December 31, 2010

my top 5 filmi songs of 2010

Its the last day and last blog post of the year, so sending it off and welcoming the new year with a song or 5 is in good form. I've included songs here that I listen to all the time, and favorites may be a bit different. Note that I tend to like happy-peppy songs- no gentle/romantic/weepy numbers here :)

Munni Badnam Hui (Dabangg)
I dance around at home all the time, and this is how I dance around at home usually- Salman's moves. Honestly, my husband saw the movie and was surprised at how Salman knew my steps exactly :D

Keda Keda (Raavanan)
Hated the Hindi lyrics to this song, but the Tamil sounds good, and I'm hoping its better than the Hindi. Besides, this is my favorite choreography this year. So short, but Vikram and Priyamani's chemistry shines.

Beera (Raavanan)
What else? Beera forever!

He's a good looking ullu da pattha (Tere Bin Laaden)
What a fun movie, and what a fun song!

Gal meethi meethi bol
OK this is AS romantic as I can get. Teeny bit romantic, but very happy-peppy. And Abhay with twinkling dimples- eeps!

Happy new year everyone!

December 30, 2010

my top 5 Bollywood films of 2010

OK I'm SURE I will get tons of brickbats for these, but keep in mind these are MY fav 5. You are bound to, and should, disagree!

Tere Bin Laaden

Its a celebration of the spirit of "Jugaad" (the ability to make something out of nothing). Also, I truly believe that when we are able to reduce terrorists to buffoons and laugh at them, then we win over terrorism. A little film that could, and did!

Atithi Tum Kab Jaoge

A little reminder to retain our humanity and stay true to our cultural roots, in the middle of chaotic growth. Paresh is outstanding and deserves more such characters.

Well Done Abba

Love the message, the humor, the spirit. Sure, I still have a quibble over accents, but that doesn't hurt the spirit of the movie too much. Jayant Kriplani wrote the screenplay and Shyam Benegal executed this little gem, which Boman makes shine. I'm praying Benegal never looses this great ensemble cast he has used so effectively now for 2 movies. Here is my appreciation.


Capturing the sheer canvas that this film encapsulates is an accomplishment by itself. To weave the Mahabharata, Gandhi-Nehru clan history, and the current Indian political scenario into a single movie sounds impossible, but Prakash Jha does it and does it well enough. Minor editing issues remain, but they are immaterial at best. I'd like to write about this soon.

I still haven't found a Tamil version of this that has English subtitles, but lack of language doesn't hamper anyone from appreciating this. I want to see more from Mani-Vikram-Rahman- is anyone listening??? Here is my appreciation.

December 29, 2010

my worst 5 films of 2010

Looking at the list, seems there were a heck of a lot of doozies last year, isn't it? Here are my top 5, in no particular order.

My Name is Khan
Movies shouldn't be made without sufficient research. Its easy to pick an emotion to base the film off of, but an entire production needs more legs than that. I am sure every immigrant and every family with a member who has special needs (my family has both, so yes, I feel the characters) could empathise with Shahrukh's character, but the very black and white portrayal of Americans is immensely cringe-worthy. And even 1/2 an hour of sensible research could have prevented this travesty that makes me want to tear my hair out.

Road, Movie
I should have just turned on the travel channel on silent and turn on some music. Oh fine, I am probably being too judgemental here (isn't that a surprise!), but I do expect more from a film that Abhay Deol chooses to star in. I felt all the characters, felt all their emotions, and empathised with everyone fully- but ended up feeling shortchanged regardless. BECAUSE I really love watching Abhay, I was all the more disappointed, and therefore hated this more than crappier movies that the year offered. Here's my rant.

Poor Jane Austen must have turned over in her grave. No scratch that- she must be rolling and spinning in there. The movie was a poor copy of Clueless at best, and didn't even come close to the literary classic. Sonam needs daddy to buy her an acting coach, pronto. Here's my rant.

Dear lord. This was so bad that I couldn't even bring myself to write about it. Poor Mithun, Jackie, Neena- yikes! And I cannot believe Salman did this to himself! Also, if I ever meet the costume designer, I might just strangle them for the utter trash they spat out. Incidentally- what kind of a grandkid throws his centenarian grandpa into a water fountain?

Want to see folks in their 20s who look like they are in their teens? Want to see them try and fail badly at acting? Want to see really good actors like Rekha, Hema, Javed and Rishi try to salvage the sick mess created by those idiots? Here's my rant.

Now I will go and let my BP recover from the strain of remembering these fiascoes. Deep, steady breathing helps.

December 28, 2010

my top 5 Filmi ladies of 2010

I love being a woman, and identify with strong, sexy, womanly, fearless soul sisters. Here are my favorite ladies of 2010. Show us some love!

