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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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Student of the Year Movie Review: Eye-Candy and So Much More

I have been waiting for Student of the Year since I saw the first look poster.  I fell in love with Varun Dhawan after the first trailer and I never miss a Dharma film.  I basically worship Karan Johar because his films give me so much happiness that my parents think I’m insane.  However, I just LOVE them.  Life can be cruel, mundane and disappointing at times but KJo’s films allow you to forget that for a short period of time.

Student of the Year is no typical Karan Johar film because it does not have SRK in it.  This being said that does not mean it isn’t a good film.  I REALLY enjoyed this movie.

Pros of SOTY:

1. THE CAST/ KARAN JOHAR

What can I say?  Those two boys are mighty good looking.  If you want to know what I think of Siddharth just listen to the song Kukkad from the film because it describes him bang on.  He is not just a handsome guy though, he can act.  His scene with Farida Jalal is especially noteworthy.  Speaking of Farida Ji, how I love her!  I just wish she would do more movies!  The only thing Siddharth needs to work on is his dancing.  He looks awkward especially in Radha.  It’s not just his fault though, choreographer Farah Khan should not have given him the one step in which he has one leg in the air while walking after Alia (it’s just plain weird).

Varun is the scene stealer in every scene he is in! He looks fantastic especially in that one yellow sweater.  I usually hate it when girls drool over guys and objectify them but Varun brings out that side in me too so I guess I’m just as bad!  Still, I have enough objectivity left in me to say he has done a superb job in terms of acting.  The one scene where he and Siddharth tell each other about their parents brought tears to my eyes especially when Varun says “My parents are dead too.”  This boy has a bright future because man can he dance (God knows why he says he is not a natural dancer in his interviews), he can act and he is devilishly good looking.

Alia fits the role of Shanaya perfectly.  She does well in her role and dances very well too.  Manish Malhotra has styled her to perfection and Micky Contractor’s makeup is flawless.  My only concern is that though this role was made for her what will she do after this?  She looks much too young to do anything but teenager/early adult roles and there are so few films that require that in Bollywood.

Kayoze Irani proves talent is is in the genes.  His father Boman Irani is one of my favourite actors and Kayoze does him proud.  If I went to St Teresa’s I would be a carbon copy of his character so I related to him very much.  The outsider who is ready to study his butt off but lacks any scope for athletics or dance.  The critics have been raving about his big speech and I have to agree he was splendid.  I really hope we get to see more of this talented guy.

Rishi Kapoor is one of the most versatile actors I have ever seen.  From Rauf Lala to Dean Yoginder Vasisht one cannot believe it’s the same man.  He was so scary in Agneepath and now he is SOOOO funny in Student of the Year.  I salute you sir!

Ram Kapoor is great at being a jerk as you’ll know if you have seen his TV serials and Student of the Year is no exception.  His character though is one thing that bothered me about the film because no father is so relentlessly cruel.  Karan should have added some remorse or sensitivity into the character.  Ram’s wife in real life also plays his wife in the film and she is beautiful but does not have much to do except basically be Jaya Bachchan from Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Ghum.  I wouldn’t be surprised if that is the brief Karan gave her.

Ronit Roy is fabulous as the strict but tender hearted sport coach.  Manjot Singh is hilarious and loveable as he always is.  No KJo film is complete without a sardar ji and Manjot is wonderful as Dimpy.  Sana Saeed (little Anjali from Kuch Kuch Hota Hai) fits her role like a glove so hat’s off to her.  I just wish there was more for her to do especially in the “grown-up students” parts (you’ll get what I mean when you see the film).  Lastly, the young man playing Varun’s friend, Jeet is super funny and effective especially the one joke he makes about Parsi’s (not offensive but super funny!).

With such a young cast  but such fine acting it is obvious the captain of the ship deserves a standing ovation.  This was probably Karan’s most challenging film in terms of direction and it’s obvious he has nurtured these newcomers and the result is they have blossomed into promising talents.

2. THE MUSIC AND SONG PICTURIZATION/CHOREOGRAPHY

Every song is this film is amazing! Even the one’s I found myself thinking what is this when I heard the soundtrack (i.e. Kukkad).  Moreover, KJo adds renditions of some old classics into the narratives which just enhances the narrative.   Of course KJo is known for his song picturization but this is the best of all his films.  Stunning!  Remo D’Souza’s “Disco Dewane” hook step has been stuck in my head for over a month and I’m still not bored! Actually all the songs have great choreography whether it be Vele (Bosco-Caesar), Ishq Wala Love (Farah Khan), Kukkad and Radha (again Farah Khan, except that one step aforementioned).

