Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Bollywood Reviews Part 1

I have been thinking a lot about my Bollywood movies lately.  I've really enjoyed discovering new movies to try, and as you all know, I have added some of my favorite songs to my blog playlists. 

I realized, though, that I felt obligated to give you a little more information on some of the movies I've seen.  I have a responsibility to my readers (especially my young readers) to bring to light anything that might be considered objectionable or too mature for some. 

Unfortunately, most Bollywood movies feature at least one overly-sensual song with very suggestive movements.  There are other issues that tend to come up as well, such as immodest dress and swearing.  As I was thinking through the movies I've seen, I realized that the only two I felt I could truly recommend were "Veer-Zaara" and "Vivah".  And even "Veer-Zaara" has a song with a very sensual part that I have to fast forward. :( 

That being said, there are several movies that have some great storylines or themes, that with just a bit of fast-forwarding (or to those of my older readers who don't care) could provide a very enjoyable movie night. 

The purpose of this post is to give you a very basic idea of the good and bad in some of the Bollywood films I've seen, so that you can make an informed decision on whether or not you'd like to try them.

A word of caution:  just like in Hollywood, you can't trust a movie just because it has your favorite actor in it.  Shahrukh (or Shah Rukh) Kahn is my absolute favorite Bollywood actor, but he has been in some films that I will never see.  One that comes to mind right off the bat is "Devdas".  This is often hailed as a classic Bollywood film (which it is), but it is not a film that I have any interest in.  Besides having a horribly sad ending, Shahrukh's character spends most of the time drunk, and a brothel and the characters there feature a large part of the story.

Also, for those of you who don't mind lots of spoilers, most of these films have an article on Wikipedia.org.  Many times, if I'm unsure about a Bollywood movie that I want to try, I'll look it up on Wikipedia first.  Most of the storyline will be there, and by reading that I can usually tell if it's one I want to watch (that's how I decided on "Devdas").

Oh, and as an added bonus, I've decided to include links to my favorite songs from each of my favorite movies. :)

A few disclaimers:

1. I am not, by any means, a Bollywood expert, nor have I seen a vast variety of Bollywood movies. I am simply sharing my thoughts on some of the movies I have seen.

2. I am a Bible-believing Christian, and as such, this is going to affect my worldview. I understand if you do not agree with everything I say, but please be respectful if you have an objection to my opinions.

3. These are not intended to be extensive reviews. My goal is to give you a brief idea of what is in each movie so that you can decide whether or not you'd like to try them yourself.

4. I guess this kind of goes along with point #1, but you'll probably notice that most of the movies I'm reviewing have the same actors and actresses. That's because I specifically sought out movies that included the actors I enjoyed (especially my very favorite, Shahrukh Khan). :)

5. If you do decide to try these movies, don't watch them expecting Hollywood. If you think of them as old MGM musicals from the 50s and 60s, you'll be in just about the right mindset. Almost all Bollywood films feature big musical numbers, very dramatic music and sound effects, heightened emotion, and (sometimes) what we would consider corny humor here in America. Also, the Indian culture is central to most Bollywood films, so many holidays and aspects of Hinduism and Islam are often included in the storylines. I'm not stating this as a necessarily negative element, but I just want to forewarn my sisters in Christ that these films are usually portrayed from these worldviews.

6. Almost every Bollywood movie has at least one very sensual song that I end up fast-forwarding. As a result, I can't in good conscience fully recommend these movies. Many of them are great movies if you just fast forward one or two songs. I guess this reminds me of some of the old MGM musicals, too. You know how there's usually one song that's just completely random and out there? Like the whole "Gotta Dance" sequence in "Singin' in the Rain"? I'm sure someone sees the point of that part of the movie, but I usually fast-forward it. :} Or another example: the weird dream sequence in Rogers and Hammerstein's "Oklahoma". I mean, did the movie really need that?

