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Monday, November 05, 2007

Laga Chunari Mein Daag

Actually, this was a comment on one of Great Bong's posts, but one of my friends said that I can as well post it in my blog:

I watched LCMD last weekend coz I had nothing better to do. And I knew the story as soon as I read the title, before it was released. Like you said: it was like rotten bananas served with ice cream on top. Or as Shakespeare would say: What spice can hide the taste of tainted flesh? Abhishek Bachchan had a blink-and-you miss appearance and an unrealistic inclination for call girls who chant Hanuman Chalisa when the plane is in turbulence. They did it in Pretty Woman, a rich lonely millionaire falling for an escort but it was so much more believable!

Thankfully, it was not as gross as Julie with Neha Dhupia with only convincing looks and zero acting skills. (A face with as much expression as a blank blackboard). A small town girls fall into trap of a beckoning metropolitan, gets exploited, turns wayward to feed her perpetually sewing mother; heart attack prone, lottery ticket addict father and a plainer but wiser younger sister- so what's new?

Why can’t they make movies about an uneducated girl meeting the world and realizing that she needs to gather more skills than what she can exhibit in the bedroom? Is there no formula in Bollywood where the female protagonist can run a family without trading her flesh? It looks like an exaggerated version of a Fair N’ Lovely ad where the only worth of a woman is coz of her skin.

Look at Oprah Winfrey. She was born poor, was colored (my apologies for using that term), sexually abused in her childhood – but she reached somewhere; made a niche in a world of talk shows which was dominated by only white males. And now she’s bigger than just a TV celebrity. I don’t care if she had to sleep her way through it or if she has turned peevish lately. Money and post menstrual syndrome does that to everyone. Why can’t Indian cinema make movies like that? We have enough women achievers to mourn the death of in a spaceship crash but not one to pay tribute to while alive! The thing is- the movie would be esoteric and would not cater to the tastes of multitude even if the Indian movie goers have come of age lately and the Nishiganda Dasguptas of Corporate are getting National Awards for the character portrayal instead of playing a role in a skin flick.

There were better moments though: Konkona’s performance when she got to know about her sister’s real profession was worth all the minutes I wasted watching the movie. Vibhabari didn’t have to be ashamed. That was a moment of enlightenment from a stronger woman than Vibha was.

I liked the romance between Kunal Kapoor and Konkona which was much more realistic. The presentation on Lux Woman of the year and the tagline: Jiisey rishtey mein bandhne ka mann kare, muthhi mein nahi gathered a round of applause. ONLY if it didn't sound like the success of a woman depends on the approval of men.


32 comments:

FireWhisky said...

i saw the movie n i cudnt agree wid u more... also d movies a little 2 slow on d take off...

i also think kunal kapoor did a gud job as did konkona...

Voice said...

first reaction: what a professional blog ... page protected, blog name with trade mark :)

living in boston u do watch a lot of movies (becoz u watched julie). i havent seen lcmd... but if u get u can read 11 minutes, paulo cohelo

thnx for visiting chew over... visit my other blogs too

Saurabh said...

You are right, Females do not need a Man to decide for her. They can stand up on their own and it's time that bollywood starts understanding this.
But I guess an empowered female in Hindi Cinema is one who craves for sex and sex only, or the other trade mark version of a prostitute in crude language "Dhande Wali".
To be Honest this is not something which is limited to our cinema, this mentality is wide spread in India.

Where when a Male Boss goes out on a coffee with his female team mate, then the other folks snigger and say "In dono ka to chakkar chal riya hoga".

Truth is the change has to come from the bottom up.

That's one thing I love about America as it in it's own way encourages equality.
It has female bus drivers, it has officers not policemen or woman.
It has fire fighters not fire man or woman and it does not say "following seats are reserved for females"

The fact is when you treat men and woman equal only then both the sexes start respecting each other.
If you start giving one of them importance then lewdness becomes second nature for the other.

A whole lot of above might be considered pysco bauble but it is true even in this contemporary world

Fattebaz Admin said...

you got flogger award
http://floggeraward.blogspot.com/2007/11/variegated-sky.html

Abhinav said...

