* Notes *
Madhuri Dixit made her return to the silver screen in Aaja Nachle, after a five year hiatus. She looks pretty great in the movie, considering she has had two kids since playing Chandramukhi in Devdas. Her dancing was lovely, and it was interesting to see a woman who just turned 40 as the main protagonist. Dixit was not completely convincing in the flashback scene from 11 years before the main part of the story, she just does not look like someone in her twenties. This is a minor point, Shah Rukh Khan does not always look like the 30 year old he was playing in Om Shanti Om either.
The film itself was charming. The plot is simple, basically about traditional culture versus capitalism, a dance school is threatened with demolition to make way for a mall. The heroine is strong and independent, she runs off to the United States and comes back to make good. Komal Nahata called the plot unoriginal, much like Lagaan, as that film involves villagers learning to play cricket so that they can cancel taxes they cannot afford to pay. In Aaja Nachle, the people of Shamli have to put on a musical version of Laila and Majnu. Certainly there are similarities, but I would argue it is a bit different, the transcendence of art being rather central to Aaja Nachle.
Though at times Aaja Nachle was slightly unbelievable and a little silly, for the most part it was quite cute. For instance, the production quality of the musical within a musical was far too good to be realistic, but it was good fun anyway. The music was not particularly catchy, and if asked, I could not hum a single tune from it.
* Tattling *
It turns out I couldn't see Saawariya, even if I had wanted to, it has already left the Naz 8.
The theater had less than 20 people in it, it was clear why Aaja Nachle was declared a flop.
Quite stupidly, I was on BART to Fremont just before a football game was to take place at the Oakland Coliseum. The fans screamed and such, and one jokingly threatened a person wearing paraphernalia of the opposing team. Indianapolis beat Oakland, 21-14.
I noticed that Masala Grill, near the Naz 8 Cinema, devotes an entire section of their menu to Desi-Chinese dishes such as sweet corn soup and ginger chicken.