On the Monday Questions post, I was talking about fanfic, and how I think it’s especially common with Bahubali because this world is so rich. There are so many characters who just show up for a scene or two and their story isn’t fully finished or ended, so many settings that we don’t explore entirely, so many possibilities for the future that are left unknown. Anyway, that’s what it is for me. And one of those possibilities that I explored in both of my original fanfics was “Anushka 2”, the daughter of Anushka 1 and Prabhas 1, if Prabhas 1 had lived after Prabhas 2 had been born. And now I have become obsessed with her love story with Rana 2 (Rana’s illegitimate nephew by way of his father’s mistress’ daughter) (full index of all Bahubali posts, including fanfics, here)
Happy Wednesday! I’m trying something new again, giving you a question to answer, or at least a place to start discussion, along with the usual “what are you watching and thinking and reading this week?” questions.
Well, I finally watched VIP! Because I really really wanted to watch that teaser with Kajol, and I decided I couldn’t let myself watch it until I saw the first movie. Anyway, it is just as good as you all said it would be! And the plot and themes and stuff hold together a lot better than it appeared from the Wikipedia synopsis.
Well, this is one I’ve been avoiding! Because I know feelings run high on it. And I know that, as a non-Indian, I have no right to talk about another country’s politics. So I am not going to talk about politics, I am going to give as impartial a perspective as I can on the progression from Motilal to Jawaharlal to Indira to Rajiv to Sonia to Rahul. Because as I discovered yesterday when looking at the posters for upcoming films, we are about to have a spate of Indira-era period pieces, and to understand them, you really need to know about not just Indira, but what came before and after.
This was a kind of interesting film. Not a great film, maybe not even a good film? But an interesting one. Well, interesting in the last twenty minutes. The set-up for that was a bit of a drag. But most important (for me), this was a FREE film! It suddenly popped up at my library, while I was in the middle of the move (DVDs finally unpacked as of this morning, but books still in boxes), and I had to watch library DVDs. So it was perfect for me.
I was trying to explain this to my father in the car after seeing the film with him. The difference between Dharma and Justice. And it’s a hard one to explain, if you aren’t already familiar with the meaning of Dharma. Because a quick one-to-one Hindi to English translation would actually be Dharma=Justice. But it’s so much more than that, as the film shows. (full index of all Bahubali posts here)
Eid is on a Saturday this year, right? Which is very convenient for me! I can do a Tubelight first day-first show without having to take time off work. Even better, thanks to the time difference and convenience for theater owners, it might be playing in the US on Friday first show at the regular time I would see it anyway!
I don’t want to say that Raabta is better than Magadheera, or even as good. But it is a very clever reimagining which takes the same story but replace the from the southern industry (comedy scenes, action scenes, stalking romance) with the strengths of the Hindi industry (clever dialogue, cutting edge international setting, slightly more complicated characters). So, what other southern films could we do that with? Not that we SHOULD do it, but that we could.
I was just re-reading my SPOILERS review for Raabta and I realized I missed a big point, so I am going back to add a footnote. When Jim Sardh walks home with Kriti and it starts to rain, they start to sing a song to each other. And it was such an interesting choice, I just have to talk about it.
New podcast! As I said in the review, I saw Raabta with my sister, thinking it would be a fun so-bad-it’s-good kind of sister experience, like when we watched Aashiqui 2 together. But it turned out to be actually good! So good that we spent 40 minutes talking about it on the way home.
As you know from my no spoilers review, which already went up, I LOVED Raabta. It was not at all what I was expecting. I wasn’t even going to see it, but then my sister was in town, and watching a bad romance film in theaters is kind of the perfect sororal activity. And it turned out to be a good romance, instead of a bad one! Which is even more perfect for a sororal activity.
I say “all”, but really it’s just a subset of the commentators here. But a strong subset. Which includes myself. I can enjoy an action film or a well-made drama, but there is just something about the big swoony romances with songs and impractical plots and lots of chemistry between the leads. And this film definitely delivers!
You know that joke, right? You read a fortune cookie, or something else similarly general and metaphorical and then add “in bed!” to the end to make it sexual. In this case, I am putting all my regular TGIF suspects in bed. Because I just purchased and built my first bed since I left my parents’ house (finally graduating from futons!), and I am very interested in beds right now.
Happy Birthday Sonam! So many birthdays in early June! But that’s no reason to ignore Sonam. She blew me away in Neerja, and then she blew me away again with her intelligent interviews on the status of female stars and female lead films in the industry. (this is an updated and reposted post from last year)
This is one of my least popular, and most difficult, blog series. It’s hardcore analysis, social and shot by shot and narrative and history of the film industry and history of India and everything I have ever learned all in one place. I am up to section 20 now, and 100 screen shots, and I am barely past intermission. But I thought I should probably just put together an index post to make it easy for latecomers to catch up. And hopefully get a few more readers to justify the amount of effort I am putting in!
Happy Birthday Dimple! I cannot BELIEVE you are 60! You are still the most elegant, the classiest, the coolest lady in Hindi film. Here are 15 reasons I love you, one for every year you were alive when Bobby came out and made you a superstar. (this is a reposted and updated post from last year)
Okay, after all of the boring place setting stuff to get us into the second half, we finally have a really meaty scene! And it’s also the scene that illustrates the alternative theory of the film. The surface obvious theory, the one that all the critics talk about and so on, is the resolution of the NRI identity/tragedy of the immigrant theory. But the second theory, the one I have been following along, is the questioning of gender roles and patriarchal authority. (last section here, and page indexing all the DDLJ posts here)
Happy Wednesday! As a little midweek break, let’s all take a breather and talk about what we have been reading and thinking and watching this week so far.
You may say Farah or Zoya has more power, and maybe if you just look at the films they produced, okay. But if you look at all the stars and stories and production changes Ekta has done through film AND television, there is no contest. So, for her birthday, here are 18 reasons I love you, one for every hundred episodes produced of Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi (1833 in total). (this is an updated and reposted-post from last year)