I saw this thing on somebody's blog and nominated you for it. Not that you need any award ; )
LCMD was lovely as far as the acting was concerned...Rani, Jayaji, Koko were darned good. I guess even the script must have been superb initially. Coz they changed it in the last few months and reshot some scenes to not offend 'Indian' sensibilities : (
And now it seems from Saawariya's trailers that Bhansali has followed the same pandering path. Kitsch music, very unlike Bhansali.
I don't know when will commercial Indian cinema come of age.

Abhinav said...

P.S. The title song was too good. Classical and pure Hindi? Heard that one after a long time. And Rekhaji's voice is at its pregnant enticing best in Ehi Thaiyya Motiya.

saikat said...

hope at last my mission 'post a msg' is accomplished...for the last 2-3 weeks..i am not able to post anything here

am just back from del..after attending muktesh's marraige..also for an update..sahitij n swati are getting married in dec..n Indu's marraige is also on the cards...so many weddings to attend..am yipeeeeeeeeeeeee :)

read ur posts...have so many thoughts...will post em later :)

keep smiliN ...tc :)

P.S - danced like crazy in muktesh's wedding....ol' days revisited n ol' bones rattled :P

Aparna Kar said...

@saikat
Good thing that you gave ur darshan, I was going to mail you "Kaha mar gaya hai?" :P Dunno why u couldn't comment, heard the same complaint from someone else here. :O
Waaaaaaaaaaaah! I missed so many weddings. Tu bhi mere India jaane se pehle baap ban jayega yaar :(
Of late I have been missing loud desi music so much so that I am ready to get married just to be able to dance :D But don't worry, I won't make that extreme sacrifice Will "halal" Dada before that :) And maybe I will go for the Diwali celebrations here in Harbor Point. But the catch is - I don't have many Indian friends, and definitely no crazy dance partner like you. I still remember how we stole the show at Kritva. * sigh * Good old days

saikat said...

@ appu:

abe wont become dad so soon..family planning bolke koi cheez hoti hain ki nahii...n also tere bina shaadi kaise karoonga...mere joote kaun bachaega tu nahii rahii too...aur naachega kaun...so dont live under the false impression that u will escape my wedding whenever that happens

abt frnds there..dont worry..take some of ur new frnds to a loud Indian bash...n let them do some bhangra...

Kritva ya good ol' days....still dont beleive being woken up at 7 in the morning...to catch up aaj tak showing both of us dancing... :D:D:D

tc..keep smiliN :)

arnab said...

all i can say is that when you choose to watch a movie with that name, you had it coming :-) but you already know that.

and thanks to you, i discovered great bong, and i don't know where my morning and early afternoon went!

Aparna Kar said...

@saikat

Good to know :D Waise to abhi hum khud hi bacche hai. I'm not going to get married in the next 10 years ;P if my parents don't kick a row by then. Hee hee

Btw, I am still trying to chew on that 80 lakh worth wedding. Sheer waste yaar. Wo paisa mujhe de dete- main gareebo k liye library banati- me included :D
Waise bhag k shaadi karne ka alaag hi maza hai.. no kharcha.. only phool, agarbatti aur pundit k paise :)) Kya plan kare? Koi shareef ladka raazi hoga tujhe lagta hai? Ya mera sense of adventure sun k hi bhag jayega :))

Aparna Kar said...

@arnab
Yeah. I knew what was coming. Somehow I chose to go through that ordeal in stead of Kareena Kapoor's psychobabble in Jab We Met and John Abraham's bare torso in No Smoking. Zodiac was still getting downloaded so I had no choice. Want to watch 1408 though. Dunno y I am stuck on it.

And yeah, Great Bong (your namesake Arnab Ray) has a wicked sense of humor. I like browsing through his pages and I end up writing a mini post as a comment whenever I do:)

Aparna Kar said...

@ abhinav

I skipped through most of the songs so I really don't know. Good that you told me. Thanks for nominating me. As they say : an award is a an award is an award :D
Yeah, I saw that on Abhinav Jain aka Munnu's blog I guess. Nice way to showcase blogs. And you know what I was thinking why doesn't someone nominate me :D Then I realized that my readership has dwindled from 40+ comments to one digits now. Lol thanks for making a wish come true in less than 24 hrs :)

saikat said...

