Tag Archives: Bollywood

If Bollywood made ‘The Avengers’

I caught the movie that’s been big on comicbook fans’s minds for over two years now and that everyone on my timeline is talking about – The Avengers. I’m a borderline viewer, which is to say that I enjoy the comics medium and know a bit about the characters, but I’m not a fangirl. This means I get to enjoy a good summer blockbuster movie but I’m not so tied in to it that I can’t let my mind stray.

During the fight sequences (admittedly awesome, especially at the Imax former dome theatre), here’s what ran through my head. The Hulk was SMASSSSHING his fists on the ground before launching into his attack and I murmured,

Yeh dhaai kilo ka haath!

That launched me off into a curious daydream of a Bollywood Avengers movie, which kept me sufficiently occupied during the more extended action sequences. The Hindi dubbed version of The Avengers is called ‘Vinashak‘, which translates to The Destroyers, not the Avengers. I’m yet to think up a good name for the film since ‘Badlewaale‘ doesn’t pack the same punch as Avengers. More on that later.

What’s the cast to be?

The Hulk/ Bruce Banner

With the 2.5kilo reference, the big, green ‘other guy’ Hulk cannot be anybody but Sunny Deol. Sunny paaji also has an equally sunny smile but it’s also accompanied by a raw, earthy force. I rather liked Mark Ruffalo in this role, even over Edward Norton because he essays the mild, affable, slightly hesitant character of Bruce Banner much better. Norton, in comparison looks too collected and in control, a look that suited Fight Club but not the ‘I’m a wreck inside’ alter ego of The Hulk. To come back to Bollywood, Bruce Batten needs a subtler, milder look so how about the more polished, ‘civilised’ member of the same family? He even looks a little like Mark Ruffalo. I’m thinking Abhay Deol in his wry, slightly sardonic avatar as the mild-mannered scientist turning into a roaring Sunny Deol (remember Gadar?) when he’s angry and well, green. Hee, that ought to satisfy the intellectuals and the salt-of-the-earth alike!

Iron Man/ Tony Stark

Genius, billionaire, philanthropic playboy. Read flashy, irreverent, flirtatious showman? That can’t be anybody but Salman Khan. Nuff’ said. Well, he might have something to say about the metallic armour that covers up the torso. For a desi version, he could have the electromagnet embedded in his bare chest and flashing cool lights. (If this were the 80s, that electromagnet would be in the shape of an ‘Om’ or perhaps ‘Ma’).


This Viking demigod wasn’t too hard to place either. Maybe it’s because I’m a fan of the mythology that inspired the character and the comic/film version doesn’t seem to do justice. But I’m convinced that Thor is the token pretty boy of this group, the oldest but curiously enough the winner of ‘Most Likely To Go Metrosexual’ award. Golden flowing locks, not too quick on the uptake (especiall with Batten & Stark around)…give it up for Hrithik Roshan!

Now, let me explain. Like any female Indian who was at a hormonal stage when Kaho Na Pyaar Hain was released, I greatly enjoyed the Golden God on the silver screen. But Agneepath put that to paid when I found every man in the movie laughing at being beaten up, except the hero who took the opportunity to bawl. These muscles are for flexing, not wielding and the God is for show only. Besides, he’s the only one who can carry off that bare-chested/skirted warrior suit.

Nick Fury

This gets tricky since according to my informed sources, this character was drawn keeping in mind Samuel L. Jackson (who plays him in the movie). How do you compete with THAT? The clichedness of it pains me but it’s time to call in the senior Bachchan.

I am rather tired of seeing him play the ‘I’m older but kicking more ass than you’ role but who else? Irrfan Khan? Nah, that’s a good actor but not one who owns the screen the way Jackson does. This role needs the kind of screen charisma that doesn’t rely on good looks or acting talent. I’m drawing a blank. If you think of an alternative to Amitabh Bachchan, say it in the comments.

Black Widow/ Natasha Romanoff

This one had me stumped for awhile. It’s appalling how cookie cutter, the current crop of Bollywood actresses are. No Kareena or Katrina for me. Rani has the sensuality but not the menace of Black Widow. Deepika Padukone has the perfect body type but her face conveys no more emotion (never mind menace or guile) than the Iron Man costume. Anushka Sharma was a contender. My only problem is that she seems too sunny, too chirpy to essay a dark character like Black Widow. If she were one of Charlie’s Angels, she’d be Drew Barrymore whereas we’re looking for Lucy Liu. I don’t think Scarlette Johansson is a very good actress but she has just the right look for Black Widow. The body is right on of course but the face really nails it. When she looks at you (or into the camera), you get the feeling you don’t know all there is to know and that you should be uneasy around her. Who then, can essay that?

