Carrie Fisher died, as I am sure we all know. Which is sad, but doesn’t have much of a connection to Indian film, so it falls a bit outside of my area of expertise. I can tell you that I will always love her for her amazing guest appearance on 30 Rock. And I can also tell you that she was so embedded in film history that multiple films she is connected with have somehow traveled across to India.
Because, as some of my sister’s college friends used to say, we were “raised in a nursing home”, I actually have a much bigger connection to Carrie’s mother, Debbie, than to her.
Here’s one of the songs I liked with her, partly because when I was little I liked picking out which of their dresses were nicest.
(the black is objectively nicest, but I think you would have to be as va-va-voom as Ann Miller to pull it off)
And here’s Debbie with Carrie’s father Eddie, in their one film together, Bundle of Joy. A remake of the far superior Bachelor Mother, but still charming. And this song is really nice. I’m also really surprised that Indian film hasn’t remade Bachelor Mother yet, it seems like a plot tailor made for them.
(See, there is a misunderstanding and her handsome young boss thinks she is a single mother to an abandoned baby. In the end, she falls in love with the baby, the boss falls in love with her, and they get married and make a little family)
And through Debbie, Carrie is connected to Singin’ in the Rain. Which is one (of many) Gene Kelly movies that influenced Farah Khan. Farah put her tribute to it in the middle of the “Humko Maaloom Hain” number from Jaan-E-Mann.
Debbie Fisher was her mother but, infamously, her stepmother was Elizabeth Taylor. Which connects Carrie Fisher to the original Father of the Bride, and then to the loosely inspired by it Prakash Raj film, Abhiyum Naanum.
Of course Carrie Fisher had her own career too. Tragically, there is no Star Wars Indian version. Although I was in a movie theater once waiting for an Indian movie to start, and the guy in front of us was talking to his date in Hinglish, clearly describing the plot of a movie. He started with “there is this orphan, raised by relatives in a village. But an old wise man who lives near by comes to get him and tells him he was born with great powers…” And this went on and on until, after ten minutes, I finally realized it was the plot of Star Wars! And not a Bahubaali sequel.
Moving on from Star Wars, Carrie in her later life progressed on to character roles. For instance, a small part in the movie Heartbreakers. Which I only bring up because the Indian remake of a film about a mother daughter conwoman team who work together to seduce a mark had the perfect cast, Rekha and Mallika Sherawat. And a very catchy title song.
And then there is the role second only to Star Wars in cementing Carrie’s place in film history, that of the ultimate rom-com best friend, in When Harry Met Sally. She was so amazing that the Indian remake didn’t even try to re-capture the magic, instead throwing in some random starlet for two scenes. And giving that cynical sounding board part to Kirron Kher more than anyone. Or perhaps to an amalgam of all the women in this particular song.