Saturday, July 10, 2010

Boy, Oh Boy, These New Bolly Boys!

My inner fangirl has been neglected lately, I feel, so it seems like it's time to give her her due. And what better way to do that than a rant about this new generation of Bollywood actors that consistently blow my mind in the best ways possible!!

It's pretty funny how my favourite young man in Bollywood, Shahid Kapoor, at 29, is not even part of the new generation anymore. With over a dozen films, he sure seems like a veteran by now. So I guess I can't squeeze him on this list as much as I would love to. But that's ok, as they say, plenty more where that came from! Let's see...

Technically not a newcomer since the boy has been making movies since the turn of the century (I love how big that sounds, even though it's only 10 years!), and definitely not a boy since he's actually 36 (and a Capricorn - big yay for all the Capricorns in the film industry! Another one coming up in this list, there's just something about them...). But since his proper acting debut wasn't until 2 years ago, I consider him very much a newcomer. And since he's only done 3 movies, I have no problem picking my favourite one: Luck By Chance! One of the best Bollywood movies of all times, one that I will never get tired of recommending!

So what's there to love about Farhan? For one he has a killer asymmetrical smile that crumples up his whole face in the most adorable way, then he has that raspy voice that is to die for, he is incredibly funny in his talk-show "Oye, It's Friday!", he's subtle and brilliant in his acting, and the cherry on the cake: he wrote and directed Dil Chahta Hai, the movie that brought Bollywood romance into the 21st century, when he was only 26! Talented you say? I say: proof that there is no justice in the universe!

Also, the fact that he is now shooting for Zoya Akhtar's next movie, Zindagi Milegi Na Dobara, with the next yummy Bolly boy on my list increases his appeal exponentially. (As does the fact that he's grown his hair longer again.)

I confess I still have difficulty pronouncing his name right, even after extensive research down to the Devanagari script of his name (which no one seems to pronounce the way it's written), so hopefully I'll never run into him on the streets of Toronto and have to shout after him to get another look at his larger than life dimples. Oh who am I kidding, the day I saw him from relatively up close at the Toronto Film Festival in 2009 my hands were shaking so badly that I didn't even manage to get a good picture of him until he turned around. I got this boring guy instead, and a good shot of Abhay's shoulder and cheek... What an epic fail!

But all that drama aside, like all the other newcomers it seems, Abhay took his sweet time to grow on me, but grow he did. In fact he grew on me so much that I was even digging his mustache in Manorama Six Feet Under. And yes, that was before I got into South Indian movies and started seeing the light about mustaches altogether.

Abhay is what we would call the anti-hero of his generation. He doesn't do the song and dance routine (though sadly that seems to have become the norm, instead of the exception), he doesn't do loverboy roles (except for Ahista Ahista and Socha Na Tha, his first two movies), he hates to promote his movies, and get this one: he's smart! Whoa!

His choice of movies has always been on the eclectic side, and despite having seen them all, I have trouble naming a favourite. Maybe Road, Movie? Maybe Dev D., his brilliant take on the done-to-death (and horribly done at least in this century) Devdas? The dark drama Manorama Six Feet Under? But then he's so adorable in Socha Na Tha! See, I just can't decide! Maybe Road Movie after all...

Abhay for me is for the new generation what Aamir Khan is for the old one: the pathbreaker, the thinker and the only one whose movies I will reserve the entire opening weekend for, because no matter what movie it is, there is no doubt in my mind it will be brilliant enough for me to want to see it at least twice in the theatre. A random guy I met at the Film Festival last year said it best: "Abhay Deol is the only actor whose movies I have no problem showing to a Westerner, even to a Bollywood-hater-by-default, because I know I can't go wrong with them."

