Lights, Camera, Action!
So, every now and then, like buses, things happen in quick succession in my life. Historically, it’s things like not seeing friends for a while then seeing them three times in a week or not going to a certain part of London then having to go there twice in a week. Well, a couple of weeks back through a chain of events I ended up having quite a ‘filmi’ week.
With not much planned, I was set for a week of work and home and not much else in between. Then Tuesday afternoon I get a call from Daisy, ‘Do you wanna go see the new Transformers film in the Disney cinema, this evening?’. Having missed the last couple of opportunities due to work commitments I wasn’t going to miss out on the chance to get inside Disney head office and watch this film in an exclusive theatre. I wrapped up and headed to Hammersmith. Once through security I got shown around the offices of Disney and they are everything you’d expect and more. Floor to ceiling posters from the films, teddies, action figures on every desk and walls, Disney soundtracks being played in the lifts, it was like a Disney Museum.
We then went into a very comfortable, intimate cinema room with a huge screen. The film was action packed with dinosaurs and robots and after two hours forty it was quite exhausting. Because of the size of the screen and intimacy of the room size the 3D effects we so impactful and powerful. I’ve been inspired for the future cinema room in our house!
The following day, still buzzing from my Disney experience I got a message asking to meet some friends at BFI (British Film Institute) at Southbank. With the sun blazing I didn’t need many excuses to agree. Samir, friend and reason why I have done so much British Asian performing arts in my life, met in the bar where 10 years earlier we had first met when we were promoting Aamir Khan’s film Lagaan with a nationwide book launch.
He told me he was there to see Farhan Akhtar, famous Bollywood actor and director. I thought he meant in some arty film but he actually meant in person at the London Asian Film Festival Q&A session, and he had spare tickets for us to join if we wanted. Even though I don’t rant about Farhan Akhtar like I do with other celebs, he has a always been closely linked with my life. After Dil Chahta Hai, his first film, I openly confessed my crush on Preity Zinta to the world. The remake of Don with my hero Shah Rukh Khan, became not only a great film but the theme song was the song I walked into my wedding with and most recently, Zindagi Na Milege Dobara, will be a constant reminder of our trip to Tomatina.
Not only did we get to see this very funny, humble, creative and successful actor, producer, director talk about his incredible life, supported by some great stories and clips from those films, we did it from the second row, meters away from him. Having moved to London we have had less time to watch long Bollywood films but he reminded me why I love Bollywood so much and made me vow to watch more.
If Tuesday and Wednesday weren’t film packed enough I still had a 60th Birthday party to attend on Saturday which had an Amitabh Bachchan and his leading ladies theme. My uncle whos party it was is a huge Bachchan fan, and this theme was a really good idea rather than a generic Bollywood theme. After lots of research I realised unlike others it would be difficult for me to look like the great man so Daisy and I picked a famous film, Naseeb and decided to go as Hema Malini and Johnny. I may have cheated and bought a mask but it ended up being the talk of the night with lots of pictures being photo bombed with the mask. It was great to see how others perceive and interpret Bollywood and bring it life. It’s amazing how people reacted when I had the mask on, imagining I was him and dancing with me like I was him, I can’t imagine what the actual Bachchan would have to go through every day.
Considering I wasn’t planning on doing much that week I ended up having a great week of experiences which reminded me why I love films and especially those Bollywood ones. I look forward to the next experiences the universe decides to send my way.
Below are a couple of pics from that week..