Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas Everyone!

I´m sorry that I haven´t written that much (well anything) in a while but I´ve been *CRAZY*busy with my bachelor project and work and preparing for exams and LIFE above all - well, you get the gist, that I just didn´t have the time. Anyway, I want to wish you all a very happy Bolly/Tolly/whatevs Christmas and THANK YOU all for reading my ramblings. I hope that under the Christmas Tree you will find the films you wanted and a kiss from your favourite star.

So true.



Monday, November 12, 2012

30 Days Of Film Meme: Days 11 & 12

Day 11: A Movie that Changed Your Opinion About Something


Before I´ve seen Dil Se all the Bollywood I´ve seen were Karan Johar and Yash Chopra films. I thought that Bollywood movies are without exception candyflossed romances, with great songs, beautiful actresses and Shah Rukh Khan and always with a Happy Ending. Imagine my reaction when I first saw Dil Se. 

Excited as I was, when I saw a SHAH RUKH KHAN MOVIE on a shelf in my local library, I ran home and watched it immediately. After the movie had finished, I sat in front of my computer, a little bewildered, a little disappointed and, to be honest, a little shocked. Where was my Happy End? Where were the happy Songs and the glamourous heroine? Was that really Shah Rukh´s real voice!? 

It was an eye opener. And thankfully so! After I got over my initial disappointment I discovered a whole new world of movies that I didn´t even suspect of existence before! Not only did I learn that Shah Rukh can star in something else than K3G and KKHH but also that Bollywood has a lot more to offer than I originally thought. So, THANKS  A LOT to my local library for introducing me to Dil Se or else I would still be trapped in my ignorant and limited world of mustard fields and chiffon dupattas.

Day 12: A Movie That You Hate


There were several choices here, like Yeh Lamhe Judaai Ke (aka The Worst Movie Shah Rukh Ever Made), Vinnaithaandi Varuvaayaa (aka Most Annoying Female Character Ever) or Yamadonga (Yes, Yamadonga) but no movie has ever evoked such a strong negative reaction in me as Ishaqzaade. I explained the reason in detail here, so let me just say that I was as disgusted and angry as I was, simply said, disappointed.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

30 Days Of Film Meme: Days 8, 9 & 10

8. A Movie You´ve Seen Countless Times


K3G was the first Bollywood movie I saw. Well, not really the first FIRST, as I´ve seen some bits of Kuch Kuch Hota Hai and Main Hoon Na before but it was the first one I watched consciously, that means I found out the time when it would air on TV, sat down excitedly in front of the TV at said time and then... DEVOURED IT COMPLETELY. At the time I was still living at home and we didn´t have a DVD player yet - did these things exist already back then in 2004? - so I taped it on our old VCR and then proceeded to watch it over and over again in our living room. My mom hated it but I didn´t care, I was in love. With the songs, the lavish sets and the sky-high-melodrama, it was perfect to me. For a long time it was my favourite Bollywood movie and although I now see the many flaws of it, I will always have a soft spot for Kabhie Khushi Kabhie Gham because as with your first love, you never forget your first Bollywood movie.

9. Best Movie Soundtrack

To be honest I am not such an avid music lover as I maybe should be. I never buy albums, I have no favourite genre or band or singer, I don´t know what music is "cool" right now because my track list consists mainly of soundtracks. Indian soundtracks. Sometimes that makes things a little difficult for me, for example when I´m at a party and some cute guy asks me what music I listen to and then I have to say some Hindi title and then he just stares at me, confused and bewildered. But the truth is, no music ever has been able to speak to me as much and as intense as the songs from my beloved Indian movies. And the best one (for me, right now, as it actually changes every few months) is A. R. Rahman´s Rockstar.


Imtiaz Ali just gets me. He knows exactly what kind of things work for me and which doesn´t. He knows exactly what kind of stories I love and the characters I care for. And he knows exactly which strings he has to pull to get right to my heart. Music. Music is so, so important for me in a movie. Most Indian movies use the music as stand alone numbers, which is fine by me because most of the time (besides being awesomely choregraphed, staged and costumed) they also help to deepen the story, conveying emotions, expressing feelings in a way much more compelling than dialogue. But the movie would work without them. It would maybe not be as interesting but it would work.

In contrast to that, the music of Rockstar is not only an integral part of the movie, it IS the movie. The story gets narrated through the music. All the important things in the film happen not through dialogue but through the songs, they are so seamlessly intertwined in the story that you don´t even notice when dialogue changes into lyrics. I´ve read somewhere that Rockstar is a movie that should not be as much as watched but it should be felt. And the music of Rockstar does that perfectly. It makes the movie an experience, a feast not for the eyes but for the ears.

10. Favourite Classic Movie


I haven´t seen many "old" movies, to be exact only... (wait, I have to think now...) four. So I´m really not an expert on them and I have no real options to choose from. So from the Four Indian Oldies that I´ve seen so far I proudly present to you: Guddi, where Dharmendra makes you swoon and Jaya proves that she has had a personality before becoming Mrs. Sour Old Grapes Face! 

Guddi (the movie) is really sweet. With the backdrop of one of my favourite themes, an inside look into the movie industry (by the way, SO DISAPPOINTED in you, Heroine!) it is a Coming Of Age movie where a young girl learns that the real world is as beautiful as the reel one. With cameos of many known stars of the time and a fresh and vivacious heroine, Guddi has a lot to offer. 

It starts out simple enough with Guddi´s life as an innocent schoolgirl being head over heels over Dharmendra (and who blames her, this guy is HAWT! Who knew!?) living her small life with her brother and an overly protective but loving bhabhi. Worried about Guddi living life in a dream world, Bhabhi and Bhai decide to let Guddi get a look of the Real Face Of Cinema (Luck By Chance, anyone?) and with the help of some friend with filmi connections, they take her to Mumbai Bombay, where Guddi meets her life long Dream Guy, Dharmendra and is... disappointed. 

Okay, this is where the film lost me a little because I would rather liked to see Guddi maintaining her love for the movies, in a more mature, laid back kind of way, while appreciating the things that real life has to offer. Seeing her despise them in the end, turned into this overtly adult and grown up woman was a little disappointing, if not to say boring. But still, Guddi is a nice watch. Cute and sweet. And with a loving look towards the Hindi Film Industry. Which is, of course, the best kind.


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

30 Days Of Film Meme: Day 7

7. Most Surprising Plot Twist Or Ending

  
Okay, so this one´s pretty easy. Nothing ever surprised me more than the ending of the "new" Don. I would never ever have guessed it, that Don´s been actually alive all along and just pretending to be Vijay pretending being Don pretending being Vijay...  In my opinion, it is a great ending to a movie that´s supposed to be a remake... but then isn´t! What a genious move. This, Ladies and Gentlemen, is how you keep your audience on your toes. Such an exquisite shocker at the end is what elevates Don from being a mere remake of a classic to a truly memorable and amazing movie that can stand perfectly on its own.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

30 Days of Film Meme - Days 3, 4, 5 & 6

Wow, time flies really fast!

