Friday, June 24, 2011

Remakes - it's a man's world after all....

This blog post has been pending for some time. I've had the idea before but never came around to finish writing it.

Some of my Hmong friends have asked me why do Bollywood remake Hollywood movies and change the main character, which is a female, and let it be a male in Bollywood films?

Good question.
I honestly do not know but the way it seems, the women are mostly in movies for glamour or as a love interest, but with a smaller role than the male. There are have been times when the female have equal roles with the males but most of the time it's very rare to find a female-centric film.

For some reason, I feel that it's this way ONLY in Indian cinema. Seriously. And I'm not talking about "artsy" films either, movies that deal with female suffering.

There are lots of female-centered films in Hollywood (13 Going on 30, Salt, Devil Wears Prada), as well as in Hong Kong (Goddess of Mercy, So Close, Sophie's Revenge) and Korea (Too Beautiful to Lie, 200 Pounds of Beauty, S Diary).

I am happy when I see an Indian film that has a strong female role but most of the time, her screen presense is shared with the male. I ain't trying to discriminate here but I would like to see more female-centered roles in India! 
Why? I love Indian cinema. I fell in love with it when I was a child. Maybe as I have gotten older, I seem to criticize more?

Okay, lemme get to my main purpose of this blog post.

Some of my Hmong friends have pointed out to me when Bollywood remake a Hollywood film, Bollywood seem to take the female Hollywood lead and replace it with a male.

I have prove a point :D
Some slight spoilers ahead!!

Barsaat (2005)
Bobby Deol, Priyanka Chopra, Bipasha Basu
Synopsis taken from IMDB
Arav is an ambitious young Indian whose dream is to design cars. He travels to the United States seeking greener pastures, where he meets the beautiful Anna. Anna instantly goes head over heels for Arav, but Arav remains focused on his career. Over time, he mellows and the two fall in love. Mr. Virwani hires Arav as a Car Designer and soon Arav raises the profile of his organization as well as his very own. Now it is time for Anna and Arav to get married, it is then Arav receives word from Punjab, India, that his father is seriously ill. So he departs for India where he is received by his parents, his brother, Dr. Pranav and his wife; and their son, Chintu. He is also received by Kajal Kapoor - his wife who he married three years earlier. After seeing his wife be begins to recollect old stories about his past with her. Will Arav reunite with Kajal or will he stick to Anna?

Sweet Home Alabama (2002)
Reese Witherspoon, Josh Lucas, Patrick Dempsey
Synopsis taken from IMDB
Melanie Carmichael, an up and rising fashion designer in New York, has gotten almost everything she wished for since she was little. She has a great career and the JFK-like husband of New York City. But when he proposes to her, she doesn't forget about her family back down South. More importantly, her husband back there, who refuses to divorce her ever since she sent divorce papers seven years ago. To set matters straight, she decides to go to the south quick and make him sign the papers. When things don't turn out the way she planned them, she realizes that what she had before in the south was far more perfect than the life she had in New York City.

My Thoughts
Barsaat is a bad remake of Sweet Home Alabama. When my Hmong friends ask me about this movie, they call it the Indian Sweet  Home Alabama with the guy in the lead.
Barsaat kept the concept of the lead who lived a double live and no one knew that the person's hometown is a smaller city/village and does have a spouse. Once figured out what wants in life, re-thinking about old life and maybe go back to it, not everything was what it was meant to be.
It's just Barsaat switched the main role which was Reese Witherspoon, a female, and gave it to a male, Bobby Deol.
I love Bips, yes, I do, she looks stunning, is hot, but her role was so limited. I like Bobby and am in the minority. He just didn't have the acting chops to pull it off. Priyanka did good job but she also was limited.  I just didn't see why the film couldn't be focus on a female juggling two guys? Is it because it's more appropriate for a guy to do that?? Priyanka juggled two guys in Dostana but then again, Dostana didn't even focus on her. It was focus on two guys who had to pretend to be gay in order to be her roommate so the storyline shifted to be a male-centric movie.
Even the song, "Nakhre" is a copy of 50 Cent's "In The Club."
When I first saw Sweet Home Alabama a long time ago, I always wanted Bollywood remake because the ending is so Bollywood :D

Mere Yaar Ki Shaadi Hai (2002)
Uday Chopra, Sanjana, Bipasha Basu
Synopsis taken from IMDB
Sanjay and Anjali are childhood chums. When Sanjay's roommate Ria questions him whether he has fallen for Anjali he vehemently denies . But the truth that he indeed loves her hits him like a ton of bricks when Sanjana calls him to tell that she is getting married to Rohit. Sanjay wants to win Anjali's heart at any cost and sets off on his "noble" cause of stopping the marriage.

