Kal Ho Naa Ho (Tomorrow May Never Come) Eric, watched this last night at your recomendation. Wow
Posted 23 July 2009 - 09:24 AM
While I haven't had a lot of time to think about the movie as a whole, I'm going to give my initial impressions. I'll warn as we get up to the spoilers. And this is less scholarly and more gushing.
First, the way the film was shot had some techniques I typically associate with American TV shows, that I wouldn't normally associate with American Film. Namely, the split screen when people are talking on the phone. I feel like there was a lot more mixture of high art and low art with the camera styles. At times it was very artistic, at other times it was very pop-culture, with out-of-focus shots in dance numbers or an unstable camera.
In the previous Bollywood movies I've watched (which were, admittedly, eight years ago) the people would break into song, and then once the song was done, there was no reference to the people singing again. The songs didn't have quite so much bearing on the plot. In Kal Ho Naa Ho, the songs had more involvement with the plot, and the characters even made reference to events or things that happened during the singing. I found this quite interesting, and a little Meta.
The guys cried. As much as the girls. And it wasn't just a single tear or two, there were places where the guys were REALLY crying, nearly blubbering. And I liked it a lot. It made the hero a much more believable character.
I would love to have my film music teacher teach a movie like this in his class. There's so many conventions to the music in American culture that we don't really notice (when I was watching Pride and Prejudice, my boyfriend kept predicting correctly what would happen based on the music). I didn't get to pay much attention to the music because I was reading the lyrics most of the time, but it would be neat to analyze the movies and see if the musical conventions carry over to Bollywood.
The movie could have been too long, and I could have gotten bored with it, but the sub-plots kept it going. I thought this was great. And all the mini-arcs gave depth to the characters that I really liked.
SPOILERS (Highlight because I've put them in white):
The sub-plot about Amand and Rohit being gay lovers? Really funny. And I love how Amand and Rohit become friends, instead of competitors. And the reactions of the different family members? It really illustrated the difference in culture there is between generations.
Gia's plotline? I never would have guessed, but it was totally great. Gave the grandmother the come-uppance she deserved. And the fact that Jennifer forgave her husband? I feel it would be more likely in an American movie be a weakness, but they totally portrayed it as a strength, and I bought into it.
I kept hoping that Amand would live, but I like that he died and Rohit got Nina (I'm spelling their names wrong, I know). It's much more real, and I felt like I wasn't cheated. By the end I believed both that Nina could eventually be happy with Rohit, and that Amand had given his blessing on the union.
Posted 07 September 2009 - 03:11 PM
I'm so glad you liked this, Jennifer! We've gone quite mad for Bollywood at my house, watching about one a week. My daughter listed them as her favorite kind of film in a classroom questionnaire at the start of 5th grade last week, and "Bollywood Music" as her favorite musical genre; my son announced that the most recent one we've seen, the absolutely wonderful "Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na," was "not just my favorite Bollywood movie--I think it's one of my favorite movies ever, period." Other recent favorites are "Rab Ne Bana di Jodi," "Jab We Met," the incredibly meta-textual "Om Shanti Om" (also with Shah Rukh Khan) and the historical epic "Jodhaa Akhbar."
Does anyone out there know of any scholarship on Bollywood, Indian or otherwise? There is so, so much to write about in a number of these films, and I think I'm going to start giving talks on them at PCA. As I learn about them, I'll certainly share it here.
(For other recommendations, romance author Meredith Duran has a good website: http://www.bollywhat.com.)
Executive Editor, Journal of Popular Romance Studies
Posted 16 September 2009 - 08:56 AM
Posted 12 October 2010 - 03:57 AM
Thanks you for the post.
Hi guys, Im a newbie. Nice to join this forum.
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