dangermousie: (Default)
Re: BOF. It's no secret that by now I am basically in it for Ji Hoo (I want him to get happiness whichever way), Woo Bin's amusingness, and Yi Jung/Ga Eul.

So imagine my delight when I found the following picture on [livejournal.com profile] hydkorea.

Deals with the ship I actually care about )

How very Bollywood romance location of them. Dare I hope this version will actually give them *gasp* a happy ending?

Seriously, it so makes me think of the field in DDLJ's Tujhe Dekha Tho Ye Jaana Sanam:



Now I shall amuse myself by imagining Yi Jung and Ga Eul dancing and singing :P
dangermousie: (Default)
Re: BOF. It's no secret that by now I am basically in it for Ji Hoo (I want him to get happiness whichever way), Woo Bin's amusingness, and Yi Jung/Ga Eul.

So imagine my delight when I found the following picture on [livejournal.com profile] hydkorea.

Deals with the ship I actually care about )

How very Bollywood romance location of them. Dare I hope this version will actually give them *gasp* a happy ending?

Seriously, it so makes me think of the field in DDLJ's Tujhe Dekha Tho Ye Jaana Sanam:



Now I shall amuse myself by imagining Yi Jung and Ga Eul dancing and singing :P
dangermousie: (Default)
Re: BOF. It's no secret that by now I am basically in it for Ji Hoo (I want him to get happiness whichever way), Woo Bin's amusingness, and Yi Jung/Ga Eul.

So imagine my delight when I found the following picture on [livejournal.com profile] hydkorea.

Deals with the ship I actually care about )

How very Bollywood romance location of them. Dare I hope this version will actually give them *gasp* a happy ending?

Seriously, it so makes me think of the field in DDLJ's Tujhe Dekha Tho Ye Jaana Sanam:



Now I shall amuse myself by imagining Yi Jung and Ga Eul dancing and singing :P
dangermousie: (Veer-Zaara)
Yes, am still behind on replies. Mea culpa!

Have started my umpteenth rewatch of Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge aka "Dangermousie's most rewatched movie ever."

This is the movie that made me irrevocably love Bollywood (and even my husband likes this flick), and that, mircale of miracles, keeps up on rewatches.

And whenever I am tired or down or grumpy, I pop in and presto: ten minutes in and I am grinning and feel happy. If there is such a thing as a perfect movie for me, that is it.

Things I've been thinking about on this rewatch:

1. I love that the movie doesn't open with either Simran or Raj - the lovers who are the main characters, but with Chaudhary Baldev Singh, Simran's father. His bit of reflective nostalgia for India and his resignation to being in England instead, before we know any of the story or meet anyone else, really makes me see him as deeply human. And that is crucial to the story. Unlike many 'obstacle' parents in movies, CBH is not an evil person, not a stereotypical unreasonable father. He is old-fashioned, somewhat autocratic, but he is a person with feelings - he loves his wife and his daughters, he misses his birthplace etc. It's a nuance often lost in DDLJ's successors. And they keep having these touches in throughout the movie - just remember that delicious scene when he comes into a party of women and guys singing and playing around and everyone freezes expecting disapproval, but instead he starts singing to his wife, looking 20 years younger. It's moments like these that make the end and his letting Simran go to Raj believable and not a deus ex machina which makes no sense.

2. Simran's father might love Punjab and be nostalgic for it (we are presented with bright and joyful colors of the fields as opposed to the muted London) but hey, at the end, Simran ends up going with Raj to live in London, she doesn't stay in Punjab. Punjab might be home to her father, but London is Simran's home - she was born there. It's not really about one place being better than another, but which one is a home and which one has those things you want.

3. Simran's little poem about an unknown stranger at the beginning. I love that when she does meet her future love, he isn't some sort of a dream prince - respectful and sweet and with the two of them falling in love at first sight and swooning into each other's arms (which is what you'd expect in a standard romance). Nope, Raj is a joker and is immature at the start and Simran and Raj get along as well as oil and water. But that is the cool thing - Raj might not seem like Simran's ideal but he ends up being it. And unlike Simran who does not change too much from the beginning to the end (why should she? She is awesome already), Raj actually grows up tremendously because of love and obstacles. By the end, he is completely worthy not just of Simran's love or her mother's trust, but every little poem Simran could come up. This is pretty neat.

