My fav movies this year

Well, it's nearing the end of 2010 - I can't quite believe how fast this year went - and that usually means lists are going to start popping up all over the place. Even though I know that the year is not quite up, I seriously doubt that I will get a chance to see anymore new releases this year (especially since I'm going to try and do a complete Harry Potter reread and rewatch this month), so I'm going to recap what films I thought were outstanding or left the biggest impact with me this year. So, without further ado, here are my pics for the best of 2010.

The anticipation for this movie was probably the most I've seen for a film yet, and reviews were definitely split. Some raved about it, loving Shah's take on Rizwan and the love story between him and Mandira, some thought the depiction of Georgia was incredibly stereotypical and had problems with how American's were portrayed. I say a movie is a success if it gets people talking about it in any capacity, and MNIK certainly got people talking. I thought Rizwan was probably Shah's best character so far in his career and the movie touched me on many different levels. You can read my full review here. It was not an easy movie for me to watch, but will always remain one of my favorites.

When I think of Ishqiya I think of incredible acting by some very talented individuals (Naseeruddin Shah and Vidya Balan are both outstanding in this film), I think of a great OST (Ibn-e-Batuta and Dil To Bachcha Hai will probably always stand out as some of my favorites), but mostly I think of how incredibly hot Arshad was in this film, and his scenes with Vidya throughout the film are so steamy you can't help but sit up and take notice. If you haven't seen this film yet, go watch it and then come back and see if you agree with my review.

My most recent viewing was Salman Khan's Dabangg. You can read my full review here. Arbaaz Khan's offering makes my list for many reasons, but mainly because this movie is just too much fun to not enjoy and it may be responsible for changing my mind about Salman Khan, not an easy task. I just posted my review so I feel like I'm being being a little redundant, but I can't stress how much I enjoyed this movie. Salman's characterization of Chulbul was so awesome you can't help but admire his candor. If you haven't seen this film, grab a group of friends, a large bucket of popcorn and prepare to laugh your ass off!

For me, it was an Arshad kind of year. Hum, Tum Aur Ghost was, so far, the first and only Internet watchalong experience I've had, which totally enhanced the film for me. As for the movie, I thought it was a nice twist on the usual romance churned out (not that I don't usually enjoy rom-coms, I love 'em), but I liked the added depth of drama that Arshad's first production had. This film was certainly panned by the critics and fans alike, but I thought it was a lovely film. Check out all my reasons here.

The one thing I have said over and over again is how much I hate being so far away from an Indian cinema. Movies I'm still really looking forward to seeing from this year include Once Upon a Time in Mumbai, Action Replayy, It's a Wonderful Afterlife, Golmaal 3, Tees Maar Khan and Guzaarish. I also still have Love, Sex aur Dhokha, Atithi Tum Kab, Ravaan, and Road, Movie waiting in the wings on my dvd shelves. I've said it once (or twice) and I'll say it again. So many movie, such little time.

So, there you have it. My fav's of 2010. What were your favorite films this year and why?

Looking forward to 2011 though it will be another year full of waiting (a Diwale release for Ra.One is just about going to kill us Shah fans!). I can't wait to see what the fraternity brings us!!!!

Coming favorite songs of the year!

Chulbul Pandey, how I adore thee!

Every once in a while a film comes along that hits the nail right on the head. A film that makes you retract all your pre-established thoughts regarding a certain actor or a certain genre of film. A film that begs to be watched over and over again because is it JUST THAT GOOD! The moment I saw the trailer for Dabangg I was compelled to see it, despite the fact that it was a Salman Khan vehicle. It showed great promise of being one helluva good time, and when something has that kind of pull on you what else are you suppose to do except give in and enjoy the ride? So that's exactly what I did!

My repertoire of true masala flicks is shamefully short, so I don't have a whole lot to compare Arbaaz Khan's offering to, but one thing I do know is that first time director Abhinav Kashyap knows his stuff. Dabangg has got a most excellent mix of actions, romance, comedy, melodrama, fantastic music, hot item girl number and the most brilliantly cheesy shirt ripping off sequence I have ever seen (and I am not kidding - I had to rewind and watch it several times!).

