On a more optimistic note, Dennis Hopper's The Last Movie (still unavailable on DVD) is also on the list at Venice.
Friday, July 30, 2010
Thursday, July 29, 2010
Friday, July 23, 2010
Do you know why parents oppose children? So that they can take a decision themselves. It is because of such pronouncements that Uday eventually winds up dead (not too long after the credits and a messy flashback or two) and Bobby ends up in madam's clutches.
You know what kind of film this is as soon as you see Milind Gunaji (who plays a corrupt policeman on madam's payroll). It's one of those films that purports to deliver a social message under the garb of B-grade titillation. Madam supposedly runs a business for the elite but neither the girls in her care nor her clients will ever convince you that this is the case. We also have another herring in the form of Vishwajeet Pradhan, who has journeyed from films like Prahaar to films like Sangharsh, Aanch and Ek Aur Visphot. And you really can't go wrong with Mohan Joshi (although some of his lines sound like someone looped them in post-production).
You might remember producer Hyder Kazmi (who is also credited with the idea that the film's screenplay was based on) from Patth. He makes sure you don't forget him by playing KK, an intellectual who works for Madam, protecting her girls and ferrying them to and from clients. To underscore his importance in the film, the scene introducing him has him delivering a bucket of dialogue as a bird lies dying on the floor. He also gets to delivering lines of wisdom in a grave voice that sounds like Irrfan had something to do with it to various people in the film: जो कुत्ता भौंकता है (pause) काटता नहीं to Gunaji's corrupt cop, जो बोलते ज़्यादा हैं, वो सोचते कम हैं to Bobby.
The film has, of course, all the requisite song and dance interludes. There's the romantic song for Uday and Bobby on the beach (along with a bathtub full of roses) with sweeping camera moves and a female voice going आँ while Sonu Nigam belts out आँखों की ज़ुबां. There's not one but three item songs set in the same dance bar with McDowell's logos featured prominently: to ensure variety, one of the songs has an Arabian vibe while the other gets African on your senses. There's also a sad song (Sonu Nigam again, of course) with a dream sequence, an over-enthusiastic smoke machine and plenty of romantic sniffing of the armpits. Most of the film has Bobby dealing expressionistically with her loss and situation and with KK turning out to be her saviour as he manages to save her cherry from each client that Madam sends her out to. Eventually the time comes for Madam to meet her end and for KK to free the birds (both from a large cage and from the brothel in slow motion -- never has symbolism been so overtly unsubtle). He then sends Bobby off on a train (of course it's raining -- don't you know how these films work?). It is at this point that we are treated to a temporal leap forward and we see that this was a book called ... Bobby (bingo!). The writer, Krishna Kant (aka KK), ends up winning a Booker prize (it happens only in Bollywood; see also: Baghban, Shabd). We also see that his wife looks familiar (hint: it's Bobby). Of course, he smiles when the journalist asks him if the book is based on fact and who Bobby was. We cut to the brothel under new management (a nice touch) and end credits accompanied by a nice oomph-laden funky instrumental piece that deserved better than this flick.
It would be unfair to depart from this B-treat without acknowledging the background score that was probably designed to represent the equivalent of novocaine in muzak along with piano riffs that tip their hat to Walking in Memphis, the sweeping shots of the Bombay skyline that were probably inspired by a late-night viewing of Blade Runner, a really competent scene between two girls at a hotel when one, a hooker, thinks the other is a hooker as well (it turns out she works in TV serials), a scene featuring the girls of the elite brothel watching a commercial for a breast enhancer and, finally, the subtitles.
The subtitles are quite sublime and represent a fine effort in all departments: Worli becomes volly, Divya becomes बिंदिया, झगड़ने की आवाज़ becomes someone lighting and bloody b*tch becomes rascal. The pièce de résistance, however, is a case when the subtitles enhance the silliness of the dialogue. Here is the sample of dialogue between two girls at the brothel without the subtitles:
B: you mean ईर्षालू कुतिया?
And here is the sample with subtitles:
(you are a jealous girl)
B: you mean ईर्षालू कुतिया?
(you mean a dog?)