3. A Movie That Makes You Really Happy


Whenever I feel down or had a bad day and am in dire need of some comfort food, instead of chocolate or ice cream, I take to Mujhse Dosti Karoge.* This movie is like a warm blanket. Or like a really good therapy session. Dont´get this wrong: MDK is actually a pretty tough and exhausting watch: you may laugh, you may cry your heart out but in the end everybody´s happy. And singing. In Switzerland. What could be better?


*Okay, that´s a lie. There are chocolate and ice cream but MDK is a must needed accessory.

4. A Movie That Makes You Sad


There were like seven different choices on that one because I´m someone who cries very easily while watching a movie but the one film that makes me a crying, babbling and broken mess at the end is, well, Devdas. I know, I know: It´s all their own fault! You shouldn´t pity Devdas or Paro or even Chandramukhi because their plight, their suffering and pain is nothing but self inflicted! You can really say that in the end, they truly asked for it! And still, or maybe just because of that I feel it´s so, so much more sad. Devdas and Paro ruin their lives because of a stupid mistake and it´s all just so in vain! I think it is that senselessness that really gets me. (Every. F***ing. Time. Damn those eyebrows! And dimples! And floppy hair. Never. Forget. The hair.)

5. Favourite Love Story In A Movie

  
Ooh, that´s a tough one. To be honest, I don´t really have a "Favourite Love Story". I think every love is special and even if it´s just started on a whim (like basically almost every filmi romance) I root for it because in the end, I´m an old cliched and cheesy romantic and want every couple to be happy. I am someone who looks for romance even in the most hardcore splatter horror movie. I love the new James Bond franchise for the very reason that Bond was in love (like, for real) and that all he does now has an ulterior motif which is avenging his lover´s death. So. Romantic. You see, red roses for me anytime.
*Update after seeing Skyfall: Okay, so it´s not his ulterior motif anymore but who was the real Bondgirl of Skyfall? Damn, that´s right: M kicked ass (well, not literally, but still) and Bond´s ultimate mission was trying to protect her from Crazy-Gay-Guy(c) Javier Bardem, so I still say that he´s an all new and changed Bond since even the sexy times were trimmed down to the minimum (And what lame sexy times that were!!) Another proof that it´s not (just) about hot women, expensive cars and gadgets anymore. It´s also about heart. (Wow, that´s sounds wrong, associating that with the Bond franchise). True story.

Aaaanyway:

If I have to choose one I think I´ll go with Varsham because unlike most other couples that I´ve seen in Hindi or Telugu cinema, Venkat and Shailaja had a (more or less) real relationship. They did not start on a whim and decided to marry each other on the spot, no, they took time to know each other a little bit better, they fought, they made up and they stood together through various hardships like an evil Gopichand and Praju competing for Worst Dad Of The Year. And they met in the rain! What could be more romantic than this?

6. Your Favourite Film From Your Favourite Comedian


There´s a slight problem here since I don´t really have a favourite comedian. I don´t even know them, really. The only ones that I can remember are Brahmanadam, Ali and Johnny Lever from the 90ies. I don´t know if Anupam Kher counts, since he also acts sometimes?

Well, from the few I do know by name, Ali is a favourite. I like that his comedy subplots are so elaborate. He gets costumes and wigs and whole backstories for his characters which makes me think that he doesn´t take every role he gets, like, for example Brahmanandam. (This guy, seriously, must have a contract to be in every Telugu movie ever made!) But, while with Brahmi it´s mostly hit or miss, I did enjoy every performance of Ali so far. So that would make him a favourite? And the favourite, well, is in Ek Niranjan, a Prabhas vehicle, where you can not only drool over Prabhu Darling but also laugh about Brahmi and Ali together. Although their substory is pretty much hated by everyone who saw the film, I loved it. Brahmi as a love guru with a thing for younger women and Ali as Captain Sparrow who comes back from the dead to haunt Brahmi who took away his wife? Brilliant.

Friday, November 2, 2012

30 Days Of Film Meme - Day 2

First of all: HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my Bolly Darling Nr. 1: Shah Rukh Khan!

Aah... The favourite look. Scruffy and smiling.
If Blogger had a smoochey-smiley like Bollywhat has, I would insert it here.

My favourite darling of Tinseltown is getting 47 today. YAY! I suppose he doesn´t have much time to celebrate though since the promotions for Jab Tak Hai Jaan are in ful swing by now. (I hope he gets to celebrate with Anushka and not Katrina though, because otherwise it could get a liiittle awkward...)

Second of all: This is my 50th post! YAY to me!

Shah Rukh´s sign of approval.
Anyway... Back to the real topic:

Day 2: The Most Underrated Movie:


Telling a story about eight students and their joys and worries through four years of college life, Happy Days would be the typical coming of age film if it wasn´t for the young actors who give their characters personalities, making them real and therefore believable. Although there are eight of them (which is a lot) and although over the course of the movie you might pick one as your favourite, you do care about the others as well, as the movie went by I became more and more invested in their stories, feeling as much a part of the group as they would be my real friends. I think what makes Happy Days such an enjoyable watch (and what made it such an unexpected success back in 2007), are really the characters, the eight individual personalities and their combined journey.

I would never had thought that it could be so engaging. After all, it is just a movie about a bunch of guys and their life through college. But college... college is about making new experiences, about widening your horizons and, above all, about learning who you are and what you want to be. And really, what could be more exciting?

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Appreciating Beauty: Aishwarya Rai

For everyone who is living on the wrong side of the moon and hasn´t noticed yet:

IT`S AISHWARYA RAI`S BIRTHDAY, PEOPLE!

The Most Beautiful Woman Of The World(TM) is getting 39 today so let´s all celebrate by wishing her all the best! Last year on her birthday I did a post about why I love Aish so much, listing all the reasons why she is one of my favoutite Bollywod actresses and besides that, a wonderful woman, so because of that and also because there is a post on Filmi Girl which covers all the important aspects that you have to know about Aish, this year I´m going to concentrate on the thing which strikes me the most about her: Her natural beauty.

 

Ever since I saw her for the first time I fell in love with her looks. I think I am obsessed about it. I don´t know exactly why I am so fixated on it, like I said before, there is so much more about Aish than just her beauty, after all, all the actresses in Bollywood are gorgeous, so what makes her stick out? For me, it´s more about her personality, I think, that shines through those blue eyes, the poise, strength and grace that is a part of her as a person. She just seems so... relaxed with her prettiness, like it´s really not that much to speak about and as if she´s not really aware of it. It´s just not a big deal for her.

Say wha...? I´m... pretty? Really? Cool. *Moving on*
The movie industry, here and in India (and everywhere else in the world) is all about physical appearance. Everyone, men and women alike, are trying desperately to look their best. And, well, it shows. If you´re constantly worried about how you look, how you are not allowed to eat everything and as much as you like, it starts to show on you one day. It doesn´t matter that you´re a size zero, if you don´t look happy with it, you´re just skinny. But NOT pretty.