7.  Some of these movies I've seen recently, others I haven't watched in a while.  As a result, I may not remember every single thing I found objectionable when I first watched it.  I apologize in advance for this.  Ideally, I should watch each film and then sit right down and write a review...but I don't think that will be happening, especially since most of these are around 3 hours long.  :}

8.  I am pretty dense when it comes to sexual innuendo or hidden meanings, so unless something is pretty obvious, I don't always catch it.  I've tried to mention all of the things I noticed...just be aware that there may be things that I missed. :{  Please also be aware that there may be other meanings to phrases or gestures that I am not aware of because of the cultural difference.

9.  I'm still trying to figure out how I should respond to the use of God's name in some of these movies.  When it's inserted as a swear word in English, I don't agree with it. I believe God's name should be used with respect and reverence, not as a replacement for a swear word.  However, in a few of the songs, "Allah" is translated "God".  Allah is not the God I worship.  I especially struggle with this in "Yeh Ladka Hai Allah", my favorite song from "Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham".  Is it okay for me to enjoy that song, since the "god's" name they use incorrectly is not my God's name?  Still working through that with my conscience. :} 

Oh, and just so we're clear, I may include some links to songs in which I do not recommend the entire movie!  Some of these movies have great songs, even if the movie isn't so great.

And one more thing...if you don't like spoilers, skip this post.  I'll try to give a summary of each movie with as few spoilers as possible, but there's only so much I can do!  Major spoilers will be preceded by SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER so that you have plenty of warning. :)

Guidelines:
   Synopsis:  I'll give a brief (or as brief as I can!) summary of what the movie is about.
   Positive Elements:  I'll share the things I appreciated about the movie.
   Negative/Intense Elements:  I'll talk about the things I found offensive or things I feel might be too scary or offensive for others.
   Overall Impression:  I'll give my overall opinion of what I thought of the movie.

This will be a two-part review (at least!) due to the length this post would be if I did them all together. :)  I'm going to start with my favorite films in this post, and then just go from there. :)


Veer-Zaara


 Synopsis:  Veer Pratap Singh's life changes forever on the day he rescues a young Pakistani woman from a bus accident.  Though the two get off to a rocky start, they form an unlikely friendship.  They spend one day together in India.  Veer finds himself falling in love with Zaara, only to find out she is already engaged to a son of one of her father's fellow politicians.  Later, back in Pakistan, when Zaara comes to realize that she loves Veer too, Veer leaves the Indian Air Force and India, heading to Pakistan to declare his love.  What happens there is beyond anything that Veer or Zaara could have imagined.

Saamiya Siddiqui is a young Pakistani woman determined to become a lawyer, not just for herself, but for young women like her all over the country.  The first case she is given seems like an impossible one:  a man, known only as Prisoner 786.  He has not spoken since he was imprisoned 22 years earlier.  How can she possibly prove his innocence if he refuses to speak?  But Saamiya refuses to give up.  Her perseverance and bravery brings truth and justice to light.

   Positive/Fun Elements:  Veer's love for Zaara is a self-sacrificing love.  He is willing to put her needs and even her family's needs before his own because of his love for her.  Veer and Zaara both decide that it is more important to respect Zaara's parents wishes and keep her father from losing face than to share a life together.  Saamiya works tirelessly to help Veer's case, even when all hope seems lost.  She is determined to help both him and women everywhere who desire to break into the male-dominated business world.

   Negative/Intense Elements:  one sensual song, intense emotional scenes, Veer often displays a fatalistic attitude towards "god" and the way things happen

   Overall Impression:  This is my favorite Bollywood movie of all time!  Veer is an amazing character, sacrificing everything to ensure that Zaara is happy and safe.  It is a beautiful story of selfless, unconditional, cross-cultural, timeless love.  More stories need to be written like this. :)

Below you'll find a link to my favorite song from Veer-Zaara:  "Lodi".  This song takes place during the Lodi festival celebrated at Veer's parent's house.  It is a very fun, playful number between Veer's parents as Maati complains about things that her husband does.  We also see the beginning of a connection between Veer and Zaara.  This video stars Shahrukh Khan as Veer, Preity Zinta as Zaara , Amitabh Bachchan as Chaudhary Sumer Singh, and Hema Malini as Maati.

