October 27, 2006

Aap Ki Khatir - nah, sirf Beth ki khatir

I sat through it only for Beth and her FPMBF. Otherwise this film would have gone straight out of the window after the first 30 minutes. It really is that bad.

Girl takes escort along to her sisters wedding to have him pretend to be her boyfriend. Husband-to-be´s best friend is Ex of girl whom she wants back. Turns out Ex also had something with sister. And Ex still wants sister, not girl. Oh and surprise, hired escort falls in love with girl. Some attempts at drama (Not working) Some attempts at comedy (Didn´t get it) Film khatm (Thank god).
The story is weak to begin with and editing kills the rest.
The ONLY thing that is worth watching is Akshaye Khanna. Neither Priyanka Chopra, nor Dino Morea, nor Suniel Shetty, nor Anupam Kher and for sure not Amisha Patel offer anything worthwhile. So here, for your convenience the parts you´re missing if you (please) don´t watch this film.

Amused because Priyanka does amusing things

Confused because Priyanka behaves confusing

Sad because Priyanka made him sad

Drunk and laughing because he can.

tsk, tsk, the things you do for friends....

October 26, 2006

Namak Halaal - Much Ado About Much

The concept of first aid is something that is hurtfully missing in many a Bollywood movie. Well I´m used now to weeping hysterical spouses holding their dying dear ones, doing nothing to stop them bleeding to death, but this takes the cake.

Standing beside this fatally wounded woman, holding the kid she brought not caring for herself and not even one ounce of helpfulness . Yah, yah, I know, she´s only a woman and a servant too but, hey, a little concern maybe? Just for show?
But don´t bother with her or him, we´re not even through the credits yet. Lets start at the beginning. Hotel tycoon and his sort of bodygard are killed on account of evil (wig wearing - whatelse?) goon. Both have sons and bodyguard even has wife (Waheeda Rehman), whom, as dying wish, he orders to raise tycoons brat as her own and leave own flesh and blood at granddads´. Since its a dying wish an´all she does as commanded, gets insulted by granddad for the death of her husband (WTF?) and promises never to contact her son again. But of course twenty years later we have Arjun and Raja crossing paths as Amitabh Bachchan and Shashi Kapoor. AB 1.0 who grew up to be a very tall baby
, is sent to town by his granddad to finally become a man and maybe find a wife while he´s at it.

Shashi grew up in boarding schools in Europe and only returns to India when his sking trip goes sour as as somebody tries to kill him.

So he goes back to find out if his foster mum really is after his life and money. And meets Arjun who coincidentally got a job in his hotel (Mumbai is not that big yet it seems), after delivering a fantastic monologue in English. Now there we have Arjun, his mummy (both blissfully ignorant of each other), Raja, of course the evil guys and, since we need girls too, a dancer (Parveen Babi) with an agenda and Poonam (beautiful Smita Patil), another ladki who works at the hotel, all in the same proximity.

Poonam who is a real nice girl gets Arjun and a great rain song. Nisha, the dancer, is after Shashi using the hotels fancy nightclub and some psychodelic SFX as glittery backdrop for her chase.

And it gets dramatic and crowded and, not to forget, hilariously funny. There are incredibly cool oneliners, fights, emotional moments. The full masala works.

Its the early 80ies so we´re at the border of still funky settings and first attempts at real cheesy clothes. And even though Shashi gets to play a real cool dude, its AB 1.0 who captures the limelight goofing around. Like so, for example:
(Sorry couldn´t get a better screen cap)

I couldn´t stop myself from laughing out loud often and giggeling most through the film. Its a classic. If you haven´t seen it. Do.

P.S: I´ve found another Bluffmaster! reference. When AB1.0 pretends to strike a deal with the bad guy, he, while chewing paan, wants "fifty/fifty". AB 2.0 almost copies that 1:1 when he negoiates with Nana about the price for the stolen juwelry.

Aahista Aahista - Zzzhhh....

