OK Jaanu – Adiya Roy Kapur is adorable in this decent remake of OK Kanmani

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I’ll be honest that I’ve been dreading OK Jaanu [OK Darling] because I love OK Kanmani so very much.  I went to an A. R. Rahman concert in Chicago and I heard the song Mental Manadhil for the first time, and I was completely blown away.  Rahman played this video while he sang the song, and I just had to see this movie.

OK Kanmani is a Mani Ratnam Tamil movie about two young people who are working in Mumbai, and thrilled to find another Tamil speaker.  I didn’t know at the time that Dulquer Salmaan is actually from Kerala and known for his Malayalam films.

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So Adorable!

I’ve become like all those people in South India — the Southern original is so much better!  There is an undeniable magic to the Mani Ratnam Tamil original.  The chemistry between Dulquer Salmaan and Nithya Menen is amazing.  And it’s one of my all time favorite A. R. Rahman soundtracks.  I listen to it all the time.  O Khadal Kanmani is the movie that started me on my journey of watching Malayalam films, because I just had to see what other films Dulquer and Nithya had done, which led me to Bangalore Days and on and on.  It all started with the Tamil OK Kanmani, which I have watched multiple times.

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So, I had trepidation about OK Jaanu.  I like Aditya Roy Kapur okay, and Shraddha Kapoor.  I saw Aashiqui 2, and they do have decent chemistry together.  Then the Humma song came out, and I got excited.  The song from this scene in the original movie is cute, but one of the weakest of the Tamil soundtrack.  This is waaay sexier.

Then, something happened a week ago.  My father became very seriously ill and he has been in ICU at the hospital for this entire past week.  It’s been incredibly stressful, but he seems to have come out of the crisis.  I’ve been exhausted and spending all my time at hospital with my parents.  When I’ve had a moment to wind down, I’ve turned to Bollywood song videos as my sort of comfort food.  And tonight, I decided I deserved a break, and went with a neighbor to OK Jaanu.  It was just what the doctor ordered.  It took me away from all my cares and worries for a few hours.

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I think this is the best movie I have seen Aditya Roy Kapoor do.  He was truly adorable.  Because I know Dulquer’s performance in the original so well, I could tell when he was even trying to match Dulquer’s mannerisms, but he made it his own.  Shraddha is no sparkling Nithya but she was good enough.   Aditya was good in Aashiqui 2 and, not horrible in Fitoor (that movie had other problems), but I like him so much better quirky and cute like this than brooding and angry.  I’m also one of the few people who liked most of Daawat-e-Ishq.  (Not Aditya’s best look, but I still love this title song!)

The plot of OK Jaanu is basically identical to the original.  Adi (Aditya Roy Kapur) is a young video game designer who has just arrived in Mumbai, and is staying in a room of the house of his brother’s former boss (Nasureedin Shah).  Nasureedin’s wife has Althzeimer’s.  Adi meets Tara and a torrid romance begins, but they both vow they never want to marry.  He’s determined to move to the US, and she wants to study architecture in Paris.  They convince Adi’s landlord to let them live in sin together in his room.  All comes to a head when they both have to leave to follow their careers — will they choose love or their career?  It does have a fantastic message that a girl shouldn’t have to give up her career for marriage — her career is just as important.

 

Some of what made the original special is lost in the Hindi translation.  Part of what drew Adi and Tara together was that they were two Tamil speakers alone in the big city of Mumbai.  That plot point is gone. Naseeruddin Shah is of course his excellent self, but I so adored the big hulking Prakash Raj, who so often plays the big villain, being the tender devoted husband to his ailing wife in the Tamil OK Kanmani.  The sets are certainly bigger and more expensive looking.

One thing that is a welcome addition are the new songs.  Enna Sona, sung by Arjit Singh is gorgeous, and the film turns black and white during this sequence as Adi is missing Tara while she’s away on a work trip.

