Thursday, January 05, 2006

Happy Happy Bollywood!!

Bride & Prejudice. OK, I think technically the film was made here. But still, the flavor...if you're like me and you've just been kind of "blah" so far in the new year, watch this movie. I just LOVED it. Please note--this is NOT the same as me saying it's a strong film. It was a poor adaptation of Jane Austin's "Pride & Prejudice," obviously, and pretty cheesey, and somewhat badly acted.

But, OH, the HAPPY!! I know that now if I ever make it to Delhi, I will be so disappointed that everyone isn't gorgeously and professionally coiffed and made up, dressed in bright, complementary colors, and bursting spontaneously into energetic song & dance numbers in the streets. I WANT MORE. Alex was dragged reluctantly into this one, needless to say, and moaned and groaned as the ending of the movie overlapped into the beginning of the Texas/USC game. But at the beginning, when the credits were rolling, and he spotted the name Aishwarya Rai, he perked up just a bit. It didn't mean anything to me, but Alex said, "You know, she's known as the most beautiful woman in the world."

Me: "Well, IS she?"

Alex: "Why, no...YOU are."

Me: "Seriously--I haven't seen her. IS she the most beautiful woman in the world?"

Alex: (answering a tad too quickly and enthusiastically) "Yeah."

I might have been upset, but pretty shortly this visage appeared on the screen. Kinda hard to argue at that point. Dang. This woman is just divinely beautiful. Turns out she was Miss World 1994, and the pride of India ever since. Justifiably so. But the best part--THE BEST PART (ARE YOU LISTENING, PAT AND MARGALIT?)--the best part is that a major role in the movie is played by Naveen Andrews, who you are most recently accustomed to seeing as the rugged, tough, ex-Iraqi Republican Guardsman on Lost: And what do you get to see Naveen doing within the first few moments of this movie? C'mon, guess. Assassinate someone? Rescue a damsel? Nooooooo. The best part of this movie is watching "Sayid" busting some mad Indian dance moves with a big, happy, dopey grin on his face! And he's GOOD at it! TOTALLY worth the price of rental, especially from Netflix. So, to sum up: Happy, singing, dancing, beautiful people in beautiful settings and beautiful clothes for two hours, and Naveen Anderson getting his groove on in a way that we will NEVER get to see on "Lost."

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  1. Oh, this is going right on the netflix list. Thanks for the review. Mmmmmm, my mouth is watering.

    Have you seen Monsoon Wedding? It is the most delightful film, totally worth seeing. Rent it if you haven't yet see it.

    I'm a total whore for Indian culture. I don't know why, I'm in no way Indian, but there is something about it that is so attractive to me. I love love love Indian literature, so much so that I've pretty much read everything that comes into my bookstore. I share them with my friend Amy, who is just as big a whore as I am. But she's been there. I long to get to visit India. I find everything about the culture so interesting, and oh, the food! Those people know how to eat!

  2. Oh yes... Aishwarya Rai is brutally hot.

    Roger Ebert once claimed that she was the most beautiful woman in the world and I just had to see what the fuss was about. After Elizabeth Hurley, I'd have to agree.

  3. Margalit, me too! I will get Monsoon Wedding ASAP. I also want to see that one from a few years ago, can't remember the name, but it was about cricket? And I just tried to comment on your blog (but my PC is still not opening other people's Blogger comments) about the sped teacher and the book--UTTER BOLLOCKS. I hope she reads it anyway. Bless her heart.

    Dave2--"Brutally Hot." Hmph. Guess that's my new goal. To be so attractive it causes men pain. Sounds great!

  4. ooh.. Sounds like a must see! I love Sayid!

  5. Okay, putting this one on the list of "must see".

    I've always wanted to watch an Indian flick but never knew which one to pick. If I picked a really crappy onem that would prompt me never to try again. If I picked a really good one, hell, that would be a miracle (I'm prone to picking rather bad flicks to watch).

  6. As an Indian kid - thank you for the props to Bollywood, it is one of the country's pride and joys : ) And yes Aishwarya is top dog in India, EVERYONE knows about her (even old ladies and men who don't watch desi films). I have a love/hate thing with her, she does show the world that India has beautiful people but at the same time she sets this impossible standard for the rest of us Indian girls (particularly with the Indian guys).

    I love Bollywood films, actually just saw two over the Christmas break - of course I speak the language so watching 3 hours worth of singing and dancing and happiness is easy for me. If you liked this Bride and Prejudice, I'd recommend watching Bend It Like Beckham, it's cute. Monsoon Wedding is good also, but my family didn't like the serious storyline (we Indians like our films happy and lite!), Bollywood/Hollywood is another film in English, relatively fun.

    If you can do subtitles there are some really cute Indian films I'd recommend, my favorite Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gaum, also Lagaan (nominated for an Oscar), or the classic Quaymat se Quaymat Tak (doesn't end happy).

    Ok, babbled on way too long, but you picked a subject I happen to know about and well, love!

  7. Lagaan is a cricket film - nominated for best foreign film Oscar about three years ago.

  8. ok sorry this will be my last comment, but Devdas is also good, has Aishwarya in it (doesn't end happy though). Very colorful, done in classic old India style and lots of songs. My sister who doesn't watch a lot of these films, loved it.

  9. How can men dance?

    No, really, I want to know. It's not a skill we're born with, hence, something happens.

    Like getting dumped in toxic waste and developing super powers.

