Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Bollywood/Hollywood (2002)

Deepa Mehta is many things: talented, witty, excellent filmmaker, concerned with women's issues and cinimatic vérité but she's not that funny. Her style is very clever but I think my two-year-old niece has a few more comedic upsets under her belt than Ms. Mehta. (We're a wacky bunch, my family.)

At the same time, I think Bollywood/Hollywood was far more palatable than the dear-God-help-us-WHY?! fiasco that was Bride and Predjudice. As Willard so aptly stated, "Bride and Prejudice is a sort of Bollywood movie in English." And personally, I don't find that nearly as endearing.

Bollywood/Hollywood works from the perspective a modern love story, part Pretty Woman--Moulin Rouge at times--it tounge-and-cheeks it all the way to the end where our two leads, in expected Western fashion, end up with their tounges in one another's cheeks. [Ok, ok. They weren't kissing that hard...]

Susan you were right! Half of what makes this movie is the inside jokes and use of filmi blockbusters as a backdrop. I'm imagine there were several more that I missed. It was cute when Akshaye shows up at the engagement party with screaming girls in tow because "Rahul is like a brother to me!" lol. Furthermore, dancing to You are My Sonia is much cooler when you don't have to watch Kareena dance it. I love singing along...

I did like the moment where Deepa tells on herself a bit with the girl saying "What's the point of focusing on incest, poverty and all that stuff? I like films that reflect our Indian culture and our magnificent Indian values." Ha! I wonder how many times she's had to hear that in her career...

"Sue-ji's Song" is really cool. Very catchy. I also liked the look of the less intense choreography. It really suits non-dancers. Beth, I daresay this was your FPMBF's finest moment. Very cute.

So, does anyone know whether or not, "I'm in love with a stripper/ escort/ prostitute" is the theme for any of Deepa's other movies? It was the case in Water, so that makes two.


Beth said...

The Republic of Love was actually the first Deepa Mehta film I ever saw. It's enh. I don't really recommend it, but I wouldn't tell you to avoid yaar either.

And yes, Akshaye is nine kinds of adorable in this movie. I just wish he'd been in in Toronto when I was there.

Susania said...

T-Hype, that pretty much sums up my feeling about this movie - good bits, dull bits, and some occasional good jokes.

What I think dulls this film down for me is the same thing that I've noticed in other Canadian-made Bollywood films, like Tum Bin. It's not just that they seem a bit tepid, but more the feeling that a key ingredient is missing. It's the difference between real sour cream and low-fat sour cream... you can just taste it.

And that goes into the whole "what makes Bollywood, Bollywood?" question - is it location? is it storyline? is it a requisite amount of song & dance? The fact that I have yet to see a GOOD "Bollywood" film made anywhere other than India makes me think it must be location.

Some things just can't be made as well as in the mother country... Japanese rice crackers, for example.

Recovering Baptist said...

Yeah, I think there's something about these movies being not only made in India but also starring Indian actors. There's appears to be a talent to pulling these thing off that white people just can't do. If it please the jury, Exhibit A: Lagaan.

Anonymous said...

I love this movie...:-) "Sue-ji's Song" is one of my favourites ever.

- Rachel