innocent NRI tycoon-industrialist-hotelier-investor.)

mehbooba.goriandJohnnieWalker

Evidently Mr. Shravan Dhariwal ki plan works because he gets Varsha Merha all dancey, wiggley, and happy here in the Tu Meri Mehbooba number with playback singer Udit Narayan:

Spoiler alert: Varsha Mehra does what is normally done after making the 7  nuptial rounds, if you know what I mean. Mr. Shravan Dhariwal tricked her into a night of love all because of that slap he suffered from Varsha at the party, and then on top of all that HE goes on to slap HER!  As we say here in the USA, payback is a mother%$#@&*!

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mehbooba.slap.payback.2 mehbooba.slap.payback.3

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Well you can’t just slap Sanjay Mr. Shravan Dhariwal at a lavish, balloon filled party in front of hundreds of his peers without some payback! In case those stills weren’t enough, take a look at what happens!

She was tricked by that player, but I say to Varsha, don’t hate the playa, hate the game.mehbooba.played

Like lots of girls do, Varsha heads over to Budapest with her broken dil.  She’s de-flowered afterall, so devalued in her own mind, but she meets a nice fellow, Karan (Ajay Devgan) who understands and loves her tarnished image.mehbooba.tarnish

mehbooba.bhailove

Karan wants to take Varsha home to India to introduce her to his family so they can get married.  Karan arrives to India before her and his brother also returns to India from New York and is delighted to see him. Karan spends a lot of time with Shravan. They party with dancing girls and drink Johnny Walker.

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And they spend more time drinking Johnny Walker.

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mehbooba.jw.4

mehbooba.tub.2They even hang out in the hot tub together which some might find a bit homoerotic, but they’re brothers, you know how brothers take hot bubble baths together, right?  They take baths together and caress each others faces, right?

mehbooba.tub

Despite all these good times, Karan notices that Shravan is very melancholy and spends lots of time playing the piano and drinking Johnny Walker.

mehbooba.jw

Varsha arrives and she soon finds Karan’s rich, bahut rich, but little does she know he’s got a brother who is that same man who she had the intimate encounter with in New York. In fact, she never even catches a glimpse of him until her marriage to Karan is already taking place.mehbooba.crazycrazycrazy

Karan does eventually figure it all out and goes pagal and swings from a chandelier, did you know about THAT chandelier Shweta?

mehbooba.chandelier

mehbooba.manishaHow does Mehbooba end? Does Varsha marry Karan? Or does she marry his brother, Mr. Shravan Dhariwal?  You know I can’t even remember since it’s been a while since I’ve seen the film, so even if I wanted to tell you I couldn’t.  I do recall that they didn’t even ask Varsha what she wanted and I’m not sure that she should choose either if they didn’t even check with her.   As usual, please let me know what you thought of this film, I’d love to hear from you.

Sonu Nigaam rocked Minneapolis tonight!

sonu-nigam-concert25Well I’m up way to late for a school night and it’s all Sonu Nigam‘s fault!  Sonu Nigam’s concert in Minneapolis this evening was very enjoyable and I am still so thrilled from the show  that I can’t sleep and want to hear him sing some more.  I played the part of the gori extra in the audience.  Kya showman!  What a heavenly voice!  He put on an excellent show and was very jokey jokey.  Sorry I don’t have a set list from the show, but here are a couple of the numbers he did:

Mere Haath Main from Fanaa:

And a little something from Om Shanti Om, “Main Agar Kahoon”

He teased the crowd with Jodhaa Akbar’s “In Lamho Ke Daaman Mein,” but only did a few bars from the song.  I wanted to hear it all, so here it is:

After seeing Sonu bhai’s performance, this clip doesn’t seem quite that crazy:

I mean it is crazy, but I can sort of excuse her, after all, I’m crazy enough to be up late writing this post aren’t I?

Sonu! Please reschedule the Minneapolis “Explosion 2009″ show bhai!

explosionThanks to some comments left on THIS POST I found out some bad news. NAHIN!!!!!!!! Right now it looks like some of the Explosion 2009 tour dates have changed and I no longer see my fair city of Minneapolis listed as a stop.  I hope the show gets rescheduled, and if not I hope I can get my money back for my tickets.   Here’s the latest  on the remaining tour dates from his site:

Sonu Niigaam, Sunidhi Chauhan, Hard Kaur live in Concert…With pleasure we announce the schedule for the tour.. Be there to witness and experience the biggest explosion of 2009..It will be one you will remember all your lives!!

7th August 2009 - Houston

8th August 2009 - San Fransisco/Oakland

9th August 2009 - Denver

15th August 2009 - Phoenix - but not confirmed til now

16th August 2009 - Los AngelesNEW DATE

25th September 2009 - Boston -  NEW DATE – but not confirmed til now

I went over to the Explosion 2009 tour site and personally asked him to come.  It can’t hurt, right?  Maybe this will help too:

sonuminneapolis

♥  ♥  ♥

UPDATE!  as of 8/5/09

It’s now back on!

