Saturday, November 27, 2010

Wake Up (Sid) Aisha! Review

I've been wanting to rewatch Wake Up Sid for a couple of months, but it always felt like I should watch something new instead. Until this week one night I knew I had no energy or brain power for anything new, so rewatching something for an hour or so seemed ideal. Little did I know that I'd get so excited about watching it that I'd end up sitting through the whole thing despite the late hour and that I would have to resist the urge to play it again when it was over.

I guess it's obvious by now that I'm a huge sucker for subtlety. Probably why melodrama classics like Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge and Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam only manage to make me laugh, and that's only on a very good day. Films that don't look like they're trying too hard on the other hand, win me over by default. I like films that speak to me in soft images, and actors that communicate in little gestures. And Wake Up Sid is exactly one such film.

Namak: You mean except for the cheesy picturizations of Kya Karoon and Life Is Crazy, right? Because if we're talking cliches, I wonder how many more times we have to see people showing they're carefree by popping their whole upper body out the car window during a drive, and how many times those walls in Aisha's apartment could have been splashed with a million colours that no primer will ever be able to cover effectively.
Dolce: Oh, that's true, but tell me the yellow walls didn't remind you of home!
Namak: Our first bachelor apartment with vanilla yellow and mandarin orange painted walls? Yes! That did bring back memories.
Dolce: See, it's not all bad!

I wonder if this is now my favourite Ranbir Kapoor movie? Just when I thought I couldn't think any higher of him, I rewatched this movie and fell in love with him all over again.

Namak: I can't believe we called his looks unfortunate the first time we watched this. What were we thinking?
Dolce: You know what is still unfortunate about him in this movie though? That he doesn't get to dance until the end credits, and even then it's hardly a proper dance number, as fun as it may be. But his looks are definitely nowhere near unfortunate.

He pulls off the most subtle performance I've seen from him in Wake Up Sid. There's an innocence and a sincerity in it that he couldn't even muster up in his first film, Saawariya. The fact that Aisha lays down the ground rules about being just friends from the first 5 minutes of their story translates in Ranbir only having stolen glances at his disposal to reveal his feelings for Aisha to us. One gets a pretty good idea of his determination to prove himself to Aisha, but it's only his eyes that tell us why. And that wonderful drunken moment...

I could talk about Ranbir Kapoor in this role all day and not get tired of praising him, but for once maybe I'll refrain from that... so I leave it at: Ranbir is nothing short of perfect as Sid.

Because as much as Sid is the centre of attention and his journey fills up the film like a balloon in too small a box, the story isn't only about Sid discovering life, it's also about Aisha discovering love. It may be "Wake Up Sid", but Aisha also wakes up to find her inner child and to realize that independent and serious don't have to be synonyms. I find her journey equally interesting.

Konkona Sen Sharma as Aisha gets to be her usual confident self with a little bit of a soft side, and ever so unaware of just how much the camera loves her. In this case, both the director's camera and Sid's.

If anything, Aisha makes Sid's journey backwards: starting off as the confident, mature woman, and ending up as an antsy teenager. She goes from feeling safe and uninhibited in their friendship to feeling shy and just a little bit insecure, which makes her feisty and moody. She goes from thinking she knows what she wants to finding out that getting excited about old Hindi film songs may be childish, but it's also nothing to be ashamed of. I especially loved the progression from her uneasiness in front of Sid's camera in their first scene, to her coquettish posing in one of the songs towards the end.

Speaking of photography, that's something else that impressed me about the movie. Bollywood is not exactly famous for showcasing art within art.Take away the singing and the dancing and the other arts are rather poorly represented in films. So to have one that does justice to photography is no small thing. Of course, they could have done a crash course with Ranbir about how to hold a camera without looking like he's holding a soccer ball, but well... can't have it all, because where would you put it, right?

