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Showing posts from 2010

Indian Cinema Item Boys

I am an NRI, translated into: no-real Indian.  I follow Indian cinema in my quest to find only one million original films before humanity as we know it disappears.  I will use the term Indian cinema sparingly because I only have access to Hindi films, not Malayalam, Punjabi, Kashmiri, Konkani, Nepali, Khasi, Dogri, Garo and other languages.
Bunty au Babli and the item girl by Aishwarya Rai is arguably the best item girls in Hindi cinema history, but item boys have featured prominently in the following films. FILM DIRECTOR SCENE Salaam e Ishq Nikhil Advani Salman Khan and Priyanka Chopra ‘ in the title salaam-e-Ishq’ song Tera Jadoo Chal Gayaa A. Muthu Abhishek Bachchan, first three scenes of the movie, great item boys especially with the scene with Kirti Reddy at the Taj Mahal.. Khudah Gawah Mukul S. Anand Amitabh Bachchan seducing Sri Devi’s character after the race Dil Kya Kare Prakash Jha Ruins scene, Ajay Devgan meets Kajol’s character Ravaan Mani Ratnam In the forest Beera and t…

Test Cricket India South Africa

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Ah!  It's December 2010.  Sachin Tendulkar and his team mates are in Durban, my hometown for the South Africa vs India Second Test cricket.  I mention him because his name is always in the papers.

I'm clueless about cricket so i have no idea why there are always numbers after his name 100 or 200.  I'm an African and all we had were soccer fields.

The official policy of racial segregation called apartheid divided South Africans from the cradle to the grave.  Whites had superior education that enabled them to run the country and the economy.  Africans had a curriculum designed to serve whites, Indians and Coloureds.

The school system interpreted apartheid extremely well.  Cricket and rugby were played in white schools so test cricket had white players and white audiences.  Olympic sports were taught in white schools so white players represented their country in the Olympic Games.

Indians lived in their own areas and Africans in their own townships so, what I didn't know…

Johannesburg South Africa Author Publishes New Book

Goa India

I am an NRI, translated into: no-real Indian.  I follow Indian cinema in my quest to find only one million original films before humanity as we know it disappears.  I will use the term Indian cinema sparingly because I only have access to Hindi films, not Bengali, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu, Marathi, Kannada, Gujarati and other languages.
Guzarish by Sanjay Leela Bhansali is one of my 2010 favourites.  It’s a ballet of a film with leaps and landings and twittering on stage with those funny shoes!  What are they called?
Guzarish has a graveyard scene, with a coffin and old graves with crosses.  It didn’t seem right to me.  What was missing?  Ah!  I expected a cremation, like most Indian films.  I then remembered that they did say in the beginning of the film that it is about a magician in Goa. 
Apparently Goa is part of India but with different ways of doing things because of the Portuguese influence.  They came to Goa, took over the land established schools with their language, religion a…

Raavan Re-Visited

I am an NRI, translated into: no-real Indian.  I follow Indian cinema in my quest to find only one million original films before humanity as we know it disappears.  I will use the term Indian cinema sparingly because I only have access to Hindi films, not Bengali, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu, Marathi, Kannada, Gujarati and other languages.
I do not judge films based on awards whether it is Filmfare, Cannes or Oscars but I made an exception with the 2010 Anandalok Awards.  Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan won Best Actor and Best Actress for their roles in Mani Ratnam’s Raavan.

Elements of a good film Raavan is simply one of the most beautiful films ever made in the history of cinema globally.  It is a perfect triangle of story, acting and cinematography.  Beera the outlaw played by Abhishek Bachchan, kidnaps Ragini (Aishwarya) who is married to Dev, the chief of police played meticulously by Vikram.

However, my take is that Raavan is about a chasm in society.  The inequality eats up B…

Mr. India Technology

I am an NRI, translated into: no-real Indian.  I follow Indian cinema in my quest to find only one million original films before humanity as we know it disappears.  I will use the term Indian cinema sparingly because I only have access to Hindi films, not Bengali, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu, Marathi, Kannada, Gujarati and other languages.
Mr. India, an old movie starring Sri Devi and Anil Kapoor is a good example of how technology is a popular story line in Indian movies.  In fact, I was not aware that computer engineering is so popular with the youth.  I also did not have a clue that Bangalore is sometimes called India’s Silicon Valley. 
I got all this from watching movies such as Om Jai Jagadish, where Abhishek Bachchan’s character is a hacker. The Tamil film Jeans, starring Prashant and Aishwarya Rai is about twins.  Shankar the director used technology to duplicate Prashant’s character. I laughed when I saw a Kinetic demonstration Shankar used in that old film at a mall in Johannesbur…

