Page 1 of 4 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 37

Thread: Bollywood Movie Log

  1. #1
    TJ TeresaJ's Avatar
    Type
    INTP
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    mosquito-infested hell
    Posts
    4,882

    Bollywood Movie Log

    This thread is probably going to be kind of lame, FYI, unless anyone else is a Bollywood fan. It's mostly for my own benefit because I have a hard time keeping track of all the Bollywood movies I watch. I don't speak Hindi (or Telugu or Bengali etc etc) so I can never remember the titles. :/

    But anyway, starting with the most recent:

    Deewaar, 1975, starring Amitabh Bachchan

    What does the title mean? Hindi: Wall

    Two brothers are brought up through poverty by their tireless mother. One becomes a cop, the other a gangster.

    I loved it! It was kind of Godfather-esque without being a ripoff. Bachchan smouldered as the older brother. As implausible as the plot could be at times, it still had me hooked. The acting was excellent. Musical numbers were used sparingly, and I enjoyed each one. The ending caught me by surprise (not because it was that surprising but because I'm a sucker.)

    Cultural items that caught my attention: The mother-son bond was kind of the whole point of the movie. Not only that but it was framed as a conflict between parental duty and parental affection. Duty wins. Duty always wins. But it was awesome.

    Favorite moment: The Intermission freeze frame: a relationship between two brothers torn in two. Why imply it when you can broadcast it?!
    Last edited by TeresaJ; 04-15-2015 at 02:43 AM.

  2. #2
    TJ TeresaJ's Avatar
    Type
    INTP
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    mosquito-infested hell
    Posts
    4,882
    Umrao Jaan, 1981, starring Rekha

    What does the title mean? It's the name of the main character. Language... Urdu?

    Based on a novel, Umrao Jaan follows the life of a young woman who is kidnapped from her home and sold to a brothel where she is raised as a courtesan during the late 19th century.

    This movie is gorgeous. You can tell that they took a great deal of care to craft authentic costumes, authentic music, authentic sets, etc. In contrast to a lot of contemporary Bollywood, it really takes itself seriously, and they pull it off. Rekha's acting and dancing are fantastic.

    I was also very impressed by the way this movie shows the experience of a female character in an intimate, non-sensational way. From the very first scene, when her mother is preparing the young Umrao for her engagement, this movie depicts the objectification of women without ever flinching but also without climbing on a soapbox. I mean, it helps that it's about a courtesan so they can have all the jewels and all the makeup and the seductive dancing because that's part of the story - but I found that the movie always stayed focused on Umrao's interior experience.

    Favorite scenes: The very beginning and the very end were both extremely effective. Everything in the middle was good too. It makes me really want to see more films by this director, Muzaffar Ali.

  3. #3
    TJ TeresaJ's Avatar
    Type
    INTP
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    mosquito-infested hell
    Posts
    4,882
    And, last for this evening, a Shah Rukh Khan triple feature:



    Chennai Express
    , 2013, starring SRK and Deepika Padukone

    SRK is supposed to bury his grandfather's ashes but he really wants to party, so he takes off on a long voyage. He meets a mysterious woman on the train. Hijinks ensue.

    Funny, silly, spot-on parody. I was very proud of myself for getting... at least half the references, including the first scene on the train platform. The train platform! Even if you don't watch a lot of Bollywood, I imagine it would still be pretty entertaining. I mean, given it's probably too long and too flashy, but that's what tuning it out to converse/get popcorn/dance around is for. Also, Deepika is so feisty in this movie! It's great.

    Best scene: "I am a common man." Ha. Ha ha.



    Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, 1995

    Title: Hindi for The Brave Heart will take the Bride

    Obnoxious boy meets good and innocent girl on a trip through Europe; boy loses girl to arranged marriage; boy travels to India to set things right.

    Stereotypical, silly Bollywood. The first half is really absurd and actually pretty annoying with obnoxious characters (Shah Rukh Khan, lookin' at you), stupid plot twists, and a bunch of lame excuses to stage music videos. The second half, though, makes it all worth it. Kajol plays her character with sympathy and sincerity throughout the film, and in the second half SRK's character finally matures into someone it's a pleasure to root for. His efforts to win over her family are actually touching. The second half is also a lot more visually and musically pleasing.

    Basically, if you're going to watch this movie, just skip to the second half. All you need to know is that they met in Europe and she's engaged to this guy in India she's never met.

    Cultural notes: This is a modern Bollywood film promoting the love match but not at the cost of parental authority. Instead, parents are strongly encouraged to look into their hearts and put their children's emotional happiness front and center before saying yay or nay.

    Best scene: The train platform at the end! Enough said.



    Veer-Zaara, 2004

    Title: Given names of the two main characters. Looks like they forgot to change the working title.

    Plot: Indian Air Rescue pilot Shah Rukh Khan rescues a Pakistani girl and they fall in love. Then there's drama drama drama.

    Ok, so, in contrast to Dilwale Dulhania le Jayenge, most of the first half of this movie is really great. It takes on some major Bollywood tropes and does homage to them while having fun with them at the same time. For example after dancing and singing in the rain, the female lead catches a cold! It's cute. The music and the visuals are lush, lush, lush and it works. Very joyful.

