Saturday, December 30, 2006
As it’s the end of the year and I’m feeling a bit warm and fuzzy today (must revel in it while it lasts), and also because I think Maja’s idea is absolutely brilliant (and the best tribute to a good idea is to emm… ‘borrow’ it), I’m going to do a little reminiscing and recapping of my own… although, needless to say, this post will be much more uninteresting and less cool than Maja’s.
2006 is my first year as a blogger, and I’m still fairly new on the block. I’ve been blogging for a few months now, and my last post was my thirtieth on this blog. I’ve really enjoyed blogging, it’s been a lot of fun (and a huge learning experience). I think my Bollywood blog has enhanced my love for and delight in Bollywood movies. I crack myself up, remember things I’ve really loved (or hated) about the movies I’ve seen, talk about my observations with others, and generally just have a lot of fun. Another really cool thing about becoming a ‘Bollyblogger’ has been the opportunity to discover and read brilliant blogs by other Bollywood-lovers.
I had just set up my other blog while, in the course of wandering aimlessly around blogworld, I stumbled upon Akshaye’s girlfriend’s blog. I’d been there before, in its infancy, when Beth had seen only a few Bollywood movies, and was thrilled to see how much it had grown and how much Beth really does love Bollywood. After reading some of her posts, I thought to myself, ‘Hey, wouldn’t it be fun to have a Bollywood blog dedicated to your current Bollywood favourite person, Dharmendra?’ So Beth, thanks for the inspiration. (Do I have NO original ideas of my own?)
Beth (via her sidebar) turned me on to other fantastic blogs which have now become frequent pitstops for me: Hrithik’s girlfriend’s blog, Abhishek’s girlfriend’s blog, Jhaji’s blog, Sheetal’s blog, Aparna’s blog and others. From that point, I discovered many other brilliant blogs – see my sidebar for my full (and ever-increasing) list of faves – most recently the-Shabana-Azmi-fan’s fantastic site. It’s been a lot of fun – but I think I’ve said that already. I love reading these bloggers’ news, reviews, views and impressions – both when they are similar to mine (sometimes uncannily so) and when they’re totally different (like: "What? You really don’t like….? I love it/him/her".)
It’s been a big Bollywood year for me – I’ve seen a LOT more Bollywood movies than I did last year, and I’ve learnt a lot more about Bollywood – although I’m still pretty much an ignoramus in many ways. I realise that there’s a lot about Indian film that’s inaccessible to me because of language and cultural differences (although I’ve found some parallels between my culture and Indian culture). While I’m a big fan of the whole ‘so much of our human experience is universal’ idea, I also recognize and enjoy the existence of that wonderful, complex thing called diversity.
Sometimes I wonder if I sound shallow and dumb (and quite possibly irritating) to any ‘authentic’ Bollywood fans (people who see the ‘big picture’ and appreciate all the contextual background stuff) who may stumble upon my blog. It’s something I wonder about now and again – have I become one of those annoying people who try to fit in ‘by force’ (Nigerian-ism for doing something ‘at all costs’, even when it’s not even working), and who then proceed to turn into insufferably arrogant creatures who think they know more about the lay of the land than its inhabitants? (A guy I met during my studies in England who’d spent a year working in Africa, and proceeded to spend over an hour trying to convince me that he knows more about Africa than I do, readily springs to mind…he was such a prat!)
Well, if I have fallen into the trap of becoming an ‘irritee’ on this blog, I guess my only defence is that it was unintentional. The aim of my blog is to express a very particular perspective on Bollywood – that of a Nigerian twenty-something (with certain personal preferences and probably a few unacknowledged prejudices) who just happens to adore Bollywood. I’ve tried to keep things as light-hearted and 'me' as possible, and to own up to my high level of ignorance (I’m just a Bollywood fangirl, enthusiast, aficionado and addict – I’d say I was a ‘buff’ too, except I hate that word. I’m definitely no connoisseur). Anyway, please do forgive (and feel free to correct in future) any slip-ups I may have made in this area.
