Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Song of the Day: Dream Girl attacks the Insomniac

I've been having this insomnia issue for a couple of months now and found it rather ironic that tonight as I've been goofing off on the net instead of going to sleep like a good girl, the song I'm humming to myself is "Dream Girl"- the title song from the fabulous 1977 movie starring THE dream girl Hema Malini and "Garam Dharam" Dharmendra.

I do have some comments/questions though:

- Who TP'd Hema Malini's portrait with the giant white question mark? They have questions too?
- Where did HM get her industrial-strength magic dupatta - strong enough for Dharam to walk on?
- What kind of acid was he on at 0:47? It reminds me of Disney's The Three Caballeros. Trippy.
- Why couldn't they have saved these sets as a tourist attraction? I for one would love to dress up in my finest lehengas and traipse around on them.
- WHERE ARE WE at 2:05? His dream bedroom? It is terrifying.
- The giant wedding cake at roughly 3:00 is inspired. I want to believe it's edible too. And I want to visit it.
- What is that moon made of at 3:23? It's not green cheese! And isn't levitating supposed to be a demonic power, Hems?
- Edward Cullen ain't got NUTHIN on our sparkly Hems at 3:33. I SO wanted to BE her. Look at how her lipgloss twinkles!
- I must be really hungry because it looks to me like the room at 4:18 is filled with giant gulab jamuns.

Ok that's enough - enjoy!

Friday, June 25, 2010

And now for a little Idli-Sambar - Vikram, My Southie Favorite

There's a lot of buzz about "Chiyaan" Vikram these days, and rightfully so. The buzz about Raavan vs. Raavanan almost unanimously proclaims that Vikram blew Abhishek out of the water in the title role. I have only seen the tamil version, and as usual Vikram's acting was incredibly compelling. It's hard to imagine that ANYONE could out-act him in this role, I don't care if your name IS Khan. That role was made for Vikram.

For those just jumping on the bandwagon after Raavan/Raavanan, Vikram has been a HUGE fan favorite in Tamil films for a long time now. He has proven himself as a truly refined actor in film after film, taking on challenging, complex roles with both positive and negative shades, many times both in one. His films are what we Tamil Movie fans look forward too (and sometimes we get disappointed, cough cough, KANDHASAMY). He has a sort of gruff, ultra masculine appeal and an on-screen intensity that can cause goosebumps.

I spotted him pretty early on, in the 1997 film Ullasam in which he co-starred with Ajith Kumar and Maheshwari. The story was pretty simple, a criminal (Raghuvaran) lived near a good upstanding citizen (SPB), the son of the good guy (Ajith) starts working with the criminal, so his father after trying to sway his son and failing, starts to encourage the criminal's son (Vikram) to go good. Naturally the two boys end up falling for the same girl (Maheshwari), who falls for Ajith's character. Being a sensitive sucker, I totally felt bad for Vikram's character and therefore loved him ever since. But then again, there's a certain animal magnetism about him, as evidenced in numbers like this:

Interestingly enough, this movie was produced by ABCL, Amitabh Bachchan's production company! I can see why Vikram and Abhishek go way back.

However no one else seemed to notice his awesomeness until 1999, when Sethu came out. Sethu is the movie from which he got his nickname of "Chiyaan" -- it's his character's nickname in the movie. It's a really sad, depressing movie honestly, but no one can deny his acting abilities, especially in the scenes after he is attacked and ends up with brain damage.

This movie was remade in Hindi as Tere Naam and starred Salman Khan and Bhumika Chawla.

Oh Sallz. The bald look would have been better.

A string of hits followed for Vikram, including Dhill (which was remade in Hindi as Dum starring Vivek Oberoi and Diya Mirza), Kasi (another depressing one in which he plays a blind man - won him the Filmfare Best Tamil Actor award), Gemini (which features the fabulous song "Oh Podu" and won him the IFTA Best Actor award), Arul (with Southie sweetheart Jyothika) and the much-talked about Pithamagan (which EVERYONE loved and I hated. He was tremendous in it as another handicapped character and yes, he won the Filmfare Tamil Best Actor, National Film Award and Tamil Nadu State Film awards, but it was just SO depressing).

Some of MY favorite movies of his are:

1. Dhool (2003)
This movie had a lot of the same elements as most Tamil movies, the single, angry hero from a small, simple background going after the corrupt politicians, but somehow this one was more fun. Sure, it was enhanced by the fun presence of the leading ladies, Jyothika and Reema Sen, and even more so by the amazing Parvai Muniyamma.
Parvai Muniyamma is a big part of why I loved this movie, because she made the following fight scene 100x better:

The songs in this movie were amazing! We were totally obsessed with them when it came out.

Koduva Meesai was THE hit song at my sister's wedding in 2004 and still got everyone on the dance floor at my wedding a year later. It was awesome because there were Punjabi guys on the dance floor dancing their hearts out and then they suddenly realized they were dancing to a Tamil song! They looked so confused!

I have a weird affection for Reema Sen, I really loved her in Minnale and feel like she has some solid talent, but keeps getting roles like this one. This song is still catchy though:

LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE this song, Aasai Aasai. Get the point?

This movie also has the fabulous comedy stylings of Vivek who enters at about 2:20, and who never fails to make me laugh, and the intense villainy of the amazing Pasupathy (whose role in Kuselan completely blows away Irfan Khan's attempt in the Hindi remake, Billu Barber) who comes in at about 0:44:

All in all, Dhool is a win.