My neighbor thought OK Jaanu was better than the original.  But she doesn’t really speak Tamil (her husband does) and watched it without subtitles.  She said Dulquer Salmaan’s accent was so thick she couldn’t understand him.  The original will remain one of my favorite films, and if you live in the US, I urge you to watch it on Netflix.   But, the Hindi remake is quite enjoyable.  It’s partly my frame of mind with all I’ve been going through but, this movie allowed me to forget my troubles for a few hours.   Thank God for Indian Cinema and that it is there whenever I need it.  I told my husband what a comfort it is to me in times like this.  I think I’m being more generous than some other reviewers may be, so sue me.  It’s no hardship to watch Adiya being this adorable for a couple hours!

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New Years Notes

Tom Hardy reads a bedtime story with a sleeping dog in his lap.  You’re welcome.

 

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How Deadpool Saved Ryan Reynolds.  Rogue One Editors talk about reshoots and added scenes.  Mark Hamill tribute to Carrie Fisher.  Must listen interview with Carrie Fisher on Fresh Air.  Scorsese worries cinema is gone.  Being the “no” woman at work.  Ellen Barry on young Indian women chasing big-city dreams.

I’m obsessed with Billy on the Street.  Super interesting Fresh Air interview with him.

 

2016 – My Movie Year

 

Letterboxd.com is where I keep a diary of all the films I watch, including films I rewatch.  They have a very cool year in review feature.  I was inspired by this Matt Bowes post about all the media he consumed in 2016, to make this post.  I’ll just talk about the movies here, but I love how he listed all the comics, podcasts, etc., too!

So, according to Letterboxd, I saw 222 films in 2016, which includes short films and rewatches.  That averages out to over 18 a month, and over 4 a week.  Weeks like our visit to the Sundance Film Festival, where we saw 30 films (including shorts) certainly help to bump up that average, but I am an avid movie viewer no matter how you slice it.  I just started this blog in April, but I had been posting short reviews on most films to Letterboxd before that.

2016 started with The Hateful Eight (which I didn’t love) and ended with Zootopia, which I did love.  There were mostly older films, but I did watch 82 films that were released in 2016.  It won’t surprise any of my readers that fully half were films from India, 111 of them.

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Interestingly, the actor with the most films I saw was not Shahrukh Khan (who was second with 12), but Nasser with 14!  That man is in EVERYTHING!

This year I discovered Telegu cinema megastar Mahesh Babu (9 movies) and Malayalam cinema star  Prithviraj.  I’ve got a stack of more Prithviraj movies to watch — the man has made so many!  I’m amused that Prithviraj’s early film Stop Violence – which I watched without subs! – Letterboxd lists as my “most obscure movie”.

The highest rated (by people on Letterboxd) film I saw in 2016 is Moonlight, which is heading to the Oscars.  The lowest rated is Yoga Hosers.  Yeah.  Have to pretty much agree with that — but Assassin’s Creed is giving it a run for it’s money on that score. Yoga Hosers is just crazy silly (Brat Nazis!) but it was worth it to go to the midnight premiere just to see Kevin Smith.

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2016 will always be in my memory, because this was the year that a movie I helped get made premiered at Sundance.

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 How To Tell You’re A Douchebag is the movie I saw the most times this year, as I attended screenings of the film, and showed it to friends and family.  I’m so proud of writer/director Tahir Jetter’s achievement.  It was bought by BET and aired this summer.  You can watch it on iTunes, Amazon video or Google play now!

Top films from 2016 I saw in Hollywood and Indian cinema coming soon.

Aashiqui 2 -The Hindi remake of A Star Is Born

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NOW I get it.  When Aditya Roy Kapoor did his solo numbers at the Dream Team concert in Chicago, the girls in the crowd went crazy, especially when he covered one of the dancers with his jacket.

And it was because he was lip syncing the two big songs from Aashiqui 2 [Love]Sunn Raha Hai Na Tua and Tum Hi Ho.

