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Lines we’ve had enough of in TV and movies

“I’m not wearing any underwear”

Yes, yes. That was not at all expected from a woman in high heels and a tight skirt. Nope. Totally took us by surprise.

“You look like shit”

Proof.

“You just don’t get it, do you?”

We get it! We get it, man! God! Here’s someone else who does.

“First of all, the expression, uncanny”

Uncanny. Not ‘close’, ‘amazing’, ‘striking’, ‘scary’…nope. Always uncanny.

“We’ve got company.”

Now where have we heard that one before?

“It’s not what it looks like.”

It never is, honey. It never is.

“You are SUCH a nerd.”

Every teen movie ever. For reals. With crazy inflection on the “such”,

Let’s go to the movies, let’s go to the show

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Let’s go to the movies, let’s go to the show

When I was six or thereabouts, good behaviour was rewarded by a trip to the video tape store (those were the days of VCR) and a film of my choice. Yay! You got to understand, we already had a ton of tapes just for me (As a baby, I was plonked in front to view a tape of nursery rhymes acted out and I would cry bitterly when Twelve days of Christmas played. Strange.) This was the beginning of a long love affair I have with the movies. For me a film isn’t really watched, unless you’ve watched it twice or even four times. As a kid, I already established that my favourites were musicals (Take me to St.Louis, Singing in the rain, My fair lady and Hello dolly.) Today I can sing every song from these films standing on my head.

This column is kind of a nostalgia trip, so if any of you don’t like my weepy side, step aside and move on to brighter things.

These people, scenes and dialogue made me love films and when I say love, naturally I mean obsess over.

Dick van Dyke: He will always be Bert from Mary Poppins for me, no matter how much people criticise his cockney accent. And Bert can do no wrong in the eyes of a child, whether it’s surveying Londons’ rooftops as a chimney sweep or drawing pictures on pavements.

Barom Bomburst trying to kill his wife in Chitty chitty bang bang.

Julie Andrews: The golden girl of movies. When I was too young to know any better I thought she had flown away from the Banks residence to be governess for the Von Trapp kids and I kept expecting her to whip out an umbrella in front of them and start cleaning up.

The child snatcher from Chitty Chitty bang bang. Scariest scene ever. Even now, when I hear the syrupy “come my little mice,” I shudder.

Judy Garland singing, “We’re off to see the wizard,” on the yellow brick road with her peeps.

Eliza Doolittle before she became a lady. The best scenes from My fair lady are when she imagines “’Enry ‘Iggin’s dead,” and when she swears at the races. And don’t ask me to choose among the songs. Except maybe that awfully boring.

The line, “Stop that wailin’ or I’ll sell you South, I will.” Gone with the wind. Disturbing but contextually hilarious. Contextually.

The song “Feed the birds,” from Mary Poppins always making me cry even though I didn’t get the subtext.

Speaking of not getting stuff, why were the Von Trapps hiding and who were they hiding from? My moms’ succinct, “They’re the bad people,” held fast as an explanation for many years. I wasn’t really the questioning kind.

Dolly Levi from Hello Dolly. The woman who arranges things. I loved how my mom would cheer and clap when Louis Armstrong came on and sang like a stuffed bullfrog.

Movies. Win!

So filmy: Hating on Bollywood is so last season

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So filmy: Hating on Bollywood is so last season

Plot 1

Bad boy meets good girl. They fall in love. Turns out she has cancer. They set out to fulfill her wish list. Tears all around.

Plot 2
Girl is in a coma. Boy moves into her house, is haunted by her spirit and eventually falls in love with her. She comes out of the coma and can no longer remember him. A touching montage later, they meet and she remembers him again. Tears all around.

Plot 3
An underdog football club is about to be shut down. One last game to win a championship. A new coach. Star player. There may be hope after all. Bribe, betrayal, we’re already bored. A change of heart. Together, they win a final, nail biting match. Tears all around.

Oh, Bollywood. Where everything goes and cliché is King (Or Don). People fall in love with ghosts, a ragtag sports team wins a big trophy and Arjun Rampal wins a National Award for having a sum total of three expressions. I can already see you thinking Oh here comes another Bollywood rant. Well, let me tell you something, this is not what it sounds like. (Kahani mein twist! Twist! Twist!).
Two out of three of these plots are movies that came out of shiny Hollywood. Numero uno, a bad boy-good girl-killer disease love triangle is the Mandy Moore starrer, A walk to remember. The second, Just like Heaven, has the depressed, really hot Mark Ruffalo bringing back Reese Witherspoon’s memory of her coma adventures just by touching her. The last one comes from closer home. Dhan dhana dhan goal. The one with Arshad Warsi? No? It had John Abraham. No? Billo Rani. Yeeeaah, I see realisation.

Bollywood haters amaze me. “Hindi movies are unrealistic, they’re not as good as English movies and they’re filmy.” Do you even know how annoying you sound and where did that term even come from? Filmy. Paintings aren’t paintingy, music isn’t musicy. And, well, they should be. Films must be filmy, they can’t make writingy films, now can they?

Cinema is cinema. There is good cinema and there is bad cinema. Resources and money can only do so much. You could argue that the ratio of bad movies to good movies in Hollywood is lower than it is here. But that doesn’t change the fact that they make a lot of movies that are complete turkeys too. Let me give you a couple of examples: 2012. John Carter. Every Kate Hudson movie ever. Sure, they do some genres better than we do. They have The Bourne series (The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy, The Bourne Ultimatum). We have the Khiladi series, (Khiladi No. 1, Main Khiladi Tu Anari, Khiladiyon Ka Khiladi.) I hear Khiladiyon ke Khiladi mein chupe hue Khiladiyon se Khelne waale Anari No. 1 is in production. But we also have Kahani, Udaan, Paan Singh Tomar, Dev D, Oye Lucky Lucky Oye, Maqbool, Omkara and Kaminey. We are definitely an evolving audience. We are proving, albeit slowly, that it is a good story that commands viewership, not where it’s made.

I’m not defending bad Bollywood here. I mean, the only way I can defend cinematic masterpieces like Bodyguard or Housefull is if I say, “But at least it was better than hammering a nail into your own eye.” I kid, of course. The nail-eye thing sounds like so much more fun.

And you bashers, before you say that you’re too good for Hindi cinema, think a little bit about how annoying Laura Prepon’s character was in How I met your mother. “Salt. So bourgeois.” Yeah, you’re that person, only less hot.

– Sharanya

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