Dhobi Ghat (2011) and Guzaarish (2010)

I’ve never been a big fan of classifying films as conventional/masala or art-house, and the city of Bombay might have something to do with it. I consider myself fortunate to have spent my childhood in Bombay of the 1980s -- truly cosmopolitan, where people got along and celebrated any holiday imaginable as one unit, didn’t use religion to spew hatred, and generally speaking, cared little to let things get in the way of the enjoyment of all of the above.

That ecosystem impacted me more than I’d imagined, and for it, my thought process today is all the more enriched. It's almost as if it triggers a constant reminder to put things in perspective, even if it’s for what might not be too consequential in the bigger picture (e.g. the traditional versus art-house argument). These two films might be positioned as unconventional, indeed art-house to many. But in the bigger picture, does that even matter when all we are looking for is good cinema?



Putting things in perspective is a fitting way to begin any discussion on the just-released Dhobi Ghat (Mumbai Diaries). The film marks the directorial debut of its writer Kiran Rao, who produced it with her husband Aamir Khan.

It’s not rare for contemporary Hindi cinema to venture into multiple, often connected storylines running in parallel. There are at least four principal storylines in Dhobi Ghat, although there are more to be found should one want to dive deeper. What is rare is to walk away from a film with each of these storylines and their characters almost as vividly, vertically aligned as they are horizontally aligned. In other words, there’s equilibrium in how these stories are approached, and achieving the balancing act that underlies this is no mean feat given how different each character is in everything from religious affiliation to profession, income level, social standing, language, and standing within his or her household and social network.

That equilibrium is essentially what binds the film, Bombay being the other neutralizing force. It’s almost a relief to see an urban metropolis other than Delhi being the showcase of a film, although I probably digress in that comment since the city that is the home of the industry has well had its share of the spotlight since the inception of Hindi cinema. But you get where I’m headed there. We’re treated to some superb cinematography and art direction here, and whether it be the roadway mentioned most often on this blog (Marine Drive and Chowpatty represent!), the Gateway of India, Worli, Dongri and her neighboring regions, the dhobi ghat (aka ‘the world’s largest outdoor laundry’), and several other locales, it’s all one heck of a spectacle to behold, all because it’s a shining example of the camera making love to the city.


It is hardly alone in its contributions to a film that is well held together. The background score packs the punch when needed – not loud when it could’ve been, not dominant when there could’ve been a good case to be made for its need to be. Its timing is just right, its subtleties accentuated by the use of the sounds of the city, its focus not once shifting away from its singular purpose – Bombay unabashed, unapologetic, bindaas (fearless), and not overwhelmingly restricted to portrayals of one particular social class.

The performances are, for the most part, excellent. Aamir as Arun is quite remarkable. The bits where he goes through a previous tenant’s video diaries he makes genuinely interesting. Toward the climax, he is the Aamir we have come to expect by now, passionate as ever in delivery. I like to think of his role as artist here as an extension of his role in Taare Zameen Par (2007). There is even a semblance to a deleted scene or two from that film.


Prateik Babbar as Munna, in his first film after his debut in Jaane Tu (2008), is great. Kriti Malhotra as Yasmin is the hidden gem, her story is not one that is easily forgotten. Monica Dogra as Shai takes advantage of a fairly well-written character.

On to the issues then, and the two I found bothersome are glaring. Shai is a consultant at an investment bank in New York (and a classic, subtle but stereotypical example of the embodiment of the 'me-first' attitude those of us in the industry are schooled to adopt, its ethical viability notwithstanding), on a sabbatical in Bombay. She speaks Hindi (with a cringe-worthy accent which impacts her overall performance quite negatively, but say we overlook that) and is well into adulthood, but hasn’t ever seen a Hindi film! What have the parents been doing? :) Okay, so we can ignore that, you say. But it’s a bit more difficult to ignore that Munna, essentially a launderer who lives in one of the least affluent neighborhoods of the city (to put it mildly), can go to the same cinemas as Shai, or even know how to dress appropriately in such settings. They try to make up for this in places – there’s a scene where Shai asks him if he’s a fan of the music group whose shirt he’s wearing (L.A.’s very own, The Doors, were they?), only for him to respond with a puzzled nod of the head – but those are few and far in between. Possible? I guess. Plausible? No.


