is mostly likely ME. I need to finish this post and get the sad one off the top of the page, because despite the ensuing sorrow on my return home I really feel very blessed indeed and strengthened by my recent trip to India. I spent three glorious weeks there with my beloved Friend Greg: two weeks in Mumbai and one week in Shimla (joined by my friends Carla—Filmigeek—and her husband at the very beginning and end of the trip in Mumbai). We even managed to fit in Diwali celebrations in both places!
The only reasons that I don’t completely despise this film are that it finally enabled me to identify the location of The Room (details are in that post), and pretty much every moment in it is a Screencap Waiting To Happen. It is a scarf-fest of unbelievable proportions. I guess I can also finally say that I have seen a Mahendra Sandhu movie, although I detested it so much that I may never be able to forgive him (I’ve not been able to watch a Tom Hanks film since he inflicted Forrest Gump on me).
Madhosh seems to have grand pretensions of being a modern look at valuing women, but its subtext (and not really very “sub” at that) is so relentlessly sexist that it is mostly just a rehash of that dehumanizing goddess-whore form of female oppression which masquerades as respect. I gather that the word madhosh means drunk or intoxicated, which perfectly describes the people who made this if they really thought this film had anything worthwhile or different to say.
*Starring Neelam’s Hair!*
When I began watching Hindi films in 2002 or so, many of the first ones I saw were from the 1990s. And yet still—I persisted! I was charmed! I guess it was all so shiny and new that I didn’t know or care how hackneyed or obnoxious the plots were and the OTT use of wind machines and light filters merely fascinated me. “Look! her hair is blowing wildly inside her house!” “Oooh! A thousand points of light!” etc. Plus the people (Aamir, Shahrukh, Kajol, Rani) were so very good-looking and the girls had such glossy, glossy long hair. But none of them were a patch on Neelam in that department.
Who would have ever thought that B. Subhash—maker of such spectacularly trashy fare as Disco Dancer, Kasam Paida Karne Wale Ki, Dance Dance, and on and on—and Aamir Khan—now justifiably renowned for his perfectionism and serious approach to filmmaking—ever teamed up to make a film? Well, probably a lot of you guys did know that, but it was a bit of a shock to me.
Of course, I could not resist the lure of such a clash of sensibilities, especially since Aamir is paired with Juhi Chawla, with whom he always had great chemistry. So how did it go?
Right up front I have to say that I am in no way objective about this film. Director Raju Hirani is a good friend of mine, and I spent a couple of days on the sets back in March and had a brilliant time interacting with the incredibly smart, funny and friendly cast and crew—including this guy named Karan who spoiled me rotten. All I had to do was *think* about wishing I had some tea, or water, and there he was with whatever it was I was thinking about wanting.
Oh, and I read the script in advance too, because Raju asked me to look at the subtitles so that “bloggers like you won’t make fun of them” (yes, that is a direct quote).
So now I’ve watched two predictable films in a row, but I really enjoyed this one. A mostly affectionate behind-the-scenes look at Hindi cinema, it’s a fairly standard “follow your dreams/be true to yourself” kind of film but close attention is paid to details, and it is blessed with wonderful performances, snappy dialogue and lots of humorous little moments. It’s colorful, lively, and full of things to take notice of (like, doesn’t Farhan Akhtar look just like his dad in profile?).
I have to admit to two things first off: one, is that it took me a little while to get into this film. I started watching it several times before I was finally able to sit through it—as I said to Shweta, I think perhaps as a teenager I saw too many ABC After School Specials which dealt exceedingly earnestly with serious issues that kids face. They had titles like “Daddy Drinks Like A Fish” and “Is My Sister Dead Because Of Me?” (okay, I made those up, but the real ones were pretty close).
BollywoodFan has translated all the lyrics from Aamir Khan’s nephew Imran’s new film Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na (released by my beloved Shammi!); the music is by AR Rahman and lyrics by Abbas Tyrewala. He has kindly also transliterated the Hindi into Roman spelling, and it’s a treat all the way around.
So much so, that Abbas Tyrewala himself left a comment (BollywoodFan is not so sure it was really him, but I am!). BollywoodFan has also footnoted his translations to share his vast knowledge of Urdu and Hindustani. You really must visit if you are interested in such things. Help me encourage him to continue!