December 28, 2006

proof of life

Hi there,
A very late merry Christmas to all of you. I´m still alive, barely, it´s just that this years Christmas vacation turns out to be almost all work and no play. I´ve been acting the perfect bhabhi for the last 8 days - I don´t think I ever cooked that much food in my life and usually drop asleep face down every night.
But today we drove to Zurich, met
Marco, Sarkar and Nanndini. I love meeting the people behind the blogs and forumnicks. And afterwards I spent waaay to much money on Tamil DVDs. Love it. Got me some nice Surya, Simran, Jyothika and Bharath and tons - and with tons I mean 9 (nine!) Rajinikanth ones. Among others a movie with this scene

and Billa, the Rajini version of the (old) Don. Ohh. Can´t wait.

I will be back in Vienna on the 31st and having still one week with almost no office duty, all pending reviews will be coming up then.

December 18, 2006

Whoever said that...

...Christmas is the quiet tranquil time of the year? Well if you meet that person, give him a tight slap from me. I´ll be off for business to Munich tomorrow morning and after that will go right to first my parents home in Salzburg and after that to Switzerland on the 25th to visit my in-laws.
What keeps me going is the prospect of intense Tamil-DVD shopping in Zurich on the 28th (coffee anyone?) and that I should have web-access at all places I visit :-D

So sorry, for my unusual posting silence. Apart from watching Jaan-E-Mann, which deserves a looong insightful hyper review, twice, I had absolutely no time to see any new films. But I have high hopes that if not during my family vacations I´ll have plenty of time and space to watch and write after we return home.

Let me leave you for now with a screenshot very much describing my present state of mind.

P.S. I´ll don´t wish you merry Christmas just now. I now I will be back posting before that.

EDIT: What did I just say about quiet tranquil Christmas time? - 2 Minutes after I published this post the alarm in the office went off. And the stupid bugger who set it off did not call to tell it was a false alarm....Arrghhh.

December 13, 2006

Love Love Love - The Review

Autch, flashback. Bad one. Kyu? Movie starts with a Modern Talking song. And a disco. And bad 80ies clothes.

Reema (Juhi Chawla) is the sister of looser Mahesh and the girl friend of Vicky (Gulshan Grover), son of shehr ka baap Sudheerbhai. A rich, spoilt, good for nothing bunch of rich, spoilt, good for nothing ruffians. One day Amit (Aamir Khan) gets in their way, a nice, honest boy. Son of a nice, honest Taxiwala. And the rich, spoilt, good for etc bunch thrashes poor Amit and break his brand-spanking new bicycle.

Totally suprising destiny sends Reema and Amit on a mission together to participate in a quiz for their college. Ahhh. So sweet. And guess what, the tiny crush that Amit already has on Reema transforms into fullblown Love Love Love and since Reema is there as well she starts to Love, Lo.. but I keep repeating myself.

In good ol´filmi tradition eki choti problem hai. Shehr ka baap wants Reema to marry his son (since spoilt, rich, bla bla son always gets what he wants from his daddy)

and Reema´s dad thinks that is a very good idea. Especially after finding out that Amit is the mere son of a mere Taxiwala. So some death threats later, Amit leaves town and Reema is devastated. But then civil duty, a nice dose of courage and Love Love Love kick in and Amit and his dad pre-enact the Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge film title and Amit and Reema elope. And then a little more drama ensues and we get to the final battle. And some veeeery cool naqli khun. Oh for anyone who might be interested Reema´s dad sees the err in his ways and blesses the couple.

For other brilliant features of this film look at The Evidence post.
Btw. What is your take? I think it´s a sign. That is the second movie in a week with the hero on roller skates. Does that mean I might get to see D:2 still this year?

December 12, 2006

Still no review. But I have an excuse...

Yeh kya hai? Universe seems to gang up against my writing the Love Love Love review....
Today the 2-disc Don DVD came and with it the "Free Don Comic Book Inside!" and so I of course had to watch the Extras.
Verdict: the "Making of" is terrible. Extremely bad sound, totally lame framestory, bad encoding. Feels like a very cheap first year filmstudents project.
So not up to par with the rest of the DVDs. The deleted scenes are interesting if not too many. Especially one nice encounter between Vijay/Don and Malik. Then there are some Bloopers, the theatrical trailer and a very weird claptrack.
Not much but miles apart from the Jaan-E-Mann DVD that has no extras except for the Trailer. Sirish, I seriously think about pulling my (very few and thin) ropes to find out why there is not even one tiny making-of/behind the scenes on the DVD. If one movie´s "How they did it" interested me, then it was this.