In her post, Maja put up her 5 favourites ('hall of fame') and 5 least favourite ('hall of shame') Bollywood movies for 2006. I tried to do that, but it was too hard! I was coming up with like 10 movies in each category. So, being a lazy girl today, I’m going to do only one each.
‘DON – THE CHASE BEGINS AGAIN’: Seeing ‘Don’ (2006) was the high point of my Bollywood year, NOT because it was the best Bollywood movie I saw this year (it wasn’t – but don’t ask me which was), NOT because it stars one of my favourites (although I do love my SRK), and NOT even because I really, really enjoyed it (although I did – I absolutely loved it – but I enjoyed a few others more). It’s the high point because it marked a number of ‘firsts’ for me. It was the first Bollywood movie I’d ever seen on the big screen, which is a whole different experience from watching DVDs at home. It was the first movie (of any kind) I’d ever seen in a Nigerian cinema, which was long overdue. It was also the first time I met my fellow Nigerian-fan-of-all-things-Indian, which was very cool, because she’s a sweetheart. It was a very memorable afternoon, and I look forward to others like it in 2007.
‘INSANIYAT’: Watching the first 5 minutes of ‘Insaniyat’ (starring Amitabh Bachchan, Sunny Deol and just about everyone else in Bollywood) was pure torture – and hence the low point of my Bollywood year. I just couldn’t watch any more of it… which is very unusual for me, because I HATE to not finish a book or a movie. But after just 5 minutes of watching a tired-looking Amit-ji kicking bad guys’ behinds in ‘Insaniyat’, I completely gave up and NEVER plan to continue. It was that painful. So ‘Insaniyat’ joins ‘Pyaar Kya To Darna Kiya’ on the illustrious list of Bollywood movies I’ve been unable to finish. I usually ‘never say never’, but… NEVER!!!
So, it’s been an interesting, educative, and most of all a FUN, FUN, FUN (till my Daddy takes my T-Bird away) year in Bollywood for me… to sum up:
I’ve seen some really good movies
(And some awful ones)
I’ve ‘met’ lots of cool people
And read lots of cool blogs
I’ve had (more than) my fair share of crushes
And I know this is a very crappy poem so I’ll end it here –
All that’s really left to say is: ‘Bring on 2007!!’
(PS: My copy of ‘Chupke Chupke’ just arrived…yayy!)
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
I am a huge fan of dance, and dance in Bollywood movies certainly provides a lot of entertainment. It’s a mixed bag, from the subdued to the extra-extra-EXTRA-OTT, from the traditional to the contemporary, from the solo to the group dances, from the elegant to the wacky, from the talented dancers to the terrible (Rishi Kapoor or Sunny Deol, anyone?) and just about everything in between. There are of course, certain ‘staples’: the ‘item numbers’ (often involving ‘nautch girls’) that show up in a lot of movies, the romantic dances for two in the hills or by fountains, the huge ensemble numbers, the contemplative/introspective numbers that are often used to move the plot along… and so on.
Sometimes I enjoy a particular actor’s dancing because (s)he is simply a good dancer, but this isn’t always true. Sometimes it’s just because the actor is clearly enjoying the number, sometimes it’s the facial expressions, sometimes it’s the emotion, sometimes it’s even the fact that the actor can’t dance to save his/her life (which can be very very amusing).
Anyway, to get to my list… I figure fifteen is a good number – I can probably think of more than fifteen, but I’m just going to put up my very favourite dancers. Also, I think there are going to be, by necessity, waaay more women than men on my list. I’m going to see if I can have at least five males, but it just might be an uphill task.
I should probably also note that choreography is a big factor in a viewer’s perception of a dancer’s skills – in the sense that a really good dancer can’t do very much with really crap choreography, while really good choreography brings the best out of an average dancer.