I’ve been suffering with what I think is a bad sinus infection for days and haven’t felt up to watching anything with subtitles as I couldn’t even concentrate.  Margaret at Don’t Call It Bollywood mentioned that she’s going to write a review of Aashiqui 2 soon, and I realized that I should really watch it before OK Jaanu comes out next weekend.  I rented it last night from Amazon streaming, but I’m a little worried something may have been cut in their copy as the run time was only 2 hours 6 minutes.

I have not seen the classic 1954 Judy Garland A Star is Born, but I have the Barbra Streisand/Kris Kristofferson version from the ’70’s.  Aashiqui 2’s plot is completely A Star Is Born.  Successful male takes talented woman under his wing, and then her career eclipses his as he declines into alcoholism.

While Aditya Roy Kapoor and Shraddha Kapoor had decent romantic chemistry in Aashiqui 2 and acted, well, okay… there are so many flaws in this film.  I could totally believe that Aditya was a rock star.  With Arjit Singh singing those songs, he had the swagger to pull it off.  Shraddha’s character is this young naive ingenue, scraping by singing in a bar in Goa when Aditya stumbles in to hear her sing his song, Sunn Raha Hai Na Tua.  The problem is her singing voice in the film is not a powerhouse raw talent.  It’s tinny and thin sounding.  She looks up to Lata as her inspiration, but her singing did not blow me away AT ALL.  That is the whole point of A Star Is Born — this talent that is just so amazing, that the male lead has to share it with the world.

When I was growing up, you could not escape Barbra Streisand’s Evergreen from the 1976 film.  Kris Kristofferson was well cast, because while he is a talent, he’s not the legendary BARBRA.

So, from the get go, I’m not buying Shraddha as this big talent, but the romance plot in the first half is nice and it is refreshing to have a male Indian lead doing everything to support a woman’s career.  But oh that demon alcohol.

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You can tell Aditya is a real alcoholic because he drinks straight from big bottles!  The addiction storyline here is treated so ridiculously.  Shraddha remains a naive ingenue to the end, convinced that she can solve his addiction just by taking him away to the mountains and giving him a nice shave outside to get him clean.

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Your boyfriend, who never even mentions marriage and is fine living with you and ultimately off your earnings, goes into drunken rages and pushes you to the ground, and you can just hug him even tighter and it will all be okay?  Blech.  I wanted to shake some sense into Shraddha in this movie.  This is not 1954!  Surely, her character could have had a little more spine in this day and age or even some character development.  And sorry for the spoilers, but gee, alcoholism can’t be solved by love alone.  And it’s noble to kill yourself rather than go to rehab or accept your father’s help because even though you didn’t marry the poor girl, she’s ready to give up her career for you?   If you’re going to copy the entire plot of A Star Is Born, then I guess you have to end it that way, but it could have been portrayed as more dark and desperate rather than noble and misguided.

 

The music is central to a film like this, and this film has a couple of amazing blockbusters.  You can’t help but love this soundtrack.

350827-aashiqui-2So, in all, glad I finally watched this first pairing of Aditya Roy Kapoor and Shraddha Kapoor.  But I think they look like they have even better romantic chemistry in the trailers of OK Jaanu.  I hate to see OK Kanmani remade (because it is perfection) but hopefully they won’t screw it up too much.  Aashiqui 2 won’t be a film I want to rewatch, but I will definitely be downloading the songs.

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And now there’s going to be a new Hollywood version of A Star Is Born with a release date in September of 2018 starring Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper.  Cooper will not only act in the film, it will be his directorial debut.  Lady Gaga is the kind of powerhouse talent perfect for the role. Bradley’s acting is Oscar caliber, but I hope his directorial skills will be up to the task.

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Pakistani soaps Humsafar and Zindagi Gulzar Hai now on Netflix!

I finished up watching The Crown (so good!) and all of a sudden there were new recommended for me shows on Netflix.  Usually, Netflix turns over new content at the beginning of the month, but this time, it was mid-month.  My jaw dropped.

