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!

Humraaz

Tragedy has befallen my external hard drive and I can not continue my Anushka Sharma series (at this time) as I had wanted. My fabulous IT guy at work is working very hard to recover my files though, and it is looking like a very successful endeavor ;). In the meantime, I decided to watch an old favorite, Humraaz (Our Secret). Humraaz was the first Bollywood thriller I watched back in the day, and I did not expect the violence. Up until that point, I had only seen romances and dramas of the happy and calm variety. It has been about nine year since my last viewing, and I had totally forgotten about all the impalings (no less than five) and breaking of bones (*cringe*).

The story revolves around a love triangle between Karan (Akshaye Khanna), Priya (Amisha Patel), and Raj (Bobby Deol). Karan is the head of a dance troupe and Priya is his partner and devoted girlfriend. Raj is a tycoon who employs their troupe on his cruise ship. He immediately falls in love with Priya and pursues her, unaware of her relationship with Raj. It is a romance, sure,  but also a top notch thriller. There are tons of twists and turn, and just when you think you have it figured out, wrong again! In a three hour film, so much can happen but I am not going to give anything away. I will however mention the top notch comedic performance of Johnny Lever. He was so hilarious that I was laughing out loud.

One of the things I always remembered about the movie were the musical numbers. So fantastic! The fire and ice look of “Bardaasht“, Priya’s beautiful blue sari in “Life Ban Jayegi“, and I just love the song “Dil Ne Kar Liya“. There are some other really good songs as well, but you should just watch it, love it, and share it.

Spreading the Bollywood love, yaara!

Nazar

By now you may be wondering, does she like every Bollywood she watches? I do tend to gush about SRK, Aamir, Saif Ali, Kajol, Madhuri, Preity, and Big B in conversations, but Bollywood has plenty of flops as well. I happened to waste 3 hours on one recently, Nazar. Back when I used to order loads of DVDs off ebay I got this one as a package deal. The other day I really wanted to watch something I had not seen and chose Nazar because nazar in Turkish is a talisman that ward off the evil eye (see photo below). While watching the film I learned that nazar in hindi is not exactly the same, but instead means Sight.

Nazar stars Ashmit Patel (who oddly looks like John Abraham to me and is the brother of Amisha Patel) as Inspector Rohan and Pakistani actress Meera as the singer/dancer Divya who gets the visions of murders taking place. The basic story was actually quite decent though not very original. Some one is going around murdering bar girls and Divya gets visions of it happening and tries to stop them with the help of the good-looking inspector. The potential was there, but it was not taken advantage of. There are a few things that really made this movie a flop in my books (as well as many other people’s I am sure).

Firstly, the acting was so very horrible by anyone’s standards. Meera spent the whole movie in hysterics (crying, screaming, and gasping for air) and it was like nails on a chalk board. I just wanted to reach through the screen and slap her till she calmed down. Also, there was no real chemistry between the two leads as can be seen in the video for the only song I liked in the movie, “Nazar Nazar“. Meera is way more into herself than Ashmit, and there is just something missing (not to mention how totally corny the scenes are in the video).

Secondly, the dialogue was laughable. One thing I love about Bollywood is that one look or gesture by a really good actor/actress can convey such a huge amount of meaning. In this film they felt had to spell, or I guess speak, everything out as if no one watching it would be able to understand without their help. My favorite part is when half way through the movie and countless visions later, the Inspector diagnoses Divya with ESP. Doh! Is that what she has? And then he goes on to say that “It is very common and happens all the time in our country.” Really? I learned something new about India today ;). I was laughing so hard at this point.

Lastly, there were strange side stories that could have been left out. The main one was that the Inspector Rohan was previously married but his wife was killed by a man named Tarak. He dropped her off a building and Rohan was too late. Tarak was caught and put in jail but supposedly escaped. Maybe they thought someone watching the movie might think he was the serial killer, but it never crossed my mind. You don’t hear about him again until the end of the movie when Rohan calls the jail and asks how Tarak escaped. They said he was killed, not on the run. No way! And that was that. I just have no idea what the point of that was. It did not lend to the story at all.

If you still plan to watch this film (after what I just wrote) then do not read ahead as I will tell the ending. The killer is actually the Inspector’s partner whose husband used to go out and sleep with bar girls. He got AIDS and gave it to her. He died of the disease and now she was going around killing bar girls to take her revenge. You kind of had a good idea about it halfway through, but there was one other character who could have also been the killer and he turned out to be psycho too.

Happy Bollywood watching to you all!