Namak: Don't you feel gypped that they didn't include a mini photo album with all of Sid's pictures with the DVD?
Dolce: Considering I have postcards of Jodhaa Akbar and Taare Zameen Par, Lagaan official filmstrips and even an Anjaana Anjaani poster, you bet I feel ripped off that these guys didn't think of it. Especially when the cinematographer comes up with some of the most creative images in this one. For example call me crazy, but I'm always up for having random chicken thrown in the mix.

Wow, that was random. But that is exactly the type of thing that makes Wake Up Sid such an invigorating little film. That and every single scene and image in it. And Ranbir Kapoor rocking my world... Oh, and to think I haven't even touched on how Iktara and Kya Karoon have never left my "top 25 most played songs" list since the film came out...

It was easy to find a cheese for wake Up Sid! Of course it had to be my favourite cheese: Brie. Tasty but not overpowering. Soft but not messy. Delicate and special but dependable and unpretentious at the same time. I love the understated taste of Brie cheese about as much as I loved the subtlety of Wake Up Sid!. And I can't imagine ever tiring of either.

ETA: This is as good a place as any to mention that my Ranbir Kapoor avatars page is finally up. Yay! Next up: Mumaith Khan!

Break Ke Baad - The Best Rom-com of the Year???

Namak: I don't know why the reviews for it are so bad, I quite enjoyed it.
Dolce: YOU liked it? You don't even like rom-coms!!
Namak: And nor do you, so that's a moot point. Sure it's no Dil Chahta Hai or Jab We Met, or even an Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani, but of everything we've seen this year in the genre, this was the best one. Think about it: for sure it's better than I Hate Luv Storys...
Dolce: Which we own and saw twice in the theatre.
Namak: It was infinitely better than Anjaana Anjaani...
Dolce: Which we own and saw twice in the theatre.
Namak: And let's not even mention Aisha or Kites!
Dolce: Which we both hated but will still buy when they're cheap enough.
Namak: Lookit, just because I overindulge in your silly crushes on Ranbir, Imran, Abhay and Priyanka doesn't mean any of them were good films.
Dolce: Ouch. Burn. But it's not all me, you're the one who wanted to see Kites! You wanted to laugh at it.
Namak: Fine, that one was my doing. Either way. Just saying that of everything we've seen this year, this one stands out.

Not that it means much to stand out compared to garbage movies, but I figured with all the bad reviews, it was perhaps a good idea to put aside my Wake Up Sid post for another day and make a case for Imran Khan and Deepika Padukone starrer Break Ke Baad (link to trailer).

This is your typical rom-com set-up, of the "we love each other but have different expectations from life" variety. Abhay and Aliya have known each other since they were kids, were together for 10 years, now they're adults and he wants to settle down, while she wants to pursue her dream of becoming an actress. Away from him. I know they say the movie is supposed to be about needing space in a relationship, but I didn't see that angle at all, this wasn't about space, it was about being selfish and spoiled. On Aliya's side. And about being a clingy doormat on Abhay's side. I suppose you can look at it as one of them needing space and the other not being used to giving it, but it didn't look to me like she needed a break, it looked like she was trying to get the hell away from him.

Anyways, back to the plot ---- wait, what plot? Oh right, it's a rom-com, the plot doesn't really matter. No really, there's nothing earth shattering there, and I didn't particularly care for the ending either, but then again, what rom-com doesn't have a cheesy ending? Even a classic like Dil Chahta Hai is guilty of that.

No, this genre doesn't make a living off coming up with innovative ways to fall in love and break up, so there's no point in even talking about the plot. You know what type of movie you're going in for, complaining about the plot would be like complaining about snow in Canada (and of course, we do that almost every day for 6 months of the year, and sometimes even in the summer when we remember). This genre's bread and butter are performances, chemistries and situations. And in these departments I found it to be quite rewarding.