4. The thing that always gets me the most with this movie is the narrative of female helplessness - in the society Simran has been raised, she has no right to dreams of her own unless they coincide with her father's or that arranged husband she's never met. I always get a lump when she tells her mother she forgot she had no right to dream and her mother replies that of course she has a right to dream, she just can't have them come true. Or the scene when she asks her father to let her have a month out of her own life, as if it's a huge favor. Her life, all of it, should belong to nobody but her! And of course the scene when her mother comes to her in India and asks her to give up her hopes of Raj and remembers how she (Mom) promised to herself if she had a daughter, things like that would never happen to her but she should have known a woman doesn't have a right even to promises.

That is why I love that Raj is so Westernized. I don't think it would occur him to order Simran to do anything any more than it would occur him to fly to the moon (during their trip together all she has to do is show a hint of tears and he goes into an overdrive to try to stop her from crying. You know, even when he acts like a goof, he takes excellent care of her).

And it's clear that what Raj and Simran will have is a relationship of equals. They manage to find equality even within confines of the very rigid traditional Singh household: I loved Raj before, of course, but I think my love reached a whole new stage when he fasted on Karwa Chauth, because Simran decided to (it's a festival at which women fast for health of their husbands or prospective husbands). It didn't even occur to Kuljit, Simran's proper fiance, to do that, but for Raj if Simran fasts, so must he: and he doesn't do it to score points with her or anything, he just does it with no fuss as an internal rightness thing and if Simran's younger sis didn't blab, Simran would have never found out about it.

And of course it's clear that Simran is no meek little woman with Raj. I am not even talking about on the trip, when she is as much of a catalyst and actor as he is. I am talking in the Singh household. She insists that he should be the one who gives her bread and water when the fast is over (a husband is apparently supposed to to it) and gets her own way, making him come up with a solution. She might be stuck in a traditional, rigid society, but she will find as much individuality and freedom as she can within it. (And of course at the end, she is free to go and live with Raj in London, and be free, period, not get limited freedoms within traditional confines).

5. The little scene when Raj confesses his love to Simran in first half and getting no reaction turns into a joke is LOVE.

GUUUH, I love this movie. I plan to watch the second half tomorrow.
dangermousie: (Veer-Zaara)
Yes, am still behind on replies. Mea culpa!

Have started my umpteenth rewatch of Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge aka "Dangermousie's most rewatched movie ever."

This is the movie that made me irrevocably love Bollywood (and even my husband likes this flick), and that, mircale of miracles, keeps up on rewatches.

And whenever I am tired or down or grumpy, I pop in and presto: ten minutes in and I am grinning and feel happy. If there is such a thing as a perfect movie for me, that is it.

Things I've been thinking about on this rewatch:

1. I love that the movie doesn't open with either Simran or Raj - the lovers who are the main characters, but with Chaudhary Baldev Singh, Simran's father. His bit of reflective nostalgia for India and his resignation to being in England instead, before we know any of the story or meet anyone else, really makes me see him as deeply human. And that is crucial to the story. Unlike many 'obstacle' parents in movies, CBH is not an evil person, not a stereotypical unreasonable father. He is old-fashioned, somewhat autocratic, but he is a person with feelings - he loves his wife and his daughters, he misses his birthplace etc. It's a nuance often lost in DDLJ's successors. And they keep having these touches in throughout the movie - just remember that delicious scene when he comes into a party of women and guys singing and playing around and everyone freezes expecting disapproval, but instead he starts singing to his wife, looking 20 years younger. It's moments like these that make the end and his letting Simran go to Raj believable and not a deus ex machina which makes no sense.

2. Simran's father might love Punjab and be nostalgic for it (we are presented with bright and joyful colors of the fields as opposed to the muted London) but hey, at the end, Simran ends up going with Raj to live in London, she doesn't stay in Punjab. Punjab might be home to her father, but London is Simran's home - she was born there. It's not really about one place being better than another, but which one is a home and which one has those things you want.

3. Simran's little poem about an unknown stranger at the beginning. I love that when she does meet her future love, he isn't some sort of a dream prince - respectful and sweet and with the two of them falling in love at first sight and swooning into each other's arms (which is what you'd expect in a standard romance). Nope, Raj is a joker and is immature at the start and Simran and Raj get along as well as oil and water. But that is the cool thing - Raj might not seem like Simran's ideal but he ends up being it. And unlike Simran who does not change too much from the beginning to the end (why should she? She is awesome already), Raj actually grows up tremendously because of love and obstacles. By the end, he is completely worthy not just of Simran's love or her mother's trust, but every little poem Simran could come up. This is pretty neat.

