Posts tagged ‘Rajkumar Hirani’

December 19, 2013

The luckiest Mem in the world

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!

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January 2, 2010

3 Idiots (2009)

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).

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April 21, 2009

Luck By Chance (2009)

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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?).

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April 14, 2009

Oh what fun!

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In so many ways it feels like I was gone for a long time, and yet the time in India sped by too. It was a wonderful trip thanks to Raju, who facilitated my movie adventures and is in the midst of making a film which I just can’t wait to see; and my new Bengali “family”—Suhan, her friend Gautam, and their relatives, who all showed me that incredibly warm hospitality that Indians are justly famous for. I made new friends and met old ones; explored more of India’s rich history in Hyderabad, Delhi and Calcutta; and discovered the unspoiled beauty of the Sundarbans forest. And of course one of my fondest dreams came true!

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November 20, 2008

Munna Bhai MBBS (2003)

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Here’s another favorite! I remember waiting for this to come out on DVD. I’d read how well it was doing in Indian theaters, I loved the story concept, and it paired Sanjay Dutt with his father Sunil Dutt, who hadn’t acted in sixteen years. I got it as soon as it was available, and I was not disappointed. In fact, I was bowled over.

This is the first Hindi film I ever saw where I actually laughed out loud and was laughing with it (I’d seen Disco Dancer and laughed too, but at it). Keep in mind that it was 2003 and I’d been watching Hindi films for less than a year; the ubiquitous Comic Side Plot still mystified me and I often felt that culturally I must be missing something that prevented me from understanding the humor. I was beginning to despair.

But this—this was a laugh-out-loud cross cultural fiesta with a squishy dil™!

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October 7, 2007

The Chopras at the Peabody Essex Museum

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Yesterday I went up to the Peabody Essex Museum near Salem, MA for part of the Bombay Film Festival there. Anupama Chopra was to hold a discussion about her biography of Shah Rukh Khan, and then Eklavya—this year’s entry from India to the Oscars—was showing, followed by a discussion with Vinod Chopra.

We didn’t think about the fact that October is basically Crazy Person Month in Salem—tourists from all over participating in the Disneyfication of the historical tragedy that was the Salem witch trials, dressing up like slutty witches or pumpkins and creating traffic snarls and parking nightmares (the usual museum parking garage fee was hiked up from its usual $5 to $20, for instance); and apparently the whole scene scared the Chopras too, because they fled soon after Eklavya started and there was no post-film discussion. Sadly, Filmigeek who was supposed to meet me there also got trapped in the mayhem and hightailed it out too.

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