This weeks movies:

This week I watched a few Bolly-films.  Billu, Aaja Nachle, Mann, Home Delivery & Heyy Babyy.  Shall I review all of them quickly?  Ok, here we go.

I had wanted to see Billu for a long time.  I’ve been listening to the soundtrack for awhile and I’ve loved the music.  Knowing the basic story line I knew where most of the songs would fit and what to expect. But I loved all of it anyway.  Irfan Khan plays Billu, a simple man in a small village running his own barber shop and sadly failing at it.  His biggest battle in day to day life is trying to affor the tuition to sends his children to school.  A new shop opening across the street offering a better atmosphere and a “trained” professional hairstylist drives Billu’s business into the ground.  One day a film crew arrives to the small village and excites the community by filmingin their village.  Billu is quiet about the arrival of Sahir Khan and his posse, trying to avoid the small truth that they were once friends in thier youth.
Having once told his children this fact, the news spreads like wildfire as the children and Billu’s wife brag about their high connections.  Life becomes complicated for poor Billu as he is asked for favor after favor from his friends and people who want to be his friend.  As things escalate out of control,Billu is forced to come to terms with his past and look towards the future.

I loved this film.  Of course, it has King Khan in it, so why wouldn’t I?  I loved Irfan Khan in this one too.  Because in a lot of the movies I’ve seen him in he’s kind of played a creep/jerk/big villain.  I usually see him playing very serious roles, but every once in awhile he makes me laugh really hard (Did any of you see Sunday?  He was hilarious in that.)  SRK didn’t have much actual screen time aside from the songs, but I enjoy watching him dance, so it’s ok.  If you’re looking for a touching movie with lots of fun Shah Rukh dancing – this is the one for you.

Aaja Nachle was a fun movie.  It’s boasted as Madhuri Dixit’s “comeback” film, but for me, since I’m so new to Bollywood, it doesn’t feel like she went anywhere. I bet she was EXHAUSTED after this film.  She danced SO much.  I’ve always loved watching her dance, and this was no exception, but there was almost TOO MUCH dancing here. I found myself mumbling “oh no, not more dancing…” Which for me, is odd and rare. I still liked it though. I love Kunal Kapoor, I saw him in Bachna Ae Haseeno and wondered “Who is this hottie?”  I even loved him in his turban.  So cute.  Konkona Sen Sharma was charming as usual, I think she has kicked up a lot in popularity lately.  She has 11
films in the works or coming out this year that’s a little crazy – don’t overwork your self dear!  Madhuri was gorgeous as usual, and danced like a dream, my least favorite sequence was the one in New York, it reminded me of Center Stage and a few other American dancing movies – which maybe was the point.

The main story line is that a young woman from India falls in love and follows her American fiance to America, only to divorce soon after forced to raise their child alone. When she learns that her dance teacher is dying she hurries back to India to see him again, but misses him by a few days.  To honor his memory and regain her respect she attempts to save the ancient/historic ampitheater that she grew up performing in.  Half of the town is against her and the other half is excited to have some culture back in the community, but they all have to agree in order for the local Raj (Akshaye Khann) to cancel it’s demolition and building of a shopping mall.  My favorite part was watching the play at the end, if I could see great re-tellings of classic Indian tales like this with sub-titles I’d happily watch them.  I picked up a coupletales today at the book store – hopefully I’ll enjoy them.

Mann was a decent film, I am really starting to love Aamir Khan.  Manish Koirala was ok – she is pretty to look at, but cries too much in this film for my own taste.  Dev Anand Singh (Aamir Khan) is a playboy.  Not just any playboy – a broke one.  So in order to regain his wealth he agrees to marry a rich heiress and help his father run their estate.  After a business trip he decides to take a cruise back to India in order to visit his grandmother on a small island.  While on the ship he runs into Priya Sharma (Manish Koirala) a girl who won her trip through a dance competition.  They bicker and fight through the first part of the cruise, but become friends until it slowly and predictably turns to love.  After fighting with their feelings they agree to meet eachother in six months, after Dev has built up his own wealth and Priya breaks her wedding to Raj (Anil Kapoor) the man she feel indebted to, but does not love. After the six months pass they have each come through trials, but with they make it to their meeting on time?

