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I’m back with a review of Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania!

It’s been more than a year since I have written a post but I finally decided it is time to get back to it.  I love Bollywood and I love writing about it too.  With my school life finally settled down I can devote some time to the blog again.

Tonight my mom and I enjoyed a girls’ night out and went to see “Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania.”  Bollywood churns out a lot of good movies, there is no questioning that.  However, as much as I love movies like “The Lunchbox,” “Queen,” and “Dhoom 3,” sometimes I crave for the quintessential 90s Hindi film.  Raj and Simran putting their families before their own love, Rahul’s gang of friends in “Dil To Pagal Hai,” and the naughtiness but chivalry of Rahul in “Kuch Kuch Hota Hai.”  “Humpty Sharma” made me reminisce about the movies I love while thoroughly entertaining me.  There are not many movies that can do this.  In the recent past the last movies that did so were “Mere Brother Ki Dulhan,” “ZNMD,” and “Hasee Toh Phasee.”  These movies all have the charming and noble hero, the slightly dorky best friend, the quirky and independent heroine, the loving family worthy of respect and sacrifice and the grand songs. “Humpty” has earned its place amongst these movies.

What makes “Humpty” an excellent movie is not its story.  The story is pretty standard, boy meets girl, boy and girl fall in love but girl is getting married to another.  It is the quirks in the storyline and the character development that make this film extremely entertaining.  The hero meets his heroine while she is on a quest for a designer lehenga.  He is naughty but when it counts he is chivalrous and respectful.  Other than his odd name and small budget lifestyle, Humpty is just like the 90s hero that every bollywood loving girl dreams will walk into her life.  Varun is infectious as Humpty and I can imagine no other actor playing this part.  He is his charming self but the glamour of his first two films is missing.  He is an ordinary joe so his hair is mostly gel-less and his duds are not designer.  Varun’s dancing is flawless and his he is a natural comedian.  The only criticism I have is he needs to work on his crying.  Kavya (the female lead) is gorgeous, spunky and loyal to her man.  Alia plays her well.  I am not Alia’s biggest fan but I have to say she is fabulous in this film.  Her films this past year have proven she is an excellent actress.  The only complaint I have is that she did appear too young in some scenes (her baby-ness comes out if that makes sense).  The scene stealers of this film are Humpty’s two best friends Shonty and Poplu (especially Poplu).  They are super hilarious and endearing.  I really want to see more of these guys.  This film marks the hunky Siddharth Shukla’s acting debut and he is irresistible as the perfect Angad.  I am so glad he has a three movie deal with Dharma.  I also want to mention Ashutosh Rana who plays Alia’s father.  He is good as the typical macho but soft hearted punjabi daddy-ji.

This is a Dharma movie so the production value is great as expected.  This is Shashank Khaitan’s directorial debut and he is clearly talented.  He has really pulled the film together well.  The music is good and the songs are placed well in the film.  

“Humpty” is a movie you can go see with the whole family.  There is a kiss and a love scene but it is short and sweet, and done tastefully.  So it is not too uncomfortable to watch with the family.  

I can confidently recommend “Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania.” Go watch it this weekend you will be entertained I promise! I watched it in a half-full theatre that was filled with laughter through most of the film.

Rating:  **** (4 stars)

I promise to write more frequently!

bollywoodaddict

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Cannes 2013 Part 3

YAY!!! Some color from Vidya and Ash!  Though I really am not a fan of Ash’s anarkali/gown at least it has some colour.  Vidya looks great!

Vidya is in Sabyasachi again and Ash is in Abu Jani and Sandeep Khosla.

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Cannes 2013 Part 2

As Cannes continues we get to see more of Sonam, Vidya and Mallika.

Aishwarya and the directors of Bombay Talkies are also now in Cannes.

I have to say I am kind of getting tired of Sabyasachi.  It’s summer and all I see is back/maroon/brown/gold Sabyasachi creations! First Vidya and then Aishwarya.  Sonam is the only one who provided us with some summer color in her Dolce and Gabbana dress (the white one with flower print).  Plus Sonam’s jewellery is to die for! Her mom is a jewellry designer so I guess that is a given (pretty much every girls dream right?!).

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Bollywood at Cannes 2013

Vidya Balan is on the Cannes Jury this year so we will be seeing her everyday on the red carpet!

Amit Ji is spotted with the cast of the Great Gatsby for the Cannes premiere.

Sonam is there as the brand ambassador for L’Oreal.

Mallika Sherawat is also at Cannes.