4. The thing that always gets me the most with this movie is the narrative of female helplessness - in the society Simran has been raised, she has no right to dreams of her own unless they coincide with her father's or that arranged husband she's never met. I always get a lump when she tells her mother she forgot she had no right to dream and her mother replies that of course she has a right to dream, she just can't have them come true. Or the scene when she asks her father to let her have a month out of her own life, as if it's a huge favor. Her life, all of it, should belong to nobody but her! And of course the scene when her mother comes to her in India and asks her to give up her hopes of Raj and remembers how she (Mom) promised to herself if she had a daughter, things like that would never happen to her but she should have known a woman doesn't have a right even to promises.

That is why I love that Raj is so Westernized. I don't think it would occur him to order Simran to do anything any more than it would occur him to fly to the moon (during their trip together all she has to do is show a hint of tears and he goes into an overdrive to try to stop her from crying. You know, even when he acts like a goof, he takes excellent care of her).

And it's clear that what Raj and Simran will have is a relationship of equals. They manage to find equality even within confines of the very rigid traditional Singh household: I loved Raj before, of course, but I think my love reached a whole new stage when he fasted on Karwa Chauth, because Simran decided to (it's a festival at which women fast for health of their husbands or prospective husbands). It didn't even occur to Kuljit, Simran's proper fiance, to do that, but for Raj if Simran fasts, so must he: and he doesn't do it to score points with her or anything, he just does it with no fuss as an internal rightness thing and if Simran's younger sis didn't blab, Simran would have never found out about it.

And of course it's clear that Simran is no meek little woman with Raj. I am not even talking about on the trip, when she is as much of a catalyst and actor as he is. I am talking in the Singh household. She insists that he should be the one who gives her bread and water when the fast is over (a husband is apparently supposed to to it) and gets her own way, making him come up with a solution. She might be stuck in a traditional, rigid society, but she will find as much individuality and freedom as she can within it. (And of course at the end, she is free to go and live with Raj in London, and be free, period, not get limited freedoms within traditional confines).

5. The little scene when Raj confesses his love to Simran in first half and getting no reaction turns into a joke is LOVE.

GUUUH, I love this movie. I plan to watch the second half tomorrow.
dangermousie: (Veer-Zaara)
Yes, am still behind on replies. Mea culpa!

Have started my umpteenth rewatch of Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge aka "Dangermousie's most rewatched movie ever."

This is the movie that made me irrevocably love Bollywood (and even my husband likes this flick), and that, mircale of miracles, keeps up on rewatches.

And whenever I am tired or down or grumpy, I pop in and presto: ten minutes in and I am grinning and feel happy. If there is such a thing as a perfect movie for me, that is it.

Things I've been thinking about on this rewatch:

1. I love that the movie doesn't open with either Simran or Raj - the lovers who are the main characters, but with Chaudhary Baldev Singh, Simran's father. His bit of reflective nostalgia for India and his resignation to being in England instead, before we know any of the story or meet anyone else, really makes me see him as deeply human. And that is crucial to the story. Unlike many 'obstacle' parents in movies, CBH is not an evil person, not a stereotypical unreasonable father. He is old-fashioned, somewhat autocratic, but he is a person with feelings - he loves his wife and his daughters, he misses his birthplace etc. It's a nuance often lost in DDLJ's successors. And they keep having these touches in throughout the movie - just remember that delicious scene when he comes into a party of women and guys singing and playing around and everyone freezes expecting disapproval, but instead he starts singing to his wife, looking 20 years younger. It's moments like these that make the end and his letting Simran go to Raj believable and not a deus ex machina which makes no sense.

2. Simran's father might love Punjab and be nostalgic for it (we are presented with bright and joyful colors of the fields as opposed to the muted London) but hey, at the end, Simran ends up going with Raj to live in London, she doesn't stay in Punjab. Punjab might be home to her father, but London is Simran's home - she was born there. It's not really about one place being better than another, but which one is a home and which one has those things you want.

3. Simran's little poem about an unknown stranger at the beginning. I love that when she does meet her future love, he isn't some sort of a dream prince - respectful and sweet and with the two of them falling in love at first sight and swooning into each other's arms (which is what you'd expect in a standard romance). Nope, Raj is a joker and is immature at the start and Simran and Raj get along as well as oil and water. But that is the cool thing - Raj might not seem like Simran's ideal but he ends up being it. And unlike Simran who does not change too much from the beginning to the end (why should she? She is awesome already), Raj actually grows up tremendously because of love and obstacles. By the end, he is completely worthy not just of Simran's love or her mother's trust, but every little poem Simran could come up. This is pretty neat.

