8.28.2011

Stellar Aamir Khan

I am so happy to hear that Vilma Santos and Sharon Cuneta are going back to acting again. I loved "Tagos ng Dugo" and "Madrasta" among others and would list them as my top Pinoy films. But this post is not all about Pinoy films, although I think they deserve one and I hope to write one soon. Tonight, I wanted to write about Aamir Khan.

I first saw him years ago in Lagaan (Taxes, 2001), a Bollywood film about a small town trying to save its sad plight from high taxes by waging a cricket match against British Officers during the height of the British Rule in India. I saw it after a series of seminars on "Christ on Film" given to our Catholic community for free by the screenwriter of "Nine Mornings" Ton Sison. It was explained to us why Bollywood films take 3-4 hours and why dances and singing were essential to their films. I normally could not stand to watch a long film - I fall asleep quite easily. But Lagaan got me weeping and cheering for the Indian Team all throughout the movie. I especially loved the part where they worshiped their gods to help them win a game. That segment alone was overpowering to me and reminded me of how glorious it is to be in God's presence in quiet surrender. From then on, I listed Lagaan as one of my favorite movies, next to Amistad, Shawshank Redemption and Children of Heaven (Pakistan). Lagaan was nominated Best Foreign Film in the 2002 Academy Awards.

I didn't know the name Aamir Khan then although I found him quite a handsome young man acting as Bhuvan in Lagaan. A few months ago, I saw Rang de Bashanti (Color of Sacrifice, 2006) about a documentary filmmaker covering a story about freedom fighters during the Indian Independent Movement. This one I fould a bit overdone although I still find the film impressive. The character DJ was now recognized as Aamir Khan, the headstrong Bhuvan.

My sisters and I started to follow his films. You must have heard of the Three Idiots (2009). I blogged about it a few months ago and Aahmir Khan also played the lead role. That story strongly resonates with me - being a college dropout who feels that people have more to offer in life even without a college degree. I also love the script on textbook definitions, the demonstrations re: price of shoes, the speech about following passions - very smart screenplay.

Last week, I saw Ghajini (2008), a total impressive film that first reminded me of the movie Memento but with a different twist. It was about a man with short term memory loss and how he coped with the reason for his brain disease. Aamir played a different man here - a tortured brutal killer - and played in quite well too.

I just finished Taare Zameen Par (Like Stars on Earth, 2007), a heart-warming story about a young boy coping with being misunderstood. All my favorite people are mentioned here: Einstein, Picasso, Edison. I loved how he tells the story and how his characters develop during the film. I think there is quite a bit of exaggerated emphasis on some parts but this seems to be characteristic of all his films. Sort of like a trademark but I love that too, surprisingly, for someone who detests corny. Aamir Khan produced and directed this film himself of which he played a supporting role. Again, the quality of the movie in script, acting, cinematography and direction - stellar.

I now want to marry Aamir Khan - or at least, the roles he plays in his movies. He is  however married to Kiran Rao whom he met in the movie Lagaan.

Let's see. Robert Redford would be my favorite American male actor, Sean Connery my favorite Brit, Jung Woo Sung- my fave Korean, and Christopher de Leon my favorite Pinoy artista. Khan would be my Bollywood idol. Thank God for unreal men in movies.

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