My Best Friend's Wedding (1997)
Julia Roberts, Dermont Mulroney, Cameron Diaz
Synopsis taken from IMDB
A woman who, by a promise made years earlier, is supposed to marry her best friend in three weeks, even though she doesn't want to. When she finds out that he's marrying someone else, she becomes jealous and tries to break off the wedding.

My Thoughts
Not a bad remake at all. It had that Yash Raj magic, thankfully. Yes, it had Uday Chopra but come on, the guy isn't THAT bad. It was a breath of fresh air to have "newcomers" in the film. The music is nice. The Hindi title is almost an exact literal translation of My Best Friend's Wedding, just leaving the "best" out.

The main storyline is lifted from My Best Friend's Wedding with two childhood friends - boy and girl - who grow up as adults. One ends up being surprise because of a wedding invite, only to try to sabatoge the wedding and bring a friend to the wedding to be their significant other.
Julia Roberts, a female, had the lead role and had a gay guy friend pretending to be her lover. Uday Chopra, a male, had the lead role but didn't have a gay friend but just a girl friend pretending to be his lover going to his childhood's wedding to separate them.
Both endings are different. Bollywood's is more filmi but I do think Hollywood's is more realistic.

Har Dil Jo Pyar Karega (2000)
Salman Khan, Preity Zinta, Rani Mukherji
Synopsis taken from IMDB
Raj (Salman Khan) is a singer trying to make his way in the cruel big city of Mumbai. He rescues a girl who has fallen in front of a train, and stays with her when she is rushed to a hospital. Pooja Oberoi (Rani Mukerji), the daughter of a wealthy family, survives but falls into a coma. Her family rushes to the hospital and finding Raj there, assumes that he is Pooja's husband, Romi, with whom she had eloped and whom they had never met. Pooja, who is comatose, cannot correct them; Raj, who could prefers not to. As the family gets to know the pretend Romi, Pooja's best friend, Jahnvi (Preity Zinta) soon starts spending a lot of time with him. He falls in love with Jahnvi, who is regarded as a second daughter by Pooja's family. How can he, or can he flirt with his assumed wife's best friend? Then Pooja revives from her coma and complicates matters by falling for Raj. Who does Raj choose - Jahnvi or Pooja?

While You Were Sleeping (1995)
Sandra Bullock, Bill Pullman, Peter Gallagher
Synopsis taken from IMDB
Lucy's life consists of constant lonliness that is until she saves Peter's life. Now she is a part of his family, and with a strong heart and fate on her side, others begin to realize what a terrific person she is, especially Jack, Peter's brother. An extraordinarily true-to-life sequence of events begin to take place as Lucy and Jack become closer and learn more about each other and themselves than one would ever expect from such coincidental, yet believable events.

My Thoughts
Definitely enjoyed Har Dil Jo Pyar Karega. The magic of Sallu-Preity-Rani. I love that trio. The music is great.
Even though Har Dil Jo Pyar Karega took the main plot of While You Were Sleeping. It was the screen presense of the lead stars that made me love the film.
Sandra Bullock is one of the best at doing romantic comedy roles. Sandra, a female, had the lead role and juggling between two guys, two brothers actually. Sallu, a male, had the lead role and juggled with Preity and Rani, two "sisters."  Both leads had a sense of belonging when they pretended to be someone they were not. The ending of Har Dil Jo Pyar Karega is just more filmi, lots of comedic timing from silly Sallu.

