Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Raja Hindustani

Directed by: Dharmesh Darshan
Starring: Aamir Khan, Karishma Kapoor, Suresh Oberoi
Released: 1996
Verdict: destroy every copy – horrible – bad – whatever – flawed but enjoyable - good – great – amazing

When I think about it, it was not really Devdas, that was my first brush with Bollywood, but Raja Hindustani. A friend of mineshowed me a youtube video – for laughs, commenting on it as the song progressed. A seriously depressed guy singing his heart out while object of his desire sits all quiet with eyes bulging wide to the point of scary, a weird man dressed as a woman, a woman with so much paint on her face and drinking from the bottle being disturbing, and finally big finale with the girl falling into the boy´s arms and her father being apparently displeased. My friend thought the song was the movie´s finale. How wrong was she, unfamiliar with Bollywood ways back then. The song was Pardesi Pardesi and it signified only the beggining of the all the troubles for the on-screen couple.

Rich and beautiful Aarti (Karishma Kapoor who got rid of her mad curls and shaped her wild eyebrows which she sported in the early 90s) makes a sentimental trip to a small city of Palanketh, a place where her parents first met, before leading a loving marriage and having Aarti. Sadly Aarti´s mother died and her father married for a second time – a much westernized (read BAD) and greedy woman, who´s fake affection for her step-daughter is so obvious it hurts. In Palanketh Aarti, accompanied by a sibling duo of brother and sister who, for the sake of laughs, switched personalities and visage, meets a poor taxi driver Raja (Aamir Khan). Raja is not only poor though. He is honest, hard-working and obviously the director´s vision of a true Hindustani, unpolished and uneducated but with high principles of morality at heart. Principles so high I actually took offense because it bordered on completely sexist.

Mr. Morality has problems with guys liking her in dresses but standing under the same tree in a rain is obviously a completely moral opportunity to get seriously cozy.
A woman he has no relation to apparently cannot wear a western (read BAD) dress of her liking, because some other uneducated men make remarks about her then. She naturally gets angry, but apparently doesn´t learn her lesson, and instead of dismissing the taxi driver, she not only falls in love with him, but actually leaves her loving father for this man, whom she only knows for a few days, and who is an utter mismatch to who she is. I could never understand why would Aarti sacrifice everything she had – not only status and riches, but her own family and even education and ambitions – for a man who refuses to change in the slightest because of her. I foud Raja extremely selfish and Aarti lost her appeal once she actually took his side, leaving heartbroken father behind.

Although at this moment she apparently realized she really screwed her life up.
Once Aarti and Raja get married, their love story actually becomes hardly bearable. Raja turns out to be proud, uncompromising, even to the point of abusive (and later in the film he goes totally bonkers), while Aarti considers an occasional dance to a catchy song a solution for all marital problems. However evil plotting westernized step-mother initiates the „happy“ couple´s split up (by pointing out the obvious – Aarti is a sophisticated and naive girl and her husband a jerk who clings to his pride more than to his love) and while Raja returns to Palanketh to grow a beard Aarti gives birth to his child. By this point the film went pretty much insane with Raja stealing the baby (because obviously he on his own in his chhota hut can give his son a better upbringing than his mother in a bungalow) and fighting a bunch of goons while still holding the baby, throwing it into the air and stuff while beating everybody up. And finale? The insane dude forgives his weeping wife because everybody gathers around and sings.

"Kaun kambakht bardasht karnay ko peeta hai?"

"Sorry. Wrong film, wrong year. Wrong Khan."
Raja Hindustani is just horrible. Aamir Khan actually gives a good performance, but Raja is just too awful as a character, Karishma Kapoor, who created sensation with this movie, is objectively speaking very weak in this movie. I like Karishma, but a great part of her films never did her justice, and she has very few performances that could be really praised. I believe that it was really her looks and style, so different from any other heroine till then, what caused the rapture and gave her a real standing among the A-listers.

The plus point would be some of the songs, and in a strange, twisted way, the movie is actually enjoyable – if you deliberately decide to turn off your brain. At the same time it is one of those movies that can only do Bollywood more harm than good when shown to a person unfamiliar with Indian cinema.
Marital advice for women: "Hubby snooty? Shake yout booty! In Ooty."