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The Pakistani soaps Humsafar (Soulmates) and Zindagi Gulzar Hai (Life is a Rose Garden) are now streaming in glorious HD with subs on Netflix!  Netflix gave me an early holiday gift!  To say I was excited would be an understatement.

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I was literally jumping up and down in my family room.

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Why was I so excited?  I fell, and fell hard for Pakistani actor Fawad Khan when he debuted in the Bollywood/Disney film Khoobsurat with Sonam Kapoor in 2014.

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At that time, I wanted to see more of his work, and there was nothing else on film, but he had done two soaps in Pakistan that were sensations in both that country and India.  ErosNow.com put all the episodes of Humsafar to stream on their site with subs and I was totally hooked.

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These soaps are not like American soaps that are open ended.  These productions are just one season or about 25 episodes long.  They have a complete story arc.

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Humsafar also stars Pakistani actress Mahira Khan who will debut in the Bollywood film Raees opposite Shahrukh Khan next month.  (Bonus!  There’s another Mahira Khan soap on Netflix, Saqday Tumharay).

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In Humsafar, Mahira is the poor cousin of Fawad.  Her mother is dying of cancer and asks Fawad’s father to arrange their marriage so she knows her daughter will be taken care of.  It’s rich boy/poor girl with a love triangle and a scheming mother-in-law.  To me, it was absolutely fascinating to get a glimpse of life in Pakistan and Fawad is amazing.

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Zindagi Gulzar Hai is even better but was much more of a challenge to find with subtitles, and there were a few episodes I never could find with subs, but I watched anyway because I was hooked right from the first episode.  I am thrilled to be able to watch this with subs, and in high def since I was scrounging on Youtube and Pakistani sites to find the episodes in questionable quality.  Again, we have the poor girl (Sanam Saeed as Khasaf) and the rich boy (Fawad Khan as Zaroon) dynamic but both characters are flawed and complex.  It’s also hate-to-love which is just about my favorite romance trope.

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Zaroon and Khasaf meet in college, and Zaroon is frosted that this arrogant girl bests him in the class rankings.  Khasaf thinks Zaroon is a shallow playboy, and Zaroon thinks Khasaf is a too traditional stick in the mud.  It’s just delicious to see their feelings change over time.  Your heart aches for Khasaf who has so many struggles in her life, but she’s also so prickly a character.  I loved what a spitfire she is.  Pakistani actor Javed Sheikh, who was SRK’s father in Om Shanti Om, plays Fawad Khan’s father.

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The proposal scene (which I can’t find with subs) is just the ultimate.  Khasaf can’t believe the guy who hated her through college now wants to marry her, but is convinced he’s changed when he catches hot chai in his hands when it’s about to spill on her.

 

But it doesn’t just end there — there’s more to the story as they adjust to each other in their marriage and have to accommodate for Khasaf’s career in the civil service.  The reason Khasaf scoffs at marriage and men is because of her complex relationship with her father who married a second wife to get a son, and abandoned his first wife and daughters.  I just loved getting to see these actors portray complex characters who grow and change over time.  Highly, highly recommend both soaps.  I’m going to enjoy watching those episodes I couldn’t find previously with subs, and trying Mahira’s other soap.  I love how Netflix is getting content from all over the world!

Check out this post on BrownGirl to get a sense of what a sensation both Humsafar and Zindagi Gulzar Hai were in Pakistan and India when they first aired.

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Another new addition to the Netflix line up is the excellent Israeli film Sand Storm.  It was the winner at Sundance for World Cinema last January.  It’s set in the Bedouin community in Israel. Sand Storm is a family drama where the father in the family marries a second wife, and his headstrong daughter has a secret affair with a boy from another tribe she’s met at college.  Such a great film!  The Q and A was fascinating with the Israeli director Elite Dexer.  She said that most audiences see the film as an intense drama, but when she showed it to the Bedouin community where she was allowed to film it, they laughed and viewed it as a comedy, especially the put upon husband dealing with two strong willed wives.

