u Notes from the Underground: January 2010

Phir Mile Sur Mera Tumhara

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Everybody is cribbing big time about Phir Mile Sur Mera Tumhara (Part 1, Part 2) - snarkmax but funny putdown here.

Let me stick my neck out and say that I liked the video.

First, let me get the obvious out of the way: Bollywood definitely
used this to feed their ego - SRK, Aamir, Salman, Deepika in skimpy
dress, Ash and Abhi, Sonu Nigam (!), Shahid, Ranbir, Amitabh - don't
need *so* many of those in there, with their own segments that too.
And excluding Sachin, Dravid & co. from the video? That pisses me off too.

But you can see how the video tries to clearly make the point that we
have a new and different India from the one 25 years ago. India is
nowhere exoticised (the original Mile Sur did exoticise India a wee
bit), and in general we see a much richer, cleaner, posher looking
India. Even with the much abused Shiamak Davar - Shobhana
Bharatanatyam segment; I can clearly see how they're trying to make the
point the new India is not
competing but is coexisting and is sort of paying homage to the
traditional India (although the execution was poor, because Davar sucked big
time and Shobhana was all awesomeness). And then there's the new, urban, hip India - being represented by the
Shahid Kapoor segment, as well as the funky instrumental segments
- Rahman, Sivamani, another couple of guys with shades I don't know in
the 2nd part.

There was also criticism
that by showing mostly the children of stars - Anoushka, Abhishek,
Deepika, Amjad Khan's sons - etc. were they suggesting that only the
people of the already successful can make it big in India? I think the point
was to show generational change, passing of the baton etc., and
showing parents and children together is the most universal way of
showing that.

I definitely loved that the various regional language segments are now
longer, and the segments of Telugu, Tamil did sound nice to my ears (the
lyrics of the Telugu segment have changed, and are quite good). And
although Salman did his best to ruin the segment with the deaf/mute
kids, I still found that scene quite touching.

And the video having its cheesy bits is, on the whole, not that bad. Indian
movies are hajaar cheesy anyway, so SRK, Aamir and Salman doing their
respective stereotypical acts is kinda appropriate, no?