Sunday, July 31, 2005

Akshaye the good: Deewangee

Watching two similar movies back to back might not be a good idea, especially if one of the stars is the same. This was the second in an Akshaye Khanna double-header and, unfortunately, both of them were thrillers. In the first one he was the bad guy; in this one he isn't. Most of the time. The endings are so similar. If my video store had more of his movies I'm not sure I would have chosen this one, since I don't even like psychological thrillers most of the time. But whatever. It was interesting to see the actor playing the bad guy because last time I saw him he was the good guy. For the most part, this movie does not contain most of the factors I look to Bollywood for. The arm-flinging and dancing seemed out of place here - lives are at stake, people! - but that's my bias and is a problem I will have to get over if I'm going to learn about this genre. Also this film was violent, beyond what I was expecting.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Akshaye the bad: Humraaz

I really like that Akshaye Khanna. Even when he is playing a schemer, as here. Ooof. Also on the eye candy front, this is the first Bollywood movie I've seen that has men who out-pretty the women. Although one of the lead men has seems to have been directed to just walk bouncily and shake his shoulders through the musical scenes, making me think he really cannot dance at all, since there's no other conceivable reason to omit dancing in Bollywood, especially when the plot features professional dancers. Humraaz takes on a frantic series of plot twists at the end, and even though I was not entirely certain I knew what the end result be, I kind of lost energy for them in the last fifteen minutes. There were only so many "surprise!" moments I can take - although Nine Queens, another twisty film, was gripping all the way through...hmmm.... I think the problem here was because the struggle/fight sequences and cuts to people doing nefarious things were kind of clunky - and besides, I was distracted by hoping for another pleather-clad Akshaye dance number. Other than the very end, totally entertaining. And a strong "A" for novelty - it's not every day one sees a song-and-dance thriller set on an ocean liner.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Hey, Dean Martin called and he wants his song back: Dil To Pagal Hai

Movie tag line: "Somewhere, someone is made for you." See what I mean?

Movies about dancers are a good time. I liked this a lot, but I was really, really tired when Abby and I watched thisand I had to go home before it was over. But I had a good hunch how it ended. But I was there for the dance-off! Genius. The review on imdb sums it up well. I rented this because it has SRK in it and when in doubt I go for one of his - though I might not anymore, after Josh.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Jets! Sharks! Fanny packs! Josh

Junkity junk. What a disappointment. Should have known better than to get a West Side Story remake. Neither compelling nor remotely realistic, even with my recent Bollywood-seduced suspension of disbelief. With, of course, a few fabulous dance sequences: some Latin dance (perhaps becuase it is set in Portugese-colonized Goa?) and a costume ball - "Who could this mysterious, enchanting stranger be behind the mask? Oh my goodness, it's the boy I'm not supposed to love because he comes from the enemy gang!"

Best summarized by saying that one of the two gang leaders, played by SRK, keeps his gun in a fanny pack emblazoned with his name in craft-store paint. You cannot, I repeat cannot, be taken seriously as a bad-ass if you wear a fanny pack.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Wait a minute! Could you be my anonymous love? Na Tum Jaano Na Hum

Let's just say it: Hrithik Roshan is wildly attractive, in a chiseled, classical statue sort of way. He can dance really well, but he doesn't always seem to get the chance. I totally dig the hype train from the sidelines but am not hopping on because his neck is bulgy and his voice doesn't seem to match the rest of him.


Notable points about this movie:

  • Abby made me watch certain scenes painfully slowly, looking for Hrithik's webbed thumb.
  • There is a scene in which a male character (the guy on the left in the picture above - he plays the skank), behind the wheel of his parked car, is suddenly accompanied by a young lady in the passenger seat as she sits bolt upright. In the film conventions I know, that means one thing and one thing only. If that is what it means here, I am shocked. Shocked!
  • If you're writing love letters and the relationship is going well, just go ahead and use your real names. You'll be grateful later.
  • I really liked that his token of affection for her, a little toy plane, was animated and would zoom around. V cute and evocative of how it feels when your crush gives you something. Unless it's a fake-o Paddington bear when you are a grownup. Barf.
  • The lesson here is that ladies should never drink. If they do, they automatically act like balance-challenged floozies. Good thing young men often have suitcoats on to lend them for modesty's sake.
  • Sometimes you have to go all the way from India to Vancouver to find the truth about your long-lost letter-writing love, because where else would your best-friend-slash-presumed-love-obstacle bump into you, years later, and tell you that no, in fact, he is not married to the woman you love and that she's at home waiting for you?

    Update to post (September 1, 2005):
    Aside to Hrithik: I have now seen three movies of yours, made within a span of two years, that involve mistaken identities. When you write letters with a girl and fall in love with her through said letters, whether you think you already know her or not, find out her name. Now, extrapolate this advice to non-epistolary situations, such as showing up at a stranger's house in another country. Introduce yourself with your full name. You'll thank me for this later and you can get back to saving aliens, or, better yet, doing your hip thrust dance move thingy, which is what we all want to see anyway.