Wednesday, January 24, 2007
'Jugnu' is really not that bad... I finished it yesterday, and it left me feeling good. I enjoyed S. D. Burman's music - Carla is right about him having a very different 'sound' from his son... it was really interesting to hear the difference. Hema did a great dance number, and she and Dharmendra had some very cute scenes together. I really enjoyed all Pran's scenes - I always enjoy watching him. He was really good in this film. There's also some nice thriller-type moments. Sure it doesn't start great, and sure there were some really tacky moments (I hate the scene in which Dharam's character and Hema's character meet for the first time) and some really really dodgy and highly unnecessary special effects, and some silly silliness, but 'Jugnu' is really not a bad watch. And I'm sure I'll like it even more second time around... will probably skip the early bits and go straight to the interesting bits next time, though.
One more thing I liked about 'Jugnu' is that this is one movie in which the hero doesn't manage to get away with wrongdoing just because he's the hero - unlike 'Vijaypath', which I hope to finally get around to reviewing this weekend (I've been promising myself to do it for well over a month now!)
And yayy... I've seen one more Dharmendra movie...
Thursday, January 18, 2007
By sheer happenstance, I recently also found (during one of my random DVD/VCD raids near my office) a copy of ‘Jugnu’, another Dharmendra film from way back. I watched a few minutes of it last night. ‘Jugnu’ stars Dharam, Hema Malini, Prem Chopra and the Pran-tastic one. I quite like Pran, his roles are always fun to watch. Anyway, from what I saw of ‘Jugnu’ last night, hmm… this just might be a bad movie. I posted a quote on this blog a while back from a Hema Malini interview, in which she said she regretted not making more movies with Dharmendra (and establishing themselves as a romantic couple). Maybe she was wishing they could have done more with films like ‘Jugnu’.
I loved Dharam and Hema as a couple in ‘Sholay’ and ‘The Burning Train’ (the film which made me fall in love with Dharmendra)… but I gotta say it’s not looking too promising for ‘Jugnu’. I’m only like 20 minutes in, but the film just seems to fall flat. Dharam is playing the clever conman and master of disguise that we’ve seen done in really good old movies like ‘Do Aur Do Paanch’ and newer ones like ‘Bluffmaster’ and ‘Bunty aur Babli’, but… he doesn’t seem to be doing it that well. He just seems really naff and a bit annoying.
Hema, looking very beautiful as always, is playing the independent, headstrong tomboy stereotype, and she seems to be doing ok… but it’s not really working for me. So far, the parts that are supposed to be clever and funny are just… not. They’re just silly, and not even in an interesting or amusing way. The film appears to be really badly scripted – the story is making absolutely no sense and the scenes are just plodding along. I really hope things pick up in ‘Jugnu’, otherwise I might just have to write this one off as a bad Dharam movie, which would be sad... although, hey, at least I'd have one more movie to add to my list of the Dharam movies I've seen.
On the plus side, ‘Jugnu’ features music by S. D. Burman… which I’m looking forward to because I recently heard about him from Carla. So far, the background music has been mildly interesting, and I’ve listened to only one full song, which Dharam’s character does with a group of schoolchildren on Independence Day. I didn’t really notice whether the song was good or not, because the picturization was so cheesy and… not very likeable. Hopefully, I’ll enjoy the music more when I watch the rest of the film over the next few days.
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
I'm planning a trip to India!!
With my fellow fan of all things Indian.
It'll take A LOT (a whole lot) of planning, scrimping, saving, and micro-managing; but I am determined to make it happen.
Saturday, January 06, 2007
When I have a crush on a particular guy I see onscreen, there are certain things I do. It’s really very funny, I entertain myself all the time. I smile goofily at him on the screen, I touch my heart when he makes it beat a little faster, I fan myself with my hand when I feel the ‘temperature rising’, I go ‘awww’ when he does something particularly cute, I blush (or do whatever the equivalent of blushing is for black people) when he does something really sweet and romantic, and I talk to him… like ‘You’re so cute!’ (for when he looks just mega hot), ‘I want to marry you!’ (for certain rare and random things), ‘Go on, just do it!’ (for when he’s stalling, like when he wants to tell a girl he loves her but can’t quite summon up the courage) and ‘That’s my guy!’ (for when he kicks some butt in a very awesomely cool way). Sometimes (when he gets like, unbearably cute or corny), I have to cover my eyes for a second because I just can’t bear to look. I also usually make up a silly and razz name for the fictional character, like ‘Jackostic’ or 'Jackoski' if his name is ‘Jack’ (one of my current TV crushes is named Jack, actually). And of course there are the random moans and gasps of sheer crush-induced delight. I know, I sound like a total nutcase, but I should make it clear that I only do these things when I am either watching alone (which is pretty much all the time) or with someone of similar sensibilities.