22nd 23rd August 2009 – Minneapolis - NEW DATE

Explosion 2009 tour-spoiler alert!

If you’re planning on catching Sonu Nigam, Sunidhi Chauhan, Hard Kaur’s tour…Spoiler Alert!

Sorry, I just like the drama and warning of typing Spoiler Alert! At least this is a spolier alert for about 10 minutes of Sonu bhai’s segment. Check out a bit of the Explosion 2009 show from Washington D.C., USA. These videos are from the 7/29/09 show,  or for those outside the US, that would be from the 29/7/09 show.


Thanks to Prathamesh24 for posting these!

subhajitroy77 has also posted many video clips from the show.

“Explosion 2009!” Sonu Nigam, Sunidhi Chauhan & Hard Kaur Tour the US

Friends in the US, are you going to go to the Explosion 2009 show?

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Here’s the list of dates I found for the tour:

24th July 2009 - Washington DC/Fairfax

25th July 2009 - Dallas/Garland

26th July 2009 – Boston  - The promoter has cancelled this show

31st July 2009 - Chicago/Rosemont

1st August 2009 - Atlantic City

2nd August 2009 - Los Angeles

7th August 2009 - Houston

8th August 2009 - San Fransisco/Oakland

9th August 2009 - Denver

15th August 2009 – Orlando Canceled?  :(

16th August 2009 – Minneapolis Canceled? I’d like to hope postponed

23rd August 2009 - Minneapolis - NEW DATE - Sonu Niigaam LIVE in Concert

15th August 2009 - Phoenix - but not confirmed til now

16th August 2009 - Los AngelesNEW DATE

25th September 2009 - BostonNEW DATE but not confirmed til now

The main Explosion Information from Sonu bhai’s page keeps changing, so go HERE to keep updated.

exp.mspIt seems like there’s no centralized promotion of this tour and you’ll have to track down tickets via local promoters by clicking on the city of choice above or go through Localfiles.   I hope to make it to the Minneapolis show to see and hear Sonu Nigam.   Unfortunately the promotional flyer  for the August 16th show doesn’t list Hard Kaur or Sunidhi Chauhan, so who knows if they’ll be there.  If  Hard Kaur is at the Minneapolis show I’ll try to find her back stage so I can free style with her.  Once the tour has started and you’ve seen a show, please stop in with your comments to share.

Stop over to Filmi Girl’s blog, where she’s doing a daily countdown featuring each of the artists from the tour: Sunidhi Chauhan, Hard Kaur and Sonu Nigam. She’s also posted an excellent SHOW REVIEW with setlist and photos!

Amitabh Bachchan was in my dream & I serenaded him with KANK!

In this magic season of Christmas I was visited by Amitabh Bachchan  in a dream. Maybe it’s because I’d recently seen him in Desh Premee (1982), where he looked like Jesus and it’s Jesus’ season. Maybe it’s that buzz around the Bollywood Blogosphere about a possible North American Bollywood Bloggers trying to get together sometime in the future. But do I really need an excuse from my  delicate reality to justify this dream?  NAHIN!

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amitabhbachchan31THE dream: I was in some hotel room in an American city, on a floor with a view of a downtown evening skyline. The hotel room and Amitabh were like these pictured; current, hip, and urban. In the room were bollywood bloggers extraordinaire, theBollywoodFan, Memsaab, and blog poster, Jen. We were sitting around talking film, philosophy, and current affairs with Amit-jiWe weren’t star struck, just talkin’ with our filmy friend, chicago-skyline-viewwho was warm and chatty.  Then Mr. Bachchan had to leave and as he exited, I thought it was finally safe to act silly, so I started singing Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna, the title track from the film I was trying to be funny, since it translates to  Never Say Good Bye.  I  didn’t think Amitabh could hear, but he peeped his head back in and then left, listening to me sing:

 

Tumko bhi, hai khabar, Mujhko bhi hai pataa
you and I know
Ho raha, hai juda, donon ka, raasta
that our paths are separating
Door jaake bhi mujhse, tum meri yaadon mein rehna
you’ll live in my memories even after you’re gone
Kabhi Alvida na Kehna
never say goodbye
Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna
Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna


So enjoy today’s video, KANK,  inspired from the movies into my dreamworld and back to reality. The music is by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy & the playback singers are Sonu Nigam & Alka Yagnik. It’s picturized on some people yet to appear to me in a dream:  Shahrukh Khan, Rani Mukerji, Preity Zinta & Abhishek Bachchan.

LYRICS with English translation

If you’d like a MORE dramatic intro. to the movie, and understand I’m saying MORE dramatic even in Bollywood terms, try this link, but I’m warning you, be careful!

I suppose this means I have to take a good look at my life and make sure it’s properly balanced with adequate doses of reality and not too much film. Have you had a dream where you were hanging out with one of your Bollywood favorites?  Do tell dosto.