And that´s where Aish triumphs. She doesn´t try to be beautiful, she just IS. In a world where actresses are back to their 52 kilograms or whatever just four weeks after they have given birth to a child, Beautiful, Wonderful Aish just doesn´t give a damn and attends important events in her normal after-childbirth size and shape. Looking more glamorous, beautiful and just really, really content and happy with herself than every other woman attending the event.  Because, as silly and cliche as it sounds, beauty is not just about physical appearence. It´s also about how you feel about yourself and your life and what shines through that makes you really beautiful.

Making everybody stare in awe.

30 Days of Film Meme - Day 1

I´v been meaning to do this ever since I saw it on  ...So They Dance! because I think it is an awesome idea and (as you all know by now) I love doing lists but, somehow, I´ve never got around to do it. But finally, starting today and covering all days of november, here comes:

30 Days Of Film Meme 
*Hope you enjoy*


Day 1: The best movie you saw during the last year

Oh my God, THIS movie. 2011 marked my first toe-dipping into South Indian cinema but it didn´t fully take on until MAGADHEERA. (That´s right the title should be written like this. In CAPITAL form. Because it IS that great.) This movie had everything I have been wishing from movies ever - and more! Why did I watch it in the first place I can´t even remember. I knew none of the cast, the director or the impact that movie has had. Maybe I was just bored. But, man, what a ride I had ahead of me! I watched it four times in two days although I had a pending presentation which I still had to prepare (which, accordingly, didn´t go that well), but I couldn´t help myself - I was addicted. From the wonderful love story to the period drama, from exploding motorbikes to magic horses, from Charan´s fabulous hair to the villain´s delicious evilness, it was perfect. And even now, almost two years later, it still is. No surprise, that it´s not only my favourite movie of 2011, it´s my Favourite Movie Of All Time.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Songs For The Heart: I´ve Met A Boy Today...


I saw a really cute guy today at school and the whole time afterwards I had this song in my head. Because you know, in my imagination, my life is like a long, never-ending Bollywood song sequence.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Beginning Of Mini-Reviews: So Much More In So Much Less Words!

Because I don´t have much time and because the latest movies I´ve seen are kind of review-worthy but not enough for proper, stand-alone reviews I present to you: 

"Beginning Of Mini-Reviews: So Much More In So Much Less Words!" (Part One)

Let´s start with:

Ishaqzaade (Hindi, 2012): "And there they lie... rotting in their foolishness."


Ugh, so, so much disappointment! What the posters promised: That this would be my favourite film of the year, with a strong and bold heroine (she´s helping actively in her father´s political career, she dances with the item girl, she´s got a gun and what´s most important: SHE KNOWS HOW TO HANDLE IT), a hero to die for (he´s a good-for-nothing macho who makes you want to kill him in the first place but then he comes and steals your heart! AND: He´s got HAIR! Like, IN THE FACE!) and a story which was too good to be true: Romeo and Juliet in the harsh and violent world that is UP? OMG, gimme more!

What I got: I loved the first half but then, it just went so, so wrong. I was like: WHAT? Wait a minute? He did... WTF!? And then I was: Okay, so he´s a motherf***ing son of a b***h but I was willing to accept it (although utterly disgusted) because hey, I´m sure that Parineeti aka Zoya gets over it quick and proceeds to the good stuff which is giving the bastard what he deserves aka A GOOD KICK IN THE N**S. But alas, NO! What I really got was the most frustrating excuse for a plot ever. Not only does Zoya forgive the git, she also marries him again(!) and then they die in the most pointless, stupid way possible! Statement about how society kills love? How going against your parents leads to a miserable end? Nah, none of it. And hey, why don´t we just kill ourselves in the most painful way possible? Straight shot to the head? Please, that´s for wusses. Let´s shoot thrice into our abdomen region and die slowly from blood loss. Because that´s so much more fun.

You see, I had a really strong reaction to Ishaqzaade. I really, really hated the movie. The whole message was just so disturbing. And it´s such a shame because there is so much going for it: From Parineeti´s strong performance, the wonderful music and setting, the beautiful choreography to the great, fast paced editing. I was never bored with Ishaqzaade but it was just not enough to make me forget the sexist, regressive story. And I´m not someone to get overly pissed at sexism or misogyny in movies. Where others throw tantrums I´m just enjoying my movie. But this one was just superbly stupid and just plainly - wrong.

Teri Meri Kahaani (Hindi, 2012): Period Drama Romance *OH YESSS!* (and a little more)



After watching the crazy bulls**t that was Ishaqzaade I was in dire need of some fluffy, harmless fun, so I chose to watch TMK. And my, did I get what I wanted! TMK is a nice little movie that holds what it promises on the posters: Romance, fun and a slight feeling of nostalgia. Maybe it was because of my very low expectations but I was enjoying myself throughout the two hours or so of the movie´s duration. Yes, I did get bored with it a little from time to time, especially through the 2012 part of the movie but there was always some nice shot, some catchy song to get back my attention. I didn´t have a problem with the editing like some other people I´ve talked to, I thought it was a good idea to present the love stories in small, interchanging slices rather than telling every story through.

Anyway, I did have a problem with the difficulties the three couples faced and which led to their seperation: I actually thought they were way overreacting. Why couldn´t Govind just tell Ruksar what really happened? And why was Radha so upset that she and Krish met on the night of his break up? I mean, he didn´t plan it or anything. I understand her being upset about the posting pictures on Facebook thing that would have annoyed me, too.

Whatever, what I really, really LOVED, was the whole 1910 part of the movie. Everything was perfect in that. It had the best setting, the characters were more drawn out and REAL DRAMA, GUYS! Forbidden love, that´s just what my filmi dreams are made of. The part where Aradhana comes to Javed´s wedding and they talk through that barred window-thingy? Oh, the angst! Awesome. I don´t know why Kunal Kohli just didn´t take this story and made a whole movie out of it. What a wasted opportunity. Nevertheless, the movie did entertain me. It´s a nice, little timepass with satisfying performances of both Shahid and Priyanka, gorgeous cinematography (especially in the 60ies part which was my favourite concerning the style) and engaging little stories. Great for a one time watch alone and even better for a girls movie night because of 1910´s long-hair-beard-Shahid-yumminess.

*OMG. Can´t. Handle. The. Hotness.* Is there a drooling smiley?
Cocktail (Hindi, 2012): "Oh Deepika, look!"


I have never been more stunned. Deepika is an actress! Who would have thought that tall, wooden girl from Om Shanti Om could act? Well I didn´t, that´s for sure. But after a couple of years Deepika delivers in Cocktail a brave and bold performance, very unusual for a Hindi film heroine. (Not that it´s that unusual nowadays but normally it´s in the style of Vidya Balan´s TDP than in the way Deepika aka Veronica is presented: Yes, she parties, yes, she drinks, yes, she has casual sex but she is also a completely normal girl. The fact that she´s deeply unhappy or that she doesn´t get the guy in the end are not because of these things, the reasons for it lie elsewhere, which is a welcome change.)