I recently discovered that many of the above silly things I do when I have a crush on a guy I’m watching on TV or in a movie; I also do when I am watching certain couples. Because they are just sooo cute. They just make me fall in love with them. I just absolutely adore them… and so I’ve realised that not only do I have crushes on guys, I also have crushes on couples. (Is that bizarre?) And so I’ve given myself an assignment – to do a post on my three most crushed-on couples in the following five categories: Nollywood, Hollywood, Nigerian TV, Other TV and (of course), Bollywood. It should be a lot of fun. I was going to wait till Valentine’s Day, but hey, it shouldn’t be hard to come up with something romantic to write about on Feb. 14 – this IS a Bollywood blog after all –you can’t escape romance in Bollywood, it’ll chase you down (and smother you). But first I have to point out that the couples I’m about to list are only the ones I actually have an honest-to-goodness CRUSH on, not the ones I like or admire in other ways. For example, I love Cliff and Claire Huxtable very much, and they are probably my fave TV couple, but I don’t have a crush on them. And so on to the fun…
STELLA DAMASUS-ABODERIN & RICHARD MOFE-DAMIJO (RMD): These two actors are probably one of the most successful couples in Nollywood. They have really nice chemistry together, and you can tell that they like and respect each other in real life. These two are so good in all their movies that there have been rumours (untrue) of a real-life romance between the two. An example of their work together is Charles Novia’s ‘The Bridesmaid’, but there are many more. RMD is a great leading man, he does well paired with almost anyone, but I really like him with Stella.
GENEVIEVE NNAJI & RAMSEY NOUAH: These two have done a lot of movies together; unfortunately I can’t remember the name of a single one at the moment (Nollywood movie titles can tend to be forgettable). Just found a picture for one called 'Super Love' - don't think I've seen it, though. Anyway, these two look really good together and act very well together… I like them.
STEPHANIE OKEREKE & ST. OBI: Steph and Saint make a very handsome couple, they’re both tall and striking. And they had great chemistry in the one film I’ve seen them do together – I can’t even remember what it was called but they were fantastic together. Haven’t been able to forget it. They had my aunt in tears in the final scene.
Okay… this is going to be hard… I can’t possibly do just three in this particular category because there is so much material for this category in ‘old’ movies (which I love) alone… ok, I’m going to bend the rules a bit and do seven.
LESLIE CARON & LOUIS JOURDAN IN ‘GIGI’: Aww, they were so cute. Leslie Caron as ‘Gigi’, the irrepressible tomboy growing into a woman and falling in love at the same time, and Louis Jourdan as ‘Gaston Lachaille’, the playboy finding out that love has been under his nose for years. I love the moment when walks around Paris singing the song ‘Gigi’, he has this wonderful look of exhilaration in his eyes like he’s just coming alive, then at the end of the film, there’s resignation, but also still that passion, as he realises that his life has changed forever – but he likes it. Kinda corny, but beautiful.
TALIA SHIRE & SYLVESTER STALLONE IN ‘ROCKY’: I am a ‘Rocky’ nut – a real junkie. I have all the ‘Rocky’ movies and can’t wait to see ‘Rocky Balboa’. There is just something I love about the movies. In the first movie (which is really the only one which really focuses and zooms in on the romance between this couple – for which reason it’s the least loved of the more macho ‘Rocky’ fans), Talia and Sly play ‘Adrian’ and ‘Rocky’, a couple of neglected, socially inept, lost souls who find a new lease of life in each other. I love their chemistry, and the fact that they don’t need to say much to express their feelings. It’s like they’ve found themselves in each other. I love the moment when they kiss and slide down the wall together. Awesome.
JULIE ANDREWS & CHRISTOPHER PLUMMER IN ‘THE SOUND OF MUSIC’: This movie was a big part of my childhood and I still love it. A friend of mine expressed its appeal well – it has everything: music, comedy, thriller elements, war, villains, and of course, romance. I love how Julie Andrews betrays traces of her attraction all through the film, while Christopher Plummer tries desperately to maintain his state of denial. And I especially love the moment in the garden when Maria and Captain von Trapp finally come clean. When I was younger, I used to cover my eyes when watching it ’cos I just thought it was so embarrassingly romantic.
