of (in)sanity

This was an eventful weekend.

Mister was expected to travel to Singapore for three weeks on Sunday, and in a turn of events best described as filmi in the Serendipity kind of way, the trip got pushed to the 23rd of August at the last minute. No we weren’t at the airport, but all his bags were packed, and he had one foot out of the door when we found out he didn’t have to go yet.

Phew!

And as if that drama was not enough, we ended up watching three movies and having a kick-ass debate with a cousin over the Yakub Memon issue. But that’s a story for another (non-existent) day, going by the sheer number of times I’ve said I’ll-tell-you-later in the past.

Ajay Devgn in a forest. Really?
Ajay Devgn in a forest? Really?

So I watched Drishyam, despite ugly-ass posters that looked like something created by a graphics design intern (or one that was just about to quit). I thought the movie was overall pretty riveting, but the first half was super slow.

The story had a lot of loopholes that I’d be happy to ignore because *drool* Ajay Devgn. (Unnecessary backstory: When I was younger, I used to think he was my soulmate, especially in the hand-eye coordination department. Have you seen this guy dance?)

I’d have been happier if they had portrayed Ajay (Vijay in the movie) as someone who blends in a bit more and stays out of trouble; a series of fake alibis coming from a fourth-class-fail, nondescript guy would’ve been more fun, you know? Maybe they should’ve chosen another actor?

And someone tell me this – why would physical intimidation and bullying, aka interrogation, take place at the IG’s house? What policeman has the gumption to hit an eight year old girl? Anyway. I can’t say I didn’t enjoy the movie, so I will shut up now.

I have nothing to say about this one.
I have nothing to say about this one.

People who had seen Bajrangi Bhaijaan all came back applauding Salman’s acting and the screenplay. This is nothing like the regular Salman Khan movie, they said. You will see none of the usual antics and the monkeydance. Whatever your opinion is about him, you will have changed it by the time the movie ends. Needless to say, I felt compelled to witness this once-in-a-lifetime phenomenon.

Holy moly – they were right! I have changed my opinion about Salman – I used to think he couldn’t act – but I was so wrong! The truth is, Salman is a consummate actor; he just doesn’t get the right roles. If I were to ever make a movie, I’d cast him in the role of a saucepan, and then you’d see how convincing he really is.

Anyway – back to BB and seriousness – what a contrived India-Pakistan-unity plot! And what horrible acting by everyone (including the little girl) – except perhaps Nawazuddin Siddiqui, who completely stole the show even with the stupid-ass script he was given. As for Kareena Kapoor, she may as well not have been in the movie. Enough said.

bahubali
They’re right. The visuals are seriously amazing.

And then, there was Bahubali – beautifully shot and directed, with a lot of scenes that were copied from 300 rather well. The actual war, which was what I went to watch the movie for, lasted long enough for me to scream paisa vasool (Hindi term for a movie that is your money’s worth). The women characters were strong, except for the female lead, whose portrayal was really disappointing. She is, when the movie begins, a fierce warrior who can defeat a group of soldiers with her physical strength and wit; she has a purpose. And then the hero spots her. He is in “love”, so that justifies the stalking and the forcible undressing, and the relentless pursuing (though she has made is abundantly clear that she is not interested in romance) until she has an epiphany – that she is a woman and must, therefore, dress well and look pretty.

The “man” wins, they have sex, and the warrior turns into – lo and behold – a “woman” who needs a man to look after her. The “man” takes on her mission as his own, because he’s, well, the “man”. The poor girl just recedes into the shadows only to emerge at the closing scene to watch him do impossible things and clap from the sidelines. That broke my heart. Good thing Mister could stay back to nurse me back to sanity.

So that’s how I spent my weekend. How did you spend yours? Have you seen any of these movies? To my non-Indian friends – have you ever watched Bollywood films? What do you think about them?

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anawnimiss

Blogger. Crazy bitch. Stalkee. Weirdo magnet. Wannabe housewife. Corporate Slave. Find me at anawnimiss.wordpress.com!

32 thoughts on “of (in)sanity”

  1. I have to be honest, I never saw a Bollywood movie. I never felt like watching one. But I know that there is a big audience for them. I am glad your you, that your husband is a little longer with you before he has to leave for some weeks.

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    1. Oh, you must watch a bollywood movie just for the experience. These days subtitles are available, so you wouldn’t be completely lost! Mister is going to be in Singapore for most of my remaining pregnancy, so any time I get with him right now is precious 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      1. They play some of the Bollywood movies over here too with German voices. Perhaps I’ll give it a try the next time 😉
        I hope you are not completely alone during your pregnancy now. Do you have family around?

