Babies!

That’s all, just BABIES!  Adira turned 1 today and her party hosted all the cutest new members of the film fraternity.  Let’s go to the pictures!

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TGIF: Happy Christmas and World AIDs Day! Women (and a few men) in Red

Happy Friday!  My goodness this has been a frustrating day.  The second I get in to anything at work the phone rings and I have to stop.  Whether it is blogging or sending an email or doing accounting stuff for work-work, I just don’t have long enough to be able to focus on it.  I am writing this right now at about 2pm, we’ll see if I am able to finish and publish this thing before midnight.  Anyway, Red!  For AIDs and Christmas!!!

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Starter Kit: 7 Actresses in All 3 Phases of Their Career

I put up a post about the 3 phases of an actress’ career in Hindi film (Starting Out, Established, Married), and then I also put up a post about starter films to get to know actors.  And I was puzzling over how to do a post about actresses, since they really don’t have the same kind of massive career backlog as actors, and I thought “Aha!  I can combine the two posts!”  So that’s what I did, here are some of the top actresses divided into their 3 career eras (or 2, depending).  I could have kept going on and on, but I ran out of energy, so I stopped at 7.  I’m sure I will be back with more.

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Happy Birthday Sridevi! 14 Reasons I Love You!

It’s Sridevi’s birthday!  I am so excited about celebrating!  Because it means we all get to watch a bunch of really great song sequences as I list of my reasons that I love her.  I did 13 reasons last year, but now she is one year older, so I will do 14! (this is an updated and reposted post from last year)

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Mom Review (SPOILERS): Mother’s Always Have to Do the Dirty Jobs

I debated putting up this spoiler review so soon, because the filmmakers clearly want the plot to remain a surprise.  But, see, I don’t think they have to worry about it that much.  The performances and the camerawork and the music and everything else are so good, that you just have to see how it plays out, even if you know what’s going to happen.  But if you want to see this movie as it was intended, DON’T READ ON.  Read my non-spoiler review instead.  However, if you suspect that it may be a bit tough for you to watch but still want to know what happens, you are correct, it will be tough to watch, and I am here for you to tell you what happens.

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Mom Review (No Spoilers): Sridevi Does Sunny Deol

I did it!  I saw Mom!  Even though it meant screeching out of work the second it hit 5pm and fighting rush hour traffic to make the 5:30 show.  Because I had to rush home tonight so I would have time to work on my mother’s birthday present.  Which is thematic, I guess!  Anyway, it’s a good movie, but don’t be fooled by the artsy film stock and stuff, this is a straight up potboiler action film as over the top and satisfying as anything from Sunny Deol.

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Thank You for Reading! Don’t Forget to Pick up Your Present!

It’s Spring now, and I am enjoying the warm days, and also enjoying life in general.  And a big reason for that is because of how much fun I have writing this blog, and feeling like I am being heard and read!  And so I want to say a little “thank you” to all my readers, whether you are new or old, comment regularly or not at all, only read the posts you like and skip the rest, anything!  It all counts and it all deserves a “Thank You!” (I posted about this a few days ago, and I am just going to keep putting up reminder posts until I feel sure you all saw it!  So far I have only gotten responses from 5 of you.)

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Hindi Film 101: Kapoors Part VI, The Other Kapoors, Anil Boney Sanjay and Sridevi

My almost final Kapoor post!  Yaaaay!  I figured I couldn’t be done with the family without dealing with their distant relations, “the other Kapoors”.  Or, as I think of it, the Surinder Kapoor family. (If you want to read the other posts, I have finally given in and created a Hindi Film 101 area of the menu here)

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Moodru Mudichu: Rajnikanth and Sridevi’s First Lead roles!

Is that right?  That’s what Wikipedia says, that they had both acted before (in child roles for Sridevi, and in smaller parts for Rajnikanth), but this was the first movie for both in which they were lead characters.  Which is UNBELIEVABLE!!!  Not just because they are so good, but because they are already so uniquely themselves, the personalities and personas familiar to me now, 40 years later.

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Kshana Kshanam: Maybe RGV isn’t Tarentino, Maybe He is More Hitchcock?

Thanks to badgering (in a nice way) from the comments section, I finally got around to watching this, my first Ram Gopal Verma Telugu film, and my first RGV Sridevi film.  And it was a revelation!  Not that different from his later Hindi stuff, but different enough that it made me look at his whole career in a new way.

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Happy Birthday Yash Chopra Part 2! 32 through 55!

Okay, let’s do this!  Possibly nobody but me cares as much about Yashji, but come on!  The man invented a whole genre of film!  Founded the only studio still on firm financial ground!  Created generations of stars!  He deserves 84 reasons to love him on his birthday.  Even if they are mostly songs. Part 1 here and Part 3 here.

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Lamhe: I Don’t Know Why, But I Am Suddenly Remembering “Moments” of Lamhe (Ha!)

Yash Chopra is so good!  Even in Aaina, one of his weaker films, his brilliance stood out.  And then Darr was just fantastic.  But I honestly think Lamhe might be his greatest triumph.

(if you like Sridevi movies, I also did a post on English/Vinglish and Chandni went up today)
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English/Vinglish: A Movie in Which a Mother Can Be Other Things Too, But Chooses Not To

Happy Mother’s Day!  I could post something about Mother India or Aradhana or English Babu Desi Mem, one of those where the mother-son relationship is super important.  But it’s not a day for mothers and sons, it’s a day for mothers!  So instead I am posting about a movie in which a Mother gets the spotlight all to herself.

