Tag Archives: Bollywood

A much needed Bollywood dose

Watching a Bollywood movie takes time. Most of them are at least 2 hours long. Imagine watching 3 Bollywood movies, after being on the night shift.

Yep, that’s what I did. 

I just didn’t want to waste my day sleeping. Weekends are short enough as they are.

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The movie selection process was done completely random. Usually, I would look up one of my favorite actors and see what new releases they might have. This time, I just went with whatever I found available. 

I was not disappointed.

My first choice was “Kidnap” with Sanjay Dutt, Imran Khan and Minissha Lamba. 

Sure enough, it had drama, action, eye candy (for both sexes) and the most important thing, a happy ending for everyone involved. Yep, a true Bollywood movie. Even the bad guy, Kabir Sharma played by Imran Khan) was off the hook for kidnapping Sonia (played by Minissha Lamba). 

The second choice was “I hate luv storys“. 

I think I picked this one because I liked Imran Khan in Kidnap. But, I also liked Sonam Kapoor in Saawariya. With this one the selection process was not so random. I must admit, I was just curious and I like pretty faces.

Usually, when looking for Bollywood romance I always go for old movies. All of them will be compared against “Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge” (my all time favorite). With “I hate luv storys” I had moments where I skipped forward. This usually happens when I just don’t have the patience for certain scenes. 

It was cute, but not cute enough. 

The last one I enjoyed! I really did. I stumbled on it, and I am glad I did. It was “Chalo Dilli“. 

It was cute and funny. It was relaxing and it had a train ride! It deserves more than what it has on IMDb. This lil gem actually made my day much better. I considered my time (almost 8 hours, with breaks included) well spent. 

What struck me, is that all of these movies are old. 

Chalo Dilli was the most recent one. It came out in 2011.

I really need to get my sh*t together. My life is revolved too much around work. It should be the other way around. I should work so I can live, not live to work. That and I really need a new job, something that has nothing to do with Customer Service, Sales or anything related (if possible).

Kuch Kuch Hota Hai

I should be at work right now but I made a bad decision yesterday: I ate something I shouldn’t have and here I am, enjoying my extended weekend.

Since I have plenty of time to waste and no way of going out, I’ve decided to watch a Bollywood movie. I had so many to pick from but I wanted an oldie sKuch Kuch Hota Hai it was.

The movie stars Kajol, Rani Mukerji, Shah Rukh Khan and a lot of ’90 fashion. In fact there was so much ’90 fashion it was actually embarrassing at one point.

kuch-kuch-hota-hai

This movie was a big hit back in its day. It has all the elements of a Bollywood hit: a love triangle, tragedy, children and songs. Quick summary:

During their college years, Anjali (Kajol) was in love with her best-friend Rahul (Shah Rukh Khan), but he had eyes only for Tina (Rani). Years later, Rahul and the now-deceased Tina’s eight-year-old daughter attempts to reunite her father and Anjali.

I liked the movie, it was fun to watch but there were so many moments when I felt like Bollywood would incorporate anything in movies without taking in consideration if actors can do it or not. I almost stopped watching the movie after the first basketball scene between Rahul (Shah Rukh Khan) and Anjali (Kajol). I’m not asking for perfection from a Bollywood movie, but at least make them practice till a decent scene is shot.

It was clear they never played basketball until this movie…

It was an OK movie. I really can’t complain, I wanted something to fill up my time and the movie did it. I must admit I skipped some parts of the movie (songs, or the running in the rain scenes) because it was a bit tiresome, but over all it was good. I got to see a Kajol and Shah Rukh Khan movie, so that was nice as well.

Agneepath (2012)

It’s that time of the month when my system just craves for a Bollywood movie.

The lucky winner this time was Agneepath (2012).

Agneepath Movie Poster

The movie is a remake. The original Agneepath was made in 1990, the main role being played by Amitabh Bachchan. Apparently the original was a big success and the producers of the remake were under pressure to make a good movie. So, the main characters in Agneepath (2012) are played by Hrithik Roshan (as Vijay Dinanath Chauhan), Priyanka Chopra (as Kaali), Sanjay Dutt (as Kancha Cheena) and Rishi Kapoor (as Rauf Lala). 

