Blogging in the doldrums; dissing Kisna

My blogging mojo is weak right now... All sorts of factors may be to blame, but more than anything else it's hard to blog when my daily rhythm is in transition (moving, packing, adjusting, commuting, etc.).

Blogging is one of those things that really requires windows of time and energy. To write even semi-seriously takes an hour or more a day of commitment, and I just haven't had it as much as I would like lately. Maybe things will get back to normal soon; I don't know.

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We saw Kisna, and I can agree with reader Mihir that it's in fact quite skippable. Or fast-forwardable?

Or to put it quite plainly -- it sucks.

That said, I didn't mind Antonia Bernath's bad Hindi accent. I think it's remarkable how much Hindi they actually got her to say; in the past, the English characters in Hindi films had all their lines dubbed into Hindi, when they had lines at all. And speaking as someone who speaks Hindi both badly, and with a bit of a 'gora' accent myself, I would posit that it's a bit of a step forward, which Indian viewers probably ought to enjoy. In an era of globalization, we want to hear non-Indians speaking Hindi with an accent -- it's a sign that the language (and the culture) is in demand. One so rarely heard it in India in the past, largely because foreign visitors almost never felt it would be worth their while to invest serious time and energy learning the language. "They speak English in India, don't they? Why should I bother?"

Kisna as crappy as it is, is a small sign that that may be changing.

On the interracial romance. In this film, Bernath's "Katherine" and Vivek Oberoi's "Kisna" do push the threshold past the interracial flirtation we saw in Lagaan. Ghai clearly loves putting the camera on Bernath's face -- she's definitely the lead -- while Gowarikar, in Lagaan , stacked the decks in favor of Gracy Singh. But even though he put Bernath in songs, desi outfits, and provides copious measures of smouldering looks and melodramatic dialogue, Ghai does the theatrical equivalent of sitting on himself with the conclusion of the film. Instead of having them run off into the sunset as the plot demands, Ghai has his Oberoi mumble some twaddle about "jeevan satya," and demur, marrying his racially-correct village fiance for duty rather than love.

Why not have Katherine stay in India, and marry Kisna? In real life, I know of a few instances where something like this in fact did happen.

But maybe I'm asking too much. I continue to doubt that we'll ever see a mainstream bollywood movie where a heroine romances and marries a westerner. I simply think it would be impossible for audiences to accept. (And just in case anyone is confused, Bride and Prejudice is really an American production; that's where the money came from...)