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  2. Oh I completely agree with your opinion of Bahubali. Very beautiful scenes, but I disliked the story. And quite frankly I was bored by the too-long war scene. The costumes and make-up were gorgeous though.

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    1. True, there was nothing new about the story, but I am a sucker for war scenes. Costumes and make up were brilliant, too! Also, I think I may be a little in love with Rana Daggubatti. ❤

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          1. The Ladies Finger – a feminist e-mag. They publish some brilliant material, stuff that escapes populist discourses on the subject. They invite articles from Indian women all over on a wide variety of subjects. Humour is *like* a mainstay too. So I imagine you’d fit nicely in that space.

            Liked by 1 person

  3. Three movies that I have been planning to watch but probably won’t and wait till it comes on TV. But I saw Drishyam in its original Malayalam and it was super cool. Also just noticed that in your pic there is a weird lady and a weird man in the sea.

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    1. Ha ha.. I tried so hard to edit the photobombers out of the picture, but I couldn’t manage that. As for the movies, I’d recommend watching Bahubali in a theater because the war scenes will not look as grand on TV, but if people flying across the screen in 3D isn’t your scene, skip it!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Ana! I actually did see a Bollywood film some years ago without subtitles and it was a bit confusing. However, the dialogue aside, the plot was complex and intricate with a heavy emphasis on ethics and morals. The main characters were very real with some good and some bad in each but they were contrasted by a very bad boss and a very good colleague. Sort of set in character bookends. It was about a group of IT guys who worked for a firm that was giving customers very bad service and poor quality installations. They figured they could do it better and started their own company doing exactly the same thing as their employer all the while keeping their jobs and working at their company while at their other jobs. It was funny in places, and the viewer kept waiting for them to get caught as they snuck around under their boss’s nose talking to their own customers .

    The film intrigued me and it would have been even better with subtitles (I missed some plot and action because of the language). There were no special effects or grand scenes – just hard working guys in an office. You could tell it was low budget but that didn’t interfere with the quality of the film. The acting was surprisingly good and all seemed to be putting their heart and soul into the picture. Especially the lead character who was really good at what he did but was very humble and worried constantly that they were being unfair to the really really bad boss. Come to think of it though there were very few female characters and no strong female characters. I can see how you would object Ana.

    I would watch Bollywood films again, but they are so very rare here.There might be one available once every two years or so – at least that I have noticed. 😀

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      1. OMG – that’s it Ana, that’s the one I saw – Rocket Singh. Ha! That is so cool that we can live 10,000 miles apart with virtually no common experiences and yet I can describe a film in a few paragraphs and not only can you identify it, but you’ve seen it. That is so amazing. There is something very profound in that – that we have a shared experience due to entertainment overlap. I have never been a real big fan of entertainment in general but this is so cool – that it serves the purpose of establishing a common ground. Well done Ana.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Yeah, it is pretty amazing that I was able to recognize the movie in an instant. I too love that we found something we have in common despite the physical distance. It made me smile! 🙂
          The lead actor (Farhan Akhtar), by the way, is a phenomenal actor. And he can sing, too! I have had a massive crush on him for years! If you can get your hands on a biopic called ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’, be sure to watch it (with subtitles, of course). You will really like it.

          Liked by 1 person

  5. Hey,

    The only movie I can comment on is Drishyam which happens to be a remake of Malayalam movie. I’m pretty much sure that they must have ruined the fine little details that Malayalam movie had. In that as well, the first half is very slow but every second of second half makes up for it. I don’t think I’ll bother watching the Bollywood movie again.

    http://www.dailyo.in/arts/drishyam-bollywood-ajay-devgn-tabu-mohanlal-nishikant-kamat-malayalam-cinema-the-devotion-of-suspect-x/story/1/5385.html

    Here is something I was reading about Drishyam the other day. I do not agree with this article since I didn’t watch the bollywood version, but hope you could just read it and see if anything written there is true.

    How have you been btw? Take care!

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  6. I’ve watched two out of three of the movies you mentioned. I thought watched the malayalam version of Drishyam on DVD months after it came out, because people just could not stop raving about it. I had such high expectations from the movie, but unfortunately it didn’t live up to it.
    I watched Bajrangi Bhaijaan and thought it was OK. I usually can not sit through Salman movies, but this was actually watchable.
    I’ve only been hearing good things about Bahubali, but I am not a fan of the genre so skipped!
    Anyways, I hope you manage to spend some quality time with the husband before he left/leaves. And hope you guys are doing great, otherwise. Take care 🙂