Sunday, 21 October 2012


Directed by: Yash Chopra
Starring: Anil Kapoor, Sridevi, Waheeda Rehman, Anupam Kher
Released: 1991
Verdict: destroy every copy – horrible – bad – whatever – flawed but enjoyable - good – great – amazing

As the sad news of a sudden demise of Yash Chopra seeps in, probably every Bollywood fan stops for a minute and thinks about the legacy this man left behind. I have never tried to hide that I found many of his films overrated, and this feeling remains. At the same time one cannot deny that Yash Chopra was a man who inspired many other filmmakers and influenced Bollywood like only few other people did. And finally I thought to myself that this sad moment actually gives me an opportunity to review a film I consider his absolutely best, and without seconds thought a deserved classic.

A young NRI Viren (Anil Kapoor without his trademark stache) and his old nurse (Waheeda Rehman with her trademark grace) return after many years to India, Rajasthan, where Viren officially takes over the property left to him by his deceased parents. Grown up in London, Viren finds India a strange, yet interesting place. Even more interesting since his neighbour´s daughter Pallavi (Sridevi) appoints herself his guide and friend. And soon enough quiet and romantic Viren falls in love with vivacious and life-loving Pallavi, regardless of the fact she is older to him. One cannot wonder. Sridevi as Pallavi is utterly gorgeous, Yash Chopra was in the end someone who always made his actresses look stunning. However all too soon her father dies and heartbroken Pallavi soon after break Viren´s heart, as she misses his open arms only to fall into another man´s embrace. The shaken Viren comes to know Pallavi has been in love with Siddhart, an air force pilot, and to ensure her happiness, Viren has the two of them married. Nursing a wounded heart he then returns to England, and unsuspecting Pallavi keeps him informed about her life in letters, which he stores with almost religious fervour, as well as few other little mementos, including the anklet she lost that night she danced for him in the desert....

But after just few months of happy togetherness Siddhart and Pallavi both perish in a car accident, leaving behind a tiny baby girl, whom Pallavi manages to entrust to Viren´s old nurse Dai jaa. The older woman names the baby Pooja and brings her up in India, where Viren finances everything, but only comes there once a year, to remember death of his love. Not once he agrees to see Pooja , although he bears no ill will to her, and showers her with gifts. The curious girl (also played by Sridevi, because whenever Sridevi has a baby in a film, it looks exactly like her), however, could not be less satisfied. After all, she has decided a long time ago in her kid heart, that one day she is going to marry this mysterious benefactor of hers. Clueless, just like her mother, about what lies in Viren´s heart.....

Lamhe is indeed a rather unique love story, where there lies both an affection for another (in case of Pallavi) and a big age difference (in case of Pooja) in between Viren and his happiness. Anil Kapoor is perfect in the role. His portrayal of the character is subdued and calm – a rather extraordinary thing to behold when it comes to him. Anil of that time was usually a hero roughly treated by life, wearing jeans and taking bloody revenges, but Viren is completely different. Quiet. Thoughtful. Sensitive. The scene where he sees Pooja for the first time, and thinking probably a miracle has happened and that is Pallavi in front of him, is extremely powerful even without words. I feel that very often people very unjustly leave him out when talking about the film. He deserves as much credit for making it beautiful as his leading lady.

As far as Sridevi is concerned, in my opinion, this is her best performance ever. It is one thing to admire about her, that as reserved and withdrawn she is in personal life, she is able to shake all her inhibitions off once the camera starts rolling. She is a delight to watch as both Pallavi and Pooja (characters that actually have a lot in common – apart from one being mature and one still very much childish). Her somehow constantly surprised and mischievous expression and innocence mirrored in those huge eyes lined carefully with kohl, is perfect. Her dancing in Megha Re Megha and Chhudian Khanak Bole wonderful. She infuses life into her role with so much conviction you cannot but applaud her.

Two other supporting actors, who absolutely need to be mentioned, because even without them Lamhe would not have been what it is, are already mentioned Waheeda Rehman and amother of my favourites Anupam Kher. Waheeda never lost her grace and aura, and even as wise and selfless Dai Jaa she is capable of winning the hearts of audience, and equals Sridevi´s overpowering screen presence with magic of her own. Ah! And that glorious moment when she actually bursts out singing her famous number from Guide! Anupam Kher as whacky, good-natured Prem, a friend of Viren´s, who keeps pushing him and Pooja together in his own sneaky but well-meant ways, is too endearing. His bonding with Sridevi in London is hilarious, his singing of Kabhi Kabhie near the end gets you emotional.