2. Kadhal Sadugudu (2003)
So this film is considered a complete flop, and I don't really get why. I don't really remember the movie in its entirety, but it was a love story, with the overwhelming father (played by the fabulous Prakash Raj) opposing the union. I DO remember the romantic scenes though, and I thought they were fantastic! Memorable, full of intensity, passion and tension. Or maybe I'm just remembering that there was a full-on kiss between Vikram and heroine Priyanka Trivedi.

Highly disturbing though was the fact that they decided to suddenly adapt 80s classic "Yeh Vaada Raha" into tamil???

And yeah, apparently you can watch the movie online. Maybe I'll do a re-watch and see if I still like it.

3. Saamy (2003)
One of my favorites!!! Trisha Krishnan plays a Palghat Iyer brahmin girl, which she is in real life. This was exciting to me because I am too. REPRESENT!

So it's not a new story, Good cop trying to battle corruption and all that. It was still interesting and masala enough to keep one entertained throughout. The BEST thing was of course, the songs!!!

This is me and my husband's SONG. No its not a soft, romantic number. It's a hardcore thappanguthu song. And it is SOOO FUN. The best is the verse in which he says she looks yummy and talks nice, can she cook yummy too? And she replies that she can make a special lentil dish for him if he wishes. He says "Did I ask you for prasadam (food offered to God for blessings)? Can you cook any spicy rice dishes?" and she says she can make spicy pepper rasam and preserves/pickle really well and for him to try it. He then says "Can you make crab? Can you make Chicken? Can you make Leg of Goat soup?" and she ends up telling him to check out her waist, it's nice and hot! HAHAHA.

My other favorite song in this movie is Pudichirikku - I used to LOVE this song!

And of course the signature hero entry song:

4. Majaa (2005)
I really, really liked this movie. It was SO different from what I expected Vikram to do following the success of Anniyan, which I will talk about shortly. But the story was different and sort of fun! And it also starred the super amazing Pasupathy and one of my favorite senior actors, Manivannan. Manivannan and his two sons, Pasupathy and Vikram, are former petty criminals trying to mend their ways. Pasupathy has a harder time than Vikram adjusting (kind of like how Jasper Hale is having a harder time becoming an emo sparkly vegetarian vampire than Edward Cullen. You know you want to read Twilight). They come across our heroine, Asin, while trying to help a friend. She's the daughter of our villain, and in fighting each other, she and Vikram fall in love. Of course Daddy Dearest isn't too happy at first, but once he realizes that they sincerely love each other, he agrees to arrange the marriage. However an accusation during the wedding could possibly separate the happy couple! GASP! Did Pasupathy fall back to his old ways?

Again, the songs!!!

This number was the most popular from the movie, and the most racy too. Coincidence?

This a really great, peppy, fun dance number:

Honestly, it's a tough call as to whether Vikram or Pasupathy is really the star of this movie.

5. Anniyan (2005)
Anniyan is THE ultimate Vikram movie. It was apparently inspired by the Sidney Sheldon novel 'Tell Me Your Dreams', which I have never read. It won 8 Filmfare (South) awards, including Best Tamil Actor for Vikram. I'm surprised Vikram's nickname wasn't changed to Ambi or Remo after this movie. His characters are incredible. Ambi is meek, sweet and pitiable. Remo is annoyingly cool and Westernized, and, well ... you'll just have to see. Sada has a good solid role as his love interest, Nandini. Prakash Raj shows his usual brilliance in the Police Chief role, and Vivek provides some of his hilarious comedy in a side role. It's a fantastic psychological thriller, borderline crazy at some parts, but has a good backstory, mythology, etc. There are heartbreaking moments, side-stiching moments, cover-your-eyes-scary moments, etc. It definitely requires a certain suspension of belief, but if you're an Indian movie fan, that should be a given. I have seen this movie at least 4-5 times and I just don't get sick of it.

And of course, the brilliant songs!!!

(scroll in a little to get to the song)

There's A LOT of SPOILER clips on the ErosTamil YouTube Channel ... this one has subtitles but is super-duper spoilery, so don't check it out unless you aren't planning to see the movie (which you REALLY should, it's fantastic).

Here's a scene where Vikram's acting totally broke my heart into little pieces. Non-spoilery and subtitled too.

I have to give special mention to the movie Bheema, which was his most recent release before Kandhasamy and Raavanan. The songs were EXCELLENT and most of the movie was pretty good too, it's just the ending that threw me for a loop. But Bheema's songs are worth checking out, especially Ragasiya Kanavugal and Mudhal Mazhai.

I recently saw the tamil version of Raavan (Raavanan) which starred Vikram in the title role of Veera (Abhishek Bachchan plays the role in the Hindi version) and this, like Anniyan, is a movie where you can watch him go through the whole spectrum of emotion in a moment. He had incredible chemistry with his co-star Aishwariya Rai, and really made the character of Veera believable and likeable. I'm excited to see the hindi version, in which he plays the opposite role of Dev, the police man. And I also hope that now that a larger audience has seen the talent he possesses, the scripts that come his way in the future will be more refined and showcase him as the mature, dedicated and powerful actor that he is.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

A post-Govinda Week post: Song Dedication to ChiChi

Ok, because my thoughts are caught somewhere between Govinda, Vikram (based on Raavanan) and Harry Potter (oh, you didn't realize? I'm a girl of many obsessions), I wanted to dedicate a song to Govinda. He could never truly appreciate the dedication because it's a tamil song from the Vikram-Asin starrer Majaa, but there's a little something about this song that brought Govinda to mind. I think if you listen to it, you'll see what I mean.

