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.

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Vivah

One thing I love about Bollywood films is their length. Most films run around three hours long, and so there is a lot of story and character development. I think it is the reason that the films evoke so much emotion. You really start to care about the characters. It also means there are these great built in intermissions, so it is easy to watch a film over two days. This last week I watched Vivah (Marriage: A Journey from Engagement to Marriage). Perhaps it is because I will soon be getting married (in 5 weeks!) myself, but I really liked this movie. It was at moments a little too sweet, but I liked it nonetheless.

The story is about the most perfect daughter parents could want, Poonam, who is orphaned and raised by her aunt and uncle. She and her cousin are like sisters, but auntie is jealous that she is more beautiful than her daughter. Her uncle is a gem though. When it is her time to get married they find the perfect husband, Prem, from a wealthy and wonderful family. They have a six month engagement period and the movie is about how, even though the marriage is arranged, they grow to love each other.

The movie stars Amrita Rao who I have not seen since Main Hoon Na and Shahid Kapoor. She looked different, but maybe it was because she was not playing a tomboy. I liked her more in MHN though.  Shahid looked really baby faced in this film and I much prefer his more recent ones where he has grown up. They were cute together though and I would love to see them make a movie together again now (this one was from 2006). Shahid’s father in the film was one of my favorite “dad” actors, Anupam Kher. Just love that guy!

The music was quite beautiful in the movie, especially my favorite “Mujhe Haq Hai“. I also love movies that show the different ceremonies for engagements, weddings, holy days, and festivals. It is very interesting to me. In “Tere Dware Pe Aai Baraat” you see snippets from the wedding of Prem and Poonam. This movie is not always happy though, so have a few tissues on hand. Hope you enjoy!

Spreading the Bollywood love!

Paheli

I love absolutely everything about this movie. I think that is the best way to start this post. I decided to watch Paheli (Riddle) tonight in honor of the puppets I bought today that are featured in the film (see mine below). I have been wanting to buy them forever but it was never the right time.  The puppets are the narrators of the film and are so great. Naseeruddein Shah and his real life wife are the voices for them. So sweet.

The music is so amazing! I love every single song in this film, but none more than “Dhire Jalna“. One of the most beautiful songs ever and one of my favorite songs in any language. “Kangana Re” makes me wish I had bangles, made from every color of the rainbow, that I could wear every day. “Minnat Kare” is just so cute, and love the last song with all the characters as puppets, “Phir Raat Kati“.

One of the things that gets me about this movie is the pure, raw emotions. The story is about the new bride, Lachchi (Rani Mukherji), who marries the business minded, Kishanlal (Shah Rukh Khan). On the way home with the new bride the party stops at a well (if you can call that amazing place a well), and Lachchi is seen by a spirit/ghost that lives there. He falls in love with her. When they arrive home, Kishanlal informs his new bride that he will be leaving in the morning for five years. Say what!?! She is devastated but friendly ghost steps up to take his place. How will this all end? Please watch it and see. Every time Lachchi accepts the new Kishanlal, and his breath catches, so does my own. This is the kind of emotion I am talking about. Wow!

There are also really funny parts as well. Poor Bhoja the messenger who does a “Who’s On First” type scene when he gets back from delivering a message from one Kishanlal to the other, and is labeled a drunkard. Also Uncle Kanwarlal is always getting made fun of for his pipe smoking habit. He is so funny and clueless. The camel race is pretty good, as well as Amitabh Bachchan’s guest appearance as the wise shepherd.

This movie always cheers me up and I love it to pieces! Spreading the Bollywood love 🙂 .

Pyaar Impossible

Before I give my comments on this film, I wanted to let you all know that I have signed up for the Post A Week Pledge with WordPress. I will post at least once a week (two or three times if you are lucky though ;). I just thought it might be fun to have this goal to work towards and hopefully it will keep me blogging.

Today I finished a few major work things and decided to treat myself to a Bollywood. I wanted a cute movie I had not watched before so I picked Pyaar Impossible (Impossible Love). I downloaded this when it first came out and it just sat on my hard drive collecting cyber-dust. I grabbed some subtitles, dusted it off and gave it a try.

I immediately liked the character of Abhay (Uday Chopra). He had this super nerdy inner monologue going on that immediately endears him to the audience. He is pretty much is a super nerd, who is in love with the most beautiful girl in his university, Alisha (Priyanka Chopra). He saves her life one night but she never knew it was him. Her dad took her out of school the next day and he did not see her again for seven years.

While I liked the character of Abhay, I really did not like this movie for the first 30 minutes. There is this slimy guy (Dino Morea) who steals his life’s work. And Alisha is a divorced mother too busy to notice what is going on around her and has a super bratty little girl, Tania. She is always telling her daughter how naughty she is but does nothing about it. Drove me crazy. Tania does change (kind of) and grows on you. Alisha comes down from way up there and slows down to notice the great guy in her life. And slimy guy, well he is very “amused” by Thai traditions :).

The movie was cute but only average in my books. The music was good though and I can recommend checking out “You and Me” and “Pyaar Impossible“. That’s it for tonight, but I hope this weekend has another film in store for me. Wonder what it will be….