Yuvvraaj (2008) as the film the characters view in this film gets a hearty nod, which is a nice touch for the Salman Khan fan in all of us. :) And here’s a special shout-out to Kitu Gidwani! We need to see more of her.

Needless to say, I look forward to the DVD release of this fine film. Good thing Aamir Khan Productions is investing what it is in taking this brand of cinema to the mainstream. It’s not that these films aren’t made in India. It’s just that there aren’t enough incentives for more mainstream growth there, and the hope is a well-established and resourceful production house can do its part to bring us more sensible cinema, of which this is a good example.

To Bombay, then! Enjoy some sounds from the city in this little clip from the Haji Ali dargaah I filmed last year, and do excuse the poor quality – this is what happens when you unexpectedly end up somewhere and don’t have a real camera in hand. :)


Four stars and then some to Dhobi Ghat, celebrating the lust for life in Bombay. Go see it! If you’ve written about it, please share a link to your post in the comments section below. If you’ve seen the film, let’s discuss!

Movie rating: 4.25/5 (Excellent!)

My classification: R (For language)

Official website (and picture source):
http://www.dhobighatfilm.com/



---------------------

GUZAARISH

We go from Bombay to Goa, then. (Sound familiar?) While Dhobi Ghat celebrates the lust for life in Bombay, Guzaarish (Request) tries to do the opposite in Goa. Ethan Mascarenhas (Hrithik Roshan) is the world’s most accomplished magician, before an accident on stage leads to a spinal cord injury and quadriplegia. His dedicated nurse for fourteen years is Sofia D’Souza (Aishwarya Rai), who has issues in her own life but doesn't miss a day of service to Ethan over that period. Ethan inspires many, even has his own successful radio show. But one day he decides he’s had enough, and 'requests' legal consent to terminate his life via euthanasia (or mercy killing).


Discussion on euthanasia is beyond the scope of this discussion, but what isn’t is the justification used for its validity in the case of Ethan. Oh how the mighty have fallen!

Ethan’s trip to the courthouse is his first in over a decade, but none dares question why he hasn’t been made to go in all those years past. For someone who has as much going for him, it seems almost unnecessary to want to die, and one can’t help but feel it gets to the point where his desire to die is at least as much a product of stubbornness as it is of frustration.

Yet, there’s some serious soul here that cannot be ignored. The Sanjay Leela Bhansali-directed film certainly has its moments. Hrithik is in fine, fine form, and Aishwarya Rai quite surprisingly delivers one of her best performances in a long time. Who can refuse this offer?


Let there be no question they continue to sizzle with remarkable chemistry.


The soundtrack, my favorite from 2010, is integrated beautifully and with stunning visuals and some delightful choreography. Sau Gram is used multiple times, none more effectively than the bit at the beginning of this trailer. Sofia deciding it’s time to let go in Udi (trailer here) is priceless. The rest all work quite well, really.


When all else fails, we turn to the lord. Shades of Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam (1999) and Khamoshi: The Musical (1996), perhaps?


There’s little doubt Guzaarish would have been special with a better script and less stingy editing. It’s Sanjay Leela Bhansali with his usual dramatic overarching style but in an offering that is arguably more restrained. That, and the poignancy accompanying it – none better illustrated than while Ethan says, “I already have too many attachments” – works to an extent this once, as does the supporting cast. Three stars for a good film which is a visual spectacle and musical delight!

Movie rating: 3/5 (Good!)

Music rating: 4/5 (Excellent!)
More by Sanjay Leela Bhansali the music director, please! Lyrics are great, and the flow in the album as a standalone product is fantastic, no skipping tracks required.

My classification: PG-13 (For theme)

Official website: http://www.guzaarishthefilm.com/

44 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am having a hard time believing you are the same person who wrote that Veer and Dabang post. Very nice and you have convinced me to see both of these movies!

Joss said...

Oh wow! I loved that clip from the Haji! I can't believe you can hear fantastic music like that on the streets themselves. It's no wonder that Hindi films contain such great music, if that is the environment from which it has evolved. Thank you for sharing.