So, with those caveats, here, in no particular order, are fifteen of my fave Bollywood dancers…
MADHURI DIXIT: Madhuri is a very gifted dancer. Her style is very interpretive and graceful, and she’s very good at using her facial expressions to complement the movements of her body. She can do the more traditional (‘Devdas’) as well as the more contemporary dances (‘Dil to Pagal Hai’) very well. I haven’t seen one of her most famous dances (‘Ek Do Teen’) yet, but I’ve really loved her dancing in just about every one of her movies I’ve seen.
SHAH RUKH KHAN: I think SRK is an excellent dancer. He has such flair for it and seems to look equally good doing just about any type of dance. He also always seems to be enjoying himself. I recently read a Farah Khan interview in which she said that SRK never executes choreography exactly as he’s taught it – he always adds his own style to it and ends up creating a different dance, which the rest of the dancers are then forced to adapt to so that they don’t look out of place dancing with him. I like that.
AISHWARYA RAI: I am not a huge fan of her acting, but Ash can really move. Her dancing is very expressive and elegant, and technically, it’s really hard to fault her. It’s hard to believe that, according to Saroj Khan, Ash was not always a great dancer. She is really good at both traditional (‘Nimbooda’ from ‘Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam’) and contemporary (‘Dayya Dayya Dayya Re’ from ‘Dil Ka Rishta’, 'Crazy Kiya Re' from 'Dhoom II') styles, but I personally think she has more of a flair for the more traditional pieces – but maybe that’s just because I always think she looks better in traditional clothing.
AMITABH BACHCHAN: Purists will probably be appalled to find his name on my list, but I LOVE watching Big B dance. It’s not so much the technical ‘correctness’ of his dancing (although I certainly don’t think he’s a bad dancer, he’s definitely not the most flexible or fluid or accurate) – for me, it’s the sheer joy, energy, exhilaration and ‘abandonment’ of his dancing. For him, dancing really is about expression, and he REALLY enjoys expressing himself with his body. It’s palpable when you watch him dance – his energy, his ‘flow’ with the music – I just adore watching it, even when it doesn’t look quite ‘right’. For a really good example of this, two dances from ‘Laawaris’ really stand out in my memory: ‘Jiska Koi Naheen’ in which he really expresses the defiance and anger of his character in his dancing, and another number (the last one in the film, don’t know what it’s called) in which he really lets it rip and does a fun, very enjoyable dance IN DRAG! For anyone who hasn’t seen that dance, it’s well worth a watch.
REKHA: Rekha is a pleasure to watch – I haven’t seen a lot of her work, but she’d make it onto my list purely on the strength of ‘Umrao Jaan’, in which her movements are exquisite and simply beautiful to watch.
HEMA MALINI: While I’m still on the ‘stars from yesteryears’ tip, I should mention Ms. Hema Malini, who is also always a great pleasure to watch. Her dance training is evident in the precision and elegance of her dancing, and I always adore watching her.
HRITHIK ROSHAN: Back to the present day, and here’s one name no-one will be surprised to find on my list. Mr. Roshan is a fantastic dancer – although at first I didn’t get it, I have to say. When, after his debut movie (‘Kaho Naa… Pyaar Hai’), Farah Khan went on and on about how great he is and how he should be on Broadway, I was like ‘he dances ok but…’ But watching him dance in ‘Lakshya’ totally convinced me. Hrithik really can move, and his timing is excellent. He says he’s no great dance talent but is just very hard working – I think he’s far too modest, which is rather refreshing, actually.
KARISMA KAPOOR: Karisma is a really skilled dancer – she’s particularly good to watch in more energetic numbers. I really enjoyed her work in ‘Dil To Pagal Hai’ (the number in which she and Madhuri do a dance-off is fantastic to watch) and ‘Hum Saath Saath Hain’, and have also liked her dancing in several other films.
