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12 10월, 2007

Hollywood Invades Bollywood; Botches it Again.

As India becomes more of global economic force, one unintended side effect is hollywood's belated realisation that there is a film market out there that outdoes them in ticket sales and number of movies made: Bollywood. To that effect, there have been some recent forays by Los Angeles denizens into the world's largest movie industry, the boring crapfest (sorry!) also known as Marigold being the last disastrous toe dip into those particular waters. Then along came Brad Listermann who took his personal story and made it into a stomach churning bollywood film.

Jason Lewis of Sex and The City (and some oh so steamy Aero chocolate ads) fame stars as Alex, a struggling writer who has a chance meeting with Reena (Kashmira Shah) while buying their morning chai. Over a four day period, the two meet, frolic in LA and fall in love. She disappears and, armed with no more than a name and the neighbourhood she lives in he flies his American butt all the way over to India to find this woman. How does a white dude armed with the most generic of first names find someone in a city with a population of over 16 million? He looks up and she's miraculously plastered on one huge billboard. Oh, and in those halcyon, starry-eyed four days, she forgot to mention that she was the biggest Indian film star, in like, everrr. Talk about lie of omission.

Now, granted this would not have been too bad of a premise if it didn't lunge into the pitfalls of hackneyed writing we have come to know so well from bollywood. We have the disapproving parents who want to marry her to a wealthy yet brutal friend of the family. We have the sidekick friend who falls in love with his former best friend, but abandoned her in the village/small town/hicksville once he acquired fame and fortune. And we have the standby of movie within a movie as a justification as to why there are any dance sequences at all. All this is tied up in a bow made up of what is rapidly becoming my pet peeve in these half and half movies; two Indian people having a very trying time to wise crack in stilted, albeit good, English.

I should mention at this point that Kashmira Shah was, during the making of this movie, Mrs Listermann but sadly their relationship came to an end. I wonder if that's what Brad was thinking when he regurgitated that overused line "somethings look pretty, but are too spicy for a foreigner to handle" or something to that effect. Sour grapes, mayhaps? And we do have to give Mr. Listermann credit as it is his first time out, working in a foreign market, so some slack will be cut.

Getting back to the movie, it ends as we all know it, with some really lame shenanigans masquerading as a plot twist. At this juncture, I would like to point out that the acting and the dancing weren't too bad, with a great cameo of Cruella de Vil as Reena's mum (just kidding, but man, they look eerily alike). Thought I'd throw that in there, after all this is a review.

0.5 out of 5. That was because they at least tried to act.

NB:- Mr Listermann is making a movie about a "fixer" trying to find a girl sold into the sex trade. Screen Play by Gregory Roberts directed by Anthony Mandler (who directs lots of big names' music videos) called Allegra. First dibs on calling it a disaster.

댓글 1개:

tomr :

made me laugh - you really do have a good turn of phrase. pity not many people are on to your site.