When you go to the link, you can click the "cc" below the video to include English subtitles. :) 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_HsDKk10f3g

I've also included a link below to the song "Aaya Tere Dar Par".  This song takes place after Veer arrives in Pakistan.  This is the first time Zaara sees him after their first parting.  I believe they are at some sort of engagement ceremony at a Muslim temple.  I absolutely love this beautiful scene.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JobqiujbpVk



Vivah

  













   Synopsis:  Poonam has grown up in her uncle's home as his adopted daughter.  She loves him like her own father, and longs for the same love from her aunt.  But her aunt is jealous of Poonam's beauty, because Poonam is lovelier than her cousin, Choti.  When the time comes for Poonam to be married, she enters an arranged marriage with Prem, the son of a successful businessman.  What starts out as an arranged marriage turns to love, but an unexpected accident nearly destroys everything.  Will Prem and Poonam be able to withstand this testing by fire?  And will Poonam's aunt ever give Poonam the mother's love she desires?
 
   Positive/Fun Elements:  This was a sweet story about two young people falling in love.  I appreciated the character of Prem and his steadfastness.  I also appreciated Poonam's character:  sweet, loving, feminine, and very respectful to her adopted father and mother, even when her "mother" didn't deserve it.  It was also nice to see a Bollywood movie with a boy and a girl that were actually engaged to the person they wanted to be engaged to!  So many Bollywood stories revolve around one being engaged to someone but loving someone else.  Not that I mind that plot line (obviously, since that plot plays a major role in "Veer-Zaara"), this was just nice for a change.  Also, there were so many genuinely likable supporting characters in this one.
 
   Negative/Intense Elements:  Fire destroys a house and one character SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER receives severe, life-threatening burns (nothing is shown); unkind mother figure who is verbally and emotionally abusive

   Overall Impression:  This is my second favorite Bollywood movie after from "Veer-Zaara".  The first part of the movie was a sweet, innocent romance between two young people preparing for marriage.  The second part was a touching story of unconditional love and devotion against all odds.  What a beautiful picture of Christ's love for us. :)  I would highly recommend this movie.    

I've included a link below to my favorite song from Vivah, "Hamari Shaadi Mein".  Sorry, but I couldn't find one with English subtitles. :(  Basically, Prem (played by Shahid Kapoor) is on his way back home after being gone for almost a month.  He is very excited about his upcoming wedding and keeps thinking he sees his fiance, Poonam (played by the lovely Amrita Rao) on the plane. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fRJiJUwelRA

Om Shanti Om

  








   Synopsis:  Om is a poor Indian actor, hoping to make it big as a Hero (star of Indian cinema).  He is head over heels in love with Shantipriya, a beautiful Indian actress who sees him only as a friend.  When Shantipriya is SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER murdered in a huge studio fire, only Om sees what happens.  He SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER dies trying to save her, and is reincarnated as Om Kapoor, son of renowned actor Rajesh Kapoor.  Thirty years later, Om is a huge movie star with an attitude to match.  But there are certain secrets to his past that he doesn't understand, such as his unnatural fear of fire.  Things slowly come back to him bit by bit.  Soon he remembers everything about his former life...including who Shanti's murderer is!  His name is Mukesh Mehra, and he has completely gotten away with his crime and moved on to a successful life in the movie industry.  Om cleverly devises a way to get Mukesh to confess his evil deeds...but will it work?

