Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Last of the Bollywood Dream Babes

Snow finally comes to NYC! There has been a ton of it to the south of us and a ton of it to the north of us but we are finally getting a little bit today. It looks so pretty. For another few hours anyways.

Well, I am down to my last few pictures from the gossip magazines. There were none in them of Rani for some reason - she seems to avoid the cameras better than most - so sorry for that.

Priyanka Chopra has pretty much everything going for her - looks, personality, smarts and good timing. She jumped in along with Lara Dutta to fill a void as a number of other actresses either retired or got too old to play college girls - in BW guys can continue playing college students well into their 30's while most of the women have to stop around 30. Sometimes it gets a little silly. Priyanka (a former Miss World) and Lara (a former Miss Universe) duked it out for a while but Priyanka seems to have come out on top. Lara used to live right here in NYC (and dated Derek Jeter) for a while before she went back to give Bollywood a go. A friend used to know her slightly and have lunch with her on occassion - said she ate like a horse - but I just want to know why I wasn't invited! You don't think she would have preferred me to Jeter? Four pictures first from Priyanka and two from Lara.

Here the two of them battle for the love of Akshay Kumar in Andaaz. Poor guy.

Neha Dhupia is another Beauty contestant winner - a worrysome trend that so many of the new actresses come through either that route or through modeling - you get the looks certainly but not necessarily the acting talent. Neha isn't bad really and is very charming - but my favorite film of hers was actually a Japanese one called Natu Odoru Ninja Densetsu that starred the Japanese comedy group UriNari (which included Vivian Hsu) and the film also had Yukari Oshima as well. I didn't see it but apparently she was in the Chris Kattan show called "Bollywood Hero".

Yikes, another Bollywood star kid - Sonam Kapoor - this one being the daughter of Anil Kapoor and the niece of producer Boney Kapoor and actor Sanjay Kapoor - and let's not forget the niece to Sridevi! That is called an In. You just tell us what movie you want to debut in. She has won a bunch of Newcommer type awards already.

And the final entry in the Bollywood Babes Sweepstakes is the lovely and demure Vidya Balan. Though fairly new to the scene - her Hindi Debut was in 2005 - Vidya seems to be an old fashioned type of actress - a throwback to the 60's in that she looks best in a sari and prefers not to reveal a lot of flesh - the good girl of Bollywood.

Here she is with Saif Ali Khan in her Award winning debut Parineeta.

One side note regarding that film Deadlier Than the Male - the penny finally dropped last night - duh - this was an update on good old Bulldog Drummond. Bulldog Drummond was a series of novels written by Herman Cyril McNeile back in the 1920's and 1930's portraying the adventures of Hugh "Bulldog" Drummond, who is independently wealthy enough to spend his time going after criminals. In the first four novels Drummond's main adversary is named Carl Peterson - the name of the bad guy in Deadlier Than the Male and one of the later book titles is The Female of the Species about a female killer looking for revenge against Drummond.

Drummond has been portrayed by various actors since the silent days - Ronald Coleman two times, Ray Milland one time (before he hit it big), Ralph Richardson, Tom Conway (brother of George Sanders and who had his own film series, The Falcon), Walter Pidgeon and finally Richard Johnson who seems to have been the last Drummond thus far. But the most famous Drummond was played by John Howard in seven films from 1937 - 1939. And co-incidentally it turns out that I had three of the old Bulldog films - all cheapies on public domain DVDs - the one with Milland and two of Howards. Watched them last night. All come in at around an hour duration and are not bad at all. Milland is a bit too maniacal in his approach but Howard gets just the right tone. Some fine co-stars show up as well - John Barrymore, Anthony Quinn, J. Carrol Naish and two regulars - Drummond's butler is the wonderful E.E. Clive and his best friend is the dithering Reginald Denny. Enjoyable little treats for $5.


Glenn, kenixfan said...

Haha, you just now noticed that? I remember watching Deadlier Than The Male and going "Wait, what?" and having to go look up to confirm that the James Bond-version was the same as the old ones you are talking about.

Same character at least.

