Monday, September 5, 2011

Bodyguard (2011): ...????

OK! I would love to be discussing BODYGUARD with you guys right now, but there's just one slight problem with that.

I went to see it at the AMC in Jacksonville, where I've seen several Hindi films with their appropriate subtitles (including the first one I saw on the big screen: Tees Maar Khan). This time, however, AMC decided it felt like screwing us non-Indian Bollywood watchers and cut out the subtitles.

OK, to be totally fair to the folks at AMC, the problem was that they didn't have things proportioned correctly on the screen (forgetting to correct for the different proportions of Indian films from American ones). The tops of heads were often cut off, and subtitles across the bottom paid the price of a smaller screen as well.

Still, I was unexpectedly confronted with my first subtitles-less Hindi film. I've only been exposed to Hindi for about nine months, and it's been sporadic during that time. I know my Hindi isn't the best, but it's been improving pretty quickly, so I hoped I'd be OK -- how much of the dialogue do you have to directly understand in a masala film anyway? -- and stayed in my seat. I was OK up until intermission.

After intermission, I either got tired, things got more confusing or they started talking faster because I reached the limits of my comprehension. By the ending, I had no idea what was happening. I'm both proud of myself for sitting through it and angry at myself for not being at the level of Hindi comprehension where I'm no longer quite so dependent on subtitles.

Let's just say I'm definitely going to have to watch Bodyguard once a subtitles-equipped DVD is available. I felt left out as jokes whizzed over my head. (A multilingual professor of mine once said true comprehension and mastery of a language is achieved when you can understand a language's jokes because of the plays on words involved. I'm obviously nowhere near that level with Hindi yet.)

But these things I can say:

I'm convinced that Sallu is the master of masala. Y'all may have noticed (or maybe not) that I have a seriously swinging love-hate relationship with this particular Khan. Mostly, it's his badfanny, show-offy attitude. If he gives it up and just has fun, I love Sallu. This had lots of him kicking butt and taking names, but I don't think I ever had that moment where he came off as so arrogant I wanted to punch him in the face.

Kareena Kapoor, as you may also have noticed, also has the tendency to get on my nerves sometimes. But then other times, when you give her some depth and some spunk, she amazes me (see 3 Idiots, Jab We Met, maybe even 36 China Town). This was one of those times. I also wanted to steal her wardrobe for about 90 percent of the film.

Divya didn't do much studying for her college.

I couldn't understand most of Tsunami Singh's jokes due to the whole language barrier, but his shirts were hilarious.

The music was not great, but the dance numbers were. I think I've mentioned before that I hate when Sallu does his bump-on-a-log "I'm barely going to move and call it dancing" thing, but he actually moved, so I was happy.

So basically, Sallu, if you want to come be my bodyguard, I'd be OK with that. :)


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Don't think this one's something for me.

  3. Ugh, sorry guys, my comment didn't go through before. -_-

    But @Mette

    Awww, why not??


    Very true! I did travel quite a distance to see it. Though we almost always have to go to Jax, an hour from home and an hour and a half from Gainesville, for things (definitely all things Bollywood) so I don't really think about it. I've grown up commuting so I don't even think of it anymore.

    And you know Salman has an attitude! Like a few months ago, apparently someone called him fat and he went on a Twitter rant where he took like a half-dozen pictures of his muscles and kept saying, "Who's fat? Where is the fat?" Come on! Really? THAT's the Sallu I can't stand. But it drives me nuts because he's not always like that. Only part of the time.

    And I think those are the only words from that particular professor that I ever took to heart, so glad you find them valid too. :)

  4. Interesting - I thought the bicep pump in time with the music and call it dancing with a wink title number choreography was hysterical! It set the tone for the entire movie. You knew at that point what you were getting. It's on Netflix now with subtitles so you can figure out what all the jokes were about. It was a pretty funny and sweet movie.

    1. Oh, the bicep pump IS hilarious. But you can't do a whole movie full of bicep-pumps-substituted-for-dancing. That was more my point. :)

      And I've since seen the movie with subtitles! I even own it on DVD. haha. It is much better when you can understand it all.