I liked parts of this film.  I think that the simpering princess thing gets really old after awhile and I was disenchanted with Priya after a short while.  Aaamir was lovely in this film and I had fun watching him – at least he wasn’t scruffy like in Rangeela! (I re-watched that film this week too..)

Heyy Babyy was fun.  That’s about it really.  It’s a pretty well used story line – three bachelors are left with a baby on their doorstep and no idea who the mother is. (Rob B Hood, Baby & Me, Three Men & a Baby…)
Akshay Kumar plays Anush, a stuck up guy who thinks women are just play things finds himself playing daddy and wondering who the father really is, himself or his two best friends Tanmay (Ritesh Deshmukh) or Al (Fardeen Khan.)  After silly antics and a scary life-threatening incident for the baby they realize they love her and decide to raise her as their own.  Just after this realization their mother shows up and takes her away.  It is the only woman that Anush ever really fell for.  Vidya Balan plays his love Isha who refuses to let the three men into her life or the life of her child.  The three have to fight in order to regain her trust and get back into baby Angels life.

A fun time-pass film.  Akshay is always enjoyable especially after he loses his jerkiness.  I liked Ritesh too, I don’t know if I’ve seen him in anything else memorable. Vidya’s character pissed me off and I got really exhausted with her.  If your a member of Akshay Kumar fan club you’ll enjoy this film for sure, if not check it out  for a cute film. (Not exaclty family oriented despite being focused around a baby.)

And finally Home Delivery.  This film starring Vivek Oberoi and Ayesha Takia is centered around the Diwali holiday and mixes beleifs of Hinduism and Christianity. It’s a bit of a mish-mosh and the plot skipped around like a kid playing jump-rope.  But, it was light-hearted and enjoyable at times.  I like Vivek and Ayasha a lot and I was hoping for a little bit more out of them.  Viveks’ hair is usually one of my favorite things, but I hated it here!  What was with the wierd stuck down spikes?  Ew.

Anyway…

Sunny is a sarcastic and cynical man who believes he is too good to actually go into work and not quite ready for marriage. His live-in girlfriend “Naani” is preasuring him about wedding details at the same time he’s trying to write a script for Karan Johar and his neighbors keep bothering him for his attention. Sunny goes for an interview and ends up being temporarily smitten with Maya – a popular actress he has “admired” for years.  When all of the stress and craziness finally gets to Sunny he snaps at Naani and sends her away, waiting to make a new start with Maya.  Enter Michael – a pizza delivery man who has more to delive than just pizza – he gives Sunny a few lessons in life that help him get back on track and realize what he has.

That’s it!  All I can cram into a week I am afraid.  I’m off to cook some chicken saawala and then enjoy Rang De Basanti.  Hooray for more Kunal Kapoor and Aamir Khan!

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It’s a start…

Since about a year ago I’ve been hard-core into Bollywood (and closely related) films.  Here’s a list.  I’ll be reviewing when I can, and if you have a request of a review – just leave a comment.  Maybe I’ll update as I add more to the list. 🙂

1942: A Love Story

36 China Town

Aa Ab Laut Chalen

Aap Mujhe Achche Lagne Lage

Ahista Ahista

Aitraaz

Andaaz

Asoka

Baabul

Baadshah

Beta

Bhool Bhulaiyaa

Billu

Bombay to Bangkok

Boothnath

Bunty Aur Babli

Chak De! India

Chalte Chalte

Chandni Chowk to China

Chori Chori

Chori Chori Chupke Chupke

Chup Chup Ke

Deewane Huye Paagal

Deewar

Delhi 6

Devdas

Dhaai Akshar Prem Ke

Dhoom

Dhoom 2

Dil Chahta Hai

Dil Hai Tumhaara

Dil Ne Jise Apna Kahaa

Dil Se

Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge

Don (2006)