They picked as main actors the most handsome actor in Bollywood, a former Miss World, the guy in Bollywood that is known for his bad guy roles and someone who’s been in the industry so long that everybody knows him. It was kinda hard to go wrong with this casting.

The movie lasts 3 hours, has 3-4 songs in it, not that much action (compared with other Bollywood movies), but it has a good story line.

The movie takes it time telling the story of Vijay, a small kid on the island of Mandwa, who witnesses the lynching of his father. Vijay’s father was a good man, a teacher in Mandwa. His only fault was he was too good. Because of this Kancha frames him for raping a little girl and from there the lynching. Vijay knows his father is innocent and swears revenge. But what can a little kid do? So, Vijay and his mother move to Mumbai where they end up in brothel with Kaali and her mother.

Agneepath movie still

From there Vijay becomes the right hand of Rauf Lala, a gangster who deals with cocaine and human trafficking. Rauf Lala is an enemy of Kancha and Vijay sees an opportunity to get the power he needs to take down Kancha. But Vijay isn’t such a bad guy, even if he kills people and all that. He gives away all the money that he makes, he keeps everyone he cares for safe and in the end he makes up his mind to take down Rauf Lala and Kancha.

In the process, Kaali is killed right on their wedding day, his mother and little sister are kidnapped by Kancha and right at the end Vijay dies, but not before taking down two of the most powerful drug cartels in Mumbai. Its a bitter sweet ending for the main characters because none of them get what they dreamed of and all end up dead.

I can’t complain about the movie, it was good. But it was not my piece of cake since I enjoy mostly romantic Bollywood movies. Nothing beats a good Bollywood romance.

Barfi! (2012)

Barfi! is the best Bollywood movie I’ve seen so far and one of the best movies out there.

It’s simple, beautiful, funny, and just uplifting.

Barfi

I saw a lot of good reviews on the Internet and I was amazed when IMDb showed 8.2 as it rating. That’s something to brag about, especially in Bollywood where most movies average a rating of 6.

And I was not disappointed. The long wait really paid off.

There are no villains and no heroes, no long songs with many people dancing around the main characters, nothing of the regular flashy Bollywood movies. Instead there are 3 good actors, a beautiful story, beautiful scenery and lovely songs that complete the movie.

The 3 good actors that I mentioned are Ranbir Kapoor as Barfi, Priyanka Chopra as Jhilmil Chatterjee and Ileana D’Cruz as Shruti.

The plot is simple, Barfi (birth name Murphy) is on his death bed. Feeling that the end is near, he tries to take a good photo of himself to send to his good friend Shruti (which always complained she doesn’t have a good photo of him). And from there, a flashback in their youth where they met.

Barfi and Shruti

Barfi, a deaf and mute boy, lives his life with his father in a small town. He is not a character that would make you feel any pity. In fact, he seems more alive than the people with no disabilities. He always causes mischief, always has fun, yet people love him because he brings a smile on their faces.

Then comes Shruti who moves with her parents in the small town. She is set to marry a very handsome and rich man and live a comfortable life. That until she meets Barfi.

Barfi and Shruti kiss scene

He tries to court her and they even share a kiss but Shruti, convinced by her mother that their relationship will not last long and she won’t have an easy life, stays with her fiancee which she eventually marries.

Barfi, heartbroken, tries to cope with the loss of his first love. On top of this, his father gets sick and they don’t have the money for the operation. So, Barfi tries to get money from friends but is unable to get the full amount he needs. He then plots to kidnap Jhilmil.

Jhilmil is a girl that has autism. She and Barfi are good friends, and Barfi doesn’t intend to harm her, he just thinks of it as an innocent way to get money for his father. The only thing is that Jhilmil is already kidnapped. By chance, Barfi manages to recover Jhilmil and get the money for his father, but its a bit to late since his father passes away in hospital.

And he also ends up with Jhilmil who doesn’t want to go back home to her parents (which were never that nice to her).

Barfi and Jhilmil scene

They spend almost half an year together and they fall in love. From there, Barfi is set to meet again Shruti and their lives go on a downhill. Jhilmil goes missing for the third time. Barfi is devastated because everyone believes she’s dead. Shruti leaves her husband and tries to replace Jhilmil but cannot take her place in Barfi’s heart.