Priyamani in Raavan/Ravanan
Great bit of acting. She retained the character's sensibilities in both languages and did it brilliantly. I want to see her in more movies.

Sonakshi in Dabangg Finally, a young woman who doesn't look cookie cutter. She actually stood her ground in a movie filled with folks like Salman, Vinod, Dimple and Sonu- reason enough for her to be here. She gives me hope.

Dimple in Dabangg So urbane in her real life persona, and yet so perfect in a very rural character. I was probably just really happy to see her, and for that reason, she is on my list!

Malaika in Dabangg

Can you be a mom in your late 30s and dance like that ? Since most of us couldn't (or shouldn't) I have her on this list.

Vidya in Ishkiya Hot, earthy, strong and so very very deliberate. Unarguable.

December 27, 2010

My top 5 filmi men of 2010

'Cos I ain't looking at the women (not much anyway), and what would movies be without these hunks? Note that I say "filmi" men, for beauty isn't restricted to Bollywood...

Salman in Dabangg - I'll be the first to admit that I wasn't as impressed by this as I was by Wanted (2009). Dabangg lacked cohesive editing because of its sheer need to focus on Salman all the time- which really shouldn't be much cause to complain....

Arjun in Rajneeti - Really! and how! in the minute just before he does who-knows-what with Shruti Seth, the gleam in is eyes is so maniacal to the extreme- I could finally accept Arjun as an actor. Huge achievement. His face is finally mobile, and I am super happy to know it.

Sonu Sood in Dabangg - Lurve. He was born to act out Chedi Singh, a perfect mix of buffoonery and villainy. I don't believe anyone else could replace him in that character, and for that, he is pretty brilliant in my eyes.

Rajni in Robot/Endhiran - You have to bow to star power like that. No two ways about it.

Vikram in Ravanan - You knew this was coming, right? I'll always love Ravanan for making me a Vikram fan. And he is so brilliant in this movie, that a friend who I made watch Ravanan actually forgot his terrible experience of the Hindi Raavan after seeing Vikram being Beera. I'd love to cheat and add all the other Vikram movies I caught up on after watching this, but it wouldn't be I am holding myself back!

And that folks, are my top filmi men of 2010- who do you love?

I'm a very filmi secret santa

My gift to Kaali Kaali Ankhein (@ Tollywood Na Guru-Gaaru. Enjoy!

November 12, 2010

Sunsaan Mahan- unreleased cinema

I watched this before Halloween, but have been very busy at work since then, and haven't been able to blog till now. Even now, I really shouldn't be blogging, but working/studying, but that's once of my many sins so lets get on with it!

As is often on this blog, Sunsaan Mahal is a super low-budget film. The cover art of the CD has nothing to do with the movie inside. The beige colored ghost and the building on the cover are never to be seen, and the strange red triangle emanating out of the vampire's mouth is never touched upon either- which may be just as well! Also thankfully, the full-on porn shot in the lower-right hand corner is never presented either.

Title: Sunsaan Mahal (lonely/empty mansion)
Year: ????
Cast: Priyanka, Usmaan, Ronit Roy.

Often in Bollywood, movies begin filming, but are canned after a few reels and never completed. At other times, almost completed films languish for years and may never see release. What happens to these movies? Most often, nothing at all. At other times, some savvy producer decides to have these pieced together by some unfortunate editor, and release the unholy mess.

This movie is one of those. The producer attempts to convert snippets of unsuccessful movies into horror movie vignettes, and is highly, and hilariously, unsuccessful.

The movie begins with several shots of this mansion. I don't know why.

Priyanka plays a scriptwriter who has come to narrate her potential movie scripts to Usmaan, a popular producer, whose office is in the mansion above. some of these people are highly unattractive. Some of these people look like they are just hanging out, and having a really bad day. While Priyanka hangs out and begins her narrations, the rest of the office is done for the day. Two guys even discuss how suspicious Priyanka looks. Guy #1 does look like a fat Indian exec, but guy #2 looks like he is going late-night disco jogging (why else the black and yellow outfit with racing shoes?).
Vignette #1: The same mansion, in the same light. This is obviously a real movie that Usmaan actually made with the producer. 6 very mature college students, in classic horror movie style, stop at a lonely mansion in the middle of the night. Usmaan is the caretaker who lets them in.

After making some crazy faces in front of the camera,Usman vanishes out of the vignette, and the vignette vanishes out of the movie. What happened to the 6 students? Did anyone survive? We will never know!
Vignette #2: By this time, I was really confused, and thinking maybe someone from the 1st vignette would show up again. Nope. Not gonna happen. Then, as abruptly as the 1st one ended, the 2nd vignette begins.

