Minneapolis Asian Arts Club?

I am contemplating creating a Asian Arts Club in the Minneapolis area – I wonder if there is anyone who would be interested in joining.  I would like to meet once or twice a month, to enjoy various movies/television shows and music or just about anything to do with South Asian culture (As discussed here on Daydreaming Lotus. ie: Korea, Japan, China, India) I’d be open to other cultures too.  I think it would be interesting.  I wonder if I can drum up some interest?

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Hey Playa!

This weekend I watched Main Khiladi Tu Anari

(& Saif Ali Khan)

(& Saif Ali Khan)

I had started the film a couple weeks ago, but didn’t quite get into it after the un-subtitled rendition of My Adorable Darling with Saif looking obnoxiously adorable himself:

D'aawww

D'aawww

I was highly distracted by two (major) things during this song sequence.

#1) Guys in weird0 shirts:

::snort::

::snort::

#2) The same kind of weird light effect they used in the first Khiladi film:

hmmm

hmmm

I know that actors age and get older and this was one of Saifus’ first films, but I never did get over how different he looked.  I’ve decided that the main thing just might be the smile lines around his lips.  Because otherwise I can’t put my finger on it.  (Obviously his hair is different, but heck, it was the early 90’s and I’ll cut him some slack!)

Baby Saifu!

Baby Saifu!

This might have to be an purchased movie. . . not many get that award, so it was pretty good! (8.5/10)

This weeks movies:

(So far, the weekend looms ahead with it’s significantly larger amount of time to spend watching Bolly-flicks)

Yuva: Abhishek Bachchan, Rani Mukherjee, Kareena Kapoor, Ajay Devgan, Esha Deol, Vivek Oberoi…OBOY!

The story is based around three couples and the way they all connect to their partner and to one another as well.  Ajay plays a young college student named Michael who is in love with a child hood friend Radhika (Esha Deol).  He takes on local politics in hopes to prove that decency and moral values will rule the day. Lallan (Abhishek )is a thug who is released from jail and slowly climbs the ladder of criminal success along with his (annoying) wife Sashi, played by Rani Mukherjee(whom I adore.)  Arjun (Vivek) finds Mira (Kareena) on the eve of moving to America and is smitten instantly only to have his path come across Lallan and Michael in a sudden and violent change in course.

I liked this film – except the relationship between Rani and Abhi’s characters.  I understand and know that it was a plot driver, but I still can’t stand behind a character that can’t stand up for themselves.  Yuva is another woven tale – you know the type – a movie that follows several different paths that all wind together in the end?  That’s what this Mani Ratman film does.  I am happy to note that in this film lovely (and slightly annoying) Bebo aka: Kareena Kapoor is still beautifully curvy in this film.  Sadly, she does not get to dance really – which is disapointing because what fun is watching a stick move around?  (for example: Deepika Padukone in Billu.)  Vivek Oberoi is always a favorite, if only for his boyish charms.  Ajay was well past his limits in the age of his character – come on yaar you are too old to be playing college age boys.  PLEASE stop.  Abhishek was great in a role that I hated.  Which is kind of the point, na? I mean, if you are playing a detestable character and people still love you, didn’t it kind of defeat the purpose?  I’m not sure what Rani was doing in this movie, she was too big of a star to be playing a character with such little to do.

Mughal-E-Azam  – the great classic Hindi film.  If you don’t know what this is – check here. Because I can’t be bothered to do it manage to write up a befitting description.  I have a lot to absorb in this movie.  First of all, I saw the colored version and I did enjoy it, but I wonder how it was in the original form.  I also don’t know anything about the actors as it’s now officially the oldest Hindi film I’ve seen.  I liked parts and didn’t like parts and it really will need some time to sink in.  It was a beautiful film though.

Traffic Signal – another “weaver”!  I liked this film starring Kunal Khemu.  (Thanks to Sita-ji for the recommendation and to tipping me off to the fact it’s the cute kid from Raja Hindustani!)  Lots of great ensemble cast members fill out this very real and slightly gritty tale of life in Mumbai.  I bet it’s safe to say folks who actually did enjoy Slumdog Millionare would like this one.  They have similarities, but this movie is much more “Indian.”  I loved the beginning statement of how they are respectful to all the people working at traffic signals.  (I was thinking “What people? There are people working at traffic signals?” and picturing someone changing lights or something.)  It’s a movie about a great rainbow of people who all make the community of a traffic signal work.  From the prostitutes to the beggars, each person has a job and they all work together to make things work.  Even in strife people shine.  I liked it quite a bit. Plus, Konkana is in it!

