I already let you guys say which were your favorites, but I should really talk about my favorites too, right? And maybe it will get a few more people to read them, because some of the view counts for these are pitiful! And they are so brilliant!
Way way back when I was first starting out, I posted a blog post intellectually breaking down the various categories of fanvideos. And I think it is brilliant, plus since it was my first fanvid post, I got to list all my favorite ones. But it was also way way back when I was first starting out, so a lot of you probably missed reading it. You should check it out! Especially because I believe it is the only time I posted this truly awesome video.
I cry sometimes when I am writing reviews, even more than when I am watching the actual film. Because while I am watching it, I can keep a bit of an intellectual distance. But when I am playing it over again in my head and trying to accurately evoke what the filmmaker is trying to say through my writing, that makes it harder to keep myself apart from experience. But A Peck on the Cheek/Kannathil Muthamittal is the only time I actually had to stop writing and walk away from the computer for a bit because I was crying too hard to see the keyboard. Which doesn’t sound like a huge endorsement of the film/my review. But it is! This movie is so touching, so surprisingly touching, that it breaks down your emotional boundaries. And, I hope, my review did a good job of recreating that experience.
I cry sometimes when I am writing, and sometimes I also make myself laugh. If you want a nice palate cleanser for the teary emotions above, you should check out my Bajirao synopsis! It was right when I started, so not many people were reading the blog yet. And those few that were, were there more for the Dilwale synopsis than Bajirao. But it’s really really funny! I really really hated that movie, and I took out my hate in the form of a lot of not very nice jokes. If you also disliked the film, or just feel like reading me being mean, here is the first part. My favorite quote from myself:
Okay, I feel like there is a metaphor here? What could it be? She has a gaping red hole, he has a hot pointy thing that is going in it? Sanjay Leela Bhansali, you are just too subtle for me!
And finally, my incredibly intellectual challenging and complex and exhausting series of posts that a few people really really really love, and most people really really really aren’t interested in reading: DDLJ! In multiple parts! It takes me about 5 hours to put together one of these posts, between stopping and starting the film and getting the right screen shots and considering the various interpretations of every line. And then, like 6 people read them. So yes, I am still only an hour into the film. And I haven’t been back to it for a few months. But if I can get a few more people interested so I can justify the time it takes, maybe I will come back! I am very very proud of the posts, in terms of pulling together my training in film analysis, film history, sociology, literature, Indian history and society, ethnography, feminist theory, and everything else. Here! Read the first one! And just to give you a sample, here is my discussion of the entire “Hindustani” speech:
- His voice changes here, it’s deeper and rougher and slower than ever before in the film, both showing his emotional upset, and making him sound more grown up, more like a Man instead of a boy. Interestingly, that’s actually the voice he has aged into! If you listen to him in Happy New Year and Dilwale, this is what his voice sounds like now. Probably more due to a crazy cigarette habit than increased maturity, but it is still interesting.
2. Notice the way he rolls “Hindustani” of his tongue here. It’s a word that clearly has deep meaning for him, it’s almost a sacred word. Also, between the two frames, notice the ever so slight zoom in. This entire scene has been shot very simply, a two shot with occasional one shots of each of their faces. But now, as his speech starts, we are going closer and closer, as the dialogue gets slower and slower, and the audience is pulled in, savoring every word and every slight change of expression.
3. He says this line like an affirmation, like he is pulling her out of her despair by forcing her to acknowledge an universal truth. And it works, I can’t even point to what Kajol is doing different between these shots, it could be as simple as a slight alteration to the tilt of her head, or the way she is holding her mouth, but you can feel her getting calmer, getting more pulled into his logic.
4. And here, suddenly, it turns into a speech about her and his feelings for her, instead of a speech about who he is. Look at how his head has tilted a little, his hand has turned into more of a caress instead of a grip, his voice softens, his mouth softens, and she is suddenly looking at him like a savior instead of a tormentor. (also, random against the grain reading, what if they actually did have sex and this whole thing is an elaborate lie because he can see she can’t handle it?)
5. And here, finally, we have the culmination. He is no longer trying to explain, he knows she believes him. It’s not in his words here, it’s in his tone. It’s the same tone he uses in the river scene in Kal Ho Na Ho when he tells Priety over and over again “I don’t love you.” It’s the “I love you so much and it is dripping off of every word out of my mouth, and you are hearing it, and that is comforting you, and that is why I am still talking” tone.
And she does hear it, which is why her reaction to this speech, to this huge emotional journey, is to embrace him. Meanwhile, the audience’s reaction is to forget everything that just happened. Really, be honest, the first time you saw this movie, if someone had asked you what set off this fight, would you have been able to remember all the details? Or would you just have remembered being SO ANGRY, and then suddenly not angry at all?