Various News

Well, we just finished watching My Name is Khan. The phrases I said the most while watching it were “Oh. My. GOSH.” and “What the HECK?” because it was a bizarre experience. In fact, after watching it, I’ve decided to take back the happy birthday wishes for KJo, because I’m seriously freaked out now. No, I still love him. But I wonder how an educated, privileged, well-traveled man could get the US so entirely wrong in such a totally weird way. I really do.

Karan claims to have “outgrown mush” and this news story (about the new film I Hate Luv Stories) even claims that My Name is Khan is a serious political-human statement, but the proof of the pudding is in the eating, my friends, and I’m just not convinced.

I like Imran’s take on the film, (I Hate Luv Stories, not My Name is Khan). “We are making films for the Indian industry so why not just make it the way everyone loves them? If we are making Hindi films with all the songs and dances then why be apologetic? We should be proud of what we are doing and only aspire to do something better. Let’s work further on getting some more amazing music and amazing dance numbers but let’s not do away with them please.” I so agree, Imran!

Speaking of Imran, let’s talk about his uncle! (you knew I couldn’t pass up a chance to talk about Aamir, didn’t you?) I saw some articles on Aamir Khan today. Aamir may not perform at weddings but he will attend those of his staff. I actually thought this was pretty sweet. Honestly, I really do think there’s something special about Bollywood stars, that maybe they’re a little more humble and a little more human than other important people. I could be wrong, but I like to think it.

The other thing about Aamir was on the question of whether he would host the next season of Kaun Banega Crorepati. I’m skeptical, but at the same time hopeful. Nonetheless hosting a TV show just doesn’t sound like Aamir’s thing. Speaking of how nice Bollywood stars are, though, I’m struck once again by the weirdness of Slumdog Millionaire. It’s hard to imagine Amit-ji or Shahrukh having someone beat up for being too good at the show. But I guess Anil Kapoor would. :)

Hannah and I are thinking about going to see Kites since it’s in a theater relatively close by. A good opportunity to see a Bollywood film in a theater, which is not one you get everyday in Iowa, after all. I wasn’t sure I wanted to see it because the Roshans keep insisting that it’s not a Bollywood movie, but I guess everyone who’s seen it thinks it is, which is a good thing in my book. (although it sounds like it doesn’t have very much singing and dancing; they should listen to Imran)

I wonder if Imran doesn’t have a greater appreciation for some aspects of Bollywood because he’s so Western himself (I know he’s from a filmi family, but he’s quite obviously quite American in a lot of ways). He may be a lot more concerned with things that make Bollywood different because of this. Actually, I’m reading way too much into what he said, but that’s okay by me. I’ll just pretend to be a Bollywood gossip reporter and then I can make up whatever I want.

Okay, I’m just getting weird and rambly and I don’t know what I’m talking about. Time to go to bed.

Yes, that is a gratuitous picture of Hrithik making a funny face. What are you going to do about it?



  1. Han said,

    May 27, 2010 at 9:51 pm

    ogle it.


  2. ajnabi said,

    May 28, 2010 at 9:19 am

    But I wonder how an educated, privileged, well-traveled man could get the US so entirely wrong in such a totally weird way. I’m pretty sure it’s the way privileged Americans get other countries wrong in our films. We all impose our paradigms on other cultures and think things happen for reasons they don’t. Like the scene where he stops traffic–the way that crowd reacts? Totally Indian, not American. But I bet KJo’s never been in a traffic-stopping incident in America, because he’s never been on a bus in America. Trying to depict everyday life when you’re wealthy and from a different culture? Nearly impossible to do it accurately, unless you try, and accuracy’s never been a real goal of his. ;-)

    I love that Imran feels no compunction to apologize for the Bollywood way of storytelling. I love even more that he’s American and saying it. LOL

    • Han said,

      May 28, 2010 at 10:22 pm

      I often find the Bollywood movies set in western countries to be more telling about Indian culture than ones set in India. In MNIK I thought it was bizarre that Sameer’s friends at school only started picking on him after his name became Khan– like kids in the US know Muslim names! When we started watching Bollywood movies, after a few weeks I said, “Hmm, I think Khan could be a Muslim name. Not sure yet, though.”
      And all the “Lousy Paki” comments… as if Americans know the difference between an Indian and a Pakistani! I know ignorant people might assume someone with brown skin is a Muslim, but I’ve never heard of someone being picked on because they’re from Pakistan! These particular incidents in the film seem to reveal a lot about prejudices in India…

    • Sarah said,

      May 29, 2010 at 7:55 am

      Okay, there may be an explanation for it; that does make sense. But probably not an excuse. Like every other film-maker he can be held responsible for going around making films willy-nilly without even thinking about how they actually will appear to people. I was astonished to realize that THIS was the Bollywood film all hyped as an international film for all audience and whatnot. I don’t think that I would want anyone who wasn’t very understanding and forgiving of Bollywood shortfalls to watch this movie.

      On the other hand, what do you expect when KJo claims he’s going to make a serious film? I guess it was pretty much doomed from the get-go. :D

  3. Kats said,

    May 28, 2010 at 11:18 pm

    Haha, very true about the Pakistani/Khan thing!

    I saw Kites and while I honestly enjoyed it in the theater, it did sort of leave a bad taste in my mouth, you know? It actually did feel quite a lot like a Hollywood movie to me, and this coupled with lack of real song sequences bothered me a lot. I mean, I just feel it’s a bit disrespectful to the non-English speaking audience to make a mainstream film, market it as such, and then have practically no Hindi in it! My friend, who likes very westernized Bollywood (ala Dhoom 2), had no problems, but me, well, I guess I like my Indian movies to be distinctly and proudly Indian.

    If you guys end up seeing it though I’d love to hear your take!

    • Sarah said,

      May 29, 2010 at 8:02 am

      Yeah, the fact that it has almost no Hindi is pretty off-putting to me, I mean, half the reason I watch the films is that I love the language (well, that and the song and dance sequences).

      Personally, I don’t get real excited about this crossover, appeal to all audiences stuff. Because it doesn’t appeal to this audience. :D Some of us westerners are watching Bollywood films because they’re not western films, because we love Bollywood the way it is.

  4. Kristenka said,

    May 29, 2010 at 5:53 pm

    After I sent you MNIK, I looked the plot up on wikipedia and was like “what the heck…?”

    • Sarah said,

      May 30, 2010 at 11:13 pm

      Well, thanks very much anyway. We really wanted to see it. It’s not your fault that Karan Johar is a nutcase. :P

      • Han said,

        May 30, 2010 at 11:34 pm

        It’s totally my fault. True story. Ask me some time.

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