Chi Chi Chi (Vambu Pannuven) from Majaa
Harini, Savitha, Shankar Mahadevan, Viji
Music: Vidyasagar

BTW, this has nothing to do with Harry Potter really, unless we delve really deep into the MAGIC. Or pretend that Asin is Parvati Patil.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

My Govinda Wishlist

Ok, I had a rather busy week/weekend with lots of relatives visiting, but now I'm ready to compose some final thoughts for Govinda Week.

I don't have any of his movies handy to review, but I thought I'd create a "Govinda Comedy Wishlist" of sorts ... he has done quite a few remakes of South Indian and Hollywood movies, including Hatya (Poovizhi Vasalile), Raja Babu (Rasakutty), Coolie No. 1 (Chinna Maapilai), Saajan Chale Sasural (Veera), Bade Miyan Chote Miyan (Bad Boys), Kyon Ki ... Mein Jhoot Nahin Boltha (Liar Liar), Partner (Hitch), etc.

There are lots more out there though that I think he could bring such life to ... so here is my list of comedy movies that I would love Govinda to remake into Hindi:

The Party (1968) starring Peter Sellers
One of the scenes from this movie already inspired hindi movies -- the lost-shoe-in-the-fountain gag from Pag Ghungroo (Namak Halal) done by Amitabh was from this movie.

Now watch this starting at about 6:00:

Anyway, The Party is about a bumbling wannabe actor with a knack for causing trouble wherever he goes. He accidentally ends up on the list of invitees for a big-time producer's party, and happily attends, thinking he can make contacts for his career. During the party, he causes mishap after mishap, until the entire party becomes an absolute circus - including a baby elephant.

Govinda would be PERFECT for a role like Hrundi V. Bakshi - the innocent and sweet guy that is a magnet for destruction. The movie has scene-after-hilarious-scene of instances that I can completely see ChiChi doing with full-on histrionics, like the episode where he is looking for a bathroom and cannot find an unoccupied one to save his life. Eventually he does find one, and this scene ensues:

(Toilet humor - perfect for our beloved ChiChi)

There are great moments for song and dance numbers, an opportunity for a fun cameo by a pretty boy with an empty head like John Abraham in the "Cowboy" role, and even a love interest angle!

David Dhawan, are you listening? How about a remake of this one for Govinda?

Michael Madana Kamarajan (1990) starring Kamal Hassan
 Ordinarily I would never suggest that anyone try to follow an act like Kamal Hassan - the guy is possibly one of the best actors to ever grace the screen and has the unique ability to make me cry - not many actors can! He also has dance skills that are beyond even our Govinda.

Michael Madana Kamarajan is one of my favorite Tamil movies EVER, and is definitely considered one of the best tamil comedies in existence.

Kamal Hassan played four roles in this movie, each with a distinct accent and demeanour. Michael is a gruff thug and counterfeiter, Madan is a wealthy, western-educated industrialist's son, Kameshwaran is a "Palghat Iyer" brahmin (as am I!!! WOOT!) who is adopted by the head cook for Hindu Brahmin weddings and speaks with an awesome mixed Tamil/Malayalam accent, and Raja, a firefighter/drama enthusiast who speaks with a Chennai tamil accent.

I WISH I could find scenes that had subtitles, but for those that understand tamil or have a friend that can translate, this scene with the fish accidentally falling into the strictly vegetarian brahmin cook's wedding feast is HILARIOUS:

There is amazing opportunity here for some great comedians to come together if this was remade in Hindi and I can't think of any actor that could do it ALMOST as well as Kamal except Govinda. I'm not sure how they could change the accent, or perhaps Govinda could tackle a South Indian trying to speak Hindi, who knows? He's got the talent, all he'd need would be some coaching and a great director.

There's also room for three solid comedic heroines too. I don't know who's got the chops these days (God, I miss Sridevi and Juhi), but hopefully they're out there. There's tons of character roles too. The ending is a fabulous rip-off of Charlie Chaplin's The Gold Rush.

There's also lots of fun songs, including this one, in which Kamal Hassan seems to be wearing a very Govinda-esque shirt (and we have subtitles!):

A fabulous movie with a plot to confusing to recap, but would guarantee lots of fun for the viewer!

Zoolander (2001) starring Ben Stiller 

This movie is amazingly funny, and Govinda could only make it better. Can you just imagine Govinda doing  "Blue Steel" or "Magnum"? I can, and it is good. My guess is that Salman Khan would play Owen Wilson's role, and Boman Irani is PERFECT for Will Ferrell's role of "Mugatu" ... I have mentally cast Vidya Balan as the intellectual, beautiful and formerly bulimic journalist played by Christine Taylor. Kader Khan as Jerry Stiller? Works for me!

Now watch this and imagine Govinda. Perfection.

If that ain't Blue Steel, then I don't know what is.

National Lampoon's European Vacation (1985)
Clark W. Griswold is a fabulous character ... he's equally bumbling, annoying, sweet and pitiable. Chevy Chase really brought him to life in the Vacation movies. European Vacation is by far my favorite ... and when I imagine what Govinda could bring to it, I just get all kinds of happy. They could either use locations and have it be a European Vacation, or they could make the "Griswold" family Americans (since they love to hate Westerners in Indian cinema) and have them travel through India! 

Now maybe I am just looking for excuses to bring Juhi Chawla into the picture, but I'd love to see her play the role of Ellen Griswold (played by Beverly D'Angelo).