 

Check out AccessBollywood for an up to date list of Indian content on Netflix and Amazon Prime.

Dangal Review – Aamir Khan in his first biopic as the father of the wrestler Phogat sisters

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There have been a string of inspiring movies about empowering girls in sports recently in Indian cinema.  Just this year there’s been Sultan and the boxing movie Irudhi Suttru.  Dangal is not groundbreaking because it’s about the first women wrestler to win a gold at the Commonwealth games (and then the first Indian woman wrestler to make the Olympics.)  What’s groundbreaking is that Aamir Khan plays his age, and shows it.

He’s not the first of the three Khan’s to play a father.  Salman was just a father figure in Bajranig Bhaijaan and while Shahrukh Khan played a widowed father in Kuch Kuch Hota Hai to little Anjali, he also was still acting like he was still in high school!  Aamir Khan took the bold step of actually playing a father of young adult girls with gray hair and a paunch.

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An Aamir Khan film is a true event since he is only making at most one a year, but it’s been two years since the blockbuster PK.  I’m glad he took the time to make this one right.  He’s so method that he gained lots of weight to show the older Mahavir Singh Phogat, and then lost it over months to play the younger wrestler in his prime.

From what I’m gathering some of the true events of the sisters Geeta and Babita and their coach and father Mahavir were changed for dramatic purposes.  But the basic outline remains.  They lived in a rural village in Haryana, an area that has one of the worst women to men ratios in India.  The film shows what the girls’ life could have been — married off by age 14.  Mahavir had four girls and no sons, so he decides gold is gold, and will train his daughters to be wrestlers to win gold for India.

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They took their time putting this movie together, and the casting is just exceptional.  The girls at the young ages are really good young actresses, and the older girls phenomenal.  Aamir lived with all four girls that were playing his daughters while they trained in wrestling together.  It paid off in a comfortable family relationship with the girls.  You can see the warm rapport they have with Aamir on the recent Koffee with Karan episode that aired last weekend.

aamir-dangal-trailer-759I loved the structure of the first half, as Aamir decides to train the girls in wrestling after they beat up a couple of boys (as we see in the trailer.)  The local wrestling school won’t let the girls train, so he builds his own mud arena for their training.  At one point the girls rebel against his strict regimen, and I loved how they impishly reset the time on his alarm clock and so on.

This is a film all about the relationship of a father and his daughters.  There is no romance subplot.  It’s another wrestling movie like Sultan, but it’s completely different than Sultan.  The conflict comes in Mahavir’s unwavering dream of gold medals for his girls and all that he puts them through to give them enough grit to accomplish it.

The second half conflict comes when Geeta reaches a level where she must move to another city to train with the national wrestling team under a new coach.  I adored a scene where the other girls on the team introduce her to DDLJ.  Geeta’s first visit home is quite bumpy in their relationship, and one of the most gripping scenes in the movie to me is when a quarrel over her new techniques learned from her new coach ends in Geeta and her father wrestling, and wrestling hard.  I actually gasped out loud it got so intense.

dangal-hd-imagesSince this is a real life biopic, we know the ending, but it’s the journey getting there that is so enjoyable.  It’s really an incredible story, and the neighbor I went with said she wants to take her young sons to see it.  It’s a great family film.  There’s no sex or bad language or violence.  It’s not bloody like boxing movies.  I was very glad of a nice little scene that explained the point system in wrestling so I could follow along when we got to the big matches.  The story is simple, and if it wasn’t real life, would almost be unbelievable that one father could train two girls to be gold medal winners.

Sports movies are really not my favorites, but I found the story really compelling.  Aamir is a driving force in the movie, but all four actresses really get to shine on their own, especially newcomers Sakshi Tanwar as Geeta and Fatima Sana Shaikh as younger sister Babita.  There’s a plot twist that I won’t spoiler that leads Geeta’s father to not be present at her gold winning match.  In retrospect, it was purposeful to show that she wins it on her own merit and grit – not because her savant coach father was yelling what to do throughout the match.

