Trailers! Namaste England, AndhaDhun, and Pataakha Item Song

This is really just for Namaste England, the trailer is such a big deal I HAVE to talk about it.  But so long as I am doing trailers, I thought I might as well throw in AndhaDhun and the new Pataakha song as well.

What an interesting flip on Namaste London!  Do you remember Namaste London?  SPOILERS FOLLOW Katrina is London born and raised, her parents take her back to the Punjab for a trip where Akshay falls in love with her and her parents arrange their marriage.  Katrina goes along with it but asks for Akshay to return to London with her for a visit.  And in London, she calmly explains that their marriage has no legal basis and she is ignoring it and continuing her London life.  Akshay stays and woos her, eventually winning her over to the marriage and they return together to the Punjab. SPOILERS OVER

Namaste London wasn’t un-progressive.  It argued that a woman should not be forced into a marriage, but should come to it when she is willing and happy.  But the reasons Katrina was against the marriage were not really clear or logical, fell more into the “spoiled westernized woman” template established by Purab Aur Paschim.  She isn’t bad or evil, she just needs to learn more about the value of Indian culture and will eventually realize that it is superior to all over cultures.

(The film also does a very good job of establishing Akshay as a good husband, because he does things like carry her sneakers for when she is tired of wearing heels.  Not the usual macho “husband hero” kind of things)

Now this movie, by the same director, it BLOWS. IT. UP.  The whole group of ideas.  First that marriage magically cures a woman of wanting anything besides her husband.  Second that any desire for the west is inherently shallow and superficial. No, let me correct that, any desire for the west IN WOMEN is inherently shallow and superficial.  That’s the big thing here, it’s not just about England versus India, it’s about the desires of a wife, what she wants for her life, being worthy of respect.

Based on the trailer, it looks like Arjun and Parineeti meet and fall in love and get married and are happy together.  There is nothing unfulfilled in the marriage relationship by itself.  But Parineeti is not defined just by her marriage, she wants more for herself and Arjun won’t let her/won’t help her/won’t accept it.  So she has to leave him and go to London.  If the genders were reversed, this would be a story we have seen many times.  The cop whose wife doesn’t understand why he has to keep working, the ambitious hero who drags his traditional wife off to England (or America or where ever) with him, the noble industrialist whose wife stands by and feeds him dinner every night.  In that version, the marriage is a subplot.  We know the wife will come around eventually because wives always do, so there is no tension there.  The rest of the plot is the important part.

This movie says that Parineeti’s desires are as strong as any man’s and cannot be contained just by marriage vows.  But it also acknowledges that this is not an accepted thing and makes that conflict the center of the film (unlike all those movies where it is the husband’s desires that cannot be contained and the conflict is off to the side).

Here’s my concern.  Will this be too dark?  I don’t want another dark romance, and I don’t think the audience in general does either.  I am fine with some wacky back and forth in London as Arjun tries to win her over, but I don’t want DRAMA and MISERY to be the underlying message of everything.  Especially since the Punjabi section seems so light and happy, a tone shift in the London half would be very odd.

 

Moving on, just in time for my “item number” post, here is a new song from Pataakha featuring Malaika Arora.  It feels very much like “Munni Badnaam Hua”, but slightly less clever.  There isn’t an actor making goofy faces while he dances with her, the lyrics aren’t quite as clever, the choreography isn’t quite as good.  But it still gives the vibe of a village dancer who is treating this as a job, not as something she really enjoys.  And is surrounded by a group of men who are a little bit threatening.

I mostly find it interesting for the kind of film this is.  A movie with two female leads who are not sexy or compliant or anything, they are aggressive and complicated and more likely to shout abuses than do a sexy dance.  It makes Malaika’s number a complicated contrast, here is the male fantasy of a woman, and there is the reality.

Also, of course, this is a movie with no big name stars and an item number is a cheap easy way to sell the film.

 

Now, another trailer!  AndhaDhun which stars Tabu, Ayushmann Khurrana, and Radhika Apte.  I would be excited just based on that cast, but the trailer looks even more interesting.

