Thursday, July 31, 2008

Bollywood - what else?

Having been in the biz for as long as I have, what can i say?? The only two Bollywood columnists worth reading at present are Vikram Bhatt and Nishi Prem. I have arrived at this stupendous conclusion after much 'soul searching'. Ha ha. Like this subject needs it! Why waste soul searching on something as frivolous?? But given my Grandma Moses STATUS , I can afford to sit on the mountain top and pass sweeping judgement. Bhatt's Asian Age columns are written from inside the savage circus we call Bollywood. Nishi is one of the earliest players, and in her own way, an insider too. Her Cine Blitz editorials are gutsy and honest - no fake pr-giri, no sucking up, no taking sides. And sizzling writing to boot. She sizes up stars,icons, fakes, pretenders and all the riff raff populating Bollywood, in an engaging, upfront tone. Bhatt's take is readable, candid and self deprecatory , like the best column writing generally is. Between them, they have the real story all wrapped up. In an era of nauseating manipulation (Aamir is the asli master of the game), when stars court journos just before a big release, and shameless journos go running to gobble the scraps thrown their way, these two bylines stand out for spunk and style..... substance , too.
Such a pity, there is no wit left in film journalism any more. Considering the number of jokers floating around these days.


Kris Bass said...

Are these available online?

Harish said...

Agreed, yes, i second you in your choice of journos.

A certain amount of aloofness should be maintained. you cant just get pally with stars and start writing goody goody things about them.

i quite like Mayank Shekar in the film critique category, but yes, i feel he is a little too opinionated at times.

flygye12 said...

i have never read these two guys, but since this is the forum for it. i will like to say that there is a certain celebrity columnist who works for HT whom nothing seems to please.....

who wants to read a column if all he wants to do is berate each and every movie. he seems to be on a mission against the entire film industry...khisiyani billi khamba noche?...his movies dint work so seems to be suffering from mental breakdown as a result.

HT's english movie reviewer (forget his name) seems to be young at heart tho'

i think Madhu Jain does an okay work some times. talking of reviews i especially like Poonam Sharma's reviews of the going ons in the 'idiot box' (Hindustan Times)

Rambunctious WhipperSnapper said...

Yeah, totally. No one has a sense of humor these days. Most columnists give all these top superstars verbal blow jobs. And someone who dares who question them, is verbally bitch slapped on their "blogs". And then all their fans post a zillion comments agreeing with them. No one gets up and says "Dude, stop hero worshiping yourself". These so called "star" bloggers are mostly blogging to get back at their critics, not trying to connect to the public as they claim to. Bunch of bull, isn't it?

Al Walling said...

ostensibly, ostensibly.

sanju ayyar said...

i have something to share on film reviews.
the point according to me is that the average indian movie-goer (about 80 percent of India presumably) does not know about film craft, nor wants to know about it. I think a film is nothing but a story told well. Now, film critics get into so much of details about camera, lighting, editing etc that even a watchable films seems pathetic after the review. And then there are critics who rave and rant about a particular star/actor that their revies end up being reviews of the actor rather than the film. Every RGV film is ripped apart. Not every RGV film is pathetic. But then, there seems to be so much of collective hatred against him that even an okay film gets a thumbs down. This, I think is unfair. Moviegoers get carried away by such reviews and that impacts box office collections.
I dont know if I am making sense but I think we need critics for the aam aadmi and not for so-called film connoisseurs.

rainboy said...

totally agree with all you said...
"there is not wit left in film journalism anymore" spot on ...

Harish said...

Suddenly De, everyone is a film critic and every one is a poet, every one is a writer... hahahahha... And everyone feels that they are a "star" journo.

I mean there is no humility left.

I call the phenomenon the 'Jaath Bhai' effect...

A couple of days back I was telling my friend, a college student about your blog. She tells me "I am writing a book. I will also Blog."

I simply smiled at her groundedness. Pun Intended.

If one says De Taali or Kya Kool Hai Hum is bad. It’s written off by all unanimously. It seems like there is no unity in any other field as much as in Film Journalism.

Jaath Bhai effect runs religiously in the whole film journo community. No one has a Spine of His/her own.

Baring a few, No one thinks differently. No one looks at films minutely. If Salman Khan doesn’t behave well with the press, he is a bad actor.
I don’t like Salman as a person, but if he acts well, I am willing to appreciate him.

Well, we all know about MediaNet and the fact that reviews could be authored. An ethical way to do what people consider unethical.

Its okie if it is for the film, but when fantastic movies are ripped off because of Indecent PRgiri and chamchaing.

It hurts re De.

Neers said...

well, i agree with "aham" and i agree with you about this being day and age of "nauseating manipulations" and of course, You alone could have the guts and get away with; to pass those judgments sweeping or otherwise. "The" Journalism truly is dead or maybe breathing its last.

I for one, dont feel like picking up newspapers except on sundays (thank God for little mercies!) just for the pure delight of reading.

A for Wit, Ma'm ... i think theres not much of it left in any new-age writing... we do not give rise to likes of P.G. Woodehouse and Terry Pratchetts, even Douglas Adams for that matter, any more!

Oh by the way, good to see you on blogville!

Kris Bass said...

For all the 'manipulation' and 'chamcha'ing, all I can say is that, in contradiction to 'Aham', that the ordinary blogger is a good source of reviews of movies. In each 'lay-blogger', I've tended to find a part of me which I can't find in the big-shot reviewers.

Who's going to slam me here?

Harish said...

No, kriss, why would someone slam you.

Yes, i also rely on the "blogger" for unbiased personal reviews. What I was speaking about was about the many celebrity "do-gooder" columists and the high-handedness of some.

smiles :-)

Reflections said...

Dont U like Subash Jha. I'm crushed...

**Peace, peace...just joking:-D**

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