Besides the aforementioned shirt scene, there was so much I loved about this film. We get a bit of family history right at the beginning and then it's BAM! - right into the action. I have to honestly say that I didn't care for the violent action in Salman's Wanted, but here the fighting is choreographed so well. We get a bit of Matrix in there, but it's all done with a comical edge that it feels fresh and exciting. When Chulbul stops in the middle of a fight scene to dance to a ringtone I just about died laughing! This is the type of humour that is clearly present throughout the movie. That's not to say that the fight scenes are funny. Far from it. Salman Khan means business when he's dealing with the bad guys, even if he punctuates the ending with a chuckle. It's just the type of film that is way OTT and doesn't take itself seriously at all, which is 100% the point!

Who wouldn't love this face?

Even this beauty is not impervious to Chulbul's blundering charms

Central to the story is Chulbul's quest to win the headstrong Rajo's heart and hand, played strongly by newcomer Sonakshi Sinha, but, like any good Hindi film, there's so much more! We get family drama that sees Chulbul butting heads with a step-father (Vinod Khanna)who has never accepted him and his useless bhai Makkhi (Arbaaz Khan who looks strangely like an Indian version of Quentin Tarantino with a moochi to me), all while loving Hindi maa (Dimple Kapadia) tries to keep the peace. Politics plays a part as well as we see the corrupt, power hungry and extremely buff (!) Chedi Singh (Sonu Sood) looking to consolidate power and get rid of the competition, and that includes a certain cop that keeps getting in his way. There's a lot going on, but the glue that binds it all together is the self appointed Robin Hood who steals from the bad and gives to himself. It's all about Chulbul people!


And this movie is all about Salman Khan. There is not a single doubt in my mind that Sallu bhai is the only actor out there that had the sheer audacity, chutzpah if you will, to play this character. Every line, every expression, every dance move screams Salman and he does it with such panache that you can't help but enjoy the ride he's taking you on. I am generally not a fan of Salman, really only enjoying him thus far in Andaz Apna Apna, but whether it was his own personality shining through (as he has often said that he doesn't ever act, he just plays different versions of himself), or his snappy comic timing, but Salman is Chulbul, no doubt about it, and THE reason to watch this film!

Add to the action, the hoopla, the amour a killer OST by Sajid-Wajid complete with some very interesting choreography. Munni Badnaam, Hud Hud Dabangg and Humka Peeni Hai are all extremely danceable. I won't ever forget project Munni, but even if shaking your tail feather isn't quite your thing, the songs are seriously catchy, even the movie's ballads are interesting to watch on screen.

(Loving the dancing in this - esp the belt move!)

Over the top and extremely fun, self mockery or not, Dabangg makes it's way onto my list of one of the best films of the year!


I need to preface this review by telling you that I am a HUGE fan of dance. I love shows like So You Think You Can Dance for exposing and promoting so many genres of dance and I can watch item songs for hours admiring the dancing, so ask me how excited I was to put on a movie called Naach? I had high hopes, the kind that Chance Pe Dance didn't quite fulfill, and I loved Rangeela, despite it's nightmare inducing speedo scene. However, that being said, I was familiar with the type of work he's done currently, yet that didn't seem to stop me from treading into the murky disconnected "realistic" world that is Ram Gopal Varma.

There is a basic, very basic, story involved. Aspiring actor meets aspiring choreographer, she teaches him how to dance, they fall in love, he makes it big and leaves her in the dust. Will she find her own path? Will the two lovers reunite and make mediocre music videos again? Will you even care? If you are brave enough to venture into this territory, you just might find out.

One thing I have to give Varma credit for, he doesn't pollute the finished product with a lot of plot twists or dialogue. There were so many points in this film where I wondered if perhaps the writers had gone on strike and all we were left with was more tantric twisting from Antara Mali and brooding stares from Abhishek. In fact, there was so much stretching in this film I thought we were getting ready to run a marathon. Don't get me wrong, Antara has got one hell of a killer body, but watching someone do this

or this

or this

or this

or this

all in slow motion is just not my idea of fascinating dance! Shall I go on? Well, let's just say it gets old FAST! We get it, Antara. You are a contortionist. And completely full of yourself. Next time I want to take a hot yoga class I'll call you. Then you won't have to actually pretend to "act" in any more movies. Okay!? Have we got a deal? Good!

I have to say that the girl does have a few good thoughts in the film. This is my favorite:

However, it didn't save us from this nightmare worthy move.

MY EYES!!!!!

