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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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!

Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi

RNBDJ is one of my most favorite movies ever! The title translates to A Match Made By God. I watched this movie for the first time with my fiance and we both just loved it. Not only does it star our favorite, Shah Rukh Khan, but it is just an amazingly wonderful story. It also was the debut of Anushka Sharma, and the next two blogs will also feature her so get ready. I really liked her a lot and if you watch this movie you will see why.

Surinder “Suri” (SRK) is a quiet and sweet man who falls in love with Taani (Anushka Sharma) on her wedding day. Due to tragic circumstances she does not get married, and on her father’s death bed promises to marry his favorite student Suri. Once home in Amritsar, Suri gives Taani space and time to heal. She asks to join a dance class and he says yes. Suri then goes to his hilarious best friend, Bobby(Vinay Pathak), for help. Bobby helps him become Raj Kapoor (the name of and old famous actor/hero). So Suri, dressed up as his cool guy alter ego Raj, goes watch her dance. He ends up getting roped into joining the class and then gets assigned to be her dance partner. You will have to watch to know the rest of the story. I do not want to give too much away. I just have to say that the end of this movie is one of the best endings ever.

The movie also has one of the best soundtracks.  One of the lines that “Raj” uses all the time is “Hum hain rahi pyaar ke , phir milenge chalte chalte” which is an amalgam of film titles and means “We are traveling the love lane, down the road we will meet again.” Hum Hain Rahi Pyaar Ke is one of my favorite Aamir Khan movie titles but that will be a different post :). From this line comes the wonderful song “Phir Milenge Chalte Chalte“. Only a true Bollywood fan can recognize the leading ladies in the song and the famous couples they portray ;-). I also adore “Tujh Mein Rab Dikhta Hai” and have listened to it so many times on my iPod that I can sing it perfectly (even though I do not know what most of the words say). And who could leave out “Dance Pe Chance“!?! So much fun!!!

Just watch it, yaara! Spreading the Bollywood love.

Namastey London

I completely LOVED Namastey London!  It has been awhile since I have watched a film that made me laugh so hard, tear up, and feel the chemistry between the characters so well. NL is about Indians born abroad who either forget their heritage or try to rebel against it. This is a common topic in more recent Bollywood films as there are many Indians living aboard who can identify with this. NL is also a typical rom com where boy likes girl, girl despises boy, and boy works really hard to get the girl to fall in love with him. It works really well in this movie for a couple of reasons.

Akshay Kumar (Arjun) and Katrina Kaif (Jasmeet, Jazz) have fantastic chemistry. From their first meeting, to the balcony, to the final scenes, they just were spectacular. I have always liked Akshay Kumar, especially after watching Andaaz, but I think he shot way up my list of favorites to number 5 (behind SRK, Aamir, Amitabh, and Saif Ali). So many great moments with him. However, this is the first film I have watched with Katrina Kaif in it. I heard a lot about her but never watched a film. I am definitely looking for more now. She was perfect.

There are just incredibly funny scenes and lines. I was doubled over watching the prospective groom who thought he was on a soap opera. It makes me laugh just thinking about it. Also, Katrina’s date in the beginning with Riteish Deshmukh in a cameo was priceless. But my favorite line was when Akshay and Katrina were watching the rugby match. Katrina asks him, doesn’t he know why the British guys challenged the Indians guys to a rugby match and not cricket. Akshay answers, completely serious, “I thought he must have watched Lagaan”. I was cracking up!!!

The music was great, from the score to the individual songs. Check out the chemistry in action in these songs: “Yehi Hota Pyaar“, “Chakna Chakna“, and “Rafta Rafta“.

And not to be left out is the great supporting cast. I must be on a Rishi Kapoor movie streak, because here he was again. Then there was Upen Patel as Jasmeet’s best friend, Imran. He was great and has a seriously cute chin dimple (hehe). And Nina Wadia was great as Jasmeet’s mother. Clive Standen was great as the object of Jasmeet’s affection though you never really liked him much.

Hope you all watch and enjoy the film!

Thoda Pyaar Thoda Magic

Today I was in the mood for something light, cute, and funny. I definitely picked the right film to watch. Thoda Pyaar Thoda Magic (A Little Love, A Little Magic) was such a surprise. I knew nothing about it when I began but immediately noticed similarities between it and one of my all time favorite films, The Sound of Music. Especially when the angels are singing “Bulbula” about the kind-hearted angel, Geeta (Rani Mukherji), whose head is always in the clouds (literally). It was just like the nuns singing about “Maria“. It made my heart smile.

The story is about Ranbeer (Saif Ali Khan), who kills the parents of four children in a car accident. He is sentenced by the court to raise them on his own. Neither he nor the children are happy about this and Geeta is sent down to Earth from Heaven to help make them a family. There are also shades of Mary Poppins and Nanny McPhee to be found as Geeta becomes the nanny with special powers. There are many funny and touching moments in this film.

While I loved it, it will not make it to my favorites list. Rani and Saif Ali usually have great chemistry (Hum Tum for example), but it fell a little flat in this film. I would have enjoyed watching the movie a little bit longer just to see them develop their chemistry a bit more. However, the kids were fantastic and there was a great chemistry between the whole cast together. The butler, Pappu, cracked me up and Rishi Kapoor was great as Bhagwan (God).

