Sunday, June 6, 2010

Going Spanish

Alejandro González Iñárritu directed films like Babel, Amores Perros and Biutiful in the west. He saw Pokkiri and was converted. Having now seen most of Telugu-superstar Balakrishna's ventures he is delighted to have signed him up for ¿Por que?, the Spanish remake of the inter-state hit.
He's in conversation with us:

Perpi: Alejandro González Iñárritu, welcome.
Alejandro González Iñárritu: Muchas gracias por llamarme aquí. I will speak the rest in English. jajajaja.

P: We hear you are remaking Pokkiri. Why?
AGI: That is precisely what I asked myself when I saw the Telugu film. It had already been remade into many Indian languages, and into Xsosa, Occitan and even the Braille. It affected me internally so much that I had to make it in Spanish, but wasn't still sure why. Which might explain the title of the film, you see.

P: You have worked with Javier Bardem and Gael Garcia Bernal prior to this. What made you opt for Balayya in this movie?
AGI: I haven't seen a multi-dimensional actor like him anywhere between Guadalajara and the Indus valley. He is the first actor ever to have mastered the CEFISO Method of acting.

P: ... and what is this CEFISO Method?
AGI: It's the Compartmentalising Emotions For Individual Sensory Organs Method. It basically outlines a rather complex method of acting where your various sensory organs suggest different emotions. Take for instance this dialogue:

Nenu matladetappudu nee chevulu matrame pani cheyyali.. Avi thappa vera emayyina pani chesayo neeku next birthday vundadhu..
You see he is showing anger with the dialogue. But he himself can hear it is comical. However, his eyes, like always, show that he is scared of the camera, even when it is he who has the punch dialogue.

P:.. and Javi Bardem has like, what, one expression per second?
AGI: Exactamente. I can only assume his skin acts out a film noir sequence given how diverse all these emotions are to each of his senses.

P: Thank heavens there is a name for it. Otherwise it is difficult to tell people to learn something when you aren't sure of what you want them to learn.
AGI: Don't kid yourself, not many can learn it... or dance like he does... or wear trousers up to his stomach...

P: ... and still get all the hot chicks...
AGI: ... and still get all the chicks, yeah.

P: So who will you pair with him now, Barbara Mori, we presume?
AGI: Not sure yet. As I have not yet sifted through all the texts I have got from actresses in Spain and Latin America so far.
(Alejandro shows us the texts. Some of the sms-es had the same message: ¿Por que? Others had more elaborate requests.
Karen Dejo had replied: Puedo estar desnuda en esta pelicula. Da me este trabajo, por favor. Da me, da me, da me.
Leonor Watling said: Le quiero mucho. AYyyyyy (-_-;)
Paz Vega had sent an MMS of her doing aerobics set to the tune of Jadathoti Kodithe.
Natalia Verbeke had written a poem for Balayya which was simply titled, My Navel for Thee.)

I do not know what to do, maybe I will get all of them in the film. Each of them for the same part maybe. Nobody will notice in the incandescence of Balayya's movements and actions and gestures and gyrations.

As we are about to wind up the interview wishing Alejandro good luck, he seems forlorn and lost. We begin to ask him:

P: Why are you...
AGI (agitatedly): I still can't see how he was able to wear his pants up till his stomach and still get the chicks.

On that melancholic thought, we bid adieu, leaving Iñárritu with a whirlpool in his head. Later in the day, we sent him a forwarded joke:

Balayya is remaking Titanic as "Samudram lo Sanyasi". In the end he doesn't die but swims across the ocean with the heroine in one hand and the Titanic in the other.

He has thus far not replied back.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Nirahua vs Godzilla - A working title

[This is one of the new bhojpuri films that could be produced as a collaboration between the Home of Japan - What the Cultural Council Wants (commonly known as Ho-jawakukowa) and Shilpkaar, Bhutpoorv Gaayak, evam Aam aadmi Sena (commonly known as Shi-bugayakaamse).
They have roped in some old pictures of Godzilla and some new ones of Nirahua, the Bhojpuri super star, and have released a working still and a brief synopsis of the plot. The small photograph of Nagma however has been taken without her permission, a source tells us.

PS: The 3D, we are told, refers to the three Ds of Bhojpuri cinema, Dakait, Daayan and Devarji.]