I’m taking a mini-break from Bollywood to enjoy the first 9 episodes of Dae Jang Geum.  The story of a cook in historic Korea.  It’s my best friends favorite and she watched it in China.  I finally found the english subtitled version from the library. Very exciting!

I need pictures in my post don’t I?  I need to work on that…

Last nights movies.

Well, in one case movie is a loose term.  I watched Kaal (blech) and The Inner/Outer World of Shah Rukh Khan last night.

Kaal was the worst Bollywood film I’ve seen yet.  The cinematography was awkward and distracting.  They repeated shots of the tigers which annoyed me and reminded me heavily of cheap and crappy anime.  The movie had great potential; it was produced by Karan Johar and Shah Rukh Khan.  Starred John Abraham and Vivek Oberoi alongside Esha Deol and Lara Dutta.  Entering later in the film is Ajay Devgan.  It is supposed to be a thriller, but with the odd framing and laughingly week thrills I just was annoyed with it through the film.  I was sorry to have watched it.  Not to mention in the last 10 minutes it had a bunch of  parts ripped straight out of Final Destination.  Unless you are a die-hard fan of any of these people and absolutely have to see everything they’re in – stear clear! The only redeeming bits to this movie were the opening and closing item numbers, even if they were missing their subtitles.

Blurgh.

Blurgh.

The Inner/Outer World of Shah Rukh Khan.  Where do I start?  With the sad fact that I was in or near two of the cities he was in during the time the Temptations tour was here in the States? (I lived three hours from Orlando and went through the hurricane he talked about…)  And I was in Atlanta for a family get together around Thanksgiving that year.  Alas…  No use crying over something I can’t change.  I am a bit concerned with a few things that King Khan said though…  He mentioned that he has to work so hard and become someone else during filming because that is the only way that he can forget the grief of losing his parents.  Does anyone else see a problem with this?  Is psycho-therapy non-existant in India?  I’m left wondering if everyone just thinks that if they have a problem then they have to learn to deal with it on their own and not seek help.  Wouldn’t it be better for him to treat it and try to gain control over it than to simply avoid the subject altogether?  I feel that he needs to become a complete person, not just a star.  It’s really sad that he can’t move past that grief and holds onto it so tightly.  I’d rather he be a healthy and happy human being than an unhappy and fantastic super star.  I love the fact though, that he helps his children to respect and believe in both Hindu and Muslim customs.  They are lucky enough to belong to a home that is accepting of both religions and that’s a rare thing – in any part of the world.  In all I was happy to have seen it, it gives me a little more insight into my favorite Bollywood Indian Film Star.  I’m also left wondering – did they ever release a DVD of Temptations 2004?  I bet a lot of people would have liked seeing that.

Movies, movies, movies!

I was recently inundated with some movies from both Netflix and the local library.  Hence, no reviews as I’ve been too busy watching them to get online to review!  Here’s a list of what I’ve seen in the last two weeks:

Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak (Sad movie starring Aamir Khan and Juhi Chawla (yay!))

Bommarillu (My first South Indian film – very good, however I hated the fact that Genelia D’Souza had a voice over . . )

Life…In a Metro (An interesting movie.  It kind of follows a recent trend in movies from all over the world that focusing on many different people through a six degrees of of separation kind of lense.  Shilpa Shetty was ok, Kolkana was lovely and I loved Irfan Khan – he was just too funny. Again.)

Gadar (A film about the separation.  This one has a happy ending though!)

King Uncle (A silly movie starring Jackie Shrof as an angry man who ruins his family only to be opened back up emotional by a young orphan named Munna.  Shah Rukh has a smaller role in this quaint film, but it’s nothing to write home about. Although I wish I had screen capped the opening because it was very creepy and inappropriate for such a child friendly film.  I red and black lense zoomed in and out on Munna yelling “King Uncle!” in a creepy audio warble.  Eee!)