Don (1977)

Dostana

Drona

Dus

Eklavya

Fanaa

Fashion

Fiza

Golmaal: Fun Unlimited

Guru

Haan Maine Bhi Pyaar Kiya

Heyy Babyy

Hulchul

Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam

Hum Tumhare Hain Sanam

Humko Deewana Kar Gaye

I See You

Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na

Jaan-E-Maan

Jab We Met

Jewel Theif

Jhoom Barabar Jhoom

Jodhaa Akbar

Kal Ho Naa No

Karan Arjun

Karz

Kismat Konnection

Koi..Mil Gaya

Koyla

Krrish

Kuch Kuch Hota Hai

Kudiyon Ka Hai Zamaana

Kyun! Ho Gaya Na

Laaga Chunari Mein Daag

Laagan

Ladie Taylor

Lage Raho Munna Bhai

Lakshya

Love Story 2050

Luck By Chance

Lucky: No Time For Love

Main Hoon Na

Maine Prem Ki Diwani Hoon

Maine Pyaar Kyun Kiya

Maine Pyaar Kiya

Mission Istaanbul

Mission Kashmir

Monsoon Wedding

Mujhse Dosti Karogi

Mujhse Shaadi Karogi

Munna Bhai

Musafir

Na Tum Jaano Na Hum

Namastey London

Nayak: The Real Hero

Om Shanti Om

Omkara

Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye!

Paheli

Parineeta

Partner

Phirl Milenge

Race

Ram Jaane

Rangeela

Saawariya

Salaam-E-Ishq

Sarkar Raj

Sunday

Swades

Ta Ra Rum Pum

Taal

Tashan

The Hero

The Mistress of Spices

Thoda Pyaar Thoda Magic

Umrao Jaan

Vaah! Life Ho To Aisi!

Veer-Zaara

Vivah

Welcome

Yaadein

Is that a lot?

Festival of Nations

It might be a little late but I am going to report on the Festival of Nations that took place over a month ago already.  (Where is my time going this year?!)  I had a lot of fun, but because of poor scheduling on my part I had to leave pretty early and missed out on a lot.  I didn’t realize until we were leaving there was a big stage upstairs with even more dance performances and I would have liked to see some of the different cultural dances.

That's me in my new Hindustani ear-rings.

That's me in my new Hindustani ear-rings.

I had fun watching a performance of Sa Re Ke Sa Re and the lovely woman directing the children on stage had the audience singing along with her.  I’ll upload the video when I get a chance.

Singing time!

Singing time!

It  was fun, but there was a kind of creepy looking gauri guy in the back of the group.  He was kind of odd and didn’t smile or anything…  I guess it just threw me off.  If he was smiling and acting jovial I’d have been ok with him, but when he was kind of grumpy/emotional/whatever I think he should have stayed off the stage.

After we watched this my friend and I wandered into the cafe area and kind of made pigs out of ourselves.  I had a small piece of lefse, which when I moved to Florida I didn’t realize how specific to MN and northern-European heritage this treat was!  I was happy to have a little taste of my childhood.  By far my favorite thing there was my yummy samosa with mint chutney.  Mmm.  I bought some mint chutney at the Indian market yesterday, I’m not sure what I’ll do with it since I can’t make samosas (yet), but I’ll find something to put it on and make tasty.  I wanted to get mendhi done next, but there was a long line and I had to be back out in the suburbs to meet someone to go back into the city for a Twins game.  ::sigh:: I’ll have to plan for a longer trip next year.  Maybe I’ll see if they need some volunteers. That would be fun.