10 yrs...mujhe competeition de rahi hain.... :P

80 lacs wedding..even after suffering multiple heart attacks attending it...am getting repeated after shocks

bhaag ke shaadi karna...good idea...kaun se joote pehenke bhagegi :P ...waise koi bhagne ke nahii mila to bata diyo...tracksuit pehenke utar jaaonga :P

tc..

Aparna Kar said...

@saurabh
I dunno why do u have that idea that empowered women in Hindi cinema crave for sex only. I think the empowered women of Bollywood in the early 80's decided to stand against the oppression of the in laws. In the early 90's it was the freedom of choice to elope with your lover (Dil), in the late (0's and 2000's they have become surrogate mothers (Filhaal), career conscious inspirational journalists who give direction to the lives of the good-for-nothing besotted (boy)friends (Lakshya), corporate women with more practical sense than the horny bastards they have to deal with (Corporate), and a small town girl who utilizes her singing skills more than just to serenade her lover (Taal). Have a check on your movie folder, delete those skin flicks and don't even make the mistake of thinking that Sonia Khanna of Jism was an empowered woman. She was a leech of the basest kind who used her body to manipulate men. But dickheads like Kabir Lal deserve a death like that. Your body can't be used as a currency to buy love. He should have known better.

Aparna Kar said...

@voice
There was a major plagiarizism issue in Feb'07 when a mechanical engineering undergrad from IIT KGP was copying my posts word for word and publishing it on his page without due acknowledgment. That made me upset because my blook was about to be published.
I have kept that copyscape image as a warning to those who attempt to do the same again. I have seen people plagiarize back at home without much scruple. But here academic plagiarism can cost you your career. Wish more people knew about that and had the sense to put at least a quote and the referral.I don't think that's much of an effort. It's copy-paste anyways!

Saw LCMD online on musicnmovies and had watched Julie on a particulrly lazy afternoon while vacationing at home and more so coz I had a mild crush on Priyangshu Chatterjee during my undergrads. Obviuosly, now I wouldn't watch a movie just coz it has Arjun Rampal or Akshay Kumar on it :P but it surely ensures eye candy.
Will visit ur other blogs sometime soon

Aparna Kar said...

@FireWhisky
yeah! Even 15 minutes after the titles I was like: when is this movie going to start? Thank god I didn't waste money watching it in a hall or something. Average movie. Nothing worth braving the rain and storms for.
I'm looking forward to watching
Om Shanti Om though. (Sayesha wrote a great post on that.) Deepika Padukone has the old age classical charm in that song "Aankhon mein koi..". (Something akin to what Waheeda Rehman had.) In spite of her shitty personal life and public brawls with that Kapoor kid. She's making news with her affairs even before she's a star * sigh *

Saurabh said...

And then again you have laga chunri mai daag the most modern of all bollywood stories... Oh I do not even need to check my movie folder. This movie is farcical at best and does nothing to promote women or does it...

My point is you will have gems like filhaal, lakshya but then "Julie", Jism, Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, Devdaas, Sangam, Laga Chunri mai daag which kind of glorify the weepy weepy female of Indian Cinema. The empowered bits are resigned to the sexy Bips and the Neha Dhupias as per the directors of that movie.

There are countless stories in real life that can be made part of the celluloid but will never been shown cos they do not have enufff chutzpah to ensure solid returns.

Wish we can change all that one day

arnab said...

they made a movie called "jab we met"????

Aparna Kar said...

@arnab
Apparently yes :D
And the Hinglish speaking janta will like it-me included. Imagine the other possibilities:
Jab I met your parents, Jab your brother broke my nose, Jab we broke up, Jab we met again. LMAO

Aparna Kar said...

@saurabh
Who gave u the idea that Julie n Jism glorify weepy weepy woman? :O Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam (loosely based on N' Hannate by Maitrayee Devi ) is about a woman who discovers what love is and has a husband who knows the way to a woman's heart is not using brute force. Devdas is about a confused Babu who doesn't recognize love when he sees it whom Saratchandra gave a kind end to. I haven't watched Sangam and dunno if u r referring to the Jaya Prada starrer. She was dumb throughout all I know. And Laga Chunri Mein Daag (Surf Excel Hai Nai! ) mein the female protagonist doesn't cry. She resigns to the fact that she doesn't have the courage or patience to learn a new skill which could earn her bread. It's the deuteragonist or the mother who's in sheer agony all the time because she thought that collecting coins scattered on the floor is more crucial than giving a patient ear to her young girl's woes. Pretty symbolic though. How a mendicant attitude can make u sell ur own child. There are families in India itself who think it's better to sell their daughters to procurers than see them starve. There's a highway in North West India near a village where men ask their women folk to humor the truck drivers at night to earn dough. Shocking but true.