Cocktail is your typical rom-com on the surface with the much seen before love triangle-trope but under all the parties, weekends in Capetown and shopping, Cocktail is a character study. Veronica is a partygirl, with beauty, money and many friends but deep inside she is incredibly lonely, sad and vulnerable. She clings to people, desperately afraid that they may leave her someday, even to the extent of changing her personality. This is a difficult and challenging role to perform and it could go easily wrong. But "Dippy", Ladies and Gentlemen, plays her so naturally and off the cuff, like she never did anything else before. It is amazing and engaging to see. All the while watching I wanted to give Veronica a hug and tell her that everything will be okay. (Although she would have probably just brushed me off with a joke).

But what about the two other people in this movie? Well, Saif is his usual self, goofy and incredibly charming at the same time but his role should have gone to a way younger actor. I´m just sayin´. Imagine Ranbir or Ranveer Singh in this and you get a sense how much better this could actually have been.

Anyway, since the movie belongs to the ladies, let´s quickly proceed to the third in the group: Diana Penty, (does anyone else think that her hame has a dirty sound to it or is that just me?) who played Meera, the innocent village girl. For a debutante, she was really okay, growing stronger as the film progressed and making me care about her in the end. But I never believed that she was what she was supposed to be. With her tallness and model looks she just didn´t look like I imagine the typical village belle. But maybe I´ve just seen too many Bollywood movies, so it could just be me.

I wouldn´t say that Cocktail is a movie I will watch again, but it was definitely worth watching that one time. The performances are good, with excellent cameos by Dimple Kapadia and Boman Irani (who was really awkward in this but I guess it was the role?) and a Deepika who outshines everyone, beautiful scenery and a nice, realistic setting. What more could you want?

Friday, September 21, 2012

Bend Your Knees, Everyone! It´s Queen Bebo´s Birthday!

"Fat is not sexy!" 
Oh Bebo, how I love thee. You are a never ending source of entertainment and amusement with your air-headed comments, self absorbed attitude and bubbly way of life. Please, NEVER change.

My relationship with Kareena is a rather special one. As always, it started on the superficial note of looks. I remember when I first saw Kareena in K3G  - which happened to be also my first Bollywood movie -  I thought of her as rather ugly. I didn´t think much of her, being more focused on the total adorableness that is Shah Rukh and Kajol as a married couple and forgot her shortly after the movie ended. 


Poo´s introduction sequence in K3G starting at 1:00 min. Look at the attitude! Bebo rocks and she knows it.

Then I saw her again in Asoka and again I was more focused on how yummy Shah looked and how I wished him to stay with Devi, the buddhist wife (I found her much prettier, LOOKING EXACTLY LIKE AN INDIAN JESSICA ALBA) and not caring much on the whole Shah-Going-Batshit-Because-Of-Kaurwaki´s-Presumed-Death-angle. 



Twins, seperated at birth? Maybe clones? Maybe there is some factory situated in some deserted wasteland that produces actresses who look exactly alike to place them in movie industries all over the world in a wicked plan to take over the earth?

Being way too distracted by discovering the plans of a secret conspiracy, I couldn´t appreciate the valuable efforts made by Kareena in the movie. And she´s awesome, people! Displaying how versatile she is, she goes from shallow Poo to the fierce and independent warrior-princess within seconds. She even has a sword!

I always wanted a sword when I was little.
Discovering Bollywood in only two years takes a long time and it took me a long time to watch something with Kareena again. As it happened, it was Jab We Met and like with almost everyone, it completely won me over to Team Bebo. (And you know there is no coming back from Team B... if you want to keep your head). It also happened on the superficial way again, through looks.* I felt like I was watching a new Kareena, someone who reinvented herself, having not only better hair but also considerable acting chops. Her Geet was maybe irritating sometimes with her loud and brash behaviour but it was also a sweet and genuine performance. Kareena really outdid herself in that movie. I could have watched Geet for hours even after the movie ended.

And look! Isn´t. She. GORGEOUS?
From then on I watched every movie with Kareena I could get my hands on. I discovered that she is a really good actress, who can play almost every role. She is astonishingly pretty, having a really interesting face and amazing eyes, always displaying a fierce and fresh energy that radiates from the screen.

But the defining thing about Kareena? Above all, she wants to prove herself. People say she can only play shallow Poo-roles? Well, see how I can play a foul-mouthed prostitute. People say she is too fat for bikini roles? Well, see how I can become the first Bollywood actress with a size zero body. People say she does not play in the A-League because she has yet to shoot with all of the Three Khans? Well, see how I can play along all three of them, WITHIN ONE YEAR. Kareena knows that Kareena is the best and she wants everyone else to better believe that, too.

Coming from one of the oldest, most powerful and influential families within the industry, THE Kapoors, Kareena was not encouraged to take the job as a Hindi film actress. Let´s just say, the Kapoor women are not famous for their acting chops. Until now, Kareena and her sister Karishma are the only ones to become actresses. I don´t know that much about Kareena´s family background, having read once that her parents are divorced and that her father was strongly dissatisfied with her decision to become an actress. From the little I know, it seems troubled. For years, Kareena didn´t want to talk about her father, displaying a really close relationship with her mother and sister instead.

A young Bebo with her mother and sister, Babita and Karishma.
In recent years Kareena became more restraint and more concerned about the things she talks about but at the beginning of her career Bebo was known for her unabashed, direct and ouspoken way of saying exactly what she thinks. About herself... and also about other people. Princess B was not someone to hold back with words. Here are some of her famous quotes:

"I am a hell raiser. I do my own thing. And I believe what I do is the right thing."

"My co-stars call me selfish. They say you are only interested in yourself and what you are only interested is yourself and what you are doing in front of the camera. I reply, I can`t help it; it`s what got me where I am."

"My film-makers have accepted me. They know I'm in a league of my own. Madhuri Dixit gave her first hit after nine years. Sridevi never had a historical hit. And yet they were the top actresses because they were immensely talented. The same goes for me too."  

There are a couple of people who are not on speaking terms with Kareena but who is she to care about what other people think:

"Sanjay Bhansali is a confused director. He is a person who does not stand by his word. He doesn't have any morals and principles in life."
"I'm not at all a Salman fan. I don't like him, he's a very bad actor."  (Oh Bebo, I completely understand.)

And above all, Amisha Patel, whose role in Kaho Na...Pyaar Hai was originally intended to be Kareena's debut. The following is excerpted from an interview with Kareena in the March 2002 issue of Filmfare magazine:

Q: Why have you been making nasty statements about Amisha Patel then?
A: Listen, I have no problems with Amisha Patel. In fact, I even called her up after Gadar. I thought she was good and I told her so. Even at one of the award function I went up to her and said hello. If that's not graciousness then what is? What more can I do to make peace? On the contrary, her mother has been bitching about me to all and sundry. She's been going around saying that who does Kareena Kapoor think she is. She has given only flops. She'll never make it. Fine. So what happened to Amisha Patel's Zindagi Ka Safar? If Amisha's so confident of her talent then why is she screaming about her hits? Okay so I have given only flops. But why am I still being paid more than her? It's only talent that matters here. Raj Kapoor sold off his last shirt while making Mera Naam Joker. But he's considered the greatest showman even today. I have the talent. I'm confident. And I know I'll be remembered always. I don't want Amisha Patel's history hits. I don't want to be mediocre in hit films. I'd rather be brilliant in flop movies..."

