Tag: India


Oct 2005

The Myth and Zhouey

The Myth

The Myth

So last night I saw Jackie Chan’s new movie The Myth at the theater. I wanted to see it despite not even really knowing anything about it, which only seems silly to me in retrospect. I’ll admit I was fooled by the movie posters. The movie wanted very much to be another “Chinese epic” in the tradition of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Hero. That much is obvious simply in the movie posters. Chump that I am, I was even fooled into thinking this was Jackie Chan playing a serious role in a movie. Actually, maybe I was just lured in by the inclusion of (hot) Bollywood actress Mallika Sherawat.

The truth is the movie was a cross between a typical Jackie Chan movie and the “Chinese epic” (or at least an attempt at one). Both fell short, and the fusion kind of flopped. It still had its entertaining elements, though.

Some points I found interesting:

– The scene in the “rat glue” factory was awesome. I was of the opinion that Jackie Chan hasn’t been coming up with very innovative new action scenes for a while now, but this one was extremely well done.

– Malika Sherawat and the whole India sequence seemed totally unnecessary. The whole depiction of India seemed pretty stereotypical to me, but I can’t say I’m exactly sure what stereotypes the Chinese/Hong Kongnese apply to India or how an Indian would feel about the way India was portrayed in the movie. I guess the whole India bit was all just to show off Malika Sherawat and capitalize on Bollywood’s popularity? It was worth it in the “rat glue” scene.

– I watched the movie in Mandarin Chinese, and it was pretty easy to understand (except for a few parts in the “ancient China” scenes). What I found weird, though, was how they chose to use (Chinese) subtitles in some parts, but just had people speaking Chinese in other parts. For example, in the opening sequence, the princess speaks Korean and it’s subtitled. Later, foreigners working for a research company all speak Chinese (they were clearly dubbed). Jackie speaks in an Indian language with a guard in a temple in India (and it’s subtitled), but the rest of the time in India the Indians all speak (dubbed) Chinese.

– The violence in Jackie Chan’s movies has traditionally been pretty slapstick. It gets pretty bloody in this one, particularly in the ancient China flashbacks. Looks like Jackie is abandoning his principles for a piece of the “China epic” pie?

The last point deserves to be made in its own paragraph rather than just a bullet. It’s a rather weird point to make, and I’m not sure how many would agree with me here. But here goes. The bad guy in The Myth, played by actor Zhou Sun, looks like an older, Chinese version of Joey from Friends (actor Matt LeBlanc). No joke! You know, in the same way that Koizumi looks like a Japanese Richard Gere. I’m not just all talk, though. I have photos for comparison purposes! See if you can pick out who is who! (Warning: bad facial hair ahead!)

Quiz: Joey or Zhou?

If you can’t figure out who is who, you can e-mail me for the answers. I hope you guys agree that they look alike. Last time I suggested a Chinese model looked like Katie Holmes, I didn’t get a lot of support. I know this Caucasian-Asian lookalike phenomenon is real, though, thanks to the incontrovertible Koizumi-Gere case.



Apr 2005

Bollywood Pickup Lines

At my girflriend’s urging I recently purchased my very first Bollywood movie. I only spent 7rmb on it, but watching it was a three-hour time investment. It was with much trepidation that I started viewing Veer-Zaara.

I was pleasantly surprised by what I found. Pakistan was not portrayed nearly as negatively by Indian producer-director Yash Chopra as I had expected, and there were fewer song/dance scenes than I imagined. The story, while not what one would call “realistic,” was not as predictable as I had expected, either. Overall, it was a very enjoyable experience. (Did I mention Bollywood actresses are really hot?)

The part I found funniest were some of the lines in a song called “Do Pal.” The song starts with a line which goes:

> Just for two moments, the caravans of our dreams made a stop
And then you went your way and I went mine.

Caravans of our dreams? Interesting lyrics. I was put on high cheese alert. My vigilance was richly rewarded. I found the following lines of the song especially amusing when I realized that they could be used as pickup lines! Here they are, copied directly from the subtitles, in English and Chinese:

> Was that really you or was it a luminous sunbeam?

> Was that you or was that the monsoon of my dreams?

> Was that you or was that a cloud of happiness?

> Was that you or was that just a fragrant wind?

> Was that you or were those songs resounding in the atmosphere?

> Was that you or was there magic in the air?

Sinosplice readers, you have a homework assignment. Get out there and use these pickup lines! Then report back by leaving a comment.

The astute observer might ask, “what is a post about Bollywood doing on a China-themed blog?” Ah, but I saw a pirated Chinese copy of this Bollywood movie, and even supplied some Chinese translations. How clever of me!

Related Links: Veer-Zaara IMDB profile, political effect of Veer-Zaara, alternate translation of the lyrics from which the pickup lined were extracted (it’s called “Do Pal,” fifth song down)