    Some problems: I'm sorry but there is no chemistry between SRK and Preity Zinta. SRK may be timeless and ageless, and PZ is very cute, but she looks like a little kid next to him. It doesn't work.

    And then when the movie tries to take itself seriously... and tries to pussyfoot around IndiaPak issues... In fact tries to make any sort of realistic depiction of Pakistan at all... I guess it says something about the pop-Bollywood universe. Thorny political issues don't exist; it really has no idea of how to handle them.

    But back to the good parts: Amitabh Bachchan!!!!



    [And here's more explicit promotion of the love match. This time it's framed as being semi-traditional to this uber-progressive village. Actually the uber-progressive village is pretty charming. Probably because it's run by Amitabh Bachchan and Hema Malini. They are by far the best part of this film.]

    [Also I wonder about cultural appropriation internal to India, but I don't really know enough about it to comment on that. I do wonder if different regions get annoyed as their own dance forms go in and out of style.]

    Lesson of the story: I need to watch more Amitabh Bachchan movies.
    Last edited by TeresaJ; 04-15-2015 at 03:55 AM.

  4. #4
    fluff2fluff GnarlFox's Avatar
    Type
    INtP
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Posts
    690
    Ever see 3 Idiots? I really enjoyed it. 2009

    Two friends show up at a place they used to frequent during college at a time they agreed to meet another student that wanted to compare whose life was better around ten years later. The story then follows their college lives interspersed with trying to find their best friend who skipped town on graduation night and never came to the ten year meeting. It's no surprise where they find him. It's a heartwarming college tale that includes suicide, and attempted suicide because of the pressure placed on college students in India and a friend who radically changes the way his two friends view life and a guy whose main goal is material things.
    The idea is quite.

  5. #5
    Mens bona regnum possidet ferrus's Avatar
    Type
    INTP
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Barcelona, Catalonia
    Posts
    5,546
    I remember a poster here - was it @skip - who was pretty into Bollywood. She posted a train scene from a film called Dil Se as I remember.
    Die Logik ist keine Lehre, sondern ein Spiegelbild der Welt. Die Logik ist transcendental. - Wittgenstein

  6. #6
    TJ TeresaJ's Avatar
    Type
    INTP
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    mosquito-infested hell
    Posts
    4,882
    Quote Originally Posted by GnarlFox View Post
    Ever see 3 Idiots? I really enjoyed it. 2009

    Two friends show up at a place they used to frequent during college at a time they agreed to meet another student that wanted to compare whose life was better around ten years later. The story then follows their college lives interspersed with trying to find their best friend who skipped town on graduation night and never came to the ten year meeting. It's no surprise where they find him. It's a heartwarming college tale that includes suicide, and attempted suicide because of the pressure placed on college students in India and a friend who radically changes the way his two friends view life and a guy whose main goal is material things.
    Just finished it. I was a little worried that Aamir Khan would be too over-the-top, but his character was actually pretty low-key while still being quirky. Also I skipped the musical numbers after the first one and I think that helped. But, yeah, overall it was really quite charming! Well written and well acted. Thanks for the suggestion!

    Added much later:

    And actually, the more I think about it, the more I appreciate how good-natured the script of 3 Idiots is. Most of the characters have really good intentions and they genuinely want the best for everyone. Even the final confrontation is really great:

    Spoiler: The Last Scene

    The materialistic asshole hands the main character a "Declaration of Defeat" to sign and he picks it up, looks at it, laughs, and signs it. It's perfect.


    I mean, it's still a pretty silly movie. Because Bollywood.
    Last edited by TeresaJ; 04-24-2015 at 08:40 PM.

  7. #7
    TJ TeresaJ's Avatar
    Type
    INTP
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    mosquito-infested hell
    Posts
    4,882
    Which reminds me of...

    Manam, 2014

    Language: Telugu
    Title translation: We? I think?*

    Plot: The main plot is that this guy's parents are killed in an accident when he's a kid, and then twenty years later, as an adult, this guy happens to meet their reincarnated selves (who look identical to their former selves, of course) and decides that he must get them back together. Then there are like two other extended sub-plots about reincarnation.

    This movie is so, so silly! And yet very cute and sweet. Don't even try to make the plot make sense. It's basically exactly like the plot of some silly reincarnation-AU-fanfic of [insert whatever]** only it's entirely self-contained. Exceeept that the whole thing is about "family" and is also designed to pay tribute to this particular family of actors: at least three generations appear in the film. The elder of the family, Akkineni Nageshwara Rao, appeared in the movie and also passed away the year it was released. So. Sentimentality on the mark.

    I don't really remember how the sub-plots interweave... It's pretty contrived. Whatever. All you need to know is: It's silly. It's sweet.

    One thing I really liked about it...
    Spoiler: was the depiction of the marriage of the parents v1
    They had a lot of problems. Because he was a kid at the time, the main protagonist didn't realize how troubled their marriage was. But then when he's trying to get them back together, you're meant to at least partially wonder (you know, as if this movie were going to be anything other than syrupy sentimental) if it's really going to work and/or be a good idea. But then of course everything works out. Mysteries are solved. It's sweet.


