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Posts Tagged ‘AMITABH’

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Watch the Billu Barber Trailer HERE.

Today was Valentine’s Day. I had some options. I could either get started on preparing my income taxes or go and see Billu Barber (2009). I went to Billu Barber. This was really a cute and sweet movie. It was also very romantic for me since I could channel my imagination to play Lara Dutta’s part in the film and thus be Irfan Khan’s wife, whose part requires her to admire Shahrukh Khan’s character. That’s a win/win situation for me. SRK’s character had item numbers with Deepika Padukone, Priyanka Chopra, and Kareena Kapoor. Khan and the gals all looked fantastic, but the costume department must have had to make some concessions for the weak economy and only allowed Kareena to wear a full outfit, and put poor Priyanka and Deepika in small strips of cloth, which made me feel cold just watching.

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Shahrukh Khan’s ending speech was shamelessly sentimental and I enjoyed crying through it. I feel it’s only right to cry along with SRK while he’s crying. To weep along with SRK is polite really, and the least I could do to show some respect to him and the industry, and to my Mother India. This speech had the following essential Bollywood ingredients: maudlin reminiscing about better times from childhood, even though those times were sorrowful (dead mother), and hard (hunger brought about by poverty), they were made better through the help of a friend. SRK delivering a message that the masses need to hear in these trying economic times: When I was really poor, my life was actually really rich. Which reminds me, I have to get to those taxes. SRK’s speech in Billu reminded me very much the speech Amitabh gives in Muqaddar Ka Sikandar just before the O Saathi Re tune. So this Valentine’s Day, dosto, I dedicate this nice song about friendship to you:

O saathie re, tera bina bhi kya jina…

Lyrics traslation by theBollywoodFan

I always enjoy watching these FIRST DAY FIRST SHOW videos. Watch it and picture me added in there; I would be the gori who says in my best Indian accent, “SRK was rocking hai! Supurb! Vay! Irfan was acting so excellent!”

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Here’s a better late than never update on Bollywood Insider, with my favorite correspondant of Bollywood chugli and news, Suzi Mann.  Many of the links I’ve added here before from ITN/Bollywood Insider  through youtube eventually disappear.  Hopefully these newer links from AOL,  Bebo,  Joost, and MySpace will last. 
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Enjoy the updates yaar:
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I’m still working on uploading my photos from my recent trip to Mother India and I’ll post a link to them soon. In the meantime I’d like to share the filmi related photos from the trip. This first photo I’ve included here may not appear too filmi, yet it is and I’ll tell you why. Have you seen the classic film Deewaar? If so, wouldn’t you think of the wild factory fight scene from the film if you found yourself in any type of factory or warehouse in India? I know I did! In case you need to be reminded, here’s that scene:

india0809-3412 Here I am touring Noni’s factory in Ludhiana. His favorite actor is Sunny Deol. Noni spoke of high thinking and simple living and did not attempt to fight me in the factory, which is always a possibility for any fan of Sunny Deol, who is really a fighter on screen. Instead of fighting, he was a very gracious host, yet after seeing so many fight scenes in factories in Bollywood films, I had to be prepared. I look all peaceful here, but if need be, I would have taken him down along with all the workers! Believe that! O.K, not really.

The Bollywood star who I saw the most on billboards during my trip was Abhishek Bachchan. He was advertising a cell phone company and these billboards were everywhere:

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 Sometimes there were just billboards of Abi scowling, like this one. Grrrrrrrr:

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Karisma (look hard and you can see her in the top left of the photo) and Kareena, were also being used to endorse beauty salons and crackers, as in the small explosive devices. Somehow I don’t think the Kapoor sisters were aware of their images being used here.

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Finally, I found Shilpa Shetty selling Vodka. Isn’t that rather racy for India? From afar I thought it was an ad for perfume, or maybe some kind of energy drink, but closer inspection revealed it was for vodka! Can a nice Indian girl endorse liquor?

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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.

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The word association I have with leprosy is Mother Teresa, India, and Jesus. After reading this,

Many doctors view leprosy as a scourge of Biblical times or faraway places, but there are still thousands of U.S. cases, with more diagnosed each year, experts say (source)

maybe I’ll associate leprosy with the U.S. now too. This map shows that I wasn’t too wrong to associate leprosy with India. The WHO has all the latest leprosy statistics HERE.