12B (2001)
Tamil - Shaam, Jyotika, Simran
Synopsis taken from IMDB
Unemployed Shakthi Singh lives a poor lifestyle along with his widowed and ailing mother and a sister. His mother falls ill and gets admitted in hospital. While on his way to an interview with HSBC, Shakthi sees a beautiful girl, gets distracted and misses his bus - route No.12B. As a result he misses the interview, and ends up getting employed as a Garage Mechanic with Madan, his friend. He does meet with the same girl, gets to know her name is Jyotika, who lives a wealthy lifestyle with her mother, Sulo, while her dad is away on business. Both continue meeting not aware that her marriage has been arranged with Pratap. This story also depicts the possibility of Shakthi catching the 12B on time, attending the interview and getting hired, pursuing Jyotika in vain, and ending up in the arms of his co-worker, Priya. Both possibilities end up with Shakthi getting involved in a vehicle accident - and no guarantees that he will survive or wed Jyotika.

Sliding Doors (1998)
Gwyneth Paltrow, John Hannah, John Lynch
Synopsis taken from IMDB
Paltrow plays Helen, a twenty-something PR executive living with her writer-boyfriend Gerry (John Lynch) in London. One day, she goes into work to find out that she's been fired. Distressed, she goes to catch a Tube train back home and it's at this point that the film takes an unusual twist. First, we see Helen board the train and then a second Helen misses it. The film then continues telling Helen's story from both angles which run simultaneously, showing how much can change after such a simple difference.

My Thoughts
Sliding Doors is one of my favorite Hollywood movie. What I love about it is how different it filmed at that time. Even though Gwyneth Paltrow is not one of my favorite actresses, she definitely is a really good actress. I love how the film showed what would've happened if you take that path.
When I was watching 12B, I didn't even think about it being a remake because I didn't know...but as soon as Shaam missed the bus and then I saw two different paths, I knew it was Sliding Doors. It almost is an exact frame-by-frame remake.
Of course, giving a female, Gwyneth's lead role, to a male, Shaam..and changing up the story just a bit, but a lot of the events that happened were similar like missing public transportation,  car accidents, juggling two different people.
I'm a little biase when I think Sliding Doors is much better. You cannot just duplicate that! Not only that, 12B was more about Shaam chasing Jyothika more than anything. It got a bit annoying. The editing wasn't done very well in 12B, I got confused a lot who was who, the guy who missed the train, or the guy who didn't....

There are definitely more remakes out there but now, I am going to note when a Hollywood movie's lead is a female and it gets replaced by a male in Indian cinema. I have yet seen a Telugu remake of Hollywood with the female lead that has been replaced by a male.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Celebrating BLOGUE

The lovely Louella is the founder of BLOGUE and is sweet enough to give everyone free e-mag issues to it. She's young, brilliant, and can manage to pull it off and watch 900 Indian films!

Githa guest writes in many of the issues. I think she should be featured though :)

1st issue

featuring the editor and chief, ceo, founder, whatever you want to call her :) Louella
Link to download on Masala w bigosie

2nd issue

featuring me :) ApunBindaas
Link to download on Masala w bigosie

3rd issue

featuring The Daily Honey
Link to download on Masala w bigosie

4th issue

featuring Tollywood is my Bollywood
Link to download on Masala w bigosie

5th issue

Double issue featuring Dunkdaft & Filmigirl
Link to download on Masala w bigosie

6th issue

featuring One Knight Stands
Link to download on Masala w bigosie

7th issue

featuring Prathna
Link to download on Masala w bigosie

8th issue

featuring Beth Loves Bollywood
Link to download on Masala w bigosie

9th issue

Featuring Bollystalgia
Link to download on Masala w bigosie

10th issue

Cannot wait for it.
Louella mentioned there will be THREE covers for it.

BLOGUE brought to you by Masala w bigosie

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Kapoor Khazana

Kapoor Khazana hosted byTotally Filmi (with a list of all the blog links here), already started and going to last for the month of June. Sad part is that I haven't even written much this year, especially my full length reviews that most people know me for :(

So like the Govinda week (ironically since Totally Filmi also hosted that), I am just going to post links that I've done in the past.

I'm gonna start it off with Shashi. A few of the films that I've seen him in are supporting roles with Govinda!

Ilzaam (1986) is my intro to the dancing duo of Govinda-Neelam. I absolutely loooooooove them.

