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.Ā  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 šŸ™‚ .

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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 favoriteĀ  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.

Monsoon Wedding

Let’s start at the very beginning. A very good place to start. When you sing you begin with Do-Re-Mi. In Bollywood I began with Mon-soon-Wed-ding. Okay, corny…but true. Now I do not really consider Monsoon Wedding to be Bollywood, but it ignited my interest to go out and find more Hindi films.

In Auburn, where I hail from, it is a small town. In high school my Spanish teacher suggested I watch foreign films in Spanish as language practice and so I began to. Spanish films led to German, French, Portuguese, and Japanese films as well. I blew through most the foreign section at our Blockbuster and was looking for more, and really wished to see them in a real theater some day. We had little opportunity to see foreign/independent films at the theater until in 2001 when they started the Independent Film Series. I read about it in the paper and dragged my mom to the first film, Monsoon Wedding.

I was completely blown away. I loved everything about the movie. The colorful cast or character, with their fantastic clothes, and interspersed with the scenery of New Delhi. The music was great as well. The song sung during the Mehndi ceremony was awesome and I really liked “Chunari Chunari” too (not to mention the finale song “Aaja Nachle“). I loved the wedding preparations and the silly sweet wedding planner, Dubey, and his love for Alice. There were so many contrasting emotions andĀ  people, and the story was great and well developed. I began to dream of an Indian style wedding of my own some day.

After leaving the theater, I went to see if there were any Hindi language films at the rental store and came away with two: Lagaan and Asoka. But those are for other posts.