Koi. . . Mil Gaya (re-watched this one – it’s a favorite!)

1947 Earth (Not a big fan. Typically if it garners attention from major film critics/awards I don’t like them.  Who knows why…)

Hum Hain Rahi Pyar Ke (AnotherAamir Khan and Juhi Chawla film – this one much more fun and I saw many similarities to Thoda Pyar Thoda Magic in it.)

Bluffmaster (Abhishek is very charming as a con artist who finds out he’s dying.  Priyanka is, well, Priyanka…)

Raja Hindustani (LOVED this movie – just not the missing subtitles during the songs. I HATE when they do that to us not blessed with fluent Hindi skills)

Kabhi Alvida Naa Khena (Karan Johar + Shah Rukh + Rani + Abhishek + Preity + Me = Love.  Bas)

Black (Rani as a Indian version of Helen Keller and Amitab-ji has her “tee.”  It was very western in film style and setting, but I still think it was good.  It proves Rani can blow her younger competition out of the water and that she deserves to still get good roles.  I abhore the fact that she is stuck playing roles that make her seem “old” – she isn’t that old!  Give the young 30-something actresses in India a chance to shine and break through the stereotype PLEASE!)

Humraaz (Akshaye Khanna & Amisha Patel play in this movie that coined a new term for me – Pretzel Bag.  Matlab: This movie has more twists than a bag of pretzels! Goes along with my other rating: Yawnie – a movie that is deathly boring…)

Dor (A pleasantly surprising  film staring Ayesha Takia as a young widow who must face her own anger to help another woman save her husband.  Gul Pang is lovely as well and plays a beautifully strong and independing thinking woman not seen much in most films.  Dor earned Ayesha a lot of praise and I strongly suggest seeing this movie.  I’m a fan of hers, I think she has a great charm to her and I wish she hadn’t decided to stop acting when she got married…)

::dregs through her brain:: Did I forget anything???  I don’t know.  Hopefully not.  But probably so.  I have Yuva, Mughal-E-Azam, and The Inner/Outer World of Shah Rukh Khan waiting at home, as well as Traffic Signal and Kaal to pick up at the library.  The fun never ends!  I think I need to see what’s floating around the world of Korean/Japanese/Chinese cinema again too.  I have too little time!

Chak De Phatte!

Last night was the most fun I’ve had all year long!  I went with my new friend Sita-Ji and her buddy to club Envy last night.  Nasha Entertainment was holding a Desi party.  I’ve not really been clubbing before.  Once, in place that was more of a bar I celebrated a friend/co-workers birthday, but there weren’t many dancers and my mom was there…   So, in many ways last night was full of firsts.  First time partying in downtown Minneapolis, first time going to a club, and first time dancing in a big crowd.  Oh, but was it fun!  Aside from the one guy who moved in with out any subtlety and stared at me intensely for awhile before I ran scared for the other room, I had a blast.  I’m grateful to Sita-ji and her friend for accompaning me.  I had entirely too much fun.  We met a man who was there for business from Mumbai whose name I think is spelled Babi…  I had the hardest time hearing anything over the pulsating punjab beats and fun Bollywood numbers.  I think I surprised him with how well I could sing along with the music.  There was great music, I knew about 50% of the songs, and the rest I would LOVE to find out what they were and listen to them when I can hear more than the dhol.  But, he invited me out on the dance floor and I danced with him, Sita-ji and his friends for awhile and we shifted around a lot.   There were a lot of people there enjoying themselves and it was nice to kind of let loose and just enjoy myself.  I woke up excited and sore this morning, well before I probably should have considering how late I stayed out…  I wasn’t planning to take pictures and didn’t bring my camera because I didn’t want the extra weight in my pocket, but I wish I could have taken a picture of the bartender – he looked like he could have been Abhishek Bachchans brother.   So cute!  I know I’ll be going to the next one!  When is it??!

(I’ll post a link to the photos that Nasha will put up because I’m pretty sure I’m in a bunch of them..  (*>__<*) ::blush::  Oh well…)

If you live in Minneapolis/the suburbs you should come join us!

Whee! (Love Aaj Kal anyone?)

Whee! (Love Aaj Kal anyone?)