Taken from my full review post (characters, songs, lots of caps) of Ilzaam - an orphan boy Ajay (Govinda) and rich girl Aarti (Neelam) falling in love with each other. Aarti's father Dhanraj (Prem Chopra) disproves of their relationship. Suddently Ajay disappears without a trace and leaves Aarti hearthbroken but she still yearns for him. She meets a guy name Vijay later who looks just like Ajay. Ajay lives with Laxmi (Shraddha Verma), her brother Suraj (Shatrughan Sinha), and mother (Gita Siddharth). Is Ajay really Vijay? What happened to Ajay? Will Ajay and Aarti ever be reunited?

Shashi plays IGP Ranjit Singh

Farz Ki Jung (1990) is one of the last films of the Govinda-Neelam jodi :( Ironically, Shashi is in both :D

Taken from my full review post (characters, songs, lots of caps) of Farz Ki Jung - Vishal (Govinda) is a poet and never fell in love until he met Kavita (Neelam). Kavita is the new girl in school and loves books only until she fell in love with Vishal. Both are very much in love until each one has a family member who could tear the family apart. Kavita's older brother Vikram (Shashi Kapoor) is a honest police officer but is framed by Vishal's dirty-crooked-politician father Jaikishan (Amrish Puri). Will the two lovers be together?

Shammi plays Vikram, the oldest brother of Kavita

Not only does Sindoor (1988) have my favorite dancing jodi of the 80/90's, Govinda-Neelam, but it also has Shashi Kapoor (again) AND Rishi Kapoor. Then add Jeetendra and Jaya Pradha...

Taken from my full review post (characters, songs, lots of caps) of Sindoor - Ravi (Govinda) and Lalita (Neelam) are college sweethearts. In order for them to get married, both have to do well in school. They adore and admire Professor Vijay Chowdhary (Shashi Kapoor) and want him to tutor them. When Vijay comes to Lalita's house, he learns that Laxmi (Jaya Pradha) is Lalita's mother. What shocking news since they were both married before! What will happens next?

Shashi plays Professor Vijay Chowdhary

Finally, here is young Shashi. I actually blogged an oldie, Sharmeelee (1971) :D

Taken from my full review post (characters, songs, lots of caps) of Sharmeelee - Kamini and Kanchan are twins, both played by the gorgeous, young Rakhee. Kamini is the sassy, outspoken, modern twin while Kanchan is the very shy, timid, traditional twin. Both end up falling for the handsome, military man Ajit (Shashi Kapoor). But it's Kamini who stole Ajit's heart away. Tragedy hits and Ajit is tricked to marry Kanchan. Ajit's Army Colonel wants him to capture a spy who resembles the twins.

Shashi plays military man, Ajit

I'm continuing it old school to the three Shammi movies that I've done full reviews on...and which Hmong people love.

Let's start off with Yeh Vaada Raha (1982), which has two Kapoor's - Rishi & Shammi. I must tell you that till this day, I still get e-mails from Hmong people asking me about this movie. It's usually described as "the girl who got in a car accident and had a face change."

Taken from my full review post (characters, songs, lots of caps) of Yeh Vaada Raha - a rich guy Vicky (Rishi Kapoor) falling in love with an orphan girl Sunita (Poonam Dhillon). Vicky's mother disaprove of the relationship. Vicky and Sunita elope but end up in an accident. Sunita is badly injured and her face is deformed. Vicky's mother (Rakhee) lies to Vicky that Sunita is dead. Sunita goes to a plastic surgeon to undergo surgey. She keeps quiet about the surgery and waits to see Vicky in six months. Surgery is completed and successful. However, no one knew how Sunita looked like. She now has a new face. Will Vicky's love overcome it all? Or does look really matter?

Shammi plays Dr. Mehra, the plastic surgeon who will treat Sunita

Besides Yeh Vaada Raha, Ahista Ahista (1981) is the next most requested from Hmong people! I still seek for a dvd version of this movie..and with English subs, please!!!!

Ahishta Ahista features another Kapoor - Kunal Kapoor. Now, don't get him mixed up with the Kunal Kapoor now. This Kunal is the son of the famous, Shashi Kapoor!