First of all Imran. He's not as devilishly adorable as he was in I Hate Luv Storys, in fact his character is a bit of a bore, but he manages to make it fun nonetheless. He seems to have an endless supply of facial expressions and eyebrow movements (I swear his eyebrows do yoga: he could even make them stand on his head if he wanted to!).
There's a scene in the beginning where he is practicing proposing to Aliya so he is imagining her reaction and her lines and ends up playing both roles in the mirror, I just about died laughing. His line delivery is another one of his best features: it's sharp and punchy in the fun scenes, and gracefully lyrical in the dramatic ones. Mercifully they didn't make him do the two things that he makes me cringe with: dancing and crying. So all in all, he could do no wrong with this role.

Deepika Padukone is not one of my favourite girls, but she keeps up quite well. It's not her fault the script made her character a little too zingy for its own good. But she pulls it off. And she definitely rocks some very skimpy desiwear, which is always a plus in my book.

Even in the bits where Aliya is clearly trying way too hard to be a rebel, Deepika manages to make her reasonably believable. Plus she does a pretty good drunk!

Namak: On a separate note, is it just me or are all the characters in Indian rom-coms these days completely asexual? In a movie like Wake Up Sid it doesn't bother me, because the movie focuses more on friendship than love, but Break Ke Baad could have done with a little bit of sizzle. 
Dolce: But they keep breaking up, they're hardly ever together.
Namak: I get it that they're breaking up, but I find it hard to believe that there's no sexual tension at any point in this process. It's like these days movies either go the scandalous route, or they completely shy away from even hinting that a couple would actually be attracted to each other that way.  
Dolce: There are a couple of scenes where it's implied. Sort of...
Namak: It's implied that what, they kiss??
Dolce: Uh... That he... sleeps over sometimes...
Namak: Hm... a pretty feeble attempt if you ask me.

But back to the rest of their chemistry. The chemistry is what I am usually afraid of in a movie like this. However, happy to report that worked well for me. The scene where they get drunk on the rooftop and Aliya calls herself Shah Rukh Khan and Abhay calls himself Sunita is one of the best in the film. As are some of their fights.

Which brings me to why I liked this movie above the other ones in recent memory: the script. I liked the long distance relationship angle. I found it particularly funny (and very real) how they would start a conversation on the phone and turn it into a fight for some mindblowingly ridiculous reason. Whoever wrote those dialogues must have been in this situation or if not, hats off, because they captured it brilliantly. And speaking of brilliant scenes, their fight in the men's washroom is another highlight for me. Not in terms of characters, because that's the scene that proves beyond doubt that Aliya is a selfish brat and that Abhay is essentially a wimp, but because their circular arguments once again reminded me of so many real life situations where both parties are asking each other to just listen but neither of them is willing to actually do that, so they keep throwing the ball aimlessly from one end of the court to the other without really resolving anything. Ah... Good stuff!

Other scripting gems are to be found everywhere in the film, starting with Abhay's aunt rubbishing Devdas with something along the lines of "There is nothing sexy about that man", and ending with all of Nadia and Cy's banter, there wasn't a dull moment in the entire 2 hours.

And speaking of Nadia and Cy, the other main reason for liking Break Ke Baad was that it's been so damn long since we've seen some good supporting characters. Aliya and Abhay's friends in Australia were the best sidekicks I've seen since Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na. Nadia is one hot tamale, and her no nonsense, cynical attitude complemented her brother Cyrus' uselessness like two peas in a pod. Plus they're not only there for comic relief (though Cyrus had me laughing in almost every scene), they actually help develop the plot and we get to see them plenty (maybe not so much in the stills and trailers though).

And since this was meant to be a positive response to all the negative reviews, I guess I'll leave on a good note, without talking about all the things that were silly, inane and ridiculous (because there is quite a number of those as well), but not before mentioning Vishal - Shekhar's excellent songs Adhoore and Ajab Leher which were my favourites before the film and I love them even more after the picturizations. I didn't notice when they played Main Jiyoonga or its English counterpart Don't Worry About Me, but maybe I missed it? At any rate, pleasant soundtrack and fitting lyrics. Again, a cut above everything else I've seen this year. As if my massive Vishal Dadlani crush needed any more fuel!