The boy thought Mahi Gill would be a good choice. But personally I think she’s too earthy, too ‘heavy’ (not in a body mass way but in a body language way). This Black Widow needs a certain lightness of the sort that makes words like ‘lithe’ and ‘sinous’ make sense.

Much thought & discussion flowed before the image of another very beautiful and slit-eyed lady popped into my head. Remember the striking Chitrangada Singh (from Hazaaron Khwaishen Aisi)? Perfect.

Captain America/ Steve Rogers

Capt. America is a squeaky clean, whitewashed character. Who is the squeakiest clean man in Bollywood (umm, to the point of boring? Imran Khan. But a superhero? Noooo. His uncle wasn’t bad at all balancing chocolate boy looks with tough machismo. So Aamir Khan it is.

Hawkeye/ Clint Barton

This one didn’t have a major role in the film but since he is an important character (and because I could think of someone who fit), he’s on this list. A sleek, lithe guy who starts off loyal, goes over to the dark side and then switches back again? It’s all in the eyes and that’s for Bollywood’s master brooder, Ajay Devgan.

Agent Phil Coulson

That covers the superheros, leaving just one notable good guy who was also responsible for some comic relief (in a wry way). I think Irrfan Khan wouldn’t be wasted on the role of Agent Phil Coulson.


Who’s left? Just a manic, boyish, seedy villian who is also a Viking demigod-gone-wrong. Loki, like all villians is an interesting character, both in folklore and the movie. I’d really like to see Ranbir Kapoor in this role. He’s got the looks (chocolate boy-turned-menacing), the talent and the body structure to carry it off.

* Images via Wikipedia, Funrocker & Entertainment Wallpaper

If you liked this post, drop me a comment telling me which other pop culture reference you’d like ‘Bollywoodized’. And do read this post about iconic Bollywood characters blogging.

The Bollywood Formula

Bollywood has been formulaic for more than a decade now. X number of songs, one superstar, rumours of a romantic linkup between co-stars, controversy…all of these have enjoyed the honour of prime ingredient. I think I’ve hit on the current favorite:

Indian actor Shah Rukh Khan, arrival for press...

Indian actor Shah Rukh Khan, arrival for press conference of "Om Shanti Om" at the Hyatt Hotel, Potsdamer Platz, Berlin (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ageing actor + Badly behaved Khan = SUCCESS!

It worked well for Salmonella Can as it has in recent times for another Khan with a penchant for megalomaniac descriptions (King Khan! Don! Badshah!)

Indian actor Salman Khan

Indian actor Salman Khan (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If my Twitter timeline is anything to go by, it seems to be working well for Agent Vinod. For a safety measure, there’s also the star kid ingredient (in double) that’s been the base of every formulaic Bollywood film since the 90s.

Even if high visibility doesn’t translate to high sales (in most other sectors), in Bollywood it means a big Friday night rush at the box office. I’m told that can recover a massive chunk of the film’s costs and all else is bonus.

There’s something off-putting about this formula, for me at least. Agent Vinod was not high on my list of movies-to-watch. With this last incident, it’s just gone into never-will-watch, along with every single SRK movie after the Kunder-slapping episode. Then again, I’m probably not the target audience for these ‘marketing tactics’ and hence the products they’re selling. But since I am the target audience for the fluffy romances, the metrosexual froth and NRI movies that at least 2 of the Khans specialize in, aren’t they losing out a sizable captive audience in the long run?

But I suppose Bollywood only thinks as far as the next Friday.

Indian actor Saif Ali Khan at the 2011 Cannes ...

Indian actor Saif Ali Khan at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Missing Person Notice Turns Out To Be Kahaani Movie Promo

Here’s a poster I spotted on the walls of Tulsi Pipe Road, at Lower Parel. Think it’s a notice for a missing person? Look closely:

The text on the poster says:

Age: 31years, Complexion: Wheatish, Height: 5’11”.
Please share any information with Vidya Bagchi at

This strikes me as a really cheap marketing ploy to grab your attention. Using something as vital as a missing person notice for an advertisement, makes it so other genuine missing notices will be mistaken for promotions and ignored.

