Fargo and the Mahabharata

I am having such an American weekend!  Star Wars yesterday, and finally catching up on Fargo today!  But, since I am still a student of Indian film, just like Star Wars yesterday, Fargo made me start thinking about what it has in common with Indian narratives, and how those narratives might actually be universal.

In this case, the Mahabharata.  Or more accurately, the Mahabharata versus the Ramayana.

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Kehr-Kapoor Konnection

Engagement story!  Sikander Kehr apparently had a lowkey engagement to Priya Singh (not an actress) a couple days ago.  His parents and the Bachchans were there, and presumably also other people we care about less.  But the biggest note from this story is a sign of how important Sonam is getting in the industry

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Coldplay video is Whatever: 90% Beyonce, 10% Sonam, 100% Hindu

So, Sonam just started talking about this like two days ago, and now it is here!  Coldplay’s new video, featuring Sonam Kapoor!  Except, not so much.  And also, not so much a bunch of other parts of India.  But really, it’s a 4 minute song, it’s not about what’s left out, it’s about what’s included.  And I guess it’s all fine?

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Mostly Links: Why is every website in the world suddenly willing to post gossip?

I was just talking about this with someone last night, about how Indian film is still a mostly word of mouth world.  Usually, when you read gossip articles, there is a big unspoken thing at the center of them, like Rekha and Amitabh’s affair, and they just keep dancing around it.  You have to learn the big unspoken thing on the streets or through osmosis, and then all the written stuff will make a whole lot more sense.

Anyway, I don’t know what’s going on right now, but I just stumbled across a whole bunch of articles from the past few days that actually say the things no one is supposed to come right out and say!

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5 Friendly Appearances: No, I’m not going to talk about Om Shanti Om

Back in the 90s, when the world was young, people used to be much more relaxed about just stumbling over to the neighboring set and doing a quick funny cameo.  Sometimes a quick, funny, fourth wall breaking cameo (those are the best!).  Not like a big appearance for a song, like Shahrukh in Kaal or Aishwarya in “Ishq Kameena”.  Or a carefully planned mini-appearance, like everybody in Om Shanti Om.  Or one of those medium things, like Aish in Hum Tumhare Hain Sanam or Shahrukh and Tabu in Saathiya.  No, just a sort of “Hey, I was over here having lunch with you anyway, how about I be in your film?” kind of appearance.  Here are 5 of the best ones that I remember!

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News Round-up: I was a little wrong, but also super right! (Box Office, and one film canceled and another release date announced)

Kind of a slow week news-wise, I think everyone is still in shock from the one-two of the Farhan and Ranbir-Kat break-up news.  But there were a couple of low-key industry news items that have filtered out.  Some of which I predicted, and one of which I did not.

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Aligarh First Trailer: All about Section 377; Also, Karan, What’s Happening Here?

Karan Johar tweeted a link (restricted link, so I can’t embed it, but you can find it through the Times of India here) to the first trailer to Aligarh this morning.  It looks like a great movie, but the trailer, and the fact that Karan tweeted it, raise some interesting questions.  Related both to Indian film and Indian society.

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Baazigar Part 8: The End! And It’s GOOOOOOOD! Oh, and SPOILERS, whatever

Finally done with the boring pre-awesome movies!  I mean, Karan-Arjun and Baazigar are good all around movies, and they are also SRKajol movies in that Shahrukh and Kajol co-star.  But they aren’t SRKajol movies in the truest sense, that is, films which only exist because of their chemistry, which are crafted purely to highlight their connection, which go to a whole other realm of filmmaking because of that.  And also, they aren’t SRKajol movies in the sense that I don’t have them all perfectly memorized because I have watched them So. Many. Times.  So, next time!  DDLJ!  Very excited!

But for now, the best part of Baazigar!  Which isn’t even the final SRKajol scene (see what I mean about it not being a movie built around SRKajol?) but is actually the final fight scene!  Which is just ridiculous and also ridiculously entertaining.

(part 1 here, part 2 here, part 3 here, part 4 here, part 5 here, part 6 here, part 7 here, part 8 here and bullet point version here)

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Box Office Update: Airlift Continues to Soar, KKHH3 Finds Its Level

Bollywoodhungama comes through again!  For both Airlift and KKHH3, they have updated figures as of today.  And things look awesome for Airlift, but not so great for KKHH.

Of course, that’s just comparing them to each other, let’s see how they look when compared with more appropriate contemporaries.

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Airlift versus Argo: Does this Even Really Matter?

You know those Indian movies where you read the synopsis or watch the trailer, or even see the movie, and come out of it going “Wait, but that was just [Movie from another Industry]!  I’ve seen this already!”

Well, Airlift was definitely one of those, and the [Movie from another Industry] was Argo.  But, so what?

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Airlift: Part 4! The Ending! All the Way to the Finale! Complete! (Spoilers Are Here)

So, Airlift!  It took me 2 hours to watch it in the theaters and three days (so far) to describe it in print.  I have many many many thoughts.  This is not, like, the funnest summary I have written (if you want that, check out my almost completed Baazigar), but it is one that challenges me to have lots of interesting thoughts.  Because it is a film that was thoughtfully made.