Break Ke Baad is like... a grilled cheese sandwich. There's nothing innovative about it and you've had it a million times before, and the cheese in your fridge is getting stale which is why you're making it in the first place, but there's something very right about it when you have it and it leaves a satisfied smile on your face when you finish it.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Ajay Devgan's 10 Year Audition

Everyone in Bollywood seems to be flirting with the South these days. From Aamir Khan remaking Ghajini, to Salman Khan remaking Pokiri, to Akshay Kumar romancing Southie super star Trisha, there's so much South in Bollywood now that I can almost see Mumbai sliding down the map just a few inches.

In all this hoo-haa it's easy to assume that this is a new thing. But as I found out last week, one man has been paving the way South for 10 years now. Audition upon audition upon audition, and no one has so far noticed that Ajay Devgan really needs to be in a Southie movie or the man will simply die trying.

Because for most people, this is Ajay Devgan:

But not many people know, that this is who Ajay Devgan wants to be:

I hope my ignorance in Ajay Devgan movies will be forgiven as I confess I haven't really seen that many. But I motion to see that as further proof for my theory: if of the few I've seen, half of them count as an audition, there must be something to it.

Namak: All right, let's see how you're going to get out of this one now. I swear you come up with the craziest ideas just to justify liking one actor or another.
Dolce: No no, this one is really true. I may be guilty of embellishing things here and there to excuse poor film choices for some of them, but Ajay Devgan is far from being a favourite. He's just... that guy who sort of pops up in really good movies every once in a while. And then in really bad ones... But let me tell you about this Southie hero business.

Audition Number 1 - 2001 - Lajja
Lajja was an eye opener. Other than being a really bad movie that is. And it was eye opening because I saw just how far Ajay was willing to go, even in 2001, to become a dishoom hero. Let's not even go over the fact that he accepted a role in this long drawn focus-challenged melodrama (which would have been a much better film if the budget or the weather, or some act of God even had not allowed them to film past the 2 hour mark). Let's also not talk about how his role is about 5 minutes long and only moves the plot further into Lala-land.

Let us instead talk about this:

Machetes (lots of them)...

...on a train...

...and Ajay alone against all the goondas spewing badass lines:

Dolce: Yeah... This next one I'm not really sure of, this line just might be what undermined his efforts for the next 10 years:

Dolce: Hm... Either way, this could have been a great train fight if only the heroine had had more Southie stamina and hadn't fainted at the sight of the first brandished knife.
Namak: You mean at the sight of some 5 people being violently and explicitly murdered in front of her?
Dolce: Right, that. What a wuss... Let's move on.

Audition Number 2 - 2004 - Yuva
This got him somewhat closer, though he probably didn't know that Mani Ratnam doesn't quite count as a proper Southie dishoom director, even if he is Tamil. Nonetheless, Ajay's role is that of the darling of the people, fighting injustice with bare hands. Moreover, the most memorable image of him in Yuva is this:
How much more Southie hero than singing the people to victory as their political leader does it get?

Audition Number 3 - 2006 - Omkara
In Omkara he plays the hot blooded Othello, and I only bring this one up because I found him rather handsome with that mustache. And because I love this movie. Ok, Omkara may not be the best argument...

Audition Number 4 - 2010 - Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai

Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai (one of the more interesting movies this year) sees once again the return of the mouche, but on top of that, he plays the character of a goonda (in this case a smuggling goonda, the most powerful one, at that) with a heart of gold. Well... at least with family values. But of course: welcome to the South once again, Ajay!

Audition Number 5 - 2010 - Golmaal 3
He truly stepped it up in 2010 (really, anyone would lose their patience after 10 years) and in Golmaal 3 he is nothing short of a dishoom hero in all his glory.

First of all he looks like this:
Namak: Ha! Surely that adds to the characterization of Gopal. Isn't he supposed to be a badass? They have badass heroes in Hindi movies too, you know.
Dolce: They do, they do. But do the Bollywood badass heroes randomly carry giant hammers around with them?

