Last night, I looked Malá Morská Vila (1976), the Czech version of The little Mermaid. Not because I’m a cinephile (the only filmography I am well versed in belongs to Govinda and Shah Rukh Khan), but because I saw a tweet about this film’s gorgeous ~ aesthetic ~ (and partly because I’m unemployed.) OP was absolutely right: the film was fascinating. Actors playing mermaids did not have fish tails, nor did they wear shell-shaped bikinis. The budget for the entire film was likely less than the money spent on Ariel’s hair coloring in the next adaptation of The little Mermaid. More importantly, the source material was close to what Hans Christian Andersen imagined, not the sterilized version Disney wants us to look at.
The most surprising thing was undoubtedly the fashion. The colors, the clothes, the hair … oh my god, the hair was spectacular. This movie probably invented that “seapunk aesthetic” that Tumblr was obsessed with ten years ago. After that, I looked Take revenge (2022). Starring Maya Hawke and Camila Mendes, this film was basically the answer to the question: “What if we took Strangers on a train (1951) but give it the aesthetics of Gossip Girl (2007-2012) and the dialogues of Mean Girls (2004)? “I didn’t know I needed this movie so badly until I saw it. It was jaw-dropping but glorious, and it really made me miss the” extra-ness “of the Bollywood movies I grew up watching and In the quest to be taken seriously, many Hindi films seem to lose the edge that made them stand out.
This took me back to the time when we were making films like Rakesh Roshan’s classic from the 80s Khoon Bhari Maang (1988). Rekha’s appearance, her look, her desire for revenge, that enthusiastic crocodile … this movie genuinely he had it all. Then there was also his ‘reincarnation on the cocaine saga’ Karan Arjun (1995), a film in which Rakhee’s character is such a drama queen – and rightfully so, if I may add – that I can’t believe her captors didn’t just explode the moment she watched them. With Kaho Naa … Pyaar Hai (2000), Rakesh took the best parts of Khoon Bhari Maang And Karan Arjun, giving us a gloriously campy revenge drama with shocking deaths within bodies of water, lookalikes, the grand prom number at the peak and some serious fashion goals.