Saturday, May 21, 2005

Chale chalo! Lagaan

Finally got to watch Lagaan. Not quite as Oscar-worthy as I was expecting but still I liked it v much. A little bit of everything: romance and unrequited love, period piece, political and social commentary of both cultures, religion, underdog sports story, wacky villagers, etc. Who could ask for anything more? I think "Mitwa" is my favorite Bollywood song-and-dance combo yet. That thing Aamir Khan does with his hands behind his head is way sexier than the Hrithik move.

One caveat and one complaint. First, if you don't understand cricket, which I don't, there will be a good chunk towards the end that you can just fast forward over. I felt a little guilty fast fowarding over something that was Oscar-nominated, but not enough not to do it. I stopped to watch whenever I noticed they had stopped playing. Second, that English bad guy was the most cartoonish person I have seen in a real actor in a long time. Nothing redeeming about him, nothing crafted about him, nothing interesting about him. No motivations other than being a horror. He wasn't out for world domination or to revenge a perceived injustice or anything - just a meanie. And as Dana would say, it's a wonder they had any sets left for filming since that guy chewed all the scenery in sight. Bad writing + bad acting = nightmare. All the other people and plots were perfectly entertaining and sometimes even inspiring in the sticking-it-to-the-man kind of way.

Oh, and one more complaint: we knew the English girl wasn't gonna get the boy, but did she have to have such an awful love song? Yak. I read this was sung, quite nicely, I might add, despite being a bad song, by the woman who so very effectively played the bride in Monsoon Wedding. Double threat!

Now "Thornbirds" is on and I am sucked in. It's near the beginning but during the bit I skipped over when I rented it once. There is nothing attractive about Luke O'Neill. He's ooky. Poor Meggie. She should've just thrown herself in front of a train or something. You gotta know when to fold 'em.

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