About halfway through the 2007 Shah Rukh Khan blockbuster Om Shanti Om it struck me what a fun film it was.
It had already started well with an Austin Powers style view of the past, though in place of swinging 60s London it focused on 1970s Bollywood. But it really hit me during the song Deewangi Deewangi when I saw how much fun all the cast seemed to be having.
The dance number saw Shah Rukh Khan’s Om Kapoor joined for the (perhaps obligatory these days) night club dance scene by a galaxy of Bollywood stars. From Saif Ali Khan to Sanjay Dutt, Rani Mukherjee to Shilpa Shetty, a total of 31 actors and actresses featured in the 10 minute song. Continue reading
Memories of the frankly dull supernatural film Mahal were still fresh in mind when I watched Madhumati. Although it too was billed as a ghost story, I needn’t have worried.
Despite one “I’m sure I’ve been here before” style flashback and one ghostly appearance, Madhumati concentrates on familiar filmi territory rather than spurious supernatural shocks.
The majority of the film covers the tragic rural love story of Dilip Kumar’s newly-appointed estate manager Anand and Vyjayantimala’s Madhumati, the young woman Anand’s callous employer Raja Ugra Narayan (played by Pran) lusts after.
Channel 4’s current India Winter season of programmes is not quite as light on films as I first thought.
I’m off shortly to watch as much of Om Shanti Om as I can manage and then tape the rest, but there are more films scheduled over the next few days.
Tomorrow it’s Dhoom 2, an enjoyably glossy cop vs robber film – though with a quite baffling plot twist towards the end, and then Monday it’s Jodhaa Ackbar. Continue reading
Channel 4’s short India Winter season kicks tomorrow with Brit ‘Bollywood’ flick Slumdog Millionaire.
The season’s content is very much Slumdog-themed, with an episode of The Secret Millionaire alongside programmes on Gordon Ramsey’s cookery and Kevin McCloud on learning from the Devanari slums. There’s even a Shah Rukh Khan-hosted Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? from a couple of years ago.
Teaser clips for some of the programmes are available on 4OD’s YouTube channel, including (more promisingly) Kristnan Guru-Murthy on terrorism and poverty in India, as well as the country’s rising superpower status, for a news special. Continue reading