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Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Harry Potter films are "Bollywoodian"?

This is quite something folks (thanks to Durga for the tip). Yesterday's Wall Street Journal carried a story about the latest Harry Potter film, the Goblet of Fire, and quotes Mike Newell:
"We set out to make a kind of Bollywood entertainment, a great big
fountain of variety," says Mr. Newell. "It's a great big basket of goodies.

Mike Newell is known for films like Four Weddings and a Funeral, which could also qualify as Bollywoodian I supose. I was considering watching only desi flicks while in India and saving Harry Potter for February when I'll be back in the U.S. But this seals it - I have to watch this movie now and check out what exactly leads Newell to claim Bollywood status for the film.

Does Harry sing a song to serenade Cho Chang who, like many a Bollywood heroine, rejects his proposal? Does Hermioine lurk around corners overhearing Harry's conversations with Chang? Does she poison Harry's mind against Chang? Does Dumbledore lead the entire school in a group dance? Does Hermione help Harry in his battles with the dark forces much like Basanti in Sholay? Ah, the possibilities :)

UPDATE: I was at the rediff office yesterday to meet a guy who is a key part of their Movies desk. While waiting in the lobby, I picked up a copy of India Abroad and what do you know, there was a story about Mike Newell and his aspirations to Bollywood-ness. I don't have quotes, but I'll paraphrase. This man was introduced to Bollywood by Ismail Merchant and he apparently likes the way Bollywood blurs genres. Ho hum, boring notion from someone who doesn't get it, I know. But what irritated me was another quote later in the article - Newell says that Bollywoodian films can have a spine, but that you have to hang a basket of flowers on the spine to make it a Bollywood flick. Anyone feel like ranting against such uninformed crap?

3 Comments:

  • Aswin,
    I'll have to check this out this weekend. And I'm going to share something with you, at the great risk of revealing my guilty film viewing habits. Watch the end of the recent Hollywood flick "The 40-year old Virgin" and then tell me that it isn't "bollywood" inspired.

    By Anonymous Sumati, at 11/17/2005 3:42 AM  

  • That is interesting, i recently saw 'mumbai matinee' which is about a desi 30-yr-old virgin.

    I guess I will check out the hollywood version as well.

    By Anonymous mandira, at 11/17/2005 3:20 PM  

  • Mandira,
    Do check it out and let me know what you thought. meanwhile I'll check out mumbai matinee...
    Sumati.

    By Anonymous sumati, at 11/19/2005 6:45 AM  

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