As to the technical quality of the Don feature DVD. Top-notch. Just as RDB or Lakshya, a superb digital transfer. Why oh why did LRM not come out on UTV?

December 10, 2006

Love Love Love - The evidence

Beth´s post on Commando has a pic of Bob Christo and while watching Love Love Love tonight I saw this:

Btw. here Babbar Subash used (apart from Modern Talking, Pet Shop boys, CC Catch, George Michael and Chariots of Fire) the Imperial March and the Main Theme from the Star Wars score as well.

The rest of the Love Love Love review will be handed in tomorrow after I watched the Jaan-E-Mann DVD that came today (12/11/2006). But this was too cool to let pass.

Ek Aur Ek Gyarah - I did it! I finally did it!

I still can´t believe it. I finally watched my first Govinda movie. Somehow I (un)conciously managed to let this task slip by me up to now. Who am I kidding - I was scared. I´m pretty picky with comedy. Especially the loud in your face type is quite hard to digest. But now before the Bhagam Bhag and Salaam-E-Ishq releases, I figured it was high time to get myself aquainted with Chi Chi. And what can I say? 1+1=11 had me on a constant chuckle. It´s by no means a great movie. Sanjay and Govinda overdo pretty much everything and it is sure not David Dhawan´s best film, but then the whole package comes close to being that stupid that it´s fun again.

For those not in the know. 1+1=11 tells the story of two smalltime crooks who manage to get in the way of veeeery dangerous terrorists brothers Panther and Cobra. Fleeing from their wrath they encounter an Army Major who is on the hunt for those two evil guys and the super-modern-high-tech-gizmo-top-secret gun they stole from him. (Rightly so, if I might add. Jackie Shroff´s security and recovery methods are very sloppy to put it nicely)

Tara and Sitara - our heroes - manage to talk their way into the house and family of Major Singh and into the hearts of two rather airheady young girls. And then there is a lot of dancing and fast talking and masti and a pint of drama-ish happenings and one very bad (had me almost fall from the couch from laughing) climax action scene.

So that´s that. Now for Govinda. So far I only knew him from various not so convincing Eros DVD filmi trailers and I could never make out any evidence as to why he had the success he obviously had in the 90ies. And still I have no idea if the act he does in Ek Aur Ek Gyarah is good, average or bad concerning his filmography. I can only judge him for this film - and I have to admit he´s got something. It´s not the dancing. That´s ok (for someone like me at least who belongs to the "dancing god = Hrithik" fraternity) But his comic timing and the fair amount of sweetness he displays really makes me entertain the notion to get more of his older films. Any suggestions?

December 07, 2006

Aa Gale Lag Jaa

Unmarried (through her dad´s evil intrigue) heroine gives birth to baby boy. Her father strikes a deal with doctor to tell daughter that baby is a stillborn. Baby is given to father of baby (who overhearing said conversation accidently finds out a: that he´s going to be a father, and b: what the evil dad is planning) provided that he will never reveal to anybody that this is in fact heroine´s and hero´s baby. So he tells everybody that it is an orphan he found in a temple. Mother of hero happens to walk into hospital room of grieving heroine with the baby in her arms. And being empathetic offers it to heroine as substitute for her "dead" baby. Evil father is cringing in his seat while watching unfolding scene. But can breathe easily again as heroine is thankful for the gesture but refuses the offer.
Perfect. Heartwrenching.

Even more perfect, as hero is Shashi Kapoor and heroine Sharmila Tagore.

I love Manmohan Desai´s lost-and-found masala film from the 70ies. Here it is poor boy and rich girl falling in love. First aid situation leads to steamy night. Boy and girl consent to shaadi. Her dad intervenes with forged letters and so they are seperated. Girl is pregnant and unhappy. Boy is lonely and unhappy. Hero makes something out of him teaching rollerskating to kids, teenagers and hip twens. And raises a great kid, who is is stricken by polio and thus has problems walking.