Slumdog Millionaire (2008) It’s not Bollywood, but it stars Anil Kapoor and Irfan Khan!

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288644Just what does this remind you of: tragic mothers, slum scenes, orphans, trains, police interrogations, a love story, coincidences galore, super bad gangsters, great music, and references to Amitabh Bachchan. Sounds like Bollywood, hai na? Well almost. In my recent drift to not Bollywood but almost, (The Pool, Heat and Dust) I followed the recommendation of Renegade Eye to go check out Slumdog Millionaire (2008). The movie is based on the novel Q & A by Vikas Swarup. Shri Swarup-ji’s website has lots of great information about book’s transformation into a movie. From an interview with the film’s director, Danny Boyle:

‘It’s called ‘Slum Dog Millionaire’, It’s based on a true story, and it’s about a kid from the slums of Mumbai, who has nothing – he’s ill educated, he’s illiterate – and he goes on the Hindi version of ‘Who Wants to be a Millionaire’ and wins it. And they can’t believe that he’s done it. They think he’s cheated. They think he’s getting signals from embedded chips in his body, or that there are people coughing in the audience, but he won it. ‘What’s clever about the film is that the structure shows you how he knows the answers. Certain things have happened to him in his life and they happen to ask questions about those things. But the real reason he’s on the show is to get in touch with the girl he loves but has lost in the chaos of Mumbai, and all he knows is that she watches the show religiously. So he’s not even there to win the money, but that’s when you win I suppose, when you’re not even trying.’ (source)

I was lucky enough to get tickets to the premier of the film, and just like when I watched  The Pool ( 2008 ) in a theater recently, I was surprized that this movie had some Bollywood stars, but this time I didn’t cry out “Anil Kapoor! Irfan Khan!” when I saw my familiar Bollywood friends on the big screen and avoided being shushed. Phew! There are several other fantastic Bollywood character actors in this film that my Indian Film Industry fans will recognize, like the inspector, Saurabh Shukla. I love a film on the big screen, but there are definately perks to watching at home where horrific scenes can be muted or fast forwarded and this film has a couple of those, so be preparred. I nearly walked out, but was glad I stuck it out and stayed. I loved the tribute to Amitabh Bachchan within the film and I wonder if Amit-ji has seen it. I don’t want to give anything away, but it’s really a very sweet honor paid to Mr. Bachchan and I’d love to hear his reposnse to it. Ifran Khan is also fantastic as the police inspector, but who am I to say since I love all his work.

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Anil Kapoor plays an arrogant host wearing a sleazy suit. He’s perfect! Get a taste of that HERE.

I LOVE the song Paper Planes by M.I.A. (Maya Arulpragasam), and was so excited that it popped up in this film, look:

lyrics

Bollywood popped up again in a scene where people were watching Aaj Ki Raat from Don (2006) with music by Shankar-Eshaan-Loy and playback singers Alisha Chinoi, Mahalakshmi, and Sonu Nigam. Since I was in an art house theater I didn’t scream out, “Hey that’s Priyanka from Don!” But I thought that! I also thought “Aaj ki raat means tonight, do you people know THAT!?”

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Just like many of the best movies India has to offer, this one has a score written by A.R. Rahman. Listen!

During the film I thought how it reminded me Millions (2004), and no wonder, because when I went home and looked up Danny Boyle, I saw that he also directed the sweet and beautiful Millions.

I’ve given you plenty of reasons to see this film, and if you’d like to see more, watch the Slumdog trailer.

p.s. Stop over the MemsaabStory for a review of the film.

p.p.s.  I had wondered about Amitabh’s reaction to his tribute in the film, which he has since commeted about in his blog, which I first read about in an article by Emily Wax.  Washington Post Foreign Service writer Emily Wax’s insightful article, Protests & Praise “Slumdog’s’  Mumbai Realism is Divisive contained a bit of Amitabh’s reaction:

 

One of India’s iconic Hindi film heroes, Amitabh Bachchan, whose likeness appears in the movie as the object of a slum child’s adoration, criticized the film for portraying a poverty-stricken India. Big B, as he is known in India, wrote in his blog that if the movie “projects India as [a] Third World, dirty under belly developing nation and causes pain and disgust among nationalists and patriots, let it be known that a murky under belly exists and thrives even in the most developed nations.”

Video of the Day: “Kal Ho Naa Ho” from Kal Ho Naa Ho (2003)

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I explained about this movie the other day in the postHow Kal Ho Naa Ho changed my life,”  so let’s watch a bit more with today’s video: “Kal Ho Naa Ho” from Kal Ho Naa Ho (2003). This tune has a nice dhol beat.

The music is conducted by the award-winning trio Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, with playback singer Sonu Nigam, picturised on Shahrukh Khan, singing to co-stars Preity Zinta and Saif Ali Khan. (wikipedia)

Thanks to CodenameSynth  for the video with English subtitles.

Click HERE for Hindi and English translation of the song.