September 28, 2008

Masala Pradesh's vision of a Masala Hero!

Sweetness, Eyelashesness, Curlyness, Gorgeousness personified as a Masala Hero

As Prime Minister and general ruler of the Pradesh, there needs to be a hero for which many others can emulate. Naturally in each era of Bollywood the needs and skills of a hero has changed so I thought of an all round list of what a hero may contain, using examples from each era to now.

  • Moustaches and stubbles are a must in the Pradesh in all states, he must have sported one in his career, as cute as my ANil's or as handsomely placed as Vinod's as Inspector Amar
  • A hero should always do a "broody cry" a type of cry where he furrows his brow, cries aloud, usually after a death, or fight with someone, Amitabh perfected this cry in all his movies, especially the Backwass Masala ones such as Coolie

  • Heroes need to be good dancers, especially when running in the fields, they should run about as if in love with nature and the girl, great ones are Shammi in any field, Shahrukh's sweet neck kisses, and Shashi always rolling down the hills.

  • A hero should be skilled in any kind of dance, the disco, the quawalli, the twists, Rishi is a prime example of this is exaggeratedly brilliant quawalli claps, his puffy-haired Rishi-liscious disco dancing, and his jumper clad runner of the fields.

  • A hero should always love his mother better than his girl, this is why he is soo devotional towards maa, that every decision is based on her happiness, as if the hero has a "What would mother want" decision bracelet

  • In a multistarrer a crowd-pulling star will usually get the most screen time, while leaving 2nd hero to find a maa, and 3rd hero to die a sacrificial death.

  • A hero must emote to the mountains when reunited with a lost mother/father/brother/hamster this is necessary for any hero to prove his acting skills, running into the arms of the lost above is a good way or looking nostalgic to a lullaby a la Yaadon Ki Baraat

  • Heroes in multistarrers need to fill up time by getting two titan heroes to face off by wrestling or have a verbal-off. the fight needs punches, head locks, slaps, various scenery to go flying. The greatest example is the Kaala Patthar fight were apparently Amitabh and Shatru actually did punch eachother in their angry-off scene.

  • A hero's slap needs to be earth-shatteringly loud and produce a good expression of the villain afterwards, hollywood heroes aim for the punch first or the push, but our good Indian Masala needs a good ol slap first, a slap is waaay more effective, its more of a slap to the ego!
  • A hero's clothes say a lot about him, if he's in funky hats and suits like Shammi then he's swanky and sweet, if he wears his levi's and shirt open then he's an angry young man, if he has curly hair gorgeous eyelashes and smart khaki's then he's Shashiliscious, and if he wears a scarf around his neck a hairy chest and macho to the max then he's Todd's hero Feroz!

  • If a hero directs a movie, a humungo chunk of screen will be devoted to him while other heroes flounder and scene chew whenever they get a scene, but if a hero makes its his glory project like my nationalist pyar Manoj Kumar

  • A hero should have brilliant chemistry with his heroines ala charming Rajesh-Mumtaz, voyeuristic as Raj-Nargis, sexual like Amitabh-Rekha, sultry with Rajesh-Sharmila, sweet as pie Manoj-Hema, Off-screeny Dharam-Hema, biting as Shashi-Parveen, sexy/porny/horny Shash-Zeenat, sweet and real Farooq-Deepti and any more missing ?

  • And a hero must have amazingly good camraderie with his multi-starrer friends, my best being the sweeeet Shashitabh, the bad-assery of Shatroj, the screwball duo of Shammirendranath(you know it) always fighting Shashod, the titanly Raaj-Dilip, and any more missing?

  • Lastly a hero should capture our dil so much so that we sometimes hate to diss their movie such as Jumpy and romantic Shammi, dopey and weepy Rajender, humungo gorgeousness Shashi, sweet as pie always needed moustachioed Anil (my pehla pehla pehla pyar) the caffeinated and great Shah Rukh, the angry and stubbly Amitabh, the bad ass Shatru, the message laden Manoj, the porny horny sweet blobby Raj, the wonderful sounding RAAj Kumar, and more missing I'm surre
Watch out in a few days for the Masala Pradesh's vision of a heroine!

September 23, 2008

Lamhe - How Anil fell in love with my face!

Yeh tumne kya kiya!! NAHHIIIII!!!!

