Topic started by Naveen (@ 220.127.116.11) on Mon Oct 22 21:16:22 EDT 2001.
All times in EST +10:30 for IST.
Could someone please post an english translation of the lyrics of the song "Alai payuthey kanna" from "Alai payuthey". I'm not tamil, and cannot understand the meaning of the words etc, but like the song alot and would love to know what the lyrics mean.
- From: haris (@ 18.104.22.168)
on: Mon Oct 22 21:52:13 EDT 2001
- From: Venki (@ )
on: Fri Apr 16 18:02:34 EDT 2004
Hollywood, meet Bollywood
April 15, 2004
By Kenneth Turan, LATimes Staff Writer
You know you're watching a Bollywood film when:
You're hearing people bursting into song in all kinds of unlikely places, even, as in the classic "Mughal-e-Azam," bound hand and foot in shackles the size of Krispy Kreme doughnuts.
You're shaking your head at a whopper of a plot contrivance so brazen, so shameless, so uncannily effective that everyone around you as well as everyone on screen is awash in tears.
You're seeing a successful mixture of genres, comedy followed by music followed by dance followed by romance followed by drama, that's called the masala style and would cause less sure films to collapse into chaos.
You've been in your seat for an awfully long time, rarely less than 2 hours and 40 minutes and sometimes, as with the Oscar nominated "Lagaan," a full 3 hours and 45 minutes by the clock.
You're not even sure whether it's OK to use the word Bollywood to describe what you're seeing.
Ever since that term, usually credited to a Bombay journalist who used it to describe that city's burgeoning film industry in particular and the world of Indian cinema in general, came into widespread usage, it's been controversial. So much so that the excellent UCLA Film and Television Archive Bollywood series starting Sunday comes to the screen under the title "Bombay Melody."
Whatever it's called, the five-film UCLA event is further indication that the mass market Bollywood style of filmmaking (as opposed to the classic humanistic dramas of Satyajit Ray) has finally arrived for American audiences.
Films as diverse as Baz Luhrmann's "Moulin Rouge," Mira Nair's "Monsoon Wedding" and Terry Zwigoff's "Ghost World" have shown a noticeable Bollywood influence, and Gurinder Chadha's follow-up to "Bend It Like Beckham," a marriage of Bollywood and Jane Austen called "Bride and Prejudice," is due out later this year.
A gorgeous new coffee-table book called "Bollywood — Popular Indian Cinema," edited by Lalit Mohan Joshi, has just been published, and "Bombay Dreams," a London hit musical produced by Andrew Lloyd Webber
with music by celebrated Bollywood composer A.R. Rahman (who has sold more worldwide than Madonna and Britney Spears combined) is on its way to Broadway.
Though not unimpressed by all of this, those who dislike the word Bollywood say it's demeaning and condescending to view something as potent and pervasive as Indian cinema through the terminology and lens of Hollywood. And statistics make it clear how much this world is a rich and complex parallel universe and not some Hollywood offshoot.
Every year the Indian film industry turns out 800 to 1,000 films. The largest segment, some 200, are in Hindustani, the screen language of Bombay, but movies are made in some 20 other tongues, with large numbers produced in Tamil as well.
These films reach an audience of such staggering size no one seems to be sure how big it is, with estimates ranging from 12 million per day to the 23 million per day suggested by the "Encyclopedia of Indian Cinema." And that doesn't count the global community of NRIs, nonresident Indians, estimated at upward of 3.6 billion souls.
This viewership is more than large, it is loyal. When Indian superstar Amitabh Bachchan was injured in a fight scene in 1982, thousands prayed outside his hospital daily and, according to Nasreen Munni Kabir's "Bollywood: The Indian Cinema Story," an excellent introduction to the subject, "One of his fans ran backwards for over 800 kilometres as a gesture to God to save his favorite hero from death." Bachchan not only
survived, in 1999 he was voted the international star of the millennium in an online BBC poll. Someone named Sir Laurence Olivier came in second.
That passion underlines the point the attendance numbers make. India's is one of the last of the world's cinemas to have both a strong national character and a mass audience willing to support it. While Hollywood is busy pandering to America's youth market and pretending it's entertaining the entire country, Bollywood has become one of the strongest unifiers in a wildly diverse nation, what critic Maithili Rao has called "a cementing secular force that heals and binds a contentious, clamorous people."
As to what that audience likes best, the answer is obvious: music.
India's is a musical culture where film songs have become the most listened to popular music, where new and inventive melodies are counted on to compensate for formulaic movie plots.
As a result, starting with the first Indian sound films in the 1930s, Bollywood has produced a musical cinema without boundaries. No matter what the genre, from gangster films to "curry westerns" like the 1975 classic "Sholay," no matter if they're shot in Hindi or in Tamil, Bollywood-style films invariably have five or six musical interludes.
These songs traditionally have been lip-synched in postproduction, with studio singers like Lata Mangeshkar, with a reported 25,000 songs to her credit in half a century of work, becoming as famous as the actors.
Though periodic attempts have been made to cut down on the music, the reality seems to be, as composer Anu Malik told author Munni Kabir, "No music, no Hindi cinema."
Indian audiences, in a way that curiously echoes the audience for Yiddish films, also have a passion for unashamed emotion, especially between mothers and sons. The drama is often broad and predictable, and heroes and villains are so immediately recognizable the films can practically be understood without subtitles, all of which make the stories of "Titanic" playing well to illiterate Indian audiences easy to believe.
