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!

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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.