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is what Rakesh Parmaar's directorial effort has to offer. Don't forget, that's Rakesh Parmaar and not Raj Kapoor. [april 17, 2010]
Meanwhile, back home, Robbing Hood Priyadarshan has returned to his own stash once again after regurgitating Vettam as De Dana Dan and the brief sojourn into foreign territory with Bumm Bumm Bhole. This time he drives his Chinkara Roadster back into 1988 to excavate his own Vellanakalude Nadu and try and pass it off under the moniker of a Basu Chatterjee film from the 70s (which in turn was an "adaptation" of Yours, Mine and Ours). Remember थोड़ा है थोड़े की ज़रूरत है? Interestingly, the 70s also saw another "adaptation" of Yours, Mine and Ours in the Sanjeev Kumar starrer Hamaare Tumhare (with music by the late R. D. Burman and an early appearance by Anil Kapoor). But we must return to Priyadarshan's flick that hit the marquee today. This is the flick that got its share of notoriety thanks to Akshay Kumar's character being linked to R. K. Laxman's most famous creation. It's also Trisha Krishnan's first Hindi flick. One wonders if Trisha's fate will be alike Daisy Bopanna's with Garam Masala. Time to catch the original flick and see why Mohanlal was not compared to the Common Man.
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Saturday, July 17, 2010
All information will now presumably have the right to vote.
18. Create internal markets for ideas, talent, and resources. Markets are better than hierarchies at allocating resources, and companies' resource allocation processes need to reflect this fact.
Baba Sehgal had joked that rap stood for रहें आप परेशान. The world of business came up with its own version, which was completely shorn of all humour and sense: resource allocation processes.
22. Enable communities of passion. To maximize employee engagement, management systems must facilitate the formation of self-defining communities of passion
Employees are encouraged to adopt the spirit of free love from the sixties. All expenditure for substances of pleasure will be eligible for reimbursement.
24. Humanize the language and practice of business. Tomorrow's management systems must give as much credence to such timeless human ideals as beauty, justice and community as they do to the traditional goals of efficiency, advantage, and profit.
Hire beautiful shapely lasses to serve as secretaries and sales associates and enjoy several quarters of profit.
Friday, July 16, 2010
Friday, July 09, 2010
It's time the makers of DVDs in India got their share of such barbs.
Thursday, July 08, 2010
Monday, July 05, 2010
Next up is Ayesha Dharker. There's nothing in her filmography that qualifies as Bollywood, except, perhaps, Saaz and that was not her first film.
Despite making a Bollysplash with Kasoor, Lisa Ray had already tested the waters with a Tamil film. The same holds true for Aishwarya Rai.
The rest of the entrants in the feature appear to qualify for the was first seen in a Bollyflick before she tried her luck elsewhere.
That said, the industry seems to have moved from merely importing Bollywood familiars (Sonali Bendre) or has-beens (Nagma, Manisha Koirala) to tapping the tree that Bollywood already has an account with: the modelling world. In the past, the likes of the Misses India, Misses World and Misses Universe first made their way into Bollyreels before trying the Southern waters (sometimes after their Bollystock went down the Mariana trench). Nowadays, the other Woods are equally attractive. Consider Ileana D'Cruz, who went straight from modelling to Tollywood and has only recently started exploring Kollywood and Kanada films. There were rumours of a move to Bollywood opposite Shah Rukh Khan in a remake of Athadu (much like Asin's move with Aamir Khan in the remake of Ghajini), but since Ek: The Power of One (duh! no chance of a sequel called 4: A Power of 2) made it to the marquee without either name, one wonders what Ms. D'Cruz's Bollysplash will be.
Then there's the case of Parvati Melton, the daughter of a German father and a Punjabi mother, whose modelling stint in the USA caught the eyes of a producer back home and that set the stage of a career in Tollywood (and a occasional film in Malayalam). Frälein Melton is reputed to combine "the beauty of Aishwarya Rai, the looks and charm of Sushmita Sen, the physique of Shilpa Shetty, and the smile of Shriya"; if that is indeed the case, this was a great deal for investors and represnted a much lower cost than hiring those four.
And this brings us to Taapsee Pannu (anagram: Peanut Paens). The wikipedia page tells us that she is an ethnic Punjabi (if anyone knows what that means, please drop a comment here) and the obligatory rediff profile notes that she is a qualified engineer in computer science (again, enlightening comment please). The ambiguity of these attributes notwithstanding she seems to have credentials for the job: epidermal accolades (Miss India winner for Best Skin), an adequate score in the departments of height (tall), pulchritude (beautiful) and performance (a number of modelling assignments, both print and television, under her belt). She also has very clear reasons for choosing to take the cinematic dive:
Also, I felt my name was not being highlighted. The name gets highlighted only in films. One gets to do something new, meet new people every day and travel while doing films. Every day is a challenge and something new happens too. So I wanted to act.
She also has great things to say about her experience shooting for Jhumandi Naadam and other things that were asked of her:
her co-star Manoj Mancha: Manoj is full of energy. Even on a bad day, he is on top. His energy level is tremendous.
diet: I make sure I eat a balanced diet -- fruits and vegetables. I eat only when I'm hungry. One shouldn't restrict oneself by overeating or eating less.
fitness: I have a dancing background, so my fitness is taken care of. Even now as and when I get time, I dance.