London Dreams/Munnabhai MBBS

Wow, what happened to April. I don't know about you, but it seems like time is perpetually stuck on fast forward. Either that or all the days are melding into one giant cluster. Anyway, though my time has been taken over once again with card designing, I still have managed to take in a few movies. Here's a couple of thoughts...

Sometimes all it takes for me to watch a film is one song. In this case it was a few, as I think the soundtrack to London Dreams is just about brilliant. And that's a compliment to the Shankar Eshaan Loy team, because it meant I was willingly going to sit through an entire movie with Salman Khan!

London Dreams stars Ajay Devgn as Arjun, the man who's only aspiration in life is to perform at Wimbley Stadium, thus setting right the disastrous embarrassment his family suffered at the hands of his grandfather. Salman Khan plays Mannu, the childhood friend with a natural gift for music that could possibly help Arjun achieve his goals, if a predictable case of the green eyed monster doesn't set in first.

I actually didn't mind this film. I thought Ajay was his handsome brooding self, though to be perfectly honest I could have done without the physical self-discipline. Despite the fact that Vipul Shah probably should have cast someone a little younger for the role, he carries it well. Salman, well what can I say about Salman? He had some fairly important scenes in the film and yet I managed to laugh out loud several times at scenes that were sometimes intentionally funny, sometimes not. If there's one thing I can give him credit for, he sure knows hot to play the ignorant buffoon to a tee! Asin, as the boy's love interest, wasn't nearly as memorable or engaging for me as her role in Ghajini. She was lovely to look at though.

What I remember most about London Dreams is the ending though (and probably not for the right reasons). All I can say is someone must have gotten a heck of a deal on plastic water bottles. Not a bad time pass film I suppose.

I watched Lage Raho Munnabhai quite some time ago, and was really impressed with the way Rajkumar Hirani told his story Munna. Would the first in the series be better or worse than it's successor? The film starts off much in the same fashion that LRMB does, with Munna's goons participating in some charade that's relevant to their "social work". Soon, we discover that it is time for an annual parental visit from the Mumbia crime don's family and watch in amazement as every single person helps transform the area into a very effective looking hospital facade, complete with patients and medical instruments. Oh the lengths we go to impress our parents. However, enter Dr. Asthana (Bowman Irani), and soon all hell breaks loose, shattering Munna's duplicity and breaking the trust this small family had. Deciding not to roll over and give up, Munna decides that he has to turn his lies into reality and heads off to medical school, a journey that includes more hi jinx, some heartwarming moments, lessons learned and some romance all wrapped up in a pretty comical package. Though the be honest, I could have done without the romance bit.

Sanjay Dutt is really just the perfect actor to play Murli Prasad Sharma, and I find it very interesting to take a character that's suppose to be rough and make him so completely sympathetic. Murli craves acceptance from his father, yearns for love and understands the differences between what is morally right and wrong. So he does a little bit of kidnapping on the side - most of Murli's road's paved with good intentions. LRMB was the first movie I'd seen Arshad Warsi in, and I loved him as Circuit. He is the perfect accompaniment to Munna's character, and though he doesn't have a whole lot of extensive dialogues in the film, his sheer presence, his expressions and mannerisms make him a force of comedic talent. Bowman, as always, does a good job in a role that's more caricature then realistic, but what else do we expect from Mr. Irani? Jimmy Shergill has a small role as a patient that's bound to draw out a sympathetic tear, and Gracy Singh (Dr. Suman Asthana) gives the film some feminine charm.

If I had to compare the two, I would say that Lage Raho has a slight edge for two reasons: Arshad Warsi's role as Circuit is more developed, giving the actor more opportunities to shine, and the music is catchier. I had to revisit youtube to even remember the songs in MBBS. However, M Bole To is fun to watch.

One last note. I'm not sure how accurate the info I found is, but I read somewhere that Shah Rukh was the initial choice for Murli, and all I can say is thank goodness that wasn't the case because Sanjay personifies Munna 100%, and the movie would have been very very different had Shah starred.

9 Response to "London Dreams/Munnabhai MBBS"

  1. ajnabi says:
    May 5, 2010 at 10:16 AM

    I have to agree with you about Munna Bhai; SRK is way too smolder-y to play the cuddly buffoon so well. And it's kind of awesome to see Sanjay go from kick-ass in his prime to sweet today. :-)

    London Dreams: eh. And that's all I have to say about that.

  2. Shell says:
    May 5, 2010 at 11:53 AM

    I've never seen the kick ass Sanjay, but I adore a lot of the roles I've seen him in of late. Shah is all wrong for this kind of role.

    London Dreams - ha ha. What, no love at all? :)

  3. Ness says:
    May 5, 2010 at 2:11 PM

    Hahah I LOVED London Dreams - it was kind of...entertainingly trashy, like a hilarious TV movie about the perils of drug taking. And I also thought Ajay Devgn made an pretty good smouldering, brooding rock star (I think this movie started me off on my road to Ajay lust).

    Love the Munnabhai movies (Sanju is SCHO SCHWEET and Arshad is hilarious!) but also agree with you that Lage Raho Munnabhai definitely has the edge, and better songs!

  4. Jules says:
    May 5, 2010 at 2:45 PM

    I liked parts of London Dreams. Mainly Ajay's biceps, perfectly fitting jeans and sexy assed persona. Mmmm....

    It's too bad for Salman.. I would have liked the movie a lot better if he weren't in it.

  5. Shell says:
    May 5, 2010 at 3:45 PM

    @Ness - I think this movie started me off on my road to Ajay lust
    Yes, I can certainly see how it could do that. Have you seen pics of him from Golmaal 3 yet? He looks very hot from what I've seen.

    Definitely LRMB was the better film, but each of them have their own lovely messages.

    @Jules - Oh, poor Salman, always getting the bad rap. I have to say that I liked him in this much better than some of his other films. Plus he actually kind of looks *gasp* cute in the Sargeant Pepper Lonely Hearts getup.

  6. Anishok says:
    May 5, 2010 at 9:54 PM

    Haven't seen London Dreams, but agree with you on Munnabhai...

    Though the be honest, I could have done without the romance bit.

    Me too! In both LRMB and MBBS. Sanju looks too old for both Vidya and Gracy.

  7. bollywooddeewana says:
    May 6, 2010 at 9:54 AM

    Totally forgot about London Dreams,despite going to the first day showing and all.I remember liking the songs, Kharbanadosh in particular (such an earworm)plus Salman was actually quite funny in this. On the whole the movie felt staged & very soap operaish

  8. bollyviewer says:
    May 10, 2010 at 6:18 AM

    Me too, on liking Lage Raho Munnabhai better - in fact I liked it a LOT better than its predecessor. And SRK as a small-time hoodlum? NAHIIIIN!!! Besides, its totally Sanju's terrain - he even has a jail term, to qualify as a "method actor" for it! ;-)

  9. Shell says:
    May 10, 2010 at 7:25 AM

    @ani - I agree. Why does there always have to be a romance? Can't we just see a movie about guys? Surely they exist. (however, saying that I thought Sanjay was too old also in both movies, I didn't find it odd at all in Ishqiya with Nassu and Vidya)

    @bollywooddeewana - I don't remember the critical reception of London Dreams at all. I want to say it was a flop, but how was it taken in the theatres. Also, I agree it felt totally staged. Every aspect of it. But the music still gets played on the ipod lots, so at least it had that going for it

    @bollyviewer - I know! Despite Shah's turn at playing Don, I can't see him playing a mobster like Munna. He's too slick perhaps. And also, ha ha over Sanjay's approach to method acting!