I think this week has turned into devotional Anil Kapoor week, starting with the second movie I ever watched Lamhe! Ohhhhh how loved the movie when I was a kid but now as I'm in journalism school, they teach you to be critical and inform the reader of backwass happening around. Though I want to be a movie reviewer/critic in a few years, I have to ween myself off, the automatic urge to love anything my Anil is in, which is gonna hell because he's so darn cute, and mustachioed!
Worry not there is something to complain about here, the audacity of Yash Chopra to make Anil chop his muchha(moustache) off! I'm sorry you cannot make him shave it off, what is Anil without his moustache, my mum told me when she put the movie on I started crying because he wasn't the same cute guy from 1942 A love story! Of course Anil is gorgeous but I don't know without a moustache he looks odd, but he obviously makes up for it in his acting.
I had the utter joy of finding this movie in a package with another 3 of Anil's movies, but maybe I should have bought the original because Yash Chopra explains to Karan Johar why Lamhe is his favorite movie.
Nevertheless Yash always through his directing tackles new and taboo topics like bigamy in Daag, poverty in Mashaal, affairs in Silsila, love in many others. But here he takes a huge chunk of taboo and throws it into an era where there are a ton of massive events happening 1989 - Communism fell, Berlin Wall came down, protests in China etc... and obviously he had to deal with the moral police in India. . I feel kinda sad for him as he looked really upset, that this movie bombed , during the interview. But Lamhe watching it now as a journo, I see his point and he does raise a big Hmmmm... in my head which is good.
Lamhe starts with a shockingly unmustachioed Anil as Viren and his nanny Waheeda Rehman coming back to Rajasthan from London, he's a bit shocked at India but grows to like it in his humungo haveli that he has inherited. Viren hears the "Chanak Yeh Chudiyaa" and follows the voice and its the absolutely gorgeous Sridevi as Pallavi. She looked stunning in the lenghas and suits in the movie. He naturally falls in pyar with her, they meet up but she is a few years older than him, which doesn't stop him from loving her
Simply gorgeous!

Even his nanny approves which I thought was really good, because there was no opposition and no silly drama that a love story contains. Pallavi's dad loses his haveli in some sort of court case and dies a few dramatic minutes later, not before telling Viren to look after Pallavi and make sure the haveli is taken care of.
Soon its the funeral, and in one of the best running and love scenes I've ever seen in my Bollywood watching, Viren comes earnestly spreading his arms out for a hug when Pallavi notices him, but instead she runs to another guy who is her fiance, and Anil just stands there arms outspread. This was sooo emotional for me atleast, i started crying it was just sooooo heart-wrenching, and god what bloody brilliant facial and body language Anil had in that scene. I must admit I haven't had a huuge cry over a movie since I watched Barsaat, and stupidly enough my cousin pointed out that my neck was wet from all that BARSAAT!

A new word BARSAAT CRY = a huge outpour of crying resulting from a love scene or running scene! BARSAAT CRY #1 = only a few tears
BARSAAT CRY #2= a flood unleashed!
The new guy around is Sidharth(some fugly actor who wears dreadful t-shirts) and an indulgence I didn't like here was the need for him to be a blinkin Squadron Leader Pilot, Yash give up the pilot job! Viren runs back to London heartbroken with his best friend Prem(Anupam Kher) Pallavi keeps writing Viren letters which torment him endlessly, this is till she finds out from Sidharth that he loved her. A bit of filler of their love, until the dreaded phonecall of death comes, Sid dies but Pallavi the new mother has to live a few moment on. This part of the movie was wholly unnecessarily over dramatised, Viren rushes back to utter a few more Barsaat Cry inducements. The new baby is handed over to Nanny who looks after her, Viren looks as this day only as Pallavi's death anniversary!
When she grows up Pooja(Sridevi-again) is completely in love with Viren, who only comes once a year to give a present, do Pallavi's rites, and run away fast enough. But when he sees her all grown up, he's shocked by her overly-uncanny resemblance to her maa.
Nanny and Pooja come to London for a while during this time, made me raise my hand to imaginary beard and go hmmmm. There are so many moments that he seems like Humbert Humbert from the book Lolita which I'm reading now. He feels sort of sickened that he's attracted to her,but finds it slightly redeeming that he only likes her face and not her sexually at least not obviously suggested. But the subtle moments where he sees her as Pooja is very good writing, when he sucks her finger innocently that moment is turned quite sexual by Sridevi's orgasmic looking face. And other times, he seems he seems like he is attracted to her as Pooja when he puts on the necklace, his slightly turned-on look makes it seem Lolita-esque.
Viren has a girlfriend-sort of in Anita(some equally fugly-clothed actress) that he runs to when Pooja tells him she loves him, Anita is a shrew and hates Pooja due to her resemblance of her mother who has never really left Viren's heart. A bit of filler late, Pooja finds about her appearance to her mother in a great freakout scence by Anil. She runs off to India saying she'll marry if he does first.
I'll leave it there, as this movie is really required watching, its poignant and sweet, also while raising questions about older-younger romances adding a Lolita-esque angle is sharp writing by forrmer child star Honey Irani (Daisy Irani, remember Tomato the curly haired kid? her sister)
Anil and Sridevi are superb here, Sridevi brilliant in making the audience question her relationship with those facial expressions. AND Anil, my lovely Anil he is just fantastic here as the tormented Viren, his Barsaat Cry seen made me love him even more, and thankfully he had his mush when he got older! Lamhe is an excellent forgotten classic of Yash Chopra's, a must watch!

