December 30, 2008

Ghajini- live blogging

My 1st live blog post!
I went in with zero expectations, having shrugged off the media hoopla off my head (it was hard, but had to clean my brains to be able to enjoy this objectively).

Title: Ghajini
Year: 2008
Cast: Aamir Khan, Asin, Jiah Khan.

Movie opens with Jiah in the lab.

Me: "Oh look- its Jiah Khan- looking intelligent."
Sister: "Its the lab coat."

Aamir kills random goon.

Me: "Oh look its Aamir- looking like Mr. Spock!"
"Wow Aamir kicks butt"

Aamir goes home.

Husband: "Why doesnt he just write down his home address?"
Me: "wont look cool."
Husband: "Maybe he should get a PDA- or even a Blackberry. Apple G3 would be best"
Me: "He is supposed to be rich- should be able to get one easily."

Aamir wakes up and remembers...

Husband: "What a lovely start to one's morning."
Me: "He could get a shady secretary- but no- how'd he trust him ..."
"Is this how much time he wastes every morning????"
"He could at least get a car and a chauffer- travelling in B'Bay takes time- public travel would definitely slow any revenge plans whatsoever- esp. if he forgets stuff every 15 minutes."

Aamir meets Jiah
"WTF is he every talking to her even?? omg- he is NEVER going to get anywhere if he wastes such time."
what crap.

"He is SO cute- so metro- so hawt."
Asin looks pretty- and the song's shot well, but the song isnt doing anything for me.
Plus the pace set in the begining of the movie was so different- I preferred it to this fluff :S
- not that fluff is bad.

Oh come on now- go fall in love and get killed already- I wanna go back to the revenge thriller I came to watch.
Oh these Ads are so funny- I'm digging it- still want the revenge thriller though.

Oh I know- she is telling this fake love story to this guy- bet he is a reporter. Then Aamir will read this in the newspaper and come meet her- bet that's what's gonna happen.
Its predictable, but funny though.

Oh Mayapuri is still a real magazine? V interesting.

Told ya this would happen.
Oh how cute- she sees her making handicapped kids all athleticy- heeh.
Love despite annoyance- awww.
NOW can we get on with the revenge thriller already?!!

I am really getting bored with all this cuteness- it has its place, but I was here for violence :S
Mmm I thought she was taking Aamir for an Ad shoot- now she is suddenly taking an old man to a random bus stop???? wth. Are they supposed to walk all they way back now???

Oh ok- a song- "Behka"- not digging Aamir's outfits, but he looks so very young! Great skin, and looks younger than all the other Khans.
I'm just wondering- all this time Asin's been bluffing about Aamir- shouldnt she have at least googled to see waht her fake-pretend bf looked like??? And can we go back to the damned thriller????

A while later...
She STILL doesnt get Aamir is THE MAN? oh lord :S
Oh at last- back to the present- fight fight kill kill. Aah yes- You go dude!
Why Aamir why? Get some assitants!
- wait a minute- whatever happened to the inspector he was beating???

WHAT kind of a college cultural program is this??? Its more a pop video ...

Oh I remember this guy playing Ghajini- he's done a lot of stuff- glad he's gotten stronger parts to play...

Oh dear lord- he has been killing people all over the place, and didnt kill that inspector? wth.
Seriously Aamir, just kill Jiah- lets be done- a lot of people will thank you. No NOT those goons- kill her- pls?

Oh Ghajini- you bad bad man. Tsk.

Oh Jiah- why wouldnt you tell the police this? Does it make any sense? Cant you SEE these guys around you- dont you THINK they look like goons??? oh dear.

Jiah got Aamir caught!

Oh you idiot- would it have been too much to shut your trap? Great now- read those diaries and regret- go on. :S

Flashback again

I couldnt stand the last flashback- but this one I am totally welcoming. Phew- at least there is no Jiah here.
Aww they are SO cute together [heart]
ooh she is getting premonitions... I really like her- dont want her to die.

Back to the present
Oh how silly- the police cant ID Aamir- wasnt he supposed to be a famous industrialist once? :S
Oh good- at least Aamir can go home now- poor sweety.
Bet that Ghajini will have him attacked now- grr. Yup- there he is.
Oh heck- oh pls dont do that to Aamir!!! You bad man :(

Jiah doing research about Asin and Amir
Oh finally the girl is showing some sense.
More flashbacks- finally Asin's mystery is begining to clear up- oh this is so unpleasant.
Oh Aamir- ur lil sleeved shirts are so cute.