Taken from my full review post (characters, songs, lots of caps) of Ahista Ahista - Subbalaxmi (Shashikala) is a courtesan who manages and oversees a household of women. When one of the women in the house, Sangeeta (Nanda), gives birth to Chandra (Padmini Kolhapure), Subalaxmi is estastic. Chandra befriends Kunal (Kunal Kapoor) and his family; she wants to study and not train to dance. Disappointed Subalaxmi is heart broken but allows Chandra to continue her studies. Kunal and Chandra start to fall in love. Can a young, beautiful girl born in a family of courtesans be accepted by Kunal's family? Or the society? Or is her life destined to be a courtesan?

Shammi plays Sagar, the sweet neighbor!

Romance (1983) is also a Hmong favorite. Although Shammi is only a supporting star, I loved him soooo much in the film! I know that Romance isn't a popular film in India...but neither is Yeh Vaada Raha or Ahista Ahista, but we, Hmong peeps, loved all three!!! We love 80s cheese :D

Taken from my full review post (characters, songs, lots of caps) of Romance - Although the orphan Amar (Kumar Gaurav) has no set goals in life, he seeks for it. One day he sees an ad for pen pals and start writing to an English-Indian girl Sonia (Poonam Dhillon) in Britian. Writing to each other, both start to fall in love. Although her mother was once married to an Indian man, she despises anything Indian and only wants and forces Sonia to marry an Englishman. With the help of the Priest who has adopted him, he goes and get his love. Will Amar and Sonia be together?

Shammi Sushma Sen play the loving grandparents who live a sad life and have the daughter-in-law from hell.

Since I already mentioned Rishi from Yeh Vaada Raha above.

Here's a still from the film :D

and Rishi 's cameo in Sindoor

Here's a still from the film :D

I will just list the other film I reviewed. I cannot believe I've only done one more since I adore Rishi from back in the days :(

Kasak (1991) is my favorite movie of Neelam, actually. I think it's her best acting ever. It is also the Hindi remake of the the famous Tamil film, Mouna Ragam, which I have not seen :(

Taken from my full review post (characters, songs, lots of caps) of Kasak - Divya (Neelam) - the young, carefree, sassy, modern college student who agrees to marry Vijay (Rishi Kapoor) just to please her strict father (Satyen Kappu) due to his illness. Despite being married to Vijay, Divya lives in the home as a stranger and wife. Her heart is still haunted by memories of her dead boyfriend Suraj (Chunkey Pandey). Therefore, she can not go on with the marriage. They end up filing for divorce but only to find out they have to live with each other for one year before the divorce is final. How can Divya continue living with Vijay for another year?

Rishi plays Vijay, the guy Divya marries.

Rishi's hot and sexy son, Ranbir

Saawariya (2007) is one of the most beautiful, visually gorgeous movie ever.

Taken from my full review post (characters, songs, lots of caps) of Saawariya - Gulaab (Rani Mukherji) narrates the story of a musician name Raj (Ranbir Kapoor) who she calls Saawariya. She is smitten by Raj because of his cute, adorable, naive nature but only wants to befriend him. When Raj sees Sakina (Sonam Kapoor) on a bridge, he falls head over heels for her. Sakina loves Raj's company but her heart belongs to Imaan (Salman Khan) who she awaits nightly for at the bridge. However, it's been years since Imaan has left. The more time she spends with Raj, she is falling for him. Will Imaan ever come back or will she fall in love with Raj?

Ranbir plays Gulaab, the lovestruck, musician

I mainly watched Bachna Ae Haseeno (2008) for Bips cause she's just my fave gal ever...but my Ranbir crush slowly starting forming :D

Taken from my full review post (characters, songs, lots of caps) of  Bachna Ae Haseeno - Raj (Ranbir Kapoor) has been in love three times. Two of the three times that he's been in love; he's hurt the girl. What comes around, always back around. He finally gets his due when the woman he loves - Gayatri (Deepika Padukone) rejects him. Finally he knows that feeling, he wants to amend his hurtful, wrong-doings and go back to the two previous women of his life -- Mahi (Manissha Lamba) and Radhika (Bipasha Basu) -- to apologize to them. After so many years have gone by, will they forgive him?

Ranbir plays Raj, the boy who learns to grow up and love

2009 was an awesome year for Ranbir and declared me a major fan. I did do descriptive details of all three of his films in 2009. That particular post is my second highest viewed post on my blog EVER!

Wake Up Sid (2009) is probably one of my most favorite films of all times. I love it that much. I've had success with each and every time with showing newbies and even friends the film. Just love the modern feel and acting. Gosh, just talking about it makes me wanna see it right now...