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My Love Letter to Bollywood

Today, May 3rd, is Bollywood’s 100 year anniversary/birthday.  I obviously love Bollywood films otherwise I would not have started this blog in the first place right? But it is more than just love you see, it is my passion.  I have yet to meet someone who completely gets what this means.  I finally found some friends who like Hindi movies and are always up to watching them with me.  They know who the actors are and the songs that I am currently listening to on repeat.  Still, they don’t watch the movies like I do.  To most people a movie is a nice past time.  It’s fun. They won’t be restless if they can’t go the first Friday and they don’t look for the cinematography or background music.  To be honest I did not notice these things at first but as I grew older and as I watched more films this changed.  When I watch a Bollywood film the colours, the dance, the music, the culture and so many other aspects make me feel a high I don’t think many people feel.  I notice the choice of background music in a particular scene.  I take note of the cinematography.  I want to know who has written the screenplay, the story or the lyrics.  If a movie or song is playing on the TV downstairs I can recognize it almost immediately.  I know all the directors by name and by face.  I recognize production companies and I know who heads them.  I love watching interviews on the movie making process.  I just love everything about them.

Recently, one of my classmates asked me what do you love about these Bollywood movies anyway?  Why Bollywood?  I found it difficult to give an answer.  I mean the standard answer is the song and dance, the romantic songs shot in the Swiss Alps, the chiffon sarees, the dancing in fields, etc. But then movies like Udaan, Barfi, Gangs of Wasseypur, Vicky Donor, Kai Po Che, Paan Singh Tomar, Delhi 6 came to my mind.  These did not have the huge song and dance with a superstar grooving to catchy songs.  Yet I knew in my gut these films are different from Hollywood films.  But how?  I told him that I love them because I can relate to them more.  I get the references made in them because that is what my parents talk about at home or because I learned about them while watching NDTV with my parents.  I get the moral dilemmas the protagonists face in them.  I understood Sid’s dilemma in Wake up Sid.  I too felt that confusion when I was figuring out what I wanted to do with the rest of my life.  Ek Main Aur Ek Tu resonated with me because I too feel that parental pressure though no way near as severe.  Indian parents are unique and these films showed how.  Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Ghum taught me about the place parents are given in Indian culture.  I love my parents just like Shahrukh’s character Rahul does.  Hum Saath Saath Hain made me wish I had a family so close knit.  Delhi 6, Kai Po Che and even Mausam were commentaries on communalism and it shaped my outlook on Indian politics.  Taare Zameen Par and Barfi helped me understand the world of differently abled people.  There is a film called Gippi releasing next Friday that basically is the story of my life.  A chubby, unpopular girl who is unusually close to her brother and mother and struggles to fit in.  I even ran for Vice President and she is running for Head Girl!  In the trailer she participates in hotdog hugs and erupts into dance with her mom just like me!  Watching the trailer I thought to myself “Is this based off my life?!”.

Basically Bollywood is my passion.  I could write at least a twenty page paper on why I love it.  I could cite a hundred films that shaped the person I am today.  Unfortunately I have time constraints and you probably don’t want to read twenty pages so all I will say is HAPPY BIRTHDAY BOLLYWOOD, YOU ARE A HUNDRED AND STILL LOOKING GOOD!

Happy-Birthday

bollywood addict

Movie Review: Kai Po Che

I know it has been awhile since I reviewed any films because of school.  However, “Kai Po Che” made me want to post.  I just got back from the film and I am still numb.  

I read “The Three Mistakes of My Life” in grade twelve.  I loved it so much that I pushed my English teacher into allowing me to write my book report on it.  The book report entailed writing an essay on a passage from the book which the teacher would choose.  My teacher chose the love scene between Govind and Vidya.  The political scientist in me was disappointed because the political undertone in the novel are a goldmine for essay writing.  Still, the romantic in me was happy.  Not to brag but I kicked that report out of the ballpark or should I say the cricket field?  Okay, okay I will stop trying to use clever metaphors.

When I heard that the book was being adapted into film by the director of “Rock On!” I was psyched.  Initially it was said that actors like Farhan Akhtar and Arjun Rampal were cast to essay the leads.  I got even more psyched.  Then, I read that the guy from Pavitra Rishta (Sushant Singh Rajput) and two other unknown actors (Amit Sadh and Raj Kumar Yadav) had been cast.  I was kind of disappointed and I knew I would still go and see it.  That was if it even played. I was doubtful that without any stars the one theatre in my city that plays Hindi movies would even bother.  However, I am glad to report that it did play and I LOVED it!

The casting of this film is very close to perfection.  I say very close to perfection only because I was disappointed by the casting of Ali’s father.  In the book he is a strong character with strong beliefs.  He inspires Ishaan’s respect and is a worthy political opponent of Ovi’s Mama.  In the film, none of this came across.  It may not be the actors fault and it may just be the screenplay writers/director who are to blame.  This being said the rest of the casting is FLAWLESS! Yes I was doubtful at first but the three leads won me over and how! Sushant is so natural that it seems as if he was born to play Ishaan.  The character requires a charisma but also a reflection of pain that his dreams of playing for India remain unfulfilled.  Sushant embodies all this in his portrayal of Ishaan.  Bravo Sushant!  Meanwhile, Raj Kumar Yadav plays Govind spot on! The way he walks, talks when he is nervous is superb.  The earthquake seen is all his.  He shines.  Lastly, Amit Sadh is marvellous as Omi.  The change from the innocent Omi to the politically corrupted Omi is a joy to see on screen because it is so well done.  Omi’s blood shot eyes and expressions stay in your mind even after the scene is over.  I really cannot see anyone else as Omi.  The supporting cast all give great performances.  The actor who plays Mamaji is wonderful.  Moreover, Amrita Puri as Vidya is so natural.  You would never guess a Punjabi girl is playing the Gujrati Vidya.  The scene between her and Sushant is especially moving.