AAMIR KHAN: I’m kind of ambivalent about this choice, actually, because I don’t really look forward to Aamir’s dancing in the same way as I look forward to other guys on this list – I’m more interested in his acting. Having said that, though, he is a good dancer, technically-speaking, and I guess I do like watching him dance (just not quite as much as I like watching others). What I really like to see him do is gentler, more 'story-telling' numbers, not 'busy' or frenetic ones - he's a very expressive actor so it's good to see him emote through dance. So for that reason, and also because I’m kinda short of menfolk to add to the list (I'm tempted to add Mr. Mithun Chakravarty but he's soooo 80s!), Mr. Khan stays.
HELEN: The actress who’s often regarded as the greatest movie ‘nautch-girl’ ever, Salman Khan’s stepmother (thanks, Carla!), really had the moves in her heyday. She’s great to watch. My favourite Helen numbers so far are ‘Yeh Mera Dil’ (‘Don’) and ‘Mehbooba Mehbooba’ from ‘Sholay’.
RANI MUKHERJEE: Rani is a little bundle of energy, and I think she really does best in energetic, fast-moving numbers. I always enjoy watching her dance.
TABU: Tabu is on my list because she does elegant and graceful very well, and also manages to do totally wacky (I’ve seen her do very very silly numbers in ‘Vijaypath’ and ‘Hera Pheri’) very well too. Very entertaining.
KAJOL: Okay, I guess at this point it looks like I’m just putting my favourite actors on the list – but I guess that’s because I love watching their dancing just as much as their acting. Kajol’s style is less about technical precision and more about interpretation and emotion. Young and funky, dramatic and poignant, she does it all well. I love watching her dance.
SAIF ALI KHAN: I always enjoy watching him dance, he has really nice energy although he isn't great technically-speaking – really enjoyed his dancing in films like ‘Hum Saath Saath Hain’, ‘Dil Chahta Hai’ and even (I wasn’t too keen on the choreography) ‘Salaam Namaste’.
So I managed to get my self-imposed minimum of five guys onto my list – which means I am free to have a person of either gender as the fifteenth person on my list.
I choose: Priyanka Chopra and Bipasha Basu (yup, a tie). I chose Juhi Chawla earlier and then realised that I must've been on something when I made that choice, because much as I love Ms. Chawla and think she's the cutest woman ever, she cannot dance at all. So Priyanka and Bipasha win the day - Priyanka for her dancing in films like 'Salaam e Ishq', 'Don', 'Krrish', 'Dosti', 'Waqt' and 'Bluffmaster'; Bipasha for 'Beedi Jaila Le' from 'Omkara' (that performance alone is enough to get her on this list) and for other performances like those in 'Dhoom 2' and 'No Entry'.
So that’s my list… which of your favourite dancers have I missed out? I’m sure I haven’t seen enough Bollywood movies to be able to add some of the best dancers… I’ve heard Govinda is a great dancer, but I’ve never seen a Govinda movie. Same goes for Sridevi.. never seen her dance. I also like other actors’ dancing (examples are Zeenat Aman, Parveen Babi, Sushmita Sen and Sonali Bendre), but haven’t yet seen quite enough of their dancing to add them to my list. And while I haven’t seen Vinod Khanna dance a whole lot, I quite like his showmanship (as in, “look at me, I’m so cool and groovy. I'm not a great dancer but I'm so cool anyway”) in the few numbers I have seen him do. I think I’ve seen quite a bit of Preity Zinta’s dancing, and, while I think she’s good, I don’t REALLY look forward to watching her dance. That might well change though, because I can recall that until I watched her performance in ‘Chori Chori Chupke Chupke’, I didn’t particularly enjoy her acting, either. Of course, some may protest the absence of Urmila Matondkar from my list, but, while I liked her dancing in ‘Rangeela’ (not so hot on the choreography, though), I haven’t seen her in much else.
So, suggestions please! I’m particularly interested in suggestions of really good dancers among the male actors, as well as among older generations of actors (whose films I may have not yet seen).
