Kambakkht Ishq

So ridiculous! Did I really just spend over two hours watching that? It has been quite some time since a film has disappointed me this much. I normally enjoy Akshay Kumar and Kareena Kapoor playing exactly the roles they did in this film but what utter rubbish this was, and it started straight from the beginning.

Lingerie model Kamini (Amrita Arora) and stuntman Lucky (Aftab Shivdasani) are getting married in a church, with no witnesses, and the wedding is stopped so his friend Viraj (Akshay Kumar) can come in and tell him he is stupid for falling in love. Then Kamini’s friend Simrita (Kareena Kapoor) comes in and says that she is stupid for wanting to marry a dumb stuntman. They do get married but this starts the hate-hate relationship between Viraj and Sim.

Then there is a huge wedding reception in which men strip down to their boxers, women get back at them by flashing, and it ends in a brawl with women and men beating each other up and the bride getting a nice fart in the face! And I am thinking ‘what the hell am I watching’?!? Oh and it does not end there. Akshay is so annoying, and so is Kareena including her propensity for wearing plastic and sequined clothes (just wrong). Neither of them really become very likable in the end so I could not have cared less about how everything ended.

The screenwriters must have been on drugs to have written such a terrible story. What completely blows me away is how they got people like Sylvester Stallone and Denise Richards to do quite big cameos in it. Stallone was actually funny in his bit but Richards main contribution was to say she wanted to have ‘golden babies’ with Viraj. WTF! And the music, totally forgettable and barely merits a mention.

The only things I did like in the film was recognizing the Earthquake, Flash Flood, and Waterworld sets from the Universal Studios theme park. The hospital they used was the same as Seattle Grace in Grey’s Anatomy and Viraj’s house is Noel’s house from the series Revenge. Other than that, I did like the bit about the watch being left inside after surgery and playing the ‘Om Mangalam’ wedding mantra all the time so Viraj thought he was crazy. I did giggle a little at that. I wish I could have left the rest.

If any of you do decide to watch this, don’t say I did not warn you. Namaste :).

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Saawariya

I have wanted to write about Saawariya (My Love) for a very long time. I like to watch the trailers for new films on the iTunes Movie Trailers site. I was so excited (six years ago) when I saw the first Bollywood movie advertised on it. There were a couple things that drew me to the movie 1) it was directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali and 2) the colors and atmosphere of it (I will explain more later). The film also happens to be based on Dostoevsky’s short story “White Nights” but I found that out later.

I happen to be a big fan of Sanjay Leela Bhansali (SLB for short) as a director. I had previously seen three of his films and count Devdas as one of my all time favorites. His films are usually quite dramatic and heavy, but with so much beauty you could almost drown in them.

Saawariya takes place always during the night in a fictional city, in the red light district, that is inhabited by Muslims, Hindus, Christians, and Buddhists (that I saw evidence of). It felt like Moulin Rouge, Venice, Paris, and Arabian Nights all rolled into one. I loved the sets and how the whole movie was done in deep jewel tones but with a wash of sapphire blue and emerald green over the top. Every shot was stunning in some way and it is a movie that has stuck in my mind over the years. I first watched it five years ago and then again today so I could write about it while it was fresh in my mind.

Saawariya is the story of musician/dreamer/lover Raj (Ranbir Kapoor) who meets Sakina (Sonam Kapoor) on a bridge one night and falls in love. Raj is such a lovely, if not naive, character and I especially loved his relationships with Lilianpop (his landlady) and Gulabji (the prostitute with a heart of gold played by Rani Mukerji). But this is a romantic drama and a heavy one at that. Sakina waits on that bridge for the man she loves, who is to return on Eid and take her away with him. Ufff yaaa, I hate movies like this and especially when said man is played by Salman Khan! You never really get to see what Sakina sees in him, and it is frustrating when she has such a perfect guy right in front of her. While I might visually love the film, the story is annoying. One of the best and most honest parts is when Sakina’s housekeeper tells her she is worried that she has gone mad waiting for this man to return (she kind of has), and then Sakina starts laughing maniacally saying the houskeeper is not a good liar. Made me want to slap her silly.

Anyway,  one of the bigger surprises in the film was the music. It was exotic and beautiful, emotional and haunting. Check out “Chhabeela“, “Saawariya“, “Pari“, and my favorite, the beautiful “Masha Allah“. Those are only half the songs too. All are excellent.

Well until next time, namaste!

Band Baaja Baaraat

I had previously written a lovely blog post but thanks to all the changes in the last year and a half the wordpress has made, it was all erased *grrrrrrrr*. So here goes try number two :).

It has been quite some time since my last post, but Bollywood has still been a part of my life. This last year included a lot of life changes for me so writing and keeping my blog up to date was not high on my list. I am back now and hope to be posting on a more regular basis.

After rewatching a bunch of old favorites, I decided to finally watch Band Baaja Baaraat (Band Horns and Revelry). I was initially excited about this movie because it starred Anushka Sharma of RNBDJ fame. It also featured a newcomer, Ranveer Singh, who looked promising. The movie was a typical romantic comedy of Bollywood proportions. Two college classmates, Shruti (Anushka) and Bittoo (Ranveer), become friends and start a wedding planning business together. The want to take it from the small time neighborhood weddings to the big time rich and famous ones. The only thing that could get in the way is love so they make a rule not to let romance come anywhere near them on their way to success. One guess what happens next ;).

In my opinion it felt a little flat. Shruti and Bittoo were quite bland and two dimensional and they were outshined by the fantastic and fun weddings they created. Of course I was rooting for a happy ending but was more interested in the side characters (the flower guy, cook, band, etc), the colors of the weddings, and of course the music. Just check out Ainvayi Ainvayi, Dum Dum, and the lovely Aadha Ishq if you need examples. While it is not going to be a new favorite film, it was a pleasant way to spend the evening.

What are your favorite films from the last year? Any recommendations for me? I would love to hear them. Namaste!