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Cannes 2013 Part 3

YAY!!! Some color from Vidya and Ash!  Though I really am not a fan of Ash’s anarkali/gown at least it has some colour.  Vidya looks great!

Vidya is in Sabyasachi again and Ash is in Abu Jani and Sandeep Khosla.

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Cannes 2013 Part 2

As Cannes continues we get to see more of Sonam, Vidya and Mallika.

Aishwarya and the directors of Bombay Talkies are also now in Cannes.

I have to say I am kind of getting tired of Sabyasachi.  It’s summer and all I see is back/maroon/brown/gold Sabyasachi creations! First Vidya and then Aishwarya.  Sonam is the only one who provided us with some summer color in her Dolce and Gabbana dress (the white one with flower print).  Plus Sonam’s jewellery is to die for! Her mom is a jewellry designer so I guess that is a given (pretty much every girls dream right?!).

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Bollywood at Cannes 2013

Vidya Balan is on the Cannes Jury this year so we will be seeing her everyday on the red carpet!

Amit Ji is spotted with the cast of the Great Gatsby for the Cannes premiere.

Sonam is there as the brand ambassador for L’Oreal.

Mallika Sherawat is also at Cannes.

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My Love Letter to Bollywood

Today, May 3rd, is Bollywood’s 100 year anniversary/birthday.  I obviously love Bollywood films otherwise I would not have started this blog in the first place right? But it is more than just love you see, it is my passion.  I have yet to meet someone who completely gets what this means.  I finally found some friends who like Hindi movies and are always up to watching them with me.  They know who the actors are and the songs that I am currently listening to on repeat.  Still, they don’t watch the movies like I do.  To most people a movie is a nice past time.  It’s fun. They won’t be restless if they can’t go the first Friday and they don’t look for the cinematography or background music.  To be honest I did not notice these things at first but as I grew older and as I watched more films this changed.  When I watch a Bollywood film the colours, the dance, the music, the culture and so many other aspects make me feel a high I don’t think many people feel.  I notice the choice of background music in a particular scene.  I take note of the cinematography.  I want to know who has written the screenplay, the story or the lyrics.  If a movie or song is playing on the TV downstairs I can recognize it almost immediately.  I know all the directors by name and by face.  I recognize production companies and I know who heads them.  I love watching interviews on the movie making process.  I just love everything about them.

Recently, one of my classmates asked me what do you love about these Bollywood movies anyway?  Why Bollywood?  I found it difficult to give an answer.  I mean the standard answer is the song and dance, the romantic songs shot in the Swiss Alps, the chiffon sarees, the dancing in fields, etc. But then movies like Udaan, Barfi, Gangs of Wasseypur, Vicky Donor, Kai Po Che, Paan Singh Tomar, Delhi 6 came to my mind.  These did not have the huge song and dance with a superstar grooving to catchy songs.  Yet I knew in my gut these films are different from Hollywood films.  But how?  I told him that I love them because I can relate to them more.  I get the references made in them because that is what my parents talk about at home or because I learned about them while watching NDTV with my parents.  I get the moral dilemmas the protagonists face in them.  I understood Sid’s dilemma in Wake up Sid.  I too felt that confusion when I was figuring out what I wanted to do with the rest of my life.  Ek Main Aur Ek Tu resonated with me because I too feel that parental pressure though no way near as severe.  Indian parents are unique and these films showed how.  Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Ghum taught me about the place parents are given in Indian culture.  I love my parents just like Shahrukh’s character Rahul does.  Hum Saath Saath Hain made me wish I had a family so close knit.  Delhi 6, Kai Po Che and even Mausam were commentaries on communalism and it shaped my outlook on Indian politics.  Taare Zameen Par and Barfi helped me understand the world of differently abled people.  There is a film called Gippi releasing next Friday that basically is the story of my life.  A chubby, unpopular girl who is unusually close to her brother and mother and struggles to fit in.  I even ran for Vice President and she is running for Head Girl!  In the trailer she participates in hotdog hugs and erupts into dance with her mom just like me!  Watching the trailer I thought to myself “Is this based off my life?!”.

Basically Bollywood is my passion.  I could write at least a twenty page paper on why I love it.  I could cite a hundred films that shaped the person I am today.  Unfortunately I have time constraints and you probably don’t want to read twenty pages so all I will say is HAPPY BIRTHDAY BOLLYWOOD, YOU ARE A HUNDRED AND STILL LOOKING GOOD!

Happy-Birthday

bollywood addict

My Tribute to Yash Chopra

I woke up this morning to the news of Yash Chopra’s death.  I still cannot believe the King of Romance is dead.  The man who is responsible for me falling in love with Hindi cinema is no more. I am eternally indebted to him. Rest in peace Yash Ji. I promise I will cherish this gift you have given me jab tak hai jaan, jab tak hai jaan…

The film that made me fall in love with Bollywood was Dil To Pagal Hai.  I watched it at a friend’s house when I was about 9 years old.  By then it had come on DVD and I became obsessed with the film.  I remember trading my friend my Sailor Moon movie for the Dil To Pagal Hai DVD.  Till date you can put that movie on and I will drop everything and start watching.  I think I must have seen it at least 30 times from start to finish.  Everything about that movie enticed me: the music, the idea that there is someone made for you and all you have to do is find them, the dance, etc.  After that I watched every Shah Rukh Khan movie that came before and after Dil To Pagal Hai.

