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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Paap

I had been wanting to re-watch Paap (Sin) for quite some time. The first time was over five years ago and I remember the beautiful place it took place in, that I really liked the actress, and that there was great chemistry between her and John Abraham. I had forgotten the whole crime that takes place and how it ends. I was definitely not let down and enjoyed it even more this time around.

Kaya (Udita Goswami) and her father live near a Buddhist monastery. He has hopes that she will one day join the monastery and live a holy life. Kaya is sent to Delhi to retrieve their reincarnated Lama and bring him back. On their way, the Lama becomes the sole witness to the murder of a police officer. Detective Shiven (John Abraham) is assigned the case and uncovers some serious implications. He is shot as he is helping Kaya and the Lama get back to the monastery, and when they reach there he needs to be nursed back to health. Eventually love blooms between Kaya and Shiven, but will she choose him or the life she has been raised to live?

The film was shot on location in the Spiti Valley (in Kashmir) and in the region of Himachal Pradesh. The HP region has been on my radar for a while because I would love to see Shimla and visit the Himalayas. Now I have another reason to go! It is just breathtaking. Both places are situated between Tibet and Pakistan. Perhaps its location is the reason behind the use of so many Pakistani playback singers, which (according to Wiki) was the beginning of a trend in Bollywood films. I thought the music was beautiful, and there were many different instrumental pieces as well. For a glimpse of the cinematography and a taste of the music, check out “Mann Ki Lagan” and my favorite, “Intezaar“.

I also absolutely love the different look of Udita Goswami. Her eyes have a little Asian influence and she is just beautiful. I also think the clothes she wears in the film are so amazing. I would love to have a whole wardrobe of them.

Now, no film is perfect, and after all that gushing about it, I should warn that a couple things really bugged me. The subtitles seemed a little off in their translation and had some enigmatic moments. Also, John Abraham was WAY over the top in a few scenes. He was way too dramatic when suffering from his bullet wound, and being ravished by him looked like it might hurt ones neck an awful lot. Oh, and the scene in the grain silo. Who drowns in grain that comes to shoulder level? Really? Come on!

All the silly parts aside, I love this movie. Now that I own it again I will definitely be watching it more frequently.

Spreading the Bollywood love, yaara!

Khalnayak

I have been wanting to watch this movie for a long time and finally ordered it from Nehaflix. It stars Madhuri Dixit who is one of the best dancers in all of Bollywood (in my opinion) and Sanjay Dutt, who I really enjoy watching. It also has one of my all time favorite songs in it, “Choli Ke Peeche“, which was sort of made into a song found on the Slumdog Millionaire soundtrack, “Ringa Ringa“, and later became the Turkish song “Rengarenk“. The evolution of a song.

Khalnayak (The Villan) is the story of Ballu Balram(Dutt) who is the main henchman of the evil gangster/”guru” Roshida. He is sent in to do Roshida’s dirty work like killing police or politicians. Ballu is caught by Inspector Ram (Jackie Shroff, who I have realized I do not care for at all), but later escapes while Ram is visiting his girlfriend, Ganga (Dixit). Ganga sees what this does to Ram and decides to go undercover as a prostitute/dancing girl in order to get close to Ballu. It works and Ballu takes her with him on his trip across country to meet up with his boss again (there was some talk about going Singapore too, but it just seemed out-of-place).

There were some things I loved about this film and other things I thought were quite funny and cheesy. I thought the story was great. It had a lot of twists and turns and pretty much all your questions are answered in the end. It was a well-developed story with equally developed characters. You really hate the bad guy, grow to feel sympathy for Ballu, and love Ganga’s courage. Ballu’s mother was another character I really enjoyed (played by Raakhee Gulzar) as well as Ganga’s friend who sang the “Choli Ke Peeche” song with her. I absolutely loved Madhuri’s outfits in the film. I will take one of each, please :). Last but not least, the cinematography and locations were so beautiful. Just adding fuel to the fire under my feet , burning to go to India.

Now for the funny. “Nayak Nahi Khalnayak Hai Tu“. Period. With a creepy beginning like that I began to question the film, but as soon as the pelvic thrusting began I could not help but laugh. Then there was Ballu’s “bad boy” hair and his equally comical “good boy” hair. Maybe it was the style back then, but it is quite funny now. I loved Anupam Kher’s small part as the silly warden. There were lots of other little things here and there (the guys trying to cheer Madhuri up with their version of the Choli song was awesome), but the funniest scene was the fight in the tree. Sanjay and Jackie are fighting up in the branches of a tree, but the fighting keeps cutting to monkeys watching them or doing something similar to them. It was genius. Now that was a great film making move ;)! For those who need to see it now, click here and skip to minute 3:40.

