Oh, God, Sri~ This is some kind of wrong~

May 24, 2014 — 1 Comment

Sridevi’s lovely crowd-pleasing English Vinglish is going to Japan [Trailer, if you don’t believe me], and for a moment there I thought they might actually super-dub it [1] but no~ Japan is getting it subbed after 3 Idiots got a nod for Best Foreign Film in the last edition of the Japanese Academy Awards. For promotions of the film, they want to use this image of her 1993 film Roop Ki Rani Choron Ka Raja:



And it’s serious too- like, they totally mean to promote EV with Sridevi in yellow-face without a hint of irony. I wonder what Japanese people would think other than “oh, these silly foreigners,” I don’t know who the audience for the film is in Japan, somehow I don’t picture Japanese housewives going to watch a non-Japanese non-Hollywood (ft. Depp or DiCaprio or Pitt or Cruise) flick with subtitles, but maybe I’m underestimating them.

For casual watchers of “this is Chinese/Japanese/Korean” arguments online or real life, Sridevi’s attire though wanting to be Japanese is obviously more Chinese-inspired, like Disney’s Mulan’s match-making attire wanting to be Chinese but obviously Japanese-inspired.

In my Indian-movie-watching journey, I’ve been mildly amused and downright embarrassed by some of the “East Asian” nods that I’ve ran into. First, there was the ubiquitous Mera Naam Chin Chin Chu, which admittedly- it’s kinda catchy. It’s a 1958 film, you could pass it off… and it’s referenced in at least a handful of the movies I’ve been watching.

Other “East Asian” nods from Indian cinema came via Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi when Shahrukh Khan goes to the Japan trade fair with Anushka Sharma’s character, and you get a “this is kinda wrong” embarrassing feeling. And let’s not forget Chandni Chowk to China… but that movie makes you more embarrassed for the movie in itself than the actual China setting. Among other long-moustached Chinese-looking bad guys, mostly terrorist-slash-psychopaths often played by Danny Denzongpa.

— EDIT Nov16th’14 —

Juhi Chawla didn’t escape a severe hudge-pudge of East Asian mumbo-jumbo with mild case of yellowface alongside *ding ding* guilty-again Shahrukh Khan as Indian reporters trying to pass off as Chinese reporters (Chinese coolie) husband- (Japanese do) wifey Hyundai (Korean) in Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani.

But the worst and the most shocking of all was Ram Charan’s Chirutha. I’m not particularly into Telugu sense of humor, except for Magadheera (which didn’t have much comedy), everything makes me cringe. But this scene in Chirutha took the cake when a Kathoey (who’s not obviously played by one) makes an appearance. The rest of the movie has a lot of Crazy-88-style Chinese bad guys that get their bums kicked by Ram Charan, of course.

It doesn’t make me angry, but I am a bit embarrassed. At one point during my Magadheera period between New Year and now (5 months), I considered having a crush on Ram Charan. The flame is completely put off. It’s just not gonna work.

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    […] film industry (from what I’ve seen of Bollywood and Tollywood) hasn’t fared too well [1] in Chinese (or East Asian representation) despite being literally next to each other. Not that […]

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