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Te Ika a Māui
Kiwi Anglo-Indian, addicted to filmi qawwali. A proud pieriansipist, looking to live, learn, and help others do the same
Interests: old hindi films, old filmi songs ESPECIALLY filmi qawwali. Wearily fond of Arsenal FC
Recent Activity
Another lovely review. I think it's a tribute to this film that it's appealed to many whose tastes in cinema seldom mesh. I especially liked this "Bajrangi Bhaijaan makes no pretense about being emotionally manipulative, and the manipulation itself is so satisfying that submitting to it is a pleasure" - a very nice summary of how I felt watching it. I was particularly happy that I got to see it in a nearly full cinema with an audience who who clearly felt similarly. I smiled too at your mention of Tere Bin Laden. That comparison never even occurred to me until after someone shared a YT link showing the REAL Chand Nawab doing the "Karachi se log" bit at the station. Realising that the film had borrowed from real life, right down to the names of the reporter and cameraman, added unexpected credibility to the TBL crew. :)
Toggle Commented Jul 21, 2015 on Bajrangi Bhaijaan (2015) at Filmi Geek
A note perfect review again, one that succeeded in reminding me how little of the film I remember, apart from its songs. I guess it's a sign of how little the main storyline affected me that for both my wife and me, the most dramatically tense moment came in the qawwali, wondering if Zeenat would respond and join him on stage! :)
Toggle Commented Feb 24, 2014 on Hum kisise kum naheen (1977) at Filmi Geek
It was only when you kindly said thanks on Facebook that I remembered I had! :)
Toggle Commented May 6, 2013 on Kannathil muthamittal (2002) at Filmi Geek
Yaay! So pleased you like this outstanding film. I know she's not actually "in" it that much, but this one of my favourite Nandita roles, and I am always recommending it to people. Your glowing review makes me want to watch it all over again.
Toggle Commented May 6, 2013 on Kannathil muthamittal (2002) at Filmi Geek
HOW DID I MISS THIS? Jewel Thief is that true rarity, a Dev film I don't hate, in which he approaches some semblance of tolerability, and with great songs. Teesri Manzil, on the other hand was a snoozefest, that left me wondering why so many people rave about it. This contest for me is no contest at all, Jewel Thief steals the prize with ease.
Fantastic review! I especially liked that way you kept the focus positive, even when talking about the 80s, that universally slated decade. The reference to my favourite 80s film, Chashme Buddoor, also fitted nicely with your comment about history not fitting our calendar, because I still think of Chashme Buddoor as a late seventies film! :)The swift summary of the seventies reminded me that I owe Sholay another chance, and your praise of Desai and masala brought to mind Parvarish, the only standout from my internal list that didn't make your cut. Your retrospective was a marvel of conciseness, really packnig a lot into a short space, refreshing and reigniting my determination to get back into some serious film-watching (possibly including some serious-film watching).
Your review of this film matches pretty much every other one I've read. Which makes my reaction to the film an interesting exercise in selective recall. Reading your review, I have no trouble conceding that it oozed self-importance and pretention, but somehow I skipped all that when I watched it. I loved the cinematography, which at times reminded me of Vincent Ward's "The Navigator: A Medieval Odyssey", one of my all time favourite films for its camer work. I was also super-excited when I watched this film (several years ago now) to hear Shamshad used so much. I guess I fixated so much on those lements that all the faults so correctly highlighted by you and others just went up in flames.
Toggle Commented Apr 4, 2013 on Aag (1948) at Filmi Geek
Even though I think I enjoyed this movie more that you did, Carla, I can definitely sympathise with many of your comments, especially regarding the shrillness of the supporting cast. Certainly, like you I wanted to like this movie more than I ended up doing. Part of the reason for that was the drug dealer scene, which, like Rahul, I found irritating and pointless, singling it out when I wrote about my reaction to the film. I would argue though, that the gender inversion is still significant, because at least the film accords her the right to be superficial. Also as I said when I wrote about it, I think the choice of a South Indian hunk was particularly good in this regard, if the impression I get that female roles are even more shallow and irrelevant there than in Bollywood is anywhere near accurate. Aiyyaa the character could have been more, but if one looks at the film as her choosing to be path to be that of a filmi fantasy queen rather than follow the choices of her family, then it's possible to see some empowerment there.