I haven't seen either of the other films, and didn't realise that Guzaarish was one of SLB's. I shall definitely try to catch both as soon as possible, and let you know what I thought.

Arjavi said...

I love the songs of Guzaarish too! Could you please share what is your most favourite song from the movie?

Faridoon_S (via Twitter) said...

Very well written...well done!!!

Bollywriter (via Twitter) said...

Enjoyed reading your reviews. Just had to say I loved the music of Guzaarish too. One of the best for 2010 I thought!

Dolce and Namak said...

Ha! I hadn't picked up on the unlikeliness of Shai and Munna going to the same theatre. Interesting point. The only thing I can say in its defence is that they live in the same area, otherwise Munna would not be doing Shai's laundry? Maybe... Then again, maybe not... Ok, I've got nothing :(

But I'm very happy to read that you liked the film, not that I would have expected anything else. The art direction, and the direction in general are outstanding. One of my favourite images has to do with two trains running in parallel outside the window during one of the dramatic points in the film. So unaware is this city of the dramas in people's lives...

Also fair point about classifying films as either masala or arthouse. I am guilty of it myself, even though I realize how blurry the line that separates them is...

I will refrain from commenting on the shortcomings of Guzaarish because I may need more than tonight to finish ;), but I do agree that it's one of Aishwarya's best performances! :)

theBollywoodFan said...

Anonymous: I'll take that as a compliment. :) The movies ought to get the kind of review they deserve, and I try to have some fun while at it, to keep things interesting. Thank you, and enjoy these two films!

theBollywoodFan said...

Hi, Joss! Glad you liked that clip! The Haji Ali dargaah usually has these going on in the evenings from what I hear, and during the day as well on weekends. Yes, very authentic, and indeed the kind of environment that has for several centuries served as the incubator of talents and styles of this style of song, the 'qawwali'. Bollywood indeed adapts (or tries to adapt) styles from these very environments. Great, enjoy the films, then! Shall look forward to knowing your thoughts.

theBollywoodFan said...

Arjavi: Gosh, that's a tough question, isn't it?! I'd say as a stand-alone product, it's a tie between 'Sau Gram Zindagi', 'Tera Zikr', and 'Saiba'. That is not to say I don't like the rest, they're all really very good.

As far as inclusion in the film goes, I like how 'Sau Gram Zindagi' and 'Udi' were integrated. So I guess 'Sau Gram Zindagi' would be that one track. And speaking of 'Udi', Sunidhi Chauhan makes it sound so effortless, it's not at all easy to sing that! Do you have any favorite(s)?

theBollywoodFan said...

Faridoon! Thank you sir! And thank you again for the RT over at Twitter. :) I really enjoyed your post as well, especially agree with the following:

"Dhobi Ghat is a fine work of art. There are many layers and they can be interpreted by different people according to their own viewpoint towards life."

dustdevil liz said...

(I tried to post a comment and Chrome crashed on me, so if you have this already, apologies for the double post!)

Great review--I'm so glad you mentioned the background score. I thought Santaolalla did a nice job of creating something that felt organic to the city and story, but not necessarily "Bollywood"-ish.

There's a scene where Arun is sitting on the big cement blocks on the beach, which I first saw in a scene at that location in Rangeela. This set me down the path of thinking about connections between the two films. Your observation about Munna and Shai not going too the same cinemas, or Munna knowing how to dress, got me thinking about the cinema/hotel scenes in Rangeela. (I doubt that was the filmmaker's intent, but I love that the film has so many possibilities for the viewer to make that kind of connection or interpretation.)

theBollywoodFan said...

Bollywriter: Thank you! SLB's music in Guzaarish is veteran-like, an excellent debut. I think I like its music more than Saawariya's! Have you seen Guzaarish, by the way?

theBollywoodFan said...

Dolce and Namak: Hehe. Well, Shai living close enough is certainly possible.

Come to think of it, the Dhobi Ghat has an incredible network throughout the city, probably a logistical nightmare when broken down to a business problem, but somehow achievable.

