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Geek. Dilettante. Over-analyzer of Hindi movies. World music addict & DJ. Anthropologist of enthusiasms. Other stuff.
Interests: At the moment: India and Hindi films, languages and linguistics, world music, world history, health and fitness
Recent Activity
Thanks for the thoughtful comment, Maggie - I very much appreciate your reading and adding to the discussion. You make a great point about Gandhi-style resistance and sacrifice, but I have to say I have a very different reaction to Raj Kapoor than you do. I find nearly all his films self-indulgent and whiny, and his characters do little more than lament how tragic their lives are when really all they are doing is imposing their oversized egos on everyone else. Shree 420 being the only, and a very delightful, exception.
Toggle Commented Oct 2, 2016 on Mother India (1957) at Filmi Geek
Dir. Ashutosh Gowariker First, a disclaimer: I only lasted about an hour and fifteen minutes, roughly halfway, into Ashutosh Gowariker's new film before I just couldn't take another minute. I walked out. So I can't really call what follows a... Continue reading
Posted Aug 14, 2016 at Filmi Geek
I rather agree with you about Bauji's selfishness. I'm not sure I'm ready to read the end as literally as you do, though. I do appreciate your comments on Seema Pahwa's character. I think (though it's been a while now since I've seen the film) my issue was one of tone, rather than content, of her bitter comments. She became so shrill and loud as to be irritating to listen to. Realistically so? Perhaps, but this is a film, not reality; not irritating your audience is an important par tof storytelling, especially when you want the character to be sympathetic. I will watch Masaan and Titli both, eventually. Very pressed for time these days and finding it very difficult to write, even when I get a chance to watch things. I'm not in a productive phase just now, it seems. :/
Toggle Commented Jun 5, 2016 on Ankhon Dekhi (2013) at Filmi Geek
That's so funny - I guess Bhansali and his choreographer have a better bead on what young people will like than I do! I have found the movie gets even better with repeat viewings, but of course, different strokes etc. What were the mixed feelings?
गोलियों की रासलीला राम-लीला Dir. Sanjay Leela Bhansali Bhansali films have been a mixed bag for me. For instance, while I am very fond of Khamoshi and Bajirao-Mastani, Saawariya hits some terribly wrong notes, and my seething hatred of Devdas... Continue reading
Posted Jun 4, 2016 at Filmi Geek
Always good to meet another true believer ;)
Toggle Commented May 25, 2016 on OK Kanmani (2015) at Filmi Geek
Thanks so much for the additions. I have seen some of these but not yet written about them - including Do Bigha Zameen, Devi, and Alaipayuthey. I'd like to write about them. Another trade-off for me - rewatch something I've seen before and write about it, or watch something new and expand my knowledge? If only I had three more hours in each day. :D
Toggle Commented May 25, 2016 on OK Kanmani (2015) at Filmi Geek
Dir. Dibakar Banerjee The events of Shanghai unfold in the fictional city of Bharatnagar, India City, a city that is any city in India, a microcosm of India. In Bharatnagar, political rallies halt traffic daily, working people's homes are bulldozed... Continue reading
Posted May 22, 2016 at Filmi Geek
Hello Ashish, thank you for the kind comment. :) Funny thing about that picture - I wrote this review when the film was just out, and I had trouble finding a still I liked. I found the one you see above, but I had wondered whether it was actually from the film, or maybe from a scene that didn't make the final cut. At any rate I used it, and you have caught me out. ;) Now that DVDs of this film are available I will watch it again someday and then replace the screenshot! I would love to see all the films you mention. It is not as easy to find Malayalam films with English subtitles as it is Hindi films (much less to find the time to watch any films at all) but I so much appreciate your recommendations and have added them to a spreadsheet I keep of non-Hindi Indian films that have been recommended to me.
Toggle Commented May 22, 2016 on OK Kanmani (2015) at Filmi Geek
In case you missed them, here are my last few columns at Outlook. Quirky Parsis and Drunk Christians - despite the title that my editor gave this piece, it is actually about movies that go beyond these stereotypes when depicting... Continue reading
Posted May 22, 2016 at Filmi Geek
Thanks! I found the film on YouTube with subtitles and will definitely give it a look.
Toggle Commented Apr 12, 2016 on Mere Apne (1971) at Filmi Geek
Arvind, do you think Gulzar is better as a lyricist than a filmmaker? I always enjoy his films. There is a delicacy to the way he tells stories. Mausam is a great example - it's a very filmi story, but he tells it with a deft touch. Aandhi of course is one of my all-time favorites. I picked up a copy of Achanak on the recommendation of several commenters here - I haven't watched it yet but I think I will in the not-too-distant future.
Toggle Commented Apr 10, 2016 on Mere Apne (1971) at Filmi Geek
Thanks Sumeet :) If my knowledge is encyclopedic it is missing quite a few volumes! I answered your question over on Facebook. Hope to see you soon!