Remember a movie called Criminal, featuring Manisha Koirala, Nagarjuna and Ramya Krishanan? A leading daily carried a piece right in the center of their news spreads, reporting that one of the actresses had been found murdered. It turned out to be a promotion for the movie. That was in extremely poor taste and I think, so is this advertisement. What’s a movie that associates with the likes of Sujoy Ghosh and Vidya Balan, doing with an ad like this?

I wouldn’t expect a marketer to think beyond his/her product and be willing to go to any extent to generate buzz. But what about the channels that carry these messages? Does it occur to them that these commercial messages masquerading as actual news/information, comprises their validity?

Posters not being under the control of any one entity, are difficult to monitor. But in this case, they may be violating other laws by putting up the posters in the first place. Incidentally, this isn’t the first time Bollywood posters have been problematic. The Kahaani poster is a stone’s throw away from the Wall Project offenders.

Ideamarked Jan2012: Daler Mehndi Meets RajniPower On The January Funnies!

The first month of this year is over! The weather has turned, giving Mumbai a rare winter and a chance to bring out our scarves & jackets. I’ve blogged slightly less and had fewer written pieces to show. But that’s because a lot of my work has been behind the scenes. I’m really hoping these will bear fruit later this year. I’ll keep you posted.
In the meantime, here’s what I was looking at through January. Curiously, they’re all humour:
  • I’d call this “Who you are on the London tube by your sun sign”: ‘Tube Zodiac‘ (via Sensorcaine)
  • The 10 Most Common Awkward Moments On Elevators‘: A hilarious video on elevator etiquette. (via Cracked)
  • When White Guys Listen To Daler Mehndi‘: Watch the guy in yellow shorts during ‘Tunak
  • Daler Mehndi

    Image by bravesheng via Flickr

    tunak tunak tarara’. With perfect lip sync, mind! (via Youtube, link courtesy Ashwini Mishra)

  • How To Look Like Shit‘ – Put this under ‘Humour’ and under ‘Style’. Poking fun at our own worries should never go out of fashion. (via Jezebel)
  • If some of the most surfed sites were online dating profiles, what would you do with them? ‘Would You Date This Domain Name?‘ (via the ever hilarious Thought Catalog)
  • All About Rajni‘: A website that runs only when you switch off the internet! No kidding, it runs on Rajni power! (via the irrepressible Desimartini, link courtesy Jason Menezes)
  • The Tam Brahm Chart Of Progressive Food Tolerance‘: A funny look at food tolerance from the motherland. (via Tambrahm Rage, link courtesy @Suchitra Sukumar)
  • The 6 Stupidest Things We Use to Judge People We Don’t Know‘ (via Cracked)
  • I want to print & laminate this and put it up at my desk on certain days: ‘I’m Taking A Sad Day‘ (via Thought Catalog)
  • This blog got featured in the media once, with DNA carrying my ‘Bandra Is No Longer Queen Of The Suburbs’ story on their Around The Blog section.

You can catch the links as they come in and even post your own to The Idea-smithy Facebook Page.

Ideamarked Nov2011: Window Gardens, Bookstores, PS3 & Kolaveri Di

I’ve always loved November. Diwali festivities, vacations to look forward to…as I’ve gotten older, I find the end of the year packing up. The weather is crisper, even in hot & humid Mumbai. Everyone starts to let their hair down and spends more time thinking about parties, picnics & get-togethers than work. The world takes a break next month & November is all about the planning and anticipation of just that.

It’s been a packed and enjoyable November for me. I attended the NH7 festival in Pune, in its second year. A story on women bloggers featured me in a prominent way. For the few of you who remember my long-winded adventure with NovelRace, I finally managed to complete it! Whether this ever comes out or not, I can now die happy knowing that I did write a full novel.🙂

On that cheery note, here’s this month’s links. As you can see, there was a lot of link-love going around too!