Mmm Asin- seriously- you cant be SO bubbly, cute and dumb can you? Please prove that all models arent dumb. Please be careful.
There- I told you :S
Dear lord! is Asin seriously preaching to the goons? And expecting to get away with it? oh man. Amazing. Just brilliant. :S

And why did Ghajini have to sit and confess to her? This is making less and less sense.
Oh God Oh God- this is so violent!!! omg omg.
omg omg
omg omg.
omg omg.
Oh this is so sad- oh man :( BAWLLL
Umm- wouldnt the goons have done a better job of killing the witness to their murder? hmm?

Back to present- Jiah tells all to Aamir

I have to say- Jiah has done a unbeleivably great job of unearthening the truth- maybe she shouldnt have become a doctor- FBI would be a better option.

Aamir's diaries are another revelation- for somebody who has never lived in India, to write volumes in Hindi must be quite an acheivement :P
Now lets just have Aamir kill 'em all and be done. Weehee!

Final thoughts:

  1. Though the extended love story was getting to me at the time, I do understand it was necessary to build it up to make us empathise properly with Asin and Aamir.
  2. I agree with other reviews that it could have been tighter.
  3. I cant stand Jiah, even here.
  4. I wish the media would stop building this hype around Aamir- who encourages it of course- why wouldnt he? Its just that the hype exagerrates and builds expectations, which can work against a movie. I think its a great practice to NOT watch a Bollywood movie as soon as it comes out- you have to get away from all the media BS.
  5. Nobody seems to be talking about the really great cinematography- which they should, because it is really fantastic. Just for that, I would see this movie again and again.
  6. Asin is really cute- not spectacular, but really cute, and decidedly charismatic.
  7. The movie would have made WAY more sense if it was filmed anywhere but in Bombay- Aamir CANNOT have pursued anybody in this city- with hours of normal sitting time in traffic and a memory span of 15 minutes- he cant be making much headway!

December 23, 2008

(Bollywood) Men I love

I tried to make a list of 13 Bollywood men I've fallen in love with, one time or another. Quality of acting was not a criteria, more of a trait that amplified their general awesomeness. It could have been much longer if I hadn't constrained myself to 13, but the number served as a way to narrow it down to men I truly love! [Surprises: Salman and Akshaye didnt make the cut (gasp!)] I love my men best in certain decades (as indicated)- my favorite period seems to be 50-60s!

1. Dev Anand
Ultra Hawtness Period: 50s-60s
I loved him best when he did noir- oh the arrogance- oh the hair!

2. Rehman
Ultra Hawtness Period: 50s-60s
So manly, so in control- and yet he could be so gentle (Chaudvin Ka Chand)...

3. Guru Dutt
Ultra Hawtness Period: 50s
I never thought I'd love a emo guy- but there it is :S I admit he isn't high on the looks or physique, but man he is charismatic (swoon).

4. Ajit
Ultra Hawtness Period: 50s
Stop thinking of the man as the villain of the 70s- he was the uber hawt 50s star that completely rocked noir- LOVE the Ajit- and then worship him.

5. Feroz Khan
Ultra Hawtness Period: 60s
Ultra macho, ultra hot, I love the man- wouldn't you? Just look at him!

6. Dharamendra
Ultra Hawtness Period: 60s
"Greek God"?- yes definitely.

7. Joy Mukherjee
Ultra Hawtness Period: 60s
No real reason- except I love.

8. Shashi Kapoor
Ultra Hawtness Period: 60s-80s
Highest longevity in terms of looks alone. But I really find him the most attractive in the 80s, which were cruel to almost everyone else- that graying hair on the temples was just too hot :D

9. Danny Denzongpa
Ultra Hawtness Period: 70s-current
Another long and hotsome career- I can watch this man in any role, in any decade- and he is STILL adorable (swoon). Like the Shash, he gets better as he gets older.

10. Vinod Khanna
Ultra Hawtness Period: 70s
A 70s Vinod, ideally wearing glasses or even sunglasses. Ah!

11. Shatrughan Sinha
Ultra Hawtness Period: 60s-70s
Not conventionally handsome, but so manly- and so much character in those eyes, in that demeanour. I can totally understand what made him my mom's fav movie star.

12. Shammi Kapoor
Ultra Hawtness Period: 50s-60s
Those eyes were so persuasive, so pleading- so fuzzy puppy adorable.

13. Abhay Deol
Ultra Hawtness Period: 2000s
Again something about the eyes. And it helps that he is a humanized version of Dharamendra.