Lamhe has been many a time rejected by some viewers, who found the story incestous. I can understand where these people are coming from. Viren did love Pooja´s mother and he was the girl´s guardian. But at the same time, I never really thought about this while watching the film. It is not like Viren was married to Pallavi and then pulled off Woody Allen. Pooja´s eternal crush on Viren, is probably more questionable to me, and one has a feeling she had to be really cut off from all the society, because her whole existence seemed to center around a man she has only heard of. I read that Sridevi herself objected to the ending of Lamhe and i must say I too would find it more logical if Viren indeed refused Pooja and she went on with her life without him. Then again the film is so beautifully constructed and acted I have no major objections to the happy ending either.

The only flaw I find in Lamhe is – Siddhart aka non-actor Deepak Malhotra, whom the trees give a stiff competition. It really felt like Yash Chopra just stopped the first fair guy he found on the street, dressed him in a uniform and put him in front of the camera. Poor Mr. Malhotra was atrocious from stoned expression to non-existent dialogue delivery, and what a shame – he did not even look good with Sridevi. Then again he is there only to impregnate the heroine and die....

Yash Chopra films are famous for having wonderful soundtracks (mostly, though you could find exceptions) and Lamhe is no different. Melodies and lyrics woven into the story are flawless. My personal favourite apart from the obvious „desert“ number about bangle and a peacock has to be Gudia Rani picturized on my beloved Waheeda and little „Pooja“. There is something universally appealing in lullabies, wouldn´t you agree?

Lamhe is one of those films that stand witness how little the box office results tell when it comes to the quality of the film. A film to cherish. And the best film of an iconic director.

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Kaagaz Ke Phool

Directed by: Guru Dutt
Starring: Guru Dutt, Waheeda Rehman, Johnny Walker
Released: 1959
Verdict: destroy every copy – horrible – bad – whatever – flawed but enjoyable - good – great – amazing

This is what stirs the heart. This is what deserves to be called epic. This is what amazing films should be like. And nobody can convince me now, that Guru Dutt is not the greatest of all Bollywood directors ever. And a wonderful actor too. Kaagaz Ke Phool is a story about a man who looses everything, and gets to a point in life, when he even knowingly refuses what he desires most, because his spirit is all but spent and he feels he has nothing to give in return. Many argue that Kaagaz Ke Phool was to Guru Dutt what Mera Naam Joker was later to Raj Kapoor – an autobiography of sorts, a confession of inner feelings. But while Raj Kapoor opted to become a „joker“ on screen for his magnum opus, Guru Dutt chose his film to be set – in film studios and „behind the scenes“. A film with similar concept – of unveiling the mysterious (at that time) world of film studios and filmmakers, was Guddi, but in comparism Guddi was a light-hearted picture about a girl who needs to sort out reality and fantasy, while Kaagaz Ke Phool is like a mirror of somebody´s soul, of the most intimate feelings and beautiful in all its sadness – all of which are chief characteristics of Guru Dutt movies after all.

In a one huge flashback we are told the story of Suresh Sinha (Guru Dutt), an extremely successful and critically acclaimed director, who has wonderful career, but highly unsatisfactory personal life. He is married, but his wife has left him after he joined the film industry, faithful to the idea of the time that all people connected with films are despicable, low and „dirty“ creatures. More than his wife however Suresh is missing his teen daughter Pammi, whom his wife is trying to keep away from him. After yet another failed attempt to bring his daughter with him to Mumbai, he (yet again) tries to find solace in his work. But not even that seems to be working, because he cannot find an actress to portray Paro in his „Devdas“. Until one day a girl as fresh as a flower and as different from fashionable glamour divas of silver screen as possible, awkwardly appears right in from of his camera by mistake, clutching a coat he had given her not long ago, when they met during a stormy night, seeking shelter under a tree....