Little sweet fast talking boy meets his mom and likes her and tries to get his dad and the nice lady together. And in the course of doing so makes his grumpy granddad fall for him too. And there is also mom´s fiancé and a little sister and very fancy dressed bad boys and rollerskating and a game of musical chairs. And the coolest shirts and patterns.

Loved it. Cried a lot. Could be convinced to have a kid like that any time.

Oh. Rukh chao. I almost forgot the coolest thing. The red chawl-cap thingy. (Screencap will be added when I get home tonight. Suspense is mounting)
EDIT: here it is...

Fantabulous. Hai naa?

December 06, 2006

Don (new one) 2nd viewing liveblogging

A disclaimer at the beginning (for at least my Viennese BW-gang): Absolutely do not read this until you saw Don yourself. Sac!

I know it is ethically (and legally) not totally clean. Lekin meri bat sunie. A student came to me and gave me the DVD. Before that I was talking to my contact at the only possible Austrian distributor for Don and I was being told that there was no way they would ever get it, since Bollywood action movies won´t work here. Krrish bombed. Badly. So no chance to see it before the DVD is released internationally. But then I heard so much about it already. *whine* And a good friend of a very good friend was the production designer on Don. And most important my spine is made of Jello. The only thing that keeps me from being totally weight down with guilt is that I of course also already ordered the official release.
Enough of this now. Lets get to the point:

00:01:01 Did you know that they they planned to shot the Paris part in Vienna? Our local bureaucracy totally messed up. Thats why Farhan went to Paris. Grrr.
Oh and I so need Don´s ringtone. I have the phone. Now I need the ringtone. The "24" CTU-Jack Bauer-one I have is just not cool anymore.
00:03:04 Chunkey Panday .Yay! And yes, I also always liked me..

00:04:24 Yes, right into the face of that french chick. I mean what else to do if somebody says "Püt them üp" I wonder how it would have sounded had they really shot this here. "Poood sem aaap" maybe?

00:05:39 Don ko pakarna mushkil hi nahin namumkin hai *Whee!*

00:06:00 Credits are a bit trashy. I have some students who you might wanna talk to the next time, Farhan.
00:07:00 KL. Did you know that I have a recurring dream of me running through a very hilly (!) Kuala Lumpur trying to catch a glimpse of the Petronas towers before I have to get back on my flight to wherever?

Hehe. A Russian bad boy named Boris. How very cliché.

00:10:00 Autch. But I like the "terrible shoes" face.

00:11:20 And another cliché. Interpolwala Malik enters scene with coffee in his hand. Ok. I dont get the coffee-just checking line. Naa. Still don´t.

00:13:00 Wrong DVD? Matrix? But Priyanka looks great.

00:13:50 Oh aur Kareena bhi.
00:14:45 Hurry up Ramesh..oh c´mon, if you want to quit the gang, why wait until the just run and that as fast as you can.

00:15:26 Don loves Tom and Jerry?

00:16:28 Oh, see, that´s why you kabhi alvida naa kehna... because if Don says alvida it´s really alvida

00:19:39 Yay! Remix of Koi Kahe Ketha Rahe.

00:22:49 I´m strangly attracted to the paisley shirt. And as hot as Kareena looks that´s just not a sexy dance. And I so do not like the song.

00:28:53 Ok stupid. You know that the gun is empty. Fight him. Even if he´s stronger. You could at least help the police get a shot while he´s busy getting a hold of you.
00:30:10 Now that´s mean. Don really is a bastard.

00:31:16 Enter Roma. And a cold entry it is. Btw. how does she shoot the window if she only uses naqli amunition?
00:32:17 See, Don is evil. Evidence: No Mac, only an ibook look-alike Compaq laptop. Cheap bastard. And he uses a mouse. So uncool. Cool people get a tendosynovitis in their index finger from the over-use of their trackpad. Like me.

00:34.40 "She tried to kill me". Love it.

