Gossip Cliff Notes: Biggest Stories of Hindi Film, Speaking Them Kills Their Power

We’ve been talking about gossip back and forth for the past few weeks, and I’ve been thinking about all those stories that are just sort of in the air around us with no one ever actually saying them straight out.  They are more poisonness that way, I think, floating around powerful and unspoken.  So, let’s speak them!  I’ll start with a list of every gossip story I have heard, and you can add on whatever I have missed.

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Telugu Film 101: Savitri, the Basics

I just ordered possibly the last copy in America of the only English language full biography of Savitri.  But it’s shipping from a million miles away, and it looks dauntingly thick, so I have no idea when I will finish reading it.  In the meantime, I wanted to put up a post based on the very superficial information I have gathered by reading every single English language article I could find on The Internet about Savitri and her associates.

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Sonam Report on Instagram

Well, this is going to be a multi-day thing.  I’m exhausted and I’m not even invited.  But I do have to do the very important job of judging everyone’s outfits, which is very tiring.  Perhaps you all can help me? (oh, and Monday Malayalam is delayed because I had to do this instead.  Sorry!)

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Friday Classics: Lajja, For International Women’s Day

This movie is just barely a classic. It’s not the best, it’s got quite a few massive flaws in fact, but it’s still really interesting and worthy of discussion. And the best part is how well it shows women rescuing themselves, very appropriate for today’s discussion.

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Saturday Classics: Silsila! For Holi!

Happy Saturday!  I’m on vacation, so I missed yesterday’s Friday classic post.  And posts will be a bit sparse for the next few days.  But I’m gonna make up for it by doing a stone-cold classic, which is also holiday appropriate, for the random one-off Saturday Classics post.

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Hindi Film 101: Marriage and Movie Stars

On Friday I did a “TGIF” of happy couples, and then I realized that I was kind of skipping to the end, posting the couples without defining “happy” before.  And I also find it legitimately fascinating how tricky the public versus private requirements of Hindi film industry marriages are.

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TGIF: FilmFare! Who Wore it Best Which Year? Madhuri versus Madhuri, Dia versus Dia, Sonam versus Sonam, Rekha versus Rekha, Shahrukh versus Shahrukh, and Ranveer versus Ranveer

In our discussion on this year’s FilmFare post, we ended up linking back to previous years for reference, which made me think of a TGIF theme!  Why not put up photos from previous years and have people compete with themselves? (index of all TGIF posts here)

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Tuesday Tamil: Iru Kodugal, I watch a Gemini Genesan Movie!

I’m back to K. Balachander!  He is just so great.  And available on Rajshri Tamil on youtube.  And I have also now seen a Gemini Ganesan movie!  Which was super distracting, because it was kind of a little bit about his real life and I have no idea if that was on purpose or not.  Was his real life situation with multiple wives so well known that it would make sense to bring that into one of his movies?

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FilmFare: What They All Wore and What it Meant

The actual awards list went up earlier, but we all know that doesn’t matter nearly as much as what people wore!  Not even joking, in terms of people tuning in for the show, it’s all about who showed up and how big they went.  And in terms of how seriously people are taking the awards, and their careers in Hindi film, it is also about how big they went (remember in 2016 Priyanka didn’t even come?)

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Starter Kit: Top Jodis Of Hindi film

I was going to do a “100 years of history in 10” list, and then I realized there AREN’T actually 10 jodis of equal level.  So I am just going to introduce you to the really really big ones and without worrying about how many I include or putting them in order or anything.

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100 Years of Hindi Film History in 10 Actresses

Okay, you ready to fight me?  The problem is, unlike actors, actresses never really get the chance to lead the industry, there isn’t a clear “Queen” the way there is a clear “King”.  So this list is a bit of a judgement call, I realize that, and that means there is lots and lots of space for us all to argue.

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Hindi Film 101: The Three Phases of an Actress Career

This came up on yesterday’s News Round-Up post when we were talking about Dips and Padmavati and where she might go next.  The thing is, there is a standard route where she will go that is kind of an unspoken but accepted thing.  So I thought I might as well speak it, just in case you are new to the films and are unaware of the expectations for an actress.  Oh, and also give a comparison with Hollywood in case you are new to Hollywood and unaware of the standard route there.

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TGIF: Happy Pride Weekend! Let Us Look at the Gayest Images in Indian Film

Oh Pride!  The happiest weekend of the year in terms of fanfic/silly content.  The saddest weekend of the year in terms of not having loud drunk people sit next to me on the train.  At least this year I have no reason to leave the house (my church lemonade stand/marching group can get along without me!), so I can just huddle up indoors and work on my epic Pride themed fanfic.  I’m going to try to hit all the letters, L and G and B and T and Q and maybe H.  If Indian film isn’t going to serve that audience, it is up to me to fill in the gap!  Anyway, a great TGIF post topic, I think we can all agree.