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deshpremeeinquilabjesus2With all the Bollywood movies I’ve seen, you’d think I would have run across a leper sooner than now, but it took Desh Premee (1982) to expose me to my first Bollywood leper, Shamila Tagore, as Bharati. Finally! And speaking of me associating Jesus and lepers, Amitabh breaks out with the most Jesus looking parts in this film. Just look at him suffering here. —————>

If that doesn’t remind you of Jesus and his crown of thorns, I don’t know what will. I know with Christmas right around the corner it’s baby Jesus time of year and not crown of thorns Jesus time, but still, I’m technically working in a Christmas theme.

Since it’s a Manmohan Desai film, I’ll save my self a lot of explaining and refer you to this SYNOPSIS. An extra bonus to the film is Shammi Kapoor playing a lovable, chunky Sikh. You can see a bit of Sikh Shammi in this number.

More and more I’m loving Kader Khan as a villian. Have you seen him in Tawaif? In Desh Premee Khan plays Sher Singh who snatchs Bharati from her freedom fighter, patriot husband (Amitabh) as part of a revenge plot. Sher Singh lusts after Bharati for years, yet she remains faithful to her husband who believes her to be dead. Bharti is repulsed by the scoundrel and tells him:

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Careful what you wish for Bharati! Evil Sher Singh puts Bharati up in a filthy rat infested hovel and she comes down with leprosy. I don’t think leprosy is passed by rats, but you get the point watching the scene in her new home when a rat crawls out of a hole in a wall: Rat = dirty = bad = leprosy. As a means to depict how depraved Sher Singh is, he’s shown frolicking with trashy goris. Look! One gori is drinking, the other is smoking, while one clutches his leg. Dirty! Bad!

When I see them, I lose track of the film and am instantly plopped into reality and think stuff like, “Are these German toursists? They look German. How did they get these parts? I wonder why they were traveling in India? Are they friends?” OK, back to the film. After years Bharti returns, in the midst of Sher Singh’s debauchery. He thought she’d never come around to his advances and that this is finally his lucky day!

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Then she says what he’s dreamed of hearing her say…

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HA! Tricked! Take THAT Sher Singh!

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deshpremeeshirt1Have you seen leprosy in any Bollywood movies? I would also like to include the image of another one of the bad guys from the film, just because I wanted to show the world his shirt and scarf.

OK, to end on a happy note, forget about the leprosy and check out Hema Malini and Amitabh in blackface performing Gori Nahin Hum Kaali Sahi, with music by Laxmikant-Pyarelal. The playback singers are Asha Bhosle and the song’s writer, Laxmikant. This video either needs no introduction or a really big one, I can’t tell.

If you click on the video and it says embedding disabled, just click it again to get there.

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maximum-cityIn Suketu Mehta’s book Maximum City, I recall a part where he speaks of the wonder of the Bollywood film industry, since it’s a place where all types of people come together and work. Mehta‘s take on the recent events in Mumbai and its relation to Bollywood is beautifully said and worth a read:

Just as cinema is a mass dream of the audience, Mumbai is a mass dream of the peoples of South Asia. Bollywood movies are the most popular form of entertainment across the subcontinent. Through them, every Pakistani and Bangladeshi is familiar with the wedding-cake architecture of the Taj and the arc of the Gateway of India, symbols of the city that gives the industry its name. It is no wonder that one of the first things the Taliban did upon entering Kabul was to shut down the Bollywood video rental stores. The Taliban also banned, wouldn’t you know it, the keeping of songbirds…But the best answer to the terrorists is to dream bigger, make even more money, and visit Mumbai more than ever. Dream of making a good home for all Mumbaikars, not just the denizens of $500-a-night hotel rooms. Dream not just of Bollywood stars like Aishwarya Rai or Shah Rukh Khan, but of clean running water, humane mass transit, better toilets, a responsive government. Make a killing not in God’s name but in the stock market, and then turn up the forbidden music and dance; work hard and party harder. If the rest of the world wants to help, it should run toward the explosion. It should fly to Mumbai, and spend money. Where else are you going to be safe? New York? London? Madrid? So I’m booking flights to Mumbai. I’m going to go get a beer at the Leopold, stroll over to the Taj for samosas at the Sea Lounge, and watch a Bollywood movie at the Metro. Stimulus doesn’t have to be just economic.

(Read Mehta’s full article from the New York Times HERE.)

Mehta’s other Bollywood related articles include:

Bollywood Confidential and Welcome to Bollywood.

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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:

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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.”

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