I’m glad they cast unknown actresses in these roles, because I could really just see them as Geeta and Babita.  But even Aamir, with so much screen presence truly disappeared into his role as Mahavir.  That’s a great actor.  He’s like Daniel Day-Lewis in that way, and equally devoted to his craft.  I applaud Aamir for getting this film made, as it has a great message, and not just for girls.  There are only a few songs, but they are woven into the film seamlessly, and make sense in their place in the movie.

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Merry Chrismukkah!

1aa624cb-214e-4320-8c38-186ce771c846.jpgI was a HUGE fan of the show The O.C. back in the day, not least because of the incredible music on the show.  The music supervisor for The O.C. was legendary in finding new cool bands to feature.  Thanks to The O.C. I learned about Imogen Heap, Spoon, Phantom Planet, and the list goes on.  I bought every one of the six soundtrack Mix albums.  But an all-time favorite is Mix #3, the Chrismukkah album.

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Chrismukkah is the best holiday ever, and Seth Cohen of The O.C. gave a name to just what we do in my house.  My husband is Jewish, and I grew up Christian so we do both.  I sent many a Chrismukkah card after The O.C. episode that perfectly described our family’s combo celebration (Oh, Seth Cohen how I miss you!):

 

While we’ll always have the Wham! original, this is my favorite cover of Last Christmas by Jimmy Eat World:

 

This is my second favorite song from the Chrismukkah album. Maybe This Christmas by Ron Sexsmith:

 

Song of the Day – The Chieftains Wren in the Furze

 

For many, their favorite album of Christmas music is the Charlie Brown Christmas soundtrack, or maybe Barbra Striesand.  My favorite is The Chieftains Bells of Dublin album.  I actually had to buy it a second time because I wore it out.  I adore every track, and it’s a mix of collaborations with pop singers like Jackson Browne and full choral pieces.  This is one with just The Chieftains ensemble – a song I had never heard before this album, but it’s become a favorite.

This is another holiday favorite from this album:

It Isn’t Christmas until Bing and Bowie sing The Little Drummer Boy (Peace On Earth)

This is one of my holiday classics I have to watch every year.  Reportedly, Bing Crosby had no idea who this Bowie person was.  It’s just such a wild juxtaposition, and their voices together glorious.  It almost didn’t happen.

In 2014, Merrie Olde Christmas writers Larry Grossman and Buz Kohan remembered the circumstances behind the collaboration. The pitch was originally to have the pair duet on “Little Drummer Boy,” but Grossman told PBS that Bowie put his foot down.

“He said, ‘I won’t sing that song. I hate that song I’m doing this show because my mother loves Bing Crosby.’ ”

The writers found a solution: Craft a counter-melody that Bowie could sing while Crosby proceeded with “Little Drummer Boy.” “It all happened rather rapidly. I would say within an hour, we had it written and were able to present it him again,” Kohan explained to PBS. Bowie loved the resulting melody, called “Peace on Earth,” and the rest was history.

Bing Crosby’s children talked about the odd pairing, which took place a month before their father Bing, died.  David Bowie wasn’t excited about it, but did it because his mother was such a huge fan of Crosby.

“The doors opened and David walked in with his wife. They were both wearing full-length mink coats, they have matching full makeup and their hair was bright red,” she told the summer TV critics’ tour Wednesday. “We were thinking, `Oh my god.'”

Nathaniel Crosby added, “It almost didn’t happen. I think the producers told him to take the lipstick off and take the earring out. It was just incredible to see the contrast.”

Watching in the wings, the Crosby kids noticed a transformation.

“They sat at the piano and David was a little nervous,” Mary Crosby recalled. “Dad realized David was this amazing musician, and David realized Dad was an amazing musician. You could see them both collectively relax and then magic was made.”