Dubai

I am an NRI, translated into: no-real Indian.  I follow Indian cinema in my quest to find only one million original films before humanity as we know it disappears.  I will use the term Indian cinema sparingly because I only have access to Hindi films, not Malayalam, Punjabi, Kashmiri, Konkani, Nepali, Khasi, Dogri, Garo and other languages.
I met a friend in Rosebank the other day and she told me she had just returned from a holiday in Dubai.  Dubai!  It seems so far way.  I was forced to leave South Africa by political circumstances.  I went to school and travelled extensively abroad that is why travelling is no longer attractive for me.
It’s wonderful being home, soaking in the sun, eavesdropping on people’s conversations in the market and restaurants and trying to convince traffic cops in African languages that I was not speeding.

Dubai!  I thought people went there to work!  Well!  Let’s see what movies I have on the United Arab Emirates (UAE).  Let’s start with Maine Pyar Kiya, dire…

Holiday DVD's

I don’t need holiday movies because I’m in Africa.  It’s December so I’ll be frolicking in the sun.  My apologies if you live in the Scandinavian countries, United Kingdom or north of the United States.  Keep warm and bring out the popcorn and a box of tissues.
TITLE DIRECTOR STORYLINE Kurbaan Rensil D’Silva What do you know about your quiet neighbour? Dulha Mil Gaya Mudassar Aziz Same old story but beautiful images set in Trinidad and Tobago What’s your Rashee? Ashutosh Gowariker Celebrates Priyanka Chopra’s beauty and questions Non-Resident Indians. Jodhaa Akbar Ashutosh Gowariker Great grandfather of the man who build Taj Mahal. Terra Jadoo Chal Gayaa A. Muthu

Ashutosh Gowariker Khelein

I am an NRI, translated into: no-real Indian.  I follow Indian cinema in my quest to find only one million original films before humanity as we know it disappears.  I will use the term Indian cinema sparingly because I only have access to Hindi films, not Bengali, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu, Marathi, Kannada, Gujarati and other languages.
Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey, Ashutosh Gowariker’s latest film reminds me of a time before traffic lights.  In some countries, traffic wardens stood on wooden boxes in the middle of the road, whistles around their necks, using sign language to say you stop, you go.  It was a beautiful thing to watch.
The traffic warden
Gowariker chose Abhishek Bachchan to play Surjya Sen and he did a wonderful job as the traffic warden.  Khelein is not about him.  It is about the traffic, which consists of teenagers angry at losing their soccer pitch to British soldiers and men who want them out of Chittagong, a town in Bengal.
The director extracted passionate performances fr…

Guzarish Spaces

Sanjay Leela Bhansali, in the film Guzarish explores something we take for granted namely the choice of spaces.You go to the garden if you feel like some fresh air or get into the car and drive around the block to run away from the kids and their video games.
Ethan Mascarenhas does not have that choice because he is a paraplegic.He has been confined to one space for 14 years.It is his big dark house that leaks.It has furniture that belongs to a museum and his nurse Sofia, sweeps the floor boards with long skirts that the Portuguese brought to Goa, India.
The space outside Ethan’s house is no consolation.It has huge plants that protect the house from intruders, people who want to invade Ethan’s confined space. They are Sofia’s security men in a way because they keep the world out, so that she can remain inside with her love Ethan, her boss.
Ethan wants somebody to help him kill himself:euthanasia.He must appear in court for his petition.Sofia takes him there in the car and he re-lives…

Guzarish Curator

Most art galleries have a curator.Guzarish, Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s film has two.Ethan Mascarenhas, whom we identified as the main painting in the gallery, wants to take the euthanasia route.
He wants someone to help him die.He used to be a famous magician until Yasser Siddiqui, a rival magician tried to kill him by tampering with the cable Ethan used to create the illusion of magic.Ethan survived but lost the use of all his limbs and has been in a wheel chair for 14 years.
He is tired of being assisted by a machine if he wants to stand up or to be elevated using some contraption so that his nurse Sofia D’Souza can wash his hair.He is tired of bed sores, not having sex and the urine bag tied to his bed.
Devyani Dutta, Ethan’s lawyer and Sofia are the two curators both vying for the best painting, Ethan’s heart.Sofia knows her place.She is a servant.She is married and goes home every evening, something she has been doing for 12 years.Her husband hates Ethan and doesn’t understand how his…