Kismat Konnection

If you are looking for a movie with great chemistry or deep and profound social messages watch something else! However, if you simply are craving something a little frothier, devoid of the usual masala trappings, then Kismat delivers as a light entertainer. Aziz Mirza's take on fate, and love vs. ambition is not a new one. In fact it is quite reminiscent of Just My Luck - though why one would want to remake any Lindsay Lohan movie is beyond me! He may have had better luck with this film if it had stayed true to it's original intent rather than branching out into several subplots that only take away from the main story. While there is probably some out there that would debate the whole fate point of view, I don't know really if I believe in destiny or not, so I'm going to leave Mizra his ideology and chalk it up to creative license.

My first instinct was to call this "How to successfully imitate Shah Rukh Khan in 5 easy steps". Shahid Kapoor quickly and easily steps into the chocolate boy role as Raj Malhotra: college wonderboy, unlucky in the real world. He manages, quite easily, to pull off the performance, though his dialogue delivery and body language are almost identical to Shah Rukh's, to the point that he could be easily mistaken as a perfect duplicate. His transformation from desperately ambitious to conscience-stricken was believable. What wasn't believable was how Raj was able to own such a comfortable luxuriously furnished house in Toronto - especially in today's market. Not bad for a struggling architect!

So serious and intense.

Favor's fortune begins to smile on our unlucky lad

A smile that could melt hearts!

This is the second movie I've seen with Vidya Balan - the first being Lage Raho Munna Bhai. In LRMB she seemed quite young for Sanjay Dutt; in Kismat, she seems too old for Raj (which probably why I didn't feel the connection between them in any manner other than friendship). Somewhere out there must be a movie where she finds someone right in the middle and where she isn't in charge of the elderly. Whether it's 2nd Innings House or the senior citizen's community centre, she can't seem to break away from the geriatric angle. While the community centre itself plays a bit of a role in the story, at the very least Mirza could have made it a youth center. That being said, I think Vidya is beautiful and does a fine job in her role.
I simply do not get all the criticism with Vidya's physique - we need to seriously
get away from this "size 0 = beautiful" stuff!

Priya, you naughty girl

Vidya trying to look youthful

Shahid and Vidya try their best to create a love connection between Raj and Priya, but the pair just seem to get stuck on the friendship train rather than onto that path of love. However, they do give it a valiant effort.

Oh, Raj, you're so funny.

Can't you tell, Raj only has eyes for you?

The supporting cast are simply just there, with the exception of a small role by Juhi Chawla as the new-age gypsy fortune teller (much to my delight!). Boman Irani plays a strange cameo as the "waving" stranger who ends up being much more important than we initially think.

I wonder if Juhi would read my fortune

I wish I had a waving friend turned corporate big wig of my very own!

I had a REALLY hard time with the "Canadian" characters in this film - that is, the extras, the absurd blonde background dancers/singers in Kahin na Laage (and why is it that all non-Indian women in Hindi films are always blonde anyway - we brunettes do exist you know!), the cheating boyfriend's love interest. Whenever you watch an Indian film set in a foreign location you have to expect that the "locals" will probably speak Hindi quite fluently most of the time or at least with an Indian accent, but I have no idea what to make of the extras in this movie. Some of them sounded British perhaps, which is odd because I don't think we have an abundance of Brits living in the GTO, but better than the alternative (which I describe as simply weird, with no discernible geographical dialect). Whatever is was, it certainly wasn't Canadian.

As if one shot of the futile blonde bevy weren't enough...

here's another...

and another...

and the creme de la creme, the British (?) blonde homewrecker. Why anyone would cheat on Priya with that is beyond me

Kismat's music is brought to us by the ever talented Pritam. While I don't think it's his best work, the songs are pretty good. Aai Paapi (Tu Hai Meri Soniye) and Move Your Body Now contribute to the urban feel, though the songs don't really do anything to move the story along. Though they do give us a chance to see Shahid in some very shiny silver pants! What movie would be complete without the great engagement party song? Soniye Ve (Dhak Dhak Dhak) gets your feet tapping, but I didn't care for Sunidhi Chauhan's lines nor Vidya's horrific dress. What I really couldn't get over, in addition to my SRK references above, was the similarities between Bakhuda Tumhi Ho and KANK's Mitwa, making the song's picturization probably the best case of plagiarism I've seen to date.

On a final note, I'd be remiss if I didn't give a huge shout out to Mirza for filming in the Toronto/Niagra Falls areas in CANADA!!! How completely unexpected and delightful to see my country being featured in a Bollywood production - even if I had to sit through my sister saying countless times, "I've been there!" Also, I wouldn't be the "true Khancult adherent" as ajnabi calls me if I didn't recognize the wonderful narration done by none other than Shah Rukh Khan himself at the beginning of the film. Ironic, na?

17 Response to "Kismat Konnection"

  1. Jules says:
    August 12, 2009 at 9:33 PM

    Nice review for a fun film. I liked it, can't believe it took us so long to watch it. I'll have to keep an eye more on Shahid throughout the years, because at his level of mimickry for SRK that he already does, he's liable to just up and turn right into him in 5 or 6 years. Of course, nobody will ever replace Shah.

    Hated the cheezy wannabe "Canadian" actors, but like you, I loved that it was filmed in Canada. No worries, sis... next year you'll be there and will rewatc the film and do the exact same thing to me!

  2. Bhargav Saikia says:
    August 12, 2009 at 9:53 PM

    Kismat Konnection is predictable but totally watchable. I feel Shahid has phenomenal screen presence..his boyish charm works wonders in every frame! Vidya Balan is refreshing too. The movie worked because of the two actors..otherwise the plot was pretty boring. Also nice music.

  3. theBollywoodFan says:
    August 12, 2009 at 11:08 PM

    Vidya Balan is among my favorite current actresses, but I didn't like this much at all. I've gotten in trouble for criticizing Vidya's look here, so I'll stay away from that discussion. You should definitely try to see Parineeta, with her and Saif and Sanjay Dutt. She's fabulous!

    As for Shahid imitating SRK, that is so true, but fitting, because India acknowledges SRK borrows a lot from the one and the only Dilip Kumar! ;) *And now I'd better run, LOL*

  4. Anonymous Says:
    August 13, 2009 at 6:12 AM

    Shahid 'imitating' SRK in this film probably has a lot to do with Aziz Mirza's direction. Aziz was the man who gave SRK his big break and made him a star. And I think he mostly worked only with SRK. Shahid has said many times that he is a director's actor. And if one watches Vivah and Jab We Met, his previous two successes, he has no trace of SRK in him. So I, for one, blame Aziz for his completely over the top performance( a la SRK)in KK.

  5. ajnabi says:
    August 13, 2009 at 7:28 AM

    The stuff that Shahid and SRK do, like the over-the-top mannerisms etc., are standard Bollywood hero tropes. Lately things have been moving in a different direction, but when I watch older movies, no matter who the hero is they seem to incorporate the same types of gestures and stuff into their performances. It's as standard as a heroine walking away in a huff during a song or jerking her chin playfully at the hero. LOL

    The reason the gorii girls sound "British" is probably because their voices were dubbed by Australians back home in Mumbai. (Or Indian dubbists trying to sound Canadian, possibly!) Sita-ji over at Bollywood Food Club was commenting on the same thing about all the blonds. It's pretty ridiculous.

    Anyway, I agree with you about it being a nice timepass and nothing more. Still, it had Aai Pappi which is totally fun dancing! And I agree with tBF that you *must* see Parineeta. It's wonderful.

  6. shell says:
    August 13, 2009 at 8:02 AM

    @ Jules - I think Shahid may be turning into one of my faves, at least in my top 10. I can't wait to go to Niagara Falls and say "I saw that in Kismat Konnection!" It'll drive Kim crazy!

    @Bhargav - There certainly wasn't a whole lot of substance to the story line, but I did enjoy it, which may not have happended had it been different actors.

    @theBollywoodfan - Vidya has gotten SO MUCH redicule over the years for her look. She even won a "Nareal" award from Shah Rukh and Saif during the 2008 Filmfare awards for Heyyy Baby. Poor girl! You're not the first to recommend Parineeta - I'm definitely going to look for it on my next movie buying blitz.
    Also, I have heard SRK himself say he "borrows" acting styles from some of the greats, so I can't be too hard on Shahid. I suppose if you have to emulate someone, do it from the best!