का फायदा सायंस के खुसी मनावल से| का फायदा एटम बम के आ का फायदा टेक्नोलोजी के जब एगो कल्मूही गोडजिल्ला एहिजा तबाही मचावल बाड़ी| भारत के आइल बाद खूनी गोडजिल्ला एहिजा के पेड़ पौधा क नाश कैलस| एहिसे पहिले ऊ बांग्लादेश गइल| ऊहा के डीवीडी चुराइल के बाद एहिजा बेचल खातिर आइल बाडी|
गोडजिल्ला पूरा भारत का डरावल बाद आइल तैंतारिया गाँव| एहिजा ताड़ के पत्ता से बनल छत्री का नीचे बिछल चटाई पर बइठल रहा हमार निरहुअ| जब ऊ अपना जेठानी के इंग्लिश सिखाई रहे तब गाँव क दो मुष्टंडे भागन आइल| "निरहुआ, निरहुआ, हमका बचाई ल| गोडजिल्ला एहिजा तबाही मचाई क आवल ब"| निरहुआ शांत रहील, अपना जेठानी से कह, "जेठानी, गोडजिल्ला का स्पेल्लिंग ह, जी ओ डी जेड आई एल एल इ"|
एहिजा ई बतावल जरूरी बा कि पिच्चर तो अभी सुरु हुई ह| अरे देखल तो आवा ह|

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Sanitising Police

In the 90s, the Perpendicular movement had received a major boost with the release of Gunda, and generally with much of what Mithun Chakraborthy was attempting post, and including, Dalaal. However, the true signs of this becoming a widespread revolt against popular and avant garde culture could only be noticed when Police Story became one of the few Kannada films to be ever dubbed into Hindi. It was called Agni IPS in Hindi. Strangely, Agni IPS was to be the name of SaiK's next film in Kannada. Come to think of it, there has been none before or after these films that deserved the said respect and the Perpi movement kind of carried on from there never to look back.
Agni IPS (Kannada) is to the arrogant, non-Perpi cinema establishment what Dilip Kumar gave to Dr. Dang in Karma. This thappad's goonj could be heard across seven seas and cod liver oils. Sai Kumar is a Telugu actor who had been dubbing for people whose voice might not have been manly enough. You know, what the Telugu film industry achieves with decibels, pelvic thrusts and talcum powder is amazing. But that is for another post. So SaiK assimilated into the Kannada film industry just with the sheer ferocity of his voice. He was the first sound-to-box-office-success transducer ever seen this side of the mined hills.
The story begins with Rockline Venkatesh playing Basha Khan and getting walloped in public by, among others, an old man appearing to sell plastic toys. It doesn't take long to realise that had he not wanted to be another Dilip Kumar and slapped the menacing Kotwal, Basha Khan might have lived longer than the first 20 mins of the movie. He pays for this act of TK and gets stabbed all over the place. Kotwal and his men, for their part, display utter lack of professionalism and leave him with enough energy to make an SOS for Agni, his fellow policeman. Unfortunately, he is in the middle of a song called, well... "Polees". Before he reaches the hospital, Basha Khan has subjected the other policemen and his mother (played by Umashree) to his insufferable verbal spamming.
The film actually begins here, first as a practical act of community cleansing and then as a audio dictionary of the happening Kannada cuss words. Because of one of these factors, this film comes with a U certificate. Agni is rather cheesed off when he goes to his new police station and finds the cupboard with a simple placard which says: "you fool, no file". The brevity of the message is lost on him as also is his cool lost on the sub-ordinates.
"P for Punctual, O for Obedient, L for Loyalty, I for Integrity, C for Courage, E for Efficiency has now become P for Politics, O for Offence, L for Loafers, I for Inefficiency, C for Criminals and E for Enemies." The state of our State is not in good hands, he knows. As he says, to our relief however, "ee agni onti aadru, lion-hearted, lion-hearted, lion-hearted". Meaning: "even if he is alone, he is lion-hearted". Just to prove his point, he kills four rowdies.
To me, the best moment of the film is when he visits Kotwal, a tour de force from either actor, in this piece de resistance of a moment. This happens so early in the film that it resembles Gunda where the hero and the villain meet very early on and play a mental chess game. You do realise that one of them could easily be killed by the other, but that's cover, beside the point. Anyway, as Kotwal puts forward his proposals in an effort to symbolically disrobe the police of it's khaki, SaiK just tells him: "Ye Kotwal, Love day ke ball" (Hey Kotwal! You spherical bouncing object from Valentine's Day), I'll bring you to your downfall in 3 months.
3 months is just enough time for him to romance a shutter-happy Ranjitha, who as if foreshadowing few events that might happen a decade and more later, takes clandestine pictures of Agni bashing up rowdies. At this point, there is a song, which starts rather abruptly, as if foreshadowing how this article is going to end.

Friday, April 23, 2010

P to the U to the N to the C to the H

Lot of times, when I am depressed by the amount of times the MRF Blimp comes on air and commentators go: "that's the MRF Blimp", I wonder at things that have no connection to it. One such unconnected thing is the "punch" phenomena in Tamil cinema.
If you know that part of the world, they take their movies seriously. Very, actually. It is mandatory to have been associated with cinema to be able to become chief minister of the state. Even for mere mortals your status is defined by how many times you have been on Visu's Arrattai Arangam (a show where you have to speak loudly and end every sentence with a "saaaaaaar"), whether you can chronologically list Radhika's various TV serials or you have at least subscribed to #TR.
Now you know. Anyway, the "punch" is a strange art which is believed to have influenced even the Holy One: Gunda. It happened more with Rajnikanth movies where he rendered a couplet or a quadruplet every few minutes so as to invoke the global callback function called PaisaVasool(). I am not aware of when it all started, but I remember this from Arunachalam (which, you'd be surprised, has nothing to do with the north-east of India).

