Saturday, November 6, 2010

Chak De! India

Normally I am not really into sports movies but I really enjoyed this one.
It stars Shah Rukh Khan as a former captain of the Indian field hockey team. He has been made the scapegoat after India loses to Pakistan in a very important game. No longer able to play the game and driven from his home in shame, several years later he comes back and becomes the coach for the women's field hockey team. He pledges to make them champions and is laughed at by officials.
The team itself proposes many challenges for their coach as there is a lot of internal bickering and unfriendly feelings amongst the players.

I found SRK to be very laid back and natural in this movie. No over the top acting and he seems very much like a real person, as opposed to he larger than life characters that he usually plays.

The girls who played the ladies hockey team were wonderful, with a variety of personalities and backgrounds that have a difficult time meshing together in the beginning but learn to become a real team. Between the coach's determination and the girls' eventual bonding,they end up winning the gold and Shah Rukh Khan's good reputation is restored.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Jodhaa Akbar

Hrithik Roshan and Aishwarya Rai

He is a Muslim Emperor of Hindustan and she is a Hindu Princess. In the beginning, their marriage is purely a political and stretegic alliance but after the initial awkwardness, they come to understand each other and eventually mesh their religious and cultural differences. Hrithik Roshan and Aishwarya Rai are two of the most beautiful humans on earth and so they bring even more visual pleasure to this movie.

Jodhaa Akbar is done on a very grand scale, the costuming is incredible. It's colorful and beautiful and majestic. There are great battles, complete with elephants, elements of history and it's just all around pleasing to the senses. It's a tale of passions that will carry you away.

There is one scene in particular where HR is doing his morning exercises in the courtyard and AR is peering out her window that you will not want to miss. I would highly recommend this movie for a few hours of fantastic escape.

Kaho Naa Pyaar Hai

Starring Hrithik Roshan and Amisha Patel:

A dual role for Hrithik Roshan. He plays a sweet, loveable character in the first half and a cool, tough guy in the second half. It's almost 2 loves stories in one. As always HR is incredibly handsome and enjoyable. The end is quite good and it ranges from pleasant in the beginning, sad in the middle and suspenseful in the end. I really enjoyed this one.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Rab ne bana di jodi

Shah Rukh Khan, Anushka Sharma

The central plot of this movie was quite clever and could have been done so much better than it was. It fell flat though in my opinion. SRK was a shy, retiring bachelor who weds a lovely vibrant woman after a tragedy occurs in her family. SRK finds his alter ego when he decides to join a dance class that his wife has joined, disguised as a cavalier and womanizing, outgoing personality, so she won't recognize him. He knows that in real life his wife will never love him because of her tragic past, so he becomes this character in order to spend time with her and try to get her to open up to love again.
SRK as the husband is touching and sweet. However, his other character is a bit obnoxious and ill portrayed. Most of the movie was comedy centered but it mostly missed the mark for me. Fun and lighthearted but not very memorable.

Fanaa (destroyed in love)

Aamir Khan, Kajol, Rishi Kapoor, Kirron Kher

The beginning of this movie was quite pleasant. Kajol plays a blind girl and goes off to another city to participate in a musical performance with some friends and a chaperone. It's her first time away from home. She's quite naive and vulnerable. She meets up with a tour guide, played by Aamir Khan and they fall in love and wed, but a tragedy occurs on their wedding day.
The story takes a really strange twist and becomes quite intense. It has a very suspenseful and unexpected ending.
One of the highlights was Rishi Kapoor. He played the father of Kajol and I have only seen him in one movie from when he was a young man and I do know that he is considered a great Indian actor. I loved his role as the father. My favorite Kirron Kher plays yet another loving mother role but she only plays a small part.
I am not particularly a big fan of Aamir Khan but I do think he was well cast in this part.
I really liked this movie and while it was not a tear jerker, it was quite sad and left you feeling a bit empty at the end.

Kal Ho Naa Ho

Shah Rukh Khan, Preity Zinta and Saif Ali Khan

The title song to this movie is one of my favorite Indian songs. I sing it a lot and I get a certain feeling of melancholy love when I hear it. It's really beautiful.

I have a love/hate relationship with this movie. I almost didn't watch it after the first 10 minutes because I thought it was so bad. The beginning is rather silly and the item numbers are tacky. However, there is a bit of humorous stuff in there and about halfway through, it gets a little more serious. However by the end of the movie, I was totally emotionally invested and the end is a tear jerker. I'll say no more but if you can suffer through the beginning and fast forward through the songs, you'll likely enjoy the rest of it.

Sunday, February 28, 2010


Well another movie that had an impossible premise. A ghost appearing in human form to be with a woman he loves. It's a very outlandish story but I could not help myself from liking this movie. I love the combination of Shah Rukh Khan and Rani Mukherji together. Bonus, there were 2 SRK's in this movie. Double your pleasure. Oh and SRK with a stylin' mustache and a humongous turban, that will make you smile for sure.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Learning the language

Bit by bit, I am picking up Hindi words. I've seen so many movies now that I understand a little of the language. It confuses me though when movies are in multiple languages. I tried turning down the volume of a movie and just reading the words but it's impossible to watch that way. I'd rather turn off the English subtitles and just listen to the dialogue. Often times there is enough spoken English and enough words that I have picked up that I am able to understand a great deal of the movie.
One exception was 3 idiots. This movie was wonderful but there was very little English translation and I know I missed a great deal of excellent, important dialogue. However, I thought this was a great movie.

