Saturday, 23 July 2011

Hum Hain Rahi Pyar Ke

Directed by: Mahesh Bhatt
Starring: Aamir Khan, Juhi Chawla, Dalip Tahil, Sharokh Irani, Kunal Khemu, Baby Ashrafa
Released: 1993
Verdict: destroy every copy – horrible – bad – whatever – flawed but enjoyable - good – great – amazing

Hum Hain Rahi Pyar Ke made me genuinely happy. For many reasons. The main being the fact that Juhi Chawla actually had a role. In most of her mainstream films I´ve seen so far she was largely used as a decoration, excuse for a song or damsel in distress, be it in Darr, Duplicate or Bol Radha Bol. However here she got her due and she truly used every second to her advantage.

Young Rahul (AAMIR Khan. AAMIR. Not SHAHRUKH. Understand?) has just inherited a textile factory saddled with debt plus three kids from his tragically deceased sister. He tries his best to get on well with the children, but managing them and the factory proves to be rather difficult, especially since his workers are all women making eyes on him and dancing instead of working. Ad to it a hungry for shaadi rich daughter of a man you´re making a commission for and what do you have? A big load of trouble. Nobody seems to understand the man´s plight and the kids are getting more and more insufferable by day, drawing away all nannies with their pranks.
Run over by life........... and children.
After Rahul breaks his promise of taking the children to the fair and locking them in the house the three siblings – Vicky, Munni and Sunny – run away through a window and completely rupee-less make their way to the fair. While trying to steal some sweets, they bump into Vaijanti, a young girl, at the moment engaged in the same illegal action. Together they all manage to escape the policeman and upon hearing that Vaijanti has nowhere to go, the children practically smuggle her home, where she spends two days hiding before their strict uncle. But nothing lasts forever and after a rather eventful night Rahul finally finds out there are not three, but four people he needs to look after now. Especially since Vaijanti makes up a story about being a poor orphan, while in fact she has run away from home and a rather sleazy groom...
No better place to hide from the police then a center of a stage.
Hum Hain Rahi Pyar Ke breathes innocence from the beginning to the end (despite that horny girl chasing Aamir). Its magic doesn´t make differences between generations and I can easily imagine seniors, children or adult people watching it and having a good time. It has everything – fluff, fun, romance, action – but everything is still very much innocent and even the slight thrill before the ending is delightfully funny. Great surprise were the three children. It is one of the very rare films where I did not feel the need to strangle them for being artificial and annoying – because they were not. They all did a good job without being too giggly or too weepy.
Even Juhi was shocked at the non-annoyance of the kids.
Aamir Khan is also very good. Watching this film after Lagaan and 3 Idiots I was reminded of how much I loved this old Aamir, who used his instinct more then his head (as I like to lament in every review which concerns him). Hum Hain Rahi Pyar Ke has him in a rather difficult role of an uncle, who does his best to satisfy the children, but fails with his methods, which sometimes are not exactly right, and sometimes he has to face a selfish misunderstanding by the trio. Aamir made his character look real, and even in the moments, in which he is unlikeable to the children, he manages to convince you that he wants their best and is just utterly helpless from time to time.
Can we have them in a film again please?
However, as I have mentioned earlier, the film ultimately belongs to Juhi. Because she is the soul of all things. She is the active (!) reason of things happening. She is the fun. She is that innocence I loved. I´m sure other actresses would have done a good job too, but I seriously doubt any would bring it to Juhi´s level. Such was her natural charm and comic sense in this one, and she truly deserved that Filmfare she later received. Looking sweet and simply throug-out the film she makes you smile with her mere presence. This is definitely my favourite film and performance of hers, no matter how much more „meaningful“ stuff she was appreciated later in her career. Ad to it she´s acting opposite Aamir (my favourite of her pairings), and you are left with a feeling of bliss.
Not blissed out just yet.
Part of the movie´s appeal lies also in music. Every single track is beautiful and there is pretty much everything from fun songs to romantic and family ones. The following is my favourite, which really stuck in my head and I find myself humming it from time to time.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

March 2011 releases

I rather urgently need to delete several files from my computer and the victims of this decision are to be three film which released this March. And just as my good habit goes, before deleting a film I am to write at least a short review. One of the „major“ releases is not included and that is Dum Maro Dum, simply because I have not yet found a decent picture quality copy with subtitles, so I guess a review of that film will have to wait.... Meanwhile here come the three films I´ve seen....