Govinda could ACE a scene like this:

The Court Jester (1955) starring Danny Kaye
I don't know exactly how this would work in Hindi being that its a period piece set in medieval times, but if it could be translated somehow it would be amazing to see Govinda take on a multifaceted role like this. Danny Kaye is absolutely hilarious in this movie and goes from the goofy wannabe jester to a suave swashbuckler in the snap of a finger (literally). Also there are two great heroine roles, the Princess played by gorgeous, young Angela Lansbury, and the love-interest played by Glynis Johns.

The comedy is to die for, as evidenced by scenes like this:

And amazing songs like this:

And since we all know how awesome Govinda is at fight sequences, I'd love to see him wield a sword:

Period pieces rarely do well ... I wonder how a period-comedy would work?

Chinna Veedu (1985) starring K. Bhagyaraj
So this film was a bit "ghatiya" but still had some super hilarious moments ... the only problem being I can't really see Govinda cast as a dashing new groom married to an overweight bride. Not that Bhagyaraj was really my idea of "dashing" either, but still. The story would have to be adjusted somewhat to him perhaps being an "older" groom that was seeking a young, beautiful bride and his parents found one, only she isn't quite the size he expected. And considering Govinda's size, this would be perfectly ironic and hypocritical, as men usually are about such things. 

Bhagyaraj's character ISN'T likeable in this film, and I'm not a fan of movies about adultery. I found Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna annoying because I couldn't relate to either of the main characters and didn't find their actions justifiable. Similarly, I didn't like Bhagyaraj's character in this movie or agree with his actions. Nor did I like the poking fun at the overweight, not being model-thin myself. However, that was really the point in this movie, I think. She wasn't his idea of perfect beauty, but she was everything a man should want in a wife: kind, educated, patient, clever, humble, sweet, intelligent, sincere, etc. etc. etc. 

"Chinna Veedu" refers to a second or "small" household that a man sets up for his mistress, and that is what Bhagyaraj's character does in this movie, despite his wife's numerous attempts to connect with him. Eventually, after finding out the mistress was a con-artist, he repents and reconciles with his wife. Unfortunately it took that for him to realize his mistakes, but I suppose it's good that he recognizes it.

The comedy scenes were memorable though, despite the more serious tones of the movie. Most notable was the way that Bhagyaraj tried to pose as an educated, English-speaking intellectual to his wife, only to find out after meeting his brother-in-law that his wife speaks perfect English, but also has studied up to a Master's degree as compared with his Bachelors. As Nelson from the Simpsons would say, "Ha Ha!"

Kaadhala Kaadhala (1998) starring Kamal Hassan
This is my 2nd favorite tamil comedy besides Michael Madana ... and of course it stars Kamal Hassan and Prabhudeva. It's a huge comedy of errors with lots of slapstick, mistaken identities, miscommunication, etc. - all done in a hilarious manner and made even more amazing due to the one-liners by Kamal Hassan. And since we know how (ahem) close Govinda likes to get with his male co-stars, this song would be in line with his work:


Obviously I'm thinking Govinda for Kamal Hassan's role, but who should play Prabhudeva's role? I don't want to say Salman Khan again, despite their mutual admiration society. Perhaps our Govinda scholars Totally Filmi & Shahrukh is Love can decide.
Little Miss Sunshine (2006) starring Steve Carrell
It's a slightly dark comedy, but a comedy just the same, and that's what I like to see our ChiChi do. I can totally see Govinda in two of the roles, Steve Carrell, the gay uncle, or Alan Arkin's role as the potty-mouth grandfather that teaches little Olive the dance to "Superfreak":

Our Govinda is too young to play a grandfather, but if they adjusted the role slightly to be an ailing uncle, or maybe combined Steve Carrell & Alan Arkin's roles, it could work! A girl can dream can't she?

There's probably many more, but I'll stop here because I think my family is getting annoyed with me sitting on the computer. But I'd like to thank Kay of for organizing Govinda Week and allowing me to be a part of it, Ness of Shahrukh Is Love for her amazing posts this past week, and Beth Loves Bollywood for introducing me to the Bollyblogging world. It's been real so far guys, I'm looking forward to much more.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The spawn of Govinda approacheth ...

Ok, wow. Apparently those "silver pants of awesome" weren't too tight to produce an heir. Random googling has alerted me to the fact that Govinda's daughter, Narmmadaa (apparently the spelling is an astrological thing), is to be launched in films soon!

Apparently she caused quite a stir by attending the IIFA awards with Salman Khan a few years ago. Most of the news stories about her launch seem to be dated around 2007. More recent stories just seem to focus on the fact that she is planning to act, and that she doesn't want to co-star with another newcomer.

Did she launch? Did I miss it? These are crazy times, my friends. Anil Kapoor's daughter Sonam, Rishi & Neetu's son Ranbir Kapoor, I heard something about Sridevi's daughter too (I'm kind of geektastically excited about Sribaby debuting) ... and now Mini-ChiChi?

I found some of her photos online and she is quite pretty. Take a look:

I don't know what I was expecting. Perhaps this?:

I also found an video interview with Govinda in which he enthusiastically talks about Narmmadaa while his wife Sunita and Narmz look on with disinterest. Narmi speaks a bit at the end, you can totally tell that she's over this.

There's also a great interview with her from Stardust that you can read online.

Would love to hear thoughts on the star potential of Chibaby. Also, for all things Govinda Week, be sure to check out the Haus of ChiChi at!