  10. Celena--to see "Sayid" just boogeying away...ahhh, it's priceless! He cleans up well, too, and even tames that unruly mane of his a time or two. Get it now, get it now!

    Maidink--my Dad used to be the one who would watch subtitled foreign films with me, and we saw a couple of good ones...of course, when the titles are in another language and you're a doltish, English-only-speaking American, well...couldn't tell you what they were!

    VG--I was hoping you'd pipe up with some suggestions! I'll have to slip them in gradually on Alex, in between "his" picks. Yes, that woman is beautiful--does her look change a lot? It seemed in this film that she was very "anglicized," if you know what I mean. Her hair was considerably lightened, compared to other pics of her. All the people who played her family, esp. sisters, looked very different from her. And with those wicked-pretty grey/green/blue one point I said to Alex, "*I* look more Indian than she does." In comparing pictures on the internet, the ones in which she is natural and exotic are definitely more striking than the stills from "Bride."

    I liked "Bend It" a lot, and was so tickled when Parminder Nagra joined the cast of ER. But there was not SINGING AND DANCING in that one. And OK, speaking of Parminder...there was one early episode of hers on ER where she had some music playing during a party at the hospital. I LOVED that music. She commented on the show that it was Sikh, possibly Sikh rap. I wish I knew what it was, because it was infectious. But yes, Lagaan is the one I never got to see!

    Dan--I don't know if they were exposed to radiation, but these guys can DANCE. Oh, and many times, the ladies are BAREFOOT. Around these parts, that would be risking several toes per minute of dancing. Also, to dance with this skill, if you saw it here in a movie or on Broadway, the men would be gay. These guys were something else. And then there was this whole thing with these was just way impressive, and no one got clocked.

  11. Yep, she's exquisite. But then, if I were inclined toward the softer sex, I'd prefer brunettes over blonds.

    Seeing as how I'm quite hetero...Ah, Naveem. Sigh. [fans self] I'm totally loving his outfit. Slurp.

    Hmmm. Now how can I get the husband to rent this movie? It's totally not his style.

    D'oh. [Forehead slap.]

    Yeah, that's the ticket.

  12. Pat--you don't have to tell him *everything.* Sayid is in it, and the most beautiful woman in the world. He'll think it's an action flick, until it's too late. The mopey songs are tough to stomach, but I LOVE the four sisters singing (mocking the Delhi ex-pat who lives in LA and now thinks he's a "cool" American but comes back to India to get the "right kind" of wife, as if he's picking up a piece of antique furniture) "No Life...Without Wife."

  13. It is purported that Aish has green eyes - she is very fair, which I think makes her more pretty.

    I think the song that Neela was talking about might have been by Punjabi MC - he is huge in the UK and has some of the best Indo-American mixes around (Jay-Z even sampled some). I love her on ER btw!

  14. Wow. Dancing men and the world's most beautiful woman. I'm not sure whether your husband is a martyr or a wiseguy for missing the Texas-USC game. ;)

  15. Don't worry, Ariel--he only missed the first few minutes, which he had TiVo'd anyway. No fool, that one.

    Ladies, Ariel is a usually-brilliant young man with a darling pregnant wife who recently commented publicly about how great it was that his baby was not due during March Madness. *ahem* Ha ha, right?

  16. I'm glad to read the review-- i've almost rented this a ton. And the lady IS gorgeous-- kinda makes you want to give up, huh? (Or at least quit waxing my mustache)

  17. I haven't seen Indian movies since I was a kid. I kinda grew out of them. But I had to see this after seeing Bend It Like Beckham (same director, both from the UK). B&P is silly stuff, but great if you want to pass away the time. This Christmas the family went over to my Mom's and we watched it again -- then my mom brought out the DVD with the music videos -- I've now had my fill of singing and dancing.

    And a little bit of trivia on Naveen Andrews -- the boy has a thing for older women. ;-) I'd still like to see him in The Buddha of Suburbia -- I've read the book -- hilarious!

  18. I absolutely loved B&P. I am a P&P nut to begin with (Heck, I was an English major) and I love the 'life' and the style of Bollywood. Monsoon Wedding is one of my all-time favorites (though, as mentioned, it does have its sad storyline). I didn't know that Aishwarya Rai was Miss World, but it doesn't surprise me. She is absolutely stunning. Probably the most beautiful woman I've ever seen. How do you think I got my fiance to watch it??

    And Virginia Gal -- I'm so excited about your recommendations! Usually I haunt the 'International' section of Hollywood Video (I know, sad girl with no Netflix yet) and agonize over which foreign film will turn out good. By far I've had good experiences over bad, but it helps to have them already vetted!

  19. In defense of the male population that can dance, my brothers been part of a dance crew for awhile now. He is a breakdancer, and damn good. Two years ago he was cast as a lead dancer (supporting actor, but one with the most dance sequences) in a youth production. I really am very proud of him, he's very musically talented. Pity he doesn't follow his dream of becoming a professional backing dancer.

  20. Anne, after your lip-wax report, I can't honestly believe you'd ever do it again anyway!

    Andy, thanks for stopping by--it sounds to me like Christmas at your family's was a blast! And yeah--hasn't Naveen Andrews been with Barbara Hershey for something like 8 years now?

    Stephanie, Thanks for visiting! My all-time favorite film adaptation of P&P is the one done for BBC several years ago starring Colin Firth (*gasp*) as Mr. Darcy. Oh, heaven.

    Krome, at least your brother will always be able to impress the ladies! ;-) I'm glad you're still coming by for your "poodle aversion therapy." Hee, hee.