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News Roundup-Old Scandals Dredged up

So, I should really lead with Manuj Kumar being released from the hospital.  Evergreen actor, produced/starred/directed all time classics, and so on and so on.  But I will wait until there is a funeral and all the important modern people have to go to it and be polite, for once, to their various nemesises.  My favorite kind of news slideshow!  People in white trying not to look like they want to punch each other!  So for now, I will just hope that Manuj is comfortable and leave him in peace.

More importantly, Ram Gopal Varma is dredging up the Sridevi/Boney scandal!  And also continues to be the creepiest man on earth.  Apparently, in his book “Guns and Thighs” (blech!  So Freudian I could vomit!), he talks in great detail about Sridevi’s thighs and how they lead him to fall in love with her and become a filmmaker and why she is still his favorite star.  Creepy!  Creepy creepy creepy!  Normally I don’t like it when Indian husbands get all aggressive about their wives’ honor, but in this case I think Boney Kapoor was totally justified in calling him out on it.  And, hopefully, he also increased the security on his wife and daughters.  Anyway, as quoted in rediff.com, here is RGV’s response to Boney’s angry comments and threat of lawsuits:

‘My advise to Boney is to read my full article in “Guns and Thighs” on Srideviji before spewing venom on me.  I as a fan have more respect for Srideviji than what Boney has for her as a wife..only Srideviji will know the truth of this in her heart,’

‘Srideviji’s fame is not only because of her acting capacity but it’s also because of her thundering thighs –top critics of Himmatwala time. If only acting talent is a measure for stardom why was’nt Smita Patil bigger than Srideviji..The thunder thighs made the difference,’

‘I respect Srideviji for her thighs,her smile,her acting talent,her sensitivity,her persona and above all I respect her love for Boney,’

 

Okay, dude, just because the “top critics of Himmatwala time” said her thundering thighs made her a star, doesn’t mean you aren’t being creepy for talking about them now.  It just means they were creepy back then and you are creepy now.  Plus, I think in complimenting Smita Patil, you may have accidentally insulted Sridevi AGAIN.  Maybe instead say “If acting talent is taken as a measure for stardom, why wasn’t Smita Patil as big as Srideviji.”  Or maybe talk about Sridevi’s dancing ability and smart fashion sense that highlighted her body, rather than just her body?  Or maybe just don’t be so unutterably creepy that everything which comes out of your mouth makes me want to take a shower?

But did you notice the little comments about her and Boney?  Like, Boney doesn’t appreciate her but she is trapped by her love for him?  Totally bringing up that whole “Boney seduced her and then kept her as his side piece until she got pregnant at which point he divorced his wife and married her at the last minute” scandal.  RGV probably meant to make Boney look bad, and I doubt it even occurred to him that Sridevi wouldn’t want to think about that time either.  Heck, he probably thinks she loves being reminded of her uncontrollable devotion to one man, because isn’t that what all woman aspire towards?  Their holy devotion to their husbands being their only identifying feature?  Sita and Radha had such happy lives, after all!  Anyway, I suspect the real story was a little more of a “Sridevi knew her career would be over as soon as she got married and preferred to be independent as long as possible and then planned a pregnancy right when her career was dropping off a little anyway” kind of thing.  Either way, though, maybe if RGV really respected her, he wouldn’t bring it up at all.

Speaking of bringing up old scandals, rumor has it that Sanjay Gupta is casting his next and wants Hrithik and Kareena in it.  Hrithik is easy, just give a job to his Dad and he will do anything.  Apparently, Rakesh is on board in some capacity (actor? producer? second director?  Who knows!  He is theoretically competent in all those roles!), so Hrithik is too.  But Kareena would be a feat.  Back in the early 2000s, when they co-starred in a bunch of films, their onscreen chemistry and long hours working together lead to the usual affair rumors.  At the time, Kareena was dating Shahid Kapoor, and just barely out of her teens, and Hrithik was married to his high school sweetheart, Suzanne Khan, who also happened to be part of a super powerful producing family.  An affair would have made neither of them look good, Hrithik for seducing a young girl from a very good family, and Kareena for breaking up the marriage of another woman from another very good family.  So they stopped working together, and talking at parties, and sitting next to each other at awards shows, and so on and so on.

And then a couple of years ago, Karan Johar’s perpetually in pre-production Shuddhi was rumored to have them cast as a pair.  It had been ten years since the rumors were hot, Hrithik was still married (and was rumored to have moved on to affairs with other inappropriate women), and Kareena was now married to a powerful husband who had the pull to make sure any rumors of onset hanky-panky would be scotched immediately.

And then Shudhi fell apart (again), and Hrithik got divorced, and a Kareena-Hrithik pairing possibility disappeared.  But now it’s been what, two years at least since the divorce?  No possibility of rumors that Kareena is the one who caused it at this point, she and Saif are still going strong, this could actually work!  And I would kind of love to see them in a Sanjay Gupta film.  Lots of sexy item numbers for Kareena to have fun with, lots of glossy action sequences for Hrithik, and I kind of want to see the crazy Sanjay Gupta lighting filters shining on Rakesh’s bald head.

And if Manuj Kumar does die soon, then all of these people can run into each other at his funeral and give bare-teethed smiles captured by the camera and I will laugh and laugh.