Guru Dutt as a performer was extremely natural. I don´t think that apart from him and Dilip Kumar there has been an actor who would need so little words and expression and yet manage to convey perfectly what the character is going through. He also gives you a feeling there is so much more, still more of that pain and questioning the world, than what is shown through the scenes and dialogues – and songs, that are beautiful and full of beautiful melancholy. Somehow one is not capable of just walking away from the film, even though it is, in a way, quite depressing. Finally one has to wonder how much of his personal life really found place in the script. The thought of him predicting his own premature and lonely death is chilling, even though I am inclined to believe it was all just a very sad coincidence. At the same time, the storyline about Suresh and Shanti, may very well be a heartfelt confession....

Shanti, a girl already mentioned, that girl who wants nothing but to return a coat, but is made waiting during the shoot, which she delightfully yawns through, is played by Waheeda Rehman. Waheeda Rehman, whom Guru Dutt called his inspiration, and who unquestionably belongs among the most graceful, gorgeous and talented actresses of India ever (I am not discussing this with anyone). One could stare at her forever. Hers is a beauty that touches the inner you, that comes straight to your heart. She can move you to tears just by being on screen, her gentle and yet overpowering presence is extraordinary. Her pairing with Guru Dutt is nothing short of perfect. It is as if they were meant to be. That is all you know watching them. A few softly spoken words, several fleeting touches. And that is all. And yet you know that this is Love happening in front of your eyes. It is no secret after all, that they loved each other in real life as well. Unhappy in his marriage , and feeling misunderstood by everyone (just like the character of Suresh) he found comfort in the young actress, who loved him in return, never exploiting his position in the industry for her own goals, not using him as a stepping stone to secure her own future. 

Love is the backbone of the movie, but there is still enough space to other issues to be touched as well. The ungratefulness of the world, the hyenism of the machine that is film industry, the disdain with which some people even today look upon cinema, even emotional turmoil of a child whose parents do not live together. Emotional blackmailing and voluntarily fall of grace too have place in this story. The excellent camera work and lighting of the film are not made justice by new DVD prints, that rarely are of good quality. Time was not kind to the film reels that Guru Dutt once presented to the world.

Kaagaz Ke Phool is no paper flower which looks beautiful but has nothing else to offer but a shallow, short-lived infatuation before the colours fade. It is a most beautiful rose with soft petals of vibrant tones, blooming eternally.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012


Directed by: Anil Sharma
Starring: Salman Khan, Zarine Khan, Mithun Chakraborthy, Jackie Shroff, Sohail Khan
Released: 2010
Verdict: destroy every copy – horrible – bad – whatever – flawed but enjoyable - good – great – amazing

They called it VEER but I shall forever remember it as WEIRD. But to be honest I don´t thing a proper adjective to describe how awful it is has been invented so far so let me just tell you this: Veer is one of those films that need to be burnt and its ashes then scattered in the deepest space so nobody can ever watch them again. Every mention of it should be erased and those who has seen it should be brainwashed until they don´t remember. Back in the 90s the filmmakers may have already seen that Salman Khan´s film ideas make only a huge mess, and yet not twenty years have passed and they decided to create a movie based on his idea again. Hopefully for the last time ever.

The story is basically dealing the Pindaris (who they really were I had to look up on the net) and one huge betrayal by aging but still having „it“ Jackie Shroff. The betrayed one however was none other than Mithun Chakraborthy, and after cutting off Jackie´s arm, he fled with the rest of his people and raised two sons – Veer (Salman) and another one (played by Sohail Khan). He then sends these sons to England to „absorb“ British cunning ways so they can use that against the English rule and also against Jackie, who is ruling like a Raja in one of the Indian provinces..... 

"Tell me, stranger, how do I to get to Woodstock?"
The time frame of the film is utterly confusing. We are told that Veer was born in early 1870s , so if he is supposed to be 25 in the film, it is taking place somewhere before the year 1900. I can assure you though, that at that time there was no Czechoslovakia (indeed mentioned), there were no black women in British universities, pineapples were not sold in the streets of London, ladies were not wearing such awful dresses and men would actually take off their hats before dancing at a grand royal ball. Nobody is really concerned about minor inaccuracies in films, but Veer is nothing but a shameless history rape.