My Name Is Khan

Last night my fiance and I decided to watch a movie, and we decided on a Shah Rukh Khan film we had not seen yet (not many in that list). We set up My Name Is Khan (MNIK) and began to watch. It is the kind of movie that you just get sucked in and takes you on the journey with the characters. I love Rizwan Khan, Mandira, Sam, Ammi, Zakir, Haseena, Mamma Jenny, Funny Hair Joel, and the other characters that Rizwan comes across on his journey to meet the President of the US and utter the words “My name is Khan, and I am not a terrorist.”

It starts with an airport scene in which he gets taken to a room to be searched. I remembered that this actually happened to SRK while he was filming this movie in the US. Even though people recognized him and vouched for him being a famous star, they kept him for two hours. His name was supposedly similar to another name on the “watch list”. People in the holding area were asking for his autograph and everything. OK, maybe no one in the TSA has ever seen a Bollywood, but I might want to check out someones information if everyone else knew them.

The story is narrated by the letter/diary entries that Rizwan writes to his wife Mandira while on his journey. There are also flashbacks to his youth and when he moved to San Francisco and started his life with Mandira and Sam. Rizwan has Asperger’s and SRK does an amazing acting job being in character. He is still charming as ever, but never once do you suspect he is playing a part. I have taught a couple children with Asperger’s (much milder versions than the one Rizwan has) and he is really right on. I was laughing though when he comments on San Francisco being “scary, very scary.” Growing up a couple hours away from the city I went there all the time. I love SF but it can definitely be scary and I usually have some kind of panic attack while driving there (I hate it!).

So, I would love to hear all of your thoughts if you have seen the movie, and if not, watch it as soon as possible.

Dil Bole Hadippa!

After a crazy work week I really needed to unwind with a fun movie. I have been meaning to watch Dil Bole Hadippa! (Heart Says Hurrah!) for a while, but never got around to it. As I started to watch it, it reminded me of one of my favorite childhood movies, Ladybugs. A coach dresses his step-son to be as a girl so his girls soccer team will stop losing. While this movie also puts a Twelfth Night spin to the story, switches the boy for a girl, and soccer becomes cricket, it was a lot of fun.

One thing I must say is, I have learned a lot about cricket now. After watching a few films, I began checking videos and read some  articles. I think I just about understand the basics. Wish I could see a match in person though (a 1 day match, not a 3 or 5 day one). As with most sport films, the movie culminates in a very exciting match where the result is down to one ball/run. I think I learned a lot more terminology from this movie and now know how one scores 4 runs and 6 runs with out actually running.

There was a lot of fun dance sequences and the music was fabulous. It was fun seeing “hey, micro mini!“, Rakhi Sawant, in another movie after Main Hoon Na. I read an article about her many year ago that she is a trained dancer, but have read more recently about some of her scandals as well. All that aside, she is pretty fun to watch. Shahid Kapoor is another actor who came onto my radar recently. I am really digging him. He is charming and has a serious smolder effect about him. I will be watching more of his movies for sure. And of course, Rani was top-notch as always. Fantastic as both Veera and Veer. Check out these songs for a sneak preview: “Discowale Khisko“, “Ishq Hi Hai Rab“, and “Bhangra Bistar“.

That’s it for now. Spreading the Bollywood love. XO

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!

Hum Tum

It does not get much cuter than Hum Tum (Me – You). Karan and Rhea meet by chance on an airplane when they are both moving from India to New York. After their initial less-than-perfect (although memorable) meeting, they part ways both hoping forever. The film spans nine years of chance meetings, growing friendships, and good byes. Interspersed through the film are funny animated sequences of Hum and Tum, a young boy and girl, who are the main characters of a cartoon strip Karan pens.

I just loved these animated bits. When I looked online, I was happy to see that they actually made the comic into a strip. It seems to have run in the newspaper for awhile and was penned by Vijay Raibole and his wife. He posted them all on his blog, and though some are in Hindi, you will understand how funny they are from the ones in English. Now I just wish there was a whole book of them :).

The music is also top-notch in the film as is the chemistry between Saif Ali Khan (Karan) and Rani Mukherji (Rhea). From the wonderful love song “Hum Tum” to the fun and feisty “Gore Gore Say Chore“, I could listen to these songs over and over again. You can see from these songs that the relationship between these two characters has its ups and downs, and plenty of butting heads, but they will melt your heart in the end (as well as each others).

I really though both, Saif Ali and Rani, did an excellent job with their acting. Saif Ali begins cocky and obnoxious, then adds some charm, and finally becomes sincere though unsure of his newly acknowledged self. Rani starts out very sure of herself and continues that way until a huge life change. Then she becomes much more calm and collected until Karan brings her back to herself, granted a more mature version. Also worth acknowledging are Rishi Kapoor as Karan’s father and Kiron Kher as Rhea’s mother. My friend says that Kiron Kher “is the perfect mother” in Bollywood. I told him it is because his first film was Main Hoon Na ;).

Happy Watching!

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.

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.

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