First Time Movie Star

23 Feb

Over at BethLovesBollywood, Beth has been running some hilarious clips from the Bachchan stable circa late 1980s – early 1990s. Otherwise known as my childhood. Which is why I’ve actually seen all the stuff she’s put up and more – courtesy my neighborhood cablewala and video shopwala (remember those? The true victims of internet piracy, I believe), of course. There was no way anybody in my household was going to take me to the theater to watch such stellar work as Ajooba, Toofan, Jaadugar or Ganga Jamuna Saraswati, to name a few.

In her Toofan post, she mentions that the movie was apparently a childhood favorite of some of her readers (unspecified to spare them the taunts of snobs such as I) and Sanket responded that it was probably because that was their intro to the awesomeness that is The Bachchan. For example, he first fell for Alec Guinness in Star Wars, completely unaware of his main body of work. I think that’s a fair point – James McAvoy (my latest crush, his movie Atonement is up for Best Picture tomorrow and he has a new movie coming out called Penelope that I really want to see), for example, has often mentioned his deep and abiding love for The Goonies, which starred No Country for Old Men‘s Josh Brolin among others.

It made me try to remember the first time I’d ever seen my favorite actors in and I found that it was a little difficult. There were some people whose roles leaped immediately to mind but some of them, I remembered for the context rather than the role. For example:

Aamir Khan / Juhi ChawlaQayamat Se Qayamat Tak. My cousin sister loved this movie. She was an 80s teen. I think that explains it all. The audio cassette was all but erased by the time summer got over. She even had posters on the walls! For some reason, I found her obsession very attractive and desperately wanted to become a teenage immediately so I too could cut pictures out of Stardust and sigh romantically. I gave it a shot back then but the performance lacked sincerity and my mother laughed at me. Oh, and she’d practice saying namaste the way Juhi said it at the Miss Universe (?) contest. Lord, she’d going to kill me if she finds out I spilled the beans. Hee.

Shahrukh KhanFauji. I don’t remember the series very well but I remember him. And I remember him telling my best friend to stop watching TV and pay more attention to school when she went up to him for an autograph.

KajolBaazigar. There’s this shot of her with an upswept hairdo, in a blue dress, on a yacht. And she turns to the camera, beetled unibrow and all, and blows SRK a kiss. She totally owned it. I had absolutely no idea who this woman was or her name or whether she was anything other than an extra. But you just couldn’t (or at least, I couldn’t) tear my eyes away.

Akshay KumarMr. Bond. I swear to God. I checked it up on IMDB (update: and Youtube!) and I’m not making it up: there really is such a film and it even costars Sheeba (whom I’ll always remember for Baba Sehgal and Aaja meri gaadi mein baithja). I don’t remember any of it but the name and that there was this nightclub-ish song in which he sort of groped a lot of women. There might also have been a poolside scene in a speedo although that could totally be my imagination. And you know what? That totally colored my perception of him for a long, long time. (I don’t care if you never watch videos on the internet – you have to see that clip above! It comes with subtitles, so you really have no excuse!)

Peter O’TooleLawrence of Arabia. This is one of my father’s favorite movies of all time and he would make a big family night of watching it once every year. Which is great if you’re older than, oh, four. Which is when my memory of this movie begins. I saw it when I was much older and I liked it but I can never love it because somewhere inside of me is a little four-year-old whimpering at the thought of once again sitting through “Daddy’s movie”. I nearly keeled over from shock when I saw him with Audrey Hepburn in How to Steal a Million – one of my favorite romcom capers – and recognized ol’ Larry in those beautiful blue eyes.

Julie AndrewsThe Sound of Music. Obviously.

Omar Sharif / Julie ChristieDr. Zhivago. My parents really love this kind of movie. And my mother is completely nuts about Omar Sharif (and Robert Redford – I guess she doesn’t have a ‘type’) so once we were done with Daddy’s movie, we got to watch Mama’s movie. Yippee. I fully intend making a Lara joke to my mom if Christie wins tomorrow for Away From Her.

