And I pay $15.99 month for this?

OMG, I subscribe to this fabulous channel B4U, a 24 hour Bollywood film channel, which I've yet to see an entire movie on, but I put it on every chance I get and catch lots of bits and pieces of movies, newsbits, etc.

Today I have it on and the movie is 'Showbiz' starring Tushar Jolota and Mrinalini Sharma. I've no idea what it's about, but I've just witnessed a scene with a horrific car rollover in which the couple is crushed underneath their overturned vehicle, bleeding and dying. This in itself would be tragic, except all of a sudden several men with cameras and camcorders gather taking pictures and filming what, one can assume, are the couple's last minutes. It was rather a grotesque take on humanity, but almost realistic in the papparatzi's approach to stars. Yikes! Don't think I'll finish watching this one.


I was expecting huge laughs. I was expecting over the top performances. I was expecting an unexpected love story. What I got was a little of each.

Dostana is the story of two men, Sameer (Abhishek Bachchan) and Kunal (John Abraham), who bump into each other while heading to rent the same apartment owned by Neha (Priyanka Chopra). However, their inquiries are rebuffed because they do not meet the criteria laid out by the owner's Auntie - no men allowed. Sameer gets an idea when they are mistaken for a 'couple' that if Kunal and he pretend to be gay lovers, then the owner will agree to let them stay. Kunal initially refuses, but agrees out of desperation. Their plan works and they move in. Over a period of time Neha, Kunal, and Sameer become good friends, hanging out together and having fun. Here's is when the traditional love triangle would happen, but is thwarted with the introduction of a 4th party, Abhimanyu Singh (Bobby Deol). We find competing friends join forces to thwart Abhimanyu and Neha's budding relationship and we end up with, probably not the ending you really wanted, but the only one that I could see being feasible.

Abhishek is the pick of the actors, no doubt about it. Called on to play an over-the-top pink-loving straight man, who, let's be honest, seems far too interested in pretending to be gay. Bachchan hits the nail on the head as he stays over the top and ends up being exceptionally enjoyable. Clearly an actor who likes getting under the skin of his character, this is a role that calls for much self-deprecation and abashment, and Bachchan embraces both quite well.

Though I think Abhishek was the shining star, you have to give John Abraham his kudos, if for nothing else but his fantastic physique which has the power in and of itself to successfully convert the oblivious into a Bollywood fan. Both Abhishek and John compliment each other so well. In fact, had the chemistry and camaraderie been missing, the story would've failed to look convincing.

While I think the boys were the stars, I can't forget to give a little bit of credit to Priyanka Chopra, who is stunning, albeit completely blind, as Neha. I mean, if anyone of my male "friends" ever gave me such a beautiful gift as the album Sameer gives her... wait a minute, I don't think I know any straight men that would do that. Perhaps that was totally in character after all. Kirron Kher is absolutely hilarious in her portrayal of Sameer's shocked, over the top and ultimately accepting mother. The scene in which she welcomes Kunal into the family is definitely a heart warming one. While he looked the best I have ever seen him, Bobby Deol's Abhimanyu character simply felt like an afterthought to me.

I found it amusing to see director Tarun Mansukhani paying tribute to his mentor and Dostana producer Karan Johar at every place possible even going to the extent of making John & Priyanka act out a scene from Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (though I was more interested at this point in watching Shah Rukh and Kajol dance than Kunal & Neha).

Vishal-Shekhar's music goes well with the mood of the film. It's young, peppy and energetic. Although none of the tunes make it to my top 10 (or even 25), 'Desi Girl', 'Maa Da Laadla Bigad Gaya,' and even 'Shout up & Bounce' are all foot-tapping compositions.

This movie has been hailed as everything from daringly fresh, with it's light & frothy take on homosexuality, though not without the stereotypical caricatures, to being genuinely entertaining while setting the gay rights movement in India back at least a decade. I, for one, found it pretty damned funny. Everyone learns a lesson about tolerance without actually embracing an alternative lifestyle, and any movie that can hoodwink two of today's most macho movie studs into a full-on smooch that doesn't disintegrate into slapstick gay panic is venturing into risky territory.

