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Posts Tagged ‘Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy’

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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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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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.

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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.

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blackboardjunglebsm.jpgI finally went to see Taare Zameen Par (2007) tonight. I won’t review the movie, just give you a few thoughts. I don’t like teacher-hero themed movies.  Perhaps it’s because I’m a teacher by trade, and a special ed. teacher in an inner-city school at that. So when people find out my job I usually hear them gush, “Oh that’s soo great!  You must be soooo patient, that’s sooo nice!” And in Hindi I think to myself, “Bas!”  So I just laugh off movies like Dangerous Minds (1995), and that one where the black principal walks around with a baseball bat, forget the name, or the one where the Latino teacher teaches the eses physics and other smart stuff.  There are a couple exceptions though, I like To Sir, with Love (1966)  and  Blackboard Jungle (1955).  I  remember last fall when  Freedom Writers (2007) came out we could get free tickets as teachers.  The principal tentatively asked if some of us teachers planned to go and we all burst out laughing and said, “NO!”  But Bollywood is a different story. We know Bollywood can be shamelessly sentimental, and melodramatic, and so are most teacher-hero movies, so I wondered about how I’d respond to Taare Zameen Par, because after all it’s a teacher-hero flick. Would the theme I detest be balanced out because it’s Bollywood?  Well I cried immediately and continued to cry through most of the movie.  I knew I was being taken for a ride, but I gave in.   I felt like A. R. Rahman was sitting right next to me playing his heavenly sentimental music the whole while.  That’s how much I cried!  The main character, Darsheel Safary, is beautiful. Half way into the movie, when Aamir Khan finally appeared, he wore lots of cool designer jeans.  I loved the scene where Aamir is breaking down dyslexia to the boy’s parents.  The dad says, “You think mere beta retarded hai? Abnormal hai?”  Loved the pageant at the special needs school “Tulips,” with the Down syndrome kid in sequins.  Loved it!

mihirbose_bollywood.jpgAfter the movie I went over to Barnes & Noble to buy Bollywood: A History by Mihir Bose because I’ve checked it out of the library twice, and decided I must have my very own copy. A couple people in line seemed to look askance at me.  I thought it was odd, until I went in the bathroom and saw myself in the mirror, looking like I’d been crying for 3 hours, because I HAD BEEN!  They maybe thought poor Sita-ji was a victim of extreme holiday blues, or a death in the family, or maybe even domestic violence or a tragic breakup.  But it was simply the impact of Aamir Khan.  How could I explain that?  Impossible!  So don’t go public after the movie, lay low.

I loved the title song,  “Taare Zameen Par,” with playback singer  Shankar Mahadevan, composed by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, lyrics by Prasoon Joshi, click here to listen.

Finally, today’s video “Music Release – Taare Zameen Par by Shammi Kapoor,” thanks to YouTuber hijackchirag : 

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