You know, as I’m typing this, I’m also re-watching (more like listening to) ‘Hum Aapke Hain Koun…!’, a film I really love. And (a much younger) Salman dances excellently (IMO) in this film. He also dances well in ‘Hum Saath Saath Hain’. But I’ve so hated his dancing in other films (‘Hum Tumhare Hain Sanam’, for example, and ‘Pyaar Kya To Darna Kiya' – in which he made he stop watching ten minutes into the film thanks to one dance number), that I can’t bring myself to add his name to my list…
Monday, December 18, 2006
1. Joaquin Phoenix was better in ‘Walk the Line’ than Jamie Foxx was in ‘Ray’. He deserved to win the Best Actor Oscar – pity he was up against such stiff competition.
2. I will simply never tire of re-watching Steve Carrell and the gang sing and dance at the end of ‘The 40 Year Old Virgin’.
3. Asrani has aged well and is still funny – noticed this from ‘Ball & Chain’ – which is a kinda lame movie.
4. I really want an authentic 100% silk kimono.
5. Randhir Kapoor really reminds me of a big white cuddly teddy bear.
6. Ziyi Zhang (above in ‘House of Flying Daggers’) is a fantastic actress. And the rest of the cast of ‘Memoirs of a Geisha’ is terrific as well.
7. They gave Reese Witherspoon a very cute wardrobe in ‘Walk the Line’. I doubt even the real June Carter Cash worse such fab clothes. Her hair is fab too. And Reese is adorable.
8. Daniel Craig is a really good actor. He actually (to my surprise) makes a good Bond.
9. I am amazed that Amitabh Bachchan can have made so many movies and still be so enthusiastic about film-making.
10. I need to get some more RD Burman music.
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
I like Ajay because he can pull off action hero (“Vijaypath” - was supposed to blog about it today but in too silly a mood to do a review), lover boy (“Ishq”), freedom fighter (“The Legend of Bhagat Singh”), ruthless career criminal (“Company”), honest policeman (“GangaJaal”) and silent, sensitive, nice guy (“Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam”); with equal aplomb. He makes each character believable. Although, in my opinion, he does strong and silent better than anything else, there definitely is some versatility to him. I like his style of acting, full of undertones and somehow kind of dark and just… interesting.
And now that I’ve established that I appreciate his depth as a serious actor, let’s move on to shall we say, ‘shallower’, grounds… ‘brown skin, you know I love your brown skin…’ India Arie sang that, and I must admit I do like Mr. Devgan’s honey-licious skin. I also like his wonky teeth (and the fact that he hasn’t had them straightened). I love that sideways smile he does, that transforms his face everytime he does it. I love it when he does that deadpan look that somehow also comes off as mean. I love that side-parted haircut of his… I think it suits him to a tee. I love his eyes, especially when he gets that intensity behind them. I love that lean mean rangy physique and that unstudied, groovy stride he has. And I like his bum… ooh, but now I feel bad for saying that.
Which brings me to my dilemma… while I like Ajay and think he’s one of the coolest cats in my Bolly-hood, I can’t bring myself to crush on him. Why? Because he’s married to Kajol, probably my fave contemporary Bollywood actress. And because, while I really know nothing about the ‘real’ Mrs. Devgan, from her movies and interviews she seems like just the kind of girl I would like. A fun-loving, creative, interesting, strong, opinionated, funny, feisty female with a slightly eccentric edge. The sort of girl I could picture myself having lunch, catching a movie, and going shopping with. The sort of girl who would be enthusiastic about life and passionate about the things she believes in. She seems like I would like her to have her as a friend. And although that’ll never happen in this lifetime, and she might very well NOT be the sort of person I’d get along with at all, I still like her, and I would still feel TOTALLY guilty for having a crush (even a silly, daft, playful one – as my crushes – and all good crushes - invariably are) on her husband.