Now you've got me thinking about the 'dabbawalas', a smooth operation enough to earn a Six Sigma rating by international metric standards, or an accuracy rate of 99.99966%! (I think I got that right, LOL.) Point is, it's incredibly complex and spread throughout. Although I know far less about the Dhobi Ghat, I imagine its range of service to extend well beyond the locale it's based in as well.

Also, I wouldn't mind a film on Dabbawalas! Food and clothing do go hand in hand as basic needs after all. ;)

I digress...

I don't disagree entirely with having genres. We have this habit of classifying and categorizing, and to some extent, there's a need for it. But with masala and art-house, I feel it's perhaps too subjective.

I must read your take on Guzaarish, I saw that post and was reminded of the word 'Disney' while watching, so I'll look forward to stopping by soon. Thank you, as always, for your visit and comment!

theBollywoodFan said...

Dustdevil Liz! Thank you. Yes, the background score was its own character, certainly used with care and to spark the right emotions at the right time. It's nice when those details are paid attention to. Perfect way to put it: "Organic to the city and story, but not necessarily Bollywood-ish."

That's a fine thought process that leads you to the Rangeela analogy and with a character named Munna in both, to top it off! (I never thought of it that way, truly excellent!) And well said about the film leaving a lot open to our interpretation -- different moments mean different things to different people, and that's where it is probably at its strongest.

Thank you again for your visit and comment! :)

JessicaSisk (via Twitter) said...

Sorry, I don't think I can put Dhobi Ghat ahead of Guzaarish, because Monica Dogra was just terrible. We cringed.

Aditi (via Twitter) said...

Just finished reading your review, read the whole thing. :D Brilliant, very well written! Now I really CAN'T wait to watch the film! I enjoyed the criticisms too :D Also, totally agree with what you said, it doesn't really matter what genre a movie is (art house etc) as long as it is good cinema!

Arjavi said...

I like "dhundli dhundhli shaam", it is such a beauty of a song. Thanks for your reply. :)

Pitu said...

Looking forward to seeing Dhobi Ghat especially after your review. I'm keen to see how Pratik is, given how much charisma he had in his tiny role in JTYJN. And there is no such thing as too much Kitu Gidwani ;)

About Guzaarish, well, wild horses cannot drag me to see this movie, mainly because I cannot stand SLB. I love Hrithik, but not enough to tolerate an SLB 'movie'!

dunkdaft said...

i agree with Arjavi there. What a song by Shankar Mahadevan! But again, i m spoiled by vivacious Ash dancing to Udi, [man, i wanted to get up and dance in theatre then] and absolutely 'khushi ke aansoo' starting of Sau gram zindgi in the movie [remember that child birth, his dad's phone to Ethan and all]. So, there goes my three fav songs.

... and not overwhelmingly restricted to portrayals of one particular social class Spot On. As i said on twitter, you give words to my thoughts. Superb writeup there. I was so relieved that Mumbai is not filmed in a cliche way [like another 'festival' films, showing yuck yuck]. Balanced this one is.

Ab, aapke issues : Shai's accent wasn't much cringe worthy, for those, who are not 'ghire hue by NRI' :P LOL. Talking abt Munna going to same multiplex - Bhai, you never know these today's Dhobi log. When i go pick up my laundry from their shop, i have to hide my mobile from their glaring gadget. ;) So as dolce has put_same area mein rehte hai, mil gaye achanak. Aur kapde... haven't u lost a pair or some while u gave them for loundry? ;)
Jokes apart - i found the metaphor of that Dadi ma in a flat next to Arun, very intersting. So was the images of 'under construction' building - or say Mumbai under construction, forever and always.

Aah, that video. Thanks for sharing yaar. Ajmer ki yaad aa gayi.

Bollywriter (via Twitter) said...

Yes I so agree that was what impressed me so much The depth difference & excellence of the songs! I haven't yet plan to!

apnieastindiaco (via Twitter) said...

Dhobi Ghat looks good- dunno if ive the time to see it tho... maybe in the summer :)

Anonymous said...

There is a masjid that is shown in Dhobi GHaat, do you know which it is since you are from Mumbai? It is in the scene at night, lots of people and food stalls etc.