4. The thing that always gets me the most with this movie is the narrative of female helplessness - in the society Simran has been raised, she has no right to dreams of her own unless they coincide with her father's or that arranged husband she's never met. I always get a lump when she tells her mother she forgot she had no right to dream and her mother replies that of course she has a right to dream, she just can't have them come true. Or the scene when she asks her father to let her have a month out of her own life, as if it's a huge favor. Her life, all of it, should belong to nobody but her! And of course the scene when her mother comes to her in India and asks her to give up her hopes of Raj and remembers how she (Mom) promised to herself if she had a daughter, things like that would never happen to her but she should have known a woman doesn't have a right even to promises.

That is why I love that Raj is so Westernized. I don't think it would occur him to order Simran to do anything any more than it would occur him to fly to the moon (during their trip together all she has to do is show a hint of tears and he goes into an overdrive to try to stop her from crying. You know, even when he acts like a goof, he takes excellent care of her).

And it's clear that what Raj and Simran will have is a relationship of equals. They manage to find equality even within confines of the very rigid traditional Singh household: I loved Raj before, of course, but I think my love reached a whole new stage when he fasted on Karwa Chauth, because Simran decided to (it's a festival at which women fast for health of their husbands or prospective husbands). It didn't even occur to Kuljit, Simran's proper fiance, to do that, but for Raj if Simran fasts, so must he: and he doesn't do it to score points with her or anything, he just does it with no fuss as an internal rightness thing and if Simran's younger sis didn't blab, Simran would have never found out about it.

And of course it's clear that Simran is no meek little woman with Raj. I am not even talking about on the trip, when she is as much of a catalyst and actor as he is. I am talking in the Singh household. She insists that he should be the one who gives her bread and water when the fast is over (a husband is apparently supposed to to it) and gets her own way, making him come up with a solution. She might be stuck in a traditional, rigid society, but she will find as much individuality and freedom as she can within it. (And of course at the end, she is free to go and live with Raj in London, and be free, period, not get limited freedoms within traditional confines).

5. The little scene when Raj confesses his love to Simran in first half and getting no reaction turns into a joke is LOVE.

GUUUH, I love this movie. I plan to watch the second half tomorrow.
dangermousie: (Veer-Zaara)
This post is to post two of my all-time favorite Bollywood songs from two movies that share that super-coveted 'favorite Bollywood movie number 1' spot, and have for years: a super-hit Veer-Zaara made in 2004 and Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge made almost a decade yearlier, in 1995, and one of the hugest Bolly hits of all time.

(Coincidentally, they both star Shah Rukh Khan. Funny thing is, he became my favorite Bollywood actor because of those movies, not those movies became favorites because I was a fan of him).

Despite the fact that the movies are rather different in plots and situations, other than the forbidden love aspect, these two songs are basically about the same situation: the girl who is about to be trapped in an arranged marriage discovering that despite any logic or hope, the guy she loves has come a huge distance to find her, without being sure she loves him back, just because the chance of finding out is worth it.

First off, 'Tujha Dekha' from Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, starring the arguably biggest hit couple ever: Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol. In case you are unfamiliar with Bollywood, for which DDLJ is one of the few ur-movies, the plot is as follows: the tongue-in-cheek, Westernized Raj and Simran, who is from an incredibly conservative family, fall in love when they meet during a Eurorail trip, but at the end she leaves to go to her arranged Punjabi marriage in India. They haven't even exchanged "I love you's" at that point (though it's clear they are mad about each other) but one morning she wakes up to find out that Raj has found where she went and flew all the way to India to find her. (I did not spoil the movie for you, we are halfway in). Which is where this song comes in. I have a confession: not only is Tujha Dekha my favorite Bollywood song of all time, the moment she runs into his arms and the moment he goes down on his knees is my favorite movie in any Bollywood movie, ever, of all time. I have rewatched that scene and that song too many times to count.



The second song is 'Aaya Tere Dar Pe Deewana', from Veer-Zaara starring Shah Rukh Khan and Preity Zinta (I think it was the last full-romance movie SRK did and probably will do, but what a way to go out!). Veer-Zaara is a super-romantic story of a very forbidden love between an Indian pilot and a Pakistani aristocrat. Oh boy, is it forbidden and angsty. When I saw it in the theater, grown men with mustaches were crying next to me (I was bawling as well, I confess). In this song, Shah Rukh has come all the way to Pakistan, which means he has to resign his military position which has been his life, after a phone call by Preity's servant on the mere chance Preity might want him, and not the aristocratic man she is betrothed to. The thing I love most about this scene? The same thing I've loved the first time I've seen it: he comes to the shrine and he stands there, but he makes no move, no hint, no sign that he knows her, even, even when she starts walking towards him, until she puts her arms around him. Because it must be entirely her choice: he would never force her or push her or do anything that might expose her in front of her family unless she desires it.