Films I love, and some I don't: Reviews and thoughts

Click on the link for the one's I've had a chance to review
Last updated July 4, 2011

Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani mini review (2009)
Aladin (2009)
Andaz Apna Apna (1994)
Anthony Kaun Hai? (2006)
Asoka (2001)

Baadmash Company (2010)
Baadshah (1999)

Band Baaja Bhaaraat (2010)
Baazigar (1993)
Bachna Ae Haseeno (2008)
Billu (2009)
Bhool Bhulaiyaa (2007)
Bhoothnath (2008)
Bluffmaster (2005)
Bollywood/Hollywood (2002)
Break Ke Baad (2010)
Bunty Aur Babli (2005)

Chak De! India (2007)
Chalte Chalte (2003)
Chance Pe Dance (2010)
Chandni Chowk to China (2009)

Dabangg (2010)
Dhamaal (2007)
Darr (1993)
De Dana Dan mini review (2009)
Devdas (2002)
Dil Bole Hadippa (2009)
Dhoom (2004)
Dhoom 2 (2006)
Dil Chahta Hai (2001)
Dil Se (1998)
Dil To Pagal Hai (1997)
Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995)
Double Dhamaal (2011)
Don (2006)
Dostana (2008)
Dosti: Friends Forever (2005)
Dulha Mil Gaya (2010)

English Babu Desi Mem (1996)

F.A.L.T.U. (2011)
Fanaa (2006)
Fashion (2008)

Ghajini (2008)
Golmaal Returns (2008)
Golmaal 3 (2010)
Guru (2007)
Guzaarish (2010)

Hote Hote Pyaar Ho Gaya (1999)
Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam (1999)
Hum Tum (2004)
Hum Tum Aur Ghost (2010)
Hum Hain Rahi Pyar Ke (1992)
Hum Tumhare Hain Sanam (2002)

Ishq (1997)
Ishqiya (2010)
It's a Wonderful Afterlife(2010)

Jaane Tu...Ya Jaane Na (2008)
Jab We Met (2007)
Jhoom Barabar Jhoom (2007)
Jodhaa Akbar (2008)

Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa (1993)
Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham...(2001)
Kabul Express (2006)
Kaho Naa Pyaar Hai (2000)
Kal Ho Na Ho (2003)
Kambakht Ishq (2009)
Karan Arjun (1995)
Karthik Calling Karthik mini review (2010)
Khabi Alvida Naa Khena (2006)
Kismat Konnection (2008)
Kisse Pyaar Karoon (2009)
Kites (2010)
Koi...Mil Gaya (2003)
Krrish (2006)
Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998)

Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India (2001)
Lage Raho Munna Bhai (2006)
Lakshya (2004)
Life Partner (2009)
London Dreams (2009)
Love Sex aur Dhokha (2010)
Luck By Chance (2009)

Main Hoon Na (2004)
Mangal Pandey: The Rising (2005)
Marigold (2007)
Mission: Kashmir (2000)
Mohabbatein (2000)
Monsoon Wedding (2001)
Mr & Mrs Iyer mini review (2002)
Mujhse Dosti Karogi (2002)
Munnabhai MBBS (2003)
My Name is Khan (2010)

Naach (2004)
The Namesake (2006)

Omkara (2006)
One 2 Ka 4 (2001)

Paheli (2005)
Parineeta (2005)
Pardes (1997)
Paathshalla (2010)
Patiala House (2011)
Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani (2000)
Prince - the Con is On (2010)
Pyaar Impossible mini review (2010)

Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak (1988)

Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi (2008)
Race (2008)
Rang De Basanti (2006)
Rangeela (1995)
Rocket Singh: Salesman of the Year (2009)
Rock On!! (2008)

Salaam-E-Ishq (2007)
Salaam Namaste (2005)
Saathiya (2002)
Saawariya (2007)
Shaan (1980)
Sholay (1975)
Shortkut (2009)
Slumdog Millionaire (2008)
Sunday (2008)
Swades (2004)