Munmun said...

It is unfortunate about the plot of LCMD. I expected something better from this director of Parineeta.
And I also think there have been good female oriented movies in Bollywood in the past(not that they always have traded their body for money). e.g. Filhaal, Samay, Page 3 etc.
Hope Bollywood would have something better to offer in the future.

Abhinav said...

@munmun
Thanks fr mentioning and reminding me of Filhaal. I have never forgotten the scene where in response to a mother's complaint that they have to carry the infant for nine months through excruciating times, the father says Hum ne to aap se kaha tha ki kash aap ki jagah hum hi hote. Aap ka dard hum se dekha nahin jaata. Or some such thing. There was a great sense of equality n empathy in that scene.
Page 3 still depicted women the way they have already been depicted in Bollywood.

Abhinav said...

Let's not forget some of the good ones:- Suraj Ka Saatva Ghoda (Pallavi Joshi- not much of a role but she stands out), Sardari Begum (Kiron Kher), Hari Bhari, Roja (Madhoo), Godmother (Shabanaji). I remember an old Bengali film also based on a Bengali novel, with Suchitra Senji in a double role which I saw even though I don't understand Bengali a lot. Her silence conveyed a strength that could not have come through with effusive dialogues. I think it is in the nature of Indian women that they express their strength through a deep silence and in the nature of Indian men to understand this tacit strength.

Sam said...

wot an analysis into LCMD.. remeber gng for teh late night.. got out.. found out abt a bar which wud b open at 2 in the night.. headed straight out there... gobbled down a tandoori chicken and a few beers... felt much better... compensated teh disappointment by catching Bhool bhulaiyya two days later... felt a lot better!!

passer by said...

whats wrong with you..this place seems having an illegible board stating
"men not allowed, they would be bashed up"
"education is the most important thing"

i hope you not referring to education in terms of what one gets in school and college or through books. one must blame the people who have channelized human development to path where in the easiest way to walk is being educated..

donno what will be 10 yrs down the lane , but would be happy if progress and development ceased to be a function of education..

as for the movies, i watched BU yday and enjoyed it, the book was way better any day.

Aparna Kar said...

@passer by
* shrugs her shoulders, throws her hands up, and turns her lower lip *
Dunno what has been happening lately. I am not doing it consciously. And I am NOT a misoandrist.
By education I did not mean literacy or a couple of degrees more. We are talking of enlightenment, and the ability to see ourselves in that light of truth. This is a sister post of the previous "The Color Purple", if u haven't noticed yet. Law of Inertia I guess.
You have already watched The Bourne Ultimatum? Now I'm jealous!

Aparna Kar said...

@sam
Even Bhool Bhulaiya was slow in the beginning. The movie becomes happening only after Akki makes an entry just before the interval. It's a bit of Shakespearean comedy with everyone happy at the end. Vidya Balan plays a convincing role and Shiney Ahuja as the loving husband gains sympathy. Akshay, is well, just Akshay. I have a crush on that man since I was 13 years old and it is still the same :D

Aparna Kar said...

@Abhinav
Awww. You just reminded me of my most fav on screen couple in Bangla movies: Uttam Kumar and Suchitra Sen. I'd do anything to watch those Black n' White classical romance in Haarano Sur, Saat Panke baadha, Soptopodi etc. The subtle changes of expressions and the pregnant pauses. No. Movies of today can't have that fine touch of art. It's mostly broad strokes now :(

Abhinav said...

How can we forget Aandhi by Gulzarsaab? Never!!!

# Thought 1 # said...

When we are born, our mother's get the compliments and the flowers.
When we are married, our brides get the presents and the publicity.
When we die, our widows get the life insurance. What do women want
to be liberated from?

Abhinav said...

@Thought 1:- What are you talking about? Denying them tokens of appreciation and moments of gratitude for the bagful of thorns they need to carry lifelong? Dude, get your act right!!!