Toggle Commented Feb 14, 2013 on Aiyyaa (2012) at Filmi Geek
A lovely review! Your reaction to the movie, which I liked, was very much like mine to the book, which I loved and preferred. It's also the second time today that someone has gushed about the movie, proof again that coming into a film like this without expectations set or comparisons waiting to be made can enhance the experience.
Toggle Commented Feb 14, 2013 on Life of Pi (2012) at Filmi Geek
"I suppose I appreciate why people think it's a good film, but it was just not a story I had any interest in seeing told" - a reaction I'm very familiar with, from watching films like Shor in the City. Maybe I need to rewatch Blue Umbrella, definitely my favourite Bhardwaj film.
Toggle Commented Jan 14, 2013 on Matru ki Bijlee ka Mandola (2013) at Filmi Geek
I didn't dislike it and was not angry at having wasted my money, so it's already way ahead of most of the Hindi films I see at the cinema! :) I am very much looking forward to reading your views on Omkara and Maqbool. They are both fine films, especially Maqbool for me. Naseeruddin as one of the "witches" and Pankaj's outstanding turn as a villain who makes his sober Mandola seem as cuddly as Santa Claus make it one of my all time favourites.
Toggle Commented Jan 13, 2013 on Matru ki Bijlee ka Mandola (2013) at Filmi Geek
I was thinking of you a great deal while enjoying the VERY rare treat of seeing this BEFORE almost any of my filmi friends, thanks to catching it on release day in NZ. Shabana was such a standout for me, playing the anti-Shabana with such obvious enjoyment. I laughed often, but in the end was left with the overwhelming impression of a film that could not make up its mind what it wanted to be. I never would have guessed that it was by the mind behind Omkara and Maqbool. Rather like Mandola himself, the film itself struck me as schizophrenic, too confused about itself to do anything other than fitfully entertain. It's a sign of VERY bad acting when someone with as shaky a grasp of Hindi as I can still detect Imran's accent/dialect fading in and out erratically, for example. I will be watching it again for the laughs, but of the 4 VB films I've seen this is the weakest by such a large margin the other three are over the horizon.
Toggle Commented Jan 13, 2013 on Matru ki Bijlee ka Mandola (2013) at Filmi Geek
This is the first Sridevi movie I've really liked. Lamhe was too weird, and I haven't seen many others. Because of that, I totally agree with you about the dancing - such a shame we didn't get to see more. But we did get to see her act beautifully. I hope that she makes more movies, and makes good choices about which movies to make, like she did with this one.
Toggle Commented Dec 25, 2012 on English Vinglish (2012) at Filmi Geek
That would a fascinating idea for a wet weekend day, I think - watch Naya Daur then Lagaan. Thanks, Carla. Also, despite all the things I like about Naya Daur, Johnny Walker, my two favourite female playback singers in the delightful reshmi salwar, and the uplifting message, I totally agree that it won't catch up with Lagaan. Watching the two COULD provide an interesting piece on what makes a GOOD remake/homage though, timely given that both Bollywood and Hollywood seem content to spit out sequel after sequel.
Toggle Commented Nov 10, 2012 on Naya daur (1957) at Filmi Geek
I have to confess to never having seen seven brides, but I loved this movie when I first watched it a few months, and mostly for Hema - she owned this film as thoroughly as she did Seeta aur Geeta. Great fun, and with a refreshing innocence to its humour, even the broader moments, like the condom scene. As for the "at least he didn't rape me" reasoning, it was far-fetched, but still for me a refreshing change from the casual use of rape itself as a plot device and source of "humour" in so many Indian films, so I'm happy to give them a pass for that.