Throw your own Govinda Dance Party!

I'm trying to find the time to watch or re-watch an entire Govinda movie for my next Govinda Week post, but in the meantime I found some fun links that I wanted to share with my fellow ChiChi fans ... has this wonderful list of "The Best of Govinda Songs", including:

Husn Hai Suhana 
SINGERS: Abhijeet, Chandana Dixit
Album: Coolie No. 1
Music Director: Anand Milind
Mein To Raste Se Ja Raha Tha
SINGERS: Alka Yagnik, Kumar Sanu
Album: Coolie No.1
Music Director: Anand Milind

Dil Ko Zara Sa Aaram Denge
SINGERS: Kumar Sanu, Alka Yagnik
Album: Ekka Raja Rani
Music Director: Nadeem Shravan

  • Ishq Karoge To Dard Mile Ga 
  • SINGERS: Kumar Sanu, Alka Yagnik, Udit Narayan 
  • Album: Ekka Raja Rani
  • Music Director: Nadeem Shravan

  • Dil Milne Ko Tarasta Hai 
  • SINGERS: Alka Yagnik, Vinod Rathod 
  • Album: Ekka Raja Rani
  • Music Director: Nadeem Shravan
  • Hum Unse Mohabat Karke 
  • SINGERS: Kumar Sanu
  • Album: Gambler
  • Music Director: Anu Malik
  • I Love You Bol Daal 
  • SINGERS: Alka Yagnik, Sonu Nigam, Sudesh Bhonsle 
  • Album: Haseena Maan Jayegi
  • Music Director: Anu Malik  
  • Sona Kitna Sona Hai 
  • SINGERS: Poornima, Udit Narayan 
  • Album: Hero No.1
  • Music Director: Anand Milind
Mohabbat Ki Nahin Jati
SINGERS: Alka Yagnik, Udit Narayan
Album: Hero No. 1
Music Director: Anand Milind 

Chal Jhooti
SINGERS: Shradha Pandit, Udit Narayan
Album: Jis Desh Mein Ganga Rehta Hai
Music Director: Anand Raj Anand
  • Kem Che 
  • SINGERS: Bali Brahmbhatt, Sunidhi Chauhan 
  • Album: Jis Desh Mein Ganga Rehta Hai
  • Music Director: Anand Raj Anand 
  • Tumhare Bina Kuch 
  • SINGERS: Hema Sardesai, Sonu Nigam
  • Album: Joru Ka Ghulam
  • Music Director: Aadesh Shrivastav

    Sunday Ki Raat Thi
    SINGERS: Kumar Sanu, Sapna Mukherjee
    Album: Rajaji
    Music Director: Anand Milind

  • Tum To Dhokhebaaz Ho 
    SINGERS: Alka Yagnik, Kumar Sanu
    Album: Saajan Chale Sasuraal 
    Music Director: Nadeem Shravan

  • Kisi Disco Mein Jaayen 
    SINGERS: Alka Yagnik, Udit Narayan 
    Album: Bade Miyan Chote Miyan
    Music Director: Viju Shah

Also thought I'd share a video of Govinda's Top 15 Films according to "Liakot" (no video, just images of the movie posters w/ music in the background):

Also, this very cute video in which Raveena Tandon speaks VERY highly of Govinda and gets very emotional, talking about how when she re-entered films that it was due to Govinda's support that she was able to find success. She actually says that if she is on her feet today, it is because of him. Very, very touching and sweet.

Couldn't resist including this recent (April 2010) of video of Govinda and Mithun Chakraborty dancing together on the tv show Dance India Dance:

For more Govinda goodness, please be sure to check out Govinda Central on Kay's fabulous blog:

ChiChi Week Spectacular - Govinda rocks!

The absolutely wonderful Kay from the blog has organized a theme week for Bollybloggers all about the amazing, one and only Govinda, and I for one am very excited to celebrate this unsung hero of Hindi cinema. My intro to Govinda was the 1987 discofabulous flick Pyar Karke Dekho. My mom wanted to see it because she heard he was a great dancer, and my sister and I laughed our way through the entire movie. I don't remember much about the movie except for the songs, which were amazingly memorable.

Songs are DEFINITELY the best part about watching Govinda movies. He has the most incredibly fun style ... no one in Hindi can match it ... I can only compare him to Prabhudeva and Lawrence from Tamil movies ... they have this way of doing tiny, subtle moves and awe-inspiring facial expressions (and I'm a Bharatanatyam dancer saying this). I love the way he makes me laugh in his song sequences.

So to kick off Govinda Week, I'm going to list my favorite Govinda songs. Bear in mind that I haven't seen a lot of the latest movies. I've even had the DVD of Partner since Christmas and haven't watched it yet. And I skipped a lot of the David Dhawan-Govinda comedies in between as well, so this will be a relatively short list, but I hope to catch up on a number of his films, particularly all the No. 1 titles.

So without further adieu, here is my humble list of Govinda faves:

1. O Miss De De Kiss - Love '86 (1986)
This was even ridiculous when it came out in 1986, but Govinda's style cannot be denied. Love the fluffy 80s hair, and I completely forgot about the other pair of Rohan Kapoor and Farah! Remember Farah? I'm slightly disturbed by her white overalls in the first sequence, but glad that her and Neelam went to Claire's together to buy their matching white sunglasses. Neelam is AWESOME too. She's another one that deserved much more stardom than she got. She is 80s cuteness personified. She's like the Bollywood version of Kelly Kupowski from Saved by the Bell. But back to Govinda, his dance skills are already eclipsing everyone else on-screen here.

