Tag Archives: Chennai Express

Cowbells and Canola fields

17 Oct

Imagine a rolling field of canola flowers, a gentle breeze blowing across the nodding heads of yellow buds, the tinkling of genuine alpine cowbells, mandolin music….a man straightens up, slowly and dramatically, opens his arms up to welcome you in to an embrace….. sigh

(if that doesn’t make your heart go wummmm like a tuning fork, I don’t know what else can- oh yes, forgot to mention, there are dimples involved!)

If you had been a teenager growing up in India in the early 90’s, you would immediately know what I am talking about. The scene that came to epitomise romance for millions of teens in 1995 – ‘Dilwale Dulhaniya leh Jayenge’ lovingly called ‘DDLJ’ – loosely translated: ‘The Brave gets the Bride’ (I like alliterations). This movie made every Indian teen believe that Switzerland is heaven, not just a tax-haven. Alpine cowbells probably beat the sale of Swiss chocolates that year because every Indian that went to Switzerland that year or thereafter did not leave that country without acquiring one for their loved one.

My regular readers know of my turbulent relationship with Shah Rukh Khan (King Khan). A friend asked me recently how can I be so besot with that man – he overacts all the time. It is not just Shah Rukh Khan I adore, it is the character he plays – the larger-than-life romantic hero and yes, he can play that to the hilt and that is not overacting!

He never ever gives up on his lady-love, he never ever would turn away from a confrontation (be it with his father, the girl’s father, his boss, the police or even terrorists), he who would fight till the end with whatever means necessary. He rarely harasses the girl to fall in love with him – he just wins them over by being naughty, silly, with his over-the-top antics and look-into-my-eyes look. In his movies, love develops over a period of time- sometimes it takes the entire length of the movie which can go up-to 3 hours but hey, all good things take time. So you wait till the credits roll, do you hear?

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Don’t miss this train! (Part III)

31 Aug

I promised a long time ago that I will share my take on the movie ‘Chennai Express’ as soon as I have seen it. Well, the time has come as I have watched it twice now. That statement should mean something to you, my dear reader. Twice!

Remember my rant about the director mixing up the States of India etc? I take it all back! Rohith Shetty (the director) is on the top of my invitation list for a nice Tamil breakfast of Idli-Vadai-Sambhar-Pongal*!

(* for those people who insist on additional infos – it is like a combo-meal with 4 different items)

Mr. Shetty has managed to make a 2hr 24min movie in which 2 hrs have been dedicated to tourism in Goa and Kerala and in some part, to Tamil Nadu. What with the Rupee at its weakest, we could not have asked for a better blessing! Come people, come and carry your wives up the 300 steps and get blessed with the same woman for the next 7 births! If that is not incentive enough!

Enough of numbers, let us talk camera. Beautiful camera shots – saturated with vibrant colours! And I can say with certainty that they photo-shopped the delta of River Mandovi (which is credited as ‘International Waters between India and Sri Lanka’ in the movie) – I have never seen it that blue and I have been living right at that spot for a year now! Oh well, in show business , I guess even stately rivers have to wear make-up.

Mr. Shetty also tried to give the international exposure folk dances in Tamil Nadu and Kerala deserve – he managed to pack everything in that one song and make it not look jumbled! Hats-off! And that reminds me, the look Shah Rukh Khan carries off with that lungi & leather-jacket & hat – (let me paraphrase ’50 Shades of Grey’) – “oh my”!

Now that I have come to the part, I really wanted to rave about, let me say it – Shah Rukh Khan! As my previous post stated, I had ended our almost 14 years of relationship after ‘Don’, but now? He caught that ‘Chennai Express’ and choo-chooed back into my heart – extended his hand to help me back into his fan-coach! Déjà vu- ‘Maine yeh pehle bhi kiya hai’!

Yes, he over-acted his way back into my life and soon, my DVD-collection. Long live the King!

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King Khan and “Divide and Rule” contd…

22 Jun

India is a big country – it is one-third the size of USA and the second most populous country in the world. What is most mind-boggling about the country is, how diverse the Indian culture is. You cross a state-line, you are in a new world – different fauna/flora, different language (no, not dialects people, a different language with its own script and grammar), different cuisine- superficially, an entirely different culture. So, it is excusable when Hollywood makes a movie like ‘Indiana Jones – Temple of Doom’ and portrays Indians as eating monkey brains or the foothills of Himalayas as having rainforests with elephants in it or that the people of the above mentioned foothills look suspiciously like Sri Lankans. But for an Indian movie to confuse the southern states, that is unforgivable!

Part II: Chennai Express Trailer

Since I had seen a part of the shooting of the movie, I was excited to watch the trailer of Chennai express. The movie is supposedly about a north-south inter-regional relationship. Chennai, the city formerly known as Madras (yes, it’s a celebrity), is the state capital of Tamil Nadu. And I am a Tamilian. So please take my word for it, Chennai Express has as much to do with Tamilians as say Chappathi has to do with curd rice!

If the director wanted cliches (the movie is supposed to be a comedy) and wanted to make fun of Tamil movies, by all means he should put in as many scary looking thugs with ‘Aruval‘ as he pleases. But to confuse Kathakali/Kalaripayattu from Kerala with Tamil culture requires extensive brain-damage! Don’t even start me on how the heroine’s dress and her speech are at odds with each other. Would a little research have hurt them? Perhaps ask a few friends in the Tamil movie industry? Even watching a few Tamil movies could have helped! Women in Tamil Nadu wear white-sarees if and only if, they are conservative widows, even if the saree has a gold border! And there is a difference between the white Veshti (with Angavastram) and the Lungi (which is colored and is usually a stitched one-piece)! Arghhh, I am sure the movie probably even shows the Aapam from Kerala and not the Appam from Tamil Nadu!

I am sure there will be huge protests in Tamil Nadu replete with slogan-shouting, effigy-burning crowds trying to bar the release of this movie in Tamil Nadu!

(Continued in the next page)

King Khan and ‘Divide and Rule’

21 Jun

I used to be a big Sharukh Khan fan. I was 15 when I first saw him in the television serial ‘Fauji’. It was fated to happen. I stalked him through his TV serials, even if it was only a minor role and watched him in countless movies paying good money for it. After almost 20 years, I had to tearfully end this relationship – I could not bear him becoming the ‘Don’. I had to let him go, for our relationship had turned bitter. I had to remain sane so I bid him Adieu. But then you can never let go of people you have loved, can you?

Part I: Chennai Express

What alerted us to the fact that something was off-kilter was, the two helicopters flying constantly overhead circling our apartment block in Miramar, Goa. My children were glued to the window and were excited to the see one of the helicopters almost skimming the water at the delta where the river Mandovi meets the Arabian Sea. I had already promised my kids and the neighbourhood children a trip to the beach behind our house and they were already in a frenzy and now the helicopters pushed their imagination into overdrive. My son was sure it must be the police hunting a criminal and he was regaling our household-help with how the criminal must have broken-out of a prison. I told them to get dressed so that we can hit the beach before the sun is too high and we all get sunburnt. Mothers, such kill-joys!

Mandovi delta

Mandovi delta and the Mariott

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