Saturday, November 24, 2012

An afternoon with SRK--Jab Tak Hai Jaan

I know, I have been remiss with my entries this year--but it has been a crazy year. Moving, trying to get permanently re-hired at work, lack of funds and motivation to see a Bollywood flick!

Well, when I heard that the Indian grocery had a an advert that Yash Chopra's last film(and of course SRK's new film) was going to be playing in a nearby town, I jumped to see it! It was a special deal that a small indy theatre had arranged--but the owner of the theatre didn't get the word out really well. I finally called and talked to the wonderful young man running the place and got times--so we (the terrible trio of crazy white ladies who love SRK) headed to Agawam for the Sunday of Diwali to see Jab Tak Hai Jaan.

With all the secrecy during the filming--the title wasn't released until the film was nearly done, the lead actresses kept under wraps, story line minimal--SRK tweeted about some of the shooting in Kashmir and Ladakh--about the beauty of the area and how difficult it was to film in remote areas.

The publicity began as Diwali neared--some of the big promos began about the time of Yashji's 80th birthday--SRK did a long interview(I sure hope they subtitle those on the DVD release).  Many of the cast seemed in promo mode when they attended Amitabh Bachchan's 70's birthday party, though Yashji wasn't seeming well during the festivities and went right to the hospital after the party.  Word was that there was still a few scenes they needed to film in Switzerland--you need to have some stuff filmed in Switzerland for a Yashji film!

When Yash Chopra did not recover from his bout with dengue fever and died October 21st--the entire Bollywood community wept--what would happen now to this film--would they film that last bit, would it release for Diwali??

Well--they did not go to Switzerland, they premiered it the day before Diwali in a lavish tribute to Yashji--they put a tribute to Yashji in the beginning credits as well as the end credits.

How was the film?? It was  grand SRK film--his brooding, exuberant, wonderful self held the film together. I tried not to read reviews prior to seeing the movie--but, I was really concerned about his pairing with Katrina Kaif(I was hoping against hope that she was not his primary love interest, and was hoping that Anushka Sharma would win out--they had such great chemistry in RNBDJ!!).

From the leaked photos from the London shoot, I knew that Katrina was the main focus--but why?? She is such a wooden actress--it amazed me that SRK could get such hot and heavy scenes--yes there is a kissing(several) on the lips!! with such a stiff young lady in his arms!!

If you are going to see a great female lead actress do her best--this is not the film for you--this is a SRK and Anushka film. Anushka's character really brings out the best in SRK's character--she gets him out of his funk, brings him back to London to face his past--which becomes all that he can face.

The return to London and the accident that wipes out his past was a bit hard to swallow--but SRK manages to make it believable, even if Katrina is so standoffish and won't let him into her life!

Go see this film---it is a typical Yashji romance--boy loves girl, girl is one he can't have, boy finds new life--still loving girl!  We shall never see a film like this again, for even if Yashji hadn't passed after this film--this was to be the last film he was to direct in his long career.

Rest in Peace Yashji--your legacy of romance is secure!  We love what you did for Bollywood films during your career--and even if SRK won't admit he is a romantic hero--SRK is my romantic hero!!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Don 2--back in the action

We have finally gotten the DVD, Cable, TV thingy worked out. With our move we went from one cable system(Comcast) to another (Charter)-each with their own hookup systems. For some reason, the DVD player would not get it together with the TV--kiddo tried to hook it up--but no go. Spent last Saturday sitting behind the TV playing with cord hookups. At one point David McCullam as Ducky on NCIS had SRK's voice coming out of his mouth as well as all the sound effects from Don 2!  It had me and kiddo in stitches!!  But--by disconnecting one cable line and hooking up the DVD line--I finally got to watch Don 2 as well as re-watch, for the umpteenth time RBNDJ!  Got my SRK fix in but good!

Not being a huge fan of action flicks--this was pretty good--it had suspense, drama and of course, many great actors not just SRK!  The special bit with Hrithik Roshan was priceless!  I kept asking kiddo to check the other actors and what they were in it--some were old friends: Om Puri and Boman Irani. Though one actor, the computer whiz that planned all the technical stuff--Kunal Kapoor--seemed familiar, yet not--I recalled him from Rang de Basanti but I had also seen him in other stuff.

Don manages to evade the police--but only so far--he does get captured and tossed into a Malaysian jail with many of his enemies.  I had read that they filmed in a high security jail in Malaysia--talk about taking risks.  When Don gets out of jail, he is off to Germany to get his money and some revenge.

He then plots to steal the printing plates that they use to print the Euro bills from--the fact that they manage to get into the highest security part of facility is kinda hard to believe--but then, it is SRK and he can do anything!

The film was enjoyable and you could totally see the set up for Don 3--but hey--why not.
If you like action flicks--you will enjoy this! The stunts are fabulous and the acting good--story line kinda is thin but hey, aren't most action flick story lines thin??

Another enjoyable day with Bollywood--and now thanks to a wee gadget from Radio Shack--we merely have to press a button and we can switch from DVD to Cable and back--no unhooking wires!!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Long Time Gone--or my reflections on a Chubb Fellow

I know it has been a long while since I have posted--but many things have changed. Certainly not my love of Bollywood, nor my desire to know more about the world, India and life--places have changed, stuff is still being arranged!
We had a stressful year, with having to move after 20 years, and not really planning the move(stuff just tossed into boxes and crates and moved)--many of my precious books on history, Bollywood and food are still in crates--no place for them to go.

I wish I had heard at least a week before this happened, and I would have figured a way to get my self into the Shubert Theatre at Yale University. Sharukh Khan was awarded the Chubb Fellowship at Yale and on April 12th--made a fabulous speech.  I finally sat down and watched the YouTube video a bit ago--and it even firmed up my love of this man and what he does.

SRK was feted by the Chubb Fellowship before hand--and if you go to the Chubb site you will have 600+ photos to go through that show the events! {}  Yes, you heard that right--600+ photos of SRK!!  SRK was treated to a private reception, with smoozing and dancing--yup dancing. Then there was the lecture he presented with questions and answers and more dancing!--and the photos then show the dinner that included the students of the Timothy Dwight House as well--with more smoozing, talking, presentation to SRK of Yale memorabilia  and Dancing!

SRK's speech and the following questions and answers afterward, showed that SRK doesn't really take himself and his world wide fame that seriously!  Once again, when he arrived, he was detained at the airport--geez this is getting old!! SRK spoke of the last time he was at Yale, they were filming KANK and his mouth froze as he was singing to Rani--and he hoped his mouth wouldn't freeze up again.
I will include the official YouTube link for his lecture and let you form your own opinion about SRK-I will be off for now--but back soon with my thoughts on cable providers, DVDs, and Don2!