Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Kicking off Imran Appreciation Week: The Next Generation of Khan

In honor of this weekend’s release of Delhi Belly, we bring you a mini Imran Khan Appreciation Week, complete with a post each from the three bloggers here, including (HOPEFULLY) my lame co-bloggers who rarely show themselves these days. If anyone wants to join in, that’d be more than welcome. We plan to cover Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na, I Hate Luv Storys and Break Ke Baad (we have yet to see Kidnap, Luck, and Imran’s roles as a young Aamir in Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak or Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikander).

To kick off the week, I want to talk about some of the reasons we just love Imran.

But before I get into the specific reasons that we love Imran, I want to take a look at a larger sort of trend about our blog. I’ve noticed so far that an overwhelming amount of our blog thus far has focused on films from the 2000s, particularly on new films since 2010 (eight posts on films from just the last 18 months). Part of that is ease of access through Netflix, part of that is probably attributable to our age.

Yes, we have quite fervent attachments to Ranbir Kapoor, Shahid Kapoor and particularly Imran Khan, probably more than we’ve seen from other bloggers. To be perfectly honest, I attribute it to the fact that these guys are the stars of “our” generation. We’re all quite young (I won’t go into exactly how young, but let’s just say even these three youngsters are older than us), and while we all adore Akshay Kumar and the three seemingly ageless Khans, these men are older than our fathers. Despite their youthful appearances (really really youthful), they aren’t young. I also admit I think I developed a strong like for Shashi Kapoor in the 45 minutes of Kabhi Kabhi I watched, and Shashi is roughly the age of our grandpas. Obsessions like that just get a little weird at that point.

So it’s really nice to have some younger fellows on the platter as well so we can feel slightly less creeped out by our obsessing.

Maybe part of it is also that with the basis of our movie-watching experience formed by Hollywood, it’s refreshing to see the films of this younger generation step out of traditional Bollywood boxes and take on some more globalized film elements. I think it's an effect one of ever-growing globalization (with technology, the world keeps getting smaller, folks) and an audience that is globalized. In fact, I get the impression that with several films of the younger lot that they could, with minor adjustments, take on a Hollywood audience. If you cut down or out the songs, shortened the runtime and spoke English, many of these films could be on the clean side of Hollywood. And all of this is perhaps pushing further and further all the time, like with the fact that Delhi Belly is in English (which we all actually have mixed feelings about); I know lots of Bollywood folks want to be able to capture the American-film audience. (Which is particularly interesting because our dear Imran is actually Indian-American; love you, brother!)

For example, I’ve noticed that an increasing trend with the younger set is they’re much freer with kissing and talking about sex. The dynamics there are certainly shifting. There’s also been a healthy dose of skepticism added to the normal love story (see I Hate Luv Storys) but without changing the basic message of all-conquering love. (And it’s a healthy skepticism too; not the mess that Hollywood has.) Then there’s also the fact that these films increasingly take place partially abroad (Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na has its protagonists fly off to America, I Hate Luv Storys has a jog in New Zealand, and Break Ke Baad is set primarily in Australia).

Call this change what you will, but it’s nice to enjoy a younger, more globalized film once in a while; some of the obvious points that other films ignore are getting easier to tackle for the younger, less-established set. (Not that untainted, pure, classic Bollywood cinema isn’t fabulous itself; we obviously love Bollywood more than Hollywood for many reasons. Trust me, we get tired of the unrealistic sleazy sex-fest that is Hollywood all the time.)

*ahem* Anyway, proceeding off of that... One of the reasons that we love Imran is that he’s, well, sexy. Like really. (Even though the poor fellow cannot wow with his dancing skills.) Photos say it all when words can’t.

But Imran’s not just a sex symbol either. The man, like his Uncle Aamir, is completely adorable in the most basic, unmanly, cheek-pinching way. Maybe it was growing up around Aamir because sometimes Imran is almost frighteningly like him. And hate to break it to you, fellas, but an adorable man works his way into a woman’s heart much faster than a hot one.

And Imran works both sides of that coin flawlessly.

The man can even do both hot and adorable with just his eyebrows!

And as part and parcel of his being adorable, he can make us laugh pretty easily.

He’s so likable, in fact, that you like him even when he’s a MEAN pain in the you-know-what like in I Hate Luv Storys. (This is a quality he shares with his buddy Ranbir, as seen in Bachna Ae Haseeno.)

Do I think Imran has potential for leading-man status worthy of the surname Khan? Sometimes I doubt he has the full-power impact of the elder Khans, and instead of Aamir’s perfectionism, Shahrukh’s charm and Salman’s badfannyness, Imran has a chill, relaxed coolness instead. He has less of an immediate knockdown-powerful presence. But even if he doesn’t, I’m convinced he has the subtle likableness to be just fine without it.

1 comment:

  1. I like this post and your blog. I love Imran. I think he's such an easy going, the guy-next-door type of actor (not to mention HOT at the same time). He is not the in-your-face type as many of the former new comers and "star children" were few years ago (ex: Hrithik Roshan, Harman Bewaja, etc) in which they felt they had to prove something. That being said, I also think that having younger actors (i.e, Imran, Ranpir, Ms. Padukone, Sonam K., etc.,) and youth-centered storylines sometimes leads film makers (Mr. Karan Johar, for instance) to make movies that have nothing going for them except the youthful beauty of the actors and bold topics like premarital sex, alcohol, and so on. However, I think because Bollywood is somewhat new in this genre, I'm hopeful that the film makers will realize the audiences need more content and substancial storylines, rather than watching the film for aesthetics. AND i'm also hoping Imran can choose his movies wisely. I'm getting tired of him playing the cool guy who has casual relashionships with Deepika, Sonam, etc. I loved him in Delhi Belly (yeah, and like you, I wasn't too sure about usage of English instead of Hindi or HinGlish).