If That Don't Suit Ya

… that's a drag:

  • Our local paper reports on thousands of "anti-school" bookmarks found in books at the Dover and Portsmouth Public Libraries, and also the library of the University Near Here. (SeacoastOnline had the story a few weeks ago.) The bookmarks advertised the School Sucks Project and Freedomain Radio, both hardcore libertarian organizations. One bookmark features an apocryphal Mark Twain quote: "Never let your schooling interfere with your education." To her credit, Dover librarian Cathy Beaudoin claims she would have also removed bookmarks that said "Stop the oil spill in the Gulf".

    My observations are pretty much commonplace: (1) The articles underplay the irony of piggybacking on government-supported institutions to get free advertising for one's libertarian cause. (2) It's amazing that the perpetrators of this bit of guerilla promotion managed to slip thousands of bookmarks into shelved items without any librarians noticing it was happening. (3) For the record: it wasn't me.

  • In semi-related news, our Sunday paper contained the first glossy notices of retailers' back-to-school sales. This brought forth an audible moan from the educator who lives with me. Too soon!

  • Now that the World Cup is over, have you stopped beating your wife?

  • Calvin and Jobs rates an offical Pun Salad "Heh!"

Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge

stars] [IMDb Link] [Amazon Link]

English translation of the title: The Big-Hearted Will Win the Bride. Or also: Don't Always Believe Netflix's Best Guess. More on that below.

Chaudhry Baldev Singh runs a convenience store in London, but he pines for his native land. One night he's particularly irritated at a young fellow Hindi, fun-loving Raj, who dupes him into selling a case of beer after he's closed up for the night.

But things take a turn for the better when he returns home: the arranged marriage of his lovely older daughter Simran has been in the works for years, and the groom's father has finally set a date; the whole family will return to India soon for the festivities. But Simran begs for one last favor from Daddy: can she take a train tour of Europe with her girlfriends? But of course.

And (also of course) Simran coincidentally meets Daddy-irritant Raj on the trip. He's immediately smitten with her, and after a series of comic misadventures, she returns his feelings. But what will happen to the arranged marriage? Hey, did you notice the title translation?

This movie won 8 Filmfare awards (India's Oscar-equivalent). IMDB claims that (as of 2007) it held the world record for theatrical release duration. So a lot of people like it.

However: Indian cinema is an acquired taste; Indian musicals even more so. And, sorry, I have not acquired it. I don't mean to be chauvinistic: it's just not my cup of Darjeeling.

It's over three hours long. By American standards, everybody overacts. And there are huge production numbers where the lead actors sing and dance; the lyrics may make perfect sense in Hindi, but the English translations, not so much. The womens' singing voices are uniformly screechy. The dance moves will not remind you of Fred Astaire, or even Busby Berkeley.

Netflix guessed that I would really like this, predicting a full four stars. Why? Because I liked It Happened One Night, Bend It Like Beckham, and … Where Eagles Dare. Yes, Where Eagles Dare, the tender romantic story of how Clint Eastwood and Richard Burton blow into a Bavarian castle during WW2, killing about three thousand Nazis. At a number of points while watching the movie I said to Mrs. Salad: "Yeah, this is just like Where Eagles Dare."

Finally: you've almost certainly seen the actor who plays Chaudhry Baldev Singh: he played the nasty thuggee priest, Mola Ram, in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Things work out slightly better for him here.

Last Modified 2012-10-03 8:50 AM EST