Bollywood, Anyone? Anyone?

Hey, if you even remotely understand what's going on with Indian Cinema, please fill me in.

I just noticed this movie listed on IMDB.com (3rd-best site in history, by the way, after Wikipedia and Penelope Illustration) in the top five comedies of all time.

"Okay," so I'm thinking. "I'm game. Never heard of this 'Lage Raho Munnabhai' before, but maybe I'll take a look."

Then I get to this user comment, and it's like it's from a parallel universe. All the familiar characteristics of an amateur review are there -- the fawning, the listing of attributes in more or less random order, the enthusastic abuse of the exclamation point -- only with weird consonant combinations in all the proper nouns.

Seriously -- try replacing "Sanjay Dutt" with "Jim Carrey", Arshad Warsi with Ben Stiller, Rajkumar Hirani with Woody Allen, swap Hollywood for Bollywood and center for centre (unless you're Canadian) and so forth.

It's uncanny! And it makes me curious: would I like this movie? Is the humor as universal as the breathless paragraph structure? Or would I trip over all the unfamiliar character names and places?

"WooooooooWWWWWW!!!! What can I say...ummmm....this is the best sequel that bollywood has produced so far, even though there are not many sequels in the history of Hindi films. But, I think this sequel gives bollywood directors more confidence for making even more sequels! I live in Toronto, and I went to the bollywood movie theatre thinking that there wont be many people in the theatre and it will only be mildly crowded. But I was wrong! It was a house full! Thank god I booked the far/centre seats in advance. This movie started off with a blast. Circuit was soooo funny in the first half, but the second half belonged to Sanjay Dutt. The jokes were even funnier than the original Munnabhai M.B.B.S, and I'm not saying that out of utter excitement, I'm saying this because its the truth. Sanjay Dutt's acting was superb as always. But I did kind of think that Arshad Warsi was better in the first. But the jokes saved him. Even short circuit (Circuit's son) provided many laughs. Vidya Balan acted well, it was good to see Sanjay Dutt and Vidya Balan back together after Parineeta. Well, all I can say is that Rajkumar Hirani didn't disappoint, and went over what the standard expectations for a sequel are. I do think that Lage Raho Munnabhai is better than the first, but some people will think otherwise. Anyway, I'll just give you one suggestion....go watch this movie as soooooon as possible!!

I suppose I could just Netflix it and find out.


Anonymous said...

You could check it out. I worked for a company once where I was only 1 of 3 caucasian people (out of 100+ employees). Everyone else was from India so I got to learn a lot about Bollywood (even designed some postcards for the Bollywood awards show). I never really got the humor of it, and after going to many Indian movie stores and seeing all the posters and dvd covers... it all seemed very cheesy: to me. But they loved it. I don't want to make a blanket statement that all movies coming out of Bollywood are cheesy movies, I am sure they have some fine actors and captivating storylines, I just could not find myself able to relate.

Colin said...

Hmm. That's pretty illuminating -- all I know is what I saw from brief snippets in the movie Ghost World, and that seemed to bear out what you're saying. I still intend to give it a try (anyone who could recommend an accessible example, please do) but maybe I'll just have to be content with concluding that while *liking* movies may be a universal thing, the movies themselves may not be universally likable.