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Tag Archives: Barfi

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

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If You Love Cinema Take a Bite of Barfi!

I’ve been watching Hindi movies my entire life pretty much.  I’ve been mocked because of my deep love for them but that didn’t lessen my love of them.  Do you know why?  It is because of films like Barfi.  Barfi in no way fits the stereotypical view of Bollywood.  It is not a movie consumed by song and dance numbers or totally unrealistic action sequences.  Not that there is anything wrong with those films.  In fact, I love those kinds of Hindi movies, just refer to any of my previous posts.  It is just that the next time someone says “Oh you like Bollywood?  Those are the movies where the actor and actress dance and sing for the whole movie right?” I can internally laugh at them because Barfi is not that at all.

Barfi is NOT a sad movie overall.  It is a movie about loving life.  It is about appreciating what God has given you instead of complaining about what he has given others and not you.  Barfi teaches this lesson not through melodrama or tears but through humour.  I watched the movie in a relatively full theatre and I cannot tell you how many times the theatre burst into laughter.  There are some scenes in the film that are just so adorably humorous you wish you had a remote so you could rewind and watch it again.  There are some sad portions as well but soon after you will find yourself laughing again.

Director/writer Anurag Basu most definitely deserves a standing ovation.  He has written a superb story.  It is a simple one but it makes you laugh and cry.  His direction of the film is outstanding.  Every single character is memorable and the little moments in the film stay in ones mind even after the film is over.  In an interview Ranbir Kapoor said for this film Priyanka, Ileana and himself completely relied on Mr. Basu.  Thus, their amazing performances are in part credited to this genius of a man.

My entire family loves Ranbir Kapoor.  We eagerly await all his films and we all wish him the best.  However, I have always held a special place for Shahrukh Khan in my heart.  I never thought I could love anyone more than SRK until today.  After watching Barfi, Ranbir Kapoor is my most favourite actor without question.  The man has no dialogues in the film yet I have never found a character so endearing!  I totally agree with Anurag Basu, NO ONE ELSE COULD HAVE BEEN BARFI!

Priyanka Chopra has given several noteworthy performances in her career like Aitraaz, Fashion, Kaminey and Saat Khoon Maaf but Barfi is her best yet.  Jhilmil is a tricky character to portray.  If portrayed incorrectly, Jhilmil could come off as a silly character or a pathetic caharacter for whom we feel nothing but empathy for.  Thankfully and incredibly, Priyanka’s performance ensures neither of the above happens.  Rather, you find yourself falling in love with Jhilmil’s spirit.  You don’t feel sorry for her.

Ileana’s role is substantial but it is not as interesting/meaty as Ranbir and Priyanka’s roles.  She does a good job though and was an apt choice.

All in all, Barfi is my favourite film of the year thus far.  I won’t at all be surprised to see Ranbir walk away with all the Best Actor awards this year again.  Nor will I be surprised to see Anurag Basu walk away with best director (though he may have to compete with Yash Chopra and Reema Katgi).  Priyanka will most definitely be nominated but I will have to see Heroine first before I can say with certainty that she will win.  So far, for me it was the best performance by an actress this year.

I will give one warning though, if you only like fast paced masala movies then Barfi may not be for you. As critic and trade analyst Taran Adarsh aptly put it:

“On the whole, BARFI! is unusual for Bollywood. You don’t formulate movies like BARFI! targeting its box-office potential or its commercial prospects. You create such films for the passion of cinema.”

So, if you truly love cinema and do not only go to movies to help pass the time then Barfi is most definitely one film you should not miss.  Even if you are one of those movie-goers I would say give this movie a chance.  It is a happy story.  Though for some strange reason I found myself getting teary eyed at the end even though the ending is such a happy one.  I think that is why I loved this movie so much, it invoked something in me that I still don’t understand.  That has never happened to me before.

Rating: 4.5/5

bollywoodaddict

Barfi – Something out of the ordinary but in a good way!

I always argue with people who say bollywood movies are all the same because that statement does not only apply to bollywood but also applies to every film industry out there.  Ask yourself how many superhero movies has hollywood churned out this year or how many rom-coms, animated movies about being courageous?

Still I too yearn for those bollywood films that are not the norm and now more than ever I am getting what I want.  Recently films like 3 Idiots, Ferrari Ki Saawari, Chillar Party, Ishqiya, Saat Khoon Maaf, Kaminey, Sahib Biwi Aur Gangster, Paan Singh Tomar, My Name Is Khan, Kahaani, Rockstar, Gangs of Wasseypur, ZNMD, etc. have been made and they are out of the ordinary but in a good way!  Looks like another name will be added to the list come September 14th, 2012, BARFI!

The trailer was released today and I am already impressed.  The visuals are stunning! Anurag Basu is a talented director and the trailer is just a reminder of this.  Moreover, watching Ranbir one cannot help but reminisce and think back to Raj Kapoor Saab and Charlie Chaplin.  This young man is shaping up to be the biggest star in bollywood.  I suggest the Khans stop fighting amongst themselves and watch out for him instead!

I don’t know about you but I’m eagerly awaiting Barfi!

bollywoodaddict