A policeman in khakis is driving his van really fast. Who knows where.
In another part of town, this crappy Don (whose name I don't remember, so lets just go with Don here), is hanging out with a REALLY fat and ugly moll and a random gang of thugs,. His den is very blah, and looks suspiciously like the room Priyanka is narrating her script in. What do I know anyways????
The Don is good and mad at the policeman, and so has hired a special Hitman- sorry Hitwoman. Yes she is a lady and she is scary!!! Mind you, she does arrive at the den on a dark and stormy night- BUT she drives a dinky little compact Maruti 800 from the 80s, so that reduces the fear factor somewhat :) She does favor fake leather and fake animal skin, but after losing street cred with a crap car, she ain't gaining it back anytime soon :)

Meanwhile, Policeman makes a ransom patriotic speech somewhere in the DAY.
But by the time he and his family are driving back from the event, it is the middle of the NIGHT (must have been some celebrations I guess. The heck I'd know).
The Hitwoman stops and shoots the Policeman. Easy deasy. Lots of crying here.
Meanwhile, our erstwhile narrator, Priyanka is at it!
She had been narrating stories,

When two random friends of hers drop by.The producer's friends (who have also dropped in) are really happy to see them,
And are really enthu about spending time alone with them,
... which unfortunately is resulting in bad things happening :D
The unfortunate state of his quick-deceasing friends is unknown to Usmaan, who is spellbound by Priyanka's stories :)
Vignette #2 (continued): At least I THINK its the same vignette. The Policeman had a no-good brother, who is a frequent guest of the police. There is a female officer who appears to be sweet on him.

When the Brother is finally let out, he makes friends with a random Muslim (we know he is Muslim because they make him wear very prominent accessories representing his faith). Muslim friend has his own tragic back story involving a dead sister and evil policeman.

Meanwhile, evil Don is still plotting, this time with evil lawyer.
In a completely random scene in this film of random scenes, the officer who is sweet on the Brother resigns when Brother breaks out of jail.
Somehow, the producer thinks these are great stories. He keeps sending out his friends with Priyanka's friends. All the ladies turn into vampires and kill the super lecherous men.

Vignette#3: We get a very local song, probably made up by someone who never graduated middle school. It looks like ninjas, dacoits (!) and dons are all congregated in a hut, but the narrator tells us its a minister carrying on his lascivious activities. I don't believe it.
Vignette #4: Out of nowhere at all, Ronit Roy, a popular television actor, appears out of nowhere in policeman costume and starts whaling away at thugs at the police station. Again, the set looks the same as Vignette 3, but why judge?After a while, a lawyer comes to bail out the guy Ronit's been whaling at. Ronit is super pissed, and that's the last we see of him, as well as this vignette!
Vignette #2, continued: Yep, its back to Brother and Muslim friend. They go ahead and kill a evil lawyer in a drive-by at the local courts. fun!

And then Muslim friend and Brother are captured and presented to the evil Don.

Where they find that good Policeman's widowed wife and kid and 2 ladies (who must be their girlfriends) are being held captive by the evil Don.
Meanwhile, shots are heard, and evil thugs are falling off fences backwards. Who could it be?
Yes, its the ex-policewoman who HAD resigned, but is now miraculously back in uniform. She is with a random fellow-policeman, and they are shooting thugs BACKWARDS! how bad ass.
So a big fight commences. Everybody gets into it. Remember crazy Hitwoman? She comes back to menace the Policeman's widow and kid empty barrel. fun!
The Policewoman event shoots Brother by mistake. Oops. Too late now. Brother be dead.

Since obviously you aren't confused enough. The editor takes us back- to Priyanka and Usmaan. Looks like everyone has been killed off here as well, and Usmaan and a lady assistant of his are alone with Priyanka.Whereupon Priyanka puts on fake teeth and begins to advance on Usmaan. Watch how the assistant begins to run off....

..and then unable to act much, just whimpers and falls and acts generally invisible. fun!
For some incomprehensible reason, Priyanka magics away Usman's clothes (!!!)
..and kisses him to death. Eugh. Poor Priyanka. Its obvious that while Usman is screaming and yelling, he is totally into the scene. Grossness.
While the "narration" has technically ended, the editor is unable to help himself- he has to show us the remaining portion of the sad movie this sadder movie may have been. We jump back to Vignette #2 (continued), where the good Policeman's kid comes to his mom's rescue and ...
..shoots Hitwoman! Oh noes!

But all is forgiven, 'cos whats a dead Hitwoman in a Z-grade movie?


This was a really exhausting film, but I stuck through it, headache and all. You, and everyone else, musnt see it. This is the REAL video that kills :D