Toggle Commented Apr 8, 2016 on Mere Apne (1971) at Filmi Geek
Madhulika, it's definitely ham-fisted at times but on balance I found it a very engaging and interesting film. I look forward to seeing what you think.
Toggle Commented Apr 8, 2016 on Mere Apne (1971) at Filmi Geek
मेरे अपने Dir. Gulzar An old widow moves from her village to the city, is baffled by the coarseness and amorality that she encounters there, and finds her place as a surrogate grandmother to a clutch of antagonistic ruffians, bringing... Continue reading
Posted Apr 6, 2016 at Filmi Geek
Hello and thank you for reading and for your comment. I do like Dharmendra - he's one of my favorites! Your comment about the mistreatment of women - Sometimes I enjoy films despite there being awful misogynist elements. Sometimes a single awful misogynist element can ruin a whole film for me. I can't claim to be consistent about it. I chalk it up to the human ability to hold contradictory ideas in our minds simultaneously - it's a sign of our intelligence. ;) I'm glad you are enjoying dissecting details. Some people think Hindi films are not worth thinking about - I prefer people who appreciate that they are. :) Hope you and your mother are well.
Toggle Commented Mar 31, 2016 on Piku (2015) at Filmi Geek
Dir. Shakun Batra I have a good friend whose family is in the habit of lying to one another and keeping secrets. Don't tell my sister that my other sister's son is gay - it will kill her. Don't let... Continue reading
Posted Mar 20, 2016 at Filmi Geek
Thanks very much, Mike. I don't think I need to see a *more* gory version of Anjaam. Truth be told, I generally can't stand stuff like that in the movies.
Toggle Commented Feb 1, 2016 on Anjaam (1994) at Filmi Geek
Hello Smitha, Thank you for your comments on this and a couple of other posts. Judging from what you've said, you don't agree with a lot of my opinions, so I am that much more appreciative that you've taken the time to read so much of them despite that. You might like to hear that I've actually seen quite a few more films of Rajesh Khanna since I wrote this post more than 3 years ago. But, my feelings about him haven't changed all that much. And I still think Tanuja is adorable.
Toggle Commented Feb 1, 2016 on Haathi mere saathi (1971) at Filmi Geek
Hello folks - I did podcast with Beth and Sujoy in which we rounded up the year 2015 in Hindi films. Come listen to us discuss the best, the worst, the most exciting, the most disappointing, and more! Listen here. Continue reading
Posted Jan 11, 2016 at Filmi Geek
And thank you, for reading and for the kind words! "But it was always 'dabble' because the climatic resolution of these love stories is always so incomplete, it makes one feel let down in the end. It's almost like he realises - oh dear, this is an Indian audience, So the movies end with a happy, happy resolution where everybody involved subscribes to the sanctity of marriage." This is a great observation about Yash Chopra, and maybe why I like him better when he's working on grand archetypal canvases like Kaala Patthar or Deewaar. In those movies he seemed less afraid to show people's lives really broken or permanently transformed by the events in the story. I think you are right, though, that Lamhe could have been a more compelling story with some changes in approach.
Toggle Commented Jan 9, 2016 on Lamhe (1991) at Filmi Geek
Thanks, Nattu. I admit that I am no connoisseur of fight scenes - they are more often something I endure than something I enjoy. That said, there are fight scenes that transcend mere spectacle and actually lend something to the foundation of character and narrative. And occasionally, I even notice this - although it seems I did not when I first watched Deewaar (you can bet I'll be looking for it next time). One time that I DID notice is in another Yash Chopra film, Kaala Patthar, which uses fight scenes to convey so much about all the principal male characters. So now you have me wondering if thoughtful use of fight scenes is more of a Yash Chopra hallmark than I have noticed in the past. Something interesting to think about!
Toggle Commented Nov 20, 2015 on Deewaar (1975) at Filmi Geek
Thanks very much, Abdullah. Please, tell me more about HAHK as a "progressive effort." Not challenging you - I'm intrigued and would love to hear more about what you have to say about it.
Toggle Commented Nov 20, 2015 on Prem Ratan Dhan Payo (2015) at Filmi Geek
I think calling Maine Pyar Kiya childish is pretty fair. It's not necessarily an indictment of the film, though. It's not meant to reflect the grown-up world in its ugly complexity. To the contrary, it's meant to let you escape from that ugliness into a simpler, cleaner, happier world. Hum Aapke Hain Kaun has the song "Chocolate Lime Juice" which is about being on the threshold of adulthood and finding it very confusing. In some sense Barjatya movies are all about preserving that last moment of youthful innocence and untarnished love.
Toggle Commented Nov 20, 2015 on Prem Ratan Dhan Payo (2015) at Filmi Geek
प्रेम रतन धन पायो Dir. Sooraj Barjatya Some of the most awkward moments of Prem Ratan Dhan Payo come when it tries to be progressive and modern while still hewing to its regressive Rajshri roots. When our hero Prem (Salman... Continue reading
Posted Nov 16, 2015 at Filmi Geek