Taare Zameen Par (2007)
Ta Ra Rum Pum (2007)
Tees Maar Khan (2010)
Tum Mile (2009)

U Me Aur Hum (2008)

Veer Zaara (2004)

Waisa Bhi Hota Hai Part II (2003)
Wake Up, Sid (2009)
Wanted (2009)
Woh Lamhe (2006)

Yes Boss (1997)

3 Idiots 2009
99 (2009)

Baadshah in his own words

Not that I'm a huge sports follower, but when I see that SRK is actually blogging KKR thoughts or otherwise, I have to check it out. Thanks to FilmiGirl for the link.

I'm sad for him that so far they've had a less than steller beginner season, but I'm sure there will be highs along the way as well as lows. Check out his blog here

Bhangra - dance till you drop!

I am very excited to be able to attend a Bhangra Cup Competition in Calgary on May 3rd - my very first. I anticipate it to be ridiculous and I'm not quite sure how I'm going to stay still in my seat!

Here's a couple of clips I found from groups we may see in the competition this year:

It should be a very awesome time!

I think a trip to San Fransisco is in order!

I am hooked. I admit it, I am fastly becoming a computer junkie. I tried before and got bored, but all of a sudden, with the introduction of facebook, twitter and the like, I can't seem to get enough.

Anyway, according to SRK's twitter, he will be in San Fransisco the end of May to shoot more My Name is Khan for 40 days. Now that is certainly attainable, isn't it!? Though India beckons me as soon as I turn on my computer (anyone else get the giant ad for 'visit India' or was it just me?), I don't forsee a plane ticket in my immediate future. Therefore, $400 to San Fran sounds pretty sweet! I'm totally sure that once I get there I'd have no problem locating him and my magical dreamland would, at once, become reality. No? Well, maybe I'd just better settle for another viewing of Kuch Kuch Hota Hai.

I am gearing up for the weekend, sans husband, and am looking forward to finishing Jaane Tu...Ya Janne Na, getting my review on Dostana up, martinis and a Twilight introduction with my girl. Maybe I'll manage to get some scrapbooking in there too. The possibilites are endless

And to get you through the weekend....
Random pic of the day

Oooooh, those eyes. I could just drown in them.

And the final four are....

4. Khaike Pann Banaras Wala - Don: The Chase Begins 2006
(Udit Narayan, Shah Rukh Khan)

There is something about this song that had me hooked right away. I think it has mostly to do with Shah Rukh actually "rapping" midway through, which is very rare in his movies and much better than what we got to see in 'Josh', and so it makes my list simply for being so fun!

3. Ajab Si/Aankhon Mein Teri - Om Shanti Om 2007

I love the entire soundtrack for Om Shanti Om and so it was difficult to narrow it down for my top 10. I chose this song (which I've seen with two titles, hence my header), for the sheer velvety quality of its notes and smooth arrangement that results in an irresistible piece of melody that lingers on for hours.

3. Haule Haule - Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi 2008
Sukhwinder Singh

Haule Haule is the simplest and the most romantic song of 2008 with lyrics so good that you love the song on the very first listen. Sukhwinder Singh, who is the new voice of SRK, shines in this subdued yet captivating performance.

And Number 1 belongs to......

1. Kal Ho Naa Ho - title track 2003
Sonu Nigam

It could be that this song will always hold a special place in my heart as it was one of the very first movies I ever saw. Or it could be because this was the very movie where I lost my heart to Shah Rukh Khan. It's probably both, but this song claims my no. 1 spot due to it's simple message: Live life to the fullest, as you never know what can happen tomorrow. A touching number indeed.