Clark Gable / Vivien Leigh – It should be Gone with the Wind, right? I was obsessed with the book when I was about eight. It’s a long story but suffice it to say it was all my brother’s fault. And I think GWTW was the first time I saw Leigh act. But for Gable, I think I saw It Happened One Night first. How adorable were he and Claudette Colbert in that?

Nargis / Raj Kapoor – Talking of It Happened One Night:mrgreen: I can’t remember the first movie of theirs that I saw (I think it was Shree 420) but I remember the songs from Chori Chori with dazzling clarity as my introduction to their movies. My mother adored them and would play them all the time.

Zeenat AmanSatyam Shivam Sundaram. Consequently, it took me a long time to get on the Zeenie love train. That aborted fetus they plastered to her face was ridiculous but it did the job in grossing me out. Plus Shashi Kapoor was a total dick in that movie – a big no-no! I have loved Shashi Kapoor all my life and I know this is irrational but if you try and make me hate my adorable Shashi, you are dead to me. No excuses! But once Yaadon ki Baarat and Don had had their way with me, I too was enslaved. Long live Zeenie!

I realize I could go on and on, so I think I’ll just stop here for now. But do tell me about yourselves.


Posted by on February 23, 2008 in Celebrity, Entertainment, Movies, Personal, Video


13 responses to “First Time Movie Star

  1. عمار - aMmAr

    February 23, 2008 at 6:03 pm

    Needless to say; brilliant post 😀

    I want to make a confession, i saw this movie Mr. Bond, Akshay played this chick magnet/play boy cum private detective 😛

    sshhhhhhhhhhhh! dont tell anyone 😉

  2. Beth

    February 23, 2008 at 7:13 pm

    re: SSS: he’s horrrrrible. Soooo shallow. Soooo vile. Soooo pampered and silly. And dumb – he’s got one hella defense mechanism to think those were actually two different women. I’d be eternally grateful if you did a list of your favorite Shashi fllms/roles – I need wise guidance next time I go on a purchasing binge.

  3. Rob Brend

    February 24, 2008 at 12:03 am

    Interesting read, keep up the high quality posts.

  4. ana

    February 24, 2008 at 2:47 am

    Viva Shashi. In my mind the song from Trishul with him and Hema Malini is playing. Mohabbat baRi kaam ki cheez hai, kaam ki cheez hai.

    I remember when SSS came out, I was a teenager, and some of the cousins and siblings got together and were fascinated by Zeenie baby’s pic on one of the magazine covers. Apparently her choli was not covering everything. Hated the movie. Love both of them.

    Some of my favorite Shashi movies are the ones he did with Merchant and Ivory. Especially The Householder.

  5. desigirl

    February 24, 2008 at 7:41 am

    James McAvoy? Et tu? Wow! I loved him in Becoming Jane and so badly want to see him rock it in Atonement. He sure is fit!
    My firsts would be:
    Leo in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape? Ditto for Depp. I never recognised him in Nightmare on Elm Street till many years later.
    Aamir in QSQT. I think I was in 7th Standard or something. smitten is not the word for it.
    Pierce Brosnan in Remington Steele. Likewise, Bruce Willis in Moonlighting.
    Karthik in Ninaivellam Nithya. Fantastic songs.
    Revathy in AaN Paavam. She ruled it.
    Maddy in Alai Payuthey.

  6. Amrita

    February 24, 2008 at 1:33 pm

    Ammar – HAHAHAAH! Your secret is safe with me! I was really thrilled when I found that clip on Youtube because it’s like I rememebred all the things that mattered about that movie.