3. THE CINEMATOGRAPHY AND ST. TERESA’S

Props to Cinematographer Ayananka Bose, he makes everything look like a dream.  Really, from Kashmir to Dehradun to Bangkok everything is translated onto celluloid like it is all heaven on earth.  Such a treat for the eyes.  I must especially mention the triathlon!  It’s an adrenaline rush just to watch!

St.Teresa’s puts Oxford, Yale and Harvard to shame.  How I wish St Teresa’s was real and I went to college there.  Life would be amazing! The assembly hall, the cafeteria and the lecture hall all amazing sets and the only real thing is the stunning campus which is actually Forest Research Institute, Dehradun.

4. THE DIALOGUES

Niranjan Iyengar is Karan’s go to guy for dialogues and their close friendship is obvious because the dialogues match the screenplay/story spot on.  The dialogues are extremely effective and reflect an understanding of today’s youth.  There are also some super funny jokes, some of which have been mentioned above.  However, the best part is Rishi Kapoor’s dialogues.  They are so adorable yet funny.

5. THE SCREENPLAY

I could not believe my eyes when the opening credits declared Rensil D’Silva has done the screenplay of this film.  This is the guy who directed Kurbaan! From such a dark, hard hitting film to this college story! What a 360 degree turn! Karan clearly knows how to pick talent.  The screenplay flows fluently from songs to romance to a triathlon!

Cons of SOTY:

1. THE ENDING:

I can’t reveal much because I want you to go buy a ticket and see the movie but I was unhappy with the ending.  I felt one of the characters was treated unfairly by the script.  However, the film in it’s entirety is so good that I’ll just pretend my choice of ending is what really happened LOL.

2. SHANAYA

She is too confused throughout the film.  I wish Karan had developed the character just a tad more or had let her explain her behaviour/choices so the viewer could have some closure.

All in all Student of the Year lived up to my expectations and I can’t wait to see more of the cast in their future ventures.  If you are a teenager or just entered adulthood give this movie a shot.  It had romance for the boys and sports for the guys but it also reminds you that the friends you make in college can be the ones you keep for your whole life.  I know that one thought that came into my head while watching the film was “I really hope me and my friends can be friends even after college is over and we all move on in our lives.”

Rating: 4/5 stars

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If You Love Cinema Take a Bite of Barfi!

I’ve been watching Hindi movies my entire life pretty much.  I’ve been mocked because of my deep love for them but that didn’t lessen my love of them.  Do you know why?  It is because of films like Barfi.  Barfi in no way fits the stereotypical view of Bollywood.  It is not a movie consumed by song and dance numbers or totally unrealistic action sequences.  Not that there is anything wrong with those films.  In fact, I love those kinds of Hindi movies, just refer to any of my previous posts.  It is just that the next time someone says “Oh you like Bollywood?  Those are the movies where the actor and actress dance and sing for the whole movie right?” I can internally laugh at them because Barfi is not that at all.

Barfi is NOT a sad movie overall.  It is a movie about loving life.  It is about appreciating what God has given you instead of complaining about what he has given others and not you.  Barfi teaches this lesson not through melodrama or tears but through humour.  I watched the movie in a relatively full theatre and I cannot tell you how many times the theatre burst into laughter.  There are some scenes in the film that are just so adorably humorous you wish you had a remote so you could rewind and watch it again.  There are some sad portions as well but soon after you will find yourself laughing again.

Director/writer Anurag Basu most definitely deserves a standing ovation.  He has written a superb story.  It is a simple one but it makes you laugh and cry.  His direction of the film is outstanding.  Every single character is memorable and the little moments in the film stay in ones mind even after the film is over.  In an interview Ranbir Kapoor said for this film Priyanka, Ileana and himself completely relied on Mr. Basu.  Thus, their amazing performances are in part credited to this genius of a man.

My entire family loves Ranbir Kapoor.  We eagerly await all his films and we all wish him the best.  However, I have always held a special place for Shahrukh Khan in my heart.  I never thought I could love anyone more than SRK until today.  After watching Barfi, Ranbir Kapoor is my most favourite actor without question.  The man has no dialogues in the film yet I have never found a character so endearing!  I totally agree with Anurag Basu, NO ONE ELSE COULD HAVE BEEN BARFI!