Directed by: Remo D´Souza
Starring: Jackky Bhagnani, Pooja Gupta, Boman Irani, Riteish Deshmunk
Verdict: destroy every copy – horrible – bad – whatever – flawed but enjoyable - good – great – amazing

To be honest I only watched this film because it was directed by Remo, whom I´ve got accostumed to see side by side with Madhuri Dixit on Jhalak Dikhla Ja 4 the last winter. Yeah, a pathetic reason, but a fangirl in me knows no limits! The only reason why I sat through the whole thing was Riteish Deshmunk. I genuinly like the guy, I find him very funny and there is something cute and endearing about him. He is also a good actor and in this is without a second thought the best together with Boman Irani – despite the fact their roles are rather limited. Most of the time you are forced to watch a bunch of teenagers, who are obviously too lazy to study, having a good time and later do some preaching about how teachers should teach..... I am all for changes in our educational systém, but I hate it when people label it all wrong. It has worked for centuries for God´s sake. Maybe I´m just interpreting the „message“ of the film wrong, because it was hard to pay any real attention to what was heppening on screen..... Some jokes might have been funny, if one didn´t realize that there is limit to silliness. And who the heck was that Google guy?

I Am

Directed by: Onir
Starring: Juhi Chawla, Manisha Koirala, Rahul Bose, Nandita Das
Verdict: destroy every copy – horrible – bad – whatever – flawed but enjoyable - good – great – amazing

Yes, I know I have shocked you with such a low rating of such a highly critically acclaimed film. But it was the high expectations coming from those critical accolades and praises which made my psyched about I Am long before it released, and then I found out it is actually nothing that special... Onir made a quality film, interestingly put together, with very good performances from everybody. It is always pleasure to see Juhi Chawla, even more so in these kind of mature roles, and it was just as great to see Manisha Koirala again. Rahul Bose, who failed to impress me in Chameli, delivers yet again a rather subdued performance, which yet again leaves me with an impression of him being constantly confused on screen. My problem with the film was that I did not really find it „eye-opening“, the word which critics largely used. Everybody with brains (hence everyone who would watch such a film) knows there are single women who go to spermbanks, that there are people who would never accept gays, that there are molested children. The film says that these things exist. And that´s all. All four stories are hardly related to each other, in fact they seemed rather forcibly put together, and their length (or rather shortness) did not give me a chance to feel into the characters, or even like them. It was all too shallow, simple „touch and run away“.


Directed by: Abhinay Deo
Starring: Abhishek Bachchan, Kangana Ranaut, Anupam Kher
Verdict: destroy every copy – horrible – bad – whatever – flawed but enjoyable - good – great – amazing

This one was a surprise. I am one of those who think Abhishek Bachchan simply lucked out because of his surname, and I maintain this belief. But there are films where he proves he is a capable actor too and Game is one of those. In fact, I really, really liked the first 45 minutes. The way the story was presented was nothing less but exciting for me. But once the EXCELLENT Anupam Kher disappeared from the film, it went down the hill. Maybe also because really good Boman Irani was too very soon eliminated from the story. From a very promising plot, which was well built up at first, the movie in mere minutes transformed into mediocre thriller with terribly placed background music and a speed of a snail. Abhishek is quite good, although I don´t understand why he has to play a "genius" so often, because seriously, he doesnt convince you of being one. Kangana, I feel, is a one time wonder. I recall how astounded I was by her in Fashion, but since then my rating of her as an actress sloops lower and lower everytime I see her. In this she is the weekest and yet again doesn´t really make me want to go and watch her some more. Lots of stories are left unfinished in this. Pity? Good? Not quite sure.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Sirf Tum