Anyway, this is one celebrity marriage I’m definitely rooting for. I think this couple is so cute and talented, and I really hope they find a way to stay together and be happy despite the pressures of fame and career. The rumour mills have been churning out speculations about the state of your union, guys, but please try your best to keep the ‘Kajay’ show on the road. Someone’s rooting for you, Kajol and Ajay.
Monday, December 11, 2006
You know, I imagine doing subtitles is not the easiest job in the world, so maybe it’s unfair to gripe about them, but really – certain things about them can be annoying.
1. Minimalism: Sometimes a character says like a million things but they only put one line of text up. Having seen a lot of Hindi films, I’ve picked up a bit of the vocabulary, and oftentimes I can hear a character say something (sometimes a significant ‘something’) which the ‘sub-titler’ just can’t be bothered to translate. Having said that, subtitles can never convey all (or even most of) the subtleties and context of the original language, so maybe I shouldn’t criticise.
2. English subtitles for English speech: Now this is a pet peeve of mine. English is English is English. I hate this practice, and it’s done everywhere, especially on news channels like CNN. Note to 'subtitlers' everywhere: stop making people lazy by subtitling just because someone is speaking English with an unfamiliar accent. People need to start listening… carefully. Different accents are a beautiful thing. We need to learn to live with them – it’s the 21st century, for goodness’ sake (and now I'll get off my soapbox). Usually when they do English subtitles for English speech, the text is totally different from what the speaker is saying anyway.
3. SPG (Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar) errors: I just don’t like them, in any context.
4. Not subtitling the songs: They do subtitle them sometimes, but I wish they always would. The songs are a big part of my movie-viewing experience.
5. White subtitles on a white background (or black subtitles on a black background): I don’t know how many versions of the ‘Ek Rishtaa’ DVD there are, but anyone who’s watched the one I’ve got will be aware of the fact that right at the climax of the movie, the subtitles get lost in Amitabh’s white clothes. As in, it’s absolutely impossible to read them. I also don’t like teeny-weeny subtitles that you need a magnifying glass to read…
But for all their imperfections, and despite the fact that they will never be able to pass across the full meaning of what’s said in a movie (maybe I should just try to learn the language, huh?), I do love my subtitles. In fact, I’ve been spoilt by them – I simply won’t watch a Hindi movie that doesn’t have English subtitles – if it doesn’t, it’s going back to the shop. So they’re essential for me, and apart from that, they’re also often very entertaining, as in hilarious. Just about every Bollywood movie I’ve watched has had a couple of really funny subtitles to enhance my viewing pleasure… here are some from ‘Vijaypath’ (starring Ajay Devgan), which I watched recently and may review in my next post, maybe alongside ‘Indian’ (starring Sunny Deol).
Ha ha... you have to watch the film to 'get' this, but it's just hilarious. And it looks even more hilarious in black-and-white for some reason.
I love this because as a kid I was told not to 'dirty my clothes' so often. I just like the way the words put across that scold-y tone.
Why do these action heroes always make women do these gory things? The things women "have to" do for love in Bollywood movies...
Sunday, December 10, 2006
Still on kisses, now THIS was a nice kiss. It's gone a long way towards erasing the NASTY Vinod Khanna/Madhuri scene I had the misfortune of stumbling upon (I blogged about it on Friday) from my mind. So I must thank Aamir Khan and Karisma Kapoor for this. I feel so much better now:
Yep, I just saw 'Raja Hindustani'. I've been wanting to see it for a while, and I really enjoyed it. It's one of those staple rich girl/poor boy things, but it's very nicely done... except for the 'lord of the manor' bits Aamir had to do, which were annoying. It's a bit of a silly movie, I guess, but it's very entertaining (the music is really nice), and Aamir and Karisma are very good in it - except for Karisma's singing at the birthday party in the beginning - now I see why Beth described it as 'horrible'. Even Rani's rendition at Amit-ji's party in 'Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham' was way better (and that one wasn't good at all - especially the toodooloo bit at the end - what was that?) Anyway, it was a good film and I think I've now liked Karisma in enough movies ('Dil To Pagal Hai', 'Hum Saath Saath Hain', 'Ek Rishtaa' (although I didn't really like her character), 'Jaanwar' (a.k.a. the film in which the 'funny' bits aren't and the parts that are meant to be serious are hilarious) and now 'Raja Hindustani') to add her to my sidebar. She has really good energy, and she puts her heart into her acting (or seems to)... and she can dance (really well).