Priyanka Chopra has given several noteworthy performances in her career like Aitraaz, Fashion, Kaminey and Saat Khoon Maaf but Barfi is her best yet.  Jhilmil is a tricky character to portray.  If portrayed incorrectly, Jhilmil could come off as a silly character or a pathetic caharacter for whom we feel nothing but empathy for.  Thankfully and incredibly, Priyanka’s performance ensures neither of the above happens.  Rather, you find yourself falling in love with Jhilmil’s spirit.  You don’t feel sorry for her.

Ileana’s role is substantial but it is not as interesting/meaty as Ranbir and Priyanka’s roles.  She does a good job though and was an apt choice.

All in all, Barfi is my favourite film of the year thus far.  I won’t at all be surprised to see Ranbir walk away with all the Best Actor awards this year again.  Nor will I be surprised to see Anurag Basu walk away with best director (though he may have to compete with Yash Chopra and Reema Katgi).  Priyanka will most definitely be nominated but I will have to see Heroine first before I can say with certainty that she will win.  So far, for me it was the best performance by an actress this year.

I will give one warning though, if you only like fast paced masala movies then Barfi may not be for you. As critic and trade analyst Taran Adarsh aptly put it:

“On the whole, BARFI! is unusual for Bollywood. You don’t formulate movies like BARFI! targeting its box-office potential or its commercial prospects. You create such films for the passion of cinema.”

So, if you truly love cinema and do not only go to movies to help pass the time then Barfi is most definitely one film you should not miss.  Even if you are one of those movie-goers I would say give this movie a chance.  It is a happy story.  Though for some strange reason I found myself getting teary eyed at the end even though the ending is such a happy one.  I think that is why I loved this movie so much, it invoked something in me that I still don’t understand.  That has never happened to me before.

Rating: 4.5/5

bollywoodaddict

Barfi – Something out of the ordinary but in a good way!

I always argue with people who say bollywood movies are all the same because that statement does not only apply to bollywood but also applies to every film industry out there.  Ask yourself how many superhero movies has hollywood churned out this year or how many rom-coms, animated movies about being courageous?

Still I too yearn for those bollywood films that are not the norm and now more than ever I am getting what I want.  Recently films like 3 Idiots, Ferrari Ki Saawari, Chillar Party, Ishqiya, Saat Khoon Maaf, Kaminey, Sahib Biwi Aur Gangster, Paan Singh Tomar, My Name Is Khan, Kahaani, Rockstar, Gangs of Wasseypur, ZNMD, etc. have been made and they are out of the ordinary but in a good way!  Looks like another name will be added to the list come September 14th, 2012, BARFI!

The trailer was released today and I am already impressed.  The visuals are stunning! Anurag Basu is a talented director and the trailer is just a reminder of this.  Moreover, watching Ranbir one cannot help but reminisce and think back to Raj Kapoor Saab and Charlie Chaplin.  This young man is shaping up to be the biggest star in bollywood.  I suggest the Khans stop fighting amongst themselves and watch out for him instead!

I don’t know about you but I’m eagerly awaiting Barfi!

bollywoodaddict

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

Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu: An Unexpected Surprise

Going into Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu I was expecting a mushy, feel good rom-com that makes you believe in a love not possible in the real world. However, coming out I found myself reflecting on things I had never considered before. More than a rom-com Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu is a story of self discovery. Don’t get me wrong, there are beautiful and romantic moments in the film but that is not what the point of the film is.

Imran and Kareena do a fine job. Kareena’s character resembles that of Geet from Jab We Met. A girl who knows how to live life and is unapologetic for her pizazz/bold nature. So, the terrain is not unfamiliar for the actress who has already proven her talent in many films. However great Kareena is, Imran is the scene stealer of the film. His portrayal of a twenty five year old man who is living a suffocated and repressed life is spot on. Especially those of Indian ethnicity will relate to his portrayal of an aaga kari/parent respecting son who lives his life the way he does to please his parents. I could not help but relate to him. His eyes (which are beautiful) say so much. The scene in which he confronts his parents is one of the best examples of catharsis or release of emotions I have seen (except Rockstar which had many such moments). No one could have done this role better. Imran makes the character come alive. You never question that he is a rich, proper, intelligent architect with obsessive compulsive disorder (he irons his socks and underwear and cannot tolerate untidiness). His understated performance makes the film come alive. Had this role gone into the hands of anyone else, the film could have well fallen flat.