Amy said...

Ok, convinced. We'll have to go ahead and watch Guzaarish. I had fears of seeing Hritik Roshan going sleeveless to show off his biceps despite playing a quadriplegic. That artistic license can be a menace you know. And after reading your thorough and VERY well written review of Dhobi Ghat, my interest is piqued. Would've seen it for Aamir Khan anyway, but now we really HAVE to see it for a glimpse of the cultural landscape. And knowing the guy who did the music for Amores Perros and Brokeback Mountain did the score, it's too interesting to pass up. My humble thanks again for imparting your knowledge, oh Sage of All Things Bollywood.

theBollywoodFan said...

Jess: I'm definitely not going to disagree with you on Monica Dogra. In fact, I'll wholeheartedly agree! I cringed too, and I was wondering if I were the only one.

It's not that I thought someone like her was not possible to run into (we've run into those like her), just that I couldn't help but feel she was just being lazy in her act! Thankfully, I thought the rest made up. It was a much better-written film than Guzaarish in my view. Oh, well.

Let's plan a tweet-up or a film meet-up sometime soon!

theBollywoodFan said...

Aditi: Enjoy! Do report back once you've seen it. :)

Arjavi: That song is incredible, that's an incredible vocal range he's got there! Bits of it reminded me of something Rahman would do, in Guru for example.

theBollywoodFan said...

Pitu! I'd be very interested to know your take! That equilibrium really did it for me, they aren't boxing aamchi Mumbai into a specific type of city, and we know how much we appreciate that!

As for SLB and Guzaarish...if you truly do like Hrithik, I say give him and the film a chance. He's one of the best actors out there, and this film alone offers ample evidence, I think. COnfined to not using what is traditionally his strengths, he's done well. Real well.

theBollywoodFan said...

Darshit! Yes, I'm with you on Ash and Udi, of course. If that song doesn't want one to at least clap his or her hands, nothing will. It was just so beautifully filmed and oh, the sets! And that 'Sau Gram' bit, "zindagi chahe 7 pound ki ho ya 100 gram ki," nicely done eh.

Thank you for your kind words, and yes, such a relief to see Mumbai in somewhat of a more positive light, or at least how it is, not taking too many sides there.

Sahi's accent, let me tell you, was *very* annoying! Never mind it rotated from very desi to very American when both Hindi and English were used. I think we're all okay with that (and we know our share of women her age here who are like that -- Monica Dogra herself was raised in the U.S., so I get that), and we're simply targeting our audience there.

But the bigger issue to me, as I was saying to Jessica above, was that her voice sounded too lazy (sorry, that's the only way I know to explain that), when everyone else's sounded so resolute and passionate and confident and grounded! Definitely the weakest link in the cast.

Good point about the dhobis, eh. I realize even the sabziwalas have cool gadgets these days!

And no, I guess I never handed out stuff to dhobi. Humaare yahaan Agnes jaisi ek lady thi (who spoke very much like Agnes, I might add), but there was this dry cleaners called 'Beauty Art' in Churchgate where we went, I wonder if the dhobis get business from there as well. I doubt it, but who knows in some cases?

Yes, that dargaah is awesome. And yes, I do envy you for having been to Ajmer!

Thank you, as always, bhai, for your visit and comment.

Cheers!

theBollywoodFan said...

Bollywriter: Have fun!

Shweta: If you have the time, definitely check it out before the summer. I am almost certain you won't regret it.

Anonymous: That's Minara Masjid for you. And the food in that region...some of the best kabab/tikka/sweetmeats in the world! (I'm always down to offer food recommendations in Mumbai, if you need some, you're welcome to ask here or e-mail ;)

theBollywoodFan said...

Amy! Thank you so much for your kind words. I'm no sage of all things Bollywood, though, you give me more credit than I deserve. 0:)

Glad you enjoyed the Dhobi Ghat review. It's well worth it for the cultural landscape. I'm really glad Aamir's bringing us films based in India when it's not the most trendy thing to do. (Or at least it wasn't until he set the trend again.) Peepli Live then this, great for the purposes of reading the culture some what, the limitations of such an approach notwithstanding. (Then 3 Idiots and Taare Zameen Par and Rang De Basanti before these. There's this theme he's held on to since after Lagaan...)

