Weekend Movie Club Update

Queen won the poll and I will review it for the coming weekend.  Meanwhile, I realized that though Hindi films were a huge part of growing up for me that is not the case for most of my readers. So before I jump in and start reviewing a movie let me give you some perspective.

Hollywood beats Hindi movies handily in terms of dollars and cents, they have Hollywood  beat when it comes to the number of movies produced every year.  Hindi movies have not made significant inroads in the United States yet. They have a reach far beyond the Indian diaspora and borders. I have found Hindi movie numbers with German, Portuguese and Spanish subtitles.

Hindi is the language of the north Indian plains and one of the 22 scheduled Indian languages. Native speakers of Hindi don’t number more than 25% of the Indian population but Hindi is widely understood and prevalent as a second or third language.

Hindi film industry is based in Mumbai  (Bombay) and in many ways is a microcosm of India and an unconscious representation of its diversity of both language and religion. Yes, they sing and dance and wear their emotions on their sleeve.

If you have any questions about Queen, Hindi movies or the Weekend Movie Club, please feel free to ask. I will try to answer as best as I can. After I review Queen for the next weekend, the insufferable movie snob will review classic comedies. I will put up a poll for the classic comedies this week. If you missed movie snob’s review of the Shock Corridor, check it here.

Before, I end let me leave you with this:

The 10 day long Ganesha festival ended just last week. Here is Shahrukh Khan,  bidding Ganpati adieu in the 2006 movie Don, set to music by the trio Shankar-Ehsan-Loy and sung by Shankar Mahadevan.

Don
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Posted on September 18, 2016, in Movies, Music, Weekend Movie Club and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. Quantum Hairball

    Neerja and Queen while different genres both have this trope where non-diegetic songs are used to explain or reinforce what’s being portrayed. Is this common to Indian movies and is there any feeling, even if custom, that it’s superfluous, at least in regard to films like these two where the themes are explicit?

    Thanks.

  2. How can you judge without having watched a movie whether the songs are superfluous? Songs have always been a part of story telling in India and movies just have carried on that tradition.

    • Quantum Hairball

      I thought it was evident that I watched both films. How common is this trope in Indian cinema if you know?

      Thanks.

      • “How can you judge without having watched a movie whether the songs are superfluous?”

        I think I took this the wrong way, having assumed you’re familiar enough with Indian cinema to answer my question. At any rate, I’ll look at your review when it’s up.

        Thanks

        • You used the word trope which sounds judgmental. Hence my initial reply.
          Songs are a pretty common element of Hindi movies whether sung (or lip synced) by characters on the screen or not. Movies without songs are rare indeed. Usually songs are used to portray intense emotion that is difficult to express in prose.
          As for the movies in question, I did not think that songs were superfluous. In “Queen” they track the emotional evolution of Rani we see her becoming increasingly confident about her own decisions as the movie progresses.
          As for Neerja, I have to yet see it. The song about how she misses her mother portrays her emotions that she can’t express. Though she appears outwardly calm, she is a bundle of nerves and misses her mom.
          I think the answer to your question depends on how well you understand Hindi too. If you are watching with subtitles the songs definitely are more of nuisance.
          Thanks for your comments and I hope I have answered your question. BTW I love your nym.

  3. Quantum Hairball

    Someone I spoke to categorized it as a trope so I used it for lack of a better term. I actually thought calling it superfluous may’ve offended you which I can understand as well.

    It crossed my mind that subtitles may overemphasize lyrics to a degree that distorts the experience but who knows. I’d have to watch many more movies to really form an opinion on things. I did enjoy both Neerja and Queen regardless.

    Thanks for replying and my apologies for getting back to you so late.

    Glad you liked my nick. i hoped you’d get a kick out of it.

    QH

  4. When I saw Queen again to do this review, I left the subtitles on. That totally kills the experience when watching the songs. The translations are too literal and kinda annoying. So I now I see where you are coming from.

    • Yeah. I actually thought upon viewing that the subtitles may be distorting things and I should’ve brought that up initially.

      I’m off to watch A Tale of Two Sisters a Korean horror/mystery/drama. I wonder how they’re going to translate the screaming.

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