Friday, November 11, 2011

Jason goes to 3rd i--Opening Night

Last Wednesday, the 3rd i South Asian Film Festival started, and of course I was there for the opening presentation of BIG IN BOLLYWOOD.

Okay, time for a little confession. I live in Fremont, CA, and the nearest theater to me is actually a Bollywood theater. Several years ago (back when it was the NAZ 8, a different Bollywood theater chain), I spent a year checking out the films there...and then I grew tired of it. I get it, and a good bit of Bollywood escapism can be fun as a rare treat. But after watching so much of it, I found it tiresomely repetitive. What I'm saying is--and it actually kind of hurts me to say this about any type of film--I am not a fan. I'm sorry.

Now, with that said, BIG IN BOLLYWOOD is hilarious fun. It's a documentary about Bollywood and the rise of star Omi Vaidya. In fact, the filmmakers are friends of Omi, and had no idea he would become so huge in Bollywood (and, from the Q&A, they don't really follow Bollywood so needed help from the audience to understand how huge he is). Omi is an Indian American actor struggling in L.A. Then he gets his Bollywood break--a supporting role in the film 3 IDIOTS, starring Aamir Khan, directed by Rajkumar Hirani, produced by Vidhu Vinod Chopra (in case you--like me--don't know these names, I'm assured they are huge). So his friends travel to India to attend his premiere and while they're there maybe make a little documentary about Bollywood. They sneak into the premiere by making fake press passes claiming they're press from "Hollywood Kitchen." And the movie is a huge hit. In fact, the biggest Bollywood movie of all time. And instead of just a small role, Omi (who they call the 4th idiot) has the funniest scene in the film (an ass-kissing speech where the word "miracle" is replaced with "rape" and he doesn't know because he's delivering it phonetically). So instead of the various side stories they were going to pursue about Bollywood, the whole movie becomes about their friend Omi becoming a star--winning awards, making public appearances, being recognized, being mobbed, actually being offered roles instead going to a ton of auditions. Whether you like Bollywood or not, it's a fun story of a guy making it big in a way he never expected. And, of course, it's all true (if you can trust the guys who lied about being press to get into a movie premiere).

Oh yeah, and from the scenes shown in this film, I went ahead and bought a DVD of 3 IDIOTS.

Running Time: 70 minutes
My Total Minutes: 255,675

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