    Beth – I hear you! And I think you’ve actually seen most of my favorite Shashi movies but your wish is my command 🙂

    Rob – thank you 🙂

    Ana – imo, he did some of his best work for Merchant Ivory. Yummy is not the word. I really, really, really hate the later films of Raj Kapoor with their half naked women under waterfalls who always end up raped and illegitimate babies and whatnot. Ugh. Although thats what SSS is really famous for I guess.

    DG – hey, you bet! He’s funny and sweet and can act his socks off. I havent seen Atonement (the only one of the best picture category this year that I havent seen) and the presence of Kiera Knightley is making me not want to see it. 😦 Will definitely see Penelope when I can though. I’m never too old for a fairy tale, esp when McAvoy is the prince.
    Oh and the first time I saw Revathy, it was in Anjali and I saw Maddy for the first time on TV. Can’t remember the name of the show but it was in Hindi.

  7. ana

    February 24, 2008 at 2:15 pm

    Amrita: That’s what SSS was famous for back then too. I agree with you about Raj Kapoor movies. The best of his oeuvre ends with Mera Naam Joker, IMO. I think we as kids were more fascinated with the idea that we could actually see Zeenie half-naked on a magazine cover in Lahore but disgusted at the same time. And with Shashi in ShakespeareWallah, uff, I just wanted to shake him and say snap out of it! 😀

  8. OrangeJammies

    February 24, 2008 at 4:48 pm

    Our parents could probably do fabulous movie all-nighters between them… all those favorites in common! You and I, err… maybe not. 😉

  9. desigirl

    February 25, 2008 at 5:24 am

    I think maddy was in Sea Hawk or some such. Didn’t see it – my thatha did! Maddy is another creation of Mani Ratnam’s – one who becomes whatever that brilliant man wants him to be. Catch him in any other movie and you get an insipid dolt. go figure!

    Oh yeah, I am staying away from Atonement for the same reason. But I think Christina Ricci is too cute and would def plump for Penelope.

    I missed Siddharth from my first list – DOH! – sacrilege! I would like to say I first noticed him in Boys or Ayutha Ezhuthu or NVNV but I’d be lying. I first noticed him in RDB and then saw the previous attempts and was big time smitten! (But am cured now!!)

  10. Amrita

    February 25, 2008 at 10:52 am

    Ana – and MNJ was a little too sentimental for my taste personally. re: Shashi, But didn’t you want to squeeze and kiss him too? 😀

    OJ – LOL! Another sufferer, huh?

    DG – Your thatha is obviously more with it! I like the Mani Ratnam creations! They tend to do great, esp in his movies. Um, I have to join you on Siddharth! hee hee. Why’re you cured now? Tell me all!

  11. DesiGirl

    February 26, 2008 at 7:04 am

    Well the scales sorta fell off. Esp after MM said she interviewed him once and he most def did not possess a 6-pack – not even a 4-pack. Chee chee!! A dream guy def needs a hot bod. Look at James McAvoy.

    Nah seriously though, I really liked him in Bommarillu but saw him in Aata, his last Telugu movie and was like “oh how the mighty have fallen”. I still think he’s got fab potential as an actor but reasons like going on with telugu movies cos they pay more than tamil ones generally put me off.

    And now, he’s getting married to Soha Ali Khan! Who’s laying bets on that one?!

    (I know, I know, I need a life!!)

  12. Amrita

    February 27, 2008 at 11:31 pm

    DG – I hate to tell you this, but I dont think McAvoy is particularly buff either 😀 At least he didn’t look it to me when he was doing the talk show rounds. … I havent seen Aata but I’ve heard about it. Bad? And hey, if you need a life, what about me? 😛

  13. desigirl

    February 29, 2008 at 8:42 am

    Ah but he is hot, Ams. Look at all the Brit chinless wonders and you’ll agree with me. Speaking of hot bod, check out this guy:Rupert Evans. I start writing about him and keep breaking into a sweat. I am blaming it on hormones.

    ps: hon, if you get a life where will your readers go for their reading pleasure? you have a duty, you know!

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