Ahhh... Ranbir... This one took the longest to dig the tunnel to my heart, but now that he's there, there's no removing him. What took me so long? I'm not going to lie, it was his looks. He just didn't appeal to me. And I am convinced the only reason I find him appealing now, 6 movies later, is because he's become like an old friend. My opinion of people's looks always reflects what I think of them: the people I dislike look ugly to me, while my friends all seem damn good looking. It's perhaps my way of solving the cognitive dissonance created by liking someone as a person and disliking their looks (call me shallow, it's ok, I know it). Ranbir just fit into that pattern: it got to the point where he felt so familiar in his movies, like I should know what he's going to do next (and I mean that as a compliment), that my brain just confused him for a friend, and ta-dah... made him good looking! Go figure...

Looks aside, clearly there must be something to him if I was watching all his movies even when I was comparing his charm to that of a vacuum cleaner. Well there's no denying he's a wonderful actor, but there are some things he positively excels in. He's energetic, he's full of life and most importantly he feels real. On top of that no one does confused better than Ranbir, no one does bemused better than Ranbir, no one does hurt puppy better than Ranbir and definitely no one in the new generation dances better than Ranbir. Give me ten movies in a row with him playing a good for nothing, a la Wake Up Sid! and I will not even require popcorn to watch them all!

And because this one is better seen in action than in pictures:

If I hadn't written this list in alphabetical order by last name, Imran would have probably been first, because right now, I am crushing on him a little too much for decency. Not enough to make me forget his lack of dancing skills (I have definitely been spoiled by Allu Arjun's mad energy and talent), but enough to make me forget that I was not going to buy any more new movies at least until next month. Kidnap had better be worth it, or rather, I know it's not worth it, but Imran had better make it worth it!
Somehow after seeing this:
I think he'll manage just fine!...

As the huge Aamir Khan fan that I am, I was so happy to discover just how much of uncle Aamir's features Imran has inherited (physically but also acting-wise). Which makes me think that maybe Bollywood did get it right: maybe acting talent IS genetically ingrained. When he can sell me a bad movie like I Hate Luv Storys (sic), I simply must bow to his charm and screen presence.

I do have a soft spot for actors with good facial expressions, the ones that no frame is wasted on because their face is never idle (Shahid is the other one at the top of this list for me), so I suspect that's what won me over about Imran. He seems so spontaneous in his acting, and he puts the fun back into watching Bollywood. Not fun the opposite of boring, but fun the opposite of serious. All that on top of the fact that he is ridiculously good looking and he has the perfect body (ok, maybe he shares that title with Ranbir). What more can a girl ask for? Did I mention he's also a Capricorn?

My favourite thing about this new generation is that I get to love them all! Unlike the Era of the Khans where fans were polarized (myself included: out of the three, I can't stand two of them), this new generation is the Love Generation, where no rivalries have shown their ugly faces yet, and comparisons are useless because these guys are so different in their range that they CAN each have their own place without outshining one another.


ajnabi said...

I really enjoy all the guys you've listed here, with the exception of Farhan, whom I haven't seen on camera yet. Of them all, though, Ranbir is my favorite; he's just SO TALENTED! Even though Kareena's said she could never play opposite him, I'd love to see them together as brother/sister sometime.

Dolce and Namak said...

Ajnabi! Welcome! :)
Heh, Kareena says a lot of things, and then changes her mind ;) You're so right, that is one pairing I would also love to see. Brothers cousins friends enemies, whatever, I'd love to see them on screen together!
Jealous that you can name a favourite, I tried and failed :) I just love them all (and this week Imran a little more than the rest :P What has that movie done to me??).
Wait did you just say you haven't seen Luck By Chance??? That's impossible! I must have misread!...

Nicki said...

You're right about Kareena girl. I remember when she used to say stuff about Arjun Rampal and Salman Khan but acted with both of them :)

Well, your list is good, but Ranbir and John Abraham are my faves in Bollywood. Imran is too pretty boy for me until I saw his recent Filmfare cover, hehehe.

I did my hotness list at one point...but only one guy makes me go fangirl and that's Mr. Perfect :D

Remini said...