Taken from my full review post (characters, songs, lots of caps) of  Wake Up Sid - College graduate, Sid (Ranbir Kapoor), still had a lot of growing up to do. Money was given to him. His meals was cooked for him. Even the admission to college was practically a given to him because of who his father is. When he finally realized it was time to take his life and career more seriously, never did he imagine how hard it will be. With the help of Aisha (Konkona Sen Sharma), an older woman settling her life in Mumbai from Kolkatta, who he met at his graduation party, he learns how to grow up.

Ranbir plays Sid, the boy who refused to grow up...and finally did.

Rocket Singh: Salesman (2009) of the Year portrays Ranbir in a different character. It is not a movie to be re-watch over and over like Wake Up Sid but definitely worth watching for the message.

Taken from my full review post (characters, songs, lots of caps) of  Rocket Singh: Salesman of the Year - Harpeet Singh Bedi (Ranbir Kapoor) is a college graduate Sikh who wants to be a salesman. He is just an average John Doe academic-wise; therefore, he thinks being a salesman is right up his alley career-wise. His heart in becoming a salesman is there, but he just is a nice guy who cannot deceive others to make it to the top. When he finally realizes that he still wants to help out others but with truth and honesty, he decides to run his own side job business.

Ranbir plays Harpeet, an honest guy who learns to play the system

Ajab Prem Ki Kahnai Ghazab (2009) is not for everyone but it worked for me. The humor is slapstick and fun, just want I need for a good laugh :D

Taken from my full review post (characters, songs, lots of caps) of  Ajab Prem Ki Kahani Ghazab - Prem (Ranbir Kapoor) just wants everyone to be happy and even started the Happy Club in his town. If for some reason, lovers cannot be together, Prem makes sure they end up together. Unforunately, he mistaken Jenny (Katrina Kaif) for one of the girls and causes her to hate him at first. Since Prem is always the happy-go-lucky guy, Jenny sees the sweet side of him. He starts to fall in love with Jenny but she is already in love with Rahul (Upen Patel).

Ranbir plays Prem, lovestruck guy

Last, but not least, the diva Kapoor of all - Kareena

I debated whether or not to talk about her before Ranbir but left her last because she's one of the best, actually, she is the best young actress right now. Honestly, I have to admit that when she first starting acting, I didn't like her as much and thought she was overrated. Over time, I started to take her as who she is. I cannot fault her for her personality and just speak out and not think. She performs well onscreen and that's what matters.

One of the first reviews I've ever done was Jab We Met (2007). Sadly, it doesn't follow the same format for my full reviews with lots of screen caps, characters, and music :(

Taken from post, well-off businessman Aditya (Shahid Kapur) who became sad, depressed, heart-broken after his true love married someone else. Unaware of his surroundings, he ends up in a train and meets the talkative, sassy Geet (Kareena Kapoor). Both end up missing the train after a stop, Geet tells Aditya that he is responsible for taking her back home. Arriving to Geet's home, her relatives mistake them for being lovers. However Geet is determine to get to her love Ashuman (Tarun Arora) with Aditya's help.

Kareena plays Geet, the bubbly girl

Tashan (2008) doesn't have a full review either :(

Taken from post, full-time call center guy Jimmy (Saif Ali Khan) who also teachs English part-time. Unlucky in love until one day he sees the beautiful Pooja (Kareena Kapoor) who asks him to teach Bhaiyyaji (Anil Kapoor) English to advance his business. Things get chaotic. Jimmy thinks he's in love. Pooja deceives Jimmy and Bhaiyyaji. The wannabe gangster Bachchan (Akshay Kumar) joins in with Jimmy to find the missing money for Bhaiyyaji. Not knowing who to trust, each have to trust someone in order to survive.

Kareena plays Pooja

In 2009, I was fortunate enough to go to the Rockstars concert - Salman Khan, John Abraham, Kareena Kapoor, Shahid Kapur, Zayed Khan, Esha Deol, Mallika Sherawat. It was also my first Bollywood concert EVER!

Kareena is stunning in real life and really cool. My friend and I had a blast. Read the rest of my experience here.

I hope I could contribute more to Kapoor Khazana later this month!