Did you know that Aamir Khan is actually on facebook? Thanks to
Filmi Girl I added him as my friend (and it is really him) and found out today that the theatrical promo for 3 Idiots has been released. I'm not really sure what the film is about as I haven't read the book it's based on but it looks really funny.
Oh my God yaar, I can not wait for this film! I'm giddy with anticipation. Plus, is it just me or does Aamir look FANTASTIC!
Update Nov 7: First song release Aal Izz Well
Did you know that Aamir Khan is actually on facebook? Thanks to
I've always loved Halloween, but as you grow up and have kids the focus generally gets shifted to them. Tonight I'm partaking in the first adult Halloween party I'll have been to in over 5 years. A couple of friends of mine asked what I was going to be and just assumed that I'd go decked out in saree. While I refused to do so (saree for me isn't a costume) I wasn't amazed at the amount of Bollywood themed costumes out there, however, they are not all good. Would you dress up in this?:
At any rate, being a lover of Halloween, I was inspired to do a youtube search for scary Bollywood. I'm not a fan of scary movies and haven't yet seen a Hindi horror, though I just purchased Bhool Bhulaiya and I think that is supposed to have a little bit of suspense in it. Also I have to admit there was one scene in Ishq that kind of freaked me out, even though the movie is not a horror (I am a total wuss I know). Check out the video at about 9 minutes.
I also found this:
Okay, this isn't that scary. But I want to know how big this house is and why is she all alone in it?
How are you celebrating Halloween this year? Do you have a favorite scary movie?
I'm pretty sure this movie was a giant flop in cinema's, at least I think that's what I read somewhere. But I tend to ignore critics and watch films anyway. Sometimes I pay the price, but it's very rare that I watch a film and find absolutely nothing in it that I like. The synopsis on the back of the dvd jacket didn't say much about U, Me Aur Hum other than it was a love story set aboard a cruise ship starring Ajay and Kajol and directed, for the first time, by Ajay. What they didn't say was that the film would deal with Alzheimer's, a disease which saddens and terrifies me at the same time. I am a sucker for a tear jerker. I cried when the Hendersons said goodbye to Harry. So, suffice to say that I reached for a kleenex or two in between my sister telling me to turn it off because she couldn't take anymore! Anyway, how's that for build up? Now on to the film.
We start off with an older dashing Ajay telling his grown son to make a move on a girl that he likes. His son tells him that he will if his dad does also with the woman of his choice. His son then picks an aged (but still terribly beautiful) Kajol. He sits with her and starts to tell her a love story. Immediately I thought, well, it's very obvious that he's telling this woman their very own story and right away The Notebook came to mind, though I think Ajay's version is very different and has just as much to offer. Where I think U Me Aur Hum falls slightly in the first half of the film is the development of Ajay and Piya's relationship, the redundant dialogues and the "in it just to be in it" comedy. It's love at first sight for him, and while Piya rejects his advances, his persistence and the fact that he's read her "Book of Possibilities" and uses it to his full advantage finally wins her over, despite his drunken attempts at wooing her through song during what seemed like some sort of cruise ship orgy club. It's smooth sailing until she finds out what a cad he's been (though I'm sure I read somewhere that all's fair in love and war), but we knew a reconciliation was in order or else it would have been an awfully short film.
There are some strangely funny bits in the first half (Ajay's recollections of a dance performance gone terribly wrong brings a smile to my lips for the sheer silliness of it all!), and some just strange bits including a small boy who stalks Ajay all over the cruise ship for purposes that seem much sinister than they actually are. Several of the jokes are put in there to fill a quota I'm sure, but doesn't add to the feel of the film in any sense (yes, I'm talking about the streaking bet and the ogling by stereotypical gay man. Ugh). It isn't until just right before interval that you know the movie's about to take a turn, and, for me, the second half was worth watching the entire movie for.
The second half of the film is very effective, and is the reason I would recommend this film. Ajay takes a look at early on-set Alzheimer's (which I did research a little for verification and it can start to set in as early as 30 years of age, though it is extremely rare) and how it affects not only Piya herself, but the people around her. Ajay includes some scenes that are very effective and chilling, from the first scene where Piya finds herself stranded on the road outside her house, to the jump rope bit to the bathtub scene with their baby. Each give glimpses of the severity of the disease and where Ajay really excels is showing how this disease effects the people around it.
