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Showing posts from June, 2010

Cinema as a storyline

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’m looking for those films in India because it is the biggest movie producer in the world, with an estimated 800 films annually. Producers are constantly under pressure to deliver prints to movie theatres not only at home but abroad as well. It is therefore understandable why film producers love financing screenplays about the art of making movies.

It is killing two birds with one stone. The cameras, lights, sets, extras, crew are right there, so it is faster to make a movie such as Om Shanti Om, directed by Farah Khan and produced by Gauri Khan. Hats off to Gauri Khan for assembling all those busy actors for a shoot on the same day! Such movies m…

Ravaan Pirate Films

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.

You wouldn’t believe who taught me how to detect pirate Indian movies! It was a storekeeper who sells DVD’s just opposite the Oriental Plaza in Johannesburg. She has a sample she keeps next to the till. It is blue almost purple. I asked her why she didn’t sell pirate movies. “It’s because I love cinema.” As a result, she doesn’t have recent releases, not even Balki’s Paa which was released in December 2009.

Her advice came in handy the other day, while I was browsing at another store. I asked the storekeeper to open the DVD case. I took out the DVD and turned it around. I saw the blue purple colours the other lady warned me about. I told him tha…

Disappointed Fathers

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 have added Hum Tum, Kunal Kohli’s film about Karan, a cartoonist who is a playboy (Saif Ali Khan) and Rhea (Rani Mukherjee) in my shopping cast for one million original stories, simply because it deals with dreams that transcend being a husband and a father, a story that is seldom told.

In most Hindi films, the father is a responsible businessman, ordinary office worker or farmer. He is seldom an artist, like Karan’s father Arjun Kapoor (Rishi Kapoor) in Hum Tum who abandons his wife and child and roams the world working as a fashion photographer. Later on in the film we discover that Saif’s character Karan is a free spirit with no ties to any woman be…

Aankhen Mind Games

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.

Once in a while, producers finance scripts that will keep us occupied mentally, in the dark movie theatre and later on when we are back at our daily life, waiting for the bus, the kettle to boil or the next pay cheque. Aankhen is one such film.

Vipul Amrutlal Shah’s film is an adaptation of Andhalo Pato, a Gujurati play by Shobana Desai. It is in my shopping cart for the one million original films because of the suspense and the fact that I could not predict the ending, something unusual for most cinema lovers. We have been fed the same diet for such a long time we write mental scripts as soon as we see the title.

I don’t want to call Aankhen a thril…