One of the most used words I have discovered is pyaar. Love. It's used over and over again in every movie. It seems to be the driving force behind all of the movies I watch. Love of family, being in love, falling in love. Having no love. Lost love. It's a strong word. Another such word I hear constantly is truth. That also seems to be a common thread in these movies. A quest for the truth.

I love all the family words for grandparents, aunties, uncles and sister/brother. There is so much respect given in addressing others in this culture. One must properly address everyone or you are being disrespectful.
Some other words I know well are: you, heart, friend, nothing and one minute. I've known how to say thank you since I was a child, taught to me by my Pakastani brother in law. Shukriya.

I can make no rhyme or reason of the written language whatsoever. Black squiggles all meant to confuse me and I am easily confused, ha.
I am slowly developing a love affair with the spoken language now and perhaps some day I'll be able to speak a little, if I keep at it.

Kabhi Alvida naa Kehna

Starring Shah Rukh Khan, Rani Mukherji, Amitabh Bachchan, Abishek Bachchan,Priety Zinta and Kirron Kher. A Karan Johar Film.

In this film Karan Johar takes us on a journey through the eyes of two married couples. Within each marriage, there is a love hanging on for dear life and a love that has faded away. Each couple struggles to keep their marriage alive and yet all parties involved are unhappy in order to "do the right thing"

SRK is wonderful as a bitter, angry man whose dreams are lost. I found myself feeling his pain as his life suddenly changed and he seemed destined to have a hollow existence. He is one actor that can simply look at a woman with longing in his eyes and kiss her on the neck and it becomes infinitely more sensuous and titillating than any sex scene.

Abishek Bachchan was excellent as a loving husband. He really made me laugh in this film several times, exposing a side I don't often see in him. Particularly the scene where his wife asks him to take his pants off in the kitchen and his subsequent antics.
His anguish and anger upon hearing that his wife was unfaithful to him was so moving and well done. This was a wonderful part for him, I really got to see all facets of his acting.

I did not like the Sexy Sam character that Bachchan senior played but I do love how his son played off that character. I did, however, enjoy his few moments as a loving father though. The two Bachchans dancing together was a lot of fun to watch. During that same dance scene, there were incredible costumes on the female dancers particular the lineup of women in green dresses.

I love Kirron Kher as SRK's mother, one of my favorite actresses. She is always perfect in any role and her hair was astonishingly beautiful in this movie.

Both Priety and Rani were beautiful and good actresses as always. I did find Rani a little flat in places but not sure if that was her acting or the fact that she was supposed to be a shy, introverted type of character.

There were a few corny, badly written moments in this movie but overall it was an excellent movie.


Starring Shah Rukh Khan, Rani Mukerji,Preity Zinta. A Yash Chopra movie.

A story of an enduring love. A love that is so true that each side would give up their life for the other.
Shahrukh Khan, playing Veer is a very kind and loving man in this movie, playing an Indian Air Force pilot. We see him aged in this role and I have to say that SRK makes one helluva sexy older man. Even when broken down and imprisoned, he still manages to make us forge a heartfelt connection with him. SRK was really excellent in this role.

This is also the story of a young woman lawyer in Pakistan who has much on the line (played by Rani Mukerji). Her first case ever, a promise to herself to do well for her father's memory, a woman who must succeed in her profession to give hope and lead an example for all the young girls growing up in her country. Very well acted part.

SRK's love interest is played by Preity Zinta (Zaara) who is a free spirited girl in the beginning of the movie but is also a dutiful daughter to a high profile Pakastani father. Her brief time with Veer comes to an end when she has to go home and marry. Is it just me or is Preity Zinta a little bland? I expected more emotion from this part she played. Still it didn't take anything away from SRK's part in this movie.
You really feel the sting of injustice throughout this film and I found it to be a very touching and love filled movie. Love knows no borders.

My Name Is Khan

Starring Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol.Directed by Karan Johar.

I've just been to see My Name Is Khan at the theater. I went with my neighbor who had never even seen or heard of Bollywood cinema, or even regular Indian picture. She had no idea what to expect.

For me, it was a wonderful film. So full of love and sadness and hatred but the message was of peace and hope.
It was beautifully acted both by Shahrukh Khan (SRK) and Kajol.
This role was a departure from the usual style of acting by SRK but magnificently done. There was a lot of laughter through the beginning of the film as we are introduced to Rizvan Khan, the main character and we learn about his peaceful and different outlook on life. He is soft spoken and innocently sweet. How could we not love him as soon as we meet him. The story brings us to a wonderfully happy place where everything appears to be perfect.
Suddenly as lives are torn apart after the incident that shocked the world -9/11, we see anger, hatred and suffering. It becomes very intense and difficult to watch here. However Rizvan remains constant in his beliefs and his plan to make his voice heard. Rizvan becomes a hero to a nation and to the woman who loves him. This movie has a very positive message and leaves you with a feeling of hope and encouragement.

My friend's comments to me were that it was a very rich movie, which touched on clashing cultures and religions with political undertones. She loved it so much that we will be going to see a Hindi movie twice a month from now on. I can't wait to introduce her to the SRK whose facial expressions differ greatly from his character Rizvan. The SRK who can make me feel faint when his eyes smoulder with passion or who can make me want to hide in fear of his anger, then there is the actor who makes my heart ache when he plays a tortured soul. A man of many faces indeed.

I would recommend anybody to see this movie, it was well directed and well acted and a pleasure to watch.