Saturday, January 8, 2011

Mini-Reviews: "Eastern", Curry-Masala & Trash

One of my "new year's resolutions" (don't like using the designation, because it makes you think of "I want to quit smoking" and "I want to loose weight") is seeing some of the really famous and/ or critically acclaimed (Indian) movies that I haven't seen yet (which there are plenty of). Another one is what I call "A film a day", which is very obvious in understanding: I want to watch one film a day. At least. So, I've been good at it this first week of the year... And among others, I watched "Dabangg", "Sholay" and "Don" ('78). Why these? Well, because they are... really famous. Just what I wanted.

There are, as I found out, many similarities between those three. I love lists, so let's look at it in list form:
  • They're slightly (as for "Dabangg": very) unrealistic. Ahem, walking a tightrope with two kids in your arms and a bad leg? (Don).
  • They have great soundtracks ("Yeh Dosti", "Munni Badnaam", "Khaike Paan Banaraswaala" etc.)
  • They have great actors and actresses (not a big fan of Salman, but I like him more and more)
  • They exaggerate
  • They are Blockbusters
  • I love them (especially "Sholay and Don" - wouldn't watch "Dabangg" too often, but it's also good)
Here's a little more about each of them:

Dabangg (2010) दबंग
In this world, there are two kinds of people: Firstly, the bad guys and secondly, the good guys. And then, there is Salman. When Salman enters the room, a terrifying orchestra of e-guitars and hands being smashed sounds. Salman knows how to handle a lasso (ahem, water hose), how to deliberate new stunts (that are not cloned from Hulk or Matrix) and how to melt a woman's heart. And wen he wants to marry one, he doesn't ask: He just does it. Salman has got them, swiveling hips. He can agitate his belt, squash the sun with his bare hand and he has more hair today, than he had 8 years ago. Salman is fearless, oh yes, he is… Dabangg! (Two G's, very important!).
And if you haven't seen the fence post, on which is written "do NOT take this film seriously", I'm very sorry for you. Though I don't really understand the huge success of "Dabangg", I do have to admit that I couldn't have wished for more entertainment. Even the women don't miss out - admittedly, they're not very important in the plot, but they are presented by good actresses. You can't be very wrong with Dimple Kapadia, as everyone knows, and also the new face, Sonakshi Sinha, is not only a beauty. I do sense this woman's potential and hope that it will be utilized in her next projects.  Since "Ghost", we all knew that men are often attracted by female potters, but this is not the only wisdom we can extract from "Dabangg": Finally I know, that the same sound resounds, when you pack a puch, and when you fall onto the floor with a lot of kinetic energy (without breaking anything). Sonu Sood is, buy the way, no concurrence to Salman Khan, though he's allowed to show his six-pack more often than Sallu. Honestly, can anyone give this man a bra? And a hair-dresser?
However, my advice to you: Flip off your brains and let "Dabangg" take over your DVD-player!

Don (1978)
"Yes, who is it?". "Don"

I say it, as it is: Whenever I think of those very famous lines, I automatically hear Shah Rukh's voice. Most people of my generation watch the remakes before having seen the original movies - if that's a good thing, or a bad thing, that's up to you. At all events, it entails that 1) I don't watch the originals very soon (as I'm a little "lazy" concerning old films) and 2) I always look after the differences between the two movies, taking the remake as my initial point. After having seen the original "Don", however, I came to the result that "Don" 2006 is certainly a good movie, but not comparable to its forerunner. It is indeed a little unfair comparing Shah Rukh to Amitabh, because Amitabh will always be a little bit better. I love Shah Rukh, and he is one of the best actors I know, but Amitabhji is… Well, he's Amitabhji. 
"Don" '78 is trash - the best trash I've seen until now. And a piece of film history.


Sholay (1975शोले                                
My first Masala-Curry-"Eastern"… I had undertaken to see it this year, as I was quite ashamed actually… I mean, you must have seen Sholay! And if it's only because of the quotes and references in newer films… It is film history, in the truest sense of the word (can you say that?). 
Despite overlength: Sholay is cult with 4 BIIIIIG letters!!!!

(This part is very short and uncreative, but I find it hard to describe my feelings about Sholay. It's just a fantastic movie, and I'm so happy that I've finally seen it).

Word explanation
Sholay has, among other films, been called an Indian western, because of all the guns and the countryside location. But I don't like that indication, because this is India, we're not in the wild west, we're in the wild east. Not in the countryside, "gaanv men". That's why I call movies like Sholay "Eastern". Simple.

Another resolution
As you may have noticed, there are not yet any entries concerning Kollywood or Tollywood. There's a simple reason for this, too. The reason is, that all I've seen of those until now, is one single movie. Yes, it's true. The movie was "Bumbai" (1995), and the only reason I watched it, was because of Manisha Koirala (buy the way, I miss you Manisha!). But I decided that I need to watch some regional movies, so that's another resolution for 2011. Happily, I have somewhere to start: Since I've watched Rang De Basanti, I'm so crazy about Siddhart, so I'll start by watching some of his movies.

Thank you for reading,
Mette M. K.

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