Monday, March 31, 2008
Monday Movie Review
Yesterday, after church, the Lovely Mona and I went to the Paitilla neighborhood of Panama City to do our otro grocery shopping. We have three different supermarkets in our own neighborhood, but they don't sell everything we need. We go to Paitilla to get Asian foods. We get things like basmati rice and falafel mix and nuts and kosher meats at Super Kosher. Around the corner from Super Kosher is Mini Max, a market which features items from Japan, Korea, and China. They carry the spicy ramen I like, and have started carrying a kim chi-flavoured ramen which is killah (I will always be a ramen-boy; it's the Okinawan in me). We bought some nori and some kim chi, too. Then we crossed the street to King's Food. King's Food sells Indian foodstuffs. I buy the majority of the ingredients for my curry Powdah there, as well as various chutneys and pickles, and these "two-minute" curries such as mutter paneer and dahl tadka and pav bhaji, you know THAT kinda stuff. They also sell Bollywood films. We picked up three films yesterday. The Lovely Mona and I love Bollywood; it's not art but it's great entertainment. We like to watch Bollywood on Sunday afternoons because most Bollywood movies are close to or longer than three hours, so it's not something you want to take on in the evening. We purchased Laaga Chunari Mein Daag (Journey Of A Woman), Chalte Chalte (While Walking) and Aaja Nachle (Come Let's Dance). I'll be reviewing these films over the next few weeks, when we can find time to watch them all. Yesterday we watched Aaja Nachle.
Aaja Nachle is Madhuri Dixit's comeback film after an absence of six years. It was released in November of last year. Madhuri Dixit is in my trinity of Bollywood actresses along with Kajol and Rani Mukherji. I enjoy her acting but she is also an incredible dancer. Her dancing really stole the show in Devdas. So, as one would expect from Madhuri, Aaja Nachle features a lot of dancing.
The story is simple, as is usually the case in this genre. Daiya (Madhuri Dixit) has a dance studio in New York. She is tough task-master and really drives her students to excellence. One day she receives a telephone call from India; her dance guru is near death and wants her to come home. Daiya and her daughter return to India. Daiya's daughter asks her why they are going to India since she said she would never return. We get a flash-back which tells the story of the school she attended in her home town of Shamli. She was a strong-willed girl, and caused a scandal when, on the night of her engagement to a local boy chosen by her parents, she ran off with an estadoünidense. Her parents left Shamli in shame and no one knew where they went. Soon after arriving in New York, she and her estadoünidense husband realized that they weren't really meant for each other (must be that Tropical Heat!) and even though she was pregnant, they divorced.
She comes back to find that her teacher had died and that the city authorities want to demolish the school/temple to put up a shopping mall. To make a long story short, she puts on a show in the hopes of saving the school/temple.
I really enjoyed the songs and the dancing. Madhuri Dixit uses her whole body when she dances; not just feet, hips, and arms. She dances with her head and face and even her eyebrows. I really enjoy watching her. Below is a scene from the film.
The show that is put on is way over the top; one wonders how a school that is going under in a town that is in economic recession could afford the sets, but it IS a Bollywood movie, for goodness' sakes! One simply surrenders to the story and music if one wants to enjoy the film.
This movie was panned by many critics and was banned in certain provinces in India due to a line which some believed was a disparaging remark about caste. I disagree with the critics; it's Bollywood, not Satyajit Ray! Padre Mickey and the Lovely Mona say "Check it out!"
Here she is, the Beautiful and Talented Madhuri Dixit dancing to the song Aaja Nachle
I See You!
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