After a 200mph day at the office today I could not think of any other movie then Aahista Aahista to watch. If a movie title translates into "gradually" or "unhurried" then that is exactly the tempo I was looking for tonight.
Little did I know that in this case it also meant comatose. I have never witnessed so many breaks in one conversation. Meri matlab: One sentence. Pause. Another sentence. Frown. Pause. Gesture. Pause. Sad face. Pause. Now how´s thats for slow?

And then again, it is a sweet movie with endearing characters and wonderful unpretentious people you instantly like. And Dehli as wonderful backdrop on top of it.

Ankush is making a living by acting as witness at a marriage registrar office in Delhi. One day he meets Megha. Uski pas ek choti problem hai. She ran away from home to get married to Deeraj who just doesn´t show up. So the small town girl is all alone and totally broke in the big city. Ankush, being a nice guy, takes care of her and helps her getting a job and a place to live. And in return aahista aahista falls in love with the girl. But then after 2 months when everything looks bilkul accha Deeraj appears looking for Megha all of a sudden.

I have a new favorite Deol (apart from Dharmendra of course): Abhay. The cousin of Bobby and Sunny. He has huge *sigh* potential. You have to see it to believe it. And Soha Ali Khan is perfect for the sweet girl part. Perfectly unglamourous.

I just wished all of you would be able to read German. Marco´s review of Aahista Aahista is so dead on.

October 25, 2006

Musafir - now thats my boy

Why do I watch Sanjay Gupta Films? His obsession with color filters really is hurting ones eyes. And, he´s not the most innovative storyteller out there [/sarcasm]. There´s got to be a reason I watched most of his films yet. Ahh right, there´s this one actor who acts in many of his films.

Sanjay, mera FPMEMA. Playing Billo, a real bad-ass of a bhai with a faible for filmi dialogs and sharp sideburns. A little heavy on the gold teeth though but then again all the cool Sanjay traits are there: the walk, the talk, he even gets to sing himself. But he´s not all that finally made me watch Musafir. I also got Anil Kapoor looking very stylish. In fact his most stylish ever (If you dont take Mr. India into account)
And Anil is the main character here. Lucky, a conman who is in serious trouble. His latest conjob went very sour. They stole from Billo, one really mean Bhai and so Lucky sees his crew heavily decimated and since Anil´s girl went running with the money he is not even in a position to negotiate. His last chance is a job that Billo offers. Take a bag down to Goa and bring back another one to Mumbai. Should be easy.

But of course it isn´t. There are some not so nice people down there, like this rather annoying policewala or the husband of Sam, who wants to strike a not so nice deal with Lucky. So a lot of trouble until the final showdown.

After all the romance/drama films of the last weeks I enjoyed watching a movie with lots of bullets and gory fights. Even if the movie sometimes leaned heavily towards a male fantasy GQ video for the female characters (skimpy dressed ladki shampooing the hero´s car anyone?)
P.S.: I really want to be able to play with Billo´s butterfly knife the way he does.

October 24, 2006

Pyaar Ke Side Effects - Ik hou van jou ?!?

I need to start to actually read the descriptions of the DVDs I plan to purchase. Such. And stop being greedy. When I read that bollydvd.net had the Eros DVD of Pyaar Ke Side Effects for under 10€ I ordered it immediatly. Lekin ek choti problem hai. As I unpack the DVD I am instantly confused. The movie is titled "Bijwerkingen Van Liefde". WTF? I put it in the DVD drive and Uarghh! Its PKSE but with Dutch subtitles as only option. Nahiiiiin. Not this movie. I was so looking forward to it. Ok. Take a deep breath and think girl. Your Hindi is about the lower mediocre level yet, and Dutch is a language thats pretty closely related to German (think Hindi and Punjabi with the same script). Ok. Lets try it.