Overall, I felt that Khalnayak was worth the wait and I would gladly watch it again and recommend it to others.

Spreading the Bollywood love, yaara.

Aladin

I have loved the story of Aladdin ever since Disney whisked us away to a whole new world filled with excitement, enchantment, and a genie in a lamp. I have been anxiously awaiting the Bollywood version since I saw the trailer months ago. I finally got to watch it on my birthday and was a little let down. I wanted it to be fantastic, I mean Amitabh Bachchan as a genie named Genius, it does not get better than that I thought. The Big B did not disappoint and Genius was the highlight of the film! My fiance also loved Riteish Deshmukh as Aladin and I thought he was pretty good as well.

Where I thought the film fell flat was in the story. It did not have a very smooth flow. I think the choppiness came from not really developing some key elements like having some more fun with the wishes (two wishes are gone in 5 minutes). They could have done some funny things with that. I did not really like the girl who played Jasmine (Jaqueline Fernandez) and with all the lovely actresses around I am sure they could have found a better one. Also they had an excellent group of villains with Sanjay Dutt playing Ringmaster, an evil ex-genie, and a very very very creepy clown (I have an intense clown-phobia). But Ringmaster could have been way more evil though, and I felt more scared of the clown than him. Darn you Pennywise! You ruined clowns for me! 😉

On the plus side, the music was extremely fun and the dancing was great. I really loved “Tak Dhina Dhin” and have been humming/singing it to myself  ever since.  And honestly…how can you not love the “Genie Rap“?!? It is just too cool, man. “O Re Saawariya” had me cracking up and “Bachke O Bachke” was great fun. So I guess the music would be 5 star but the movie just 3.5, with lots of lost potential.

Main Hoon Na

I just finished watching Main Hoon Na for the millionth time (well maybe just the 40th, but I have seen it a lot), and it is still my favorite  film. It was the first Bollywood I got to see on the big screen and I went three times to see it. I usually use MHN to introduce folks to Bollywood as it has it all: romance, action, drama, comedy, politics, Shah Rukh Khan, and great music. This most recent watching was to introduce my cousin to Bollywood and needless to say, she loved it.

Shah Rukh Khan is so perfect as Ram, and is by turns dorky, action hero, sexy, and always his sweet self. Zayed Khan plays Lucky, and though not as accomplished as SRK, he is angry, sweet, and too cool by turns. Amrita Rao is Sanjana, the tom-boy turned school hottie with a no nonsense attitude but a little girl at heart. And finally Sushmita Sen, former Miss Universe, has great chemistry with SRK as his teacher. Suniel Shetty is awesome as the villain, Raghavan. There is also a lovable cast of secondary characters that you will cherish as well.

Now, I do not want to give anything away so I will just say a few words about the movie. MHN is a mixture of all the above great elements and has nods to lots of Hollywood and Bollywood films (Matrix, Mission Impossible, Van Wilder, Never Been Kissed, Footloose, Grease, and Sholay just to name a few). I also love the unique way they did the credits to the song “Yeh Fizaein“. Some of my other favorite songs in this film are “Gori Gori” and “Chale Jaise Hawaein“, though I truly love them all. So if y’all wonder what my top recommendation is, wonder no more.

Asoka

The first time I tried to watch Asoka there were no subtitles. I ordered it right away and could not wait until it arrived. Asoka was my introduction to Shah Rukh Khan, and for that I will be forever thankful. No other actor in the world can compare to how great I think he is. Just my opinion, but there are probably others out there like me.

Asoka is about the emperor of the same name who brought Buddhism to India. It takes place back in around 320 BC so it is a historical tale, but highly fictionalized I found out from reading about the real story later. Asoka (SRK) falls in love with the feisty and proud princess Kaurwaki (Kareena Kapoor) while both are hiding from folks trying to do them in. There is also an adorable little prince as well, who is too big for his britches some times. The story ends in a grand battle where the real truths in life are revealed and Asoka becomes a changed man.

I loved the music, especially the haunting “Roshini Se“.  “Raat Ka Nasha” and “San Sanana” stand out as excellent songs as well. The story was very interesting and had great twists and turns. It was a roller coaster of emotions and my love for Bollywood just kept growing.