Back to today's subject, I'm now just bored with kisses (and all the attendant furore) in Bollywood movies... what's in a kiss anyway? It's just... a kiss (except when it's a KISS, which is pretty special - and rare). I think Bollywood does pretty well without them (I know, I know, they DO kiss, but it's certainly far from frequent), but if they simply MUST have them, they're gonna have to do a bit better than Mr. Roshan and Ms. Rai's attempt. Hey, Karisma and Aamir could give lessons and make a mint... 'A & K's Kissing School'.
Friday, December 08, 2006
Dharmendra was born Dharam Singh Deol on 8 December 1935. He is an acclaimed Bollywood actor and more recently a politician (his wife Hema Malini is a politician as well). He is an MP representing the Bikaner constituency, and he’s a member of the BJP. He was given the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement in 1997, his only major acting award, which seems a bit unfair.
He has four children: Sunny and Bobby with his first wife (both successful actors, Sunny (Dharam's lookalike) moreso than Bobby), Esha and Ahana with Hema Malini. Esha is a moderately successful actress, and apparently her father isn’t thrilled about her choice of career – he once said Bollywood is an unsuitable place for girls. Whatever. Esha calls herself a ‘Daddy’s girl’ – so I guess we have something in common (I’m no fan of hers, so this doesn’t exactly thrill me - props to her on sticking with her career choice though). Dharmendra’s nephew Abhay Deol is also an actor.
Ten Things I’ve Recently Learnt about Dharmendra.
1. Apparently, he’s currently separated from Hema Malini (haven’t confirmed this yet).
2. His first movie was ‘Railway Platform’ (1955). He had a very very small blink-and-you'll-miss-it part.
3. He’s Punjabi – from Phagwara (some sources say Sahnewal - it seems he was born in one and grew up in the other).
4. His first wife was Prakash Kaur. He married her in 1954, and she is Sunny and Bobby’s mother (so I guess that’s who Bobby looks like, huh?)
5. He worked for an American drilling company as a young man.
6. He’s working on developing a hi-tech film city in Jaipur.
7. At the early stage of his career, he was advised by a director to become a hockey player, because he was ‘too muscular’ to be an actor (those were the Shammi Kapoor days). Understandably, he was hurt but not deterred.
8. He was born into a Jat Sikh family but is rumoured to have at some point converted to Islam, changing his name to Dilawar Khan. People have speculated (unconfirmed) that he did this only so he could marry Hema Malini. He’s actually been slapped with a lawsuit as a result of this (marrying a second wife is not permitted under the Hindu Marriage Act) – can’t confirm what the status is on the lawsuit.
9. He’s been criticized for not being a very good politician, and for being absent at house sittings. He admits to not enjoying politics – he enjoyed acting but sees politics as work.
10. Dharmendra’s second marriage to Hema Malini is still the subject of controversy, because there is a perception that it was immoral and unbecoming of a politician and public figure. Dharam hasn’t exactly helped his cause, as he has named Prakash Kaur as his wife on certain documents.
Dharmendra Interview Snippets/Quotes:
'People have learnt the art to hype their movies and their career. They have learnt to project themselves as bigger and bigger stars. And better actors are often left behind, as the others move ahead. It used to be same earlier, but not to this extent. Now there is media to create a lobby. Unfortunately, I am very unfit for all this. I have seen people who have not been in the industry for years, yet they manage to be in the headlines. I am still working here, but I am never mentioned. And neither do I think it necessary to force myself into the limelight.'