Namak: Uh... No...
Dolce: Well, Vikram on the other hand does it in a rather iconic moment in Kanthaswamy.

Then in another scene he proves rather skillful with a machete, though sadly it's only to peel a coconut. Nonetheless, it's a machete.

Finally, his fight choreographies are far superior to all the other guys', and he gets plenty of slow motion shots along with the roundhouse kicks and punches that send rowdies flying into concrete walls two blocks away. If not the whole movie, at least Ajay's role in Golmaal 3 is pure unadulterated Southie masala!

Namak: I wonder if the fact that he has a moustache in 4 out of 5 of these movies may have lead you to this conclusion... 
Dolce: Er... Well... it maaaaay have had a little something to do with it... But look, you still don't believe me? Then answer this: why has Ajay Devgan's last name been shortened to Devgn?
Namak: His family asked him to.... or something like that. Not sure. Why?
Dolce: Ha! That's just a cover-up! Clearly it's because he's taking steps towards eliminating it altogether so he too can have a Southie name like all the other heroes who are much too cool to have a last name: Siddharth, Arya, Vikram, Surya, Chiranjeevi, etc.
He's even rumoured to be remaking a Tamil movie, for crying out loud!

So he may not be the best dancer (ok, he may not be a dancer at all), but come on Mr. Film Director from South India, give him a chance! He's earned it after all this effort, hasn't he?

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Mani Ratnam's "Bombay" Review

I've been told (repeatedly) mostly by Tamil people (on this blog and not only) that I just can't get Mani Ratnam's movies because I don't have the background to get them. And that I haven't seen any of his good ones yet, which accounts for (and somewhat excuses, I think) my not worshipping him. Somehow watching Bombay I am thinking this must also be one of the bad ones. Because not only did I get it, but it's the first Mani Ratnam movie that I love wholeheartedly. Followed closely by Roja, with all the other ones fairly far behind.

The story starts with Hindu man Shekhar and Muslim girl Shaila Banu falling in love and eloping to get married and live in Bombay, without their parents' blessings. One of the best scenes in the beginning of the movie shows Shekhar's father nauseated at the mere thought of his son finding himself a North Indian girl, because nothing seems more appalling to him than a Punjabi or a Gujarati. Until he learns that his son is in love with a Muslim... I loved the irony of that scene. Cleverly written. And that set the tone for the rest of the movie for me.

Namak: I don't know about you, but I'm getting a little fed up with these love at first sight plots. It's bad enough when one of them falls in love and spends the rest of the movie convincing the other, but when they're both so in love after 5 glances and 2 words, it just gets ridiculous.
Dolce: Heh... I'll be honest, I'm not a big fan either. Sometimes I even think I want to see a movie where they marry after being in love for 2 hours and then it all falls apart glamorously because they realize they don't even like each other.
Namak nods her head in admiration: Well well... I didn't know you had that in you! My little girl is all grown up now!

Though as the movie goes on...

Dolce: I've decided I'm ok with the love at first sight business in this movie...
Namak: What?? Noo! I thought you had finally come around! What happened?
Dolce: Well, think about it, if you spend an hour with the couple getting to know each other and falling in love and then eloping and getting married, how will you have time in only one hour and a half to show what happens with their families, with their neighbours, with their children and so on? This movie isn't about the happy couple, it's about everyone else around them and how their relationship changes their little world. There's no time to waste on wooing and cooing and elaborate dialogues. Love at first sight is nice and expedited, who cares how they met after all. He fell for her because look how pretty she is, and she... well... maybe she likes older mustachioed men...

Dolce and Namak decide to accept it as a plot device. But just this once. Because they agree that beyond the love story, the strength of "Bombay" lies in the little moments when people set aside their religious differences and are united in a more powerful, more selfless feeling: their love for each other. Even if this movie had only been about Shekhar and Banu's parents, I would have still been perfectly happy. In fact, I wish there were more scenes with them. The parents' stubbornness as well as their gradual acceptance were brilliantly captured in a few fantastic scenes. So I must be content with what I got, and truly, I am.