Brian said...

James Bond? Now I am confused!

Steve said...

Good Vidya Balan movies include Lage Raho Munna Bhai, Salaam-e-Ishq, and
Bhool Bhulaiyaa. I've read good things about her movies Paa and Ishqiya.

Brian said...

Thanks - she seems to get nothing but rave reviews but other than Parineeta I don't think I have any of her films.

Steve said...

Kismat Konnection and Hey Baby didn't impress.

eliza bennet said...

Definitely avoid Hey Baby (seriously) I liked Kismat Konnection because I'm into the genre but it didn't offer anything special.

Let me thank you for the Akshay pics - you are the best!
The man has a certain charm I can't name and this made me watch a lot of bad films he is in.

Vidya is not my type of actress but I hear her character is not very demure in Ishqiya, the trailers reminded me of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid :)

Sonam can't act. I still will probably watch Aisha (based on Emma)since yummy Abhay Deol is in it (that man is the only Deol spawn who can act not to mention he is the best looking of the bunch) but she failed to impress in neither Sawariya nor in Dilli 6

And I second Nuvvostanante Nennodantana recommendation. That film is the remake of Maine Pyar Kya -starring Salman- and even though I love the original and its neverending series of WTFs, this remake is much much better and it is a good blind buy since you'll probably want to watch it again.

As far as I know Katrina still dates Salman.

Interesting thing about Salman to me is that how he is very much disliked in almost all of the Bolly blogs on the net but when in India I have found that he is very much loved, especially by male audience (probably Wanted helped, watch that one too, it is great masala)

Brian said...

Abhay Deol? Whose spawn is he? Bobby Deol and Sunny Deol are two guys I would not cross the street to watch. Sonam - I feel a bit sorry for these kids though its their own doing I suppose. But they can't begin in small roles and work on their craft but are thrown right into starring roles. It is amazing sometimes that they are as good as they are.

According to these rags, Katrina is now being linked up with Ranbir Kapoor, yet another Kapoor/grandson of Raj who had been going with Deepika but that went south. But all the mags seemed sure that she and Salman were history. I hope so. He is very popular in India - no doubt about it - has been for 20 years - but he is basically a woman beater and a criminal hit and run driver and a horrific bully. But of course he is a star so all is forgiven. Reminds me that people still go to see Mel Gibson who would have been in the SS if he had been born 50 years earlier.

Steve said...

I was charmed by Sonam in Saawariya, a film I liked much more than any other SLB movie.

Abhay Deol is part of the ensemble cast in Honeymoon Travels Pvt. Ltd., a really wonderful must see movie.

eliza bennet said...

But SLB has the knack of making his leading ladies look wonderful(which was not necessary in case of Aish and Rani but worked for Sonam brilliantly) To me though she is better in her photos than in her films.

Abhay is a junior member of Dharmendra no? He certainly looks like him and he is a good actor too. But I can't remember the exact connection now.

Honeymoon Travels Pvt.Ltd. is a charming film and everyone is very good in it (even Amisha!!). I second this recommendation too.

Abhay is also the star of much talked about Dev D. Another adaptation of Devdas for younger generation. I didn't like the film but Abhay did well with the role.

He is also in Socha Na Tha, Imtiaz Ali's first film with Ayesha Takia and both leads were really good (but then again I like Mr.Ali's films)

I love Katrina and totally agree that she is not much of an actor but I feel happy to watch her on screen. And I actually check internet re:Salman Katrina and I never found anything about their break up.

Salman may be a bad boy but he is in my good books as far as his cinematic value goes. I don't purchase a film just because he is in it but his presence doesn't hurt either.

Brian said...

Geez, you both see so much more BW films these days than I do! I need to get back into them.

Here is what Wiki says about Abhay Deol. It is all so incestuous!

Abhay Deol was born in Mumbai to a sikh Jatt family. He is the son of producer and director Ajit Deol. His paternal uncle is famous veteran actor Dharmendra and his cousins are actors Sunny Deol,Bobby Deol, Esha Deol and Ahana Deol.