Eventually, it all turns out well in the end.

Jhilmil (who was being hidden by her family all this time) and Barfi get their love story, Shruti learns the importance of being honest and making the right decisions even if that means to be left alone. And we go back to the old Barfi on his death bed surrounded by his friends and family.

This was a heartwarming story and it was a nice way to start the Spring.

Paheli

What a more beautiful way to start Autumn then by watching a beautiful Bollywood movie.

So, I got my little notebook and looked and names that might inspire me. I picked “Paheli“. I picked the movie mostly because I have some of the songs on my MP3 player and the songs are really beautiful and soothing. “Paheli” it’s an “old” movie from 2005 and it stars Rani Mukerji and Shah Rukh Khan.

The plot is very simple and straight forward: a ghost (played by Shah Rukh Khan) falls in love with a newly wed woman, Lachchi (played by Rani Mukerji).  Lachchi just wed a man name Kishanlal (played by SRK as well) who is more interested in pleasing his father wishes than to play the part of a husband.

So, Kishanlal leaves the house the very next day after the wedding. Lachchi is left distraught and lonely in a new home with no friends. This is where the ghost comes in and takes the identity of Kishanlal. He hides the fact that he is a ghost from everyone except Lachchi. She has to chose between her husband who left her or the ghost who came all the way for her.

Pushed by loneliness, she picks the ghost and they spend 5 beautiful years together. They enjoy each others company, the simple life and by a twist of events Lachchi remains pregnant. All is well until the real husband returns home and the family is left dumbfounded and unable to figure out which is the real Kishanlal.

Paheli” lasts 140 minutes; even so it has a nice flow to it that I didn’t realize when it ended. Unlike other Bollywood movies that make you lose your patience and just skip certain parts just to get to the end, Paheli just works its way nicely till the ending.

It’s a relaxing movie. Its a movie that lets you sit back and just relax. It allows you to drift off and not worry about having chores to do or having to go to work. No dramatic twists and turns of the main plot, no real villains and no silly drama.

The songs are also beautiful. I’ve had some of the Paheli soundtracks on my MP3 player for years now and I still listen to them. My favorite is Dhere Jalna. Enjoy!

It was a nice movie to start off Autumn and October.

Jhoom Barabar Jhoom

Another Bollywood movie crossed off my list: Jhoom Barabar Jhoom.

I wanted to see this movie ever since I got my greedy little hands on the soundtrack. Yup, the soundtrack is probably one of the best I’ve heard so far. I’ve had the songs on my MP3 player since 2009, a bit late considering the movie and the soundtrack were released in 2007.

My favorite song is Bol Na Halke Halke (yet Kiss of Love and Jhoom Barabar Jhoom are pretty close behind):

Even to this day, I didn’t get tired listening to them. They have that rare thing that not many songs have these days: quality!

But lets get back to the movie.

The main actors are Abhishek Bachchan and Preity Zinta, but there’s also Bobby Deol and Lara Dutta.

The story is quite simple: Rikki Thukral (played by Abhishek Bachchan), a fun-loving guy meets Alvira Kahn (Preity Zinta), a beautiful woman. Rikki tries to swoon Alvira but she lies and says she’s to be married soon. Upon hearing this, Rikki quickly defends himself and says he has no intentions on flirting with her because he is also engaged.

And so they end up sharing a table in a crowded coffee shop in Waterloo Train Station, telling beautiful lies about how they both met their imaginary partners.

But after spending some time together they come to like each other and both of them regret lying. And here’s where the fun starts. They try to get in touch with each other but at the same time they try to keep up with the lies they had told. And soon Bobby Deol and Lara Dutta come into picture as their fake partners.

And there’s a lot of dancing and singing, and a nice ending.

The thing I like most about this movie is the transition from the normal action to the songs. The best was by far Bol Na Halke Halke. While the main action takes place in London, the love scenes take place in the beautiful India. The gray buildings were replaced by the beautiful landscapes and it’s just dream like. I am an outdoor person and I really do enjoy things like that, even if the fields of green are just on a screen.

And I always had a soft spot for India.

So, this movie has a beautiful cast (and talented I might add), beautiful songs, lovely story and it was captivating. Believe it or not I watched it in a single try with no breaks, OK maybe a break or two when I had to go to the bathroom. But even so it was worth watching.

Gupt: The Hidden Truth

Caution: If you don’t like spoilers then don’t read this post at all. 

I’ve been wanting to see Gupt: The Hidden Truth ever since I read that Kajol won an award for portraying a negative character. I really couldn’t imagine Kajol, the sweetheart of Bollywood, being mean and violent.

The plot of the movie is full of twists and turns, bloody fight scenes (only Bollywood actors can deliver) and a very abrupt ending in my opinion.

The plot :

Sahil Sinha (Bobby Deol) comes from a wealthy family. He is the stepson of Governor Jaisingh Sinha whom he does not get along with whilst the Governor tries to get close to him. Sahil enrolls in college where he is reunited with his childhood friend Isha Diwan (Kajol) and meets another girl Sheetal (Manisha Koirala). Both girls are in love with Sahil, but Sahil loves Isha.

Sheetal is set to be married with Sahil, but Sahil objects to the wedding arrangements and tells the world that he is in love with Isha. In the process he threatens his step father with a knife. The next day, Sahil step father is brutally killed and Sahil is blamed for it.

As expected, Sahil is sentenced to prison. But, with the help of an old inmate and Sheetal (who still tries to win him over) he manages to escape from prison. Out of the prison he goes to Isha and tries to find out who is the real killer of his step father.

In the process he is hunted down by inspector Udham Singh (Om Puri). After he tries all the possible suspects, the inspector Udham investigates the Diwan household where he finds the knife used in the killings (well the set from which the knife used for the killings came from). Isha’s father confesses to killing the governor because he was angry that the governor would not let Isha marry Sahil.

But in a twist of events, it is revealed that Isha is the real murderer. She attempts to kill the inspector and Sheetal but fails, as she is shot by the inspector and dies in the arms of Sahil.

You know, I make it sound better than it actually was.

Gupt: The Hidden Truth won three Filmfare Awards, and Kajol was the first woman in the history of Filmfare Award to win  Best Villain award and that at the beginning of her career.

But, it lacked so many things, for example, I cringed seeing them dance. They were so rigid. The lip syncing was truly awful and the movie, from my point of view, had only one cool song.  The story was good, the actors were good but the rest was not.

Even so I enjoyed the movie. It was a change from my usual picks.

I was also happy to see that Manisha Koirala was in it. While Kajol and Bobby Deol’s careers are still going strong, Manisha Koirala is a bit of a mess at the moment. In fact, it’s a miracle she still makes films at her age (42) but now I’m being an idiot.

Manisha Koirala is probably one of the few actresses in Bollywood that can act. The years may not have been good to her, her personal life may be a mess, but she still has talent. The only thing she lacks are the right connections and a good movie to give her the boost to re-launch her career. That and a little more self esteem.

Even so I doubt she’ll be able to make a comeback. It is easier for men to make a comeback than for women, and I doubt she will charm anyone in the state she is right now. I’ve found this article about her on IndiaGlitz and this is how the beautiful Manisha Koirala looks today:

Dulha Mil Gaya (2010)

Another day, another hindi movie.

And this time I picked something a little more recent: Dulha Mil Gaya (2010).

A cute romantic comedy with Sushmita Sen (former Miss Universe), Shah Rukh Khan (King Khan as he is known in Bollywood), Fardeen Khan and Ishmita Sharma, both new actors for me.

I don’t have a base on which I pick my Bollywood movies, except Debu’s recommendations, but this one just happened to be on the first page of my random notebook (used for movies and books I wish to see/read).

I know Sushmita Sen from the year she won Miss Universe along with Aishwarya Rai who won Miss World. This was way back in 1994. It was the only year I actually watched the Miss World pageant. It was a really good year for India in the beauty department. In fact I don’t think any other country managed to win both top spots at the Miss World pageant ever.

Unlike Aishwarya Rai who shoot to fame instantly, Sushmita Sen career as an actress took a more slower pace. How do I know this, well I remember that the first movie shown on TVR1 that sparked the Bollywood trend on Romanian television was Devdas (with Shah Rukh Khan and Aishwarya Rai) and they followed with Main Hoon Na (with Shah Rukh Khan and Sushmita Sen). 