Sid is a DJ in Delhi. During one not so cool job at a wedding he meets Trisha, the bride who gets very cold feet and runs. Some time later they meet again in Mumbai and fall in love. Being a great couple and getting along really well, one day Trisha (!) proposes to Sid who in stereotypical male manner panics. His fear of the shackles of being a husband
(and really not being helped by his friends)

leads to serious trouble in the house and since he is genuinely stupid he says yes when he still means no. And then ruins everything. We get a "Meet The Parents" moment with Trisha´s dad and in fact he all over acts like a jerk. So much that the engagement breaks. And Sid, obviously to late, finds out that a married life with Trisha is not as bad an idea as he thought in the beginning.

A simple, has been there (at least in western cinema) story. But we have something that your average movie does not have. Sid is played by Rahul "I loved him in Chameli and Mr&Mrs Iyer and he can do no wrong in my eyes" Bose and Mallika "I am very curious about you girl" Sherawat. An interesting pairing. With a great chemistry.
Rahul is cool as always. I want to see much more of him and I´m don´t care whether its mainstream or arthouse btw.

And then there is Mallika. So far I only knew her through the gossip pages. Then there were some reviews of her movies that said behind the sexbomb image was actually an nice actress and finally a (female) friend who met her at a party and told me that she was fun and down to earth in "real" life. So, very curious. And she is nice here. Really funny and sweet. No Meryl Streep but hey who is?

Some factoids that I really liked:
- Mallika is taller then Rahul and nobody cared or mentioned it.
- I love it when Sid talks straight into the camera.
- I dreaded the "My Way" cover song (which I hated on my Pyaar Ki Ek Kahani Song DVD) lekin song actually acchaa hai.
- the song Sid has to play 15 times at the wedding job where he meets Trisha for the first time is "Sajna Ve Sajna" from Chameli and he hates playing it
- the supporting cast e.g. Suchitra Pillai-Malik "me or them" Priya from DCH

PKSE is not perfect but its makes for a nice evening. Watch it.

P.S: "Ik hou van jou" means "l love you" in Dutch and "Bijwerkingen Van Liefde" is simply "Pyaar Ke Side Effects"

October 22, 2006

KANK - the ultimate spoiler review because I can

Well, the verdict is in and the tissues are still in the box.

As I feel I am the last person on this planet who had not seen KANK, I will write this post assuming that anybody who reads this post has seen it. So again: Warning major spoilers ahead!

In KANK we have two married couples who are totally wrong for each other. So wrong in fact, that from the beginning you want to shout: "End it. Chor do unhe. You are doomed trying to make these marriages work. Why, oh why did you get married in the first place?" So it is totally understandable and, whats more important for me, even acceptable that the two most unhappy characters who, thanx to the screenwriters grace, seem to unterstand each other perfectly, start having an affair. And while we see this story unfold we are treated/forced to all kind of stuff happening and meet various people. Or don´t meet, like him:

The movies biggest problem. The screenplay. Its just not good. No I don´t mean in the way that the story would not work. It does, but it is stale and so nothing new. Almost every twist and turn has been there, and thats not the innovative movie we were sold. And now don´t tell me its new for Hindi movies. The look, feel and language that Karan tried to give the film is aiming at Hollywood so its very well that I compare KANK to that.
Marco is dead on in his review if he hopes that the writer will not be allowed near any Bollywood production in the future. She resorts to using (too) well known bits from movie history as patches whenever the writing would actually need some storytelling skills. Like the "black beast" thing for example. So much precious screentime wasted only to get an excuse to have Maya and Dev meet again. The Central park TV crews, the super annoying nurse. And that is a big pity as we are at a vital point in the story, which now serves as a very weak foundation for the whole film. And there are more of these band-aids because each "coincidence" needs another one only to justify its existence.

Two more things that really ticked me off:
The background score. The Swan Lake music in the ballet scene sucks big time. The synthie violins sound so incredibly cheap and spoiled the whole scene. We call that "italian porn music". Pathetic. Don´t tell me there was no budget left to get the rights to one of the countless real orchestra recordings.
Another thing, did you notice that Karan replaced the annoying thunder of K3G with the irritating "woosh" sounds and the overindulgence of whiteouts in editing? And don´t let me start on that stupid stupid visual/audio editing echos, like "I love you, Maja...I love you, Maja...I love you, Maja..."