   Positive/Fun Elements:  I loved most of the songs in this movie.  Everything was colorful, playful, and over-the-top.  There were a lot of nods to old 70s Bollywood films and actors.  Most of them I missed, because I'm not familiar with that period of Indian Cinema.  It was still really enjoyable, though.  In "Dhoom Taana", clips of famous 70s actors were actually digitally added to the song so that Shantipriya could "act" with actors that would have been her contemporaries.  [Note:  Although I LOVED this song, I can't fully recommend it because of costume, suggestive dance moves, and possibly suggestive lyrics.]  Another really fun song was "Deewangi Deewangi", which featured around 30 famous Bollywood actors all together in one song.  It was great seeing so many familiar faces in one place.  [Note:  Once again, although I really loved this song, it also contained suggestive dance moves, immodest clothing, and iffy lyrics, so I can't really recommend it.]  I appreciated Om's love for Shantipriya and his desire to see that justice was done for her wrongful death.  And really, this movie was just overall a fun movie! :)

   Negative/Intense Elements: swearing, very sensual song, one song with possible sensual lyrics (and an immodest outfit), another song with lots of immodest outfits and some sensual dance moves, violent death scene, reincarnation, a ghost plays a small role in the film

   Overall Impression:  While I thoroughly enjoyed this movie, it is not one I could recommend with a clear conscience.  This one had a lot more swearing than some of the other Bollywood films I've seen.  It also had several very suggestive songs and dance moves that I didn't care for (as opposed to the usual one or two).  I enjoyed the storyline, but reincarnation and ghosts played a pretty major role in the plot (not icky ghosts, mind you, just people coming back from the dead), so it is definitely not for everyone.
   I think one of the things I enjoyed about it was how much it reminded me of a combination of "Singin' in the Rain" and "The Phantom of the Opera", plus a few other stories thrown in for good measure.   

I've included links to two of the songs from this film.  I really enjoyed almost all of the songs from "Om Shanti Om".  There are actually a few that I liked better, but I wanted to show you what I meant about this movie reminding me of "Singin' In the Rain" and "The Phantom of the Opera".

First, we have "Main Agar Kahoon", which brings to mind "You Were Meant For Me" from "Singin' In the Rain".  Om (played by Shahrukh Khan) and his buddy Pappu (played by Shreyas Talpade) treat the beautiful actress Shantipriya (played by Deepika Padukone), whom Om is in love with, to a special night on a movie set.     

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3BJ2pe7-MZ4

Next, we have "Dastaan-e-om Shanti Om".  This has "Phantom of the Opera" written all over it.  Just think of "Masquerade".  This scene even concludes with a falling chandelier!  Just for a little background, this takes place towards the end of the movie.  SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER Om is determined to avenge Shanti's death.  He is the only one who witnessed what happened, and through a clever stage production, acts out the entire occurrence of the murder...in front of Mukesh, the murderer!  Om has discovered a young woman who looks just like Shanti, and has interspersed her in the scenes to make Mukesh think she is Shanti's ghost.  Unfortunately, due to a mishap towards the end of the song, Mukesh discovers that "Shanti" is no ghost.  Mukesh is played by Arjun Rampal. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1WmQ41swoUo

Rab ne Bana di Jodi

  












   Synopsis:  Surinder "Suri" Sahni has just gotten married to a woman he only met days ago, Taani Gupta, the daughter of his former professor.  Due to two unfortunate deaths, Suri and Taani find themselves in this quick marriage of convenience.  Suri has already fallen in love with his young, pretty wife, but Taani has given up on love after losing the two people closest to her.  When a group dance class comes to the city, Taani asks Suri for permission to join.  He agrees, and then secretly disguises himself so that he can attend the class and watch her without being recognized.  What starts out as an innocent plan swiftly grows complicated when Suri is mistaken for another member of the class...and assigned as Taani's dance partner.  With the help of his friend Bobby, Suri comes up with a name and personality for his alter-ego:  Raj.  He tries to impress Taani with his movie star-style "machoness", only to disgust her.  In time, however, Taani starts to enjoy his company.  Suri finds he can't bring himself to stop being Raj, because he can't stand the thought of not having that special time with Taani.  What will happen when Taani finds out the truth, though?  And would she choose Suri over Raj?
  