And the best one:  

"Yeah, I'm getting my price. Producers are even willing to pay me more than what I ask. But unfortunately, I can't do every film. So I have to turn down offers. (Laughs) Chalo, at least this way others get work." 
Don´t you just love her? Of course it´s completely arrogant, self-centered and totally bratty but it´s also entertainment gold. I would never want to be Kareena´s friend but I as a bystander I love her comments. Besides, to see someone who so unabashedly, unapologetically believes in himself is automatically something I would envy and admire. You gotta have guts to not care at all about what others think about you. It also reminds me of someone else at the beginning of his career who also had a lot to say about his innocent view of the world.

A couple of years and some PR-people later, Kareena has learned to hold herself back in the public but attitude is something you can´t hide. Queen Bebo has cemented her stand in the industry as the Number One actress, rising to the top in only ten years leaving everyone else to stare up in awe and admiration.

"Main Apni Favourite Hoon" You totally are, Bebo, and we love you like that.
*And before you disregard me forever as this superficial wannabe movie critic who judges people only by their looks: Sorry it´s just how I roll. An attractive actor gets me more inclined to look further into his/her work than a not-so-good-looking one. If I discover an amazing talent along the way, than their exterior is just an extra bonus, if not, then I forget about them as quickly.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

List Mania: Favourite Actors Hindi - Version No. Do

"Hello? Heeellooo? Is anyone there? Or has everybody left?"

By now I think I owe everyone of you a serious apology.  There are various reasons I haven´t written anything in a while ranging from preparing for my bachelor (like FINALLY writing all these exams I have been putting off for three years) to having really nothing to say. But now, with my blog getting one year old (YAY!)  I think I should say something: My non-writing has really nothing to do with losing interest in Indian cinema or losing interest in writing itself, I just didn´t have the time. And even if that sounds really lame and just like a lazy excuse it´s true. I´m not a very fast writer, it takes me hours to put a satisfying post together and I don´t want to write s**t also. I can´t promise to write regularly because besides my studies, which take the most of my time, I also had to start working now but I thought that this special occasion requires some kind of clearence statement. So... SORRIIEEE everyone! I hope you´ll forgive me.

I thought about doing a "Songs For The Heart - I´m So So Sorry Edition" with apology themed songs but then I thought that it would be too much and decided to go for just one song:

"Kopama Napina" from Varsham 

  
(You know, when Prabhas was angry with Trisha for not trusting him and she sang a song for him to say sorry? God, how I wish my life would be like an Indian movie!)
 
But: The Special Day (okay month) is finally there and I have thought and thought about what I could write to celebrate it. A post about the day I met Shahrukh ? "It was a cold, winter night and I was FREEZING..." Naah. A post about why I love Indian movies? "They really make me happy! And then... Well... YOU KNOW..." Certainly not. And then I had the brilliant idea: Why not make ANOTHER list of my favourite actors like, you know, the one I did LAST YEAR? I tell you, BRILLIANT. Since I love making lists and all that stuff and what better way than to celebrate a year by musing abouth the things that changed I present to you: 

Favourite Actors Hindi - Version 2.0 (All  say "YEAH!")

1. Shah Rukh Khan
"Let me entertain you!"*


So... Nothing new on the No. 1 front. Come on! Did you guys seriously think that I would abandon my beloved Shah? Never! Even if he seems to have gone completely batshit by now, there seems to be nothing wrong enough he can do for me to start really disliking him. He will always be my No. 1 Hero because I love him. Haters to the left.

*(And HOW, people! Now that my movies don´t work so well anymore I found new ways to entertain my audience: I smoke in stadiums, I beat up children, I have affairs with dolls, there is nothing low enough I wouldn´t do to make you smile.)

Favourite Performance: Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa

2. Hrithik Roshan
"Everything I do I do it perfect."


Nothing new to report here, too. Hrithik has only cemented my absolute and undestroyable faith in him in Agneepath and ZNMD. He is being worshipped and adored and constantly objectified around here so...

Favourite Performance: Kites (Yes, really.)

Lets come to the real changes!

3. Ranbir Kapoor
"I may be an A**hole in real life...


... But in reel life I´m the STAR." I honestly think that Ranbir´s gonna be the next superstar of Bollywood because he´s just got IT. Plenty. Of it. Maybe in the future it will not be the three Khans who rule the industry, but the three Kapoors: Ranbir, Shahid and Kareena. (Well, probably not.)
But Ranbir´s getting better and better with every movie. I found him kinda okay in Saawariya, kinda cute in BAH, really awesome in Rocket Singh and WUS and he totally blew me away in Rockstar. I´m looking forward to his every movie now and can´t wait to see Barfi just because of him. I really dislike him as a person but as an actor, Ranbir has my unconditional love.

Favourite performance: Rockstar

4. Saif Ali Khan
"I am like good wine. I just get better and better."


Saif has always been kind of a dark horse in my book. I always kinda liked him, he was okay in all those mid-2000s Bollywood romcoms that were so popular around that time but I never really warmed up to him. I watched these movies because I liked the story but never because of him. 
But I noticed a strange thing today: the most of my rewatching contains of Saif´s movies! Omkara, Love Aaj Kal, Hum Tum and even Ta Ra Rum Pum (which is a movie I REALLY like on his own, too but that´s too shameful to admit). And recently I bought Agent Vinod (unseen!) because Saif was in it... Okay, I bought it because it was Saif´s baby and I wanted to support him. But still: I realized that Saif has really grown on me over the years. Slowly and quietly but steady. And isn´t that the best kind of love? He is a good actor, he´s got the looks and he seems to be a nice, intelligent person off-screen. What´s not to like? (And he´s Bebo´s boyfriend! The guy who can take it up with BEBO gotta get some credit for it!)

Favourite performance: Omkara (of course)

And STILL no No. 5! Well, I hoped you enjoyed the new-old list and see you again next year! Who knows what will have happened? Maybe I´ll be a Sallu fangirl by then!? (Naaah... THAT is never going to happen...) And thank you all for reading my blog. I really, really appreciate it.






Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother´s Day!

There is no place where a mom is more celebrated, adored and revered than the Indian Cinema. There are Filmi Maas, there are Crazy Maas, there are Evil Maas, there are Bari-Maas and Choti-Maas and there are even Ammas, you can be sure that in the in the Fairytale World of Crying Superheroes, some mom is always there to wipe your tears when the latest goonda has run away with your girl.