The script gets it right, there are millions of kids out there that feel stifled by parental expectations. Like Rahul (Imran’s character) they let the purpose of their life become pleasing their parents. After all, their parents have done so much for them. In fact Rahul’s dad (played by Boman Irani) never let’s him forget that he was always given whatever he wanted.

The supporting cast is outstanding. Boman Irani can never perform badly and this is no exception. He is fabulous as Imran’s business minded father. Ratna Pathak Shah is very funny. Though she played Imran’s mother in Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na, her role in this film is very different but she makes you believe she truly is a materialistic and controlling mother. Kareena’s character’s parents add masala to the narrative especially the dad. Riana’s granny is the cutest of them all though! Watch out for her when you go to see the film. Ram Kapoor is hardly there but whatever little screen time he has he uses it effectively. He is such a fine actor and has great screen presence.

This film is RELATABLE. It is realistic. It is VERY likely you or me have felt the way Imran’s character Rahul does. There is a point in the film when Kareena’s character Riana tells him that being perfectly normal is a blessing. During that scene I felt as though I was standing in Imran’s shoes.

The music complements the film nicely and contributes to the narrative nicely. A unexpected cameo by choreographer Bosco (from Bosco-Caesar) and Avantika (Imran’s real life wife) in the song Auntie Ji brings a smile to your face. Aahatein is a beautiful song and brings tears to your eyes. The title track is fun and youthful.

Dharma Productions always produces good quality films. You never get the feeling of cost cutting when watching a Dharma film. It is made as the script demands. Giving new directors a chance is risky but Dharma proves it one risk worth taking as long as you believe in that new talent.

First time director Shakun Batra has made a light, unusual and a good film. It is not conventional as one expects it to be but this is a pleasant surprise. There is humour, romance and enlightenment in this film. It is short and you feel sad that it is over so soon. He also shows how innovative he is by adding titles to every scene (ex. back to school, chopsticks, etc.). These are the signs of a good film. I cannot wait to see more films from him.

I am going to give EMAET 3 1/2 stars. Give this film a chance, you won’t regret it. You may just realize something about yourself. I know I did.

bollywoodaddict

Ladies vs Ricky Bahl: Movie Review

I don’t have time to write an in depth review…exams 😦 but here is a brief one:

I swore never to watch another Anushka Sharma movie after my bad ecounters with her at IIFA but I am in love with Ranveer so I went to see Ladies vs Ricky Bahl.

The best part is that Ranveer is there throughout the film!

What works:

1. Ranveer Singh – this guy is a HUNK! But there is more to this book than just the cover. He proves all  those critics who thought he could only do  loud, jhakas roles WRONG.  His character actually speaks relatively little.  Yet, he says so much through his eyes and body language.  Mark my words this guy is the next Shah Rukh Khan of Indian cinema.  He is a self-made guy whose love for acting is evident in his performance.  Plus, his hair…uff tauba! I FEEL SO BAD I DID NOT MEET HIM AT IIFA!!!!! 😦

2. The 3 girls – IGoing in I did not think these girls would be given much scope or add much to the film but I was wrong! They have substantial roles and are quite good to.  Especially Parineeti Chopra, she delivers her dialogues very well and brings a smile to your face every time she says something.  It will be interesting to see her next film which appears to be more of a serious role.

3. The dialogues – Habib Faisal does it again! The dialogues are hilarious! Especially the ones given to Parineeti Chopra’s character Dimple. (There is one really funny one about pyaar between the bakra and kassai.)

What does not work:

1. Anushka Sharma (Yes I am biased so this is most likely unreliable.) – she is stuck in a rut of the same roles again and again.  The bubbly, over smart girl who is a softy at heart but has a hard exterior.  Plus she looks much too thin!  She lost a lot of weight but I though she looked great before.

2. Not enough songs – there are only 2 dance numbers (Mera Jigar Da Tukda and Jazba) in the movies narrative (Thug Le is an end credits song).  Ranveer is such a great dancer it would have been nice to see him dance more.

Ladies vs Ricky Bahl is a good movie.  If you have a free evening, give it a shot.  It will make you smile and you will have a good time. Plus Ranveer Singh deserves a hit.  We need more talents like him who make it on their own.

Rating; *** – 3 stars!

bollywoodaddict