September 21, 2008

Ram Lakhan - How Anil Kapoor captured my dil with his moustache!

The cutest man in my heart : Anil!

After establishing the great country of Masala Pradesh, my life long crush on Anil Kapoor since 2 years old makes me appoint him as Chief Minister of the cute Masala state, an up and coming state of Masala Pradesh. I usually love Subhash Ghai movies, because he always features a great cast and reunites some golden oldies actors like Dilip Kumar, and Raaj Kumar. So Ram Lakhan featured my favorite moustache duo of Jackie Shroff and Anil Kapoor playing two loving bhais!
This movie lives in the state of cuteness Masala, the films starts off with the Thakur Singh (DalipTahil) who is married to the older looking Raakhee, they live in a nice massive haveli where any announcement is shown with many men banging on the dhols. He has two brothers who are also very similar to the brothers in Ram Balram, except their names are Dishambar(Amrish Puri) and Bhanu(Paresh Rawal) as usual they are greedy gits and want Thakur's land and house. A bit of planning and filler later, they usurp his property and chuck him in a hut, and sooner or later he gets killed on a railway. Subhash has a dirty old man gene inherited from Raj Kapoor as he zooms up on Raakhee as she washes her bloodied clothes by ripping off her sari blouse and washing her face! CHI CHI CHI! She vows on her husbands ashes to get Ram(Jackie) and Lakhan(Anil) to get revenge.
Don't they just love each other so much!

Ram becomes the good kid of the family by becoming a police man, while Lakhan loafs around being a "1 2 ka 4, 4 2 ka 1" basically a shree 420. Of course the boys have girlfriends Dimple for Jackie, she looks gorgeous and loves flipping her silky massive mane in anger, and Madhuri for Anil, she spends most the movie being devotional to ANIL ahem..a bit like a certain person here!

They both have great roles, and Dimple shows her kick-assery by using her machine gun in the climax. But getting back to the film, Amrish and Paresh have some acquaintances that they do business with, and they are planning to swindle Sir John(Raza Murad-with a white eye, and silver wig) and Kesariya(Gulshan Grover- his breakout performance as villain using the famous phrase "bAD Man") Good ol Jackie trys to thwart them in his sexy police outfit, also Subhash does some gratuitous behind shots of Jackie in his tight outfit, a bit like the angles in MuqaddarKa Sikandar for Vinod Khanna. Its great initially but to much is enough.

Ram Lakhan also mirrors Deewar, because later on the brothers split and go on different paths, both loving their MAA, but nevertheless it gets different as Subhash adds the silly masala ingredients such as comic relief via Anupam Kher and a very slim-ish Satish Kaushik, Mukri of course as a silly accomplice, a really funny part where Anil does a hilarious Dev Anand impression on the phone, it killed me nearly! All villains car pool together, all villains can't get "off" a car!
Don't say that about my Jackie!

Many times in this movie, there are many scenes of force-feeding which made my sides split nearly as it reminded me of the oddness of feeding people from Disco Dancer, if Jimmy was around the set of Ram Lakhan he would pass out, as Amrish shoves a massive ladoo in Madhuri's mouth after forcing her to marry Sir John, her crying in that scene looked completely real! Jackie also feeds 600 rupees into a bad guy who was influencing Anil, and when ANil comes to take revenge from Amrish he rams a ladoo into his mouth! It was these parts that made this movie the silliest movie ever.
Another great thing about this movie is that, however much it resembles Deewar, Jackie gets to hit Anil a few times to calm him down, and if Shashi had hit Amitabh into obeying him then that would have made Deewar funnier.
Ram Lakhan is a great fun movie to watch just to stare and laugh at the cute people and overall silliness of a masala movie. Enjoy the screencaps!
Don't mess with a cop like Jackie!
EAT the damn ladoo!
Raakhee's words of wisdom of revenge!
Anil angsting it up in a mud fight! OHHFFFF
I wish I opened the door and Jackie would be there!

September 14, 2008

Masala Pradesh has been created!