Here are my favourite "Maa-Songs":

1. "Yeh Bandhan Toh" from Karan Arjun


2.  "Nallanivani Nillani" from Chatrapathi


3. "Maa Shakti De Maa" from Ashanti


4. "O Maa Tujhe Salaam" from Khalnayak


PLUS: My Favourite Filmi Ma KIRRON KHER because she´s AWESOME, warm and just like my real Maa.:) (It´s not really a Maa-Song but Kirron Kher is in it and she´s playing a Maa, so):

5. "Morey Piya" from Devdas




Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Happy B-Day To The Charming "Sharmer" Of Bollywood: Anushka Sharma

Sorry for the bad wordplay. I had a stressful day.


Anushka Sharma started her career with the biggest chance that you can get as a newcomer in Bollywood: She was the heroine in a YashRaj movie directed by Aditya Chopra starring opposite Shah Rukh Khan. It couldn´t get better for a more or less unknown girl from Bangalore. The movie went on to become a blockbuster and Anushka disappeared for almost two years. She starred in two movies in between, called Badmaash Company and Patiala House who were actually not such bad movies and while critics praised Anushka´s performance, both movies somehow didn´t click with the audience.

Then came Band Baaja Baaraat, starring Anushka, an "almost forgotten" actress and Ranveer Singh, a total newcomer. No one believed that BBB would be a success but the movie became a hit with the masses and vaulted Anushka to new fame. Playing an ordinary punjabi girl who starts her own business and falls in love with her partner, Anushka once again proved that she is an actress, not just a pretty face with a modelling background and that she is a star that has to be reckoned with.


Anushka in "Baari Barsi" from BBB, charming not only Ranveer Singh but also me, the audience and EVERYONE ELSE IN THE WORLD. How can you not love her?

Her next movie was Ladies Vs. Ricky Bahl, a con movie, where Anushka plays a sales girl/con artist who - how else could it be - get "conned by her own heart". The movie in itself is, again, not really good but Anushka is marvellous. (Yes, I actually used the word "marvellous"! Am I not oldfashioned?) She (and the other three ladies) was the one who kept me watching despite the rather bland story and lame hero.

I said before that when I saw Anushka for the first time in Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, I was rather disappointed. But then I got over my superficial attitude and saw that Anushka is not only really, really beautiful but also a really good actress. From all the Sonams, Deepikas and Katrinas, Anushka got the talent and the charisma to become a really big star that will be remembered not only for her item songs but for her acting talent. (Nothing against Helen, but NO ONE can be compared to Helen! (Or Mumaith, for that matter)).

 In RNBDJ as the lovely Taani-Partner.

Being only five movies old, Anushka is already better than some (the most) of her contemporaries and there is only way to improve. Her upcoming movies are Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola, with Imran Khan as her co-star (hopefully Imran´s role is not that big) and the untitled movie of Yash Chopra where she once again stars opposite Shah Rukh and (*big resigned sigh*) Katrina Kaif. (One can only hope that the movie is about two sisters who, although estranged from each other, re-unite while searching for her long-lost father. My God, that would be AWESOME! It could be all ZNMD with all the beautiful tourist scenery (England, this time) and Baghwati making a reappearance on Kat´s arm!).

"What Two Girls Want". Directed by Yash Chopra. Just imagine.
But, no matter how these movies will turn out, I have real trust in Anushka (even if that sounds totally cheesy) because she is... SEEMS to be a girl with a good head on her shoulders who, despite having a successful modelling career and several movie hits behind her back, is still an ordinary, nice girl from Bangalore. (Wait... Bangalore? But isn´t Bangalore like, in KARNATAKA? But that means that Anushka´s actually from the SOUTH! OMG! Anushka, why haven´t you starred in some southie movies yet? I want to see you in a half-saree opposite...well.. who actually? I´m not that fluent in Kannada movies... Suggestions?

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Bunny, Happy Easter!

I think it must be more than coincidence that Bunny´s birthday falls together with this year´s Easter. I think it´s fate actually, the universe wanting to make us Bunny fans happy. So: 
HAPPY BIRTHDAY HONEY BUNNY!

(This is how I see Allu Arjun in my imagination.)
Bunny puttinaroju inadu! Today is Bunny´s birthday! (Or at least Google translate tells me that that´s the meaning of it). Bunny was one of my first Telugu darlings. I have seen some of Sid´s movies before but somehow it didn´t sparkle between us. Then I saw MAGADHEERA and Cherry´s charisma just blew me away. When I did a little bit on wikipedia research on him I found out that Bunny is Cherry´s cousin and because his movies are the ones that are most available on youtube and because I thought that the charms run probably in the family I thought I could give it a shot with Arya 2. Okay... so the plot was really wacky and I was outraged at the treatment of Geeta but I thought that OMFG ALLU ARJUN IS THE CUTEST THING I EVER SAW.

My Bunny-Crazy-Phase did slow down now a bit (I´m more in the Mr. Manly-Man-Chest-Hair-Moustache-And-Macho department of a certain Young Rebel Star but the two things that always draw me back to Arjun are THE MOST AWESOMEST DANCING SKILLS EVER and the teeny tiny fact that out of all the Telugu heroes out there I boldly state that Allu Arjun is the best of them in terms of acting. I compared Bunny to Hrithik Roshan before because I really think that they are completetely alike when it comes to complete dedication to their projects. Like Hrithik, Bunny gives his everything. He believes. He is a perfectionist when it comes to his dancing abilities, to his style (after all, the title of a "Stylish Star" doesn´t come out of nowhere) and to the portrayal of his role.

(And this is how he really looks like.)
And although he might be subscribed to play roles of the Stalking-Loverboy more than once, he also isn´t afraid of trying out more complex characters like psychopatic (yet SO lovable) Arya of Arya 2 or Cable Raju in Vedam (which I finally, FINALLY saw! And he was just SO GOOD in it), a conflicted temple guardian in Badrinath or even the traditional Sandy of Varudu. (Which for me is actually like an extended Allu Arjun wedding video, I truly believe that this movie was made for the one and only purpose of getting Bunny´s audience used to the fact that he is married now).  It might succeed or fail but Bunny really tries.

His gorgeous looks are of course a small detail that cannot be forgotten and because Bunny too seems to be really proud of his body. (And is more than willing to show it off in various movies). He doesn´t mind to be objectified. (OR at least I hope so because all the drooling is something he just could not NOT notice)...

I didn´t see many of Bunny´s interviews because I don´t understand Telugu and it just annoys me to hear him speak but not being able to understand the words. But the same energetic persona that comes across in his movies is also palpable in his interviews. He seems to be a rather easy-going kind of guy who will always be at the centre of attention. I bet Bunny would be real fun to party with. And you will never be embarrassed to be with him at the dance floor. (Or maybe you will, because he will be just so much better than you).


