Friday Favorites – Tinak Tin Tana

Well, today’s favorite is a little embarrassing for me.

This is one of the first Bollywood songs I saw– I still haven’t watched Mann, but I love, love, love this video! The exuberant hero, the perky heroine, the weirdly Indian comic relief, the singing, the dancing, the hanging out of car windows… it just made my heart happy. And don’t forget Udit and Alka.

But here’s the embarrassing thing. I always assumed this was from the 80s or at least the early 90s. But, no. It was released in 1999. Yikes. Although, really you should excuse me, because aside from hair, Aamir has looked exactly the same for the past 25 years.

And Bollywood fashions seemed to be a bit like my homeschool fashions while growing up… a few years behind. Although I doubt Manisha got her outfit at Goodwill.

Tinak Tin Tana:

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Friday Favorites – Swades

As you may have noticed, I’ve been kind of pathetic about posting lately. Swades deserves to be a Friday favorite; it’s one of my favorite movies, and I don’t mean out of just Hindi films. I’m going to sit down and stick through this review. Wish me luck.

Swades (Homeland): We the People was released in 2004. It was written, produced, and directed by Ashutosh Gowariker with music by A. R. Rahman, and lyrics by Javed Akhtar. Interestingly, there is a musical theme used in the film that Rahman worked into Slumdog Millionaire— if you’re familiar with Slumdog, keep an ear out for it.

If you want a summary, you can visit the Wikipedia page, but to give you a really basic idea– Mohan (Shahrukh) works for NASA, but goes back to India to find Kaveri Amma (Kishori Balal), the woman who raised him. He finds her living with Gita (Gayatri Joshi, in her first and only film), a young woman in a small village which he finds quite primitive. But he’s captivated by Gita, and is drawn in by the problems he sees in the village. He and Gita work to change them, and gradually the people of the town become quite impressed by him. He has to return to the US, and asks the two women to come with him. You’ll have to watch it to see what happens. :) Read the rest of this entry »

Mujhse Shaadi Karogi

Will you marry me?

I’m not asking you. That’s just the name of the movie. “Mujhse shaadi karogi?” seems like a useful thing to know in case someone should propose to you in Hindi. (Well, it could happen) (Either answer “haan” or “nahin” depending on your inclination)

Mujhse Shaadi Karogi stars Salman Khan, Akshay Kumar, and Priyanka Chopra (or Sallu, Akki, and Piggy Chops, if you prefer).

It involves a guy, Sameer, with anger issues (why on earth did they cast Salman? Although he claims in the making of video to not be much like his character), who promises his grandmother (awww) that he won’t ever lose his temper again, and then goes off to Goa. He has a rough start, but he falls in love with Rani (Priyanka) and everyone looks like it will work out. Enter Sunny (Akshay). Although it is clear to Sameer (and the audience) that Sunny is a jerk, he always manages to look good in front of Rani, while making Sameer look bad. “Wicked Sunny. Lock up all of your honey.” No, seriously, that’s his theme. Anyway, Sameer has to work really, really hard not to lose his temper and it looks like he will never get the girl and then (Spoiler alert! Ha ha) at the end of the movie (in the middle of a cricket match, no less) he does. Read the rest of this entry »

Song Sunday – Yun Hi Chala Chal

I know you’re all sitting there DYING for me to post again. You’re all saying, “Where’s Hannah? It’s Song Sunday! I want my song!”

Okay, maybe not. So I probably don’t need to bother with the excuse that I left for church at 8:15 this morning, spent the entire afternoon at nursing home services, and visited a friend’s 3-hour class tonight. And I am wiped out. This comes not so much from everything I did, but because I wore the wrong pair of shoes. I love boots, but when you’re on your feet most of the day, they’re not the brightest idea. But, hey, I’m not known for my bright ideas.

But enough about me! Because I love you so much, here is a really nifty song from Swades. I think of this as the Hindi version of Life Is a Highway:

Some of the lyrics:

Keep roaming thus oh traveler
How beautiful this world is
How colorful this world is
These pathways call out to me and say
Somewhere someone’s waiting for you
Why is the heart restless
Who is it going to meet

What the heart most desired
Maybe that’s about to happen

Life is the vehicle and time is the wheel


The heart feels lightened
Like a burden lifted from the shoulders

Like the innocent childhood has come back
Like bathing in the ganges after a long time
(okay, you’ll never hear that in Rascal Flatts).