Aandavan Solraan
Arunachalon Mudikkaran

Arthaath, God proposes, man disposes... in fact, in this case, Man disposes.
A couple of years later, in Padaiyappa, he went blazing with his punch.

Yen vazhi, thaniiiiiiiiiiiiii vazhi.
My route, differennnnnnnnnnnnt route.

Adhigama aasepadra aambleyun,
adhigama kovapadra pombleyun,
nalla vazhndada saritrame kadayaadu.

Meaning, there has never been a history of someone like Lalit Modi and Lalit Modi (if he was a woman) living happily.

Hey, how could I forget Basha, which started it all I guess.

Naa orudarave sonna,
nooru darave sonna maadri.

Meaning, my one Tweet can go up to 14000 characters.

This Punch thingy reached magical heights in his big film, Baba. As if forecasting its box-office life he says:

Gatham, gatham!
What's gone, is gone.

Anyway, the basic idea of this post was to supply free Punches for him. But there is only one Superstar. So maybe the wannabes can use it if they want. Here goes:

1. Naa tightukku loosu,
Paambukku mongoosu.

Do you really want a translation, 60% of the words are in English.

2. Vaayile pallu
Nenjile kallu
Udambellan dillu
Yemperenna sollu?

In mouth, teeth. In heart, stone. In body, guts ya. Tell what my name is.

3. Ramya Krishnan kudukkaradu thangon
Africale irukku Congo,
Golu vetchirukkon vaango,
Naa adichcha unakku veeeeeeeengon.

This actually doesn't make much sense and it's also heavily-laden with local references, but you do remember Ramya Krishnan from Parampara, no?

I will stop here as I need to conjure more Blimp jokes in the meantime. Till next time:

Shoe-vukku Bata,
Blimpukku tata,
for the time being, vatthhaaa!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

I spit on your appetite

Just like our education system, Bollywood or Hollywood does not prepare you to survive the outside world. For that, one has to move out from the mainstream and go slightly below the ground, into the dark, where, as your teachers would have you believe, lies the forbidden land. Here are a few gems made in this genre, which can make any kind of meal want to come out of the stomach, into the open.
I Spit on your grave:
Don't see this movie. Please! As much as it prepares you for the bad world outside, please don't see this. Certainly not at dinner time. This was made in the 70s when film-makers began to confuse shit for freedom of expression. This is shit. Excreta. Scum. Yuck. Gross. Cinematic faeces.
Like Britney Spears singing a song over and over again for a whole day. Corporation garbage lorries letting out smelly juices on potholed roads is like gajar halwa over vanilla ice-cream in marriages, when compared to ISOYG.
Make Them Die Slowly:
Its divided into two halves like a football match. There ends the pleasantness. First half goes to the urban visitors to the amazon jugle who play around with the local tribals, like, they make multi-speared swings and pierce it straight into these illiterate jungle fellows. The jungle elders do not know if these are just part of the city-dwellers' sense of fun; but when they discover that one-by-one their younger relatives are dying, they take law and the second half into their own hands. Carnage follows, jungle ishtyle. No waiting for Maoists. You pierced our stomachs, we disembowel you and play with your oesophagus, intestines, pancreas and liver. One tribo puts a big spear into a whitey's heart area.
[This is where a cover photograph should have come. But where am I to find an uncensor-worthy one for a film which was "banned in 31 countries". To put this into perspective, it was made when USSR, Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia still existed.]
He drags the spear even as it is embedded somewhere close to the lungs till about his stomach. Now that he has created an opening, his fellow freshers in cannibalism feed sumptously on this lovely meal. Some get oesophagus, some get intestines. This seems to be the new-age mantra in amazon as various ways of devouring human flesh is devised. One guy's top quarter of the head is cut (must admit, quite intricately), and the brain is eaten with great pleasure. Actually, if Kuch Kuch Hota Hai and its ilk are feel-good films, this is a feel-goo film. Go for it if it interests you, but do get an appointment with your local rehabilitation center.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Blessed is he, who watcheth...

Sometimes, a strong reverberation of the falsetto becomes a fulcrum to lift you out of your arrested development. In other words, the eclectic and the banal are so sure of their own identities that they do not remind themselves of the other's presence.
You might have noticed that the two sentences are completely unrelated to each other. In fact, these sentences might not even be related to themselves, but for the good of this article which has broken the perpi's hibernation, sab theek hai, everything's ok.
I watched no good films to add to this blog. I however saw what the Blessed One can do when requested to mix with the common man. I was chilling out in an airport boarding gate when a friend asked if I had any movies in my laptop to kill time. Anyone who knows my laptop well knows there is but one film in it worth watching here. So I showed him that, warning him of the after effects, "It will change your life."
Gunda ran for 5 minutes on my laptop before the flight call arrived and my friend just did one thing. He called his wife and asked her to scour the land for Gunda and Loha.