I love you just the way you are, Dharam.
'I have been working for nearly 42 years. But in last 5 years, I have worked in films where I did not even know the co-stars or the production unit. I cannot recognize them, even if they try to remind me. This was only because I wanted to face the camera. But we had to make way for the youngsters. We were unfit for the scripts and stories. So I started doing what came my way.'
Aaww… now that’s kinda sad.
'I can sum up my career in a few words. God, or what men call fate, gives few opportunities but man can make the most of it. It is a reward of hard work and dedication, that men call destiny. If you do not believe me you can try it out yourself. Wishes give birth to hope. Successful efforts take on the shape of prayers which have been answered by the heaven.'
Hmm… I wonder if this interview was actually in Hindi, then translated. Because it sounds clunky (‘the heaven?’). But I agree with what he said, very true.
‘I proudly say that I am a product of the media. I would not have become an actor if Filmfare was not there. I owe my success to the media’.
Sucking up or sincerity? Either way, nice.
Two Dharmendra Interviews may be listened to here:
Here I am looking for info for my special 'All About Dharmendra' post to celebrate his birthday (it'll be up later today), when I come across a video on YouTube that is... hmm... well it needs to be seen, I can't really describe it.
I love Madhuri Dixit and I love Vinod Khanna, they are lovely and all that, but the two of them making out... no no no no, it's not a pretty sight. NOT A PRETTY SIGHT! I am trying hard to wipe it from my memory but I think it's lodged there for a while... yuck. There's nothing sexy about this scene, it just looks nasty (well, in my opinion anyway).
Anyway, anyone else who wants to traumatise themselves by watching this scene (not sure what movie it's from), go over to YouTube.com, and search for 'Vinod Khanna Madhuri'. It'll come up. I'm certainly not posting it on my blog, that's for sure.
It's kinda interesting, though, in view of the noise over the Ash/Hrithik kiss... I wonder if anyone got their knickers in a twist over this Vinod/Madhuri scene...
Well... back to work on my Dharam post...
This video features my gorgeous Dharmendra with Tanuja Chandra. Very romantic and intense. Enjoy.
Go, go, go, go, go Dharam, it’s your birthday
I’m gonna party like it’s your birthday
Gonna watch your movies like it’s your birthday
And you know I’m ’a have a blast
’Cos that’s your birthday!!
Yes, I’m going to have a little Dharam-party tonight after work – with selected clips from my very miserable selection of Dharmendra movies, plus a nice cold drink and a nice fattening snack. Music of choice? ‘Pehli Nazar Mein Humne’ from ‘The Burning Train’ on repeat, with my other Bollywood favourites as well (I’m currently loving Shaan’s fantastic voice on ‘Main Hoon Don’, as well as some other people’s voices on ‘Koi Tumsa Nahin’ from ‘Krrish’. Of course, my perennial faves like ‘O Saathi Re’, ‘Bole Chudiyan’, ‘Koi Ladki Hai’, ‘Dhadak Dhadak’ and… I’d better stop now or I’ll go on endlessly… ‘Suraj Hua Maddham’ will get a listen as well)...
I must admit that my celebration of Dharmendra may (oh, who am I kidding, it most definitely WILL) be interrupted by a certain other man… but Dharam, you know I wouldn’t let anyone but the extremely intense and compelling (especially when he gets mad) Jack Bauer (supported by the dark-eyed little-boy charm of Tony Almeida and the hunky deep-voiced chocolate-ness of President Palmer - when he was still alive) crash our little shindig. Come on, you can make an exception for Jack, can’t you? (Gosh, I am so silly) Anyway, it’ll certainly be fun celebrating my honey’s birthday tonight… even if I’ll be the only one at the party.
But until tonight, I’m celebrating my dear Dharmendra’s 71st birthday with a post that’s all about him... enjoy.