That´s why you can never really go wrong with Honey Bunny. Because if he´s good than he´s really good. And if not, he will at least entertain you with his dancing.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Oh My FRIEND (Telugu, 2011)


Poor Siddhu. He can never get it right. No matter what movie he´s in, HIS HAIR IS ALWAYS WRONG. This time it´s in his face. When I started watching Oh My Friend and they showed Sid for the first time, I burst out laughing. Sadly, I was drinking a glass of orange juice. My poor notebook, all the things it´s been through by now, it should start its own blog...

Anyways, like every other good Tollywood movie, OMF starts with a flashback. Little Chandu and Little Siri go through the initial I-Don´t-Like-You-And-Will-Steal-Your-Dolls-phase like all of us but it all gets sorted out after wining a contest together and becoming Best Friends Forever And Ever.

Some ten years later and we find Siri and Chandu still being friends and Chandu sporting some very good goatee-free hairstyles. (Apparently becoming involved in the music business does bad things to your common sense concerning facial hair). Despite their progressed age of some 20-22 years, Siri-Chandu still behave like kids, spending every minute of their available free time with each other. Because their relationship is of the very affectionate and touchy-feely type of occasional physical abuse, people around them are tending to think that Siri-Chandu are more than just friends. (Considering the amount of chemistry Siddhu and Shruti share, I must say, I´m not surprised). But to everyones surprise, Siri already has a boyfriend who although currently MIA, is still very much in contact with her through the helpful tools of internet and mobile phone.

Together and very, very cute.
Chandu too couldn´t care less about the charms of his pretty friend and early in the movie he meets Reetu, a shockingly NOT obnoxious Hansika Motwani. He falls in love immediately and after some help by his BFF, he finds Reetu working as the most clueless salesgirl in the entire history at a local book store. Not minding her apparent ignorance concerning the world´s most important invention, he pursues her like every other good and proper Tollywood hero through plain stalking, until she finally falls in love with him and they begin a relationship where he teaches her about the important task of decision making.

Spending his entire time now with Reetu, Siri understandably feels neglected and decides to go to Chennai for some dance internship. Chandu rushes to stop her and they finally come to terms about the priorities in their lifes. That means, although having different partners, their friendship should always come first. Hm. I wonder how that´s supposed to work out. Of course, such peace and harmony that early in a movie cannot last long and still at the same spot, Siri´s boyfriend, who is none other than a really good-looking Navdeep, shows up and ruines... everything?

The entire conflict of the movie is whether Hansika finally decides to eat Siddhu who has a great resemblance to candy. E.g. sweet and addictive.
OMF really showed me how much I am influenced by having watched hundreds of romantic comedies in my life. Especially the ones that are about a couple who starts out as friends. You just KNOW that they will come together at the end. And when I put OMF in my DVD player, blissfully unaware about the film´s plot and ending, I expected a pretty predictable movie where not the plot matters but the performances and the chemistry between the main characters. But, and HERE COMES THE SPOILER: although the chemistry is very much there, you should NOT expect the two leads to come together. Through the whole time I was watching, I was waiting for Siri and Chandu to develop feelings for eachother. With only ten minutes left, I was literally talking with the movie telling it that it should better hurry up now or I will have to deal with a VERY rushed ending. (Which I really don´t like).

I must admit, at first I felt a little cheated, after all I invested a lot in my (now I know) imagined relationship between Siri and Chandu, rooting for them and treating Hansika and Navdeep as a plot device of keeping them apart and not as the actual love interests. But then I thought about it and realised that nowhere in the film is it alluded to a possible romance between them. It´s just me with my imagination ful of rom-coms à la Hollywood where the two leads ALWAYS come together at the end. (Katherine Heigl or Jennifer Aniston anyone?)

Nevertheless I had a very good time. All of the four protagonists deliver pretty well, with Sid and Shruti shining through. I must admit I fell in love with Shruti Hassan, who is not only very pretty in a rather unconventional way but who did an awesome job portraying the independent and willful Siri. The only thing that bothered me was that when Siri is about to go to Chennai for that dance thing, something she has been waiting for for three years, she immediately gives it up when Navdeep arrives. I understand that in terms of narration it wouldn´t make a lot of sense to let Siri go away for such a long time but it seemed out of character to me.

She was just SO COOL.
Siddharth does his usual thing, his chemistry with Shruti made me wonder if there is really something about the rumors. His character is designed as an aspiring musician but I never got the "musical artist" vibe from Chandu especially since his musical ambitions seemed to come and go. For example to serve as a convenient excuse to let Sid have a Rock On! inspired stage song complete with band and cheering audience and the most stupid lyrics EVER. I was a little disappointed that the conflict with his disapproving father got solved so easily, I was expecting that the constant belittling of his success would have Chandu explode one day and lead into a heated argument but it didn´t seem to have any lasting effect on him whatsoever. That was a wasted storyline.

Hansika and Navdeep are okay with what little they are given. This was my third adventure with Navdeep as secondary hero and I must say he gets better and better. I was horribly anxious when Hansika got introduced by a shot of her cleavage, that she would be as unbearable as in the one where Bunny is just Superhot and Supersexy but she was actually okay and didn´t annoy me as half as I feared. Seemingly gaining a little weight and dying your hair does have an effect on acting abilities.

I can´t remember but two of the songs which is a clear sign that I didn´t like them much considering I saw the movie only a week ago. But the two which are good are VERY VERY good. I liked that the movie based them in Hyderabad rather than setting them in an imagined dream world because it gave the movie a very grounded and realistic touch. It gave me the feeling of watching the "real" Hyderabad, showing not only the well known land marks but simple streets and shops and people.


In the beginning the movie asks the question whether a boy and a girl can be friends forever. I, in my western approach, would say of course, I have a lot of male friends whom I never shared romantic feelings with. But I don´t have any idea of how the society in India handles those things. If I would believe the movie than yes, boy and girl cannot be friends if they are above a certain age. Everyone around Siri and Chandu seems to have a problem with their relationship, be it parents, lovers or strangers. Everyone thinks that they have to be in love. This made me wonder if this was a realistic portrayal of these things. I just cannot believe that girls and guys cannot be friends in India especially in a westernized and educated environment like modern-day Hyderabad. It would be nice to have a little clarity on that.

Out of Siddharth´s latest movies I would say that this is one of his better efforts, with a Shruti Hassan to adore, good supporting cast and a story that if not new, is at least fresh in its approach. There is plenty to look at and the songs are...okay so I would say that´s definitely a rewatch.





Wednesday, April 4, 2012

I Should So Have Been Born In Switzerland - Mujhse Dosti Karoge (Hindi, 2002)

In the recent times I am experiencing a feeling of nostalgia towards things like this:


Which is really weird since, when this kind of movies were made, a) I wasn´t old enough to be interested and b) I didn´t even know that such a thing as Bollywood the Hindi Film Industry exists. My interest in Indian movies started only a couple of years ago which makes my nostalgic feelings towards movies like KKHH, Yes Boss and even HAHK rather strange. Also, the main part of the Indian films I have seen, consists of movies made post the year 2000. But after watching movies like Ra.One, Mere Brother Ki Dulhan, The Dirty Picture and Rockstar I have the feeling that something is amiss. In no way am I saying that these movies were not good (well, Ra.One maybe was). Rockstar is still in my head, having twisted around my heart never to let go again and becoming one of my favourites this year (or last year actually, but it´s somehow still 2011 in my head) but that´s not the Bollywood I was used too. I am really curious as where this development is going to (just hoping that they will never let go of the songs because then you have lost me), observing it with a laughing and a crying eye, sometimes a little angry even but nevertheless excited and happy to the heavens when they do things right. (Like Rockstar, I cannot stress that enough.) But sometimes I miss a little the melodrama, singing songs in Switzerland kind of "Bollywood" I learned to know and love.