I love the Munch painting in Don´s vault (can anybody name the other paintings/painters? My last art class was in 1989 and I don´t follow the international art theft scene very advertent) and I love how tidy the drugs are stacked up on the shelves. Another great Don line "Don ke dushman ke sabse khalat ye hai ki woh Don ka dushman hai" (or something like that)
00:38:10 Farhan kept the exploding suitcase pre-credits thing from the old Don and uses it here. Nice. And the chase through the village is very smooth. LOL @ the flying autoriksha.
00:40:50 See Don, that is why one needs to drive a Volvo. Side head airbags. Write it down: Bad boys need to drive european cars. Bas.
00:42:31 The first sign that D´Silva is not your shiny nice police character. That was cold.

00:43:10 Oh stop bitching Anita. Nag nag nag.

00:44:41 Yeah! Vijay! Great visuals and the inclusion of the "real" footage is great.

00:49:10 Sorry very much. Nice.
00:53:00 The "you need to do that for your country" thing is to tearjearky. uncool. one scene where the old Don was waaaay better.

00:54:41 Jasjeet! I like Arjun. I think he has the most sexy voice. And he looks good in black.
00:55:51 Fingerprint recognition. No good. It´s way to easy too crack.
The breathing sound makes me claustrophobic only hearing it. Whose voice is that? Srk? Does not sound like it. Boman? No. Narang? Don´t think so. Well I´ll get the original 2 disc DVD in a few days. And hope for enlightment.
01:00:15 Oh I hate D´Silva. I actually did not like him in the old Don too.

01:03:20 Bruce Lee t-shirt. Bahut accha. Me likes.

01:04:35 C
hacha Chaudry kaun hai? I like Vijay. He´s such a chicken. Love that he passes out on the operation table on seeing the scalpel.
01:10:30 That is very thin and totally oberblown. Smoke grenades? For what? A crane to lift the van to another lane...c´mon. How about just stopping the convoy in a Tunnel and the bhag. Ts.
01:13:01 I think Don really likes Anita and I think he tells her now already.

01:15:30 Another hint. See the background and whats playing on the TV?

01:18:00 See drive a German car aur sab teek hai.
00:20:10 Main hoon don. Its been said before but that damn velvet jacket is too cool.

01:27:26 The one thing about the changes I love best is that D´Silva is Vardhan.

01:28:45 And the fight is cool. I´m told that Priyanka did the whole moves on her own.

01:32:00 The Dipu thing works. He never has to say his name and the boy sees him first

01:39:48 "Aaj ki rath" another song I´m not to keen about. But the disco ball is bilkul first class. The whole song is a bit like a school function. The gals are dancing for the visiting principal. And even little Don is allowed to perform some steps.
01:44:41 I like the way Singhania is allowed to gracefully bow out. Cold and very russian mafia for me.

01:46:32 The van over the gully here works better then in the original. That´s a good one. Although the 11 sec I counted are a bit short to enter the van, move the bodies and disappear through the floor.

01:55:13 Yay! ConAir! But in Malaysia the guards are armed. With guns. I love the Vijay speak: Very Badly..

01:58:58 Can´t wait for the making-of to see what parts of the skydiving stunt were greenbox and if SRK really jumped.

02:09:15 And the next big hint. Don does not like paan. And now that we know the truth, it is even ok that this "Kaike Paan" version is not as sweet as the original one. Here it´s just a very very sloshed Don..

02:16:08 Now that´s the Don we all love and the gun in mouth thing is funny even if it´s old.
02:16:55 I need to ask Aradhana if that really is shot at an unused floor of the Petronas Towers. Could be.
02:18:20 Flashback..interesting. But the timing isn´t right. Here Boman needs 16 seconds to leave the van.

02:19:20 Btw. it somehow sounds better when Jasjeet says "do you think i am a fool"
Hmm. And giving Vardhan the phone without turming it off....Risky on Jasjeets side and sloppy on Vardhan´s not to make use of that.

02:24 Phir. The timing isn´t right. Why is Jasjeet faster out of the towers than his haunters?