No review is complete without taking of the technical aspect of a film.  The cinematography is not lavish as is common in Hindi films.  It can’t be because that is not what the film needs.  Still, the DoP makes the setting look beautiful when it needs to be beautiful and terrifying when it needs to be terrifying.  The music is perfection and blends so well into the narrative. The editing is flawless as one scene transitions to another with ease.  The screenplay, which is as mentioned earlier, an adaptation of a novel is good.  I say good because I didn’t completely like the way the flashback comes about.  I wish it had been Govind reminiscing while on his way to pick up Omi.  Secondly, while I understand the film cannot encompass the whole book, I wish they had retained the scene when the three friends go to the party event.  I loved that scene from the book.

Director Abhishek Kapoor proves yet again that he is very good at what he does.  We should all be thankful that this guy gave up acting and pursued direction because otherwise we would not have gotten to see gems like “Rock On!” and “Kai Po Che”.  It’s not everyday that a director coming off a film that was both a box office hit and a critically acclaimed film, choses to do a film like Kai Po Che.  Firstly, it has political undertones.  Secondly, it has a cast of all newcomers.  Thirdly, it is neither a full on bromance like ZMND or Dostana nor does it revolve solely on a love story.  The love story is there but it is secondary to the story of the three boys.  I salute Abhishek Kapoor for taking the risk and not only that but also hitting a sixer with this film.  I know a film is good when during that 1-2 minute walk out of the theatre I am still thinking about the movie and not where I parked my car or what time it is.  I just get this feeling of numbness.  I remember my film studies teacher and I both had a discussion once about what makes a film good.  I said then that it is good if it makes you feel something.  That something could be making you cry or it could be making you laugh.  “Kai Po Che” made me feel so for me it is a good film.  A film that deserves to be seen.  I like films with political undertones so it made me think, ALOT.  Still if you aren’t like me and hate such films you will still like this film because the story of these boys is beautifully touching.

Rating: **** (4stars/5stars)

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My Tribute to Yash Chopra

I woke up this morning to the news of Yash Chopra’s death.  I still cannot believe the King of Romance is dead.  The man who is responsible for me falling in love with Hindi cinema is no more. I am eternally indebted to him. Rest in peace Yash Ji. I promise I will cherish this gift you have given me jab tak hai jaan, jab tak hai jaan…

The film that made me fall in love with Bollywood was Dil To Pagal Hai.  I watched it at a friend’s house when I was about 9 years old.  By then it had come on DVD and I became obsessed with the film.  I remember trading my friend my Sailor Moon movie for the Dil To Pagal Hai DVD.  Till date you can put that movie on and I will drop everything and start watching.  I think I must have seen it at least 30 times from start to finish.  Everything about that movie enticed me: the music, the idea that there is someone made for you and all you have to do is find them, the dance, etc.  After that I watched every Shah Rukh Khan movie that came before and after Dil To Pagal Hai.

Yash Ji made so many great films but besides fulfilling the role of director with panache, his production company has produced many excellent films.

Besides films, Yash Ji introduced so many talented actors and directors to bollywood.  When I told my mom about his death she aptly said “He made so many people’s lives by giving them films.”  Many people owe much to Yash Ji and he will be sorely missed.

The man was an institution in himself.  When one talks of chiffon sarees or Switzerland and romantic songs, Yash Ji’s name is the first thing that comes to mind.

I think the thing that saddens me most is he won’t be alive to see his last film release.  I really hope that Jab Tak Hai Jaan breaks all box office records because no other farewell would be proper for the man that gave us Hindi-film lovers so much joy.  It is so fitting that Jab Tak Hai Jaan is releasing on Remembrance Day long weekend here in Canada because on Tuesday, November 13th I will be remembering Yash Ji by watching the 1st day, 1st show of Jab Tak Hai Jaan.

Below is the link to Yash Ji’s last interview which he gave on the occasion of his 80th birthday just a few weeks ago.  I recommend you watch it because I learnt so much from it not just in relation to films but about life and how one should lead it.

Yash Ji will be missed.  My condolences to his family and those close to him.  All I can say is feel comfort in the fact that he was so well loved because that is a sign that he lived his life well.

bollywoodaddict