Monday, February 20, 2012

Linsanity, à la Bollywood.

Lately, Linsanity, or 'insanity' surrounding Lin — Jeremy Lin, a basketball player for New York Knicks — has been a phenomenon of sorts. This 'insanity', of course, is due to a sudden and unexpected rise in his game performance, and his perceived value to the team. Consider these, for example, as of this writing:
On Twitter, Jeremy Lin has 489,576 followers, and counting.
On Facebook, Jeremy Lin has 913,226 likes, and counting.
On CNN's web site, Jeremy Lin is the 2nd most popular topic, after Whitney Houston, the pop singer who died recently.
On Time magazine, an entire article on Linsanity is published [subscription required], and Jeremy Lin is on the cover of the 27 February 2012 issue.
The foregoing and many other sources will educate you on the question of "Who is Jeremy Lin"?

Folks in Hollywood, Bollywood, and many others in the cinema media, would be busy figuring out how to participate in this Linsanity. This blog post is an individual's attempt to help out Bollywood with a rough outline of story for a feature film production.

Most Bollywood movies have a love story weaved into them; 'Linsanity, à la Bollywood' will be no different. We will want Yash Raj Films to produce this, as they are good in crafting love stories. It won't be difficult to find a tall enough — Jeremy Lin is 6' 3" — Indian actor in a country of more than a billion people. The female lead will play a gymnastic teacher 1 who will help the Jeremy character get well prepared physically for the demanding work that NBA-level basketball playing entails. Initially, of course, she will come across solely as a taskmaster but, by the end of the story, the romantic angle will be slowly, colorfully and musically revealed. Considerable poetic license will be used to pepper the story with other, standard, Bollywood ingredients - a mother, a friend, etc., consistent with Jeremy Lin's personal story. Since Jeremy's real life obviously has to be taken into account, I imagine there won't be any opportunity to weave a 'bad' character into the story.

While a no-brainer pick for a music director would be A R Rahman of Jai Ho - Slumdog Millionaire - fame, one has to consider Salim-Sulaiman too: The duo has produced a very nice तुझ में रब दिखता है (English: In you, I see God) number. Why, this number is popular among Chinese too! And, for lyrics of the songs, we are going to need a Gulzar or a Javed Akhtar both of whom who have shown, time and again, that they can come up with fresh love song material.

The movie will, of course, be shot entirely in the United States, with other locales chosen to fit Jeremy Lin's biography. However, if Switzerland, etc., have not been part of Jeremy's past, no matter: Bollywood knows how to concoct a dream sequence to take the song and dance to a suitable exotic location.

One question remains in my mind, though: Whether Bollywood will be courageous enough to limit the running time of the movie to something the western audience will appreciate: less than 120 minutes.

Vive la Bollywood!

1Female gymnastic teacher roles have been successfully woven into Bollywood film stories, e,g., Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi (Hindi: रब ने बना दी जोड़ी, translation: A Match Made by God).

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