It’s a simple plot, “what if a man was made an accomplice in a murder and didn’t realize it?”  Ayushmann is perfect as the lead, believable as the nice Hitchcockian every man, but also with that hint of intelligence and naughtiness that makes you wonder if you have underestimated him.  Tabu, as the older woman who is controlling them all, just right.  And Radhike in something a little different, playing a bit niave and sweet instead of the kind of tough wise complicated woman she’s been playing lately.

 

I like these kinds of movies, the stripped down witty character films.  I wouldn’t want a steady diet of them, but they are a nice refreshing break every once in a while.  And hopefully it will refresh Ayushmann’s career a little.  Not that his career is bad, but there is a definite “Ayushmann Khurrana” type of film, and this is a bit outside of that.  It’s smack inside the “Radhike Apte” type of film (although her character feels new to me).  And Tabu, of course, encompasses all films always.  There is no “type” she can be limited to.

Advertisements

27 thoughts on “Trailers! Namaste England, AndhaDhun, and Pataakha Item Song

  1. *Hi hi*… (to your previous answer ;.) )

    I think it won’t be a “dark romance” but a ‘struggling romance’ in London…both have to learn…

    I’m very interested in Andhadhun…and I think, Ayushmann’s character is a trickster.

    Like

    • I would love for Ayushmann to be a trickster! Either a Usual Suspects kind of twist right at the end, or if it opens with something like him explaining that blind piano players make more money so he has been faking it for 10 years and now it is second nature. And then the audience would spend the whole movie know he is faking and worried about the other characters finding out.

      On Thu, Sep 6, 2018 at 4:21 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

      >

      Like

  2. AndhaDhun looks very good and interesting. The trailer left me curious and I think I would go to see it. Namaste England, I’m not sure. Arjun is great, but Parineeti.. She has become my “Shruthi Hassan”, I can’t keep calm when I see her. But on the other hand there is an improvised wedding scene in the trailer, and I LOVE it.

    Like

    • I can still forgive Parineeti anything for Dawaat E Ishq. But she is running out of time. I liked Golmaal Again because it reminded me of DEI, and I will probably like this for the same reason. But a third movie where she is just playing one mood instead of a whole range and the character isn’t worth it, and I will run out of patience.

      Also, I just had to rewatch the trailer to find the improvised wedding, and now I am curious! Because she is all dressed up but it is just in a hotel room, and there is another wedding with full pomp earlier in the trailer. Maybe they get “married” a second time in London and she still has her wedding outfit?

      On Thu, Sep 6, 2018 at 5:01 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

      >

      Like

      • I have seen Parineeti first in Hasee Toh Phasee, and she was passable (now I think that with other better actress this movie could be much better). Then I saw DEI and I liked it very much thanks to Aditya and the plot , Parineeti was ok, and I started liking her. But after that I watched Meri Pyaari Bindu and she ruined all movie for me . Not much happens in this film – it’s the story of how a friendship of two kids change in time and you need good actors to make it work. Parineeti played only one emotion, as you said. The same expression when she was playing 18 y/o, the same when she was 20 y/o, and the same 10 years later. I don’t know why this girl keeps working.

        And for improvised wedding in a hotel room, I like to think, that the first wedding was when they were young and naive, and the second is only for them, after everything they have passed in London and this time they are aware what it means to be married.

        Like

        • this is not making me want to watch Hasee To Phasee. It sounds like Parineeti is good for two movies, and then the 3rd or 4th is where she crosses the line into unbearable.

          On Fri, Sep 7, 2018 at 3:10 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

          >

          Like

          • Hasee toh phasee is a very unusual movie. IT has a die hard fan following, considered an instant classic by many and another set who think its not a good movie. I’m one of those HTP fans LOL and I thought Pari was brilliant. Its probably my fav romcom in a while. And you absolutely must watch it. Please *puppy eyes*

            Like

  3. Oh wow, you really did read so much from the trailer! Cos I couldn’t get past Arjun’s monotonous dialogue delivery – he acts exactly like he did in HG which is just the worst movie ever! And for some reason Parineeti also seemed very off in the way she spoke her dialogues – but I think it could’ve been the way they cut the trailer, not very well cut. I think they didn’t want to give the plot away. But I really loved your take!
    Andha Dhun otoh – whoa! Def a watcher!