While in this really strange out-of-time caricature of the British capital, Veer falls in love with an Indian princess studying abroad. Zarine Khan, who essayed the role, is one of those misfortunes brought upon Bollywood audience by Salman. Her face has a striking likeness to Katrina Kaif and they both share the same stoned face, seemingly unable to move no matter what their character is supposed to feel. She doesn´t suit Salman as a pairing and again her outfits in the movie were anything by accurate (historically and geographically). The bad choice and presentation of the heroine kills of the romantic part of the film.
Was this that "Come in your Princess Haloween costume" scene?
The patriotic part of the film is unforgivably boring. The script and twist are not at all exciting (though curiously still a bit better than the utter snooze-fest called Mangal Pandey, where it was Aamir Khan trying to convince his countrymen it would be a good idea to kick the British out of India), the action quite ridiculous because of all the unrealistic effects that are supposed to make Salman look like war God defying the very basics of physics, but are not cool as a part of what aspired to be a historic megafilm. Mithun and Jackie easily steal the show whenever they are in the frame, even their roles are not that bad, but they are not given a proper storyline of their own, that would utilize their talents (especially not Jackie). 

"Dude, I owned Salman money. But what is your excuse for being here?"

"I was high."
Veer really is weird. The London part is the worst, with an obligatory scene with a super racist white teacher insulting his students so Salman can have another patriotic speech, and with streets full of young white women who look so happy and positive you start thinking if they are on drugs. And thus I have to warn you – think twice before you let the bleeding Salman with an axe in his hand ride onto your TV screen. Unless you´re in a mood for one of the most unintentionally hilarious films ever.

"One day nobody in India will remember Bata shoes are from the Czech republic, which does not yet exist, but we mention it here as Czechoslovakia for the sake of sounding extremely creative and knowledgable! Ha! Your move!"

Saturday, 13 October 2012

First Love Letter

Directed by: Shiva
Starring: Vivek Mushran, Manisha Koirala, Chunky Pandey
Released: 1991
Verdict: destroy every copy – horrible – bad – whatever – flawed but enjoyable - good – great – amazing

I have not seen any proper 90-ish cliché film for such a long time I devoured this one without feeling guilty at all. I enjoyed it thoroughly for all it´s cheesiness. It is one of those films you should never ever show or recommend to somebody not yet used to Bollywood (especially Bollywood before Hum Aapke Hain Koun), because there are things for which not even the famous „WTF“ is enough. But as a guilty pleasure it makes for an uncomplicated and even heartwarming watch.

Some gorgeous young Manisha to feast your gaze first. The film is definitely easy on eyes.
Thakur Ajit Singh (Danny Denzongpa) is a wealthy man who has fixed his daughter´s aliance with another noble house, but the girl in question, Radha (Manisha), is not excited at all over a prospect that everything in her life has always been set up for her. Finally she manages to persuade her father to let her go for a few days into a country and there, dressed as a servant to slip pass through her bodyguards, she runs into a flute-playing milkman Shyam (Vivek). Charmed by his flute and totally gaga over the fact their names match so wonderfully she promptly falls in love with him and they spend the next thirty minutes frolicking in each others arms and roaming woods and meadows. In fear he might get scared (and heck, would he have a good reason) Radha „forgets“ to tell her boyfriend whose daughter she actually is. And when daddy shows up one day, it leads to just first of many conflicts that begin to pile as the footage moves on.

Then came a second half where lot of people would scream "Yeh nahin ho sakta" and there would be lots and lots of weeping, suffering and self-harming. There is Chunky Pandey as an unwanted husband drowning the fact he can´t sleep with Manisha in alcohol, and sporting some awesome Rishi Kapoor sweaters. There is Reema Laggoo and Dalip Tahil as life-disappointed individuals to show you how nasty Danny Denzongpa not only is, but has always been, all for the sake of his good name and wealth. There is a parrot that can easily make it into my unofficial list of overly smart animals. And there is Gulshan Grover with hair too wild to be tamed.

This deserved a screen cap. Because you know.... he´s worth it!
I genuinely loved Manisha (young and gorgeous and really good though inexperienced) and her falling in love with Vivek Mushran (totally not a hero material, but OK enough to pass off as one in something like this), it was all so cute and sweet and the songs were beautiful. It all actually made me miss the songs where hero and heroine would be literally running over the meadows, without a need to transport themselves into some more exotic location, and without any dramatic shots or editing. I wonder if we ever get to see something as simple and disarming as this again? 