Had no idea the background score was by the guy who did the music for those, thanks for the FYI!

Truth be told, the artistic license in Guzaarish almost was a menace in some instances, but the rest was so good, I was fine overlooking it. I wouldn't say the film is a must-see, but yes, if the visuals and the music appeal to you, it might be worth a shot.

Thanks again for stopping by! Happy movie-watching!

Aditi said...

I watched Dhobi Ghat yesterday finally. Can you tell me what was the purpose of that old lady in the film? :S

theBollywoodFan said...

Aditi: The way I see it, it could be a number of things, really. There are so many unanswered questions here, one almost wishes we could get some answers! Questions like:

Is she a metaphor for the city being a silent spectator to the madness within it?

Is it that she tried to overcome something and failure relegated her to being mute?

Is it that she underwent a series of personal tragedies that impaired her senses? What or more importantly who was it that was the source of that series? How does it relate to the other characters we're seeing in the film?

Could she have, despite simply "being there," as Yasmin had put it in her video diaries, had known or foreseen Yasmin's fate? Did she witness the aftermath? Who was involved at that point?

To what extent can she think? Could it just be that she is simply so turned off by what she's seen and been through during her life in the city that she'd rather "switch off" and play dumb? Is she even of the city, or did she move here from elsewhere?

There are simply too many questions! But one can see how they could relate to each character in the film. Perhaps she's just there and has no control over so many moving parts (whether they be internal or external to her) -- those moving parts could be the people of a city that's 12 million strong. Who knows? If that's the case, how are changes within those parts managed? Who truly has control, if anyone does?

So many questions...one big mystery!

theBollywoodFan said...

All: Please feel free to chip in to those last couple comments with responses to Aditi's question, would love to hear what you all think!

Dolce and Namak said...

Well, if you insist... :) I'll chip in my thoughts on the old lady. I definitely think she was a metaphor for the city, but I also think the film needed an anonymous character, it's almost like she's the narrator the movie doesn't get to have. She's seen far more than we are seeing through the film, and maybe we're not meant to think about how she got to the position she's in, but rather how much more than us does she know? To me she's the continuation of the story, almost as if she was outside the film and the film only manages to capture a few snapshots, while her experience is continuous. Same as real life, hai na?

Also, for me, a symbol for how little of what we do truly impacts everyone around us. If we don't assume she was in that situation because of a trauma, we can just see her living next door to the most interesting characters, and not getting involved at all in their little worlds and their experiences. But this could be my North American experience with neighbours kicking in, not necessarily what Kiran had in mind. :P

Last but not least, and to end on a bright note, she gives me a sense of hope in showing how change, even if it's for the worse, is what keeps the world moving. Without change, we'd all be like the old lady: a point of reference and a pillar of continuity, but at the end of it all: an empty shell.

theBollywoodFan said...

Beautiully put, thank you! Hadn't thought about the need for a narrator, that's a great way to look at it. I agree completely it's the bit about how much more does she know that offers greater intrigue.

On a not-so-unrelated note, I (or the documentary geek in me) now wonders how cool it would be if Kiran Rao made a documentary on the city. One good documentary that keeps it balanced, unlike something around the book Maximum City, which in my view was a little too extreme (and generalizing).

As for how little things/people can mean to others should they choose to stay away...I'm thinking about the equilibrium there. How opposite is Arun's case? He chooses to check out those video diaries. (What if he hadn't?) The conclusion there calls for change (in housing, at the very least). And there we have change...of all sorts, as you say.

And finally, you're most definitely not the only one who's felt that way about neighbors in this continent.

Cheers! Thank you again. :)

theBollywoodFan said...

Darshit: Forgive this footnote to my comment to you from yesterday, but with the dry cleaners named 'Beauty Art', I meant to allude to the theme of this post (masala v art etc.) and how cool it is that a beautiful art film named 'Dhobi Ghat' might have led us to a dry cleaners ;)

I didn't make that at all clear, but that's what I get for writing right before falling asleep!