MEG RYAN AND TOM HANKS IN ‘YOU’VE GOT MAIL’: These two have done a number of movies together, but ‘You’ve Got Mail’ is my fave, which I guess is unusual as most people prefer ‘Sleepless in Seattle’ (‘Sleepless’ was of course inspired by an older classic movie starring another couple I have a crush on – Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr). Anyway, I just love their intelligence as a couple in ‘You’ve Got Mail’, the way they bounce off each other, the way their attraction and connection is so much more than physical – it comes off as way deeper than it should – after all, it’s portrayed in a 90 minute film.
JACK NICHOLSON & DIANE KEATON IN ‘SOMETHING’S GOTTA GIVE’: Old people in love=cute. I am not a fan of Jack Nicholson, but I have to admit he’s a great actor – and a great (if highly unlikely) leading man. I loved him playing against Helen Hunt in ‘As Good as it Gets’, and Kathy Bates in ‘About Schmidt’ (although they weren’t a couple), but I loved him most of all with the divine Ms. K in ‘Something’s Gotta Give’. They are soooo cute. I love that they made it 100% believable that Diane’s character would leave a hunky young doctor (played by Keanu Reeves) for Jack Nicholson’s aging-Lothario character.
REESE WITHERSPOON & JOAQUIN PHOENIX IN ‘WALK THE LINE’: I love the way these actors portrayed the connection between Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash. I love the fact that they showed all the ‘ugliness’ as well as the beauty of the relationship. I love the way they made the friendship between the characters come alive, not just the romance. I just loved them together – my favourite bit is the proposal scene at the end when Johnny stops singing and just stares at June like she’s the most amazing thing he’s ever seen, and she’s staring right back like ‘What? Do I have a wart on my nose?’
CATE BLANCHETT & JEREMY NORTHAM IN ‘AN IDEAL HUSBAND’: I am a Cate Blanchett fan and I really liked the chemistry between her and Jeremy Northam in this film. They play a husband and wife who find out the truth about each other (well actually, it’s more Cate’s character finding out the truth about Jeremy’s). I like the progression in their relationship from utopia to disenchantment to a greater appreciation of and deeper love for each other. I love the way Jeremy Northam says ‘my wife!’ in this film – quite random but I love it. Rupert Everett and Minnie Driver, who play the other couple in this film, are cute too.
ENE OLOJA & MACARTHUR FOM IN ‘BEHIND THE CLOUDS’: Ene played ‘Efe’, and MacArthur played ‘Nosa’. This was a fantastic couple, they did the whole ‘young love’ thing so well. Efe stayed in love despite the strictures of her father, Mr. Okonzua (we preferred to call him ‘that wicked Mr. Okonzua’), brilliantly played by the great Zack Amata; and Nosa was just a young sweetheart – he was adored by all the Nigerians who were addicted to their weekly dose of ‘Behind the Clouds’ (8pm every Sunday, just before ‘Newsline’). When MacArthur died tragically, Nigeria mourned him, the cast cried onscreen, and the show was never the same.
EGO BOYO & RMD IN ‘CHECKMATE’: Ego as ‘Anne Haatrope’, and RMD as ...can't remember his name ( but he had this cool tic where he ran his finger under his eye) were just a great couple. They had great chemistry, and kept us glued to their characters’ games with each other.
IRETIOLA DOYLE & RMD (AGAIN!!!) IN ‘SOLITAIRE’: Iretiola Doyle is, in my opinion, one of Nigeria’s best actresses. In ‘Solitaire’, she and RMD play the stereotypical Mills & Boon-type couple who ‘hate’ each other but have all this attraction and sexual tension simmering beneath the surface. They work together, and RMD’s character can’t seem to stop baiting Ireti’s character. They have loads of witty repartee to exchange in the script, and it’s a lot of fun.
Again, I must bend the rules – I’m doing five…
JANE LEEVES & DAVID HYDE PIERCE IN FRASIER: These two do a great job of playing ‘Daphne’ (a brassy, blunt, down-to-earth broad from Manchester) & ‘Niles’ (a posh, finicky, drama queen and neat freak), two characters who are different as chalk and cheese. I love them together. Great chemistry. I think I’ve watched the scene when they finally ’fess up to loving each other a million times.