Wherever you go may you always find love

And blaze a path oh traveler.

Want to download it at Amazon? Go on. It’s by A. R. Rahman and Javed Akhtar, with Udit Narayan, Kailash Kher, and Hariharan singing, and it’s 89 cents! Why would you not download it?

Hulchul

Following Salaam-e-Ishq, I was watching Hindi movies in all my spare time. I usually picked out an actor I liked or wanted to know more about and read through the list of their movies on Wikipedia until I found one I wanted to watch. This explains the disturbing number of
Akshaye Khanna movies I’ve watched. But more on that another time.
Hulchul is up on YouTube apparently (?) legally. Hulchul translates roughly (I think, don’t quote me on this) to “uproar,” which is an appropriate title, this one’s pretty insane. It’s a Priyadarshan film, which, as I understand it, explains a lot. Frankly, I don’t care much if a film is a remake or not, and am not much surprised if someone got ripped off in the process. Although I’m sure I’d have to disapprove. Nonetheless, entertainment is entertainment.

The film features two rival families, one headed by Angarchand (Amrish Puri, who you may recognize from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, although I have yet to meet anyone who has actually watched it; I just noticed, he’s also in Ghandi, although I haven’t seen it yet) with sons played by Jackie Shroff, Paresh Rawal, Arbaaz Khan, and Akshaye Khanna. They probably couldn’t have gotten four men who looked less like brothers if they tried. But I digress. The other family is headed by Laxmi Devi (Laxmi) and her sons, and from Wikipedia and IMDB I couldn’t figure out which character was which, so suffice it say that the youngest and most attractive of them is Suniel Shetty. Oh, and Kareena Kapoor is her grandaughter.

Anyway, the two families hate each other, Angarchand has forbidden his sons to get married, and Jai (Akshaye) and Anjali (Kareena) decide to make each other fall in love in order to ruin the other’s life and (surprise, surprise!) fall in love. Predictable, yes, but Romeo and Juliet story-lines never go out of style.

There’s lots of very funny moments, many of them aided by the marvelous Arshad Warsi, who is the best side-kick actor ever. I love this guy. This is also certainly a better opportunity to see him and Akshaye together than Shortkut: The Con is On. I’ll get to that one eventually, but no hurry there.

Anyway, there’s lots of slapstick, lots of misunderstanding and melodrama and insanity.

The movie will never be on a list of the greatest movies of all time, or anything of the sort but if you like your dishoom-dishoom (sound-effect in old Bollywood movies when someone gets punched) masala (and if you enjoy saying “dishoom-dishoom” and “masala” as much as I do), then this movie is for you. Speaking of punching, there’s a lot of it. Suniel does a lot of it, though, so that’s okay with us. (Suniel is the best actor for the protective uncle/older brother roles ever; I don’t know why, it’s just the way it is)

The songs and dances aren’t great, but they do involve people dancing in front of mountains, and I think you get Bolly-points for that. I enjoyed Ishq Mein Pyar Mein, which was upbeat and catchy. Both Ishq Mein and Rafta Rafta have five costume changes. Yes we counted. Actually, Rafta Rafta is fun, too, in a gimmicky way. Go ahead and watched if you’re inclined to laugh at Akshaye and Kareena pretending to like each other, except when the other’s back is turned. Hum Dil Ke is pretty, but involves only one costume change so no Bolly-points for that. Dekho Zara Dekho is another upbeat one, and the music video is, I assume, slightly influenced by Michael Jackson’s Thriller. Or something. The concept is an old one. (Someone should keep up with references and possible references to Jacko in Bollywood; I think the list would be a long one) With singers such as Shaan (on Ishq Mein and Hum Dil Ke), Udit Narayan (Rafta Rafta, Dekho Zara Dekho) and Alka Yagnik (Ishq Mein) it would be hard for it to be bad, but it’s not their best work either.

Lesson learned: If you believe what you see in the movies it would seem that orange cargo pants are quite popular in India. I saw them first when Shahrukh was sporting them in Kal Ho Naa Ho, but both Akshaye and Kareena wear a pair at different times in this movie.

Oh, and get used to Paresh Rawal. He pops up in movies almost as frequently as Johnny Lever.