Hope you're well. I hear you got to do some good traveling over Republic Day. Pictures, please!

Aditi (via Twitter) said...

Man, you guys rock! I just read all your view points, I could never go so deep into it. But it's got me thinking...

theBollywoodFan said...

Great! They're intended to mean different things to different people, so just look within. ;) I'm sure there are many things out there that we didn't consider (whether the filmmakers intended them or not) while discussing, there's no way to have looked at it from all angles.

I think the point is, we do some soul-searching and learn something while at it. The best films get us to do that!

dunkdaft said...

Haha, Beauty art haan? Sounds like Shai meeting art [Arun] :O) Hota hai hota hai.
Yes, had a great time visiting the white desert again, but at different place-where Mr Bachchan walked. :) Also, the villages near the border. Will be posting pics soon. [as you know, how busy i am right now ;)]

oh, and about that old lady - as i told in my first comment, metaphor for the city. Witnessing everything, each life around her, chup-chap.

theBollywoodFan said...

Great, will look forward to seeing your pictures! I like that Big B commercial for Kutch: Kutch nahin dekha toh kuch nahin dekha! (If you haven't seen Kutch, you haven't seen anything!) :)

Am I the only one who wishes Dhobi Ghat were a little longer? I wouldn't mind it if it were, say, longer by 30 minutes even. There's much that's left unexplored. Sure, it's intentional, but still.

hannah said...

I feel so envious! It looks like Dhobi Ghat won't be showing here!:( Saw the trailer and was patiently awaiting it for the 21st Jan but up till now, nothing! Feel so frustrated...

Did not miss Guzaarish though and loved it. The film that took me to Bollywood starred the same couple (Jodha Akbar)and I had decided this is a must-see for me! Like you, I loved Udi and wanted to put on a flamenco dress and start dancing!!! Managed to learn the chorus so I can sing along now! I was asking myself why Mr Bhansali chose to portray the characters as Catholics. (I had to stifle a laugh when I saw 'Suhas, the gaddhe from 3i' as the priest!) On a serious note though, was it to give more weight to the moral issue since the Church is officially against euthanasia? By the way, what's the Hindu and Muslim stand on this issue?

theBollywoodFan said...

Hannah! Oh that must be disappointing, but I hope Dhobi Ghat makes its way to you all soon. Hrithik and Ash certainly make a good pairing. You're right about the religious angle. Plus, those demographics fit in with the city of Goa, so that's an added benefit to the film.

As for Islam and euthanasia, its take is similar. Like suicide, it's explicity forbidden and considered 'sinful', to use a term that appeared in the film. Here's a related article from a BBC section on religion and ethics, with more, with more. I don't know what the take is in Hinduism.

Now that I think of it, I think it would've been a more interesting issue in the film (not a more interesting film, necessarily) if Ethan were suffering a sort of disease that would impair his ability to think. It would've made SLB's point a lot more viable, although at the expense of the entertainment.

Hope you're well, and thank you, as always, for your visit and comment. :)

dunkdaft said...

regarding length of DB, YES ! I too felt 'oh, can i live here for longer time? pleeeze.. ' was kept check on watch, that 'oh no, only these much minutes left..' Would love to see uncut version if Aamir pleases. And btw, he has already released OST for this.

On the other note - i returned to comment here, just because I saw the awesome first trailer of DB again - and Whoa ! a new discovery. Watch it closely - how cleverly the three portions are designed. It tells story of the three characters 'from start to end-as shown in the movie. Flattered I am.

theBollywoodFan said...

Great observation on the trailers, my friend! Woah, I seriously had no clue about the soundtrack, thank you very much for that bit of info!

I hope they have a director's commentary to accompany the film, it'd be nice to hear Kiran Rao break it down for us. And yes, definitely agree on the uncut version with max possible runtime, would be nice.

Cheers!

Mia said...

I was thinking the same thing about the Doors T-shirt! man the end of DG stuck in me like sliver. Aamir dose the sulking, haunted thing very well, he is hard to take your eyes off. such a master.I am not Indian nor have i been to India, but you know what? we have our own caste system of sorts in the US. very though provoking film.