Saturday, February 19, 2011

Salaam-e-Ishq or Salman-e-Ick

Well, my friend Erin loaned me a bunch of flicks she wanted me to see--and Salaam-e-Ishq was among them. I am not at all a fan of Salman Khan, but I like a lot of the others in this film--Akshaye Khanna, Anil Kapoor, Juhi Chawla, John Abraham, and Priyanka Chopra(most times anyhow). So--I began to watch this on a day off after a bunch of running around--I am not sure if it was the movie, or if I was tired, but I kept dozing off! The moment Salman came on screen--I felt kinda repulsed, he is still baring his chest, posturing and doing the same things he did in movies years ago; hasn't he grown in skill?
I kept at it--the stories seemed a bit disjointed, I did not like the cutting from one tale to another--it wasn't all that smooth. I have seen it done better in a film called Dus Kahaniyaan.
I would suggest if you want to watch a movie about couples and how they deal with problems-I would look this one up.

The only saving grace(other than the fact that Salman is in many of the dance numbers) is the music. The is done by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy--and is fabulous. Even Salman's dancing hasn't changed much! In one dance, I would swear he did the same steps that he did in Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam--even Salman's dancing hasn't improved over the years. Salman would do well to watch other films by the other Khan's--Aamir, Saif and of course SRK. Over the years they have all done very different types of films--Aamir has even signed to do the anti-hero in Dhoom 3--while Salman has spent his career being the 'chocolate box hero'--the slimy gigolo/lover/Lothario . Wake up Salman--you are not twenty any longer-you may still be buff and rugged looking--but you need to take acting lessons or start working behind the camera--do you want to be know as the Keanu Reeves of Bollywood?
Ok, I must admit I can't tolerate him, but I am trying to look at his acting- lack thereof. Salman also has the reputation of being Bollywood's badboy--well, Salman--this is getting old, wake up and smell the coffee and do something with substance and passion.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Reading Bollywood--still

This image is what I conjure in my head when I think of Bollywood--or at least the type of Bollywood most folks know. This famous dance from the movie Dil Se by director Mani Ratnam is famous for many reasons--first off this train dance scene that was done on a moving train, and for the introduction of ARRahman to the Bollywood movie industry and then to the world.
This image is also one that I have tried to grab for many years--it also graces the cover of a book by Nasreen Munni Kabir. This book was published a number of years ago to accompany a BBC look at the Bollywood movie industry--it was written about the time many Bollywood movie directors/producers/actors had discovered that England was a great place to film movies--as well as with its diaspora population, a fertile ground for its movies. I had seen this book mentioned in many of the other books I had read, referred to by more authors than I could count--but it was forever elusive--it fetched over $100 at most used book sources--oftentimes it was running well over $200!!--a bit rich for my blood. Until the day I saw it listed, with shipping from England, for less than $20US!!! Well---even though my budget was tight, I knew I needed to grab it!! And am I ever glad I did.

Ms. Kabir's breezy and informative style has caused me to want to do yet more reading/re-reading of the many books I have on Bollywood---including some of those that I have, but were a bit dense to read--her references and interviews with stars and directors and other behind the scene folks has given me much insight. I have one minor complaint--as a historian, I love my footnotes, endnotes , and bibliography. Ms. Kabir will often quote pretty well know books and cite them within the context of her text--but I still want my stuff in easy access. Just ask my kid--when I get a new book that is non-fiction--the first thing I look at is the bibliography, then the notes then--I begin to read!

This is one great book for general reference and information--it will also give you many more movies you will want to see!