Update: 12/27/2008.

After Darshit and Nicki's insistance, I had to add 2 honorable mentions :D

14. Kabir Bedi
Ultra Hawtness Period: 70s
Due to his considerably slim body of work, I did basely forget him. Darshit reminded me and I made amends!

15. Salman Khan
Ultra Hawtness Period: 90s
I added, and then deleted him because to me, he has just not optimized himself. For his sake, I've watched drivel like "Auzaar" 4 times (:D), but he has just become so manicured and metro that I miss the HAWT Salman- I cant recognize this Sallu person anymore- so heartbroken.

December 21, 2008

Anmol Ghadi

Title: Anmol Ghadi
Year: 1946
Cast: Surendra, Suraiya, Noor Jehan, Zahur Raja, Leela Mishra.
I was really excited about this Anmol Ghadi (trans: priceless watch) since I had heard so much about it over the years.

I honestly beleive that the reason this movie has held respect over the years are the songs- they are hauntingly beautiful, to say the least. I saw the movie a second time so that I could go through the songs again- and again.

The story itself- I got a headache keeping up with the whims and fancies of the scriptwriter :D

Chander lives in a village with his mom (Leela Mishra). One day his friend Lata leaves town, leaving him her dad's watch (!) as a keepsake, since he admired it so much.

Chander grows up (as Surendra) and spends all his time writing poetry while his mom still works and tries to keep the house running. Chander also brazenly accepts handouts from his friend Prakash (Zahur Raja), and one day, inspired by Prakash, he decides to go work in Bombay at Prakash's store, selling and repairing musical instruments.

Chander loves poetry written by Renuka Devi- which is in fact a pseudonym used by Lata (Noor Jehan). Chander does not know that Renuka is his childhood friend Lata, and that is what drives the plot from here on.

Chander writes fan mail to Renuka, but Renuka (Lata/Noor Jehan) doesnt want to meet this crazy fan- she is lost in the memories of her lost friend Chander (oh for pity's sake!).

She sends her friend Basanti (Suraiya), to meet Chander in her place.

Obviously, Basanti falls in love with Chander- and Chander- not so much.

Chander at least knows that Basanti isnt the real Renuka, and waits until he meets the real Renuka- and does find out that it is his lost friend/love Lata.

So now its loads of fun ahead- Basanti loves Chander, who loves Lata, who loves him back, but is engaged to- Prakash!

Ready to sacrifice, Chander clears the way for Prakash,

.. and at last Chander remembers to go back to his sick mom in the village, who dies before he can get her a doctor.

At this point, I just got good and mad and stopped caring. What kind of a grown man lets his old mom work like that, then leaves for another town and doesnt reach back to her, and then finally gets there when she is dying????? Who cares if this man ends up with Lata/Basanti/Prakash/the village idiot? [muttering and grumbling]

And that's really it- now that his mom is dead, Chander does go back to town to see Prakash and Lata- the question is- will Lata leave Prakash for him? or will Basanti follow Chander inspite of her good sense?

1- The songs the songs! Noor Jehan's voice was at its optimum here, and I cant gush over her enough. India's partition in '47 saw her moving to Pakistan a few years later, which was a huge blow to Bollywood- she could have done more work were she in Mumbai, and we would have had more of her songs to love.
2- Chander's character just made me so angry- he is so very ineffective that the viewer cant help but be utterly frustrated by this man. A loving mother, a good friend, and 2 cute females who love him- and he has really done nothing to deserve it all, but wallows in self pity. Ugh.
3- Prakash has a better character- loyal, loving, intelligent. Though I do wonder if he had been harsher with his friend Chander, the latter may have turned out to be a better person :S He had a clasically scheming mom, but it may have done him some good to listen to her occasionally :D
4- Why, oh why do Basanti and Lata love Chander????? Have they no sense? Why were they not making a play for Prakash all along?
5- Chander's mom, played by the ever suffering Leela Mishra- lady you should have kicked out that kid when he turned 18. Seriously.
6- The title of the movie is almost incidental- unless you really start thinking about it. Its really a typically moralistic 40s tale: From childhood, Chander wanted more than he had, and would get it by wheedling (at least not by theft- a la "Oye Lucky," decades later). He got used to begging and wheedling- sometimes his mom, sometimes his friend Prakash- until he finally realised he had to stop sponging off others- but too late.