From those two movies I loved Main Hoon Na more, because it was funny, and I involuntarily became an instant fan of Shah Rukh Khan.

Now, back to “Dulha Mil Gaya“.

The film revolves around Shimmer (Sushmita Sen) an international super model who likes to hang around Tej “Donsai” Dhanraj (Fardeen Khan), a heart breaker. Donsai is known for his reluctance to marry and the fact that he can be an idiot, much to Shimmer liking.

Donsai is given a big blow when he learns that the only way to inherit his father empire company is by marrying a Punjab girl, named Samarpreet (Ishita Sharma). Donsai is saved by his lawyer that tells him he can marry her, leave her in India, and just continue with his playboy lifestyle like nothing ever happened.

Samarpreet doesn’t like the fact that her husband left her behind and decides to follow him so they can sort out things. After three months, Samarpreet comes to Donsai’s home to look for him, where she finds him with another woman. She  has a nervous breakdown, gets hit by a car and as “fate” dictates she ends up with Shimmer.

When Shimmer learns about the entire thing she decides to give Samarpreet a makeover in order to make Donsai fall in love with her.

The rest of the movie you’ll find out by watching it or reading about it on Wikipedia. Here’s the official trailer of the movie, if anyone is interested in it:

I wasn’t expecting the main story to focus on Samarpreet and Donsai. I mean, you got SRK and Sushmita Sen playing in it, but they take a step back when Ishita Sharma and Fardeen Khan come on screen.

That’s something new, especially in Bollywood when big actors are known for being drama queens on the set of movies. That doesn’t mean that SRK character isn’t portrayed as a hero or that Sushmita Sen character is second in beauty to anyone in the movie.

It’s more like they are the caretakers of everything and everyone. It’s a good movie to watch if you have a few hours to spend on the couch in your own living room. I would rate it 6, maybe a 7 out of 10.

Dilwale Dulhania le Jayenge

I have so much free time on my hands right now that I don’t know what to do with it.

Besides applying for jobs and working on improving myself and my resume at the same time, I decided I should take things slowly and just try and relax. Besides the fact that I finished reading “The Body” by Stephen King and “The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins I actually managed to watch and a Bollywood movie: Dilwale Dulhania le Jayenge.

I had to watch it in two parts because the movie lasted 3 hours without the intro.

It’s an old movie from 1995 and it stars Shah Rukh Khan as Raj Malhotra and Kajol as Simran Singh. The story is pretty simple, Raj and Simran have been brought up in Britain but Raj parents are more open minded where Simran’s are more conservative.

Simran and Raj

Raj fails to graduate from university but his father is very happy about it because no one in their family has ever taken school serious. Raj takes his chance and asks for some free time (and money so he can take a trip around Europe) to enjoy his youth before he starts work at his father’s company.

Simran graduates from university but she can’t enjoy her success because she is set to marry in India. Simran plays the good girl card and asks her father for one month of freedom before she goes to India. Surprisingly her father allows her one month to take a trip around Europe with her friends, but tells her she must not shame the family name which basically translates into “Be careful with who you hang with“.

So Raj and Simran are thrown together by fate and end up on the same trip. Of course, they don’t get along because of their different personalities. Because of Raj, they miss the train to Zurich and are separated from their friends, much to Simran despair.

Around this time they start to known each other better and in the end fall in love. But, Simran’s father finds out about her betrayal and he sells their house in England and moves the family to India, where Simran is set to marry.

Raj follows the Singh’s (Simran family) all the way to India in order to win her father over. But he has only one month to do so before Simran wedding.

In the end, after a few events and of course a fight only seen in Bollywood movies, Simran and Raj are allowed to get married.

It doesn’t sound much does it when it’s all described like that, but you don’t watch Bollywood movies just for the story. Well, I don’t. I watch Bollywood movies because they break away from Hollywood standards. I love the songs, the actors and the visuals. Yes, the visuals. Only Bollywood movies take you from a dark grey street to a beautiful mountain top or a field full of flowers.

If I would have to rate this movie I would give it a 7 out of 10. My only complaint with it was the lack of humor and the fact that it lasted 3 hours.