Sunday, February 11, 2007

This Time, he's an Aerospace Engineer!

I never have enough time in my life to watch a Bollywood film full-out. I watch it in morsels -- twenty minutes here, fifteen minutes there. Most of the time I try to rent from Namaste Grocery, although the most popular titles are usually out. When that happens, I substitute by watching the film in five-minute chunks on YouTube (there are many films available this way). And trust me, you haven't really seen Bollywood until you've seen it in tantalizing, nail-biting five-minute increments. (K3G -- Yash is about to see Anjali for the first time in 10 years! She's right behind him! She's reaching down to touch his feet... oh, damn, time to download the next clip!)

I have one love -- Shahrukh Khan. I didn't know when I saw him that he was the biggest name in Bollywood (sorry, Mr. Bachchan). In fact, I didn't know who he was at all; I was grazing through Bollywood musical numbers on YouTube, just sort of randomly sampling what was there, because I didn't know anything about Bollywood as of yet, and I saw Mr. Khan. And I had no idea who he was, or how famous he was, but he popped up on the YouTube screen and looked right out at me with his twinkling, come-hither eyes, and I ended up watching the video for "Bole Chudiyan" three times in a row so I could study his face.

Bad actor? I don't know. I'm in theatre, and I know that "true theatre people" don't like actors like SRK. But he's so compulsively compelling -- when he's on screen, he's impossible not to watch. Maybe he sort of plays the same guy in every film... but he plays him with such a forthright earnestness (combined with a hint of wink-wink to the audience, a sort of "aren't you enjoying this as much as I am?") that I find him captivating.

And so right now I'm halfway through Swades, and in the remaining 2 hours, SRK has to fix Charanpur's failing electrical infrastructure, get everyone wired for the magical internet, help enroll children in a village school, find a way for his new friend to start an Indian fast-food restaurant in America, and (of course) win Gita's heart. I can hardly wait.

(EDIT: Well, if you know the film you know what SRK actually accomplished and what he didn't. Nice that the film wasn't too easy and he wasn't miraculously able to solve all of Charanpur's problems. What happened to all the water that rushed through those turbines, though? That I want to know. I was surprised there wasn't a scene where SRK used the newly-corralled water to irrigate farms. So... where did all that water go?)


Beth said...

AH, another one falls for SRK. Welcome to our world! And I want to hear all about your trip to India - I was there last summer but have only very skewed advice to give, other than that is was completely amazing in every possible way and I think you will love it.

- Beth (from Bollywood Fugly and Beth Loves Bollywood)

Blue said...

Thanks, Beth! Yeah, I know, liking SRK is oh-so-typical, but I don't care.

I haven't yet made it to India... that's this summer. So keep reading and you'll learn all about it!