Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Yudi, Yogi, and Happy Ending… (I promise a real review soon!)

How odd that Happy Ending should follow my rediscovery of my obsession with doubles and double roles in Bollywood. In Happy Ending, the main character is a writer, Yudi (Saif Ali Khan, on the left), who is basically "writing" the movie as we're watching it… if that makes sense. Yudi doesn't just narrate the film but scene notes also appear at the appropriate times. (i.e. something like "Scene 90: Race to the Airport" during the inevitable scene where the hero races to the airport to catch up with the heroine and stop her from leaving.) Sure, it's a cute conceit and if that was all there was to it, we might as well just be watching another Imran Khan-starrer. What really makes the writer-writing-the-film concept work is the addition of the character of "Yogi" (also Saif Ali Khan, on the right).

Yudi "writes" Yogi into his story as his own (and a certain portion of the audience's) alter ego. Yogi is the personification of the type of fanboy who sits around in his superhero T-shirts debating what "tropes" are in which films and basically not seeing the forest for the nitpicking "that contradicts this origin story" trees. Yudi turns to Yogi with his actual life problems and Yogi delivers "wisdom" gleaned from snarky reviews from the Onion AV Club. I was really amused at his inclusion in the film, especially as the alter-ego of the slick, cool Yudi--each trapped in his own version of suspended adolescence and seeing the world through a specific filter.

As the stand-in for the audience, Yogi has one really great zing at the expense of "Yudi" but really at the expense of Saif, saying what we're ALL thinking when Yudi goes off on how he is still young and has time to figure things out… and Yogi just looks at him and kind of shakes his head like, "Naw, dawg." And so Yudi has to qualify with "young at heart." Yogi still doesn't quite buy it--and neither do we--but it's hilarious and a nice meta-commentary on the critique Saif and the other 40+ heroes get from the Yogi-types in the audience for playing "young… at heart."

I'm not sure if I'm the only one who saw it like this since the reviews I read all seemed to think Yogi was Yudi's twin brother… something that never occurred to me until I came home and read the reviews.

One other thing on Yogi… I found it very interesting that basically EVERYBODY agreed that Govinda and his antics were way more entertaining than the rom-com elements because Govinda and the "jimmy jimmy jimmy jimmy HERO ENTRY" is exactly what the Yogi types who found Happy Ending so dull have been trying to get erase from Bollywood for the last 15 years. I don't know. Maybe I'm just Raj & DK-biased but I read Govinda's turn as kind of a fuck you to the people who had been trying to erase his particular talents from the screen. Turns out WE FUCKING LOVE GOVINDA AND WANT HIM BACK! Oh, Govinda…

Monday, November 24, 2014

Ahhhh! Monday came too soon!

The mixed to negative response to Happy Ending has been interesting. The critics I expected to love it, really didn't. On either end. Anupama Chopra thought it didn't have enough rom-com "sparkle" and Mihir Fadnavis thought it had too much rom-com. The thing is, I understand both perspectives even if I don't necessarily agree with them. Happy Ending suffers from what we can call Tashan-itis. Just like Tashan was pastiche of and a commentary on Bollywood masala, Happy Ending is both pastiche of and meta-commentary on the rom-com genre but, just like Tashan, the mixture (apparently) didn't quite gel for most of the audience.

I enjoyed it quite a bit. I have some theories I'm working out that the film is essentially Hum Tum Plus Ten Years so if you can wait another day or so for my review…

I will say that if you are wavering on whether or not to see it:




And this song is, to quote a great hero: "Kickass."

Friday, November 21, 2014

Happy Fri-- Happy ENDING!

Sooooo sorry, guys!! This week has been crazy at work and I didn't have time to post anything yesterday… or today, really.

But if all goes well, I should be able to see Happy Ending this weekend! YAY! Lucky me! It's nice that Raj & DK are finally getting accepted into the cool "in" crowd. I remember seeing 99 in the theaters WAY back when and just being so impressed. That was back during the strike, I think. Funny to think of now.

Anyhoooo… I think I mentioned I've been going through old posts but I was reminded of when I was obsessed with doubles and doppelgängers. I wish I had time to re-watch Kaho Na… Pyaar Hai.

What a truly odd and wonderful film. And such a good launch vehicle for Hrithik. You know, I think Hrithik is one of the slipperiest heroes in Bollywood to get a hold of. He started off so young and cocky and sexual but his recent "big" films have him humble and self-sacrificing and just so earnest. Agneepath, Krrish 3… Or playing second fiddle to Katrina Kaif in Bang Bang. We've grown up together, Hrithik. ♥

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Favorite musical moments?

I got asked on twitter what some of my favorite "musical moments" in movies were… it's a tough question and a different one from favorite song picturizations, in my opinion. I can love a song picturization having never seen the film it's attached to--Jacqueline Fernandez in Jadoo Ki Jhappi springs to mind--but a "musical moment" is deep in the film itself.

But off the top of my head…

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The world waits… for Tuesday!

Ugh… I think I'm fighting off my yearly sinus infection. Ew. Ew. Ew. Anyways, folks, some good stuff in the wings!

Lingaa song trailer!! I can't wait for this!! I will NEVER forget going to see Enthiran and then how obsessed I was with it afterwards. I think I wrote like three or four long posts on that film. I wonder if I have time to re-watch some Rajini movies before seeing Lingaa...

Also, the only two words I needed to hear were "Bala presents…" and I'm sold. BALA!

AND, this really made me laugh:

I'm excited about Akshay, too, but trending below Charles Manson (!!!!!!!!!) isn't something I'd want to brag about.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Perfume at the Hammerstein Ballroom. World Tour 3rd. New York City. November 15, 2014.

「三人あわせて、Perfumeです!」(from left to right: Nocchi, Kashiyuka, and Ah~chan!)

This past weekend I had the great pleasure of seeing Japanese pop group Perfume. The group is insanely popular in Japan and are currently on their third world tour, which is the first world tour to include a stop in America. Perfume are a pop group consisting of three members: Nishiwaki Ayaka (“A~chan,” the defacto leader), Omoto Ayano (“Nocchi”), and Kashino Yuka (“Kashiyuka”). Perfume’s music--written by electropop maestro Nakata Yasutaka--is insanely catchy but the group’s hook is really their intricate three-part choreography. The three women weave in and out of each other’s space like gear wheels, a single mistake, a moment’s hesitation could end in a hard smack to the face or a high heel caught in a member’s skirt.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Friday Post!!

So… Yagavarayinum Naa Kaakka looks interesting! God, I love the sound of Tamil. I wish somebody around here offered classes or lessons but nobody teaches it!

Note from Filmi Girl:

I love Bollywood - and all the ridiculous things that happen in Bollywood - but it doesn't mean that I can't occasionally make fun of various celebrities and films.

If you don't like my sense of humor, please just move on by - Trolls are not appreciated and nasty comments will be deleted.

xoxo Filmi Girl