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Showing posts from October, 2010

Film Knock Out

What saved Knock Out from being another Rann or Halla bol is the tight script with dashes of humour and patriotism.  When I left the theatre, I thought I was going to throw Knock Out in my shopping cart for original movies, until I read on-line that there was a court case against it.
Knock Out accused of stealing a Hollywood film Knock Out takes place in a designer telephone booth in India, all steel and chrome and bullet-proof at the bottom.  One of the Hollywood giants 20th Century Fox, took AAP Entertainment to court alleging copyright infringement of its film Phone Booth.  I left Hollywood years ago, so I did not screen it.  Sohail Maklai, Knock Out’s producer was told to pay Rs. 1.5 crore to the producers of Phone Booth.
I did not know all that when I screened the film.  I thought Mani Shankar, who wrote the story and also directed the film did a decent job in holding my attention for two hours.  A film is a tapestry of characters and locations.  Very few films happen in one locatio…

Religion

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.
One of the criticisms levelled at political parties in South Africa is their blatant canvassing for votes in churches just before a general election.  Members of the Zion Christian Church (ZCC) with headquarters in Moria, in the Limpopo Province have resigned themselves to the fact that they will see mainstream political parties during an election year.  
Kwa-Shembe, with headquarters in KwaZulu-Natal Province also has millions of followers who are only visited when South Africans go to the polls.
Manil Suri, in his novel The Death of Vishnu has a character Mr. Jalal, who is trying to find the essence of religion.  He wants to answer certain questions.  Why do peo…

Colour Me Red

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.
Cinema is an education for me.  It fills the great divide created by the British educational system, which conditioned me on colour.  Take what is called ‘virginal white’.  I associated white with weddings including the bride’s gown.  Indeed, there are still many young girls who dream of wearing a white gown on their wedding day.
I also associate red with danger.  Fire hydrants are red.  Stop signs are red.  The red light at the traffic light says I must stop.  Being in the red means I’m broke.  It was only when I started screening alternative cinema that I realised that red is the colour for celebrations in countries like China and India.
Red for …

Nigerian Films Indian Influence

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 a cinema nomad, jumping all over the world looking for original stories.I was in Nigeria before I came to Mumbai.I left when stories took a different hue, the Hollywood hue.Royal Battle 2, directed by Adim Williams makes me wonder about Indian cinema and its influence.
I grew up in Durban where most movie theatres were owned by Indian businesses.Apartheid did not allow Africans to go to European places of entertainment like cinema, so we went to Grey Street, an Indian area to watch movies.I don’t know about Indian presence in Nigeria.
Royal Battle 2 has two scenes where the couple sing to each other, just like in Indian movies. Adim’s film has Taiwo (Olaide Bak…

When Rivers Meet

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 spoke about my joy in an earlier blog – Ravaan South African Connection -  in finding my language in Mani Ratnam’s film, where the song says ‘makube njalo’, translated into ‘let it be.’
In our quest to declare ourselves superior and our culture better than all cultures, it is comfortable to forget that there are more things than bind, rather than divide us.It is the only way we can justify slavery, oppression, racism, general war and genocide.This brings me to Es’kia Mphahlele and his book entitled simply Es’kia.
Similarities African and Indian Culture What does that have to do with Indian cinema and Hindi films in particular?Indian scholars or academics…

The Language They Call English

http://bonda.hubpages.com/hub/Newspaper-Clubs-to-Learn-English-or-French

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.

The only reason why I have Chupke Chupke, directed by Hrishkesh Murkherjee in my shopping cart for original movies is the take on the English language. I’ve always wondered why it is the way it is, some of it doesn’t make sense, something that Dr. Parimal Tripathi (Dharmendra) questions in the film. He is a Botany professor but disguises himself as a driver Pyaremohan, to find out more about Raghav, his brother-in-law because his wife Sulekha (Sharmila Tagore) cannot stop praising him.

Pyaremohan also questions the mixing of English and Indian languages, something we are grappling with…

Impossible Love

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 Tamil, Malayalam, Punjabi, Kashmiri, Konkani, Nepali, Khasi, Dogri, Garo and other languages.

Sirf Tum deserves a place in my shopping cart for original stories because it is highly unlikely that you fall madly in love with someone you have never seen before. Let’s leave internet dating out of the equation for the purposes of this blog.

Ahathian’s film is about Aarti (Priya Gill) and Deepak (Sanjay Kapoor) who are brought together by her handbag. She is in a train in Delhi going back home after yet another unsuccessful attempt to get a job.

A thug snatches her handbag from the window seat. It has all the original college certificates she needs to get a job. A good Samaritan pays her train fare back home and even gives her some extra …

The Brotherhood

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.