That moment with Abhay Deol and the epic fail was just too funny. It's amazing what the stars can do to us. I don't even want to imagine standing so close to one of my favourites :p I need to watch another Ranbir movie, I've only seen Saawariya and Bachna ae haseeno. Heard much about Rocket Singh and Wake Up Sid, haven't had time to watch them yet.

It's funny, but I was discussing the possibility of a bolly Magadheera remake with a guy, and he said they're considering Hrithik for the hero part. I went "nahiiiiin", he's too old for roles of that kind :/ And he asked, who from the younger generation could play a role like that? They're all chocolate heroes. Hmmm. I don't know, but I was thinking of Khunal Khemu. He's not in your list - have you seen anything with him as the lead? He's quite charming (not to mention gorgeous :D)

Dolce and Namak said...

@Nicki: In full agreement about Mr Perfect. For a split second while I was writing this entry I thought of doing a similar list for the South. Then I realized it would basically have one name repeated over and over and in between a couple of honourable mentions, which would have been totally unfair :)
And Imran didn't seem like all that to me in JTYJN either: too young looking. But just you wait until you see IHLS, you'll see what I mean :)

My fav Ranbirs are Wake Up Sid and Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani, but they're all good, so you may as well just pick one from the pile :) With APKGK you have to expect a lot of WTFery and be in the mood for it but heck, with the amount of Southies you watch, that should be a natural state of being anyway :D

So I thought about this Magadheera remake idea, and the best option that comes to mind is another Kunal: Kunal Kapoor. He's got the stature, he's got the physique, he's got the hair, he's got the talent, sure he can't dance but then Ram Charan can't act so I'd say it's an improvement on the original :P Now who would be the girl? This one I'm lost on: someone who does giggly fun as well as regal grandeur? Can't think of anyone under 35 to be honest...

As for Kunal Khemu, I have yet to see Kalyug which I have been meaning to get forever, but any other recommendations?

Roxanita said...

I read the reviews for Kalyug and they were kind of mixed so i haven't watched it, even if i could watch online from my rental company but.... what took me to read about the movie was the stunning Kunal Khemu... ahhh sometimes i just don't care if they can't act.. just put them on the screen so i can watch'em :))

... but i'm all for more mature bolly boys: Aamir Khan, which i would stalk if he would be single(hihihi), i second you opinion on Shahid, i think he looks a lot like Tom Cruise when he was young and gorgeous and Hritik that stole my heart in Jodhaa Akbar to such extent that even if i can always watch the movie online, i went immediately and purchased the DVD :) (my best friend keeps saying Hritik is deformed-thin waist and broad mmmmmussscular shoulders- but i told her that's a good kind of deformity and she agreed)

... and i have never been star struck until... oh Bollywood, what have you done to me!!! heheheh

Dolce and Namak said...

Haha! Roxanita, I do agree on the love for Aamir, but lately I seem to have lost the fangirling ability when it comes to him. I'm still a diehard fan, just not so much a fangirl anymore. But that might mean it's time to pop in Rangeela or Ghulam and remember some of the things I used to be gaga about :P

The young ones on the other hand :D :D Well, let's just say I've probably sat through more bad movies than good ones overall and it's only because some huge crush or another that persuaded me that I absolutely NEED to watch all of so-and-so's movies RIGHT NOW! And yes, Kidnap was just as bad as I had imagined. And don't get me started on Aisha - why Abhay, why??? (I also sat through all but 4 of Aamir's old movies, so those were a big chunk too in their time). Ah, the sweet pains of being a fangirl :)

BTW If ever I see Kalyug, I have to come back here and rant about this Kunal boy :)

Roxanita said...

yeah.. i probably will never shake the inner fangirl when it comes to Aamir... i mean "Dil" and even "Raja Hindustani" were really hard to watch, but i have watched them and i'll probably watch all his movies... but i understand what he said in a interview i saw a while back... that he would go home and cry because he was so unhappy about the work he was made to do, being under some sort of contract.. you can really tell when the tide has turned!