2. Aap Ke Aajane Se - Khudgarz (1986)
How cute are Govinda & Neelam in this? He is so rocking the tight pants/baggy sweatshirt combo. Really like the dream sequence set with the giant necklaces everywhere, and the freakish background girls that gather carrying large necklaces.

3. Jo Muskurahat - Dadagiri (1987)
Ok, it feels really weird to be saying this, but I think this song may be the one and only time I ever found Govinda to actually be sexy. And it couldn't have been easy being so intense and romantic, what with Padmini Kohlapuri looking freaking ridiculous wearing that fugly wig with the bangs and a multitude of "party frocks". The one with the silver sparkly belt reminds me of an outfit one of my Barbies had. THAT IS NOT A COMPLIMENT. He kinda matches her fug with his sleeveless red & black cow print top when they're being all shady together in the cave. But this song is beautiful, and dare I say, makes me want to sort of cozy up with Govinda. I can't believe I just admitted that. I totally would make him burn the red cow shirt though.

4. Jabse Tujhe Dekha - Pyar Karke Dekho (1987)
Hmm, maybe Govinda DID get me all romantical more than I remembered. When I saw Pyar Karke Dekho, I had a blast making fun of crazy songs like Haki Petai Lakamma and the craptastic It's My Challenge dance-off. I carefully hid my total obsession with this song ... I seriously remember thinking it was SO beautiful. Clearly, it would have been a much better song if they had thought of better lyrics than "Oh My Sweetheart". And Mandakini is really freakish looking in this. Not that our darling Govinda is much better in his wacky shirts and neck scarves. I didn't remember there being so much gratuitous kissing in this song, but I do remember it being the first time I ever saw lips actually touch in a Bollywood movie. I kept referencing this movie when everyone made such a big deal about the full-on kiss between Manisha Koirala and Anil Kapoor in 1942: A Love Story, and no one knew what I was talking about. Le Sigh. Love the bit at 2:18 when her hand sweeps down his face. I was thinking, why did he get such a fancy manicure? Oh, and I would TOTES wear the blue churidar she wears in that last verse. His orange and red striped blazer with the sleeves rolled up leaves something to be desired though.

5. Tu Mera Superman - Dariya Dil (1988)
When Superman and Spidergirl are blended and marinated with Govinda, this amazingness results. Nuff said. Super Super Super Super Super Maaaaaan!

6. Johnny D'Mello - Taaqatwaar (1989)
I used to hate this song for wanting so badly to be an amalgamation of My Name is Anthony Gonsalves and John Jani Janardhan and failing so spectacularly, but I have to give Govinda credit here, he really gave it his all. That striped jacket looks awfully familiar ... and the two wannabe Playboy kittens(?) are also an interesting choice on the director's part. But the Santa Claus and the Skirtkerchief outfit? What does it all mean?!?!

7. Aa Bahon Mein Aa - Maha Sangram (1990)
Wow I didn't realize I liked so many hot & steamy Govinda numbers! This one is one of my favorites from the early 90s ... it struck me right from the first time I saw the trailers for this movie. Such a pretty song! Unfortunately the video has been pulled from youtube and I couldn't find it anywhere online, but the video wasn't all that exciting anyway. If you get a chance definitely give this song a listen, and you can imagine Govinda singing it to you with those intense looks from Jo Muskurahat. Except you might be haunted by Padmini's bangs. Gahhh.

8. Sanam Mere Sanam - Hum (1991)
Stupid Sexy Govinda. That was a quote from The Simpsons btw. But yeah, when this movie came out, Jhumma Chumma was THE hit, but I always loved this song. He was already started to get comical looking here, but he and Shilpa Shirodkar were supposed to be the "young" couple of this film. Love how she almost drowns him within the first minute of the song. And at 1:16 WHO IS DRAGGING HER OFF IN THE SAND??? Fail, Director-Saab. That was just plain weird. Check out the next scene in the airport where Govinda has a designer jacket with a matching motif on his jeans. And Shilpa APPEARS TO HAVE BORROWED PADMINI KOHLAPURI'S HIDEOUS WIG. Govinda decides to don his shortie-shorts after that when they go a-sailing. Director-Saab seems to still be pissed at Shilpa because he drops her in a hole at 3:16. Poor Shilps.

9. Gori Gori Baanki Chori - Shola Aur Shabnam (1992)
WOW. Where do I begin. I mean, the very fact that he can move like that in pants THAT tight. I liked Divya Bharati and all but, those white ribbons & pants with the rainbow shirt looks like something I would have worn for my 2nd grade school picture. And will someone confirm for me, I thought I remembered that Govinda sang this song himself? Our ChiChi beta is so multi-talented. Oh! And Dole Dole from this movie should have TOTALLY been on my disco list.

10. Teri Payal Mere Geet - title song (1993)
There is something totally off about SPB's voice for Govinda, but I'm always excited about anything even slightly classical, so when this came out we were all mentally choreographing it in our heads. Meenakshi has done a pretty good job in this, though I get annoyed with "filmi Bharatanatyam" for being just plain weird sometimes. But she looks BEAUTIFUL and is dancing pretty well for having all that hair piled up on top of her head. Govinda just looks so joyous, which I love.

11. Banna Mera Aaya Hariyala - Radha Ka Sangam (1993)
For such an awful movie, this movie had some lovely songs. "Oh Radha Tere Bina", "Dol Bol Kehke" and the title song were all really great, but for some reason I was super obsessed with this little medley within the movie. Govinda and Juhi were a great combo - they are both wonderfully bubbly and sweet together. Govinda has such a sweet smile and has a lot of subtle expressions in this one.