    Favorite scene: The whole birthday in the beginning is pretty well done. Also, this dialogue:

    *kid sitting alone at his own birthday*
    Mom: What's wrong, Bittu? Why aren't you playing?
    Bittu: But you always play with me! How can I play without you, mom??
    Mom: ...Well, I'm here now.
    *they go to play. It's cute. And [eyeroll].*

    Hence my nickname for my own kid when he's being a velcro baby: Bittu.

    *For all the Bollywood/Tollywood I watch, you would think I would pick up something of the language. A language. Any language. ...Nope. Also I recently found out that the Sanskrit-derived and Dravidian languages are totally unrelated, other than some swapping, which blows my mind. Other people's language skills: Respect. ...Although I guess it wouldn't be that different from living in Alsace-Lorraine and learning both French and German.

    **Not that I have ever read anything like that, of course *cough*.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Limes's Avatar
    Type
    INTJ
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    8,439
    I recently put a more modern version of Bally Sagoo's gur nalo ishq mitha (your love is sweeter than jaggery) onto my phone. This thread made me look up its movie origins, heh.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hiv2CE20tI0

    Most of my friends in high school were 2nd gen punjabi, so I got to hear a lot of stuff through them with the whole Bhangra beat thing in the nineties.

    edit: aww man, guess I'm watching Yaari jatt di now...
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=crwJEg6kN88

    edit2: Holy crap, that's St Chad's cathedral in Birmingham just a minute in, where I used to eat lunch with those same Punjabi guys, WTF is this sorcery!
    There's the hockley flyover too, where I got my first bicycle stolen by Musical Youth, of pass the dutchie fame.

  9. #9
    fluff2fluff GnarlFox's Avatar
    Type
    INtP
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Posts
    690
    Quote Originally Posted by TeresaJ View Post
    Just finished it. I was a little worried that Aamir Khan would be too over-the-top, but his character was actually pretty low-key while still being quirky. Also I skipped the musical numbers after the first one and I think that helped. But, yeah, overall it was really quite charming! Well written and well acted. Thanks for the suggestion!

    Added much later:

    And actually, the more I think about it, the more I appreciate how good-natured the script of 3 Idiots is. Most of the characters have really good intentions and they genuinely want the best for everyone. Even the final confrontation is really great:

    Spoiler: The Last Scene

    The materialistic asshole hands the main character a "Declaration of Defeat" to sign and he picks it up, looks at it, laughs, and signs it. It's perfect.


    I mean, it's still a pretty silly movie. Because Bollywood.
    Glad you liked it. Yeah, I'm a sucker for movies that give off a consistent vibe. The way the movie was basically an invite to listen to a funny personal story really pulled it together. I tend to like movies like American Beauty, Donnie Darko, and Across the Universe for similar reasons.
    The idea is quite.

  10. #10
    TJ TeresaJ's Avatar
    Type
    INTP
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    mosquito-infested hell
    Posts
    4,882
    Quote Originally Posted by Limey View Post
    I recently put a more modern version of Bally Sagoo's gur nalo ishq mitha (your love is sweeter than jaggery) onto my phone. This thread made me look up its movie origins, heh.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hiv2CE20tI0
    Um. Yes.

    edit: aww man, guess I'm watching Yaari jatt di now...
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=crwJEg6kN88
    I'm a few minutes in and I can't tell if this movie is going to be ultra lame or ultra awesome. I'm leaning toward awesome.

    Recap so far:

    Indian dude in the UK in the 70s (80s?): I'm going back to India.
    Indian lady in the UK: (paraphrase) Why the hell would anyone want to go back to India?
    Dude: I miss it and I miss my mom!
    Lady: Whatevs.

    [cut to India]
    *Indian woman slaving away for her wicked stepmother*

    Yes!

    Also her friend (cousin?) looks almost Grecian to me, which makes me think of Indian purdah vs ancient Greek female seclusion... The interior, isolated, feminine domain with only a few, jealously guarded sources of power, ie male offspring. The defacto conservators of patriarchy. [...feminist tangent...]

    Anyway... Judging by that and the musical number posted above (gender-bending dances of mock seduction! post-harvest naps!) I am pretty excited to watch the rest of this film.

Similar Threads

  1. Movie Recommendations
    By notdavidlynch in forum Arts & Entertainment
    Replies: 69
    Last Post: 07-17-2016, 01:13 AM
  2. If there was a movie about your life..
    By LordLatch in forum The Pub
    Replies: 30
    Last Post: 06-11-2015, 08:44 AM
  3. Your favourite movie
    By mancroft in forum The Pub
    Replies: 30
    Last Post: 04-13-2015, 04:11 AM
  4. Who would play you in a movie about your life?
    By skip in forum The Playground
    Replies: 53
    Last Post: 06-07-2014, 08:34 PM
  5. The last GOOD movie I saw...
    By LordLatch in forum Arts & Entertainment
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 12-30-2013, 04:02 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •