October 31, 2009

London Dreams

What a fun visit to the theatre with The Bollywood Fan ! This movie is funnier than it intends to be, and very entertaining, despite all its flaws (and there are many).

Title: London Dreams
Year: 2009

Cast: Salman Khan, Asin, Ajay Devgan, Om Puri

2 Children go to school together in Bhatinda, Punjab. One wants to be a music superstar. So much so, that he wishes his dad, who forbids him from practicing, would just stop- and lo- the dad dies! Such is the power of dreams!

And lo- the child is whisked away to London by his uncle, Om Puri, where he runs off (the child, not Om Puri- sheesh), so that he can beg on the streets and get admitted to a conservatory with the money- which is astounding- never knew there was so much cash in the begging business- career switch, anyone?

before we know it, the child has grown, and finally leaves the conservatory when he turns into what looks like 40-something Ajay Devgan. Why he waits so long before he decides to leave school, I don't understand.

But he does, so that at least is commendable. Off he walk, straight into Trafalgar Square. The begging biz must have done him good over the years, because he sets up amazing sound systems out of a tiny box, and gives an impromptu U2-Where the Streets Have No Name style concert- all the goris, goras, desis of all ages bop away to glory upon hearing his sound, while he recruits band members on the spot- Rannvijay and Aditya to play guitar, and Asin to dance around.

Which would be fine, but elsewhere, his childhood friend has grown into 40-something-but-looks-like-30-something Salman in Bhatinda, who is looking amazing, singing amazing songs and romancing hot women.

The rest of it is about Ajay getting Salman to London to join his band, and then being eaten up by jealousy when Salman proves better than him. That's it.

And it isn't bad- not in the least. As flippant as I sound (and feel), the movie is completely entertaining, and once again after Wanted, Salman proves that he is back in his groove, doing a very good job of it. For the boys, there is always Asin to look at- but as much as Ajay is a good actor, he really is too old to play a rock star- my 18 year-old sister wears the same belt he sports in the posters, and looks better.

Verdict: Watch it, sure- there really isn't anything better in theaters.

October 28, 2009

Movies I've been watching

Despite extremely busy times at work and home, of course I've been shopping for and watching movies. Here are some; a mixed back of good, bad and ugly.

Title: Kambakht Ishq
Year: 2009
Cast: Akshay Kumar, Kareena Kapoor

Calling it tripe would be disrespecting the food product. Akshay is a stuntman and Kareena a doctor/model in LA (why give my city a bad name? why???). They meet, pull ugly faces at each other, and annoy us and themselves thoroughly. In the end, they drive off on the PCH. Worse rubbish can be conceived, I'm certain, but this is among the worst of Bollywood ever.

Verdict: Bad, bad stuff. Stay far away.


Title: Chupke Chupke
Year: 1975
Cast: Dharamendra, Sharmila, Amitabh, Jaya, Om Prakash, Asrani

Surprised you must be. Exclaim you might, "Shweta, you haven't seen this pehle???"
Let me reassure you, this was only the nth time of my rewatching this movie. It is an old and extreme favorite. Dhramendra and Amitabh are professors; Dharam marries Sharmila, but decides to pose as a servant in her brother-in-law (Om Prakash)'s house, in lieu of an elaborate prank that lasts through the major portion of the movie. Mayhem ensues, during which Amitabh, in on of his best roles ever (I believe), pretends to be a professor of botany (rather than literature, which his character indeed teaches) and woos Jaya. Both Amitabh and Dharam realize their full comic potential, and truly play their characters, not themselves, which is what makes this movie. If you still haven't seen this, don't wait a second longer.

Verdict: Good- among the best.


Title: Anari
Year: 1975
Cast: Shashi Kapoor, Sharmila, Moushmi, Kabir Bedi

Seen before, and documented in these hallowed net pages here. But this time, watched and thereby enriched with Beth. Shashi at his beautiful best, with lots of crazy fashions and angst. The movie suffers from editing, continuity and over moralising issues, but the fashions, Kabir and Shash make up for it- almost.

Verdict: Mostly bad- can be fast forwarded through.


Title: Kajal
Year: 1965
Cast: Meena Kumari, Raj Kumar, Dharamendra, Padmini, Mehmood

I'd like to say good things about it. Because I like Dharam, and I like Meena. Nevertheless, the movie is a pain to sit through, and you can easily guess why: Dharam is handsome and heck, and the local landlord. Meena's dad worked as their accountant, and since her parents died, Dharam's mom has bought up Meena and her brother as her own. Soon, Meena's bro drowns to his death and Meena's eternal tears begin to flow, and Dharam offers her his brotherly support, whereby she moves int his house. He meanwhile has been romancing a cow-like Padmini, and marries her. Padmini is jealous of Meena, and entertains us with classical dance on her own wedding anniversary. Dharam marries off Meena to Raj Kumar, who turns out to be the true heir AND a ass and drunk. Meena almost dies, Raj comes around, and everyone lives in happy tears every after.

Verdict: Very exhausting- bad.


Title: Bharosa
Year: 1963
Cast: Guru Dutt, Asha Parekh, Om Prakash, Mehmood

Want to see Guru Dutt dancing (he was classically trained dancer) ? For that alone, and (personally) nothing else, Bharosa is worth a watch. He and Asha share little chemistry, and he barely gets enough screen time in this ponderous venture. A wealthy merchant goes off on a journey, leaving his child and his property with his servant- the servant usurps the property, and makes the child his servant. The child of course grows up into Guru Dutt, and how he meets up with his father and regains his property forms the rest of the movie. Ho-hum stuff, but love of the man kept me glued to the screen for the duration. Keep in mind that this was one if his last movies- his mental state may have much to do with the quality of the product.

Verdict: Strictly for Guru Dutt lovers, who can overlook its shortcomings.

Update 10/31/2009

Here are GD's dancing songs in Bharosa, by popular demand. Enjoy!