Ye Maaya Chesave – Sweet early romance drama with Naga Chaitanya and Samantha Prabhu

Serendipity smiled down on me.  I’ve been so busy with holiday nonsense that I haven’t had time to watch movies much the last few weeks.

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 I actually have owned this movie, Ye Maaya Chesave (What Magic Have You Done — a very appropriate title) for months.  I bought it in a DVD bundle when I took a chance on a Bhavani DVD order.  Another movie in the bundle, starring Nagarjuna in King, I did not like that much and this other DVD got pushed to the back of the pile.  I was looking for something else this week and came upon it.  When I ordered it, I did not know either actor in that front cover pic, but they sure look familiar to me now!
This was Samantha Prabhu’s first movie! This was only Naga Chaitanya’s second film from 2010.  That’s why it was bundled with his father’s movie!  Evidently, it was a huge Telugu hit.  The director, Gautham Menon just directed Chaitanya again in that movie I saw in the theater last month, Sahasam Swasaga Sagipo   (FYI, if you don’t know Samantha and Chaitanya recently got engaged in real life.)
I will tell you straight out that both leads show that this is an early film.  There’s sort of a fidgeting to some scenes like they don’t quite know what to do with themselves — they don’t yet have that confident screen presence they do now.
ye-maya-chesave-movie-stills-_26_But there are a few scenes that are just pure magic! The awkwardness and how young they look fit with the characters.  Poor Chaitanya has got acne, and Samantha is so baby-faced!
The movie starts in a church and Jessie (Samantha Prabhu) is the bride, and Karthik (Chaitanya) is sitting in the pews with his head in his hand. “Why did I have to fall in love with Jessie?”  And, flashback for half the movie.
It’s young first love.  Forbidden love because she’s Christian and he’s Hindu.  He’s a jerk in front of her brother and father and they hate him.  But oh my gosh the young love is so sweet, but sometimes with a little edge to it.  Karthik wants to be a film director and doesn’t have a job, which on top of being Hindu does not endear him to Jessie’s dad.  Poor Jessie’s only been allowed to see five films her whole LIFE.  (Also, nice twist that the girl is two years older than the boy.)
Real life director, Puri Jagannadh (Pokiri), cameos as the director on whose film Karthik finally gets a job as an assistant director.
There are many twists to the story.  Karthik is a jerk and needs to grow up in the worst way.  Jessie needs to get a spine at moments, but then does so in spectacular fashion.  It’s one of those movies that feels both like a real complicated relationship, and also so filmi with moments for love songs that just sweep you away.
The ending is just filmi swoon inducing.  I had to play the last 10 minutes all over again when I finished because this one speech of Karthik’s at the end —  just the best.
The music is all A R. Rahman and is an awesome soundtrack.  This director films his movies in Tamil and Telugu at the same time — but with different casts.  I was absolutely tickled at the exotic locale for this fantasy song when he’s first falling — Princeton!!
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I really loved how the song Kundanapu Bomma was edited into the film.  Karthik is having this fantasy of sweeping Jessie off her feet and taking her in his arms and kissing her.  And the action goes back in forth from the fantasy to the reality of his first tentative kisses, and then the slap he gets!  (I’ve marked the video about where that bit starts.)
Evidently Samantha the actress is half Telugu and half Malayalam, and her character is as well.  So key parts of the movie are in Kerala.  The wedding scene with her bridal boat approaching the big white church is just stunning.  I got a kick out of fish out of water Telugu Karthik and his friend to make their way in Kerala.  “Guys in colored lungis are going to beat us up, Karthik, why do we have to go to Kerala?!” 
1323341228631871Thanks to this film, I now have maybe my all time favorite line in an Indian movie.  When the two lead characters meet in Central Park in NYC, they hug and then the guy says, “This is America!  I can kiss you in the middle of the road!”  And he does, repeatedly.
So glad I own this one but I found the whole thing is on Youtube with subs!
I’m going to tell my husband “This is America!  I can kiss you in the middle of the road!”
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