This leads me into the performances. I first saw Ajay as the patient and caring husband in Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, and immediately was impressed by the subtle quality to his acting. I don't think he'd be accused of that in the first half of this film, but I think redemption is all his after interval. He does an excellent job as the husband who is torn between what he thinks is the right thing to do by his wife, and what he knows is the right thing. You can see the relief in his eyes when Piya recognizes the baby she just gave birth to, the despair he feels after the above mentioned bathtub incident, and the moment when he realizes that he's lost the battle. Of the films I've seen, I think this is his finest performance so far (however, I recently acquired Omkara and can't wait to see him in that one). A quick word on Ajay the director: I don't have any experience behind a camera, but I thought that overall he did a good job. I think the vision he had for the look of the film was achieved, however, a tighter reign on some of the supporting characters may have made them a little more bearable.
Kajol is one of my favorite actresses. I've loved her from the first movie I saw her in, and I think this role is a fine example of why she remains one of Bollywood's sweethearts. She was just the right combination of cynical and playful in the first half (and during Saiyaan where the dysfunctional Piya turns, albeit briefly, into her sexy coquettish self ). Of course, just as Ajay, the second half is where she shines. Her interpretation of someone suffering from a mental illness seemed very realistic (of course this is coming from someone who has never seen the effects up close and in person). The confusion that surrounded her daily life was very well depicted and she made my heart break. I thought it was quite compelling when she did the little speech about how awful it must be for the families of Alzheimer's patients after finding the article about it. Now, that's irony!
I'm not familiar Vishal Bhardwaj's work (and I have to admit it's taking me a while to get into Kaminey's music), but he did a good job with the music in this film. The catchiest of the film is the Latin flavored Jee Lee. It definitely has some get up and go to it, and the picturization alone is enough to get me to want to go on a cruise. Mass Salsa dancing anyone? Dil Dhakda Hai is a better song without the picturization. It has some definite catchy melodies and lyrics, but I could have done without the aforementioned "orgy club". Maybe they should have bathed everyone in red like Paying Guest's 'Nazara Se Nasaria' instead of the blue. Red Light district on a cruise ship.
U Me aur Hum raises much above the light rom com's and delivers a maturely crafted movie. The sheer sincerity and intensity of the attempt involves you so influentially that you almost have no choice to put your inner critic in the backseat and let your heart take over your mind.
In a related, yet unrelated, note, I also recently took in another Ajay movie, the comedy Sunday. Also a movie that centers on memory loss, more specifically the temporary loss of one day, it is much much different than U Me Aur Hum. Admittedly, I haven't found many Hindi comedies very funny, but I actually did enjoy many parts of this one. Sunday gives an ample dose of comedy that's funny rather than asinine, and an interesting storyline including a whodunit kind of mystery that actually keeps you guessing until the very end. Though the movie isn’t a ground-breaking revolution, the screenplay and subplots makes the movie pretty interesting, especially those surrounding Arshad Warsi and Irfan Khan's characters, who have the best roles in the movie in my opinion.
I didn't want to do a full scope review on this one, but couldn't resist a couple of screen shots of what is now my favorite comedy duo.
There is SO MUCH going on right now in Bollyland I can't seem to keep up. Today in my travels, I found lots and lots of goodies including the video of remix version of Tu Jaane Na from Ranbir and Katrina's Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani. I love Ranbir's nerd avatar. So adorable, just like this movie's going to be I hope!
While we're talking about Katrina, I hadn't seen this one yet from De Dana Dan. I love all of Katrina's looks. The movie sounds pretty funny too.
I also came across this little news bit about Aishwarya and Abhishek's Lux commercial. While it doesn't show the commercial (just poor quality excerpts), I thought that the host of the show it came from was hilarious. Wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah!
I know I'm not first to show these, but couldn't resist posting the new movie posters for Rocket Singh: Salesman of the Year and 3 Idiots.