My favorite part of the movie was when Geeta takes the kids to the museum, and takes them on a journey through Indian history and shows them how much their country has done and is capable of in the song “Beete Kal Se“. I would definitely recommend this movie to people as it has a great message and a very sweet story.

Kuch Kuch Hota Hai

It has to be close to 8 years since I last watched Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (KKHH, Something Happens). That is quite odd considering it is another film starring Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol. I loved it the first time, but somehow it got lost in all the other films I own and I dusted it off today. I remember I was so excited when I ordered this one. I was bidding on ebay and barely got in my last bid before it closed. I had already grown to love the songs “Ladki Badi Anjaani Hai”, “Koi Mil Gaya”, and “Kuch Kuch Hota Hai”, which were on one of my mixed CDs.  It was the first Rani Mukherji film I watched as well. The basic story is about a man who loses his wife after childbirth and has to raise his daughter without a mother. Before she dies though, she writes 8 letters for her daughter’s first 8 birthdays. In the last one she gives her daughter the task of finding her fathers’ best friend so he can be happy again and she will have a mother. So many wonderful moments and tears during this movie. There are a couple things that stand out in this film and make it one of my favorites.

Half the movie takes place at a summer camp. I only went to summer camps a couple of times as a kid, but those memories hold a special place in my heart. The games we would play, the friends you would make, and the songs we would sing are so fun to reminisce about. We never did choreographed dances though ;). The kids were so sweet too, especially little Anjali and the Sikh boy who counts the stars (he did that in another film but I can’t remember right now).

I think it was in this film I began to notice Johnny Lever…is in EVERYTHING! He is a comedian who has been in hundreds of films so far (Wikipedia says more than 350). He was brilliant as the British loving Camp Manager. His timing is always spot on and he often lightens even the darkest films (even if only briefly). The first couple of films I saw him in, he kind of annoyed me, but after KKHH I really started to have more of an appreciation for him. Now I love seeing him pop up in films.

Also, on a side note, in 2011, KKHH will be remade in honor of its 12th anniversary as a ….cartoon! It is titled Koochie Koochie Hota Hai, and I am actually quite excited to see it after watching the trailer. All the same actors do the voices (minus Salman Khan) and all the characters are dogs! Anywho, Bolly-in-the-‘Bul signing out. Namaste!

Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham

I just love this film! The first time I watched K3G was with my grandma. She had never seen a Bollywood film before and I had just received the copy I ordered. We sat down to watch it and were both completely hooked. There are three main things I love about this movie.

1.)    The music and dancing are great. Shah Rukh Khan is always a great dancer but Amitabh Bachchan surprised me with his “Say Shava Shava” routine (he always seems so stiff to me, when he dances).  I also really enjoy “Suraj Hua Madham”, “Yeh Ladki Hai Allah”, and love “Bole Chudiyan‘. I have listened to them so many times, I like to sing along with the movie now.

2.)    The pairings in this movie are so perfect. The real life husband and wife, Amitabh and Jaya Bachchan, are great as the mother and father in the film. I love how he pulls the stool over for her when she fixes his tie. My favorite duo of Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol cannot be beat. Any movie where the two of them are together is a number one smash hit in my books. And then Hrithik and Kareena are pretty cute. It kills me that her character’s name is Pooja and they nickname her Poo! Gets me every time :). It has taken me awhile to warm up to Kareena Kapoor but, after Jab We Met, I kind of like her now. I have always loved Hrithik Roshan though.

3.)    Kajol. She is just so fantastic! She is my favorite actress in Bollywood. She is funny and cute and at the same time so beautiful. So much character in such a small package.

K3G is a funny, touching, and ultimately uplifting story of what makes a family and the bonds that hold it together.

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.

Lagaan

Lagaan was my first real Bollywood film and it surprised me in so many ways. Firstly, it was looooong. I had never watched a movie that long (almost four hours!), but what surprised me even more was I did not want it to end. Secondly, it had a lot about cricket in it. A sport that was never on my radar and I knew nothing about. And thirdly, it was a musical?!? I had not educated myself at all about Bollywood and had no clue what to expect.

Lagaan is, on the surface, about the oppression of an Indian village, during colonial times, by the taxes imposed by the local British cantonment. Rain has been scarce and crops scarcer. How does does one provide for their family and pay outrageous taxes (which is what Lagaan means, taxes)? Well, making a crazy bet with the British General might be their only hope. Under the surface, and what you take from the movie as you watch it, is hope and an unbreakable spirit. Every character holds that hope in their heart and puts it into learning and playing the game of their lives. There is also a lot of comedy, romance, signing, and dancing. The music is amazing and I could not get enough of it. I kept re-watching just the songs and trying to dance along. My favorites are “O Rey Chhori“, “Radha Kaise Na Jale“, and “Ghanan Ghanan” but they are all great songs.

My final surprise was Aamir Khan. He was such an amazing actor and quite handsome. He became my first Bollywood crush, but certainly not the last ;). I made a list of all the movies he had made (which is no small list), and started to look for them online. I found many for purchase on eBay and they even came 3 or 4 at a time. I also had discovered a CD with songs from Lagaan and other films. If I liked the song I looked for the film. Movies led to actors/actresses/music and then onto other movies. And that is how an obsession starts, my friends.