The news broke late last night, right after I went to bed, so I am aware I am late in acknowledging it. But I still felt I should say something.
I’m finally doing it! The Sanjay Dutt Hindi Film 101 series! And if his movie gets delayed again, well that’s just too bad, they will have to live with my having already posted his series way way too early (not really, I’ll probably repost all these posts the day it comes out for convenience).
I was trying to think of what to do for 420, a super druggie movie or a super conman movie or what, and then I realized, it has to be Shree 420.
I forgot about this post until reflects on life reminded me of it! And now I think I will make it an annual tradition, to update and repost it on Valentine’s day.
Valentine’s Day! Day of love! And for that reason, a good day for a one of post just about love stories. The two kinds of them, the socially relevant ones in which the romance is just a jumping off point for a broader social issue, and the fun fun fun ones that just make you smile.
You’re dead, but that’s no reason to stop celebrating. Your legacy lives on in many ways. So I am going to count down 63 reasons I love you, one for every year you lived (until you died). (obviously this is a reposted post from last year, I don’t have time to come up with 63 new reasons every year, not even for Raj)
I finally read it! Don’t tell my friend who brought it for me all the way from India 2 years ago, only for it to sit on my shelf unnoticed unloved and unread. Until now! It took a while, but I finally finished it. And it was fascinating in lots of little “history of the industry” ways.
This is fun, doing these little over view posts! The lists help me from getting all tangled up in my own thoughts, and let you join the discussion, because everyone has an opinion on what wasn’t included and should have been, and what was included and shouldn’t have been.
I got lots of cool suggestions yesterday as to what I should cover next, but while I let those percolate (and please, keep suggesting! Here is the post where I ask for ideas), I am going to do something simple and look at the top grossing film year by year since 1940. Should be an interesting way to see the industry evolving, both financially and creatively. You’ll see what I mean when I am complaining about the out of control box office inflation lately. Plus, gives us all space to talk about something totally different from Jab Harry Met Sejal.
I am trying a new thing, sort of cliff notes version of Hindi film history. Not the actual history (“Bombay Talkies studio was founded by Harivanshri Rai and Devika Rani…”), but the gossip history that everyone kind of knows if they’ve grown up with the films or if they’ve been following them for years. But I know that isn’t true for some of my readers and so, just for you, I am giving you the kind of informal oral history. Starting with the Kapoor Family (part 1 here).
I have had so much fun in the past few weeks talking with Ryan C in the comments. He is new(ish) to Indian film and is asking me all sorts of wonderful questions, and giving me delightfully enthusiastic responses, and it made me think about how maybe I should do more posts sort of aimed at that level. Ideally, you can get that from My Book (really, read it! It’s super short and fast and once you are done, you will know everything you need to understand the movies), but now I am thinking maybe I should try something like that on the blog as well?
You’re dead, but that’s no reason to stop celebrating. Your legacy lives on in many ways. So I am going to count down 63 reasons I love you, one for every year you lived (until you died).
Huh. There really aren’t that many navy-based movies in India. At least compared to America. Although Navy-movies is kind of an odd genre, maybe it’s America that’s the weird one for having so many. On the other hand, plenty of songs with boats! Because, similar to songs with cars, it’s a nice way to get the hero and heroine alone.
Do you think Raj Kapoor ever met Orson Welles? I hope so, for Orson’s sake. Raj could hang out in India and talk to Guru Dutt and Vijay Anand and Hrishikesh Mukherjee, and have people who could actually understand his level of genius. But Orson was all alone off there in Hollywood.
Yaaaaay! New Dilwale trailer, with a song I actually like!
We have all the classic Shahrukh faces, “I am stunned by your beauty”, “I am delighted by falling in love”, “I am feeling cocky because I know you like me”, and of course “you forgot I was sexy” (my favorite).
Plus, visually (even beyond the wet white shirt), there is all sorts of cool stuff! Did you catch the Shree 420 reference? Not only are they together under an umbrella in the rain, they actually turn into black and white as their eyes meet, which is just so cool and beautiful!
Like, as they fall in love again, they enter the magical other world of classic Indian film love stories. Plus, I love that this is the second time SRKajol has done “Pyar Hua Ikrar Hua”, which is a fairly strong acknowledgement that they are the new Raj Kapoor-Nargis.
The first time was in the homage to the history of Indian film song from Rab Ne Bana di Jodi, “Phir Milenge”. I saw Rab Ne in theaters, and in that whole cameo filled song, Kajol was the only who got cheers.
Anyway, homages to classic films are very tricky to pull off, you either do them as complete jokes and no one cares, or seriously, and then you get a lot of push back because people find it insulting to the original. Especially the children and grandchildren of the people who made the original, who may not be thrilled to see their legacy dragged through the mud (Ram Gopal Verma and your Sholay remake, I am looking at you!). If you recall, the other big Shree 420 homage in recent years was in the “Zoobi Doobi” song from 3 Idiots
But everyone was fine with that, because they actually cast Kareena Kapoor, Raj Kapoor’s granddaughter, in the Nargis part.
But SRKajol have now done Shree 420 twice, and gotten no blowback for it! So I think it is safe to say that they are the acknowledged spiritual heirs to the Raj and Nargis onscreen pairing. Even more than Raj and Nargis’ actual heirs. But hopefully with less offscreen drama.