Thursday, August 7, 2014

My Five Worst Bollywood/Tollywood Musical Numbers

Fifth Anniversary Special

As in life, not everything can turn out right.  Despite lots of planning, sometimes things end up far from the original plan.  This is certainly true with movies.  As stated earlier I have seen only four Bollywood/Tollywood movies: Dookudu, The Businessman, SVCV, and Krrish 3.  When a film mixed music and action, sometimes the music fails to live up to its potential.  Sometimes it can be flat-out bizarre, and that's with removing the language barrier (as I shall explain).

Being a bit in a rush I figure I'll dispense with any real opening and just get on with it.

These are the five Worst Bollywood/Tollywood musical numbers from the four Indian films I have seen.


Pilla Chao (The Businessman)

Ah, The Businessman.  It barely got a passing grade from me, and I think it was thanks to Mahesh Babu's performance and Aamchi Mumbai.  As for other things, even with subtitles things still seemed a bit bizarre. 

Take Pilla Chao.  From what I gather, this is a 'I don't need you' type of song.  However, it makes our antihero look both like a stalker and an idiot (he clearly wants the girl but somehow, trying to make a girl who is not interested in you jealous might be the wrong tactic).  Given what a ruthless criminal he is, one wonders whether he genuinely loves her or is merely sexually obsessed with her.

The costumes don't help.  Superstar is backed up by men wearing red coats with while fur lining.  I couldn't help think he was being assisted by Santa's Minions.

They don't exactly scream 'dangerous'.


Dil Tu Hi Bata (Krrish 3)

I won't lie: I was highly entertained by Krrish 3 (even though I'm sure I missed a few things, I found the plot remarkably easy to follow considering I don't speak a word of Hindi). 

However, out of all the songs I think Dil Tu Hi Bataa (which if I understand it correctly translates to Tell Me, My Heart) was the weakest number.  It is I suppose quite romantic, and from what I understood the not-Mystique character, who has disguised herself as Krishna's wife (with him not knowing that she and their unborn baby are being held hostage by the not-Professor X/Magneto hybrid) is falling in love with Krishna.  Krishna, meanwhile, is telling his 'wife' that he loves her too.

I wouldn't say it's confusing; maybe a bit garbled, but all that sweeping romance in the middle of Petra, Jordan looked, well, a bit dull.


We Love Bad Boys (The Businessman)

Yep, it's The Businessman again.

Again, another 'item' number which has little to nothing to do with the plot. 

What really kills We Love Bad Boys is what on Jimmy Kimmel would be called 'unnecessary censorship'.   There are visible blurs on the lovely's cleavage and even her thigh (which I found bizarre given that this number was suppose to be risqué).  If THAT wasn't already to my mind a bit silly enough, we get Mahesh Babu's unique dance style to the Nth Degree.  Never have I seen someone lift his pant leg or flip his coat open and have that considered 'the dance'.

It just looked a bit silly to me, even more considering The Businessman was suppose to be this angry film. 


Yem Chaddam (SVCV)

Personally, I couldn't stand SVCV, the first Tollywood film that I ended up virtually despising after finishing it.  I always found Tollywood films to be quite amusing (even if I really didn't understand much if anything) because there was comedy, action, romance, and a few good musical numbers.  However, SVCV was the first one where I didn't understand much of anything, where most musical numbers were played over scenes rather than have the characters do the numbers themselves, and where I was bored out of my mind.

It might be quite good, but judging from the Telugu-speaking audience that was there (I was the only non-Indian in the theater), even they thought it was all getting idiotic.  The various hoots and hollers I heard when Superstar Mahesh Babu and Victory Venkatesh were together made me think that the predominantly male audience (I figure engineering students at UTEP) were catcalling them to kiss each other.

Frankly, I don't remember any musical numbers save for Yem Chaddam, and that was because I thought it was so bizarre that these two giants of Telugu cinema never shared the screen in this big musical number.  They were always cut in split screen, with one flipping his shirt collar, the other tugging at his shirt.  I leave to you to guess who did what.

Now, while this isn't the scene exactly as it was, it gives an approximation of what we saw.     


Chandamama Navee (The Businessman)

Oh, Businessman, what happened?

As I watched the Chandamama Navee number, I was aghast at what was going on.  I actually stopped taking notes and sat agape at how this 'romantic' scene was playing out.

Let me set this up for you.  The girl had been abducted when she had gotten on what she thought was a legitimate taxi but really one of the Businessman's minion's cars.  She had been rendered unconscious by chloroform and taken to the Businessman's lair.  There, while unconscious, he starts 'romancing' her.

To my little ol' eyes, it looked like she was all but being raped!  She wasn't because there was no visible penetration, but somehow the thought that this woman was not in her full state of mind when a man is over her, flinging her about and kissing her without her consent was pretty shocking.

I'm sure no one on The Businessman intended to suggest any rape, but sadly that's the impression I got while watching.  I was stunned at how all this was playing out and couldn't understand how no one on the production could not see that seeing an unconscious woman on a man's bed while he made romantic overtures wouldn't come across as a bit...forced.

So far we have yet to have another Tollywood/Bollywood film (a movie in Telugu or Hindi) play in El Paso.  Should one come across, I am reluctant to watch, not just because of these musical numbers, but because SVCV was such a bore.

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