    @Anon - I 100% agree. I've seen only Jab We Met, but I didn't see any similarites in the two actors in that one, so it probably has to do with Mirza for sure. However, even though it was reminisce of SRK, I didn't really think it was that over the top. Maybe that's because there were no crying scenes!

    @ ajnabi - I recognize that over acting is standard Bollywood fare, but I think that some overdo it more than others. I think, for instance, that Sallubhai is the worst offender of them all.
    I never thought of the voices being dubbed, but of course they are. The whole blonde thing really irritates me. Those 4 aside, all of the extras were blonde except for one that I saw. I just don't get it!
    I am going to get on Parineeta right away!

  7. bollyviewer says:
    August 13, 2009 at 10:17 PM

    I've only seen part of this one because I had to switch it off for a while and just never worked up the enthusiasm to get back to it! But based on what I saw, I agree with ajnabi, that Shahid was simply doing the masala-hero scenery-chewing part - a tradition that SRK is the only one to follow these days (Sallu doesnt overact - he just CANT act!). That said, I may not have seen the SRK similarities because Shahid's voice, accent and intonation are very different from King Khan's, not to mention their looks which are pretty different too (SRK never looked like somebody's favorite baby brother!).

  8. shell says:
    August 14, 2009 at 7:42 AM

    You don't think that Shah Rukh had a bit of a baby face when he first started? I totally do.
    Of all of the heroes in all the movies I've seen (and, admittedly I haven't seen that many in comparison to most of the community on here), I've never seen similarities between actors before - for instance I wouldn't say that Abhishek ever reminded me of Shah Rukh even his more masala type roles. I remember turning to my sister about 3/4 way throug Kismat and saying, is it just me or does it feel like we're watching a young SRK?

    oh, and lol on the Sallu bit. I have such a hard time digesting his movies.

  9. bollyviewer says:
    August 14, 2009 at 10:19 AM

    No, I never thought SRK had a baby-face, starting out (nothing like Aamir or Shahid, for e.g.). But then, I was a kid when I saw SRK first, and have kind of grown up with his movies. So, what strikes me as "young" now would have been properly grown up 20 years ago!

  10. shell says:
    August 14, 2009 at 2:11 PM

    I see your point.

  11. Lyregal says:
    August 14, 2009 at 11:32 PM

    Speaking of all the non-Indian blondes... you ever notice that when there are any non-Indian actors with speaking parts that they tend to be the WORST actors ever? (Except in Salaam E Ishq. Govinda's love interest wasn't too bad.)

  12. bollywooddeewana says:
    August 15, 2009 at 2:33 AM

    i do see your point with the blonde thing, perhaps bollywood feels that by adding blondes they're giving off an International feel/vibe

    Its funny that even movies set in India seem to have all blonde dancers,which i do find quite unsettling sometimes

  13. shell says:
    August 15, 2009 at 7:34 AM

    @ Lyregal - I've only seen three movies with non-Indian speaking roles (one was Salaam-E-Ishq, and I didn't think Shannon Esra did a bad job), and the others were Alice Patten in RDB and Rachel Shelley in Lagaan. I didn't love Shelley that much, but I think they all did an admirable job overall. I did love that Shelley's character was a brunette! Hooray!!!

    @ bollywooddeewana - I think tht's exactly what they are doing, but I almost find it insulting to the rest of the population that all non-Indian people, extras, dancers or otherwise are just simply white and blonde. I think I did see a little diversity in OSO's Dard-E Disco (I think there's two brunettes and one African/American woman), but even that's nothing to write home about. I wonder if they simply do it as a contrast to their Indian actresses?

  14. Anonymous Says:
    October 7, 2009 at 9:23 PM

    LOL! You may like my post. We had some identical screen caps and impressions. :)

    All the best!

  15. shell says:
    October 8, 2009 at 6:49 AM

    Welcome Sita-ji! I've seen your comments on some other blogs til now, thanks for visiting mine! I'll have to go check out your post for sure! Come back and visit again!

  16. Erin Georgia says:
    January 25, 2010 at 10:40 PM

    Haha, I was going to comment on the blondes. It's highly distressing that they seem to think all non-Indians are vapid, pale, scrawny things.

    I too want Juhi to read my fortune...!

  17. shell says:
    January 26, 2010 at 6:55 AM

    The blondes made me crazy!