02:25:22 I think Don doesn´t follow Dipu. My guess is he follows Jasjeet.
And doesn´t even recognise Dipu.
02:28:45 D´Silva not dead and being Vardhan. Hah! Don is genuinly surprised and verging towards being veeeery pissed
. Now think fast chota Don.
02:31:11 Question, for the sake of my very much needed inner peace: Where is that? Malasia I guess. Lekin kaha? That has to be one of the most fantasic places I have ever seen.
EDIT 12/18/2006: Thanx to meri pyaari Ezri I know now: That´s Langkawi Island

02:35:15 Don´t you think that until this moment Don can not be 100% sure about Vardhan not knowing that Vijay is in fact Don? Love that look on Dons face. And before that I loved the hysterical "Khush?" from Vardhan. Boman can be so scary when he´s playing a borderline character.
02:43:22 Not bad. Technically. And storywise. Major spoiler pic

Did I like it? Yes. Very much. Its slick. Über-Stylish. SRK, Boman, Priyanka. Very cool. It´s smoother then the old Don and thats why it feels a bit colder. But I don´t care. If I want Masala fair I´ll still go and watch AB1.0 doing tha moves. But as an Actionthriller this is the one to watch.
How to I rate it in my Farhan Akhtar list? Position 3. I might reconsider.

P.S: This is the second Hindi movie I could make my husband sit through during the last 6 months. The first one was Lakshya. Go figure.

December 03, 2006

This and that...

I spent quite a restless weekend and am way too lazy to write much. So I´ll just tell you that I finally saw (and liked) the new Don and as contrast program got me some Shashi Kapoor *Wheeeee* in Aa Gale Lag Jaa. I also finally made myself sit through Kabhi Haa Kabhi Naa and since there was time to do so, re-watched Yuva.

I still can´t decide if I prefer Aayutha Ezhuthu or Yuva. Does AE have the same fantastic "just one cup of pure harmless platonic coffee" dialogue line? I don´t remember.

Since we´re already talking about the dialogues in Yuva. Anurag Kashyap, who wrote them, is shooting his new movie "No Smoking" with John Abraham and he, together with a bunch of other cool people, is blogging about that at Oz´s PassionForCinema site. Go there, its bilkul first class.

Coming back to my not reviewing any movies since last week...I plan on doing a liveblogging post about Don, when I re-watch it coming week. And of course reviews of the other two films. I might add that during the screening of those the one or other Bollywoodfugly material showed up..

November 26, 2006

Plan - well researched intelligence is the key

And we´re back with the not so bright part of the male population. This time it´s four of them. Meeting on the train to Mumbai where they are all headed for one reason or the other, some male bonding happens instantly. They decide to stick together in the big bad city. Dino Morea is convinced to be the next Bollywood superstar. Bikram Baluja heads there to find his lost love. Sanjay Suri is a genius with poker cards and Rohit Roy just wants to make it big.

So when after a few days they are relieved of their already few assets in a rigged card game, they need to come up with a plan to get money fast or it is back to were they came from. And Omi (Rohit Roy - the one who took the fast way down from the roof top in Ek Khiladi Ek Haseena) has lots of plans.
The thing is just that a plan, as the name suggests, needs to be carefully planned otherwise you just call it an idea. And as movie history has shown us for decades now, a very carefully developed scheme is especially crucial when said project involves unlawful elements. So a "lets just kidnapp this guy, he looks rich, I saw him throw around money in that bar twice and he´s dressed expensive" is not the kind preparation that smells of success.

And guess what? Turns out sharp looking guy is Mussabhai. A don. DUH! And at least in the beginning not too amused with the guys. What saves their neck is that by kindnapping Mussabhai they probably saved his life since there are some business accociates that want to kill him. Trusting his own people is out of the question so our quartet is recruited to help Mussa clean up.

The problem with Plan is that it takes ages for the story to get into some sort of motion. It took me 3 tries to get over the first hour. The introduction of the four guys is so not interesting. I made it through only due to the prospect of Sanjay showing up at one point in the film. And if you can brave that too, you are rewarded with a very cool Sanjay Dutt. Usual White Feathers/Sanjay Gupta fare, but who am I to complain. I love me my debonair gangster Bhai.

And as I expected the importance of the female parts in the film to only be close to wall decoration that didn´t bother me too much.
Although Priyanka Chopra playing Mussabhai´s shaadi proposal nagging girlfriend has some (tiny) nice moments (apart from a very scary make-up in her entrance item number)

One scene I loved: Dino (the aspiring actor) acting out the "Dekh Ma, pura 50 Dollar" scene from Vastaav (original here, starts at ca. 2:00) very amateurish to a tied up Sanjay.

That boy´s got guts.

November 25, 2006

Taxi 9211 - you know you could always give in, don´t you?

