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Posts Tagged ‘Sonali Bendre’

Yaar!

I watched Lajja(2001) (translation: Shame) and got carried away with the screen capping knowing I must do a post.  Yet what to post when I see the wonderful bloggers have already said it so well?  You know I specialize in the more superficial enjoyment of all films, so I’ll share my likes here by showing some photos and focusing on the item numbers, but please go and see the great reviews and thoughtful insight on Lajjaat the post punk cinema clubUpperstall, Filmi Geek and at philip’sfil-ums.

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Starring as pictured above Manisha Koirala (Vaidehi); Madhuri Dixit (Janki); Mahima Choudhary(Maithili); and Rekha(Ramdulaari).  All four of the woman stars have a form of Sita for their name.

Epithets: In common with other major figures of epic literature, Sita is known by many epithets. As the daughter of king Janaka, She is called Janaki; as the princess of Mithila, Mythili or Maithili; as the wife of Raama, She is called Ramaa. Her father Janaka had earned the sobriquet “Videha” due to his ability to transcend body consciousness; Sita is therefore also known as Vaidehi (Vaidehi Vaydehi, or Vaithegi) (Sanskrit: वैदेही)). (source) Thanks to Philip’sfil-ums, I know that Ramdulaari (Rekha’s part) tranlates to Ram’s darling.

 

lajja.menThis is a girl power film, and unfortunately there’s certainly large amount of misandry, (and misogeny, go figure) but worry not since there are some super male heros played by the always satisfying Anil Kapoorand Ajay Devgan to help tip the scales back in the favor of good men. Even super bad guy played by Jackie Shroff is redeemed by movie’s end. The film opens with this statement by the director:

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The music numbers covered here are all written by Anu Malik. Choreographer Ganesh Acharyaputs together 3 wonderful dances which serve to hold the sometimes disjointed picture together. Ganesh Acharya really does some provocative choreography with Urmila Matondkarhere, clearly showing life in the fast lane at an American nightclub. I did wonder a bit about the reason for putting those masks on the background dancers, but why not?  Jazz hands! Can one really ever get enough of the jazz hand?  I think not, so I had to share not one, but two screen caps of the jazz hand:

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Aa Hi Jaiye with playback singer Anuradha Srirampicturized on Urmila  Matondkar:

lajja.prestigeOur story starts with Vaidehi (Manisha Koirala) who finds herself married to a womanizing millionaire crorepati and living in the wicked west, New York City that is. You can see in the item number above the loose moral environment Vaidehi’s husband subjects her to. It’s all about the sex, drinking and money for her evil husband played by Jackie Shroff, but Vaidehi herself must keep up the family name.  Vaidehi makes her plea for a moral lifestyle and he won’t stand for it and ships her back to Hindustan. Of course there’s retribution for the husband’s evil ways and after sending Vaidehi back to Bharat he gets in an auto accident, rendering him impotent. Ha! Well we see that even the very rich, amidst their leaded crystal laden mansions in the USA have problems!

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But…lekin, there is a simple solution! Evil father ( Suresh Oberoi ) suggests:

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Meanwhile back in the safe arms of India, Vaidehi meet a bandit with a heart of gold played by Anil Kapoor, who is called a biscuit wallah and scoundrel here:

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In order to hide from her husband’s men hunting her down, Raju (Anil Kapoor)  and Veidehi crash a wedding and blend among the crowd.  It’s there they meet the bride to be Maithili (Mahima Choudhary)and meet her snobbish in laws. Look at Maithili’s sweet mother (Farida Jalal) be snubbed in her gift offering:

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The bride has an admirer who I thought tried to imitate yesteryear actor Johnny Walker. The second great item number is Saajan Ke Ghar Jaana with playback singers Alka Yagnikand Richa Sharma, picturized on the lovely Sonali Bendre:

 

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Eventually Vaidehi makes her way to another safe haven, where she meets Janki (Madhuri Dixit ) who is an actress. Her first exposure to Janki is her acting out a seen on stage from the 1960 epic Mughal-e-Azam .

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How can you not adore Madhuri?  The third item number is Badi Mushkil with playback singer Alka Yagnik,picturized on Madhuriand Manisha:

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That’s all the fun we get because Janki finds herself pregnant out of wedlock and her fiance is made to question her virtue by her Ravana-esque manager.  So when she’s doing her staged performance of Ramayana, she asks why should Sita  have to do the trial by fire to prove her virtue, why not Ram?

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Backstage she continues to share what’s on her heart and mind:

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Now that’s a great question, but I guess she forgot she was in India. It’s more than just an elephant in the room, it’s the elephant in the country.  The aftermath of the big question about equality has predictable results in a man’s world:

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The crowd beats Janki and as a result she miscarries.  Infuriated, Vaidehi goes to confront the evil, gossiping, lecherous pervert manager of Janki and get a load of what she says:

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Yeah!  She said it! Vaidehi escapes that mess and finds yet another safe haven with  Rekha‘s Ramdulaari. Do you see how in Rekha’s world they keep it real, cow dung patties drying on the wall.  Now that says “village!”

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And while I speak of cow dung patties, here’s a photo I took of some I saw on my trip to India:

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Back to Rekha and Manisha and their suffering:

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Another hero that comes to Vaidehi’s rescue is the super human Bulwa (Ajay Devgan) who handles dacoits on a train as well as the evil town leader Gajendra( Danny Denzongpa ). Now Bulwa has held a grudge ever since the Gajendra boiled Bulwa’s moms hands in oil.   This resulted in Bulwa amputating one of Gajendra’s arms back in the day, which of in turn caused Gajendra to hold a grudge against Bulwa.  Years pass and Bulwa returns for another confrontation and Gajendra whips off his pashmina to reveal that arm he’s been missing for years:

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Amputations are one of those things I look for in a Bollywood film.  Nothing says revenge like an amputation. Bulwa even commits a double arm amputation on another scoundrel.

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Bulwa is once again to the rescue when Vaidehi’s evil  NRI husband catches up to her. The sword wielding hero is ready to chop off her husband’s head, but to Bulwa’s horror, she stops him:

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Well Bulwa does have a valid point there Vaidehi, hai na?

Here’s one more screen cap to show what a bad-ass Bulwa is:

Since I’d like to end on a positive note, feast your eyes on the ever beautiful Madhuri:

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If you’ve seen Lajja, tell me what you thought.

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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.

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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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