   Positive/Fun Elements:  Suri is a sweet, likable character.  A little clueless, but genuinely in love with his wife.  He honestly desires her happiness above anything else, and yearns for her love.  Unfortunately, he tends to be pretty misguided in his attempts to show her that he cares (so much so that my dad got really annoyed with him when he watched this movie).  Taani does her best to be a good wife to Suri, but is full of pain from losing those she loves.  She initially tries to keep Raj at a distance because she is a married woman.  For a time, she is tempted to leave her husband for "Raj", but comes to the conclusion on her own that this would be wrong.  Suri has always been there for her, and even though she does not love him, she wants to honor him and do what is right.  Oh, and it was really fun to see Shahrukh play a nerdy character, when he normally plays the hip, suave character in his movies. 

   Negative/Intense Elements:  repeated swearing, especially strong in one scene; sensual dance moves in many scenes and songs; intense emotional situations; drinking; one mild sexual innuendo; at least one suggestive t-shirt worn by Raj; Suri gets pretty beat up when competing in a Sumo competition; when posing as Raj, Suri encourages Taani to leave him (thinking she will be happier without Suri in her life); Taani spends a lot of time with Raj and gets emotionally involved even though she is married; there's a lot of talk about "seeing god in someone" and that's how you know you love them (I don't know if this is a cultural thing or not)...I suppose I can understand what they mean by this, but I would just point out that (from a Christian perspective) it's okay to see the character of Christ displayed in someone, as long as we don't worship the person instead of Christ.

   Overall Impression:  I really liked this movie...the second time I watched it.  The first time I saw it, I was just frustrated with Suri for his clueless behavior, and his Raj character was completely annoying!!  The second time I watched it, though, I was able to sympathize with the characters a little more.  While Suri was misguided and sometimes made poor choices in the way he tried to show his affection for Taani, his motives were honest and pure.  You can't help feeling for him.  Here he is, married to the woman of his dreams, and she's told him she will never be able to love him.  He was willing to sacrifice his own happiness so that she could be happy.  I also could imagine what Taani was feeling.  This was Anushka Sharma's first major role, and I thought she did a fantastic job in her portrayal of the character.
   Because of language and the style of dance in this movie, I would not recommend it to my younger readers or my sensitive older readers.

Below is a link to one of my favorite scenes in the movie.  This takes place towards the end of the movie, when Suri shows up at Taani's dance competition as himself, revealing that he was Raj all along.  As they dance, Taani thinks back over all that Suri has done for her, as himself and as Raj.  The music is a little more hip-hoppy than I care for, but the acting is phenomenal!  By the way, in some ways, this gives a little overview of the entire movie, so if you don't like spoilers, I'd skip this one.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7CZM3p9sCHg



Kahbi Khushi Kabhie Gham

  











Synopsis:  The Raichand family is a wealthy family living in India.  Yash and Nandini have an adopted son, Rahul, and a biological son, Rohan, who is nine years younger than his older brother.  For years, Rahul has been estranged from his adopted parents, ever since he went against his father and married Anjali, the girl he loved from a lower caste.  Rahul and Anjali are now living in London with their son, his nanny (who is Anjali's aunt and was also Rahul's family nanny), and Anjali's younger sister Pooja.  When as a young man, Rohan learns the truth about his older brother's move from India, he leaves for London himself, determined to bring his family back together.  With the help of Pooja, Rohan gets a place to stay in Rahul's household, keeping his true identity a secret.  Will Rohan and Pooja be able to reunite Rahul and Yash, or will the family remain separated forever?

   Positive/Fun Elements:  Rahul truly loves his father, and only goes against his wishes when SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER Anjali's father unexpectedly dies, leaving her and her sister alone in the world.  He is a good husband and father, but is deeply scarred by his father's hurtful words and refusal to bless his marriage.  Rohan's quest to reunite his family is noble and beautiful to see.  Unfortunately, he does stretch and withhold the truth to bring about this purpose.  Although, in this particular situation, I'm not sure how else he could have brought it about.  The importance of family unity and love of one's homeland are portrayed strongly in this movie.  People put aside their grievances to forgive and restore relationships.   