Stubbornness is not foreign to me. Nor the human habbit to blame anybody but oneself for all bad things happening. But Jai Mittal and Raghav Shastri take the cake here. In the Ramesh Sippy produced remake of Changing Lanes (which I have not seen) these two butt their heads until only the ruins of their lives remain.

But as always, why not start at the beginning (Especially if the narrator is mera FPMEMA Sanjay).
Jai Mittal (John Abraham) has lost his father and at the reading of his will finds out that all assets go to a partner of his dad. A heavy blow to a spoilt rich-kid playboy who kabhi nahin has done one minute of work in his live. You know, appearances have to be kept and the high maintance girlfriend and a bunch of freeloader friends are hard to keep satisfied if the money well is dry all of a sudden. So he challenges the will in court and on the day the story plays he has to produce another will to the judge or all is lost.

Raghav Shivastra (Nana Patekar) married to beautiful and sweet Sonali Kulkarni, is not very happy driving a taxi in Mumbai but that is what he does as the latest of the 25 jobs he had so far. Being a not too nice person who always offends his superiors and customers this latest job, one he did not even tell his wife of, is also in jeopardy.

So one day destiny puts those two losers together in a cab. Due to Jai´s nagging Raghav causes an accident. That a) makes him end up in a cell at the local police station and b) leads to Jai losing the key to the vault with his fathers will. And the war starts. Problem hai ki Raghav finds that key and keeps it, because Jai has run from the accident and left Raghav to bear the brunt for it.

And, oh my, here the male stubborness sets in. Neither of the two wants to take responsiblity for their actions and so instead of fighting to get their lives in order, they prefer to fight each other. And with every round they get themself deeper and deeper into trouble.

The interesting part in the narration is that the viewer or at least me, feels and to a big part sympathizes with those two characters.

Other things I liked about Taxi Nau Do Gyarah:
A perfectly cast John Abraham. Nana is fantastic (but what else is new). The flow of the story. The cinematography (again some great views of Mumbai in a R.S. production). The music. Especially Aazmale. The cameo. And the cross referencing to Bluffmaster (which is something I like veeery much because it reminded me that it has been at least two months that I have last watched it. A fact that will be changed immediately)

November 23, 2006

Lage Raho Munnabhai - the special features

I finally got my LRM DVD late last week, and of course re-watched and re-loved the film immediately.
Now I went for the special features. I am a sucker for well made behind-the-scenes features on a DVD. They play a big big part in my buying desicions. If I ponder on whether or not to buy a certain film it´s most of the times the selection of Extras on that disc that bring about the decision for me. That and the quality of the Audiotracks and the Video encoding.

Which here it is crap. Eros really messed up (again). Whole scenes are blurry and any movement gets grainy. To an extent that really hurts the film.

But the Extra features are bilkul first class. No deleted scenes though, but then I was not really missing anything in the story during the film (other then KANK for example where the deleted scenes are necessary to understand some the characters motives).
What V.V.Chopra offers us here are almost two hours of Making-ofs, interviews and backstage chit-chat.
I especially liked the "M.B.B.S to Lage Raho" sequence. Footage on what happened after the success of M.B.B.S and comments of the crew and cast on it from today´s viewpoint.
And a to my knowledge rare sight: LOTS of comments from a very relaxed Sanjay Dutt. There is also a basanti-ish sweet Arshad Warsi with a slight sinus problem. The whole DVD is produced like a kind of family affair as we also get to hear and see Sanjay´s sisters and Arshad´s wife and kid in addition to the usual suspects of producer, director, cast and crew.
Be aware though. Like always these features are without subtitles, and here you get quite a lot of Hindi spoken parts.

So go and get the Eros disc if you want 2 hours of cool
Lage Raho Munnabhai DVD extras. If you don´t care about stuff like that, wait for a possible other future release, somebody must be able to produce a better quality video encoded DVD someday.

Hulchul - my grandma is soo much nicer

Family feuds movies can really be fun and cool. You usually have a bunch of male relatives who love to beat the crap out of the male progeny of the rival family. There is an obligatory Romeo and Juliet story. A best friend who innocently gets caught in the line of fire and serves as comic relief. Some well-meaning family members, some mean ones, vaghairah, vaghairah.
Masala all around.

