Sunday, September 02, 2007

Bollywood Excursion

I haven't been following bollywood for the last five six years. Have seen very few films. It was of course not always like that. There was a time in the early nineties (though now it feels like a different age) when if someone had asked me to name my top 10 films I would have named those recent cinematic gems like maine pyaar kiya, qayamat se qayamat tak, saajan, dil hai ke maanta nahin and others. This mad movie love didn't last long, though I did continue to watch movies obsessively even when most of them bored me. (One reason was that movie going has never been a social activity for me, as it is for other people. It is almost always a solitary act. And these bollywood movies aren't particularly well-suited for this kind of spectatorship.)

It was sometime around 2001-02 that I really stopped watching or following bollywood altogether. Even on TV. May be it was Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham or perhaps it was Devdas, both of which I found deeply offensive, that was the final straw. It was also at that time that I discovered Bergman, Fassbinder, Lars von Trier, Almodovar and others in various film societies and cultural centers of the European embassies in Bangalore. I also soon found out that all those films that I had so longed to see but I had never imagined I would ever get to see -- films of Fellini, Kurosawa, Ozu, Antonioni and others -- were so easily available on DVD. (Even before watching any of these films I was already convinced of their greatness. I had already read everything that was there on the internet and in the library when I was in college. There was not much on internet at that time, may be Roger Ebert's great movies and few other sites.) After all this Bollywood was definitely something that belonged firmly in the past.

All this Bollywood talk because I saw Lakshya for the second time yesterday. The first time I saw it I was in a state of mild inebriation and lachrymosity and I remember feeling all tearful for poor Hrithik. This time I saw it in a sober state and there was no such reaction but still I think it is a wonderful film. I am already a member of Hrithik fan club (though the only other film of his I have seen in full in Kaho Na Pyar Hai, which is not bad either). Now if only he could stop acting to impress kids and school girls. Just to end the post, a song from the film that I like very much. Another song here.

5 comments:

Szerelem said...

Never ever thought I would see a Bollywood post from you :)
Did you ever see Lagaan?

Bhopal-e said...

You saw Hritik in Lakshya, Kaho Na Pyar Hai but missed him in Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gam? Huh!

Alok said...

szerelem: Yes I have seen Lagaan, only on TV though. It was quite good, though it felt a bit overpraised. I had the same feeling with other praised hindi films of recent times too - like Omkara, Hazaro Khwahishein Aisi...

bhopal-e: have seen only first half hour of that film. I don't remember seeing Hrithik... It was awful anyway, hrithik or no hrithik.

Szerelem said...

Just curious what in Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham and Devdas did you find offensive?

I hated both movies btw. Devdas lef me quite horrified for so many reasons

Alok said...

Difficult to compare :) I hated the vulgar opulence of both these films. People called all those colours "beautiful" but I found it ugly and tasteless. Same with Kabhi Khushi... add to that a most cliched and regressive representation of the institution of family...