Sorry had to get that of my chest and yes, thank you, I now feel better for it.

But I did not hate the movie. It´ s just... C´mon here´s a freaking Dharma Production. I know they are able do to stuff like Kaal but this is a KJ movie he supposedly worked on for the last 5 years. So I´m intitled to expect better. Bas.

As for the stuff I liked and I really did like quite a bit. Its bits and pieces. Like the cast. They make whatever is possible out of such a weak written script.

The male characters. Even sexy Sam in spite of being wasted mostly storywise. AB 1.0 does not get much place to shine but some stuff he says made me laugh out loud. My favorite quote is from the toystore scene:
"Dad...what did you have for breakfast?! I don´t know, I don´t remember her name".
Plus actually all his scenes with Kiron Kher.

AB 2.0. Yup Rishi is the guy. Now thats husband material. I would not even mind his tendency for extreme fainting. And he got the best temper tantrums (probably the only reason at the moment to look forward to Sarkar 2)

I like Dev. Grumpy ol´bat he is. You know the one person Dev really should be pissed at? His surgeon. In this day and age and with his social standing and financial background I just cannot imagine that even after 7 years he still is not able to kneel without immense pain.

And both wifes are stupid and so selfish I wanted to kick them. Especially Maja. Might have to do with my not so being the hugest Rani fan out there, but I thought she was the most selfish, most cowardly, most dishonest of the four.

Some things though KJ did get right. Like the staging of "Where´s the party tonight". Or Maja and Dev not falling straight into their arms after being kicked out by their spouses. Or the way the two fights evolved after the anniversery dinner.
And the "thats why I do love SRK" visuals like that:

or that:

You also can always count on KJ for a bunch of cameos like Kajol, John Abraham aur woh mobile phone larka. And of course Totally Basmatic, our very own continuity error here and here

So, that bad? Naa, not really. Disappointing? Not after all the reviews and reports I read before hand. A good movie? An ok one. Care to give a KJ films ranking? Hmm difficult. K3G holds a special place in my heart as it hooked me on Bollywood movies. KKHH just never clicked big time with me. And I really can´t say where KANK fits in. But I still have hope for the ultimate KJ film. A little less self-enamored directing. A bit flashier editing and a better script and dialogue writer and I´ll cry my heart out next time. Meri shaadi ki kasam.

October 20, 2006

Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna - Yay, its emotional manipulation time!

Ughh, finally. The German-speaking area really missed out this time. We´re probably the last region on this earth apart from North-Korea that did not have KANK in cinemas up to now. In fact the German cinema release is only next friday and here in Austria the plan is a release as late as X-mas!
So I really feel left out. But yesterday thanx to Nehaflix I finally got the DVD and now I´m prepearing for an evening with a loooong movie and the ABs and SRK and the girls. Not that I am not already fully spoilered. But still I´ve got my tissues ready, so I´m all set to go. Catch you later.

October 19, 2006

Pammal K. Sambandam aka Brahmachary

Its already two weeks ago that Michael and S. from Bollywoodblog.de were in town and curious ladki that I am I invited them over and we had a great evening. Being the perfect guests they not only came with a bottle of red but also with two Telugu DVD´s. Oh I love getting presents. The first one made for a perfect sunday afternoon timepass.

Brahmachary the Telegu dubbed version of Pammal K. Sambandam. With Kamal Hassan, Simran and Sneha.

Kamal is PKS, a stuntman who is dead set against anything concerning shaadi. But then a guy looking and acting like that is not much of shaadi material anyway.

Simran is a doctor who, if not totally being against the institution of marriage has a rather feminist outlook on the roles in a marriage.
Unwillingly on both sides they help a young couple to elope and due to their "good" advice on how to get the upper hand in the new marriage a) get in their way constantly and b) drive the couple so far apart that they separate.
They lovers unite later in the movie but the main focus is of course on Kamal and Simran who can´t stand the sight of each other. Uh-oh looks like we might have two lovebirds in the making here. Duh-uh.