Toggle Commented Oct 27, 2012 on Satte pe satta (1982) at Filmi Geek
The only downside to reading this post was that its existence was a nasty reminder of how quickly time passes. I can't believe I've been enjoying and learning from your reviews for nearly six years already. It's interesting that we often tend to strongly dislike the same movies, while not necessarily liking the same ones (Howrah Bridge, zB). I also remember the genuine delight I felt when your lengthy hiatus ended and filmigeek once again became a regular port of call for thought-provoking discussion and dissection of films. For the invaluable service you have provided in steering me away from the dross, and for doing so with writing that is personal and deft, many, many thanks. Party here for your tenth?
Wow, poor Saira! I came here to comment on the review, and find that dislike for her is so widespread as to override the main content of your review. :) I enjoyed your review because it's prompted me to consider rewatching this one. I have no strong recollection of it, which means I didn't dislike it, and now I'm interested to see it again, at least in part to see how bad Saira is - having only seen her in 3 films, I have no strong feelings one way or the other about her.
Toggle Commented Oct 3, 2012 on Hera pheri (1976) at Filmi Geek
" but a kind of "item number stylized version" of it" THAT I totally saw. I also agree that the whole set for Kajra Re is designed to evoke the Taj, which hadn't occurred to me before reading your excellent post. When I saw the bit you have circled here, on my many slow-speed rewatches after your earlier post, I thought it was a representation of the Taj. I also thought it quite possible that I simply need better glasses!
Having enjoyed Junglee when I gave it a second chance, I'm gonig to do the same for this one. Fingers crossed for the same outcome.
Toggle Commented Feb 20, 2012 on Teesri manzil (1966) at Filmi Geek
I appreciated your tweets for the way they showed a compassionate focus on the more important issues, and the reactions of those who blindly supported Chris Brown were disturbing. That said, I did think that some of your comments did come across as sounding as though you were of the view that someone guilty of domestic violence could never change. It's a heinous crime, and one that should cause revulsion, but I stopped following your Twitter conversations on the subject when it started to sound like you thought it was an incurable condition. It's quite possible that I misread your posts, and that the constraints of Twitter facilitated my misapprehension of your intent, and if that's the case, I apologise.
1 reply
OK, I give up. I tried, REALLY< REALLY tried to find the Taj in Kajra Re, but the task was beyond me. You are a cruel and vicious woman, to expect me to somehow take my eyes off Aish when she was at her most drop dead beautiful, assiduously seducing her honewala sasur. They could have filmed it IN the Taj and I wouldn't have seen it. Time marker, please?
Thanks for the review Carla. When I read about the VERY unhappy outcomes for some of the characters I wsa a bit put off. I did very much enjoy Shyam Benegal's "Well Done Abba", with Boman Irani starring. It sounds similar in tone, but without any of the sadness of this one. I think you would probably enjoy it too.
Toggle Commented Feb 14, 2011 on Welcome to Sajjanpur (2008) at Filmi Geek
I definitely think it will be a good intro/crossover film. I've just watched again with my wife, and she really enjoyed it. She's not totally averse to Hindi films and likes several of my faves, but is much less keen than I am, and I think her spontaneous laughter throughout endorses your view, Carla.
Toggle Commented Jan 20, 2011 on Tere Bin Laden (2010) at Filmi Geek
"Chak de India at times feels like an extended clown-car gag - how many cliches can we pack into one film? " To be fair to CDI, this describes pretty much EVERY sports film, hai na? Even Lagaan piled them on pretty thickly. I'm glad you liked CDI despite its cliched nature, as a fellow non-SRK wordhipper, it's one of my favourites of his. Your comments on Dil Bole Hadippa are makngi me reconsider my decision not to check it out, too.
Toggle Commented Jan 19, 2011 on Chak de India (2007) at Filmi Geek
Great review, as always! I've just finished this frothy fun treat and have to buy it now. As you say, it's the lightness and silliness that make the film. A literally laugh out loud piece of fun gthat has restored my faith in modern Hindi cinema, even if most of that was from across the border!Speaking of which, how nice to see a male lead doing his own singing too. :)
Toggle Commented Jan 19, 2011 on Tere Bin Laden (2010) at Filmi Geek