Yash Ji made so many great films but besides fulfilling the role of director with panache, his production company has produced many excellent films.

Besides films, Yash Ji introduced so many talented actors and directors to bollywood.  When I told my mom about his death she aptly said “He made so many people’s lives by giving them films.”  Many people owe much to Yash Ji and he will be sorely missed.

The man was an institution in himself.  When one talks of chiffon sarees or Switzerland and romantic songs, Yash Ji’s name is the first thing that comes to mind.

I think the thing that saddens me most is he won’t be alive to see his last film release.  I really hope that Jab Tak Hai Jaan breaks all box office records because no other farewell would be proper for the man that gave us Hindi-film lovers so much joy.  It is so fitting that Jab Tak Hai Jaan is releasing on Remembrance Day long weekend here in Canada because on Tuesday, November 13th I will be remembering Yash Ji by watching the 1st day, 1st show of Jab Tak Hai Jaan.

Below is the link to Yash Ji’s last interview which he gave on the occasion of his 80th birthday just a few weeks ago.  I recommend you watch it because I learnt so much from it not just in relation to films but about life and how one should lead it.

Yash Ji will be missed.  My condolences to his family and those close to him.  All I can say is feel comfort in the fact that he was so well loved because that is a sign that he lived his life well.

bollywoodaddict

Student of the Year Movie Review: Eye-Candy and So Much More

I have been waiting for Student of the Year since I saw the first look poster.  I fell in love with Varun Dhawan after the first trailer and I never miss a Dharma film.  I basically worship Karan Johar because his films give me so much happiness that my parents think I’m insane.  However, I just LOVE them.  Life can be cruel, mundane and disappointing at times but KJo’s films allow you to forget that for a short period of time.

Student of the Year is no typical Karan Johar film because it does not have SRK in it.  This being said that does not mean it isn’t a good film.  I REALLY enjoyed this movie.

Pros of SOTY:

1. THE CAST/ KARAN JOHAR

What can I say?  Those two boys are mighty good looking.  If you want to know what I think of Siddharth just listen to the song Kukkad from the film because it describes him bang on.  He is not just a handsome guy though, he can act.  His scene with Farida Jalal is especially noteworthy.  Speaking of Farida Ji, how I love her!  I just wish she would do more movies!  The only thing Siddharth needs to work on is his dancing.  He looks awkward especially in Radha.  It’s not just his fault though, choreographer Farah Khan should not have given him the one step in which he has one leg in the air while walking after Alia (it’s just plain weird).

Varun is the scene stealer in every scene he is in! He looks fantastic especially in that one yellow sweater.  I usually hate it when girls drool over guys and objectify them but Varun brings out that side in me too so I guess I’m just as bad!  Still, I have enough objectivity left in me to say he has done a superb job in terms of acting.  The one scene where he and Siddharth tell each other about their parents brought tears to my eyes especially when Varun says “My parents are dead too.”  This boy has a bright future because man can he dance (God knows why he says he is not a natural dancer in his interviews), he can act and he is devilishly good looking.

Alia fits the role of Shanaya perfectly.  She does well in her role and dances very well too.  Manish Malhotra has styled her to perfection and Micky Contractor’s makeup is flawless.  My only concern is that though this role was made for her what will she do after this?  She looks much too young to do anything but teenager/early adult roles and there are so few films that require that in Bollywood.

Kayoze Irani proves talent is is in the genes.  His father Boman Irani is one of my favourite actors and Kayoze does him proud.  If I went to St Teresa’s I would be a carbon copy of his character so I related to him very much.  The outsider who is ready to study his butt off but lacks any scope for athletics or dance.  The critics have been raving about his big speech and I have to agree he was splendid.  I really hope we get to see more of this talented guy.

Rishi Kapoor is one of the most versatile actors I have ever seen.  From Rauf Lala to Dean Yoginder Vasisht one cannot believe it’s the same man.  He was so scary in Agneepath and now he is SOOOO funny in Student of the Year.  I salute you sir!

Ram Kapoor is great at being a jerk as you’ll know if you have seen his TV serials and Student of the Year is no exception.  His character though is one thing that bothered me about the film because no father is so relentlessly cruel.  Karan should have added some remorse or sensitivity into the character.  Ram’s wife in real life also plays his wife in the film and she is beautiful but does not have much to do except basically be Jaya Bachchan from Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Ghum.  I wouldn’t be surprised if that is the brief Karan gave her.