12. Traffic Jam - Rock Dancer (1995)
Um, what can I possibly say about this? Govinda has been romancing the Goris LONG before Salaam-E-Ishq. He's trying so hard to be a BA in this, it's adorable. And inconceivable in those sparkly outfits and matchy-matchy hats. Samantha Fox is rocking the 90s look with the flowered babydoll dress & boots in one of these scenes. How in the world did she do this with a straight face? BTW, Jam is one of my least favorite Michael Jackson songs, even if I DO love Michael Jordan.

13. Husn Hai Suhana - Coolie No. 1 (1995)
Ok, I was sorta enjoying the Tabu-looking chick when she up and turned into Karishma!!! ACK! But this song is super fun and I've actually never watched the video before now. I'm not a huge Karishma fan in general, but I guess if we're going to just be silly then they make a great team. I'll give her that she's a good dancer too. In the first verse when Karishma is wearing the black tutu, I'm very glad her silver helmet thingy has a hole to pull her ponytail through, it's very useful. Love the bandanas on Govinda's knees in the pirates scene.

14. Ek Chumma To Mujhko - Chhote Sarkar (1996)
THIS is a good team, I like Shilpa Shetty. I know a lot of people have issues with her plastic-face, but I think she's gorgeous and more-over an amazing dancer. She did a tamil movie with Prabhudeva called Mr. Romeo in which I was bowled over by her skillz. I've never seen any actress able to keep up with the Prabhster, but she was great. I've loved her ever since.

So I never saw this movie either, but one of my audio cassette tapes, Khuda Gawah I think, had an audio trailer of this movie songs. Anyone else remember when you had to listen to audio trailers on cassette tapes?

I wonder if anyone has ever strung together a compilation of videos of Govinda chasing after some girl who looks all pissed off. That would be fun.

Are those guys in the background wearing t-shirts with UP and Bihar imprinted on them? Shilpz is resplendent in her flouncy red skirt, thigh-high boots and red & black diamond-pattern vest thingy. She looks like the Knave of Hearts.

Also notable from this movie, another tribute to Amitabh with the Khaike Paan wannabe song Ladki Patale and the pretty, romantic number Ek Naya Aasmaan.

15. Sona Kitna Sona - Hero No. 1 (1997)
YAY! A chance for Govinda to be the chasee instead of the chaser! Unfortunately the chaser is Karishma, but she is actually somewhat entertaining in this one. Govinda's mango-colored blazer over the white shirt and black vest is pretty awesome. Love all the observers in the background too.

16. O Mummy Mummy - Deewana Mastana (1997)
I haven't seen this movie either, is this the copy of the Malayalam movie The Harikrishnans? I remember seeing the trailer for this movie a MILLION times, and loving how goofy and fun Govinda was in it. Also the gorgeous Juhi Chawla is a great inspiration for his lovesickness.

17. Dulhan To Jayegi Dulhe Raja Ke Saath - Dulhe Raja (1998)
Ok, this has to be one of the funniest videos I've ever seen. The combo of Govinda and Kader Khan is to die for. I've always loved Kader Khan, and he's particularly funny in this one. Govinda's expressions are perfectly over-the-top. And credit to Raveena Tandon too, who is also I think one of the most underrated actresses in Bollywood - she has some serious acting chops as evidenced by movies like Ghulam-E-Mustafa.

18. Kisi Disco Mein Jayen - Bade Miyan Chote Miyan (1998)
So after all his numbers that were inspired by Amitabh, they got to work together in paired billing, WAY better than Hum! Bade Miyan Chote Miyan was a mixture of Bad Boys and Shakespeare's Comedy of Errors. Anyway, I guess I wasn't the only one that loved Govinda & Raveena together. They had a string of hits together and a certain comedic chemistry that was fabulous, as evidenced by this HILARIOUS hit song.

I LOVE at 3:09 when they meet up and immediately start dancing all silly. THIS is what I wish my dates were like.

19. Dheere Dheere Hum Dono - Anari No. 1 (1999)
I actually DID see this one, and I remember virtually nothing about it except that it was hilarious, I laughed through the whole thing, and Johny Lever did this whole bit to Tunak Tunak Tun by Daler Mehndi. I do remember Simran in it though, and I totally love her to bits. She's a huge star in Tamil films and is a tremendous actress - if you see her in movies like Kannathil Muthamittal you'll see what I mean. She looks incredible in this song! I can't really say that there's any chemistry between them, but she's probably half his age so that's all for the best.

Govinda's expressions get increasingly manic in this one. Perhaps he is also disturbed by romancing a girl half his age?

20. Salaam-e-Ishq - Salaam-e-Ishq (2007)
Taxiwallah Raju is my favorite Govinda role ever. He is SO sweet, innocent, funny, adorable, and sincere. His romance with Stephanie, his dream memsahib, is one of the cutest things I've seen in a long time. When I saw him in this movie, I was reminded of how much I love him! His part in this song starts at around 3:55. Despite his age, weight, etc. - he's still got it!

21. Soni De Nakhre - Partner (2007)
YES, Govinda. This shows that you understand your own appeal. Following the likes of Kevin James is a definite sign that you don't take yourself overly seriously and THAT is why we enjoy watching you on-screen. You are FUN. You are SILLY. You are a ridiculously good dancer, chunky dude that you are and all. But um, just one minor criticism. Is that a toupee?