It was flawed (heavily) and it was WTF (as I have warned you at the beginning), yet I do not regret watching it. The finale had me really laughing. Really. Only in Bollywood you finish the film with a lover on a burning pyre while his girl is singing a song to make it rain. And it works of course. But wait, it gets better. I think from now on the saving by a cow has to be my absolute favourite.
"Imma gonna burn for ya!"
"Calm down Manisha. Just sing and make dramatic faces. Rain will come down to put out the pyre."
"WTF who came up with this?"
I also have to proudly note that I watched this without subtitles and understood great deal of what was said and could figure out the rest. In the end this was not really any deep philosophical script. Lot´s of "RADHAAAAAAAAAAA" "MERE SHYAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAM" "MAIN YEH SHAADI NAHIN HO SAKTI" "TUMNE MUJHE JHOOT BOLA" "SHYAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAM" "RADHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA" ..... you know, the basic 90s Bollywood stuff.

Saturday, 6 October 2012


Directed by: Habib Faisal
Starring: Arjun Kapoor, Parineeti Chopra, Gauhar Khan
Released: 2012
Verdict: destroy every copy – horrible – bad – whatever – flawed but enjoyable - good – great – amazing

There is new star kid on the block, or rather a producer kid, since we are talking about Arjun Kapoor. And here´s hoping he´s going to take after uncle Anil rather than uncle Sanjay. In his debut, proudly presented by the Yashraj production house, Arjun and Parineeti Chopra, who has so impressed one and all in her small role in very blah Ladies vs. Ricky Bahl last year, set out to burn the world with their own take on Romeo and Juliet, and to make the emnity between their families even more intense, it´s not just them being political rivals that raises the hatred, but also the difference of religion.

Parma (Arjun) is a Hindu. A grandson of an influential politician. A local macho guy. And an ass. Cannot blame him really, after all it seems only his mother has some brains, otherwise his whole family is full of pride and think they are the most clever and awesome bunch of people all around. Zoya is a Muslim. A daughter of an influential politician. A local feisty beauty. And an idiot. Her family seems definitely less stupid than Parma´s, but they still have enough of the very same pride and again are convinced they are the most clever and awesome bunch of people all around. And since election is coming, the ever present war between the two families is anything but imaginary. Zoya can somehow cope with Parma stealing a prostitute dancing at her father´s party to dance at his grandfather´s party, but looses control once he publicly relieves himself at a poster of her dad. She stands up to him. He falls in love with her.

Or so it would seem. Why else would he follow her everywhere, asking her to go out with him? Why else would he dare to come to her yard and bear the merciless beating from her brothers? She charmed him, he claims and stares at her with his dark eyes. And she, slowly, accepts. And too falls in love. Instead of running around the trees they are learning to shoot a gun, instead of a saree floating in a gentle breeze Zoya takes shower with her clothes on while the beautiful “Pareshaan” plays in the background. Finally Parma proposes to her and after bit of a convincing Zoya agrees and in secret marries Parma according to both Muslim and Hindu rite. And according to human rite too (aka they have sex if you didn´t get that). No sooner Parma rolls off of her and the most disgusting twist ever takes place. There was no marriage, Parma says. The priest was a paid actor. He did all this to get Zoya into bed. Unmarried Muslim girl looses her virginity to a Hindu guy, who is her family´s enemy. And Parma makes sure the news is known to one and all. Zoya´s father looses election. And Zoya herself swears revenge.

"I screwed your life. LOL."
I must say that though the film kept me entertained well enough I couldn´t help but feeling something was just so so wrong. The sexism (because it is soaked with it)? Perhaps. The twist? So bloody disturbing (and disgusting as I have already mentioned)! Also the characters were rather confusing and without development jumped from one avatar to another, without explanations. And while I could possibly accept Parma´s change of heart, Zoya´s falling for him AFTER the interval remains absolutely unacceptable to me even now. There are things you do not forgive, and I can´t see why you should be proving your love for the bastard by running away with him. What Parma does to Zoya is unimaginably cruel, way more terrible than for example being unfaithful. The two of them getting together just didn´t seem like the right thing to happen, but happen it did and one had to accept it. I don´t know if complaining that the characters were stupid is in place though. Because for all the silliness and lack of logic they seemed real enough. A horrid thought of today´s youth being actually like this has been haunting me ever since. Or perhaps a confident debut by Arjun and natural performance by Parineeti make it seem so convincing? 