   Negative/Intense Elements:  one very sensual song, several songs with suggestive dance moves, one very annoying and immodest character, swearing, intense emotional scenes of rejection between a father and his adopted son

   Overall Impression:  I had mixed feelings about this movie.  I LOVED Shahrukh and Kajol in this movie.  Kajol was hilarious, and she and Shahrukh were a lot of fun to watch together.  This movie was also my first introduction to the amazingly talented Hrithik Roshan (my aunt has nicknamed him "Beautiful Man").  I was shocked to find out that he was diagnosed with scoliosis at age 21 and was told he would never be able to dance or act.  You'd never know it looking at him...this guy can dance!!!  Another interesting bit of trivia:  he has 2 thumbs on his right hand that are grown together.  You don't see them on this film because the child actor playing him in the earlier part of the movie doesn't have the same condition.
   I appreciated the themes of the importance of family promoted by this movie, and Rohan's determination to bring everyone back together.  I learned a lot about Indian culture in this movie, too.  Even though I don't share the same beliefs, I think it's important to learn about the background and culture of others.  If you have an understanding of where someone is coming from, you have a better understanding of how to reach them with the love of Christ. 
   Unfortunately, this was another movie with a lot of sensuality and some swearing.  Pooja's character, especially, was constantly wearing skimpy outfits and was a shallow brat for most of the movie.  Honestly, I could have done without her character completely.  One of the songs between Shahrukh and Kajol (it was one of the "dream sequence" ones where they were suddenly in a random desert somewhere, then on the coast...these are pretty common in these films) was so sensual that I was actually embarrassed.  So I can't recommend this film with a clear conscience, which is a shame, because it has some great positives mixed in with the negatives.  And talk about an all-star cast!  So many big names!

I've included a link to my absolute favorite song from this movie:  "Yeh Ladka Hai Allah".  This song is a classic example of why I enjoy Shahrukh Khan so much.  I love his mischievous looks and his endearing character.  While he's not the most talented Bollywood dancer out there, he brings so much to his roles that you can't help enjoying his performances.  There's something about the way he hams things up that reminds me of Gene Kelly.  He's another one of those actors that makes dancing seem so natural that you start thinking anyone could just get up and dance.  I also love the way he interacts with Kajol in this particular song.  Kajol is one of my favorite Bollywood actresses, along with Preity Zinta and Rani Mukerji.

In this clip, Rahul is confessing his love for Anjali...and she's not buying it...or at least pretending she's not interested too. :)  And yes, this is the one that refers to Allah...so I don't really like the way it's translated, but I love everything else about the song!!  The first link is a high quality upload without English subtitles, and the second is a lower quality version with English subtitles.  Take your pick. ;)

Version 1:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d2kGpQ8_qAg
Version 2:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gmkFc98N_0I

And here's a link to "Bole Chudiayan".  This song takes place in London and has all of the siblings in it.  There are no subtitles for the first part of the clip.  Basically, Pooja (played by Kareena Kapoor) has challenged Rohan (played by Hrithik Roshan) to reveal who he is.  If he does, she has promised to tell him how she feels about him.  The first little song is apparently some sort of traditional song sung for a bride and groom, sung by the brother of the couple (if I have any Hindi readers, please correct me if I've butchered this explanation!). :}  So basically, by singing it, he's admitting he's their brother.  That's why he says "Your turn" to Pooja when he's done singing.  I think the rest is pretty self-explanatory.  This song also features Shahrukh Khan as Rahul and Kajol as Anjali.  You'll also see a clip where Yash (played by Amitabh Bachchan) and Nandini (played by Amitabh's real-life wife, Jaya Bachchan) enter the scene and sing.  This part is just in Rohan's imagination.  He's picturing his family all together again and is moved to tears by the thought.  Just thought I'd explain that, because it can be confusing...especially if you don't have the context of the rest of the movie to go by. :)

Oh, and a warning here, too.  This song features quite a few bare midriffs and hip movement.  Just thought I'd mention it for those who are not comfortable with it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kKq59ynclEs

Well, that's all for this time around. :)  I'll be posting Part 2 soon! :)

P.S.  I know it's kind of annoying to have to follow all of these links, but I didn't feel right putting someone else's videos on my blog.  I think it's really fun to be able to see clips from the movies as well as read about them.  Be sure to tell me what you think! :)

7 comments:

Elinor Dashwood/Melanie said...