Happy watching!
dangermousie: (Veer-Zaara)
This post is to post two of my all-time favorite Bollywood songs from two movies that share that super-coveted 'favorite Bollywood movie number 1' spot, and have for years: a super-hit Veer-Zaara made in 2004 and Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge made almost a decade yearlier, in 1995, and one of the hugest Bolly hits of all time.

(Coincidentally, they both star Shah Rukh Khan. Funny thing is, he became my favorite Bollywood actor because of those movies, not those movies became favorites because I was a fan of him).

Despite the fact that the movies are rather different in plots and situations, other than the forbidden love aspect, these two songs are basically about the same situation: the girl who is about to be trapped in an arranged marriage discovering that despite any logic or hope, the guy she loves has come a huge distance to find her, without being sure she loves him back, just because the chance of finding out is worth it.

First off, 'Tujha Dekha' from Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, starring the arguably biggest hit couple ever: Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol. In case you are unfamiliar with Bollywood, for which DDLJ is one of the few ur-movies, the plot is as follows: the tongue-in-cheek, Westernized Raj and Simran, who is from an incredibly conservative family, fall in love when they meet during a Eurorail trip, but at the end she leaves to go to her arranged Punjabi marriage in India. They haven't even exchanged "I love you's" at that point (though it's clear they are mad about each other) but one morning she wakes up to find out that Raj has found where she went and flew all the way to India to find her. (I did not spoil the movie for you, we are halfway in). Which is where this song comes in. I have a confession: not only is Tujha Dekha my favorite Bollywood song of all time, the moment she runs into his arms and the moment he goes down on his knees is my favorite movie in any Bollywood movie, ever, of all time. I have rewatched that scene and that song too many times to count.



The second song is 'Aaya Tere Dar Pe Deewana', from Veer-Zaara starring Shah Rukh Khan and Preity Zinta (I think it was the last full-romance movie SRK did and probably will do, but what a way to go out!). Veer-Zaara is a super-romantic story of a very forbidden love between an Indian pilot and a Pakistani aristocrat. Oh boy, is it forbidden and angsty. When I saw it in the theater, grown men with mustaches were crying next to me (I was bawling as well, I confess). In this song, Shah Rukh has come all the way to Pakistan, which means he has to resign his military position which has been his life, after a phone call by Preity's servant on the mere chance Preity might want him, and not the aristocratic man she is betrothed to. The thing I love most about this scene? The same thing I've loved the first time I've seen it: he comes to the shrine and he stands there, but he makes no move, no hint, no sign that he knows her, even, even when she starts walking towards him, until she puts her arms around him. Because it must be entirely her choice: he would never force her or push her or do anything that might expose her in front of her family unless she desires it.



Happy watching!
dangermousie: (Veer-Zaara)
This post is to post two of my all-time favorite Bollywood songs from two movies that share that super-coveted 'favorite Bollywood movie number 1' spot, and have for years: a super-hit Veer-Zaara made in 2004 and Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge made almost a decade yearlier, in 1995, and one of the hugest Bolly hits of all time.

(Coincidentally, they both star Shah Rukh Khan. Funny thing is, he became my favorite Bollywood actor because of those movies, not those movies became favorites because I was a fan of him).

Despite the fact that the movies are rather different in plots and situations, other than the forbidden love aspect, these two songs are basically about the same situation: the girl who is about to be trapped in an arranged marriage discovering that despite any logic or hope, the guy she loves has come a huge distance to find her, without being sure she loves him back, just because the chance of finding out is worth it.

First off, 'Tujha Dekha' from Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, starring the arguably biggest hit couple ever: Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol. In case you are unfamiliar with Bollywood, for which DDLJ is one of the few ur-movies, the plot is as follows: the tongue-in-cheek, Westernized Raj and Simran, who is from an incredibly conservative family, fall in love when they meet during a Eurorail trip, but at the end she leaves to go to her arranged Punjabi marriage in India. They haven't even exchanged "I love you's" at that point (though it's clear they are mad about each other) but one morning she wakes up to find out that Raj has found where she went and flew all the way to India to find her. (I did not spoil the movie for you, we are halfway in). Which is where this song comes in. I have a confession: not only is Tujha Dekha my favorite Bollywood song of all time, the moment she runs into his arms and the moment he goes down on his knees is my favorite movie in any Bollywood movie, ever, of all time. I have rewatched that scene and that song too many times to count.