Hulchul is one such movie. It had in fact a rather tough initiation with me as it was my first Priyadarshan work and as such a bit much to swallow. But I stayed the course, if only for Beth´s ki FPMBF Akshaye. And I rewatched it about a year ago and actually liked it, but by then I already had fought myself through a good share of "funnier" movies. So I was a bit more amenable to it.

The two families here consist of one purely male household, with dad Amrish Puri and his four bachelor sons Jackie Shroff, Paresh Rawal, Arbaaz Khan aur chota baccha Akshaye Khanna.

This no-women-allowed club is in deep feud with the family of a pretty vengeful Laxmi and her, apart from Suni(e)l *Yummi* Shetty, pretty wishy-washy sons. After a not too nice interference with the wedding plans of Laxmi´s granddaughter Kareena Kapoor from the side of the Puri clan, the old bat comes up with a revenge plan.

How about making Akshaye fall in love with Kareena and so plant discord in her enemies anti-wife/anti-marriage familiy?
The intial idea is really not too bad, and Akshaye´s friend Arshad *Yay* Warsi has a similar plan for him and so both of them start a naqli courtship. Visualised in one of my most favorite song sequences of all times.

But as perfect plans go, this one "surprisingly" fails miserably as Kareena and Akhaye really fall in love with each other and now have to face the wrath of both their respective families. And it gets masala-law like confusing. Loyalties get mix up - or not. We have brothers beating each other. Secrets that are unveiled. Different weddings have to be prevented by different parties. The usual. Not too terribly exciting.

And still, I like it. I mean. C´mon. Akhaye. Arshad. Suniel. Jackie. Even Arbaaz. And a really beautiful Kareena (Love the hair. Totally). Not to forget an elephant and a totally unnecessary garam item number.

November 20, 2006

Page 3 - but then, why should they be any different

On Friday I began to clean out my closet. Naa, not really. Its still a mess. But since then I keep on trying to watch movies I have bought because they either seemed interesting or where must-sees or had Sanjay or Anil in it. And are still patiently waiting to be watched. Page 3 is one of them.
It features some of my favorite actors. Boman Irani, Konkona Sen Sharma and Atul Kulkarni. Its a behind-the-scenes look on Mumbai´s high society story that sounds fascinating. It definitely is a must-see. And still. Somehow I just did not feel like watching it for a long time. But now I finally got around to put it into the DVD player.

Good thing I did. Not that I was shocked or even suprised at any of the twists and turns. But its interesting to see that, even disgused as movie characters, the "in-people" are the same and act the same in any western (or westernized) society. You could have set this thing here in Vienna as well.

Back to the film. The title refers to the page 3 in tabloids where society news and pics of parties and socialites are printed. If you make it there your "in". The story follows a young page 3 journalist as she writes her stories about moviestars, parties and the in-people.

She´s young, well liked by the people she writes nice things about, her editor and generally a nice person with a almost too naive outlook on the world around her. Her shiny partyish world starts to fall apart when first a friend gets knocked-up by a famous actor who does not take up his responsibilities. And she is forced to officially apologise to him after writing a not so nice piece about it.

Then the aspiring young actor who she fell in love with turns out to be willing to do anything for a break in the industry, which also makes her loose a supposedly close friendship.
So she tries to turn her back to the society pack and changes from page 3 to the crime beat where she gets to work with the newspapers top man, Atul Kulkarni.

And gets to know a very different side of Mumbai. One that eventually will uncover the very ugly side of the high and mighty. And due to her somewhat naive understanding on the procedures and interconnections of the media it will make her a) a pawn sacrifice in the big game and b) shed the youthful naivité that got her into that mess.

What I really liked in Page 3 was the way the characters were made to talk and act. Some of those dialogs, be it superficial party small-talk or especially the dialoges at the funeral were so real life deja-vu. My work as a sound engineer until a few years ago made me witness some of the exact same scenes. Sad? Funny? - No, human actually.

PS: My favorite side-characters were those two gate-crashers. They´re a bit too impudent, but a little gate-crashing really is fun. And you get to know interesting people if you have the guts. Or how else would two 18 year old girls have had the chance to be spoon-fed by Dennis Hopper while he was signing his photo-exhibit catalogues back in the 80ies in Salzburg?