The ending of the film makes sense, yet it is nonsense (and am I making sense here? Huh?). Firstly – why would a girl, who knows her father is ready to kill her, go back home? Secondly – why would their families organize a massive hunt throughout a city and then a school building to kill them? You already had a scandal and you think killing your own kids will improve your image? And finally – you couldn´t find a more painful spot in his body to shoot into, right, Zoya? Who shoots their loved one in a way they suffer for long??? All in all the finale seemed half baked. As if the writers got tired of it all, of the story, of Zoya and Parma and their love.

Monday, 1 October 2012

Bol Bachchan

Directed by: Rohit Shetty
Starring: Ajay Devgn, Abhishek Bachchan, Asin, Prachi Desai
Released: 2012
Verdict: destroy every copy – horrible – bad – whatever – flawed but enjoyable - good – great – amazing 

Bol Bachchan is a really phunny philm. Working with ever popular formula of lies, lies and more lies creating confusion and more confusion, very much like another phunny philm earlier this year (the one about a house being full), but it actually has a bit of a plot and smaller number of characters which makes it less memory demanding.

Abbas and Sania, a Muslim brother and sister, are forced to take refuge with a family friend in a small town, which is prospering under landlord Prithviraj, a man of muscles and a heart that loves truth above everything else. Try to lie to him even a little and thou shalt know what pain is. Then again this is all rather unfortunate since he is very easy to lie to, as Abbas finds out soon enough, as circumstances make him to do just that. And later he is too scared of Prithviraj and starts making more and more lies, which are good enough to satisfy the landlord, but at the same time give a terrible headache to Abbas, Sania and a whole bunch of other people who get involved. A concept very simple, but executed with lots of freshness (and did that stage play near the end crack me up).

Abhishek Bachchan redeemed himself after the atrocity he served us this January and confirmed yet again he is a very pleasant actor who needs to be presented more as a common man than a genius super-cop/super-con. Also multistarrers do him good, at least those that have another strong performer (here it is Ajay Devgn) to pretty much „complete“ him on screen (how effin´ good they both looked beating up an army of goondas – twice - without even getting sweat stains?). Ajay has always been projected more as an action hero, at least as far as I know, but lately he has been using his great comic sense as well, and as an English-loving yet totally messing up meaning of words and thus delivering some hilarious one-liners (A brother in need is a sister indeed! My eyes have fallen from my face!) macho landlord he rules. For me he stole the show, though Abhishek too has moments of utter brilliance. His notorious gay act, that worked for him so much in Dostana, and actually seems to be his most popular avatar (ouch!), is used here as well, then again it is left soon enough not to weary off. Aided in comedy also by Krushna Abhishek (forever known to me as Govinda´s nephew) and other minor character artists, all the protagonists make sure your sides are hurting from all the laughs even before the interval. 

Asin and Prachi both are presented beautifully, but Asin, as gorgeous as she undoubtedly is, lacks „it“. She has a great beauty, yet no personality on screen, nothing that would catch your eye as soon as she is not the only one in the frame. She does decent, but I´m becoming a bit tired of her decent, because apart from Ghajini that is all she has shown so far. She has not one role that would allow her to perform (and evolve), she seems to be choosing only films where starcast pretty much guarantees a hit. You cannot really talk about a chemistry between the girls and their romantic interests in the movie – well, not between Asin and Ajay (yep yep... age difference too visible – and I am afraid this complaint is going to be more and more frequent in my reviews concerning films by Mr. Devgn, Mr. Kumar and also the Khans etc), fortunatelly Ajay and Abhishek have enough chemistry to make it work.

It could have been 30 minutes shorter, because like this it was getting a bit wearisome at one point, and as a girl I´m not really into the obligatory car porn Rohit Shetty enjoys so much. There are only three songs – two lovey-dovey ones that I really liked and enjoyed, and the one playing during the opening credits and featuring none other than Amitabh Bachchan, which obviously has no other point than to boost his son´s movie at least a little with his legendary status. And I didn´t get why they were jumping out of huge Fabergé eggs either.

If I should sum it up, Bol Bachchan is a fun ride with a heart.