The second song is 'Aaya Tere Dar Pe Deewana', from Veer-Zaara starring Shah Rukh Khan and Preity Zinta (I think it was the last full-romance movie SRK did and probably will do, but what a way to go out!). Veer-Zaara is a super-romantic story of a very forbidden love between an Indian pilot and a Pakistani aristocrat. Oh boy, is it forbidden and angsty. When I saw it in the theater, grown men with mustaches were crying next to me (I was bawling as well, I confess). In this song, Shah Rukh has come all the way to Pakistan, which means he has to resign his military position which has been his life, after a phone call by Preity's servant on the mere chance Preity might want him, and not the aristocratic man she is betrothed to. The thing I love most about this scene? The same thing I've loved the first time I've seen it: he comes to the shrine and he stands there, but he makes no move, no hint, no sign that he knows her, even, even when she starts walking towards him, until she puts her arms around him. Because it must be entirely her choice: he would never force her or push her or do anything that might expose her in front of her family unless she desires it.



Happy watching!
dangermousie: (BW: Asoka 2 by wackyfunicons)
Apologies in advance for the rambling nature of this entry. Also, sorry to everyone who couldn't care less about Bollywood. Fanaa restarted my Bolly obsession but it will go back to more manageable levels soon enough.

First off, everyone who doesn't have [livejournal.com profile] ginger001 friended, I really recommend going to her lj and checking out her recent Bollywood posts. She's embarked on an Aamir marathon of sorts (and so have I, sort of :)) and her posts are absolutely great. Go read them.

I was thinking this morning that my approach to Bollywood could probably summed up "I came for Aamir and stayed for SRK." Rangeela was my first Bollywood movie (if you don't count some really dumb one I saw in the 1980s). They were showing it on TCM during a Bollywood movie festival and I decided to watch it on a whim. I remember thinking "this is dreadfully silly, but it's kinda fun, and Munna is so adorable. I wish the girl wouldn't keep unknowingly walk all over him with hobnailed boots." And I wanted to watch more. (Because Rangeela was my gateway drug, I have a super special place for it and always get surprised when people bash it. I can see it's flawed (too many songs close together in the second half, Jackie Shroff in a speedo, bad fashions) so I don't get defensive, but all its flaws don't really matter to me. Aamir getting his heart stomped on is so adorable, I can forgive this movie a multitude of sins). As luck would have it, the next Bollywood movie I saw (during the same fest) was Dil Chahta Hai, and after watching it, I knew I had, had, had to see more Bollywood, because I fell in love with Akash's story (I started out wanting to smack Aamir and ended up swooning when he proposes to Preity during her engagement party.)

And then I saw Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge and from the moment Shahrukh Khan held Kajol in that yellow mustard field, I was Bollywood's bitch. And I had to get my hands on all SRK movies I could find. Forget sympathy, I was in empathy territory. Since then, I must confess I got to own almost every movie SRK has ever made (even I draw the line at Yeh Lamhe Judaai Ke. Heck, even SRK disowned that one). Of course, this is dreadfully simplistic. I certainly like many other actors (Saif Ali Khan is an uber favorite, for one), but if I watch too much Bollywood without watching something with SRK, I always feel (and give in to) the urge to watch something with SRK. He is the only actor, in any kind of media that evokes that reaction, actually. And this brings me to Swades. As always, I wanted to watch something with SRK, because I always need a fix. So I chose to rewatch bits of Swades, a movie I haven't seen for a while.

Actually, this is a rare Bollywood movie I'd recommend to anyone, even those who have no interest in Bollywood. It's a story about an American brough-up engineer, Mohan (played by SRK) who goes back to India to find and bring back his nanny, and discovers for himself both the beauty and the appaling poverty and prejudice of the place. It's a brilliant, heartbreaking, understated movie, and I think is the best performance SRK ever gave. I rewatched the scene with Mohan buying water from the child at a train station and it really never fails to break my heart. And here is where Ashutosh Gowariker's direction is so brilliant. Someone like Karan Johar (and I enjoy KJ's movies) would have done close-ups on SRK's eyes, and he would have really been crying, and then close-ups of the little kid, and emphasized his pathos. But not Gowariker. We don't linger on SRK's face: it's a quick take, and you can see the devastation he is experiencing, seeing so much poverty and misery first-hand and you see his eyes shine a bit too suspiciously bright as he sees the child count his meager earnings, but the camera doesn't linger, it moves on, confident in its audience and in making a point without hitting you over the head. The camera moves on from that to the child counting his money (no long close-ups of him either), to the most memorable image of the whole scene: a long shot of the train pulling away and one slight figure left behind on the platform, barely visible. And it breaks my heart. The focus is on the child primarily, on his effect on Mohan secondarily, and both are subsumed in the narrative drive and the point of the movie, not as a means for wringing all emotional baggage one can from the scene. It feels real. The movie itself reminds me of Rang De Basanti a bit, because it also grapples with the problem of the imperfect country and what one can do about it, how to get involved. But the focus is different. Unlike the characters in RDB, Mohan is a complete adult, different drive, somewhat more practical issues and approach in place (he is an engineer) and an outsider's perspective. Basically, go watch it.

