Guru / Kaho Naa Pyaar Hai / Kisse Pyaar Karoon

I've been so busy lately that I haven't had a chance to review the couple of movies I've been able to take in, so I'm just going to post some quick thoughts about them.


I saw this preview a while ago without really knowing what it was about but immediately thought it looked like a really good movie, and even though I snatched it up immediately during my last big movie shop, it sat and sat. I wonder why it took me so long to watch it, as it is truly a modern day masterpiece. Mani Ratnam's portrayal of young, ambitious entrepreneur Gurukant K. Desai is a tremendously inspiring film. With a fairly simple story, and narration and characterization that is about as near perfect as I've seen to date, it is truly a compelling cinematic achievement. Ratnam's treatment of the aggressively industrious Desai and his road from pauper to prince is subtle yet powerful.

Abhishek is nothing short of brilliant as the story's protagonist. Burdened with a complex role that demands an enormous range of the actor, Abhishek comes up with a finely nuanced performance, the very best of his career so far. Aishwarya truly holds her own (and proves to be much more than just a pretty face and body) as Guru's steadfast wife. She registers a strong impact through a restrained display of emotions complementing Abhishek perfectly. Without her, Guru is stripped of a few layers of his character.

Mithun Chakravorty's role is perfect as the newspaper owner who serves as both a father figure to Gurukant and also his strongest opposition. The presentation of this complex relationship is a giant strength to the movie. Madhavan and Vidya Balan add a romantic subplot that's not fully developed but still adds a little more emotional content to the film.

With the addition of A.R. Rahman (what can I say about his music that I haven't already professed to in the past), plus outstanding art direction and cinematography, Guru is a perfect truly original period piece and fully deserved all the accolades it was bestowed.

Kaho Naa Pyaar Hai

A friend, who is not at all into Bollywood but wanted to watch something so we'd have more common ground, phoned to tell me that she had just seen Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam and was going to attempt here second film, Kaho Naa Pyaar Hai.
Needless to say, I couldn't let her watch it alone, so I can now confess that I've watched an entire movie on You Tube!

I wasn't sure what to make of this one at first. Sure it has Hrithik, in what was his first adult role and launching pad into the industry (thank goodness for nepotism!), but I think Rakesh made this film banking of the appeal of it's actors rather than solid story telling. That isn't to say I didn't like it. While you shouldn't expect neither a deep art film nor an edge of the seat thriller, it is a feel good movie with romance, some comedy and a little action with a more compelling second half.

Hrithik plays double roles, effortlessly changing his persona from shy and unassuming to the confident charmer. One can assume that, as his first lead role, this was a challenge for him, but he comes off as pretty natural. Amisha Patel's performance, while a good-enough debut performance, didn't leave much of an impression on me. Actually, that's not true. I remember thinking in the first half how ridiculous she was, but that may have to be chalked up to dialogues rather than her acting (though she does manage to do her fair share of histrionics for sure). As a romantic couple, the pair do not quite live up to the passion the posters promise. Anupam Kher, who will always be my favorite filmi dad, went against type as the ultimately evil mastermind.

The music, while hummable, was way too repetitive for me (though watching them amidst the stunning locations did help). Ek Pal Ka Jeena was one of the first filmi songs I heard and liked, so it was nice to see it in it's context (the song doesn't have anything to do with the story - it does have some good dancing in it though).

Overall, a light frothy filmi milkshake!

Kisse Pyaar Karoon

I haven't seen enough comedies to determine whether a movie is genuinely funny by Indian standards, so bad that it is good, or just plain bad. I've had this one for some time and never really got around to watching it, but after seeing Arshad Warsi in Lage Raho Munna Bhai (which I would put into the genuinely funny category), I thought, "Right on!" and stuck it on.

Ajay Chandhok directs this mish-mash mess of a film. The story line, a copy of 'Saving Silverman' which I saw eons ago but do not really remember, is both ridiculous and underdeveloped. Three girls, three guys and the bad gun running villain whose ultimate evil plan is to ship real guns in toy gun boxes by taking over a toy store through marriage. While it did have some funny moments, for the most part I thought the direction was terrible, the acting was worse and while the music was okay, the choreography was atrocious (but fun to laugh at!). While the first half goes about with the building up of the plot and with few twists, the second half gets repetitive and boring.

Watch at your own risk.

8 Response to "Guru / Kaho Naa Pyaar Hai / Kisse Pyaar Karoon"

  1. ajnabi says:
    August 21, 2009 at 7:24 PM

    Hindi comedy is so hit-or-miss for me, mostly miss. Then again so is American comedy so maybe I shouldn't stick the "Hindi" on the front of that statement.

    I think Guru is my favorite performance of Abhiiiiiii's (whoops, my inner fangirl just ducked under the velvet rope and tackled him till the bodyguards pulled me off).

  2. bollyviewer says:
    August 21, 2009 at 9:08 PM

    Abhi-Ash are really good in Guru, but the ones who made an even bigger impression on me were Vidya-Madhavan. Their story was so delicately portrayed, and so much was conveyed in just a few touches!

    I loved Kaho Na Pyar Hai - even went and watched the awful Fiza in theatres for Hrithik (I did learn from that mistake and never did it again till Dhoom 2!).

  3. Anonymous Says:
    August 22, 2009 at 12:50 AM

    Good hindi movie comedies are old movies like "Golmaal" (Hrishikesh Mukherjee)aqnd Sai Parjanjeepaye's Chashme Budoor etc

  4. Daddy's Girl says:
    August 23, 2009 at 7:50 AM

    I loved 'Guru' - it was the first role I really liked Aishwarya Rai in (everyone else was great of course, but I already liked their acting before seeing 'Guru'), and it made me think in a way very few movies do... I wrote a long post about it here:
    'Kaho Naa... Pyaar Hai' was so silly! What was the deal with the whole doppelganger thing? But it wasn't bad for what it was - a trendy, fluffy, young flick with a little bit of everything... to introduce two hot new stars to the movie-going public. It worked.

  5. Shellie says:
    August 23, 2009 at 8:50 AM

    @ ajnabi - my inner fangirl just ducked under the velvet rope and tackled him till the bodyguards pulled me off
    LOL! Rest assured I'd be there to keep those bodyguards away!!! I usually really enjoy American comedies, so I'm not going to ban the genre from my Hindi viewing just yet. There must be more good stuff out there somewhere.

    @ bollyviewer - I mostly agree about the Vidya-Madhavan storyline (though I wish we'd seen a little more of it). I was truly touched spoiler ahead when she died and needed to go for the kleenex big time end of spoiler.
    I haven't seen Fiza, and since you're not the first to comment on how bad it was, I think i'll stay away.

  6. Shellie says:
    August 24, 2009 at 6:42 AM

    @ Anon - thanks for the head's up. I'll have to give those a try.

    @ Daddy's Girl - I've read a lot of people say they don't think Aish can act, but I thought her performance in Guru was really good. Understated, but good. I'll have to go read your take - it's probably way better than mine!

    As for the doppleganger thing, they do say everyone has one out there, so I can take a leap of faith on Rakesh' premise.

  7. bollywooddeewana says:
    August 25, 2009 at 4:47 AM

    I liked kaho naa pyar hai and indeed the moves of ek pal ka jeena are amazing, they show what an amazing dancer Hrithik is as for Guru i watched it on a really long day and couldn't make sense of the film after the first 2 hours i need a rewatch

  8. Shellie says:
    August 25, 2009 at 6:39 AM

    I knew when I bought Guru that it was an award winning film, but it took a long time for me to watch it after I brought it home. I definitely think you should give it another try.