If all this sounds familiar, that's because in a sense the golden age of Hollywood has moved to India the way classic American cars have reemerged in Havana. Yes, Bollywood films are extremely site specific, demanding a knowledge of India's gods, geographical regions, traditions and customs to be fully understood, but they also feature characters who believe, as a character in "Lagaan" does, that "he who has truth and courage in his heart will win in the end." As director Dharmesh Darshan told Munni Kabir, "All the elements of Indian cinema, if I'm not mistaken, are old Hollywood: the grandeur, the emotions, the drama, the melodrama. The closest definition of conventional Indian cinema is conventional old Hollywood."
What the UCLA series (curated by the knowledgeable David Chute) has done is provide a kind of Bollywood cross section, showing one acknowledged classic and four more modern films each of which represents a different aspect of that engaging world.
The classic, K. Asif's 1960 "Mughal-e-Azam" ("The Great Mughal") is such a big deal it is being shown at the ArcLight Cinemas in Hollywood as a co-presentation with the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (which is showing two Bollywood films on its own, the Macbeth knockoff "Maqbool" on Friday and the crime melodrama "Virumaandi" on Saturday.)
Nine years in the making (so long the lead actor died and had to be replaced), "Mughal" is a magnificent epic of the 16th century, filled with sumptuous costumes, eye-widening palaces and a cast of thousands.
It asks a deceptively simple question: Does a prince have the right to love when his father is Akbar the Great and his beloved is an enslaved dancing girl?
The odds, frankly, are not too good, but that doesn't stop this from being universally accepted as one of the great Bollywood films.
Highlights include a dazzling color sequence where the slave girl Anarkali dances and sings (actually, Lata Mangeshkar does the singing) "What is there to fear? All I have done is to love." Also noteworthy is a courtship interlude between Anarkali and her prince involving extended feather tickling that one critic called "perhaps the most sensitively portrayed erotic scene on the Indian screen."
Much more up-to-date, in fact perhaps the biggest Bollywood hit of 2003, is "Kal Ho Naa Ho" ("Tomorrow May Not Be.") Set in today's New York, where "every breath of the city is a heartbeat filled with speed" and starring major heartthrob Shah Rukh Khan, "KHNH's" success will baffle you for a while. Its first half, despite such diversions as a dance number set to "Pretty Woman" in Hindi, is a comic romance with a sensibility not far removed from "My Big Fat Greek Wedding." But once the film impales you on its shameless melodramatic plot hook, you won't believe what you're seeing.
Also successful in 2003 was "Munna Bhai M.B.B.S.," a warm and genial comedy with a major pathos component about what happens when a good-hearted gangster (action star Sanjay Dutt) pretends to be a doctor to fool his strict father (the venerated Sunil Dutt).
Showing the range of Bollywood is 1999s "Sarfarosh," a terrorists-versus-the-police melodrama where songs alternate with such scenes as guerrillas massacring a busload of innocent travelers. The film, periodically switching tones from romance to intrigue, benefits from the presence of "Lagaan" star Aamir Khan as a detective assigned to the always formidable Special Crime Branch.
In many ways the major success of the UCLA series is, paradoxically, the Tamil-language "Alaipayuthey" ("Waves"). Curator Chute calls
writer-director Mani Rathnam "contemporary Indian cinema's supreme visual stylist," and seeing this story of the troubled marriage of two photogenic young people only confirms that judgment.
This magnificent, outlandish romantic melodrama is a completely alive film, marrying breathtaking use of color with fluid, dazzling camerawork to produce musical numbers that seem caught on the fly rather than produced. When the sensitive, irresistible score of (who else but) A.R. Rahman is added in, you experience how Bollywood music enhances an already emotional story. More than any other modern film in the series, "Alaipayuthey" brings sensitivity to melodrama, showing how to use formula without seeming formulaic, how following rules can liberate, not constrain.
Yes, these Bollywood films are long ("Alaipayuthey" is just more than 2 1/2 hours) but they will bring you back to an era, long gone in our culture, when audiences demanded a lot of entertainment and had the wherewithal to enjoy it when it arrived. In our super-stressed age, it's positively tonic to act as if we have that kind of time, even if we really don't.
Go ahead, don't look at your watch, don't check your schedule, indulge yourself in Bombay dreams. You have nothing to lose but your chains.
Bombay Melody Film Series
All UCLA screenings are at the James Bridges Theater in Melnitz Hall,
on the northeast corner of the UCLA campus. $8 online in advance. $7
general; $5 students and seniors at the box office. Five-film pass,
$30, at box office only. Information: (310) 206-3456 or
"Mughal-e-Azam": Sunday, 2:15 p.m. at ArcLight Cinemas. $11; $9
students, seniors. Tickets: http://www.arclightcinemas.com.
"Alai Payuthey": Wednesday, 7:30 p.m. at UCLA.
"Kal Ho Naa Ho": April 23, 7:30 p.m. at UCLA.
"Munn Bhai M.B.B.S.": April 24, 7:30 p.m. at UCLA.
"Sarfarosh": April 25, 7 p.m. at UCLA.
- From: rs (@ 22.214.171.124)
on: Sat Apr 17 02:34:17 EDT 2004
ellam sari venki ipa enathan solla vareenga
naveen kelvikenna bathil??
- From: Venki (@ 126.96.36.199)
on: Sat Apr 17 13:10:50 EDT 2004
Naveen kelvikkum postpanna articalukkum oru sammanthamum illai:) Since Alai Payuthey features in this film series at UCLA, I picked a thread with the Alai Payuthey title to post the article. That's all:)
- From: im the dancers dancer (@ )
on: Tue Jul 13 18:21:47 EDT 2004
does any one kno wat song Sophiya Haque ( from the musical bombay dreams in london)dance to in the film alai payuthai
- From: Kum (@ 188.8.131.52)
on: Tue Jul 13 21:29:56 EDT 2004
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