Ronit Roy is fabulous as the strict but tender hearted sport coach.  Manjot Singh is hilarious and loveable as he always is.  No KJo film is complete without a sardar ji and Manjot is wonderful as Dimpy.  Sana Saeed (little Anjali from Kuch Kuch Hota Hai) fits her role like a glove so hat’s off to her.  I just wish there was more for her to do especially in the “grown-up students” parts (you’ll get what I mean when you see the film).  Lastly, the young man playing Varun’s friend, Jeet is super funny and effective especially the one joke he makes about Parsi’s (not offensive but super funny!).

With such a young cast  but such fine acting it is obvious the captain of the ship deserves a standing ovation.  This was probably Karan’s most challenging film in terms of direction and it’s obvious he has nurtured these newcomers and the result is they have blossomed into promising talents.

2. THE MUSIC AND SONG PICTURIZATION/CHOREOGRAPHY

Every song is this film is amazing! Even the one’s I found myself thinking what is this when I heard the soundtrack (i.e. Kukkad).  Moreover, KJo adds renditions of some old classics into the narratives which just enhances the narrative.   Of course KJo is known for his song picturization but this is the best of all his films.  Stunning!  Remo D’Souza’s “Disco Dewane” hook step has been stuck in my head for over a month and I’m still not bored! Actually all the songs have great choreography whether it be Vele (Bosco-Caesar), Ishq Wala Love (Farah Khan), Kukkad and Radha (again Farah Khan, except that one step aforementioned).

3. THE CINEMATOGRAPHY AND ST. TERESA’S

Props to Cinematographer Ayananka Bose, he makes everything look like a dream.  Really, from Kashmir to Dehradun to Bangkok everything is translated onto celluloid like it is all heaven on earth.  Such a treat for the eyes.  I must especially mention the triathlon!  It’s an adrenaline rush just to watch!

St.Teresa’s puts Oxford, Yale and Harvard to shame.  How I wish St Teresa’s was real and I went to college there.  Life would be amazing! The assembly hall, the cafeteria and the lecture hall all amazing sets and the only real thing is the stunning campus which is actually Forest Research Institute, Dehradun.

4. THE DIALOGUES

Niranjan Iyengar is Karan’s go to guy for dialogues and their close friendship is obvious because the dialogues match the screenplay/story spot on.  The dialogues are extremely effective and reflect an understanding of today’s youth.  There are also some super funny jokes, some of which have been mentioned above.  However, the best part is Rishi Kapoor’s dialogues.  They are so adorable yet funny.

5. THE SCREENPLAY

I could not believe my eyes when the opening credits declared Rensil D’Silva has done the screenplay of this film.  This is the guy who directed Kurbaan! From such a dark, hard hitting film to this college story! What a 360 degree turn! Karan clearly knows how to pick talent.  The screenplay flows fluently from songs to romance to a triathlon!

Cons of SOTY:

1. THE ENDING:

I can’t reveal much because I want you to go buy a ticket and see the movie but I was unhappy with the ending.  I felt one of the characters was treated unfairly by the script.  However, the film in it’s entirety is so good that I’ll just pretend my choice of ending is what really happened LOL.

2. SHANAYA

She is too confused throughout the film.  I wish Karan had developed the character just a tad more or had let her explain her behaviour/choices so the viewer could have some closure.

All in all Student of the Year lived up to my expectations and I can’t wait to see more of the cast in their future ventures.  If you are a teenager or just entered adulthood give this movie a shot.  It had romance for the boys and sports for the guys but it also reminds you that the friends you make in college can be the ones you keep for your whole life.  I know that one thought that came into my head while watching the film was “I really hope me and my friends can be friends even after college is over and we all move on in our lives.”

Rating: 4/5 stars

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Student of the Year: The Biggest Launch For Any Newcomer EVER!

I am VERY excited to see Student of the Year or SOTY.  Watching the trailers I experience three things:

1. REMINISCENCE – Not of my high school days ha ha! My high school was so drab that even Karan Johar could not make it look glamourous!  No the feeling of reminiscence is directed towards one of my favorite films Kuch Kuch Hota Hai.  Obviously this film’s plot is not even remotely similar to KKHH but it too appears to be a grand, larger than life story.  I love such films and that is why I so eagerly await every Karan Johar film!

2.  CRUSH AT FIRST SIGHT – I think both the boys are very handsome but I just couldn’t keep my eyes off Varun! When I heard Varun Dhawan was acting in Karan Johar’s next film this is not what I imagined him to be like.  Now, I am eagerly awaiting his debut.  That is not to say that Siddharth is not devilishly handsome as well.  This October girls will have no shortage of eye candy thanks to Mr. Johar!

3. AWE – The opening shots of the school leave you in awe.  Then, the three youngsters leave you in awe.  They are all model-like and have impeccable fashion sense.  Then you see the multiple shots of people walking, exercising and dancing in complete sync.  Moreover, the prom song “Disco Deewane” leaves you wishing that your prom/school dance was even 1/1000th as cool as this fictional prom!

I know I am counting down the days to October 19th, the day Student of the Year releases.  What about you?  Watch the trailers below.

bollywoodaddict