Bunty Aur Babli

If only the world were filled with fun-loving, attractive and good-hearted criminals! I was eager to watch this film (based solely on the soundtrack), and I wasn't let down. Rakesh Trivedi (Abhishek Bachchan) comes from a small village and has big dreams; he is forever coming up with new business plans and is convinced he will make it big one day. He adamantly refuses any notion that he will one day work in a 9-to-5 environment (I hear that! Rakesh!). Vimmi Saluja (Rani Mukerji) is the daughter of a Punjabi family in another small village; she spends her hours watching films and studying supermodels, and dreams of becoming Miss India one day. When each of them is faced with a crossroads in their life, they meet. Deciding crime does pay, they outwit their targets into yielding profit and goods, and, in typical Robin Hood style, return large portions of their gains to the common people, making them respected and idolized on the streets and in the press. Enter DCP Dashrath Singh (Amitabh Bachchan), the man who MUST catch them, but is foiled at every turn.

I thought Abhishek and Rani both gave credibility to their characters. They were fun to watch and I found my self rooting for them, schemes and all. Abhishek's acting ability is a tribute to the legends his parents are, and he is succeeding in dramatic roles with comic variation that makes him nearly match-up to greats like SRK (I said nearly!). Rani is getting more and more reliable in her brilliant and diverse performances. I loved the chemistry between these two and they proved they could do it successfully by winning a Star Screen Award for Jodi No. 1.

Amitabh is the cop with a mission, whose assignment is to capture the two con-artists who have made it big yet remain elusive to the long arm of the law. What makes Amitabh different is just that, he is unconventional in his approach, somewhat rough yet caring, with purpose in his actions (though what was with shooting out the store front window! Geez!)

If not for the great comedy that ties in well, watch out for the brilliant soundtrack including the always brilliant Udit Narayn's Dhadhak Dhadak, the train song Chup Chup Ke with Sonu Nigam, my two favorites in the movie. One could argue the best is the Ashwaria Ria number, Kajra Re, but I tend to prefer songs that move a story further than are put in purely for attraction.

So, fun is the word and this movie worked for me. A Bonnie & Clyde-esque comedy caper that aims to please on all levels and pulls it off successfully! It goes far beyond what a normal light romantic comedy would like to achieve, and it accomplishes a cult status of its own in unique ways. The brilliant camera work that makes you feel you are a part of the roller coaster journey through all those lovely locales and the infectious music that refuses to leave your mind far after it has left your car stereo all compose what is so far, for me, one of the better comedies I've seen.

mmmmm.....butter chicken and a hefty serving of John Abraham on the side

This weekend slowly approaches and with it, a test to my culinary skills as I prepare to make my famous butter chicken (at least famous in my house!) for my sister, who has only ever been treated to second day leftovers. With butter and cream and all sorts of masala goodness, it's no wonder my pants don't fit anymore! I'll have to resort to sarees 100% of the time. Can't imagine how that would go over.

Anyway, we shall thereafter venture into the world of Desi-Miami with it's cute and lovable Abhishek, sultry Priyanka and ga ga ga John Abraham. I'm anticipating lots of laughs and a shorty short shorts hangover! Hopefully the newbie can handle it all!

Worth the hype?

First off, let me say that I rarely read reviews of movies prior to actually seeing a film. Also I watch movies for what they are generally meant to be: 2 to 4 hours of escapism from my every day mundane life be it romance, comedy, action, etc. With this in mind, I will tell you that, even though I did find some faults with it, overall I enjoyed Ghajini.

Though this was a remake of his Tamil version, and similarly linked to Christopher Nolan's Momento (which I confess I found hard to follow due to its 'reverse chronological' order screenplay, I admit it!) A.R. Murugadoss did a fine job syncing the memory challenged revenge plight that Sanjay Singhania found himself facing with the wonderfully compelling and funny, albeit incomplete, love story between Kalpana and Sachin.

I have great respect for Aamir Khan and find him commanding onscreen, and this role was no exception for me. He was compelling as the memory challenged Sanjay, often vulnerable and confused, but also intense with a raw wrath and agony which was required for his character. Because he didn't have an overabundance of dialogue, he conveys whatever has to be conveyed through his body language and says it all with his facial expressions. I liked the contrast between the two roles he played, but wished he'd had a little more substance in the pre-injury storyline.

Asin, who has been getting huge acclaim over her first large Hindi film role, could have easily been trapped into giving an over the top chirpy performance but she is controlled yet spontaneous and endearing to watch, especially once we were shown a little more of her every day life. However, I totally found her song and dance number, Aye Bachchoo, completely unnecessary.