The king of Masala Movies

I thought to myself yesterday, that as an avid watcher of Masala movies, that I should establish a Masala Pradesh, divided into 5 little states that I thought of when watching Suhaag and Mr.India yesterday. What is masala truly?
Masala = a movie with fun,frolic, fluff lost siblings, rape-and hero rescue, usual comedian friend(Mukri, Deven Sharma, etc) brothers on opposite sides of the law, hero acts comic, bromance with friends, an illegitimate child, dishoom dishoom, rain song, dirty old man zoom ups, romance(no kisses) heavy handed symbolism, bang on the head messages and much more!!
  • Genuine Masala - I think an all round entertainer where I didn't spot goof ups in set designs or overacting from the actors. A movie where you laugh at the silly jokes, and you get happy when a Vijay character kicks the everything out of villain, and when you don't mind the message filled situational songs that occur out of nowhere. A movie that fits here on my list is Amar Akbar Anthony, Sholay Purab aur Pacchim and Suhaag
  • Message-laden Masala = I love this type, because the director thought he made an earnest social masala movie, instead he made a bang on the head lesson type movie. In these types of movies religious temples are always places to have confessions and screaming matches with the gods, two friends are always separated by humungo(humungous) differences in girls, class, and love for eachother. A leader of the Message Pradesh is Manmohan Desai, every film after AAA had a Christian/Muslim/Hindu reference, including the John Jaani Janardhan song from Naseeb. Movies on this list are Upkar(massive symbol of partition) Roti Kapada Makaan(humungo message on money), and Imaan Dharam
  • Unintentional Funny Masala - this is the best genre here, I love this type because it is so low budget and so hilarious that the actors would even star in it. These films include costume dramas that don't know which period they are set in, so they jumble every era imaginable in the plot, the same location used in the directors many movies, and very dubious fight scenes, and an extra dollop of red paint as blood! Amitabh and Shashi starred in many of these films such as Shaan, Namak Halaal, Do aur Do Paanch, but other movies that fall into this fantastic genre are Dharam-Veer, Hera Pheri.
  • Backwass Masala - this is the worst genre of the Masala Pradesh, most of the ones I have seen are from the 80's, and many starring the aging superstars. The ones I watched were mainly Amitabh starrers where he began to get a pot belly, and wore tooo much leather. These movies were so godawful that I felt sad that Amitabh and others were past their prime holding onto the masala movies that made them so famous those many years ago. These movies include: Pran acting as really old best friend/baddie, over the top idiotic humour, period confused movies, the emergence of much younger heroines as the lover ==> Dharamendra and Amrita Singh! NAhhhiii. Some movies on the backwass list are Geraftaar, Shalimar, Coolie, MARD!
  • Funkadelic Masala = many of the 70's and 60's movies end up here, the music is just rollicking and cool, the background music always done by Kalyanji and Anandji, the heroines have very funky beehives, beautiful eyeliner, and have the fashion-making zip-up Saree's and tight suits, and the men as cool as Dev, buoyant as Shammi, sensitive as Rajender, cute as Rajesh and rugged as Feroz! The films back then are so cool and trendy and funky. Movies on the list: Teesri Manzil, Gumnaam, Dharmatma, any movie with Teddy Lions and his Cubs!

September 7, 2008

Life Mein Kabhi Kabhiee - Most Underrated Movie Ever!

There have many movies exploring the youth culture of India, but most of these films have been about love triangles and college. But none have been so honest and harrowing of the youth in their pursuit of happiness except this. I adore this movie, its so realistic and with its share of the filmi interludes.
Its not the usual youth movies that come out its of 5 best friends Manish(Aftab) Rajeev(Dino Morea) Jai(Sammir Dattani) Mona(Nauheed Cyrusi) and Ishita(Angori Alagh) all get drunk and make a bet to see who would the most happiest out of them, they get Manish to decide in 5 years. Manish views happiness as success, Mona see happiness as fame, Ishita sees happiness as money, and Jai sees happiness as power. These parallel storylines all coincide together revealing the highs and lows in their pursuits of happiness. The movie is great in the realistic sense showing how all 5 of them compromise their beliefs and dignities and taking the easy way to success in their lives, which is so true.
The script is very fresh and moving, every character is etched out properly and very real, you can find any facet of yourself in any of these characters. Each character's compromise always moves you, though Aftab's story was a bit less engaging. The script did show the bleakness of life and the choices that they made, which made the film all the more realistic.
The acting was soo brilliant, out of the 5 characters, Dino Morea acted the best, he put in a very moving portrayal of Rajeev driven by wealth to destroy all the relations around him. Sammir Dattani was fiery and great as the political hoodlum, he seemed a bit raw in the beginning but got better in his angry scenes, Anuj Sawhney as Nauheed's boyfriend was very natural, he's a great actor he should do more movies. Nauheed Cyrusi is an effortless actor, her eyes just reveal her anguish in the casting couch scene. Anjori Alagh was very raw in the beginning but as she progressed she was better. Aftab is great actor in anything, he was very good in the light role of the movie. Koel Purie was competent in her role. The secondary characters were all good in supporting roles
Vikram Bhatt should stick to more emotional movies like these instead of doing silly thrillers. he excelled in Ankahee and Ghulam.
Life Mein Kabhie Kabhiee is a great movie, so underappreciated and underrated that it just makes me sad now. Its bleak, and unapologetic in its assessment of the youth taking the easy and compromising route in their search for happiness. Brilliant!