‘GABRIELLE SWANSON’ & ‘TONY CLEMENTE’ IN ‘THE LADY OF THE ROSE’: These are fictional characters from a Mexican telenovela I watched on Nigerian TV in the 90s (yes, I used to watch telenovelas – very cheesy, I know, and I can’t imagine watching them now, but I used to like them). I don’t know what the actors’ real names are, but they were great. They were rarely onscreen together, but everything they went through in the series was about each other… and it was beautiful how they kept trying to hurt each other but finally had to succumb to ‘the love’.
JENNIFER EHLE AND COLIN FIRTH IN ‘PRIDE AND PREJUDICE’: In this BBC TV adaptation of one of my favourite novels ever, Jennifer Ehle plays the witty, independent Elizabeth Bennet, and Colin Firth plays the aloof and haughty Mr. Darcy. The scene in which Elizabeth and Darcy meet unexpectedly at Pemberley is lovely. Jennifer does very well as a girl who thinks she knows it all but finds she is just as prejudiced as she perceives others to be, but Colin Firth completely overwhelms as Darcy. He is just so… so hot, and so believable, and you can really follow the arc of his character’s development. And he does ‘the look’ beautifully. Absolutely brilliant.
ADAM BRODY AND RACHEL BILSON IN ‘THE O.C.’: I have always wished for a fictional version of this fictional show, in which there’d be no Mischa Barton playing ‘Marissa’ (I find her annoying) and no Benjamin McKenzie playing 'Ryan' (although I think he’s very cute, he’d be totally redundant in my fictional version). There would only be ‘Seth’ and ‘Summer’, who I think are just very cute together. Seth makes me laugh, and Summer is sweet. Adam Brody is great, I love him in ‘The O.C.’, but I also really enjoyed his work back when he was on ‘Gilmore Girls’.
SHAHRUKH KHAN & KAJOL: I love them together, you can tell they enjoy working together, and I think they bring out the best in each other. They do comedy together very well (the ‘college’ bits in ‘KKHH’), and they do the dramatic moments very well too – like the moment in the rain in ‘KKHH’. I’ve seen only three SRK/Kajol movies – ‘DDLJ’, ‘KKHH’, and ‘3KG’, and I loved them together in all three. ‘3KG’ isn’t one of my favourite movies, but I love the SRK/Kajol bits – in fact, ‘Suraj Hua Maddham’ is my favourite SRK/Kajol picturization. I could (and have) watch it over and over again. And every time I watch it, it makes me happy. Kajol is all graceful and beautiful (love her clothes and make-up), and SRK is… well, SRK is… wet. Watching SRK in all the see-through shirts (and as if their transparency were not enough, they have to be all wet as well – so not fair) in ‘Suraj Hua Maddham’ makes me feel a bit… ummm… voyeur-ish and slightly dirty… I mean, I really do NOT want to see his nipples peeking through the fabric (or do I?) I so cannot believe I am going to publish that last line… but I guess I am.
JAYA BHADURI & AMITABH BACHCHAN: These two are so cute. One all ‘long’ and gangly, the other cute and petite. Both so intense and great to watch. I’ve seen them together in ‘Abhimaan’ (love it when she wakes him up and he grabs her hair and pulls her down), ‘Zanjeer’ (love the bit where they just stand apart and stare at each other for eons, and the bit where he tells her he loves her with the most serious expression ever on his face), ‘Mili’ (love the exchange of letters), and ‘3KG’ (love Jaya getting up on her stool to fix Amit-ji’s tie). I love them.
RANI MUKHERJI & ABHISHEK BACHCHAN (A.K.A. ‘BUNTY AUR BABLI’): Now Bunty aur Babli are just the cutest couple. Yes, they lie, they cheat, they steal, but they are like two kids just having a blast with each other. They are two misfits who suddenly find their ‘fit’. For me, Rani is always great to watch, I’ve seen her do well against several other actors, but I really like her and Abhi causing mayhem and having a big ol’ blast in ‘B&B’. Part of it is that I think they have a similar kind of dynamic to Abhishek’s dad had/has (onscreen) with Jaya. A shame they didn’t hit it off in real life – I don’t find the Abhi/Ash energy quite as appealing (although of course onscreen chemistry is very, very different from real life stuff). Good luck to them though.