December 20, 2008


By the Strangest coincidence, I found that Memsaab and I had been watching Apraadh almost at the same time, and it was a wonderful chance to post about it simultaneously!
Title: Apradh
(trans: Crime)
Year: 1972
Cast: Feroz Khan, Mumtaz, Prem Chopra, Iftekhar.

This was Feroz's 1st directorial venture, and you immediately recognize the styling he would go on to develop over the years- we begin with a long drawn out Grand Prix, with Ram (Feroz) obviously winning...
Meanwhile in Germany, the heart-stopping Rita (Mumtaz) is out in style...
... she is part of a gang of thieves, one of whom is serving as a watch-dog - dig the sweater folks- all the supporting actors in this movie are fabulous, and he is only the first one we meet.
Rita steals a priceless necklace and runs for the border, in a gorgeous golden jacket- you have to wear camouflage when you run from the police you know (head nodding wisely).

While Rita is off with the necklace, her boss is waiting with his gang in his den.

You HAVE to love his moll, Faryal- I adore this woman- so vampy, such fabulous eye makeup- I covet it!

Also check out Mukri, who is in the gang- he is never seen again after this scene though....

Meanwhile, Rita's car's broken down, and she needs to bring the stolen necklace out of the country. What follows is my favorite "girl-meets-boy" sequence till date. She get out of the car in her gold-jacketed, short-shorts glory.....

And the next car that stops by carries none other than the drool-worthy Ram, who appears stunned by her beauty....

What man wouldn't? Look at that lovely smile....

Yup, Ram is losing his mind...

... but they warm up to each other....

... gosh they are just gorgeous! The chemistry between them is great, and they seem at perfect ease with each other- their friendship is pretty obvious here.

Now that I've stopped gushing over my fav scene, we can proceed further into the movie :D Ram of course brings Mumtaz over the border, but steals her necklace. Rita's gang is holed up at the same hotel, and we find that Rita's real name is Meena, and she is being pressured by this gang to do all the stealing.....

I love how color and fashion coordinated the gang and their den is- all red and gold. The guy in the sun glasses never does take them off...

... not even later, when Ram discovers the truth and is fighting with them to save Meena. Note how his sweater clashes with Meena's...

Having been beaten by Feroz, the gang decides to kill Faryal in the bath. This is the last we are going to see of any of them....

... because Ram and Meena are leaving Europe to go back to India. Ram has a brother there, and they plan to live happily ever after.

... but not all plans go smoothly. Iftekhar and his police team catches Ram before he leaves the airport and he is accused of smuggling.

Turns out his brother Harman (Prem Chopra) is a smuggler, and has a red den of his own, with music by a guy in a sombrero and dancing blondes lead by a white spangled swim-suit wearing Helen!

Prem's den is really cool- that white statue's base holds alcohol, so that when you tip the statue, it pours your drink!

Ram doesn't stay a word about his brother, and despite being innocent, spends jail time. He comes out and decides to work in a factory, and Mumtaz and he again show some amazing chemistry. I don't understand why he doesn't do race car driving again- more money in there, no?

I also want to know how a guy working at a ordinary factory and his girlfriend can afford these really amazing swimsuit fashions....

The happiness is not due to last long however. Ram is visited one night by Harman and his goons, including MB Shetty (love!)

The goons have a worse plan though. Unknown to Harman, they decide to kidnap Ram and make him help them in a heist at his factory.

So of course Iftekhar comes back and blames poor Ram for the whole thing :(

... but Harman comes to rescue Ram in the ever-useful doctor disguise....

An outlaw now, Ram has no choice but to join Harman's gang...

... where sleepy-looking blondes and roulette wheels abound....

.. and Helen tries to entice Ram with the power of her blue eyeshadow and orange braids.

So will Ram get used to the alcohol-spewing statue? Will he forget Meena by the power of Helen's Halloween colors? Will Harman and Ram live happily smuggling ever after? Watch Apradh already to know!
1- Prem Chopra did a really great job, and this role was different from the majority of negative roles he has done. I liked how he really loved his brother and tried to protect him, in his own way.
2- Every supporting actor was brilliant- on the top of my list are Faryal, the guy in the glasses (what IS his name?) and the sombrero man.
3- Mumtaz' fashions in the first half are so fun- I'd have liked to see more of them.
4- Feroz was so manly and dreamy- and so naughty and courteous and adorable- I'm in love ;)