Sunday, May 8, 2011

cool marathi?

Everyone knows that the coolest Marathis are Sachin Tendulkar and Madhuri Dixit (Nene). Lata and Asha are too classy to be just 'cool.' They are living legends. The most successful Marathi magician in Bombay today is Satish Deshmukh, seen in the first two photos here. He's doing a great business as the premiere corporate magician of Mumbai and I'm really glad for him. As you can see, he's suave, he has a mustache, and the Deo sisters should be proud to know that he's originally from Nashik. I happen to think that the coolest contemporary Bollywood actor is Nana Patekar, pictured in lower two photos. He can probably sing and dance a bit, but, and this is rare in Bollywood, he can actually act. I used to want to work in Bollywood, and still wouldn't mind, (if anyone with the right connections is reading this: my Hindi and my acting training skills are far better than most current Bollywood stars and my wife can surely get me to dance as necessary). As pointed out in a popular Marathi movie, Bollywood may be in Bombay/Mumbai, but it's run basically by non Marathi people: Khans and Bacchans and Chopras and Kapoors. Somehow Nana Patekar has made his way in this business for decades and it's because he's a damn good actor. Unlike most other Bollywood actors, when you see Patekar on screen, you do no think he's a rich Bombay boy, you think he is whatever character he is trying to portray in that film. This is rare in Bollywood as anyone who has seen a few films realizes most of the top actors are still stuck in a Tom Cruise cool guy 'acting' style. Patekar reminds me of the great character actor of the last generation, Nana Palshikar (not relation, sadly, or I by now I would have more than an uncredited walk on part in Rajkumar Santoshi's 'Ghatak' in my Bollywood resume) who worked for decades and really did act. Next time you see a shaved, six-pack sporting Punjabi guy on steroids dancing and hamming it up in front of a Bollywood camera, please do enjoy it. But if you want to see acting, look for Nana Palshikar or Nana Patekar in a film. If it's a Hindi film, they won't be in a leading role, because my people don't run Bollywod just yet, and we probably never will. But that's okay. We don't really like doing crunches, or taking steroids, or even doing that silly Punjabi harvest dance called the Bhangra. The serious and very relevant question that the images above pose for me is how to cut my hair for my upcoming show. Shorter like Patekar/Daniel Craig or longer like Deshmukh. What do you think?

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