Friday, June 16, 2006

oh, for the love of

utter and banal moronism.

IS the next big thing in superheroes a masked man who leaps from skyscraper to skyscraper, saves the world and suddenly breaks into song? Audiences will find out on June 23, when "Krrish" — a film that showcases Bollywood's first fully realized Superman-style hero — reaches screens.

Well, if the NY Times commissions Anupama Chopra to ask that question, it must be one of immense import!

I can't even articulate the extent of my irritation at this flake-out. I suppose other people's fetishes are none of my business, but this tendency to dabble in the Cult of Bolly gives me hives. Because I really think its time for the world to accept the fact, objectively and without fear of regionalist prejudices, that contemporary Bollywood sucks ass in its various capacities as industry, "dream factory" and, uh, cinema. It's not pulling off some kind of escapist stunt, people! If you believe otherwise, look at the fact that, I don't know, 90% of all Bollywood produce fails commercially?

One night, Rakesh said, he sat up till 4 a.m. and watched the entire "Lord of the Rings" trilogy. Afterward, he recalled in an interview in Mumbai, he asked himself, "If they can make three films on one ring, why can't we?" Thus the idea of a sequel about a superhero son was born.

I suppose it's folly to bring this up, but why can't we? sort of implies that the Krrish franchise is three movies 'on' one ring. But then, the imaginative distance between the two is negligible.

Seriously? This studied lack of irony is actually condescending. Which, considering this article comes from the reprehensible Suketu Mehta school of 'India's Screwed, But The People Are Wonderful!' writing, is expected stupid, utter, banal, moronic behaviour.


To change tacks, accept here pimpage of our Vivek's theatre company, which is working on one of the first of many awesome projects as you read this. If you live in Mumbai, please call them and go to auditions and give them cake. Shoestring Theatre it is.

Okay, come on, I'm not pissed off anymore. What've you all been reading? After throwing Maximum City across the room last week, I went out for pani-puri, came back with a terrific throat infection, and spent the rest of the week huddled up in bed re-reading Corelli's Mandolin, an old and sentimental favourite. I have processed nothing of note since, except the mildly amusing Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, which was saddening for its failure to conceal Jude Law's fast-receding hairline. Still, got to hear someone say "Bugger!" on screen after yonks.


  1. "Six months of trials and fittings ultimately led to the rejection of tights and a lungi (a skirtlike garment, worn mainly by men) in favor of a more modern all-black-leather ensemble."

    I like the way they make it sound like there has been a LOT of thought going into the costumes. Thats cool, and I am glad they did that.
    I mean, I would ve ben pissed as hell if they had simply watched The Matrix and decided to use the same second-hand costumes.

    Also, all drunkards in Mumbai are likely to watch Krish, simply because ALL seedy bars play its promos non-stop.

  2. Anonymous5:50 pm

    You suffer from the SKC(safedi ki chamkar) syndrome. Typical.

  3. Incidentally, have you read Black Friday? I read Maximum City - found it rather filmi (but hey, everyone's Bombay is different) I now have Black Friday on my book-shelf, and I'm trying to decide when I should read it. Any help?

  4. Oh, of course. As I asked the mirror this morning, "Self, what can you do today to undermine brownness everywhere? I know, you can flame rational objective film journalism on your blog!"

    So chastised at my innate racism being exposed, thanks. How typical of brave anonymous light-bringers everywhere.

    @ v: Ah, you can't switch channels on telly these days without bumping into Krrish. But I forgot, we have different means of bludgeoning our critical abilities to nothingness.

    I mean, I would ve ben pissed as hell if they had simply watched The Matrix and decided to use the same second-hand costumes.

    :D :D :D You star.

  5. @ Unratiosenatic: Hey! No, no, haven't read this at all, but sounds gripping.

    but hey, everyone's Bombay is different

    Touche. I wish Suketu Mehta's didn't have to be quite so - Ram Gopal Varma, if you like? With all the attendant stupidities.

  6. Anonymous5:13 am

    Remember East is East and West is West and the well the meeting place is still undecided.

    What works for patrons of Hollywood crap (most of it at least) will not work for Indian movie goers. Btw I believe Bollywood is a demeaning name in itself. Anyways, just because some Indian lost in US decided to make fun of a Indian movie does not mean the attempt of trying to make a sequel should be laughed at by everyone and their brother (or sister).

    India is not living in the cities or the multiplexes. India is still in villages and so if the few folks who are fortunate to have time to blog find the movies and everything else in India unbearable I have only one suggestion --- take an appointment at the US embassy and move along.

    We got lot of brains and brawns to spare.

    Btw, this anonymous guy is sitting in US but is not a lost Indian yet.

  7. Bollywood is so unrealistic. And such a waste of money and such a waste of talent. It's pulling the wool over a million eyes.

  8. Devdas4:16 am

    What have I been reading in the past week? Lets see:

    I finished

    Hyperion Omnibus (Hyperion and Fall of Hyperion), Dan Simmons

    The best of Busybee, Busybee

    The Mountains of madness, HP Lovecraft

    Execution, Ram Charan and Larry Bossidy

    The mistress of catacombs, David Drave

    Soul Music, Terry Pratchett,
    Eric, Terry Pratchett,
    Small Gods, Terry Pratchett

    Business at the speed of stupid, Dan Burke and Alan Morrison

  9. 3 observations:
    1. you need an anonymoustrap. (there are models these days that catch even the spare brains and brawns.)

    2. i believe your blog just witnessed the birth of a new postcolonial term:
    the anonymous diaspora (including a particularly patriotic sub-category that misquotes a stupid colonialist).

    3. bollywood (oh sorry: hindi mainstream cinema, esp the kind that plays in the villages) is the new favoured topic of discussion at the US embassy (and seedy bars).

  10. @ anonymouse: Dude, if you're trying to provoke a rational argument here, I'm afraid I'm at a loss to respond. Where do I begin - at the fact that Anupama Chopra, far from being a 'lost' Indian in the US, happens to be India Today's film critic and wife to one Vidhu Vinod Chopra? That India's villages have even less to contribute to the Cult of Bolly than do the fortunate folks who blog, because the two are so incredibly unrelated?

    Thanks for the embassy tip, though, I'd never have considered it myself, but you've shamed me into expatriation.

    @ devdas: Oooh, Hyperion. Although I hear that the Endymion sequence is actually better? We've been over the whole SCI-FI thing before, of course, but I think I told you that I quite like Dan Simmons.

    And hehe, business books. *pokes fun*

    @ diasporamouse: Who could this anonymous diaspora be? Surely not the ones who believe that India lives on, precious and fragile, outside its borders - oh, wait.

  11. Anonymouse4:13 pm

    An anonymouse? Ok, I shall take that as my nickname from now on.

    I have yet to read The Rise of Endymion, but all the three books I have read have their own charm.

    Hyperion and The Fall of Hyperion have a dark streak running through them, which a lot of people apparently do not like. The Fall of Hyperion is also far more chaotic than Hyperion itself.

    Endymion is full of hope and far more upbeat, and is a lot less chaotic.

    Oh, and you might want to actually read those "business" books I read (work permitting). I tend to buy quality books [1]. The SF and Fantasy stuff is a lot better though, and generally more fun.

    [1] I read anything. I will not necessarily buy it though.

  12. Ah now I see about the anon accusation. Safedi ki chamkar LMAO. Wouldn't we all be like those pouting little girls in lurid blue shirts in detergent ads if we didn't like our laundry racism.

  13. @ dev: yes, I know, I'm sticking to the SCI-FI and fantasy when it comes to buying.

    @ ish: l0llerz. Ban white clothes!