Though she is the lynchpin throughout much of the film, serving as both the character who puts the story into action and acts as the link between Ghajini and Sanjay, I could have done without much of Jiah Khan's role and found the Sunita character stupid and frustrating.

Some other points I found irritating:

In his state, how was Sanjay permitted to live on his own? His people knew where he was so I'm pretty sure he should have been under daily monitoring or had an aide living with him or something. Also, how could he be motivated enough to kill people so ruthlessly & cunningly if he cannot remember beyond a quarter of an hour? That would mean that, just to sustain his murderous rage, someone would need to be continually reminding him of what has happened to him & the love of his the time he comprehends enough to erupt with anger, he would have again forgotten everything!

Why did the villain not identify Aamir as a possible threat when he killed all his other "enemies", unless he truly was so evil that the act of bludgeoning a woman to death was commonplace to him.

Why did that policeman come to Sanjay's house all alone and why did he stay to read the diaries instead of reporting him?

How did Aamir survive at the end after getting an inch thick rod in his chest/gut?

Why would a female constable call Kalpana over the missing girls instead of the police? She has no jurisdiction over them and I would have thought that her part in it was finished once they were with the authorities. Similarly, why, again, would that same constable call her with the plot to kill her?

And lastly, I found the 15 min memory retention to be inconsistent at best. You can't tell me that towards the end when Sunita meets Sanjay in the hospital, explains the situation to him, takes him to Ghajini's hiding hole where he then proceeds to take out every single one of Ghajini's men before blanking - all of that took place within his 15 minute time frame?

As I review it more in depth, I realize that there were an awful lot of plot holes and maybe it doesn't deserve the accolade which I originally bestowed. That aside, the violence and the intensity did leave an imprint on me long after it had finished. Though laced with large chunks of comedy, it is ultimately a tragedy. I felt for Sanjay's character a large portion of this movie and was relieved that, in the end, he found some peace. Are there things I would have changed? For sure, but then I remember I don't get paid to make films!

The wait is over!

I am finally going to see Ghajini tonight. The aniticipation is killing me! Fantastic music, killer storyline (no pun intended!) and Aamir's hot smokin bod! What more could I ask for!

top 10 continued

7. Jhoom Barabar Jhoom - Jhoom Barabar Jhoom 2007
KK, Mahalaxmi Iyer, Shankar Mahadevan, Sukhwidner Singh
I liked this movie and love the song in the intro and in the movie. One of my fav's to try and mimic the dance off moves!

6. Guzarish - Ghajini 2008
Sonu Nigam, Javid Ali, AR Rahman
This song is beautiful. I've yet to see the movie, but who can resist Aamir in all his 8 pack glory. Bahut bahut amazing!

5. Chaiyya Chaiyya - Dil Se 1998
Sukhwinder Singh & Sapana Awashthi
The movie leaves your breathless, but this song gets me every dancing every time. One of A R Rahman's best I think. So great on the train too!

Last 4 to come soon.

Indipop Rocks!

I LOVE Hindi film music. It is all I listen to. There are so many I love, but here's #'s 8,9 & 10 in my current top 10 fav songs.

10. Dhadak Dhadak - Bunty Aur Babli 2005
(Udit Narayan, Sunidhi Chauhan, Nihira Joshi)
Super fun to watch and super fun to dance to!

9. Mera Dil - Salaam-E-Ishq 2007
(Nihira & Shaan)
The copy of my movie didn't have this song in it, so I was thrilled to find it and see how it played into the context of the movie.

8. Yeh Zindago Bhi - Luck By Chance 2009
(Loy Mendonsa & Shekhar Ravjiani)
I love how this song has two different feels to it, and the melody is beautifully written.

Stay tuned for 5-8!

OMG, this is so true!

While I was checking out some more links, blogs, etc tonight I came across a great one: Bollywhat? and had to check out their "You Know You're Addicted to Bollywood When... forty signs of filmi illness" and laughed my ass off! OMG, I could related to the majority of these AND
ended up nearly falling off of my chair over #30! Not East London, but none the less!