There was a really cute Pakistani guy that my friend and I were sad we didn’t notice before I bought my samosa because he was peddling the same thing and it would have given us a chance to chit-chat.  Oh well.  Anyway, if you have a chance to next year you should go check it out – they are open for three days and have great cultural performances going on all day.  I have to get off the interwebs because I’m on the porch and a storm is rolling in!  Have a great week – maybe I’ll make it out to this next weekend:

Very Exciting!

Very Exciting!

I wonder what the dress code is?  Do I have to have a sari?  Hm… chances of me going seem less and less if that’s the case.  But, it does sound like a heck of a lot of fun!

Bizzare things are happening in Japan…

It seems to be raining tadpoles in Japan this month. Meteorologists and scientists are stumped as to the reason why and it keeps happening in different cities and different prefectures too.  I’m not too sure what’s really going on, but I have a picture of some random guy running around throwing the tiny fish in the air then running away to watch what happens from the sidelines.  One of lifes many mysteries I guess!

Creepy!

Creepy!

Delhi 6 – a new favorite!

Turn around Abhi!

Turn around Abhi!

Oh man, it’s been too long since I posted!  If you were reading this page with any kind of regularlity – I’m sorry~  I haven’t been able to hook up to the internet at home yet because of financial reasons, and I’m only borrowing the wireless at my uncles from the back porch (and man, it’s hot out here!)  Anway – onto the review.

I didn’t do any of my usual screen capping for Delhi 6 since I watched it upstairs on the tv.  But, I’ll still write about it.

I was lucky enough to get this movie from Netflix on Tuesday – the day of it’s DVD release.  I’d heard pretty good things about it and I actual really like (ok, maybe a little love) Abhishek Bachchan.  So, I was pretty much guaranteed to like it.  I didn’t expect to LOVE this movie though.

The story is centered around Roshan (Abhishek Bachchan) a young man from the US who takes his ailing Dada-ji (grandmother) back to India to live out her dying days and to perform her last rites in the Ganges when the time comes.  Initially, Roshan finds parts of life in Chandni Chowk to be backwards and amusing.  The loud people, strangers offering him food and horses sniffing at him while they wait in traffic all seem to be part of another world.  After a while in Delhi though, he finds that the people are filled with life and he begins to feel attached to the community.  Bittu, the daughter of a family friend, scoffs at his “Burger-wallah” or American ways and keeps her distance from him while trying to accomplish her dream of getting onto India Idol.  Roshan learns about his family history while in Delhi too, he finds out that Ali-Uncle was once in love with his mother, but never acted on it or fought for her like Roshans’ father did.  Being raised by a Hindu father and a Muslim mother wasn’t a big deal to Roshan until events in Delhi 6 start to unravel and the fear created by the mysterious Kala Bandar (Black Monkey) spiral out of control and affect Roshan in a way he never expected.

I base my rating of movies on how long I think about them afterwards.  If I forget about a movie a week or two after seeing it, it’s a good sign I wasn’t too impressed.  But, if I think about the movie a few times a day for a week after viewing it for the first time, it means that movie is a keeper.  Delhi 6 is one such movie.  I try not to give out spoilers -so lets just say that at one point of the movie I literally put my hand over my mouth and started crying.  I was just shocked!  It was a moving film to say the least.  I kind of get annoyed at older actors playing opposite much younger women but, in this film it wasn’t too bad.  I think it’s because of some of the popular actors in Bollywood, Abhishek is younger – only 33.  Not as creepy as Salman Khan who is 43 playing the love interest of someone in the late teens or early 20’s.  ((Somebody is having trouble letting go of their youth.)  Nonetheless, Abhishek is a great asset to any film.  He plays very compassionately and his warmth actually comes across very clearly.  He still can’t dance though…

Sonam Kapoor held her own against the more seasoned Bachchan and I think she will be a great new star in Bollywood, hopefully she doesn’t have to play the love interest of much older uncle-ji’s though!

If you are looking for a great movie to watch this is a must-see.