Therefore I watched something that is the epitome of comfort food in Hindi Cinema: Mujhse Dosti Karoge which has been made only to make me a little yellow ball of sugar and honey while crying my heart out at the end. So much drama! So much tears! The movie is packed with songs! There is even emotional angst and tormented lovers kept apart by selfless sacrifice. E.g. AWESOME.

Even Bebo is pleased.
MDK starts 10 years ago with a flashback at (where else?) a train station where we meet the three protagonists: Raj, Tina and Pooja. Raj is despite his young age very much in love with Tina whereas she couldn´t care less while stupid Raj doesn´t realise that there is someone who would give her everything for just one touch of his double-thumbed right hand: Pooja. Kudos to the director for establishing most of the story after only a few minutes. (And points to the casting department for finally managing to make the child actors at least a little resembling the adult actors.)

Alas, Raj is about to depart for England with his parents because apparently Raj´s father just discovered the internet and wants to become a billionaire by selling... porn stuff.  Oh the times where internet was THE NEXT BIG THING and not something some politicians try to shut down because of privacy issues... Where have you gone by?

10 years later and we meet Raj again who has now become Hrithik Roshan and grown an extra thumb. (I just find it hilarious that NOBODY EVER mentions it in Hrithik´s movies.) Hrithik of course is introduced to us by a song because really: How appropriate is it to introduce Hrithik Roshan through a song? Dancing? Because we all know Hrithik Roshan is like the "Bunny" of Bollywood (or is the other way round? Bunny is like Hrithik? Or both: Brithik? Or Hunny maybe? Namely: Mr. Dancing-Superstar-McAwesome. And dreamy. Who could forget the dreaminess?

Oh and those eyes... McDreamy in person. Seriously, I would love to see Hrithik as Derek in an Indian version of Grey´s Anatomy.
Raj wants to meet Tina again and is totally excited, singing songs about it in London and knocking phone booths down and generally being in the ususal Oh-I-Don´t-Know-You-At-All-Actually-But-I-Just-Know-That-You´re-The-One-mode of filmi heroes at the beginning of a movie. You see, Raj believes that he and Tina were emailing eachother the whole ten years whereas in truth he was emailing POOJA who in turn has been writing him under the false identity of TINA! OH NO!

Back in India Pooja is slightly distraught about the possible showdown at the train station when Raj finds out about her lying to him but he tells her not to worry because his heart will recognise her. Of course, dude, whatever you say. When they meet again, Raj, as a guy, doesn´t recognise Pooja at all and goes straight to Tina because she is SO PRETTY, she HAS to be the one having written him those emails the whole time. (And whoever thought that Bebo is prettier than Rani should go straight back to the corner because they didn´t even try to make her uglier!) Pooja is heartbroken but goes along with it because she´s an angel and doesn´t want to ruin Tina´s flirty times with Raj.

"And Tina´s looks make it PERFECT!" *Ugh. Steps inside the movie to slap Raj in the face*



After some heart-wrenching scenes involving Raj wooing Tina, being insensitive to Pooja and a hilarious song where Bebo wears ponytails and a jeans overall, Raj returns to London, after getting engaged to Tina. Still blissfully unaware about the whole Tina-Is-Pooja-Is-Tina-Is-Pooja-thing, he meets... Pooja, who´s in London for applying to some colleges. They spend some cutesy times together, Raj makes this face:


And after going to the church Raj finds out that... you can never trust the internet because it lies. In other words, he finds out the truth. Now, WHAT TO DO? Raj and Pooja have some minor relationship crisis for a few seconds but then Raj sings a song and they make love in Switzerland so now of course there is NO OTHER OPTION then just go straight back to India and spill the beans to their respective families. Everything could be love, peace and harmony but back in India "Rooja" finds out that something terrible happened! You want to know what? Are you rooting for "Rooja" and want to see if there´s a Happy End? Well, then go, watch the movie ASAP because it´s really worth it.

But beware because you will see this face more often now.
Back in 2002 when the movie was released it flopped horribly due to overhyping the promotions but that really shouldn´t hold you back of watching it. All of the three protagonists deliver a great job and have plenty of scenes where they are actually together. Hrithik is perfect at playing tormented characters, he really should do that more often. Although Raj is being sometimes a jerk, Hrithik makes you understand Raj´s actions because he shows the vulnerability and the insecurity his charcter is going through. Rani is perfect, I´m sorry I´m not a good judge to her acting, because honestly I´ve yet have to find a flaw in it and Bebo is just Bebo, that is ADORABLE AND AWESOME.


How can you not love her?
The songs tend to rather grow on you than liking it on first hearing but they fit perfectly into the movie with its "Aaaah.. aaahh-Choires" (you know exactly what I mean) and the singing voices of Udit Narayan and The Good Old Lata Mangeshkar. (The only exception of course being THE Medley which makes my cry so much EVERY F**ING TIME.

And once Hrithik starts singing "Kaho Naa... Pyaar hai" I can´t hold back a very gleeful grin.
Like I said in my KKHH review this is a movie that doesn´t win you over with the cinematography or the costumes or the Oh-So-Totally-Original-story but with its heart. It is sugarcoated, ful on melodrama but genuine and sweet. It´s about love and what you go through when you´re in love. Exaggerated, of course, and clichéd but nevertheless entertaining. And that´s what I want from a movie: it should be emotionally satisfying, make me cry and laugh, make me to be engrossed in the characters and to escape my everyday life for a few hours. I couldn´care less about realistic. And I think that the kind of movies like MDK and Yes Boss managed that in the best way possible which not so many of this so called "new age" Bollywood movies do. At least not or me. And that is the reason why I tend to get nostalgic from time to time, I think. (Which doesn´t mean that there aren´t exceptions. Yesterday, thanks to Filmi Girl, I watched Mujhse Fraaandship Karoge (Title coincidence? I don´t think so) which was "modern" Bollywood in every way but still had the same genuine Squishy Dil and emotionally satisfying impact that MDK has.

So the movie which I actually didn´t like much when watching it for the first time (WAY early in my Bollywood History) has now become a favourite. And what´s not to like? There are nice songs, nice acting, Bebo and Hrithik being dorks (that would NEVER happen today!) and Rani. And it´s so heartwarmingly, unapologetically sweet that after watching it you will feel the unexplicable urge to hug the whole world.