There's a lot of debate that floats in the blogging community over Abhishek's ability to actually emote as he acts. I've always been on the side that usually enjoys his films. That being said, he is completely lazy in this movie, relying solely on those sullen looks I mentioned earlier and deadpan delivery. I'm guessing he gets excited over his big break, but mostly I think he's just bored with it all.

Did you feel that? The shiver that went down your spine? Somebody's watching you.

That being said, Abhishek gives me my favorite line of the movie:

Nice try Ram Gopal Varma! Trying to influence our perception of this load of self-indulgent tripe through subliminal messaging will not work on me!

If you can wade through all the drivel, there is one thing that redeems this movie, if only slightly, in my eyes and that is the wonderful performance of Ritesh Deshmukh, who plays film director Diwakar. A different role for me, as I'm used to him being the underdog buddy or love interest, but he was extremely convincing from the word go. In fact, the chemistry between Ritish and Antara was much more credible than with Abhishek. He looked like a love sick puppy and I just wanted to hug him and tell him to go find a girl worthy of his affection.

There, there Ritesh. There's more to life than a girlfriend who's flexible!

Not only did I not get the dancing (which was far too abstract for me), but the music did nothing for me either. I get that Varma likes to experiment within his filmmaking, but it's just too out there for me I guess. Plus I never realized that music videos were that big in India? Is there a whole platform I'm unaware of? Someone please educate me!!

And a final word from the master of meh...

Don't be too sure RGV. Not all your audience are mindless drones.

Tees Maar Khan

Oh My Gosh! I simply ADORE Farah Khan, so how excited was I to catch the newly released trailer for her new movie starring Akshay Kumar and Katrina Kaif?

Check it out!...

How fun does that look!? Seriously! Farah's movies are just above brilliance for me. The costumes, the style, the music! I can not wait! This could just be the movie that does it for Akshay and Katrina for me.

And the newly released Tees Maar Khan theme song.

Very James Bond sounding, na? I wait with anticipation to hear the rest of the ost! I'm sure it will deliver.

Happy Birthday Shah!

Wishing my beloved darling Shah a wonderful 45th birthday!

You are my light when it's dark, my joy when there's sorrow, my happiness always.

Wishing you many many more wonderful years of love.

Just in case you want to refresh your memory, check out all the reasons I love Shah Rukh here.

And to commemorate this very special event this year, a few of my favorite Shah songs:

Mere Mehboob is one of my go to songs for when I need cheering up. Shah is adorable to the nth degree in this, plus the song is so catchy. It just instantly brings a smile to my face every time I hear it. Poor Sonali doesn't stand a chance!

Though I've probably posted this on my blog several times, I can not not do a fav's list and leave Kal Ho Na Ho off. It is, without a doubt, my favorite Sonu song, and a wonderfully beautiful picturization in a film that will always remain one of my all time favorites.

This song still remains #1 on my top 25 played itunes, even after 2 years of constantly putting new music on there. Even though I haven't seen the original Don yet (though it sits on my dvd shelf waiting its turn), this song doesn't serve any purpose in the updated film except perhaps to pay homage to the original. That being said, I LOVE that they put it in regardless. It's fun, Shah looks fantastic, the music is peppy and Udit is so perfect that it just flows so seamlessly between his singing and Shah's bit.

I fell in love with this song immediately when I saw it. Yes Boss was a film that I tried watching when I first started watching Hindi film and I didn't quite get it. When I finally got around to putting it back on the dvd player I wondered how I could have NOT gotten it back then. Main Koi Aisa Geet Gaoon is a cute little song, but what I like about it the most is how completely cute and quirky Shah is in it trying his very best to win the gorgeous Juhi over without her quite knowing it. Such perfection!!!

Om Shanti Om will always be a movie that I will hold dear to my heart. It was the first movie I bought online, the first time I saw Shah in all his ab glory, the first film I watched over and over and over again. Ajab Si was also the first song I learned the words to. Beautifully sung by KK, it's wonderful how Farah uses it twice in the movie when Om sees Shanti for the first time. It's a whole lot of firsts and that's why it lands on my list.

Okay, so I could go on and on, but I think I'll stop at five for now. What are your favorite Shah songs?

As I finish up this post, it is nearing the end of Shah's birthday in Berlin, or Rome or wherever he is tonight! Once again, happy birthday my darling!!