And because no Bollywood post is complete without pictures, here is a bit of a picspam of a very young Aamir Khan and Juhi Chawla.

Aamir and Juhi )
dangermousie: (BW: Asoka 2 by wackyfunicons)
Apologies in advance for the rambling nature of this entry. Also, sorry to everyone who couldn't care less about Bollywood. Fanaa restarted my Bolly obsession but it will go back to more manageable levels soon enough.

First off, everyone who doesn't have [livejournal.com profile] ginger001 friended, I really recommend going to her lj and checking out her recent Bollywood posts. She's embarked on an Aamir marathon of sorts (and so have I, sort of :)) and her posts are absolutely great. Go read them.

I was thinking this morning that my approach to Bollywood could probably summed up "I came for Aamir and stayed for SRK." Rangeela was my first Bollywood movie (if you don't count some really dumb one I saw in the 1980s). They were showing it on TCM during a Bollywood movie festival and I decided to watch it on a whim. I remember thinking "this is dreadfully silly, but it's kinda fun, and Munna is so adorable. I wish the girl wouldn't keep unknowingly walk all over him with hobnailed boots." And I wanted to watch more. (Because Rangeela was my gateway drug, I have a super special place for it and always get surprised when people bash it. I can see it's flawed (too many songs close together in the second half, Jackie Shroff in a speedo, bad fashions) so I don't get defensive, but all its flaws don't really matter to me. Aamir getting his heart stomped on is so adorable, I can forgive this movie a multitude of sins). As luck would have it, the next Bollywood movie I saw (during the same fest) was Dil Chahta Hai, and after watching it, I knew I had, had, had to see more Bollywood, because I fell in love with Akash's story (I started out wanting to smack Aamir and ended up swooning when he proposes to Preity during her engagement party.)

And then I saw Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge and from the moment Shahrukh Khan held Kajol in that yellow mustard field, I was Bollywood's bitch. And I had to get my hands on all SRK movies I could find. Forget sympathy, I was in empathy territory. Since then, I must confess I got to own almost every movie SRK has ever made (even I draw the line at Yeh Lamhe Judaai Ke. Heck, even SRK disowned that one). Of course, this is dreadfully simplistic. I certainly like many other actors (Saif Ali Khan is an uber favorite, for one), but if I watch too much Bollywood without watching something with SRK, I always feel (and give in to) the urge to watch something with SRK. He is the only actor, in any kind of media that evokes that reaction, actually. And this brings me to Swades. As always, I wanted to watch something with SRK, because I always need a fix. So I chose to rewatch bits of Swades, a movie I haven't seen for a while.

Actually, this is a rare Bollywood movie I'd recommend to anyone, even those who have no interest in Bollywood. It's a story about an American brough-up engineer, Mohan (played by SRK) who goes back to India to find and bring back his nanny, and discovers for himself both the beauty and the appaling poverty and prejudice of the place. It's a brilliant, heartbreaking, understated movie, and I think is the best performance SRK ever gave. I rewatched the scene with Mohan buying water from the child at a train station and it really never fails to break my heart. And here is where Ashutosh Gowariker's direction is so brilliant. Someone like Karan Johar (and I enjoy KJ's movies) would have done close-ups on SRK's eyes, and he would have really been crying, and then close-ups of the little kid, and emphasized his pathos. But not Gowariker. We don't linger on SRK's face: it's a quick take, and you can see the devastation he is experiencing, seeing so much poverty and misery first-hand and you see his eyes shine a bit too suspiciously bright as he sees the child count his meager earnings, but the camera doesn't linger, it moves on, confident in its audience and in making a point without hitting you over the head. The camera moves on from that to the child counting his money (no long close-ups of him either), to the most memorable image of the whole scene: a long shot of the train pulling away and one slight figure left behind on the platform, barely visible. And it breaks my heart. The focus is on the child primarily, on his effect on Mohan secondarily, and both are subsumed in the narrative drive and the point of the movie, not as a means for wringing all emotional baggage one can from the scene. It feels real. The movie itself reminds me of Rang De Basanti a bit, because it also grapples with the problem of the imperfect country and what one can do about it, how to get involved. But the focus is different. Unlike the characters in RDB, Mohan is a complete adult, different drive, somewhat more practical issues and approach in place (he is an engineer) and an outsider's perspective. Basically, go watch it.