Anyway, to finally get to the triumphal ending, Read On!

(part 1 here, part 2 here, part 3 here

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Baazigar Part 7: So close! Basically to the End Except for the Fight Scene! Also, “Kaali Kaali Ankhen”!

Almost done!  So excited!  You realize this had more parts than my Dilwale summary at this point?  Although I think that is because I am stretching it out so much, I think most Dilwale posts were about twice this long.

But this bit is the good bit!  Lot’s of SRKajol scenes, including “Kaali Kaali Ankhen”, leading all the way up to the Epic Fight Scene.  Oh, and someone wears a T-shirt that says “Der Shirt Shop.”

(part 1 here, part 2 here, part 3 here, part 4 here, part 5 here, part 6 here, part 7 here, part 8 here and bullet point version here)

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Dhanush in Hollywood!!!

As is being reported all over the place (for instance, in Variety), Uma Thurman has been cast in Marjane Satrapi’s The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir.  Oh, and also Dhanush.  Who is often referred to in these articles as a Bollywood star.  Is that accurate?  I’m not sure.  I have my issues with the name “Bollywood” (see the name of the blog!), but if it is ever an appropriate term, it would be for the Hindi language Bombay-based industry.  And Dhanush has only been in one of those, and it wasn’t exactly a typical one anyway.

But, forcing myself to move on from that, this is pretty interesting news, right?  In a bunch of ways.

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Aamir Update: He agrees with me! And Akshay does not

I caught the beginning of this news story, but somehow missed the middle, and am now coming in at the end.  As I previously posted, Aamir said something in an interview about being concerned about the news stories in India, and his wife being worried for his safety and the safety of their child (this was after Shahrukh had mentioned “growing intolerance” in his birthday interview, which was the remark that lead to protests for Dilwale.  Which could be a whole other post, about how the Khans are always connected, even when they don’t want to be, and a remark by one will always force a response from the others).

Anyway, protests, FIR filed against him, etc. etc.  And then it blew up again last week in an interesting way, which I apparently missed!

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Airlift Full Summary, all Plot Spoilers: Part 3

As I said in my first two posts (here and here), this is a film that surprised me with it’s quality.  Which is part of the reason it is taking me 3 plus parts to finish it!  Unlike Wazir, which I knocked out in two (here and here if you are curious).

If you don’t want to be spoiled, but want a sense of what the film was like, you can read the review here.  If you have already seen it and want to know in detail what I thought, or if you are eager to be spoiled, Read On!

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Baazigar Part 6: Even More Baazigar-y!

Poor Baazigar!  I started this over a week ago, but I keep getting distracted by Sunny Deol (Ghayal Once Again opening soon!  Which means I need to track down a copy of Ghayal the first one before that somehow!), and by new movies (check out the review and synopsis of Airlift), so Baazigar keeps getting short shrift.  Plus, it is so haaaaaard to write!  Compared to the next 3 SRKajol films, which I know so well I can basically write them in my sleep.

So I am going to do my darndest to actually run this thing out to the end so I can coast through the DDLJKKHHK3G goodness, followed by the massive depression and sobbing of MNIK.  And maybe throw in some bonus friendly appearances along the way (Did you know they have a scene together in Duplicate?  Has anyone but me actually seen Duplicate?).

(part 1 here, part 2 here, part 3 here, part 4 here, part 5 here, part 6 here, part 7 here, part 8 here and bullet point version here)

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Airlift Full Summary! Part 2: Details Details Every Where (also, Spoilers, duh)

So, I saw Airlift on Friday, and it was really shockingly good.  Like, logical plot, great period details, sophisticated filming, all sorts of cool things.  And they all combined to do a great job of evoking the reality of living in a war zone.  Which is a terrible thing to experience, even through a film, so if you want to avoid that, read this instead!  Or if it isn’t playing near you, or if you are bored, or whatever.  The point is, I am recreating the experience of watching the film without actually making you watch the film.

Enjoy!

(part 1 here, part 3 here, bullet points here, and review here)

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Airlift Full Summary in Detail! Spoilers All Around

I saw Airlift last night in a packed theater, and it was actually good!  But very real and sad and scary.  And it’s not playing in that many theaters globally.  So, if you can’t find a showtime near you, or if you are too scared to see it (if I’d known what it was like, I would have been!), or if you would just rather read about it than kill 2 hours in a theater, Read On!

(I won’t be able to finish it all in one post, but check back over the next few days, I should have the other bits up soon.  Update: part 1 here, part 3 here, bullet points here, and review here)

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Airlift Review (No Spoilers): It Goes from Point A to Point B and Nowhere Else

So, I just saw Airlift!  In a sold out theater in which I and my friend were the only non-desis (pardesis?).  The Indian flag got spontaneous applause.  It was very patriotic.

The movie itself, weirdly, not that patriotic.  And like no other Indian movie I have ever seen.

Read on to learn more!

(For spoilers go here)

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