The reason why I will drop Halla Bol written and directed by Rajkumar Santoshi, in my shopping cart for original stories is its different take on Mumbai, where most of the Hindi movies are made. Om Shanti Om gave us a glimpse of the industry’s dark side in the form of a producer (Arjun Rampal) who killed his own wife Shanti (Deepika Pudrone) in order to marry the daughter of someone who will advance his career in the industry.

Halla Bol is about how brotherhood or sisterhood is not about sharing common interests. It is all about erecting a fence to keep out outsiders in order to protect dark family secrets, sometimes of a criminal nature. Ashfaq (Ajay Devga…

Update

Apologies: We are still working on the next post.Some new visitors want to know a little bit about Sweetness, written by Nonqaba waka Msimang.Check out the website.It also has light reading under COMMENTARY and a daily internet sitcom (i-sitcom) called Smart Phone The Movie, under CINEMA. www.sweetnessthenovel.com
What is the novel Sweetness all about? 1.It is about mothers-in-law. 2.It is about Phillip and Zaba Zimbi who lived in two glass houses joined by a bridge. 3.It is about how people laughed at them because of that. 4.It is about Zaba’s relief that Phillip did not marry other wives after her. 5.It is about their sugar cane farms near Durban called Sweetness. 6.It is about their three sons who did not want to be in sugarcane production. 7.It is about the treatment of workers in sugar cane fields. 8.It is about how sugar production is losing money because people on diet don’t want to eat sugar. 9.It is about townhouse development taking more and more agricultural land. 10.It is about choic…

Disposable Friends

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.
Being used hurts, especially by a close friend or relative.Alok Nath, for whatever reason seems to like roles where friends betray him.He plays Tarababu, who lives in Chamba with his daughters in Subhash Gai’s film Taal.One day Jagmohan (Amrish Puri) arrives with his entire family including Manav (Akshay Khanna) his only son.
Jagmohan is in Chamba to secure a big project that has been eluding him for years.Tarababu is well-respected and connected and manages to convince the minister responsible to give the project to Jagmohan’s company Mehta and Mehta.Jagmohan hugs him and says, “That was made possible thanks to you.”They part as friends and Jagmohan tells Taraba…

Wife Abuse

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.
The film Provoked, directed by Jag Mundhra is a good example of how wife abuse in all corners of the world is well-documented but sweeps under the carpet, the truth that it is mostly women who defend it, for the sake of family honour.In Provoked, Deepak’s mother lies under oath when she denies that her son (Naveen Andrews) beat his wife Kiran (Aishwarya Rai).
Provoked is based on the book Circle of Light, the autobiography of Kiranjit Ahluwalia, who burned her husband in his sleep after ten years of beatings.She was charged with attempted murder while he was in hospital but the charge was changed to murder when he died.In the movie, Radha (Nandita Das), who works…

Betrayal

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.

Society has very strict rules about marriage and how it should be conducted. Maybe we should add that that there are different rules for men and women. My culture isiZulu, allows isithembu where a man has more than one wife, but it is doesn’t say anything about a woman having more than one husband. There is a word for a woman who has more than one lover, but we cannot print it because this website is not rated Parental Guidance (PG). It is a family website with no nudity or foul language.

Our present Zulu king has many wives, so do some rich men in South Africa. As for commoners, forget it. You must stick to your wife otherwise you are flirting with…

British India Connection

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 was screening yet another movie where the son of a wealthy businessman returns to India from the United States, when I wondered yet again, why most Indian movies in my DVD library are based on this story.What happened to the British connection?
India was a British colony until it started running its own affairs on 15 August 1947 if I’m not mistaken.I understand the flag of independent India went up on 26 January 1950. Two of my favourite films Kabhi Alvida Naa Ke Hehna directed by Karan Johar, and Aa Ab Laut Chalen directed by Rishi Kapoor were shot in New York, the Big Apple.Who gave New York that nickname?
Anyway, I went to my DVD collection and looke…

Endhiran Review Moral Issues

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 Tamil, Malayalam, Punjabi, Kashmiri, Konkani, Nepali, Khasi, Dogri, Garo and other languages.
Chitti, the robot Dr. Vaseegaran (Vasi) created in the film Endhiran was perfect.He was his master’s voice.There is a scene when Vasi defends him to his assistants Shiva (Santhanam) and Ravi (Karunas), “He does not lie.He is not a human being.”Dr. Bhora, Vasi’s boss (Denny Denzongpa) persuades the panel that is supposed to approve Chitti’s use in the army to reject him, because he is just a machine, and cannot differentiate between right and wrong.
Endhiran, directed by Shankar is basically a story about the difference between a human being and a robot.There is no difference from where I stand because it all depends on society.We are taught thing…