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Friday, March 13, 2009

Is this any way to sell weapons?

Israel's Refael, a large quasi-governmental defense contractor, really wanted to make an arms sale to India. So they made this rather lame effort at making a Bollywood movie to impress the Indians. I doubt the Indians were very impressed.

Let's go to the videotape.

Here's the critics' report:
The first thing watchers will notice is that the "archetypal Indian" dancers may have olive-coloured skin, but they are not in the slightest bit Indian. In fact, they're quite obviously Middle Eastern in appearance - probably Sephardic, or oriental, Israelis - and the male lead is even more blatantly Israeli-looking than his colleagues.

And then, the song. Not only does listening to the music itself feel like enduring a series of sharp stomach cramps, but the lyrics hardly conform to the type of lustful, emotional lines we're used to in Bollywood.

The chorus of "dinga dinga dinga dinga dinga dinga dinga (recurring too many times) dee" is perhaps the most obvious letdown, but the constant coded references to the importance of military hardware in all of the verses are hardly the stuff of romantic fantasies.

"What more can I pledge to make a future strong?" the man sings, grinning stupidly. "I need to feel safe and sheltered. Security and protection," the woman chirps back. And so it continues for a full three and a half minutes.

Either the firm's Indian hosts will (like us in The Times newsroom) have found the video so funny that they fell off their chairs laughing and awarded the contract to Rafael out of sympathy - or, one imagines, the firm will only have succeeded in offending those that they meant to impress.
Read the whole thing.


At 3:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

New Delhi responds.

At 4:06 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

You can't really be too politically incorrect to make friends abroad. I was thinking it should be done more often.



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