When it comes to our favorite Bollywood movies, we can’t get enough of them. Whether it’s recreating dramatic scenes or trying out our favorite dance moves, we never run out of creative ways to return to these beloved classics. Some of us may even be known to drunkenly recap a Bollywood movie (not us personally… Hi, Mom!). Enter “Drunk Bollywood.”
From the hilarious minds at Lion Party Films, “Drunk Bollywood” is a spin on “Drunk History” that’s bound to give everyone a laugh. Brown Girl Magazine went behind the scenes with director Proma Khosla to get a better look at the latest, “Sholay,” and what’s to come.
Who are the creative minds behind Lion Party Films, and what do you hope to accomplish in the upcoming years?
LPF consists of myself, Raashi Desai, Shivani Badgi, and Priya Shah. We all met through dance – Shivani, Priya, and I are part of Exodus Artistry and Raashi has been a leading dance videographer in the Bollywood/fusion space for years. That led to Raashi and Shivani directing ‘Dirty Dancing: The Shaadi’ (written by me, produced by Priya) in 2017 and to the four of us deciding that we wanted to keep working together.
We realized that we had a lot of ideas and different creative strengths that mesh well together. We want to create striking visual content, whether it’s dance videos with a specific concept/story (like ‘Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga‘) or off-kilter sketches and stuff like Drunk Bollywood. We also know an insane amount of South Asian creatives and want to find video outlets that showcase and strengthen everyone’s talents through collaboration.
What are your favorite and least favorite parts in regards to the “Drunk Bollywood” series?
‘Drunk Bollywood’ was inspired by ‘Drunk History,’ it is such a fun series and I’m so glad we’re making it a regular thing. I love that we get to work with a variety of people – it’s always such a fun, relaxed setting where people feel free to embrace their weirdness and also encourage each other during what is actually a very difficult type of acting.??I don’t have a least favorite part. Maybe when our janky background curtain falls down a lot.
How does the planning process work in regards to the “Drunk Bollywood” series (i.e. picking out the movies, choosing the narrators and characters)??
The first and probably hardest step is finding narrators because Desi people can be comfortable drinking on camera (all our parents are on Facebook!). We’ve always done two narrators at a time to take the pressure off any one person and create banter between them – they’ve always been two friends so that chemistry comes naturally. Once we have that, we work with them to choose a movie that they’re excited about and that will find a good audience (except with ‘Padmaavat,’ where we recapped the history in conjunction with the movie release).
Once we record the narration, we take note of which characters were mentioned most prominently and set out to cast those. We try not to repeat casting so that we widen our net and also give new people a chance to play in this space. When they aren’t explicitly actors, a lot of our cast members have been Bollywood dancers, so they’re naturally good at melodrama and lip-sync.
Is it possible that LPF will start uploading some “Drunk Bollywood” behind the scenes clips in the near future?
We’re definitely open to sharing behind-the-scenes footage and outtakes in the future! Especially with the narration, we have so much great stuff that couldn’t make the final edit of both ‘Dil To Pagal Hai’ and ‘Sholay.’ And that’s only for ‘Drunk Bollywood’ – we have loads of BTS for everything else as well.
March 20, 2023March 21, 2023 4min readBy Nida Hasan
If you are a South Asian, born in the ’80s or the early ’90s, chances are your ideas of love and romance are heavily influenced by Hindi films — that first gaze, the secret love notes, that accidental meeting somewhere in Europe, over-the-top gestures and dancing around trees. While reality may have been far from what was promised on reel, you still can’t stop pining over a hopeless romantic, with chocolate boy looks, chasing you across the earth and many universes; in the life here and the ones after. Somewhere deep down, you still dream of that possibility despite your husband sitting and sipping his morning coffee right next to you. And much of the credit for weaving this dreamland, that we can’t resist happily sliding into, goes to the legendary Yash Chopra. Award-winning filmmaker Smriti Mundhra’s docu-series, “The Romantics,” that released on Netflix on February 14, chronicles Chopra’s prolific career; offering an illuminating look into the highs and lows of his journey, his unblemished vision for Hindi cinema and sheer love for filmmaking.
I wanted to look at Indian cinema through the lens of it being a major contributor to the global cinema canon and Yash Chopra seemed like the perfect lens to explore that because of the longevity of his career and the fact that he had worked across so many different genres. His films, for so many of us, defined what Hindi cinema is.
— Smriti Mundhra
As “The Romantics” unveils, in a mere episode — a challenging feat in itself — Chopra did experiment with multiple genres as a budding filmmaker, initially under the shadows of his elder brother B.R. Chopra. From the religiously sensitive “Dharamputra” and the trendsetting “Waqt” to the action-packed and iconic “Deewaar.” It wasn’t until later on in his career that he set a precedent for a Hindi film having a wholly romantic narrative; though “Waqt” did offer the perfect glimpse into what would go on to become Chopra’s cinematic imprint. And then came “Chandni” which ushered in a new era for Hindi cinema; defying the formulaic approach to box office success and making love stories the golden goose.
In the words of more than 30 famous faces, a host of archival videos and interviews, and personal anecdotes, audiences get an extensive insight into the life and career of Yash Chopra and the evolution of his vision through the business acumen and genius of his polar opposite son and a famous recluse, Aditya Chopra. “The Romantics” is not a fancy portrait of a legendary filmmaker but an exploration of what goes into making a successful film family and a path-breaking production house. As viewers, we not only get a peek into the making of a fantasy creator but also learn of the many failures, hurdles and uncertainties that the business of filmmaking comes packaged in, the impact of socio-political shifts on the kind of content being produced and demanded, and just how much control we have as an audience over the fate of the film and the filmmaker.
For both the uninitiated and fanatics, there are some interesting revelations like Shah Rukh Khan’s lifelong desire to become an action hero as opposed to a romantic one and the creative conflict between Aditya Chopra and his father Yash Chopra on the sets of “Dilwale Dulhania Le Jaayenge” — a project that, surprisingly, did not seem too promising to the latter. Mundhra penetrates deep into the family’s history and industry relationships evoking some really candid conversations; almost as if these celebs were eagerly waiting for their moment to speak. With one appraising interview after the other, it’s a panegyric that does border on being a tad tedious but there is enough depth and fodder in there to keep one hooked. Kudos to Mundhra for managing to achieve cohesion despite there being more than enough material to chew on. In the process of bringing this project to life, Mundhra also ends up achieving a number of milestones: one that the series features the last of actor Rishi Kapoor’s interviews and two, it brings Aditya Chopra, who, it appears, can talk a blue streak contrary to popular belief, to the front of the camera after almost two decades. The moment when he puts the nepotism debate to rest by referring to his brother’s catastrophic attempt at acting is quite the show-stealer.
At some point during the four-episode series, you might question if it’s fair to credit the Yash Raj family for being the only real changemakers of the Hindi film industry and for picking up the baton to get Hindi cinema the global recognition that it has. But then there is no denying the Chopra clan’s body of work, their ability to understand what pleases the crowd and their commitment towards growth and progress amidst changing times and technology — Yash Raj Studios is in fact the only privately held and one of the biggest, state-of-the-art film studios in India. Chopra’s career and legacy are in no way under-lit that Mundhra can claim to throw new light on with “The Romantics.” But what she really has on offer here are sheer nostalgia, some fascinating discoveries and an ode to a cinephile and his art with a bit of fan service.
In an interview with Brown Girl Magazine, Mundhra discusses why it was so important for Chopra to be the subject of her docu-series, her own learnings during the series’ research and creative process and her accomplishment of getting Aditya Chopra to talk, and that too, at length.