Über Desi

Keeping it real, desi ishtyle

Return of Quick Gun Murugan

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Sidhu alerts us to the return of an iconic character from the 90’s, Quick Gun Murugan. [YouTube]

Quick Gun Murugan will be released in theatres this Fall, based on the iconic Channel V character. A South Indian karmic cowboy whose duty is to protect vegetarianism and cows. When faced with the world-conquering arch villain restaurant owner who wants to create the ultimate McDosa chain using beef, Quick Gun enters into an epic battle of Vegetarianism VS. Non-Vegetarianism. Mind It!

Telugu actor, Tamil Cowboy, (dubbed in English) movie based on an all-Indian character. What’s not to love about this movie?

Bhootnath: Really scary

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Be scared of the latest Bollywood movie, Bhootnath ….. real scared. Be scared because you have to pay real money for the ticket.

Regarding, Bhootnath. I watch desi movies in theaters because I get so few of them. Normally I don’t read reviews or hype, so I can form my own opinions. Ditto for Bhootnath, I went in with zero background on the movie. I decided to use this movie to experiment with some live blogging on my now almost defunct blog. The way this works is – I text (SMS, if you will) Utterz.com and they automatically post it to my wordpress blog.

Here’s a sampling of my text messages/live posts:
45 minutes into the movie:

bhootnath. good intro. annoying children 1st hour

About 1 hour 15 minutes into the movie:

bhootnath. 1st half extremely boring. movie 4 kids. couple of lol moments. kid falling down stairs highlight of 1st half.

After intermission:

bhoot’s son is 1 of us evil nris. wonderful.

End:

end of movie. bhoot has attained salvation and so have I. juhi is (politically incorrect term for hot)

There is really not much more to say about this movie. Bollywood has a special knack of taking cute kids and turning them into these really annoying entities, which for some inexplicable reason Bollywood finds “cute”. Don’t quote me on this but Bhootnath is most likely a kids movie. At least in the first half. And a NRI family drama/religious salvation experience in the second half. It’s a rehash of Casper the friendly ghost with you-know-who replacing Casper.

Regarding music/songs/dance, they are randomly inserted, as always. No culture police here but every single song, while neatly choreographed, blatantly apes the American way of life – American football, baseball, urban clothing – perhaps a reflection of current society. There is a way of integrating the good of both without blindly aping and that escapes most, but I digress.

This is strictly anecdotal from what I witnessed. If you have kids they may find this movie entertaining in the first half. But they will definitely find the second half boring, the few kids in the theater were either sleeping or begging their parents to take them home 15-20 minutes into the second half. If you are an adult you may find the movie boring in the 1st half and may find the second half interesting, if NRI family dramas about the umbilical cord syndrome (NRI kids abandoning parents in India) are your thing.

I often get annoying email forwards that among other things credit India with inventing the number “Zero”. This is just my personal opinion, there are exactly that many redeeming moments in Bhootnath, contrary to what you may read in other reviews. What movie critics define as redeeming moments is simply people trying hard to laugh or be charmed because they paid real money for the movie. A kid’s movie would’ve been cool, there is a serious dearth of those in Indian cinema. A family drama while commonplace would’ve at least been expected. They tried to make a movie for everyone, instead they made one for no one. If your kid wants to absolutely watch this movie, get a pirated DVD (not that I condone piracy but I condone money wastage even less) from your local Indian grocery store and excuse yourself while your kid tortures himself/herself. Again just my personal opinion, but, stay away from Bhootnath, its really scary – the prospect of sitting through this movie.

The Hindoos are coming! (UPDATE)

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The #1 Most popular story on CNN.com today is titled ” Is Mike Myers’ new film asking for trouble?” with sub-headings :

- Mike Myers’ new film, “The Love Guru,” raising concern among Hindus

-”Guru” concerns spiritual leader offered money to solve love affair

- Hindus wondering if film mocks rituals, or whether it’s all just good fun

GuruExcited at the thought of hordes of saffron covered Hindutva types, burning effigies and shouting slogans outside Hollywood studios, I scanned the article. Alas, our good friends at CNN are taking a leaf out of the TOI tabloid journalism playbook. The so -called article relies on the word of one – count ‘em -one Hindu – none other than the ubiquitous Rajan Zed. Mr.Zed now calls himself a “Hindu leader” and demands that Paramount Pictures screen the film for members of the Hindu community before it is released in June.( I knew that my faith would pay off one day. Where do I sign up for my free movie pass?) Read the rest of this entry »

Race: A James Hadley Chase redux

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So, I braved the gang bangers and prostitutes on Orange Blossom Trail in Orlando, FL, to go watch the latest Bollywood potboiler, Race so I can review it for you, our beloved readers of Über Desi.

RaceI can go on and on about the actual storyline of the movie but since it’s a mystery thriller, I will let you watch it for yourself (not that I recommend you do) and not post any blatant spoilers on here – no, the bawarchi (butler) did not do it. Instead, today I shall dwell on some nuances which, you might pick up on when watching this version of rich desi brothas and sistas gone wild in South Africa.

To quote Dalton Russell (Clive Owen) from the movie, The Inside Man:
“Pay strict attention to what I say because I choose my words carefully and I never repeat myself.”

Race, is about racing – horses and cars. Race is also all about double, triple and quadraple crossing.

It’s all about race, a Barack Obama wet dream come true. People of all races – brown, black, white, dancing and grinding together in what can only be described as an ungodly union of the macarena, country western line dancing and just plain ole’ Bollywood ishtyle tumkas. Race is a reflection of the heavy influence of the lyrics from 90s technopop numbers in current day Bollywood numbers.

Read the rest of this entry »

Southie film industry involved in visa scam

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Several film industry personnel in South India are on the US blacklist after a visa scam was unearthed. The scam was simple and effective, people were paying movie industry contacts money so they could pretend to work on a movie in the US, entered the US on a temporary visa and stayed on illegally. To the movie aficionados, Flora Shiny, was supposedly one of those busted in this scam. [link]

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