March 11, 2008

March poll: Should they or shouldn't they?

I've had chats with several folks about different kinds of films they'd like to see, and one that often comes up is a mature, older-woman younger-man romance. I would love to see Shabana Azmi in a film like this - could be a comedy like Cheeni kum in reverse, or even something more serious.

The trouble is that when my acquaintances and I are fantasizing about this kind of film, the name that always comes up to play the lead man is Shah Rukh Khan.

And I just can't stand the idea.

It's not just that Shah Rukh Khan doesn't appeal to me - that's only part of it. There's an aesthetic mismatch that I'm not sure even the most talented director could bridge. Shah Rukh Khan is good at what he does, but what he does is broad, playing to the back of the house. Shabana ji's realist approach would never work with this, and so she too would be forced to pull out the cartoon acting. She'd have to give the kind of performance she gave in Umrao Jaan. The result would be two hours of competitive scenery-chewing; bordering on intolerable even in a comedy.

I'm not offering a suggestion for a different lead at this point - that could be a later poll, dependent upon the results of this one. Today I am just asking the yes-or-no question: Would you like to see Shabana ji opposite Shah Rukh Khan in a story with some kind of romantic tension? (The romance need not be the only plot, but it must be a considerable force in the story - I'm not intending here to poll about the notion of a film in which they play siblings, or colleagues without any sexual tension.) What do you think of my analysis above - have I got it all wrong? Or does this thought make you cringe just as much as it does me?

So should they or shouldn't they? Vote over on the right.



Thanks as always to Beth for the silly (and frightening) graphic.

12 comments:

Andromache said...

Heh, I think it would be funny to see. But my no vote is purely selfish. I've been feeling SRKed out lately. Give some other dude the chance.

Anonymous said...

Carla, I don’t think there would be an aesthetic mismatch in the Shabana Azmi/Shah Rukh Khan duo. Both are sensual, passionate, highly intelligent and have similarly slightly flawed (hence alluring) beauty. They're like thoroughbreds (that’s the Irish in me, I’m afraid) raring to go with all the nostril flaring, hoof stamping and tail swishing that go with it. Yet, they can both be very, very contained - yes, even Shah Rukh Khan – with the right director. And this is the problem – the right director.
But I would dearly love to see Shabana Azmi with any young actor in a film similar to one of Pedro Almodovar’s great melodramas (comedy always kicks in in any case, so that’s not a problem !) Fadista da Mouraria

Beth said...

Hmmm. They should, just so we can all talk about the results. Plus think of the income potential! I'm drafting a Venn diagram to illustrate my suspicion that most fans of Indian cinema of any kind like either Shabana or SRK (or both)....

dormeg said...

Ugh. My stomach churned as soon as I read "Shah". There are two possible reasons for such a reaction: 1) My undeniable feelings for SRK (which I'm sure you know by now, Carla) and 2) I don't think he's young enough! Perhaps my fantasizing tendencies are kinkier than I realize, but he's definitely not young enough for my liking. Keep it legal, but go younger. ;)

Filmi Geek said...

Ha! I should have known that mentioning Shah Rukh Khan would bring out the voters and the comments! :P

Andromache: I think a future poll will explore who that "other dude" should be. :)

Fadista: your comments have made me think hard about whether my analysis is more colored by my own feelings about SRK than I acknowledged. I have concluded that they are. I just don't like the guy, he has no romantic appeal to me whatsoever, and for all my highfalutin' analysis of acting style and whatnot, the fact is that I just don't think I can handle the idea of a character played by Shabana Azmi finding him attractive in the least. :p

Beth: It would certainly be rich fodder for discussions! Looking forward to that Venn digram. Perhaps we can test your theory on BollyWHAT - I can think of one poster there who might fall outside of it.

dormeg: o.O ! Maybe you would prefer this guy? Hmmm ...

Beth said...

That video is baaaaaad. How about Shahid? I finally watched Jab We Met and am ready to officially label him Da Bomb. Plus she could lounge on a sofa with one eyebrow raised while he prances around for her pleasure. Love it!

Anonymous said...

no never, she is too good for him :D

Anonymous said...

Very Interesting....

Hard too say...

He might turn up a good performance...

But sometimes I feel that she is too good for him... the only movie which I really liked of him was Chake de...

Otherwise he always seemed like a romeo who danced around trees...

maru said...

Fun poll, Carla. First, don't like the idea at all..... I don't see what the big whoop abt SRK is so that's part of it. Also i just don't think he has the acting chops to make it credible. Second, Like dormeg I visualized someone a tad younger. At 42/43(?), I think SRK has his own version of the autumn-spring romance with the 16 year old he is supposed to be romancing in Aditya Chopra's next.

It's impossible to consider this question, without coming up with alternatives, but I'll save my thoughts for the followup to this poll :)

theBollywoodFan said...

I'm curious to know what you thought of the handling of the older woman-younger man romantic relationship in Dil Chahta Hai (2001). I think Akshaye Khanna and Dimple Kapadia did very well in pulling that off!

As for Shabana Azmi and SRK...sounds like a mismatch to me. Maybe Aamir Khan would do better justice to the role? Yes, Aamir is not branded as SRK (ala loverboy) is, yet in terms of the quality of acting, dare I say he might well match up well with Shabana!

Filmi Geek said...

I thought the Akshaye/Dimple storyline in *Dil chahta hai* was lovely - it's on the strength of that, largely, that I've included Akshaye in the new poll. :) Aamir Khan is there too so I look forward to hearing how you decided to vote!

Amit said...

I'd say yes, since SRK has already done a role where he serenaded and seduced an older woman in Maya Memsaab (Madame Bovary). So he has experience doing such a role. :)