Monday, September 05, 2005

my old friend: Mujhse Dosti Karoge!

This was the first Bollywood movie I watched - grabbed at random off the shelf because I was having trouble finding the ten from Bollywhat's rental guide, even though my store has most of them and I was just having a breakdown over trying to read the names - and I really liked it. Thanks to my eBay booty, I now own it, and, after a late-night viewing yesterday, I still like it. I was afraid I wouldn't - I've since learned to be wary of Hrithik and Kareena, and I thought the mistaken identity device would seem tired after seeing Hrithik do it twice more, and I was even a little afraid that I wouldn't find the insane spandex outfits and mountain top frolicing enjoyable anymore.

But I loved it all. Everyone does a nice job with their roles, and no one is a spaz. Hrithik (Raj) uses his real voice! Pooja (Rani) gets to tell Raj off for being blinded by beauty and not seeing her heart. Raj gets to scold Pooja for her insistence on nobley-intended-but-ultimately-hurtful deceits. Tina (Kareena) gets to redeem her entire character's existence by doing the right thing. And who doesn't love a plot that focuses on people falling in love through letters and email? It's so endearing. For once in Bollywood, people get to know each other before getting married, and friends fall in love - which sort of happens twice, since Raj is in love with letter-writer (Pooja) but also is quite struck by Pooja in real life as well, enough that it registers in his facial expression that perhaps he needs to hang on a mo and re-evaluate which girl he wants to marry. This speaks to me.

Let us not forget that this movie also gives us the quote "Leave it to Tina," accompanied by a haughty thrust of the chin upwards and some sort of dismissive hand wave, which I love and employ regularly. But only among people who have seen the movie, or else they would look at me funny.

2 comments:

Kim T. said...

Just rewatched this last night...but I still have to fast forward through the cringe-worthy moments (you named it...the spandexy mountain frolics!). Though I don't think Hrithik really hit his acting stride until Dhoom 2 (really!) and Jodhaa Akbar, I find him incredibly sexy when he's being all pouty and broken-hearted in the second half. There are definite moments of overwrought emotion, especially in the scene by the pool where he's practically snuffling on Pooja's neck, but I'm kind of a sucker for the Harlequin alpha hero and it still works for me (though I'm embarrassed for myself and him as I'm watching...does that make sense?) As charming as Uday as Rohan is, I don't know how Pooja holds out that long.

This was I think the first "real" Bollywood film that I saw after Jodhaa Akbar and Dhoom 2 (both of which have their share of Hollywood polish). And it still has several of my favorite scenes of any Bollywood romance yet...Raj's church scene epiphany, the bedroom scene where Tina knocks on the door, the big dance party with the rain (how did no one catch on at this point!?), spin the bottle ("Then it's Pooja I should be marrying." sigh) and the beautiful pre-wedding scene with the "accident" with the vermillion powder (big sigh).

I netflixed Bunty aur Baili for this week since I've read so many good things here.

Beth said...

Oh yes, I know too well the feeling of being embarrassed while enjoying something. In fact, that'd make a great poll topic - our most beloved Bollywood cringe moments?

I clearly need to watch this again because I don't remember most of the scenes you mention! But I'm glad you enjoyed it - and hope you'll like B&B even more! It's always in my top 3 favorites.