Muslim prayer beads around their necks and the marks of Shaivite Hinduism* on their forehead

*Gladly accepting corrections on this point. I had to look it up online, so this caption is about as reliable as wikipedia.

As a side note, I have been listening to Humma Humma (called "Ek Ho Gaye Hum Aur Tum" on the Hindi soundtrack) for over a year and it never hit me that it was a "first night song". Not that the title didn't give it away ("You and I have become one" - D'oh!!), but I never put two and two together. Now that I know, that giant water fountain exploding in the background as well as the wall on fire have a whole different meaning!

And speaking of symbolism, it's nice to find some more of Ratnam's favourite imagery, such as the half doors or transparent courtains of water separating but also keeping people close together in a fight;

the wind playing with a woman's head scarf and playfully revealing her face;

the mud of the world getting purified in a water puddle;

the single ray of light...

I may not always get Mani Ratnam's messages (though God knows he pounds them enough in each movie) but I sure appreciate his artistic virtuosity. Even without Santosh Sivan by his side.

Now what with it being a Mani Ratnam movie I knew better than to think everything would evolve peacefully. So for the first half of the movie I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop.

And then... 1 hour and 28 minutes into the movie:
Dolce and Namak: Prakash RAAAAAAJ!!!!!

Just kidding. Well, not really, there was true joy and cheer when he appeared halfway through the movie, in a police uniform to boot (sadly not for long), but that's not how the other shoe dropped. The other shoe was all about the religious riots in Bombay in the early 90s and how having a religious identity suddenly becomes important for the two 6 year old children of Shankar and Banu. The second half of the film shows the family going through those years, what they gain, what they lose, how they cope. There are some intense moments that I won't spoil, but one of the most touching scenes for me involved a little girl sneaking bread out of the house for one of the twins during the riots:

If I were the crying type, right about then is when I would have cried. And somehow through all this Ratnam manages to keep the filminess away from cheesiness, which is a balance I always appreciate.

Bombay may not be Ratnam's most praised film, but as far as I'm concerned, it's a favourite, and in fact a film I would unconditionally recommend to anyone looking to give their first Indian film a try. Sad that it's so hard to find that it has taken me a couple of years to get my hands on an original copy.

It's always hard for me to give cheese ratings to favourite films, and with this one it's especially difficult because I genuinely think it's the kind of film that would please almost all tastes. So maybe Bombay is like Greek feta cheese: impossible not to like and it never fails to give you solid value for your money.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Tollywood - the Green Industry

We're big on saving things, us Canadians: seals, world peace, refugees, but most importantly: the planet! The refrain we use around here to raise awareness on the latter is Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. In that order. So because I have a trained eye for it, I started noticing that Tollywood has been doing great with becoming more and more responsible and getting involved in all three Rs.

Reduce - Ok, so we don't see much reducing, since the budgets seem to have increased and so have the production values. But we should nonetheless award points for other areas where Tollywood has been reducing, such as the hero's lungis and the heroine's skirt lengths and the heroine's age. It may not seem like a lot, but every little bit counts, folks!


Reuse - This they do slightly better with, since we see quite a bit of reusing older films as a background. After all, it is cheaper than decorating the walls only to have them pierced by bullets or bombed by grenades.

"Athadu" running in the background in a scene in "Prasthanam"

Posters seem to be reused a lot as well, so a smaller runner-up trophy goes to that effort.


No points awarded for reusing songs and tunes, since that doesn't save the planet's resources in any way.

Recycle - this is the category where they're really raking in the awards, because so many images and themes get recycled, so I'll spend a bit more time on each category while we award the winners. Now let me be clear, I'm not talking about movies or stories getting recycled, but rather about classic, dare I say iconic, images that are a staple of South Indian cinema. You know, those things you'll see referenced in a Farah Khan movie 20-30 years from now if she's still alive and well and making movies.

So without further ado... the awards! Drumroll!