Thank you for the reviews!! I'll have to see if I can find a copy of some of these to watch! I've had a fascination with India since I was ten or eleven years old and am hoping to go there eventually on a short or long term missions trip.

Have you watched the Bollywood version of "Pride and Prejudice" (Bride and Prejudice)? I really like that one (though, like you said about the other movies, it does have one song that I skip....) :-P It's in English so there's no need for subtitles. And for a modern adaption of a Jane Austen story, it's actually really good (I think)! :-)

beast'sbelle said...

Hi "Elinor"! :) Thanks so much for commenting...I was hoping someone was reading this post.

I'd completely forgotten about "Bride and Prejudice". I did see it and really enjoyed it (especially since, as you said, it's based on a Jane Austen story). I thought it was interesting how they used the main characters' cutural differences to play into the storyline.

It's really unfortunate that most of these have at least one song to fast-forward, because there are so many great things about these films!

If you can find it, I would definitely recommend beginning with "Veer-Zaara". It is still my very favorite even after all of the films I've watched. :)

beast'sbelle said...

Oh, and I forgot, I wanted to tell you that I've had a fascination with India since watching "A Little Princess" with Leisel Matthews. I also really enjoyed the Heart of India book series by Linda Chaikin. :)

Dhara said...

I am becoming a fan of your blog. Your thoughts of respecting and knowing other cultures impresses me a lot and tells a lot about your mature character. I read all your posts about Bollywood and I must admit, for someone who have no idea about the language, you have a lot of knowledge about the movies and you in fact enjoy it. Kudos to you.
"The first little song is apparently some sort of traditional song sung for a bride and groom, sung by the brother of the couple (if I have any Hindi readers, please correct me if I've butchered this explanation!)."

That song that Hrithik sings is a very popular song of a very very very very very popular bollywood movie "Hum aapke hai kaun"
The movie is old from the 90s but, you would like it. Its a very sweet movie expressing again about the family bond. The main characters are played by Salman Khan and Madhuri and though Kajol is my favorite too, I would say Madhuri was/is a legend in Bollywood and you should try more of her movies.

Sorry I rambled so much. I am always there when you need any help with Hindi or Bollywood. Glad we crossed paths.

Dhara said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E7SLTOHyq20

beastsbelle said...

Thanks so much for the explanation and the link, Dhara. :) It was fun getting to see the entire song.

"Hum Aapke Hai Kaun" looks very fun...I'll have to see if I can find a copy to watch. :) I've seen Madhuri in "Dil to Pagal Hai", and I've heard her mentioned often. She's an excellent dancer. I'll have to see if I can find more of her films. :)

I got started with "Veer-Zaara" (which still remains my favorite to this day), and so I started out with a lot of Shahrukh movies. I haven't watched as many of Salman's, although I've seen a few. The one that comes to mind at the moment is "Baabul" with Rani and Amitabh Bachchan.

It's been a pleasure to meet you...I'm so glad you found my blog. :) I grew up loving musicals, so I think that's part of what I love about so many of the Bollywood films I've seen. I think the world would be so much happier if we'd all just burst into spontaneous song and dance every once in a while. ;) Not saying it would solve all of the world's problems, but it would at least help our stress levels a bit. :)

I have truly enjoyed learning a bit about the Indian culture and understanding more about the people and the country. It's so easy to lump a people group together without thinking of them as individuals. As a believer in Christ, it is vital for me to learn about other cultures so that I can be an effective testimony.

I'm so glad you've stopped by and left so many comments. :) I hope you continue to enjoy the blog. It's about time I did another Bollywood themed post, too, don't you think? ;)

Abby Berlage said...

I was thinking I haven't watched an Bollywood movies yet. Is the immodesty on the cultural side, I tend not to be bothered by that, because in some cultures (gasp) they view women's bodies differently, like in the pacific islands