f. like me. you love Hindi or Bollywood cinema.
you need to start embracing the idea of remakes.
Two current releases. Don and (finruo Jami. are cases in point. The trouble for me is that. having been reared during what I consider the heyday of the Bollywood blockbuster (the 70s). it is difficult to shake off the melodramatic memories of Amitabh Bachchan in (‘handra Borat's original 1978 Don or the lovely Rekha in Muzzafer Ali's I98] (x'mruo Juan. Yet. the directors of both new movies are at pains to point out that these are not remakes. but fresh perspectives which happen to feature two of the most iconic stars of the new millennium — Shah Rukh Khan as Don and Aishwarya Rai as Umrao Jaan.
Don (C. ) is the more faithful adaptation. albeit with a few twists and turns added to this exciting but convoluted tale of gangsters. street performers. imposters and lnterpol plots. Javed Aktar‘s screenplay riffs on the original with a visual gag about the bowties
worn by Bachchan in the original and uses a couple of
that film‘s song and dance numbers. The remaining characters are. however. rarely fleshed out in any depth while the heaving bosoms of the female characters take up the slack.
Umrm) Juan (000 ) centres on the life of the famous courtesan. with a narrative structure based more faithfully on Mirza Hadi Ruswa‘s historic novel. The story is recalled in flashback as Umrao (Rai) is kidnapped as a child and sold to a Khota (courtesan’s brothel). The film is full of gorgeous cinematography and utilises an array of landscapes in Jaipur to stand in for l9th century Lucknow. Rai is stunning but her
42 THE LIST 16—30 Nov 2006
GRAB SOME POPCORN, SIT BACK, SWITCH OFF AND ENJOY THE RIDE
The List’s new Bollywood film correspondent Ghazala Butt kicks things off with the first of her monthly new film round ups.
portrayal of limrao lacks arrogance and vulnerability. By comparison. Meena Kumari’s portrait of I’tl/ﬂ’t’ﬂl/l (I979) illustrated the quintessential charm. culture and snobbery of a woman educated beyond the confined world of her contemporaries.
.luun-Izli'llumi (00 ) is more straightforward. (irab some popcorn. sit back. switch off and enjoy the ride. The story revolves around three college friends — Piya (Prein '/.inta). Suhaan (Salman Khan) and Augustya (Akshay Kumar) whose lives are intertwined through marriage and unrequited love. Writer/director Shirish Kunder uses NYC landmarks and ‘foreign‘ extras to appeal to indigenous and diaspora audiences. There are the usual mass choreographed musical routines. lovely aerial shots of Brooklyn Bridge and Khan ripping his shirt off at any given opportunity. .\'ot really my sort of movie. but a pure commercial Bollywood extravaganza nonetheless (my seven-year-old loved ill).
l‘inally Sanjay (iadhvi's [Mount 3 (00 ) is the sequel to 2004's blockbuster [Moo/ii. a tnulticast extravaganza that boasted a cast made tip of the cream of current stars. This time out the thrills and spills centre on a highly trained but mysterious international burglar Mr A (Hrithik Roshan). some stolen crown jewels and Jai's (Abhishek Bachchan) attempts to track him down. Filmed across exotic locations with a vibrant. glorious. glossy modern look. I)/I()()I)I 2 (pictured) has the added. puerile bonus of a glamorous female action sidekick. One for the boys I think.
Dhoom 2 is on selected release from Fri 24 Nov. Other films still showing at selected cinemas.
THE BEST FILM & DVD RELEASES
* Requiem Beautifully realised fictionalised account of the last years of Anneliese Michel, the young German who died in 1976 after undergoing several exorcisms. See review. page 45. Filmhouse, Edinburgh from Fri 77 Nov.
* Pan’s Labyrinth Guillermo del Toro's returns to The Devil's Backbone form with this fantastical allegory set again during the Spanish Civil War. See review. page 43. Cameo, Edinburgh and selected cinemas from Fri 24 Nov.
* The Asphalt Jungle John Huston's genre defining 1950 heist movie gets a lovely new print. Praise be. See review. page 45. Fi/mhouse, Edinburgh from Fri 77—Thu 23 Nov only.
* The Pervert’s Guide to Cinema Film theory made fun by the clearly insane Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Zizek. See interview. page 44 and review, page 46. Gl-T, Glasgow from Fri 24—Sun 26 Nov only.
* Italian Film Festival It's unlucky for some but the 13th outing of this festival boasts an exceptionally fine programme which includes Nanni Moretti's The Caiman and Kim Rossi Stuart's Along the Ridge. See Five Reasons. page 44. GFT, Glasgow 8. Fi/mhouse, Edinburgh from Fri 77 Nov.
* Johanna Strikingly bizarre musical take on the Joan of Arc legend with a sexualised drug addict taking the centre ground. See review. page 44. GFI', Glasgow from Mon 27 Nov.
* K2 Powerful holocaust documentary that looks at the dehumanising effects of working in the camps today. See review. page 46. Out now (Optimum Classics).
* The Green Man Alistair Sim and Ealing's finest hour finally gets a DVD release. A must. See review, page 47. Out now (Optimum Classics).