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Hindi Film 101: Rekha 3.0, After Amitabh

Part 3!  I am so glad I decided to do this in multiple parts.  I probably could have squeezed it all into one, but Rekha has really lived many lives, it is only fair to give her many posts.  Oh, and again, almost all this information comes from This Book.  Buy it if you like these posts and want to learn more! (post 1 here and post 2 here)

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Hindi Film 101: Rekha 2.0, The Amitabh Years

This is such a fun one to write!  Mostly because it is so fake.  Rekha is brilliant at manipulating the press and crafting an image for herself, so her whole life story (as presented to the public) sounds like something out of a bad melodrama.  Oh, and almost all of this is based on This Book, which is a super fun read and if you like this post, you should go buy it and read it.

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Hindi Film 101: Rekha! The Queen of Embracing the Narrative the Press Gave

Oh, this is gonna be a fun one!  And I am sure it will only be able to scratch the surface, so please add on nifty details in the comments.  And I should also acknowledge, it is almost entirely taken from This Book.  If you like this post, Buy It!  And if you disagree with this post, Blame It! (not really, I’m the one who bought the book and chose which parts to believe and repeat)

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Happy Birthday Rekhaji!!!

As always, one day before Amitabh.  I’m going to get super lame and cheesy for a second, and make a bad joke: right from the beginning, she’s been chasing after him.  And now, to make up for it, I’m going to try to come up with 12 reasons to love her for her birthday (I briefly considered 62, but then I’d end up reusing a bunch for Amitabh tomorrow).

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The 4 Kinds of Fanvids

So, I am a huge huge sucker for a good fanvid, have been for years.  Going all the way back to when I was in college and I would take a break from studying to browse around and try to dig up a new SRKajol vid.

After over a decade of loving these things, I think I have figured out 3 categories of fanvids, specific to Indian fandom.

First, there is fanvid that expands on the themes of an existing artwork, for instance this fabulous one from Alina Yuvvraaj:

Or these, from lalilly:

Then there are the fanvids that expand on the particular awesomeness of a particular star.  Like this, my all time favorite from Zizi K:

Or this one from Alina Yuvvraaj again:

So, both of those kinds of videos, based on a particular movie or a particular star, you can find in any fandom.  Where I think it starts to get unique, is in the next two categories.


First, there are the videos based on a particular mood.  Since Indian film follows the Rasa theory, where the goal is to evoke a particular mood at a particular moment, rather than a cohesive mood through out one narrative, a wide variety of films might have particular scenes that flow seamlessly between the borders of their individual movies.

Like this, the moment when you are in love without realizing it yet and happy (from half a dozen different movies with the same moment).  By Zizi K again:

Or this, which evokes the specific mood of “young and drunk at a club”, by MRSEMRAAN:

Or this, which has the very specific-to-Indian-film emotion described right there in the title.  Women who are sad, and the men who love them from MRSEMRAAN again:


And then finally, there is my favorite category, the totally made up full narratives that go across multiple films and, occasionally, all the way into real life footage.  This is really unique to Indian film, because Indian film is uniquely cohesive film to film.  The same jodis play the same characters going through the same narrative beats over the over again.  And even into real life, in interviews and publicity tours, they interact the same way.  And who knows, maybe it is even related to the reincarnation in Hinduism!  According to some versions, even Ram and Sita were reborn multiple times and lived out their story over and over.

Anyway, one of my favorites, which seamlessly moves between real life and film.  Almost convinces me that Kajol really is eating her heart out, from MissCinemaObsessive:

and then I watch this from lalilly and feel better:

(see, they’re just friends after all!)

Or this one, where she actually does get him, even though he is himself and she is village-Kajol, from Zizi K:

Or this, where it’s not just SRKajol, but SRKajol vs Kajol/Salman and Kajol/Saif, from LUANSU (LUANSU was also the first fanvid maker I found, back in college):

It’s not just SRKajol, I literally screamed with delight when I found this one, hitting up the scandals old school!  And using all film footage to tell a real life story, very impressive! From TheMelicrazyy:

And this leads into the bonus subcategory, fake storylines pulling together multiple films, but with stars who never actually acted together!  Because actors and their characters are so consistent across films, and all films are so consistant with the kind of scenes they include, you can actually craft a narrative revolving around people who have never been onscreen together (my favorite of these is the Abhishek/Kajol/Rani “Teardrops on My Guitar” that was briefly posted like 6 years ago by Nouf89, and then pulled down.  My white whale!  If someone out there has it, please send me a copy!).  But these are nice too.  From rmskch:

(this is so impressive!  Remember they have only been onscreen together for less than ten seconds in her friendly appearance in KANK)

And I had never even considered these options, from 3bit89:

(none of these three has ever costarred with each other in anything!)

So, did I do this right?  Are there the same number of categories as promised in the post-title?  I think so:

  1. Fanvids expanding on one particular film
  2. Fanvids expanding on one particular star
  3. Fanvids combining multiple films with the same mood
  4. Fanvids combining multiple films with the same moods/stars into a narrative
    1. Fanvids combining multiple films with the same moods/stars into a narrative even if the stars never acted opposite each other