When I read the story outline on the DVD I felt, lets say, a bit uneasy. As it said something along the line of Simran playing a doctor who has to operate Kamal after he has an accident (which was her fault btw) and looses/forgets her wristwatch in his stomach! Autch. So she tries to get him back on the operation table as a) its not that healthy for Kamal and b) her reputation was on the line. Care to share the uneasy feeling?
Well Kamal has no interest in going back to the hospital and so Simran has to resort to acting like she was head over heals in love with PKS to get close enough to him to drug him and drag him back to get the bloody watch out.

At first Kamal of course does not know what hit him but after one or two nicely shot songs Simrans con-job works and she finds herself engaged with all bells and whistles to a deeply in love Kamal.

That the story cannot end here is clear. Simran is not yet really in love with PKS and after the operation is over tells him so, which leads to some dramatic events in the story. Only to find out that she actually is in love now with him, when everything is really going bad for Kamal. So now he´s rather pissed. Oh, its a big mess. And since the movie is a comedy, we get a big, loud, hectic, masala climax.

You turn your back on them for just one minute...

...and you´re tagged. But I like it, as this is a great tag. One that I first read at Filmiholics´and instantly was intrigued by:

Which movie characters should have had blogs and in what ways would their blogs have changed the movie plots?

One group of blogs that popped up in my mind was that all those poor filmi-lovers whose parents were dead-set against their relationships could have used their blogs to connect and share tips.

Like Rahul and Anjali of K3G or Raj and Simran of DDLJ or Suhani and Aditja of Saathiya and Inderjit and Pallavi of Doli Saja Ke Rakhna or Siri and Santosh of NVNV.

So we could read stuff like tips on how to get on with life after you´ve been kicked out of the house, or how to avoid getting beaten up by overprotective relatives or maybe they could have used it to stay in contact with the family members who, apart from grumpy ol´dad, had no problem with the lovebirds decision.

Lets take K3G. Mom Raichand might have used the blog to secretly stay in contact with Rahul and Anjali and one day "accidently" might have forgotten to close the browser window in Dads homeoffice so Daddy Yash Raichand might have read how very well fitting for the family Anjali actually was and get over his attitude a bit faster then taking 10 years to do so. And we might have had the chance to not witness the whole Feather Poo and Pleather Rohan story...

Or Santosh in NVNV might have gotten some farming tips by readers to insure his victory and maybe have had some contact with Prem and Suman of Maine Pyaar Kya on what to do and not do. And be warned about the evil competitors and thus avoided the prison sentence...

Saathiya or Chalte Chalte are other examples. Having their own blog might have acted as some sort of marriage counseling for those couples because one of their readers might have commented on how stupid it is not to communicate (but then again we might not have seen the cool SRK cameo in Saathiya)

Well, you get the my point...

Btw. I´m back and I don´t ever want to leave again. *whine* As much fun as it was in Berlin and Munich (Yup, Sunday before we left Berlin we were ordered to a meeting in Munich on Tuesday) I really missed my Bollywood. So lets hope that this dryspell is over for good.

October 13, 2006

Short proof of life

I did mention that my big mouth got me into stuff that kept me away from Bollywood the last week. Well here just a short hello from Berlin for you to show you what I´ve been up to...

Yesterday I did something that I did not do for 15 years. Take a look:

more on the on the other blog when I´m back ;-)

EDIT 16/10/2006: I´m back. And yes, thats me on this stage singing some Rock tunes...


Another short note. I´ll be away again. This time in Munich for two days. And then I´ve had enough. Bas. Bilkul. Don´t wanna go no more.

October 10, 2006

I´ll be back, I promise

Sorry for not posting the last 10 days, but I got so much going on (in fact my big mouth got me in so much non blog-related work) that I don´t have the time to post. I´ll also be away in Berlin for the next 5 days so not much time for Bollywood until next week. Take care and see you all next week :-)