I'd be remiss if I didn't mention Shah Rukh's recent honour from South Korea. For his contribution to art, culture and cinema, he was presented by the South Korean Government an honorary belt in taekwondo and given the title of honorary ambassador for culture and tourism. Just another feather in his overloaded cap. Now, someone please make a movie featuring Akshay and SRK as martial arts BFF's. I'm sure some stunt director could make it look like SRK knows what he's doing!
And, lastly, another SRK tidbit, and the reason I wish I lived in an area where I could actually get magazines. *sobs knowing that she'll never get the Kajol/SRK Vogue from last month*
Can I just say again how happy I am that I can once again see movies in the theatre (even though it still requires planning and 3 hours on the road). Yay!
Have a great day everyone!
Have you ever had a movie that you purchased that just sat and sat and you never watched because you didn't know anyone it or anything about it and when you finally got around to watching it you wonder why it took you so long to watch it in the first place? That's kind of how I feel about Mira Nair's Monsoon Wedding.
There are so many themes touched on in this film it's almost difficult to distinguish which is the main one. On one hand we have a film dealing with Indian values and traditions vs. Western affluence and globalization. Then we have a deep and direct look at family relations and love. Lastly we see each character's internal struggle to find who they are and where they want to be. What I really loved about this movie was how Mira has woven an elaborate ensemble piece that integrates all of these themes, culminating them into a filmi pot full of vibrant color and chaos!
That the film is sometimes hard to follow (especially at the beginning) is an understatement. There are so many characters that you don't really know who is related to who, but as the story progresses and we are introduced to a myriad of subplots, you eventually get a handle on things and get swept in the ride. The main story revolves around the arranged marriage of Aditi to NRI Hemant. Aditi is having an extramarital affair with a rather cheesy unflattering married television host and has agreed to a marriage that will not only get her out of the back seat of said tv host's car, but into America. Though the story centralizes on an upper-middle class family, we see the head patriarch struggle with how to pay for this extravagant wedding (I know of some Canadian weddings that have cost upward of $25,000 for one night - I can't imagine how much money would go into the week long celebrations of an Indian one). There is the comical and touching subplot of the wedding planner, P.K. Dubey, who ends up smitten with the family's maid, and one very disturbing subplot revolved around sexual abuse.
It is a large cast for sure, but there were really only two stand out performances for me. Naseeruddin Shah, as Lilit Varma, was wonderful as the very stressed out father of the bride. In a sensitive, complex portrayal that never feels like acting, even for a moment, he breaths life into Lilit with his facials, dialogue delivery and body language, etching each scene whether emotional or comical into your mind. Though I've seen very little of his work, I would have to say that, so far, for me this is my favorite role (though I've heard very good things about A Wednesday, so we'll see if it holds up).
My very favorite person in this film was Vijay Raaz. At first you're not sure of this character P.K Dubey. He is surly and belligerent, spouting profanities as he bickers with Varma. Then, just as it should be, he falls for Alice (Tilotoma Shome), the Verma’s live-in maid, and you see an immediate change in his demeanor. Raaz gives a very raw and natural performance, even when consuming hordes of marigolds! The scene where he declares his love and intentions to her is one of the most heartwarming I've seen so far. I'm pretty sure I clapped.
The music in the film serves more as a background score, I think, and there isn't one song that stands more than another in my mind. That being said, Mychael Danna' does do a good job on integrating several different styles into the soundtrack, combining bhangra pop features with traditional/classic music of the past. My favorite off the album is probably Sukhwinder Singh's Aaj Mera Jee Karda, which we see during the actual wedding with the streets of Delhi making an appearance, this picturization wraps up all the pandemonium with a pretty little bow.
So, there you have it. Though not a Bollywood movie, still a very decent movie with a good story and lots of heart. Also, I want to go to an Indian wedding! Someone invite me quick!
Couture week is over and ended with a bang! Shah Rukh & Gauri, Dino, Imran and Ranbir all sizzled at the grand finale of HDIL India Couture Week, strutting their stuff for K.Jo's men's collection.
Is there a prettier Bollywood couple?
Shah Rukh is such a runway pro now. He was looking so serious!
Preity and Priyanka looking fantastic.
Bebo, you always look so chic. I wish Saif would stay clean shaven for a while. I miss his face.
Also, I came across this absolutely stunning magazine cover of Rani on Brit-Asian Magazine. LOVE the sunglasses.
And finally, I am SO EXCITED!!!!! Not only did I replenish my movie supply this weekend (including Shah Rukh's Paheli which I've been dying to see), but my semi-local theatre is FINALLY showing new releases again! Now there is no way I'm missing those movies I am dying to see! Hooray!
In honor of the godess Lakshmi, Lord Ganesh and all of my Bollyblogger friends, I wanted to wish everyone a wonderful Diwali. May your days be filled with peace, prosperity and good fortune!
Deepavali is here, Deepavali is here
That grand festival of Lights
That ends evil after a protracted fight
When good with all its might
Leads us from darkness to Light.
Deepavali is here, Deepavali is here
That great festival of sound
When crackers and laughter abound
When crackers and sparklers light up the sky
When delighted children jump with joy.
Deepavali is here, Deepavali is here
That gorgeous festival of snacks and sweets
Where everyone enjoys a royal feast
When old and young with delight meet
With love and affection all hearts beat.
Diwali is here, Diwali is here
That gracious festival which celebrates victory
The ancient festival of myth and mystery
That is mentioned in both mythology and history
The festival that signals Triumph over Tragedy.
by: Shyam Phatak
Apparently I am not immune to draw of reality tv, and last night, after watching all season, I caught the finale for Hell's Kitchen. While the antics of Gordon Ramsey are almost enough to post on themselves, the real reason for this post is because the last challenge of the show included each of the contestants creating "world" cuisine, and of course India's cuisine was one that was featured. Along with the challenge, Ramsey had guest judges, one of which was Indian chef Vikas Khanna.
Originally from Amritsar, Vikas moved to New York in 2000 and is currently the executive chef at Salaam Bombay restaurant. His accolades are extensive and include such awards as the Taste of India award from the James Beard Foundation, the Access to Freedom award from SATH, and the first Indian to win the prestigious Shining Star Award from J.O.B., man of the year in Chicago and New Yorker of the week. The list goes on and on. He was even blessed by His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
As if being a world wide famous chef isn't enough, he's also very involved in charity work. He established the New York Chef's "Cooking for Life" Foundation to organize events to raise money for various causes around the World, and launched SAKIV in 2005 to host vision expos all around the world in an effort to reach out to different EYE foundations around South Asia.
And if all that wasn't enough to love him right away, you can't ignore how incredible handsome he is! (Sorry, couldn't help myself!). And with that, I'm off to research some fantastic Indian recipes!
There are so many fantastic playback singers out there, but I think my favorite is Sonu Niigam. With around 40 various awards ranging from best playback singer to most stylish to best pop artist. He has been proving himself for years in the field of music. He's tried his hand at acting, hosting tv and radio shows, as well as putting out his own albums and performing in concert all over the world. With a repertoire that includes a vast multitude of songs and languages, Sonu is definitely one of India's finest!
In no particular order, here are a few of my favorite Sonu filmi songs.
1. Kal Ho Naa Ho title track
I think this will always be my favorite song. While the song is done twice in the film, it's the "happy" one I love - though it's hard to categorize this as a truly happy song. While the lyrics talk about living life to the fullest, there is a melancholy note to the song as well.
2. Main Agar Kahoon - Om Shanti Om
One of my absolute favorite Bollywood films for so many wonderful reasons, this was the very first Hindi song I learned the lyrics for, and so, just for that, it is special to me. Picturized in the first half of the film, it has a wonderful nostalgic feel to it, plus it features Shah Rukh looking so handsome in a tux (plus I like the sideburns!)
Bole Chudiyan - Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham
Even though he's joined by several in this ensemble song, I can't help but run the picturization through my head each time I hear it. It makes me want to get up and dance...that it until it takes a serious downer as we head back to reality at the end. Oh, the saga that is a dream sequence.
Tumhi Dekho Na - Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna
So I know I'm one of the few who actually likes this film, but what about the music? This song is so melodiously pleasing, that, even if you can't forgive Dev and Maya for their indiscretions, the music is still beautiful.
Mere Haath Main - Fanaa
Up until now I've focused on Shah Rukh films, but let's not forget that there is more to Bollywood (did I just say that?!). I love this film and pretty much every song from it, but this song just touches a nerve. It's beautifully haunting and romantic.
Jagte Raho - Just Married
I haven't seen this film just yet, but I love the song. The lyrics roll of the tongue, the melody is gorgous and soothing, and as I write this I haven't even seen the YouTube video through. Maybe I should do that!
Chup Chup Ke - Bunty Aur Babli
This film is so much fun and I think you immediately fall in love with the title characters, so it's a nice setup when they actually fall in love with each other too. I'm almost thinking I should have named this post more like "My favorite romantic songs", because most of them are turning out to be just that. What can I say? I'm a romantic at heart after all!
Tenu Leke - Salaam-e Ishq
Okay, so something upbeat after all. When my sister and I threw our one and only Bollywood themed party, of course I had to bring my ipod. When this song came on, I started my own rendition of an Indian conga line. It's the perfect song for that! Consequently, I think that the Salman/Priyanka story line in the movie is one of my favorites and this song is so incredibly full of life! How can you resist?
Phir Milenge Chalte Chalte - Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi
Whether looked upon as a tribute or otherwise, I am grateful that musical directors do the compilation/medley songs as it gives us newbies a chance to hear snippets from classic movies, thus broadening our horizons. Sonu does a great job singing seamlessly from each of the different styles in this one, and, even though it's not my favorite off the album, it still has a lot going for it...
which allowed me to find this wonderful song by Kishore Kumar:
and these ones:
There's much more great stuff out there, but this is but a small taste of Sonu's talent. What's your favorite Sonu song?
I just wanted to send a special shout out to TheBollywoodFan, who is currently running a giveaway at his blog (here's the link). Thanks to him I've won a copy of the soundtrack to Blue.
It's Thanksgiving here in Canada, and I'm celebrating by eating a whole lotta turkey and watching a whole lotta Bollywood. I've very excited for some reason to see Welcome to Sajjanpur and started watching the very strange Sunday, so we'll see where the weekend takes me.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
It was a disappointing month of September for me in the field of movie watching. I received several movies from zip.ca and had to return them unwatched simply because I did not have time (that, and my husband was badgering me to return them so he could get movies while I was in Vegas). I had to return Mr. Bachchan's Don (which I was extremely excited to watch and compare to Shah Rukh's version), Chupke Chupke, Honeymoon Travels Pvt. Ltd. and Kabhi Kabhie. If any of those are worth rerenting, let me know.
Anyway, when I got home I received Mujhse Dosti Karogi and was thrilled I actually had time to watch it. And, what could be better than coming home to Hrithik, Rani and Kareena? Under the Chopra banner, we see first time director, Kunal Kohli, take us on a filmi-medley of various love triangle stories all culminating into a movie I still didn't mind watching. Simply put, Raj (Hrithik), Tina (Kareena) and Pooja (Rani) are childhood friends, thick as thieves if we are to believe the narrative. Raj leaves the country with his parents and continues to correspond with Pooja via email, though he thinks he is talking to Tina (who he was quite fond of when he was young). Why on earth Pooja would have started this farce is beyond me, but then we wouldn't have had a movie. 15 years later, everyone is grown up. Pooja loves Raj, but when she learns that he is coming back, she begs the superficial and snobby Tina to pretend that it was in fact she that wrote the emails all along. So, Raj loves Tina, Pooja loves Raj and Tina loves herself.
The first half of the movie goes along without many memorable moments. I wanted to cry out over and over again, however, that Raj needed to get his eyes checked - who in their right mind would look at Rani and think she was in any way inferior to Kareena? The best moment was right before interval when Raj realizes where he heart truly lies. It was definitely worthy of a high five! Anyway, somewhere along the way Tina, in what I can only assume is out of boredom, decides she loves Raj too. What ensues is the very typical sacrifice over love drama that has you ripping your hair out. I think we all know how this is going to end.