The PAPER Trophy - easily lost and and the one item that really could use more recycling because it has so much potential (even if it consumes more energy to get used again than all the others) is the Punch-o-rama under duress. In other words, it's when the rascals are so afraid of the hero's anger, that he can make all the bad guys beat each other to pulp while he sits back comfortably enjoying the view: a lavish garden where kicks and punches blossom like weeds! We really could use more of those!

Wish I could have found a youtube link, but for lack of one, just think of this when you watch Yama Donga and Aradhana. I'm getting a flash of one other such fight involving some of the comedy guys, but can't remember the film for the life of me! So if you find any others, I'd love to know, it's one of my favorite recurring displays of badassness!

The PLASTIC Trophy - more reliable than the paper and therefore more prominent: the obligatory bus fight. (You thought I was going to say plastic surgery, didn't you? Nope, that ain't it!) Rowdies flying out the shattering windows (usually in duets or trios for added emphasis), roundhouse kicks galore and the hero gets to drive off in style. There can never be enough recycling of the bus fight in my humble opinion! Just doesn't get old.

Of my favourites, Arya 2 has a delightful one, and not just because I love that movie! Other great ones can be found in Kantri, Bujjigaadu, and on the olden but golden side: Yamudiki Mogudu (Chiranjeevi).

The GLASS Trophy - the sturdiest, most enduring of them all. Until it breaks.

Therefore the award had to go to a dependable image that one can not forget easily. And what else could that be than the truck of angry rowdies waving their machetes before offloading next to where the hero is patiently waiting? And then the hero breaks all their limbs. Ah... Seen in a million movies and I still love it every single time!



(Technically this one's from Kollywood, I know, but I own the Telugu dubbed version, so I think I may stand a chance to win in court.)

The BEER CAPS Trophy - yes, they get recycled too, and even though they are useless, they still make a difference by sheer volume!

In this category, the undisputed winner is the feckless posse. Some think of it as a Greek chorus, meant to reflect the hero's (or the villain's) deepest feelings. Some think that it's there to raise the important questions and to guide the audience's reactions. Personally I think that, just like in high school when you simply were not cool enough if you were walking by yourself instead of in a trio at the very least, they're only there to beef up the presence of the hero or the villain (and sometimes even the heroine).

Two of my favourite posses are in Darling and Okkadu. I mean seriously, could they be more useless? Ok, fine, maybe they help a bit in Okkadu. Let's go with Parugu then.
Of course, if we're talking posses for the heroine, then Kantri is the place to go to, as is Happy. For the villain, nothing beats Arya 2 and Bujjigaadu. This just off the top of my head, but more recommendations are welcome as always!


The BATTERIES Trophy (bet you didn't know you can recycle those too! Well.. only if you're in Europe or on the University of Toronto campus, but hey, it's a start!).

It wasn't hard to pick the winner in the batteries category because clearly the only item that gets recycled and recycled and recycled without ever losing it's capacity to light up the bulbs of our TV screens... is Prakash Raj.

Especially when he pulls off the craziest looks...

...and the best looks...


Well, fine, I'll admit it was a bit of a tie with Mumaith Khan, but then I decided to create a separate category just for her, so I can sleep in peace. So the last recycling category of our Eco Awards is...

...Why it has to be The TEXTILES Trophy! No, I'm not talking about the obvious way in which Mumaith herself is extremely eco-friendly and pays very close attention to reducing the amount of fabric used to make her outfits (and I do love her for that, the woman's got it and she's flaunting it! Cheers to that!). The textiles award goes to Mumaith Khan for being the most versatile, flexible and colourful presence in Tollywood! And just like your favourite sweater, you can count on her to never let you get cold!

Now, after such a rich display of eco-awareness, who will sit there and tell me India is not a responsible country, eh?

Disclaimer: The above post is meant to be taken lightly, with a spoonful of whipped cream. Any person living or dead who will take this personally or seriously is purely delusional. And they will be excused from the table before desert! Oh, and no drinks for them either!