And because no Bollywood post is complete without pictures, here is a bit of a picspam of a very young Aamir Khan and Juhi Chawla.

Aamir and Juhi )
dangermousie: (BW: Asoka 2 by wackyfunicons)
Apologies in advance for the rambling nature of this entry. Also, sorry to everyone who couldn't care less about Bollywood. Fanaa restarted my Bolly obsession but it will go back to more manageable levels soon enough.

First off, everyone who doesn't have [livejournal.com profile] ginger001 friended, I really recommend going to her lj and checking out her recent Bollywood posts. She's embarked on an Aamir marathon of sorts (and so have I, sort of :)) and her posts are absolutely great. Go read them.

I was thinking this morning that my approach to Bollywood could probably summed up "I came for Aamir and stayed for SRK." Rangeela was my first Bollywood movie (if you don't count some really dumb one I saw in the 1980s). They were showing it on TCM during a Bollywood movie festival and I decided to watch it on a whim. I remember thinking "this is dreadfully silly, but it's kinda fun, and Munna is so adorable. I wish the girl wouldn't keep unknowingly walk all over him with hobnailed boots." And I wanted to watch more. (Because Rangeela was my gateway drug, I have a super special place for it and always get surprised when people bash it. I can see it's flawed (too many songs close together in the second half, Jackie Shroff in a speedo, bad fashions) so I don't get defensive, but all its flaws don't really matter to me. Aamir getting his heart stomped on is so adorable, I can forgive this movie a multitude of sins). As luck would have it, the next Bollywood movie I saw (during the same fest) was Dil Chahta Hai, and after watching it, I knew I had, had, had to see more Bollywood, because I fell in love with Akash's story (I started out wanting to smack Aamir and ended up swooning when he proposes to Preity during her engagement party.)

And then I saw Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge and from the moment Shahrukh Khan held Kajol in that yellow mustard field, I was Bollywood's bitch. And I had to get my hands on all SRK movies I could find. Forget sympathy, I was in empathy territory. Since then, I must confess I got to own almost every movie SRK has ever made (even I draw the line at Yeh Lamhe Judaai Ke. Heck, even SRK disowned that one). Of course, this is dreadfully simplistic. I certainly like many other actors (Saif Ali Khan is an uber favorite, for one), but if I watch too much Bollywood without watching something with SRK, I always feel (and give in to) the urge to watch something with SRK. He is the only actor, in any kind of media that evokes that reaction, actually. And this brings me to Swades. As always, I wanted to watch something with SRK, because I always need a fix. So I chose to rewatch bits of Swades, a movie I haven't seen for a while.

Actually, this is a rare Bollywood movie I'd recommend to anyone, even those who have no interest in Bollywood. It's a story about an American brough-up engineer, Mohan (played by SRK) who goes back to India to find and bring back his nanny, and discovers for himself both the beauty and the appaling poverty and prejudice of the place. It's a brilliant, heartbreaking, understated movie, and I think is the best performance SRK ever gave. I rewatched the scene with Mohan buying water from the child at a train station and it really never fails to break my heart. And here is where Ashutosh Gowariker's direction is so brilliant. Someone like Karan Johar (and I enjoy KJ's movies) would have done close-ups on SRK's eyes, and he would have really been crying, and then close-ups of the little kid, and emphasized his pathos. But not Gowariker. We don't linger on SRK's face: it's a quick take, and you can see the devastation he is experiencing, seeing so much poverty and misery first-hand and you see his eyes shine a bit too suspiciously bright as he sees the child count his meager earnings, but the camera doesn't linger, it moves on, confident in its audience and in making a point without hitting you over the head. The camera moves on from that to the child counting his money (no long close-ups of him either), to the most memorable image of the whole scene: a long shot of the train pulling away and one slight figure left behind on the platform, barely visible. And it breaks my heart. The focus is on the child primarily, on his effect on Mohan secondarily, and both are subsumed in the narrative drive and the point of the movie, not as a means for wringing all emotional baggage one can from the scene. It feels real. The movie itself reminds me of Rang De Basanti a bit, because it also grapples with the problem of the imperfect country and what one can do about it, how to get involved. But the focus is different. Unlike the characters in RDB, Mohan is a complete adult, different drive, somewhat more practical issues and approach in place (he is an engineer) and an outsider's perspective. Basically, go watch it.

And because no Bollywood post is complete without pictures, here is a bit of a picspam of a very young Aamir Khan and Juhi Chawla.

Aamir and Juhi )

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