Yay for the little guy!

*spoiler alert*

I was so excited to see Billu in the theatres, unfortunately it never came to my neck in the woods, so I had to wait until I could pick up a copy and ventured a screening of it last night. With baited breath, I watched as Billu was celebrated and eventually ousted by his community. Even as a Shahrukh Khan fan who secretly lives in her own private SRK world, I wouldn't say I loved this film, but it did have some great moments.

Extensive as his film repertoire is, this was my first Priyadarshan film. The story is about Billu (Irfan Khan), who has mentioned to his family that he knows superstar Sahir Khan from the past but has never elaborated how he knows the star. Sahir shows up in the village to film his latest movie, and his children spread rumors about their father's friendship with the famous star which spread throughout the village. Virtually overnight, Billu who had previously been scorned by most due to his impoverished state, becomes the center of attention. People who had spurned him only the week before now call him a close friend so that he will introduce them to Sahir. Billu refuses and downplays the friendship, saying that it is impossible for him to introduce people in the village to Sahir. When he consistently fails to introduce the people of the village to Sahir, his situation changes once again. He is accused of lying about his friendship and everyone - including his wife and children, begin to doubt his character and integrity. Rather than defend himself, Billu remains quiet about the nature of their friendship.

Even though the climax ultimately did give you that warm fuzzy feeling, I wished that more of this relationship had been explored and I often wondered throughout the film if the friendship had been made up by Billu to possibly impress his children.

I enjoyed Irrfan Khan though for the first time, can be seen sleep walking through his role. He is back in his elements only in the final pinnacle of the movie. Irrfan is also not given any well written scenes to perform as compared to his talent. So it was really disappointing to see one of the best talents of bollywood, in there as the main lead but completely under-utilized by the director.

Unexpectedly, the silver lining was Lara Dutta as Bindiya, Billu's wife. She has really played the character beautifully with the right simplicity, depth and emotions. Her portrayal of dutiful village wife yearning to be accepted by the higher caste was spot on, and I liked seeing her in this beautiful but stripped down role.

The other merit of the movie is its Cinematography with fresh, heaven like locations seen for the first time. The village outdoors, green fields and mountains in the background have been captured splendidly by the director of photography.

I wanted to love Shahrukh in this movie, but could not decide if he was spoofing himself or if this movie was a giant serving of self-indulgence. I suppose the use of old clips and posters could be chalked up to a budgeting issue, but I would have been much more impressed if they had made Sahir Khan uniquely independent of SRK. Though it was intended that he have a smaller role in this film, I would have really liked to see some honest development between the friendship storyline at his end as well as Billu's. I think it would have given the film more roots and lended credibility to Billu's character (only once during the film did we see Sahir exhibit any recognition to Billu's claim as he looked through the crowd searching for that one voice that cried "Sahir!")

Looking at the movie and all the songs featuring Shahrukh, it seems that all those songs with Deepika, Priyanka and Kareena have been shot later on to add some more pull. Shahrukh, as a producer, must have seen the movie and felt that something has to be done to make it a little spicy and interesting, hence all these songs. Also, I can't help but think back to the scene in Om Shanti Om, where Om Kapoor tells his directors that they need to add a racy item number in their own production in order to ensure that movie goers flock to the theatres. Though I admit Billu's songs have all made my Ipod (especially Khudaya Khair and Marjaani which are my favs from the movie), in the film they are just added at regular intervals without any direct relation to the script and were completely un-required. The movie makes you feel that Shahrukh knew that he has made a wrong movie. Symbolically, in the first scene itself, Shahrukh is shown making fun of his director's vision and still goes on to shoot for his movie far away in a remote unknown village.

I found it hugely ironic the controversy Sahir Khan apparently was facing in this movie (hence increased security), while Billu faced it's own controversy over the original version of the title, not to mention various casting changes (Ashkay Kumar and Tabu were originally offered the roles which eventually were filled by SRK and Lara). As it is his own home production, The King Khan also took the opportunity to put a few scenes commenting on the other Khan's in the Industry. But he is also intelligent enough to add a dialogue which says, "We are all like a family in Film Industry and at times there are riffs in every family".

