All entries for Friday 14 September 2007
September 14, 2007
The man who IS Bollywood
So I was just bonding with my ma this evening over some tv (documentary, check, adaption of the tragic events at Morecambe Bay, check), and that's pretty standard. What I never expected really was to find myself engrossed in a Bollywood movie, and a reasonably candyfloss one at that. I believe it's called Kal Ho Na Ho ("whether or not tommorow comes"), but the reason I'm still watching as my mother has retired to bed is probably for one reason and one reason only: Shah Rukh Khan. He is probably on par with Jesus Christ in terms of his iconic status in India, and Indian audiences are famous for adoring their stars like no other audience can. He has myriad advertising contracts and makes regular film appearances... as himself.
Bearing in mind that I recollect Anjaam from before I hit my teens, here are my Shah Rukh Khan must sees...
Anjaam: (1994) If you like derranged stalker / revenge movies then you will love this. Young Vijay (Shah Rukh) is a handsome and charming man with snappy white suits on the up who falls in love with the marvellously beautiful and decent heroine Shivani (Madhuri Dixit). So what's wrong with that? Oh, she's married and totally uninterested in his heartfelt declarations, plus, she has a little girl to look after. So he sets about ruining her life and reducing her to becoming an inmate in a brutal female prison. Then she gets mad, and she gets even, in the most spectacular fashion. The scene with the swimming pool is absoloutely amazing.
Devdas: (2002) I quite happily sat down in front of this one a couple of years ago, even with my usual aversion to Bollywood productions. A remake-of-an-adaptation, billed as an epic love story, the casting, costumes and scale of the film are suitably epic, and well worth watching for the visuals alone. Shah Rukh excels in the role of the charmingly tragic hero, albeit self-destructively bohemian in this movie rather than mentally unstable. The ending is absoloutely beautiful (clue, lots of rose petals) and this is easily the Bollywood movie to initiate the unitiated. Nice supporting role for Madhuri Dixit, who plays the concubine with a heart of gold and a song-and-dance number with which to tell her tale of social injustice.