Directed by: Agathiyan
Starring: Sanjay Kapoor, Priya Gill, Mohnish Bell, Salman Khan, Jackie Shroff, Sushmita Sen
Released: 1999
Verdict: destroy every copy – horrible – bad – whatever – flawed but enjoyable - good – great – amazing

There is a guy called Deepak. He is nice, well-mannered, well-dressed, honest, pleasant, honourable, in other words he has not one single flaw. From time to time he meets a new person – for example on a train – and he notes down the person´s name and date of birth. Why? Because he is so, so good and nice that he likes to post birthday cards to these people he´ll probably never meet again. Once he finds a lady´s purse and as a true gentleman sends it by the post to the owner, who obviously had been robbed. Apart from her address he also gets to know her birth date. Which means one more card to be send every year. He doesn´t mind though. The young woman, or rather girl, Aarti who was overjoyed to see her lost purse once again, starts regularly corresponding with him and both fall in love with each other through letters. However they decide (for whatever reason I don´t get) that they will not exchange pictures, because „our love will reach from the heart to eyes“ or some nonsense like that. I would like to note that I am a great romantic and don´t believe that appearance is the most important thing in a relationship, but some beliefs are.... way too naive.

To make sure she recognizes him, when they would finally agree to meet, she makes him a rather ugly sweater (I suspect she is a Rishi Kapoor fan). He is supposed to wear it when the big day comes.
Must say that I for one would not give my address to this guy.
But then Deepak decides to leave his job in... where ever he was... because some workers refused to work and thought they´d beat him instead, and move to Delhi. Here he meets new friends (aka Jackie Shroff being wasted and Mohnish Bell being sleazy) and his beautiful employee (aka Sushmita Sen being annoyingly childish). But when she reveals she has feeling for him some time later he decides to leave his profitable job, because his heart belongs to Aarti. Meanwhile she refuses to marry a handsome, good and rich boy (aka Salman Khan being Prem – literally) and to escape from future suggestions she finds this the best time to meet Deepak. BUT here comes the catch – he didn´t send her his new address (WTF) and neither of them has ever seen each other (I knew this was going to cause some minor problems). So even while she is sobbing at the backseat of a rickshaw, she wouldn´t recognize him even if he was driving it (hint, hint)....
Salman Khan being wasted.
Jackie Shroff being wasted.
Sushmita Sen being pretty much wasted too.
Sirf Tum is a feel good film. If you do not demand a visually pleasing hero, that is. If you do, don´t even try to watch this one. Sanjay Kapoor was not blessed with either looks or charisma. His acting skills too leave much to be desired. However he is one of those actors, that are actually so non-interesting you cannot hate them. The non-existent screen presence gives you a chance to imagine whomever you want to in Sanjay´s place, which at times is almost necessary. The film, however, is taking place in some weird alternative reality, where Sanjay Kapoor is the handsomest and most desirable man alive and women cannot stop themselves from throwing themselves at him at any occassion. From horny co-workers to illiterate Malayam girls and of course beautiful employees. The only one who doesn´t give a damn about him when meeting him is ironically Aarti.
Sorry Sanjay. Only Rishi can pull off a sweater like this.
I´ve never seen Priya Gill before and she was good here, though it is not the same level of „good“ you associate with actresses like Juhi Chawla or Kareena Kapoor. Her character annoyed the heck out of me though. There was nothing likeable about her, no warmth and her tears did not move me. In fact the way she scolded the very much helpful Deepak (of course not knowing who he was till he revealed that hideous sweater) was nothing else but bitchy. On the other hand, much more famous Sushmita Sen did not really take an opportunity to shine either, and ended up looking immature and pathetic.

Best performances are actually given by two cameo artists! Jackie Shroff, having about 5 minutes of screen time, completely overpowered Sanjay. Salman Khan appearing in his favourite avatar of „Prem“ is very good and one wished to see more.

The film moves slowly, has hummable but forgettable songs and gets way too boring at times. A decent watch for the undemanding. In fact, I even wonder how I managed to write a review this long. Most interesting thing about it is that after I have written it I noticed my program automatically changed the title to Sirf Rum.

Why? Why couldn´t he look like Salman?