On the other hand, reading your review about Vivah... i guess it's everybody with theit own opinion but.. i liked it a lot..
I was so set on watching Dev.D that after i wrote that comment last night i sat down and watched it.. wow that was different, so different from the original... but i didn't really make a connection with Dev...i think his character was, as we say where i'm from "pulled by the hair", even thou the hunk really made it worth while watching :)))

Dolce and Namak said...

LOL Dil and Raja Hindustani are gems compared to Ishq, Awwal Number and Deewana Mujhsa Nahin :) THAT's where the real fun is at! :P

Re: Dev D. The thing about Dev D is that I will never know what I would have thought of the movie had I not seen SRK's Devdas before. But because I saw it and hated it with a passion (except for the dances and Madhuri), I found Dev D. such a great refreshing departure from the crap melodrama in Devdas. And I liked Dev precisely because we are not expected to like him or sympathize with him. That's what I hate about SRK's Devdas the most: that I was supposed to be won over by this immature spoiled brat only because OMG SRK's charm or whatever. But since SRK's charm has no effect on me, I had no sympathy for Devdas. Dev on the other hand never expects you to love him: he's a jerk, he knows it, we know it and you either get into the story and buy it or not. But there are no attempts to manipulate you into feeling for him. Or for any of the other characters in the story. I liked that honesty about them. Oh, and ROFL @ "pulled by the hair". Sounds very funny in the context.

Roxanita said...

hahahahahaha i just saw tonight Deewana Mujh sa Nahin and i have to agree with you.. i would never watch these movies but i really wanted to see Aamir's beginings and i suffer for him... ohh Ishq.. what a gem.. NOT! :)))))
Sorry i totaly changed the topic of the comments... but i promise that if i come up with new hunks for your list i'll let you know what my opinion is.

Till then... Ciao!

Dolce and Namak said...

Oh don't stress, Roxanita, as you can see I am absolutely terrible at staying on topic myself. How can I demand it of others? :) Isn't DMN just something else? I do feel for the man sometimes. But I also feel for us poor souls who put our minds to watching all this stuff knowing it's bad. :D

Roxanita said...

Just watched Anjaana Anjaani in the movie theatre.. i never really liked Ranbir Kapoor either but i think this movie changed my opinion... and watching a movie in the cinema is a totaly different experience..

I'm watching now a show called "Ice Road Truckers" where they take truckers from Canada and put them on the roads in India... WOW!!! i think i'll never drive when i'll go there :)))

Dolce and Namak said...

Haha! You mean watching Ranbir fresh out of the shower or in the world's tightest jeans wasn't so bad? Yes, I can empathise :P I am 100% convinced that Anjaana is a movie made for drooling. I mean they didn't even give you a break to breathe, the outrageously sexy shots just kept coming. So I dare anyone who is all self righteous about "oh, we shouldn't objectify stars" to watch this movie and tell me how exactly one can NOT objectify :D But anyways, yes, Anjaana Anjaani in a theatre: a very pleasant experience, even if the movie itself was a let-down. But Ranbir and Priyanka rocked as usual, so my money was still veeeery well spent. :)

Roxanita said...

and 2 kisses... i mean that's a bonus! :))))

Dolce and Namak said...

Roxanita, I have to say this: you're a woman after my own heart! ;)

micaelix said...

Always happy to be of service :)

Dolce and Namak said...

Just checking in to tell Remini and Roxanita that I just watched Kalyug. Ok "stunning" Kunal Khemu doesn't even begin to cover it. This boy is so beautiful it can't be for real. And Atif Aslam's Aadat just made this movie for me! :) Atif Aslam singing and Kunal Khemu acting = awesomeness. Just don't ask me what the movie was about, I have no idea :D

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