I know that I am missing TONS of great songs here, but I'm going to stop here and hopefully check out some of the movies I've missed over the years during Govinda Week. You have to be in the mood to just let go of reality and laugh your a$$ off to watch a Govinda flick. But when you do get in that mood and let yourself enjoy it, you are most certainly in for some belly-aching laughs.

For more fabulous posts about Govinda, check out the mothership of Govinda Week -! Some of the best Bollybloggers out there will be sharing their thoughts on our ChiChi Bhai.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Song of the Day: Oui Oui Oui Oui Oui Oui Oui ...

I am a HUGE Sridevi fan, always have been, always will. Love this lady and thinks she has put up with more crap than anyone in the industry. I don't think anyone has been forced into sillier, uglier, weirder costumes, made to do such awkward steps, forced to romance uglier OLD men, etc. than this woman. And yet she always did it all with total conviction. I always wondered how she did some of those moves with a straight face. And she is amazing at comedy ... movies like Chaalbaaz, Roop Ki Rani Choron Ka Raja and this one come to mind ... everyone talked about her Charlie Chaplin scene for ages!

I found a tape recently of an EPIC antakshari game my sisters, friends and I played one night in 1997 where we were going till 5 a.m. - and that was what reminded me of this song ... classic Sridevi from Mr. India!!!!

Cheeeeeeee hua .... hua ... Honolulu ... Lulululu ... Honolulu ... Hing piki ... Hong Kong ... King Kong ... I see Lucy ... You see Lucy ... Hasi thusi ... Lassi pissi ... Mombasa Ping Poooooooong ...

You can't NOT love lyrics like that.

Here's Sridevi shining in "Hawa Hawaii" from Mr. India (1987)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Song of the Day: Lagi to Mushkil Hogi!

OMG, I was JUST thinking of this song the other day, and Filmi Geek recently blogged about the movie Ashanti (1982) and mentioned this song!!! When I was 8 years old, my sister, my mom's student Malini and I did this dance when our troupe did a performance tour around the Midwest and it was always a huge hit with the crowd. We were pretty funny I imagine, three kids ages 8-11 ... dressed in 9-yard sarees and shaking our non-existant hips to the max. I have actually never watched the original video of this song before tonight. But wow, what a Trifecta! Shabana Azmi, Parveen Babi AND Zeenat?? How did I never see this movie? And as I stated before, 1982 was THE YEAR. How could so much awesomeness be produced in just one year?

So here's today's Song of the Day: Laungi Mirchi from the 1982 movie Ashanti starring the above-mentioned Trifecta of heroines and Rajesh Khanna w/ a prosthetic leg. Sweeeeeet.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Bollywood Queens of the 90s

So as local bollywood band Saptaswar is doing another Khan Night (Kings of the 90s) concert by popular demand, I started thinking about what songs a concert that was all about the queens of the 90s would include ... it was really hard to narrow down the Queens of the 90s. Madhuri was the only GIVEN. I really thought about Sridevi a lot, but I would consider her more of an 80s Queen, since her BEST songs are from the 1980s. The toss up was between the other two and Juhi Chawla, but I think that these girls had more popular songs, so I chose Madhuri, Kajol and Manisha as the Queens of the 90s. And here are some of the songs I thought of:

1. Mujhe Neend Na Aaye - Dil (Madhuri)

2. Saudagar Sauda kar - Saudagar (Manisha)

3. Baazigar O Baazigar - Baazigar (Kajol)

4. Aap Ko Dekh Ke - Kishen Kanhaiya (Madhuri)

5. Pyar Hua Chupke Se - 1942: A Love Story (Manisha)

6. Naam Kya Hai - Yeh Dillagi (Kajol)

7. Sun Beliya - 100 Days (Madhuri)

8. Raja Ko Rani Se Pyar - Akele Hum Akele Tum (Manisha)

9. Mere Khwabon Mein Jo Aaye - Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge (Kajol)

10. Tu Shayar Hai - Saajan (Madhuri)

11. Kehna Hi Kya - Bombay (Manisha)

12. Jaati Hoon Mein - Karan Arjun (Kajol)

13. Koyal Si Teri Boli - Beta (Madhuri)

14. Tu Mile Dil Khile - Criminal (Manisha)

15. Mehndi Laga Ke Rakhna - Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge (Kajol)

16. Choli Ke Peeche - Khal Nayak (Madhuri)

17. Bahon Ki Darmiyan - Khamoshi: The Musical (Manisha)

18. Yeh Pyar Kya Hai - Gupt (Kajol & Manisha)

19. Channe Ke Khet Mein - Anjaam (Madhuri)

20. Kuchi Kuchi Rakkamma - Bombay (Manisha)

21. Chanda Re - Sapnay (Kajol)

22. Didi Tera Devar - Hum Aapke Hai Koun (Madhuri)

23. Maya Machindra - Hindustani (Manisha)

24. Ladki Badi Anjani - Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (Kajol)

25. Mera Piya Ghar Aaya - Yaarana (Madhuri)

26. Dil Se Re - Dil Se (Manisha)

27. Odhli Chunariya - Pyar Kiya To Darna Kya (Kajol)

28. Dil To Pagal Hai - Dil To Pagal Hai (Madhuri)

29. Hamma Hamma - Bombay (Manisha)

30. Koi Mil Gaya - Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (Kajol)

Ok now that I did this whole list, I'm starting to think maybe it should have been Juhi after all.