So, like I said earlier, this movie does indeed have an all-star cast. Though Hrithik doesn't show me anymore than I have already seen in terms of character portrayal, my sister and I were both witness for the first time to Hrithik's extra appendage. I don't know why or how I didn't stumble upon this before, and not like it makes any difference to his acting or the fact that he's always smoking hot, but the discovery took us by surprise and I put in some of his other films just to verify. Little did I know that this is common fact. A couple of times I had to comment on how large his nostrils seemed (a byproduct of emotional acting), but overall, Hrithik's portrayal of Raj was just okay. Certainly not in the same realm as what I felt for him in Koi...Mil Gaya or Dhoom, but okay nonetheless.
Kareena's Tina almost seemed an extension of her Pooja character from K3G - selfish and self-centered with some redeemable qualities near the end. I have never been a huge fan of Bebo, but maybe I just haven't found the right movie that will do it for me (though I really didn't mind her at all in Jab We Met). For a film that stars three leads, it was surprising to me to see how much Kareena's role seemed to be very much in the background. As for Uday, his short lived role was too short for me. However, I liked seeing him in a more serious romantic kind of role rather than the caricature I've seen in some of his other films.
The shining star for me in this one belongs to Rani Mukherjee for a wonderful portrayal of the woman who would sacrifice everything for the sake of friendship. She has by far the most meatiest role and displays great emotions in every frame. Even though her character demands that she look torn and hurt for most of the film, her expressions are never fake or overdone. While discussing character development, I have to say two things further. I found it kind of funny that Rani plays a character named Pooja and Kareena plays a character named Tina (when each of them played a character with the opposite name in the movies K3G and KKHH). Also, one of the film's biggest flaws lies in the development of this group of 3 friends as a whole unit. They were supposed to be very close when they were growing up, yet you don't feel a sense of camaraderie between anyone except Raj and Pooja.
First time musical director Rahul Sharma, in what is really his only stint in filmi music, delivers a mixed bag. Andekhi Anjaani and Jaane Dil Mein definitely sound like they fit into a Chopra film, but Lata sounds way too old to be picturized on Rani. Even though it is sung beautifully, for me it just doesn't fit. Saanwali Si Ek Ladki gives us a chance to see Hrithik in his dancing glory. One of the movie's nicest surprises is the FANTASTIC 18 song-medley (mostly older songs, though I did catch a little DDJL, Kaho Na Pyaar Hai and Kuch Kuch Hota Hai). It was definitely fun to watch.
Overall a good time pass film.
Coming up soon...
I am feeling homesick. I haven't had any time it seems this past month to hardly breath, let alone get my daily Bolly fix. As a consequence, I am going through serious withdrawl. Not quite the kind that would find me in a fetal position in a dark corner of my bathroom, but withdrawl nonetheless. I am feeling especially lonely for some quality Shah Rukh time so what a lovely nice little surprise to find a link in my email today to watch an SRK special on Farah's show Tere Mere Beach Mein that apparently just aired yesterday. I've enjoyed the show in it's entirety but thought I would only post the first part, and you can follow it to YouTube to watch the rest if you so desire! (However, there are no subs so you may want to wait until someone posts with them). Anyway, I need to figure some way to get StarPlus! The previews for Farah's upcoming episodes look sooo funny (with a stumbling Sallu and super cute Shahid!!!!!).
Speaking of Shah Rukh, he has apparently wrapped on My Name is Khan. According to Karan's twitter page,
"Shahrukh just wrapped on MNIK...he has been so amazing through the shoot...he deserves every bit of his legendary status!!
11:33 AM Sep 30th from mobile web. "
I simply CAN NOT wait for this film to come out. In other movie news, it looks like Dulha Mil Gaya is finally set for a November 13th release date. After all the controversy surrounding SRK's role, I'm surprised the film even got finished (I'm sure I read somewhere that it was supposed to have been released early 2008).
Well, that's it for me tonight. Watched Mujhse Dosti Karogi last night and am going to try to get that review up soon. HOWEVER, I've had to send my laptop in AGAIN to Dell to get fixed - it kept overheating and shutting down. Stupid electronics!