Sunday, February 12, 2012

Zindagi Na Milega Dobhara

This was a well-thought-of movie from last year, and was personally recommended to me. It's certainly a very modern Hindi movie; the songs are incorporated very naturally, and there's a more relaxed and realistic approach to sex - even one very appropriate kiss.

Even the travelogue element of the film was organic. Sometimes in Hindi films, the entire movie stops for two people to start dancing in front of Egyptian pyramids with several costume changes. ZMND's plot concerns three old friends taking a bachelor trip to Spain before the marriage of one of them. So tourist stops in Spain are already part of the movie.

What I'm trying to say, a little clumsily, is that this movie doesn't just glue on the songs and scenery; they really are integral to the plot.

Now, when Americans make a movie about a pre-wedding buddy trip, you end up the The Hangover, a film nowhere near as warm and sweet at ZMNDZMND is something of a feel-good film, and a very successful example.

I'm not sure what is to be done about Hrithik Roshan, because it's really hard to watch anyone else when he's on the screen. He has so much charisma and is so good-looking that I can't even tell if he can act - and he's truly not even my type. The EF will probably come and beat the shit out of me if I mention his name in the same sentence with Amitabh Bachchan, but time will tell. I don't think Roshan is as talented as Bachchan, but the looks and charisma will have him nipping at the heels of Shah Rukh Khan, just as Khan nips at the heels of Bachchan. Please don't tell the EF where I live.

Something else I learned from ZMND: Hrithik Roshan only has ten toes. They're not even webbed.

I liked Katrina Kaif in this, in part because her role was somewhat secondary. Also, she played a very nice character, a pleasant person; not a glamorous or sexy role. And I'm always happy when Naseerruddin Shah shows up. He's such a class act.

That being said - I can't believe how poor the subtitling was. There would be lines and lines of dialogue with no titles...or a three-sentence speech with six words of subtitle. Imran's poem were not translated. There was a speech that began (titled):  "There are two rules for this..." and then the "rules" weren't subtitled. I can't say I didn't understand the movie, but I'm sure I lost a lot of detail. I cannot imagine how in this day and age anyone gets away with such poor subtitling, especially with a very recent movie that was very popular. How do they get away with it?

And since the subject of Amitabh has come up...his five-hour abdominal surgery was successful, he was up and tweeting about ten hours later, and blogged about his operation in great detail. The guy's a champion, pure and simple. Maybe the EF are right and I shouldn't compare him to anyone in any way.

I'm insanely backed up with movies to watch, but the next one may be from the young Amitabh collection. But I have SO many movies in general that I want to see, American, Hindi, and even some Tamil and Kannada movies I (finally) found with subtitles.

I also wanted to mention that YouTube has gotten to be oddly important in my life. I guess it's partly because you just can't post mp3s, and YouTube kind of gets around it, so you can use it to share music on social media. Which becomes a way to have interesting musical dialogues with others. I'm watching a lot more of what friends post to Facebook and links I see on Twitter, meaning I'm listening to the songs. But in the case of film songs from India, the video is a bigger part of the whole. I always hated the typical rock music videos and was never an MTV viewer. I always figured that songs were for listening, and a good song should stand on its own, no pictures required. But the images do add something. And I've gone back to the relatively small numbers of music videos I did see and enjoy, and I'm rethinking the whole thing. (Although I watched a video the other night of Moon Martin singing "Doctor Doctor"; I love the way he sings the song, but he's really creepy-looking. Bring on Robert Palmer in a nice suit!

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