Final analysis: Billu turns out to be a nice balance between fun and an examination of a key negative human condition. Though it won't come close to my top 10, I would still recommend it as I was pretty much entertained throughout.

All stocked what!?

I visited my favorite movie store today and picked up about 15 titles and quite honestly, feel like I'm in heaven. Also, I was very excited to find out that we are going to be getting our very own Bollywood video/Indian market store in Red Deer which should open in June! No more 2 hour drives for me just to get a movie! Though, my Bollywood connection in Calgary has been so good to me, I might just have to go in every once in while to just say namaste!

Shell's random hottie pic of the day:

Dil Se

*spoiler alert*

Well, it took me 3 days to view this movie (darn all those interruptions), but as I watch the last scene, despite obvious editing flaws, I am left speechless.

SRK's acting in this film was superb, although I have a hard time with the overacting that follows him from movie to movie when he is portraying fear or crying (though one can overlook all of it just to catch a glimpse of what we were given during Jiya Jale's water dance!); at once we see a mix of his endearing boyish vulnerability, tenderness, and wild explosive impulsiveness that characterize the intelligence of this great actor. The transformation that his character went through was amazing to watch- from carefree arrogant pup, to an obsessed lover, to patriot, to a desperate man, and finally to a dead man walking.

Manisha Koirala's acting (as Meghna) was flawless. This is the first I've seen of Manisha and pleasantly surprised to see a heroine composed of such depth and emotion. One could sense the internal struggle she faced between the longing in her to connect with Amar (one which we are not sure about at first, but is clearly evident with the guilt she portrays after unwittingly involving Amar to the degree his life is in danger), while the next minute she didn't bat an eyelid when he begins to defend the Indian Army after hearing her background story. At first I thought her breakdown scenes seemed extremely forced, but the sequence where she tries to cry but the tears won't come out is mind-blowing (especially after discovering what had happened to her as a child. Even though Meghna was portrayed as someone who was damaged emotionally with no recovery, the last scene when Amar asked her to say 'I love you', she just looked deeply into him and with the least possible motion, nodded lovingly – her eyes shinning with love for such a brief moment... Simply amazing)...

I was pleasantely surprised to see such a young Priety Zinta, and found her character typical of the brassy but fun loving heriones I've become used to, but I have to admit I didn't really see a need to include the marriage proposal storyline amongst everything else and felt it served as simple filler.

The film is visually stunning - the train top song Chaiyya Chaiyya, the Ladakh locales including a snow covered lake and ruins among the dunes, the masterful use of light in the most intense emotional moments, the mundane streets of Delhi - the moments of visual beauty are too many to list. A R Rahman's music is astoundingly good. There is no mediocre number - Sonu's gritty Satrangi re, Udit's haunting Ae Ajnabi, AR Rahman's soulful Dil Se re, Lata's sensual Jiya Jale and my favorite: Sukhwinder's stunning Chaiyya Chaiyya, - every song is situationally perfect masterfully sung and worth going on the A-list on your iPod. The choreography, by Farah Khan (my favorite choreographer to date), was oustanding although I didn't fully understand the red fabric part.

Dil SE is absolutely no film which one can easily forget. As far as I'm concerned the question that still employs me is whether there could have been another end for the two characters or whether the end shown in this film remains the only possible ending to their story. I cannot deny that the ending was shocking in the way it presented itself. While on one hand it allowed for some closure to be achieved, I thought it was very extreme, but I guess that's how for some, that love does mean sacrifice of the highest order, that our hero gets the girl and saves the day, in a truly unconventional way.

New attitude, new look

I used to blog about my every day mundane life and just found it was not that interesting, and so, here is my new blog. I have revamped it to focus on my love of Indian cinema and all things East Indian. I welcome all comments and hope to find some people out there that I can share my thoughts with.

Namaste and welcome!