  • DewarsIndia’s channel features music travelogues across India. (on Youtube, link courtesy Sangita Bhargavi)
  • Simi’s new show: India’s most botoxed, banal & brainless‘: Of course, I agree. (via FirstPost, link courtesy Lakshmi Shesadri)
  • MasterChef India: Guaranteed to cure you of any desire to cook‘: Sadly, I’m having to agree. MasterChef India has a long way to go before it can be in the same league as MasterChef Australia. (via FirstPost)
  • Window gardening for the urban-dweller longing for a touch of green – ‘Growing Organic Fruits & Vegetables at Home‘ (via Earthoholics, link courtesy Vishal Gadkari)
  • ‘Worklish’ is a way to cover up how much one doesn’t know. They why is it that we who don’t speak it, are left out in the cold?: ‘Buzzwords at office driving you crazy? 6 ways to cope‘ (via Huffington Post)
  • If your interest in astrology, tarot, dream interpretation & the predictive arts extends beyond mere curiosity, you should definitely visit Magick. The store  is currently looking for fulltime apprentices to initiate into the Wicca tradition. (via Swati Prakash)
  • If you ever wondered why the people you follow, don’t follow you back, here are some possible answers: ‘The Top 10 Reasons I Will Not Follow You On Twitter‘ (via Mashable)
  • Reviews, recipes and workshops, you have to stop by Tulleeho if you have a love of the drink.
  • India as the Indians see it – non PC humour (on Facebook, link courtesy Shweta Madan)
  • ‘5 Tips To Help You Decide How Much Of You Should Show Up On The Blog‘ (via SharingWithWriters)
  • Hail the motherland of idlis, software dreams & kitschy Kollywood songs! This month’s music craze – Kolaveri Di (via Youtube)
  • A 5-yr old post that’ll still interest Mumbai’s booklovers: ‘A Bibliophile’s Guide To Mumbai‘ (via The Idea-smithy)
  • A lovely gift from blogger to blogger – ‘It’s Not Just A Car‘ 55 word story by Manuscrypts!
  • Kitab Khana, a bookstore recommendation courtesy Anuradha Shankar.
  • A little thought on liking and love (via Slices of Time, link courtesy Rehab Chougle)
  • MICHEAL: PS3 Long Live Play‘: A fun advertisement for gamers (via Youtube, link courtesy Ashwini Mishra)

* Catch these links as they happen on The Idea-smithy Facebook Page. You can also post an interesting link of your own to the page and get featured on the Ideamarked post at the end of the month!

OverPunjification Of Pop Media Is Why My Kolaveri, Di!

A kitschy Tanglish song has caught everyone’s fancy today. Kolaveri di has practically no Tamil words except those (translated to ‘desire to murder’). Everything else is English words in that characteristic Southern accent. The song isn’t any funnier or catchier than dozens of such that Kollywood and their bretheren have been spewing out in the past few years. Remember ‘Columbus, Columbus, vittachu leave’ from Jeans? Or ‘Mustafa, Mustafa, don’t worry Mustafa‘ from Kadhal Desam? And the iconic dance-atop-bus led by Prabhu Deva to Urvasi, Urvasi, take it easy Urvasi. Why then is this song gaining meme status? Why this kolaveri, indeed?

Bollywood has been the absolute last word on Indian pop culture for the past few years at least, and woefully inadequate in providing catchy references. I don’t see any reason a movie like Dabangg achieved such cult status, other than that the audience was fed to teeth with uber-urban metrosexual stories & 3-hr commercials for star kids & their brand affiliations. A good ol’ masala potboiler with a liberal dose of ‘leave your brains at home’ had to get lapped up by the masses starved of entertainment.

Dhanush at a function in chennai

In parallel, I think there’s also been an over-Punjification of popular media. Before hitting me with a barrage of protests (and abe teri to, paneer tikkasand open letters), consider this. Punjab is just one state in a diverse country. Its language and cultural references, only a certain proportion of a heterogeneous billion. Personally, I am a little sick of references to Kapoors, Khannas and Singhanias who celebrate karva chauth, whoop Balle balle or Chak de and dance the bhangda at every festive occasion. Bollywood is admittedly run by Punjabi film-makers but I think they’ve been very narrow in their creation, considering they represent the voice of an entire nation in pop culture.

For me, Singham stood out simply because it was refreshing to hear ‘Aai shapath‘ and ‘Saatakle majha‘. Similarly Kolaveri di tickles my fancy simply because it has a guy whose name can’t possibly be Vicky Malhotra and who references something other than khanakte chudi, parandas, goris and mahis.

And here’s the song now for your listening pleasure:

Rockstar Or Ra.One?

Starved for a good story. Please, Rockstar, please, be a rockstar and don’t turn into Ra.One.

Ra.ONE Style

Adicrazy said,

Someone made a robot with all the latest technology and design, and decided that it should look like SRK? Not convincing enough. #Ra1

I replied,

Or they put him in a steel-grey body suit. Botox did the rest. #Ra1

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