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  7. I spent my weekend doing yard work, being lazy other than cooking a really nice dinner yesterday. I did watch a few movies on TV. The ScyFy channel had some decent ones on. I have watched a couple of Bollywood movies and would like to watch more. I enjoy them for the most part. I don’t like how they end up making strong women leads into…subjugated or less than characters at times. At least we get occasional movies here with strong women leads that stay that way. And they are not even B**tches. There are still too many portrayals of women like that, even in the U.S. Especially in movies about business.
    The only way to succeed is to be a heartless, uncaring wench only out for themselves. Well, if that is true then what does it say about the men in business?
    Glad you are getting more time with hubby before he leaves. 😀

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    1. I used to find Bollywood movies so insufferable growing up and then in the last 10 years or so I have found a new liking for the mindless, hilarious, slap stick nonsense of Akshay Kumar and Salman. I would, if I could, sit up in the peanut gallery and whistle when Salman makes an entry, as a teenager I would have rolled my eyes (but now I am older and wiser)
      My hubs is American and finds most of them unwatchable due to the dance and such but he loved “Dil Se”, Parinda, Deewar (Oldies), Ghazini, Jab tak hain Jaan.
      Ofcourse I could laugh at some slap stick like Hera Pheri but the comedy of most of that would be lost in translation for non Indians.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Pavanneh,
          I find my kids laughing so hard when they watch the Three Stooges and Laurel and Hardy. A lot of Indian movies are like that, sometimes. I think kids really appreciate that simple humor as we grow older we lose some of that innocence and the ability to laugh at the simple things. We look for cerebral sarcasm as adults which is funny but slap stick can holds its on. We should never underestimate the power of a good, tummy wobbling laugh.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. I’ll be honest – I didn’t understand slapstick humor even as a kid. But I guess I was an exception to the rule. My brother and sister loved Laurel and Hardy and Charlie Chaplin. But I can see what you guys mean – it doesn’t matter what makes you laugh – it matters that it makes you laugh.

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  8. Hi ana, loved this casual banter kinda post. 3 movies in a weekend sounds just about the right amount 🙂 Drishyam(papanasam) was simultaneously done by kamalhassan in tamil and naturally any other actor’s efforts seize to matter. He was brilliant in it as expected ! Unfortunately, Bahubali is from my ‘state’ (andjra)film industry and it was humiliating to watch ! I m sure the grotesque is lost a bit in translation and a lot of hype! I m one of those people who considers cinema (primarily) a form of story telling. Bahubali team had just one thing to do, tell a story nd boy did they suck at it ! Even if i put the casual sexism, misogyny , objectification of women, glorifying sexual assault , normalising abuse,promoting racial steriotypes (phew!!) aside, there were so many fecking bloopers( tattoos change hands, creepers vanish, footwear appears, the war helmets have cheek protectants etc) i mean clearly it must have been a 250 crore joke! There really was no script,no gripping/new story just an elaborate war scene (that have already been done to death)with cavalry! 3000horses were sourced from all over india (cgi of horses must have been very tough!)Imagine the logistics , what a pile of shit ! I m disheartened at how many indians actually appreciate the movie. Not just appreciating , bullying the naysayers into silence , every single one my soc media turned into a troll ,what a sad state of affairs! the only one i appreciated after the movie was karan johar, he can turn any movie into a hit , only when he was brought on to the team , the movie started making all the right (PR)noises nd the definitive changes in number of theaters , languages and tickets price strategies! What about yakub memon ? i m curious to know your stance. I have unfriended a couple of people over this issue, so you could say i had them,a couple of heated myself! Virtual Hugs all the way from ireland!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Whoa! I had to read that twice to fully understand all the loopholes you described. I did notice the shoes appearing, but I explained it away by assuming that he made them from leaves, etc. But that many issues? Wow. I didn’t even notice!

      As for Yakub Memon – (a) I’m completely against the death penalty, (b) I hate that Bal Thackeray wasn’t given the same punishment for his role during the Mumbai riots, but (c) I am glad Yakub was punished.

      My argument with the cousin began when he said things like “all Muslims are not terrorists but all terrorists are muslim” and “tell me the name of a Hindu terrorist”. I have him two very illustrious names, which he dismissed because “didn’t people die in those bomb blasts?”. So to cut a long story short, we kept arguing all night.

      Now I’m curious about what your views are. Pray tell!

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  9. Oh I saw Bajrangi Bhaijaan , it was a total Bollywood movie, even with all the non acting or hamming it was a brilliant movie. My kids loved it because it has that age old premise. Good Guy wins, beats up all the bad guys.
    What’s not to love, I found my self singing :Jai, Jai Bajrang Bali”
    and my kids who speak no hindi were singing’ Jai, Jai…lala lee”
    It reminded me on “Taken” except this had some soul.
    Salman is a brilliant actor much so more than Aamir who is a method actor, Shahrukh who hams much too much, Salman is all soul.
    This movie made me a Salman fan and I have yet to watch Dabangg and Kick.

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