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Teri Meri Kahaani: Movie Review

It’s been a while since I wrote a movie review and though I’m rusty here goes…

Hearing Teri Meri Kahaani had under-performed at the box office and had failed to impress critics made my fear that a movie with three love stories was just a bad idea even greater.  Fortunately as is often true the critics got it wrong! I LOVE, LOVE, LOVED this film.  Here are a list of pros and cons.

Cons:

1. The film starts in 1960.  This is confusing at first since you expect it to start off in 1910.  After the film was over I realized it may have been for the purpose of having an interval.  You see, the 1910 portion is longer than both the 1960 and 2012 stories thus  for purposes of having a break half way between perhaps director Kunal Kohli decided to save 1910 for last.  However, I don’t think an interval was necessary and having the film go in chronological order would have enhanced the final product.

2. The ex-girlfriend Meera.  In 2012 Shahid’s ex-girlfriend is just irritating.  In todays world relationships face so many diverse obstacles (as we saw in Love Aaj Kal, Socha Na Tha, Hum Tum, I Hate Luv Storys) that I felt the ex-girlfriend obstacle was too superficial a choice.  Still for time purposes I guess the choice makes sense.  That being said I would have preferred a longer film if it tacked something more substantial.

Pros:

1. Shayanka – the chemistry between Shahid and Priyanka.  Kunal Kohli brought us the Rani-Saif jodi in Hum Tum and we will eternally be grateful.  He does us another favour by casting Shahid and Priyanka as Krish/Radha, Javed-Aradhana and Gobind-Rukhsar.  These two set the screen on fire with their crackling chemistry.  They adapt to their roles amazingly well.  Especially in the 1910 love story.  Shahid’s shers would make any girl melt because not only are they beautiful but also because of the charm and confidence with which he recites them.  Priyanka excels too by adding that typical punjabi accent to her hindi.  I’m punjabi myself and when I speak Hindi that exact accent comes into it!

2. The sets.  Whoever made the sets should take a bow! Kunal Kohli you are a man of fantastic vision to pull this off! The setting of 1910 is Sargoda (a village in pre-partition Punjab) and it looks amazing! My mom tells me my grandfather’s family was originally from Sargoda so that makes me happy too haha!  I am contemplating taking my grandpa to see the film so he can tell me if it’s accurately designed or not.  The 1960 set is created digitally and you can tell in some parts but it is mostly done very well.

3. The film is what it promises.  I read a couple reviews saying Mr. Kohli was trying to make an epic romance but I don’t think that was the intention.  I think he meant the film to be a romantic film that when you leave the theatre you leave happy and hopeful that you too can find love.  If I’m right he succeeded.  Reading the reviews after having seen the film I can’t help but think that one of two things must be true. One the critics don’t believe in love. Two the critics are too old to remember how they dreamt of love when they were in their late teens and early twenties.  This movie made me say “aww” or “that’s so sweet” so many times.

To conclude, if you are young and love to fantasize about your mr.right or miss right then this movie is a must see.  Ignore the box office numbers and the critics and have a good time!  It was my last day as a “teenager” and I couldn’t have thought of a better way to spend it!

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

bollywoodaddict

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Mere Brother Ki Dulhan: Movie Review

I LOVE hindi cinema.  That is no secret.  If you are like me and you love hindi cinema for its vibrance, songs and larger than life feel, you will LOVE “Mere Brother Ki Dulhan”.  It is a culmination of all I love: beautifully choreographed songs, lots of laughs, great costumes, mushy romantic scenes, family drama and outstanding cinematography.

The story is not unique but it is the way the story is told that is the new twist to an old story and what makes the movie work.  The director, Ali Abbas Zafar knows what he is doing.  He draws brilliant performances from all the cast members and tells his story well.  He chose great locations and a great editor!

The cast is the shining glory of this film.  Katrina Kaif looks fabulous as usual. Her acting skills are improving with every performance and she is very loveable as Dimple.  This girl deserves all the fame she has achieved because she is clearly hard working.  Her hindi diction is much approved, it is hard to believe she did not know Hindi till a few years back!  Katrina’s expressions are also wonderful.  I think she learned much from her previous film “Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani”, where she played a girl somewhat similar to her character in “Mere Brother Ki Dulhan”.  Imran Khan is spectacular.  His character, Kush is every girl’s dream (good looking, supportive, creative, responsible, family loving, spunky and fun) and the brother everyone wants.  Imran breathes life into his character and makes Kush exactly what the story calls for.  The brother is portrayed by Ali Zafar (previously seen in Tere Bin Laden).  I can say one thing with certainty this film would not have been half as entertaining if the casting of the brother was not so good.  Ali is fantastic.  The way he speaks, his facial expressions and his comic timing all make it impossible to take your eyes off the screen.  I really hope we get to see more of this delightful talent from Pakistan.

The first half of “Mere Brother Ki Dulhan” is a fast paced, fun filled ride.  The second half is also very entertaining.  There is only one flaw in this film and that is that the ending is dragged a bit.  Just when you think all is well, an unexpected plot twist comes into place.  It is not that the plot twist is totally unrealistic, it makes sense considering what happens in the film.  However, the problem is solved in too short a time span, making it a bit redundant.

I was having a very stressful week but “Mere Brother Ki Dulhan” provided me relief from all the stress.  If you like to laugh or need a laugh, this film is for you.  Yashraj Films are always quality products and this film is no exception. You won’t be bored for even a second!

Rating: 4.5/5 stars

bollywoodaddict

Movie Review: Get Ready for Ready!

I went to see Ready last Sunday and I went in with very little expectations.  I know a lot of people absolutely LOVED Dabangg but while I enjoyed it, I really didn’t see why it deserved to be the highest grossing film ever.  It was entertaining but not a masterpiece.  Any way moving on, if you liked Dabangg you’ll love Ready too.  In fact I thought Ready was even better than Dabangg.  Salman Khan is a rockstar, no doubt about that and Ready just reinforces this.  The film is a remake of a Tamil film.  However, while the story is a solid one, it is the cast that makes the film great.  Here is a brief summary of the film from Bollywood Hungama:

Prem (Salman Khan) is the heir to the company ‘Frangnance’ perfumes owned by the Bhandari Brother’s. Gautam, Rishi and Rajveer. The eldest, Gautam has no issue. Rishi has married of his only daughter and Prem is Rajveer’s only son….thus the only heir to the company….
Prem still a bachelor wants to enjoy life before getting married and this is not approved by his father….it’s Gautam and Rishi….who side Prem and treat Prem as their son. 
Sanjana (Asin) an orphan lands in India to be with her mamas….Narendra and Tulsi who both are greedy and want to gulp down their niece’s property, which Sanjana had inherited. Prem who falls for Sanjana decides to teach her mamas a lesson. 
Both the mamas who are sworn enemies want Sanjana to get married to their respective brother in laws, so that they can get Sanjana’s property….but Prem makes a fool of them by getting friendly with them and then bringing his full family posing them as billionaires, and traps them getting the mama’s brother in laws marring his house maids. 
For the sake of his son’s love Rajveer too poses as a bank manager and threatening the mamas that the day Sanjana’s parent died, her parent’s owed the bank, billions of dollars….either they sell their property or disown the girl. 
To get rid of Sanjana they trap Prem….so that once he marries Sanjana….its Prem who has to clear off the debts….but on the day of the marriage Prem’s game gets exposed and both the mamas brother in laws now want revenge….

Now, not much has to be said about Salman Khan.  The name in itself is enough to bring the masses to the theatres.  However, in the past a few of Salman’s performances seem to be half-hearted (Main Aur Mrs Khanna). Ready is NOT one such performance.  He is electrifying on screen as the angry but charming young man. Prem has become an iconic screen name all thanks to Salman and Ready is just adding to that legacy.  Salman Bhai is just plain hilarious and his comedic timing is brilliant.  I totally agree with his already famous dialogue from the film: “Never underestimate me, myself and I”.  We won’t Salman Bhai, we won’t!!! As for the lead actress, it is almost as if Asin stepped out of Ghajini and walked into her role into Ready.  Both her roles in Ghajini and Ready are bubbly, vivacious girls.  I would like to see her play a more diverse range of characters but I’ll give her this, she is very convincing in the role of a bindaas girl.  This being said, Asin needs to work on her dancing and she needs a better make up artist.  Still, I loved her wardrobe for the film.  The rest of the cast is wonderful.  Especially Salman’s family.  Especially Mahesh Manjrekar who plays Salman’s dad. His speech about respecting women is particularly touching and sweet.  I’m used to him playing bad guys (like in Wanted, Musafir).  Sudesh Lehri (from Comedy Circus fame) is hilarious.  However, the show stealer is Paresh Rawal.  This man is one funny guy.  He is such a diverse actor.  I have met him in person and he is just as good a human being as he is an actor.

All in all, Ready is a very entertaining film.  The time just flies by and you don’t even realize it.  The ensemble cast is what makes this film great and the songs are also wondeful (although the song Chal Challe/Humko Pyar Hua could have been better choreographed).  This film is one you should get ready to see if you haven’t done so already.

Rating: 4 stars

bollywoodaddict

Dhobi Ghat: Film Review

Hey guys,

I was putting off watching Dhobi Ghat because I really had no urge to watch it.  Wow, what a mistake!  The film is a simple narrative, yet it manages to be very intriguing.  Here is a brief summary of the film from Bollywood Hungama (no spoilers, I promise):

DHOBI GHAT (Mumbai diaries) is the story of four people from very different backgrounds, whose worlds intersect and leave them forever altered. As they find themselves drawn into compelling relationships, the city finds its way into the crevices of their lives, separating them even as it brings them closer…

Fragments of their experience – seen through a naive video diary, black and white photographic images and painting – form a portrait of Mumbai and its people bound together as they journey through longing, loneliness, loss and love.

The actors do a wonderful job with their characters.  The new actresses Monica Dogra (Shai) and Kriti Malhotra (Yasmin) are perfect fits for their roles.  I particularly liked Monica as Shai.  Her performance is understated and she looks very pretty.  Kriti on the other hand is just as good.  She manages to enact the misery that Yasmin suppresses within her.  The boys are also great.  Prateik (Munna) hold his own and his resemblance to his late mother Smita Patil is uncanny.  The awkwardness he instills in his character Munna is so natural and a wonderful touch.  Aamir (Arun) is good too. However, his character could have been better developed.  It is almost as though Arun’s only purpose is to help tell Yasmin’s story and act as a link in the different stories.

Kiran Rao has a bright future in direction.  My belief is that a director’s talent is best assessed when he or she has to direct new actors.  So, Kiran Rao fares fabulously!  I am looking forward to her next venture.

All in all, I give the film 3 and 1/2 stars.  Check it out if you haven’t already.  It doesn’t give you the opportunity to get bored for even a second.

bollywoodaddict