Monday, June 18, 2012

Favorites Filmi Dads for Father's Day

Happy Father's Day! 

There's been a lot of talk on twitter about favorite real life Bolly Dads, like new Daddy Abhishek Bachchan and perennial favorites like Shah Rukh Khan, but I immediately began thinking of Dad characters that tugged at heart strings. Certain ones come to mind instantly, like Nana Patekar in Khamoshi: The Musical, Aamir Khan in Akele Hum Akele Tum and Shashi Kapoor in Aa Gale Lag Jaa.

Then I started thinking about who I would want to play my dad in a Bollywood movie ... here's what I came up with:


10. Alok Nath
The Sooraj Barjatya/Rajshri dad of choice. Seemingly sweet and kind and perfect. Sometimes annoyingly so.

9. Khulbhushan Karbandha
Because then I could always say my dad was SHAKAAAAAAAAAL!!!!

8. Naseerudin Shah
He was really, really brilliant in Monsoon Wedding. His reactions were so spot-on, it was just perfect. And subtle and conflicted but so dedicated in Masoom. Also brilliantly awkward as the absentee dad in Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara. Hilarious as portrait dad in Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na. I could go on and on.

7. Saeed Jaffrey
I just find him to be so jolly. I'm surprised we don't see more of him these days, he was somewhat of a staple in the 90s. He's so little and distinguished. He sometimes reminds me of a leprechaun.

6. Pran
Because you know, he might leave you and your brothers in the park and then you all get separated for 20+ years, but he'll find his way back to you eventually - perhaps with wealth beyond what you could have imagined in your little hut with Nirupa Roy.

5. Anupam Kher
I love a funny dad!

4. Dharmendra
Because then my dad would be the handsomest man in the world.

3. Amitabh Bachchan
Obvs. Can you imagine him singing you to sleep? Plus, he played his own dad in Mahaan, so I'm pretty sure he could play mine.

2. Rishi Kapoor
Cuddliest daddy ever. Plus, he'd have a TON of sweaters I could borrow.

1. Prakash Raj
I just absolutely adore him in dad roles. I know he hasn't done too many in Hindi films, but after seeing him in Abhiyum Naanum (Tamil), I want to see more of this character type for him. Less villains, more slightly neurotic and overprotective but ultimately dedicated and loving dads.

Yes, I admit the Rishi Kapoor one is slightly problematic since I also had a massive childhood crush on him, but I can easily separate pre-sweater uncle!Rishi from post-sweater uncle!Rishi in my mind. Now he is so roly-poly and sweet and I absolutely adored him as a to bits as a father and teacher in Do Dooni Chaar.

Then finally ... in true Bollystalgia fashion ... I started thinking about songs about dads. And here is the result! A playlist! Enjoy and Happy Father's Day!

A special shoutout to Asim from UPodcast who just became a dad this Father's Day too. Enjoy this crazy ride of parenthood Asim!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

3 Songs that gave me unrealistic expectations of home-building/buying

Anyone who grew up with Bollywood films is no stranger to unrealistic expectations. Bollywood gives us epic love, familial relationships, friendships, etc. Not to mention the music being piped in from the trees for us to run around and sing to, as well as back-up dancers in coordinated clothing with choreography all ready to go for your spontaneous song (WHY ISN'T THIS REAL?).

But these songs in particular gave me the silly notion that it would be totally easy for me and the epic omg one true wuv of my life to run away from the big, bad world and build ourselves a home somewhere. Now that I watch HGTV, I know it's not so simple. But wouldn't it be neat if cute cottages just appeared out of nowhere with the efforts of one puny guy from the boondocks and the automatic decorating skill of a spoiled rich girl who previously lived in a hotel lobby?

Dekho Maine Dekha - Love Story (1981)
Starring Kumar Gaurav and Vijeyta Pandit, sung by Amit Kumar and Lata Mangeshkar

Ok so granted, they're only talking about a dream cottage in this song, but then in the next few scenes of the movie they are actually living in the house they built. That easy huh?

Akele Hai To Kya Ghum Hai - Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak (1988)
Starring Aamir Khan and Juhi Chawla, sung by Udit Narayan and Alka Yagnik

Yes I'm sure little Raj and Rashmi would be able to build a safe, liveable space for themselves up in the mountains. But I DO love this song, it is possibly the sweetest and saddest little song (if you know what's coming for our main characters).

Humne Ghar Choda Hai - Dil (1990)
Starring Aamir Khan and Madhuri Dixit, sung by Udit Narayan and Sadhna Sargam

Aamir seems to make a habit of running away with his lady loves. So in this one he chops some wood or something and makes enough money to buy their little Little Tikes playhouse, but still, those things are expensive. I have kids now, I know. I like how they were living in a tent before.

BONUS SONG: Kadhal Sadugudu - Alaipaayuthe (TAMIL) 2000
starring Madhavan and Shalini, sung by SPB Charan
*I chose the Tamil version vs. the Hindi one from Saathiya because I'm biased and like most of Rahman's music in Tamil better than Hindi, except for maybe Rangeela.*

At least by the time we got to more modern movies (early 2000s) it was a BIT more realistic. I mean here we have Maddy and Shalini who've been kicked out of their homes and they found this sort of cool exposed brick place. I think the square footage seems excessive for Chennai though. I always got the impression that they were squatting, although at least Shalini's character is a medical student (resident?) so perhaps she could afford the place on credit knowing she'd make it back. FYI, who knew that hanging laundry to dry could be so romantic.

Anyone have any other good ones?

Friday, June 1, 2012

Coming in November: Kamal Kamaal!

So tonight I fell down the rabbit hole of Kamal Haasan (aka Kamalahasan, as we call him down South) videos on YouTube. It is totally mesmerizing ... everything from the sublime ("Nada Vinodamu" from Sagara Sangamam) to the ridiculous ("Ae Unnai Thaane" from Kadhal Parisu).

We had some minor discussion of his films on twitter amongst the usual suspects, and titles such as Saagar, Sadma, Vikram, Indian, Ek Duje Ke Liye and Hey Ram were all mentioned.

So I posed the question whether people might be interested in doing a Kamal Haasan themed blogging project and am happy to say that I received some pretty positive feedback! I'm thrilled to announce that we'll be doing KAMAL KAMAAL (translates to: Kamal Greatness) days in November 2012, to coincide with his 58th birthday on November 7th. So pull out those DVDs when the time comes and let's have some thoughtful discussion about this brilliant actor, or just enjoy the glitter and tight pants of his disco numbers.

Here's a link to his filmography so you can plan ahead.

Let me know if you are interested in participating by doing blog posts, podcasts, etc. and I will keep you posted!

And really, if you need incentive to check out Kamal Haasan, just watch this!