    Like

      • Yep! With the one very very very very very big difference that it all happens after the marriage. Oh, and that from all we see Parineeti went into the marriage voluntarily and happily. And the marriage was happy. So, radical!!!! A woman can be married and in love with her husband, and still not totally fulfilled in her life.

        On Thu, Sep 6, 2018 at 5:41 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

        >

        Like

    • I just rewatched, and yeah, Arjun’s delivery is pretty horrible. But then on the other hand, you are also right that it is a bit of an odd edit. Well, not odd, but they clearly made a choice of stringing together all the romantic declaration moments and skipping anything with humor in it. So both Parineeti and Arjun are stuck with us hearing the one emotional line instead in the middle of the speech that is said in a very flat way so it will land, instead of hearing the interesting line delivery of every other part of the speech.

      On Thu, Sep 6, 2018 at 5:28 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

      >

      Like

    • I felt the same. Their dialogue delivery was so bad. I don’t expect much from Arjun, but what happened to Parineeti? Also, I like love stories as much as the next person, but I’m done with dialogues like” duniya aaj bhi ek hi cheez pe kayam hai – pyaar”. And Arjun saying it in his drab voice makes it worse.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I know! Arjun is trying to do an Akshay Kumar from the 2000s. He’s not very good at it unfortunately. Half Girlfriend had Arjun do this for the entire duration.

        Like

        • I just watched bits of that Namaste London song for this post, Akshay in the 2000s was so so so so good. I hope he is over his “soft patriotism” era and might go back to “intense romantic and hot”.

          On Thu, Sep 6, 2018 at 11:34 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

          >

          Like

          • Even Shraddha was better than Arjun in Half Girlfriend! Has to be one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen! Margaret – you should watch it in your “I want to watch bad movie days”.

            Like

  4. Excited for AndhaDhun. The trailer is neat plus Sriram Raghavan is the master of dark thrillers. His leading men are deliciously devilish. Glad to see Ayushmann let go of his inner Amol Palekar & embrace the Nawazuddin.

    Like

    • I feel like Amol played a dark character at some point too, and yet my mind is a blank.

      On Thu, Sep 6, 2018 at 10:23 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

      >

      Like

  5. I was a little underwhelmed by the Namaste England trailer and, of course, I was super excited to see it! I also thought the dialogue delivery was a little flat. It’s surprising since Arjun and Parineeti seem to have a playful relationship off camera and they had palpable chemistry in Ishaqzaade. As long as there is a HEA and there are a couple of fun songs or scenes, I’ll end up liking this one well enough. It just probably won’t be one of my all time faves.

    So, you still haven’t seen either HTP or Meeri Pyaari Bindu yet? I can’t wait to hear your take on both! I think Parineeti’s acting was suspect at times in HTP (even though I still love it), but I really liked her in MPB and the ending scenes were perfectly done.

    I was much more excited about AndhaDhun though! What a brilliant trailer. After Ittefaq, which had its moments…it would be really cool to see a growing number of noir thrillers that weren’t all Mahesh Bhatt “erotic thrillers.”

    Like

    • I did a paper/presentation on Byomkesh Bakshy! a few years back and looked at the history of noir thrillers. There were a lot of them in the post-war years, and then it turned into kind of wacky mysteries in the later 60s, then the tough Amitabh meaningful ones and so on and so forth. So there is a tradition of intelligent mysteries with the city as a character and complicated plots and so on, it just got a bit left behind. I’d love for this to be a sign it is coming back too.

      Haven’t seen MPB or HTP, that’s right! I don’t know why I am having a hard time getting myself to watch them, but somehow I am.

      On Sat, Sep 8, 2018 at 12:27 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

      >

      Like

  6. The Andhadhun trailer – now THAT’S how you make a trailer that excites everyone into wanting to see the movie, esp with no top stars. Masterful!

    Like

    • Yes! It’s all story and style, no cheap spectacle. Reminds me of Ittefaq, which excited me so much because it was a basic cheap movie with no major names, but made very very well. And it got a modest released and ran well. No shooting for a blackbuster box office with an insane budget, just a small good movie that people will want to see.

      On Sun, Sep 16, 2018 at 9:27 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

      >

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s