Thursday, December 06, 2007

Shabana Azmi to JDJ: Give me some lip!

Last week on JDJ, Shabana Azmi landed on the show with much fanfare. But she waved off the taalis and pooh-poohed the attention, soberly articulated her new movie and then went about handing out comments.

Shabana Azmi Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa TVNow there is something about Shabana that even though she says something nice and encouraging, she makes everyone shake just a wee bit. And this time she pulled up several contestants for not lip synching properly while dancing. "Lip synching ka dhyaan rakkho!" she commanded. Contestants nodded vigorously before vanishing from her presence in nanoseconds.

Which led me to ask myself: why is lip synching important in a show about dance? Anyone remember Mika? The guy who didn't know what to do between dance steps? He was a half-ass lip syncher and I barely even noticed it. And while I'm on annoying contestants how about Jay Bhanushali? He lip synchs enthusiastically and look what it does for him? Nothing!

In fact, I find mouthing the lyrics to a song to be downright distracting when a couple is dancing. Case in point: Nach Baliye had a Kuchh Na Kaho theme where everyone had to dance to music without lyrics. And I found that the dancers had to work much harder to convey the emotion but it looked a whole lot better.

I suppose you could argue that this isn't just dance - this is Bollywood dance and lip synching is an essential dance technique in this industry. To which I say: so is being able to act but look how many star kids and super models (isn't anyone just a model these days?) daze their way through movies these days.

Also:

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

Okay so I had to say it (forgive me, all Shabana fans...besides, I'm a fan myself):

WHAT is with those eyebrows???


They didn't look nearly as arched here:
http://www.guyanaundersiege.com/Bollywood/Shabana%20best.jpg

-Harsh&Raw

leera said...

Thank you anon I did notice the eyebrows. Methinks it adds to her personality, making everything sound like a snub.
On the lip synching bit, as a sincere critic who was judging them based on a bollywood theme, she stayed true to her job. Apparently its very important in 'bollywood dancing'. I remember Saroj Khan on NB2 last year pulling up several contestants on their half assed lip synching.

Filmi Geek said...

Eyebrows = part of the whole magnificent and formidable package.

I wish I could tolerate talent contests because I would have loved to have seen this. Thanks for the precis, Aspi! You will be duly linked and quoted.

Joules said...

Could it be the result of too much face-lift?

Seriously Shabana's skin look's really good. I saw her in person for a play that she did in the US (Tumhari Amrita) and kept wondering if she had gotten any work done on her face.

anu g said...

Aspi, u missed mentioning the lecture she gave to Sandhya about not panting after dancing(?). I guess Shabana is trying to make them perfect at their art, so she gives her ideas...whether they r pratically possible is a different issue.But I must say that she did a great job as a judge at II3, and at JDJ tried whatever best she thought would help the contestants.Not to forget the athi shuddh hindi/urdu?
As for the eyebrows.....^^.....its too distracting..whenever they show a close-up of her, I cant but keep looking amazed at her eyebrows, how they manage to look that way:).I guess it goes with her strict image.

Aspi said...

Shabana doesn't look botoxed or face lifted to me although I've been wrong about anya people in Hollywood before.

On the other hand - Jeetendra, now he's under suspicion. The guy can barely move his face!

Mind Rush said...

Folks, Shabana is an actor not a mere star or page 3 celeb. She was trying hard to teeach these folks the 101 of being on stage. The participants learned from her more in 30 seconds than they did in all those years of TV serials, chota mota roles and choreography.

Sidekick said...

Aspi, finally some Shabana love :).

H&R, the eyebrows were the first thing i noticed when i saw the post! they make her look a little lalita pawar-ish --- sorta interesting evil witch :). Seriously though I think they add to her aura.

bollywood is all abt suspension of belief - of course it's perfectly normal for non-singers to burst into perfect melody, non-dancers to execute complicated steps, poor, starving people to wear designer clothes --- the list is endless. so when we do bollywood dancing we lip sync and everyone believes that we're actually singing. c'mon, like mind rush said its bollywood 101. Shabana as the perfectionist judge is just doing her job :P

Sidekick said...

aspi, why blame botox for jeetu's immobile face? even in his heyday, i don't think there was much mobility!

Aspi said...

sidekick, heh!

And Mind Rush and Sidekick - remind me never to invite you home at the same time. Along with the Drift memsaab, the Shabana coalition might get out of hand.

anu g said...

I think Jeetu has got a botox job done but it has gone wrong somewhere- cos have u noticed how he speaks...its so unclear, as if he doesnt have teeth and is drunk!Jeetu-fans, I didnt say he is, just that he sounds like one.

anu g said...

Filmi-geek , I am impressed by ur Shabanaji!I was just watching the news. Shabana is acting in Dus Kahaniyan as a typical Tamil Mami. She says that in stereotype Hindi movies, a Tamilian is portrayed with just a few 'ayyayyo'es added in.(I think in real life Tamilians hardly ever say that). But she wanted to get the right effect. So she went with her dress-designer to typical tamil families and got the whole costume down. I saw a glimpse of her, and she has done a very good job....reminds me of my grandma.

Joules said...

Heard Prachi is leaving her show end of Jan as she has a bollywood offer.

Aspi said...

And while we are at it: can someone do something about showing old parsi couples, usually smiling in some geeky fashion and the man wearing a black topi?

Its terribly inaccurate - some of us wear red topis and dance around everywhere instead of just sitting and smiling.

Lata P said...

Shabana definitely had a face lift. I had a friend here whose eyebrows looked exactly like hers.Also I watched a lot of cosmetic surgery shows.:) And as far as Jeetendra goes. He definitely got botox done. And his slurred voice is due to excessive drinking. He and Dharmendar both got that due to drinking. During the recording in studios these 2 are not liked cause the recordists can never get them to say it right or may be to do with punjabi. You know how they say putharrrrr.

Lata P said...

My friend whose eyebrows looks like Shabana had a face lift done.

Mind Rush said...

Slurred speech due to drinking? You have to be drunk on the sets to be slurry...I thought Jeetu mentioned once that he has a speech disorder and worked very hard to overcome it in films.

Lata P said...

May be I don't know. But thats what I heard from people working in studios. If he said so then may be that's the case.

Aspi said...

Lata P now that you mention it, you've got me thinking!

Joules said...

Aspi, Is that about the drinking or the raised eyebrows :)

I have doubts about J. drinking. He maintained his physique pretty well and it is hard to do if you are an alcoholic. (Check out how bad Jackie Shroff/Manisha Koirala/the whole Kapoor Khandaan look)

A little bit about Shabana and the play I saw. The play had only two characters Farooq Sheikh and Azmi and it was based on letters they wrote to each other over a period of time.

Both of them were so good. After the play Shabana stepped in the audience and mingled with the public. She is a classy and intelligent woman. She also had a talk at UT Austin about women in South Asia and empowering them, a little elitist for me but Shabana lovers would have enjoyed her passion.

Joules said...

A little something for Himesh lovers

"He sang for 3 hours with no break or breather"

http://www.santabanta.com/cinema.asp?pid=18025