This weeks movies:

(So far, the weekend looms ahead with it’s significantly larger amount of time to spend watching Bolly-flicks)

Yuva: Abhishek Bachchan, Rani Mukherjee, Kareena Kapoor, Ajay Devgan, Esha Deol, Vivek Oberoi…OBOY!

The story is based around three couples and the way they all connect to their partner and to one another as well.  Ajay plays a young college student named Michael who is in love with a child hood friend Radhika (Esha Deol).  He takes on local politics in hopes to prove that decency and moral values will rule the day. Lallan (Abhishek )is a thug who is released from jail and slowly climbs the ladder of criminal success along with his (annoying) wife Sashi, played by Rani Mukherjee(whom I adore.)  Arjun (Vivek) finds Mira (Kareena) on the eve of moving to America and is smitten instantly only to have his path come across Lallan and Michael in a sudden and violent change in course.

I liked this film – except the relationship between Rani and Abhi’s characters.  I understand and know that it was a plot driver, but I still can’t stand behind a character that can’t stand up for themselves.  Yuva is another woven tale – you know the type – a movie that follows several different paths that all wind together in the end?  That’s what this Mani Ratman film does.  I am happy to note that in this film lovely (and slightly annoying) Bebo aka: Kareena Kapoor is still beautifully curvy in this film.  Sadly, she does not get to dance really – which is disapointing because what fun is watching a stick move around?  (for example: Deepika Padukone in Billu.)  Vivek Oberoi is always a favorite, if only for his boyish charms.  Ajay was well past his limits in the age of his character – come on yaar you are too old to be playing college age boys.  PLEASE stop.  Abhishek was great in a role that I hated.  Which is kind of the point, na? I mean, if you are playing a detestable character and people still love you, didn’t it kind of defeat the purpose?  I’m not sure what Rani was doing in this movie, she was too big of a star to be playing a character with such little to do.

Mughal-E-Azam  – the great classic Hindi film.  If you don’t know what this is – check here. Because I can’t be bothered to do it manage to write up a befitting description.  I have a lot to absorb in this movie.  First of all, I saw the colored version and I did enjoy it, but I wonder how it was in the original form.  I also don’t know anything about the actors as it’s now officially the oldest Hindi film I’ve seen.  I liked parts and didn’t like parts and it really will need some time to sink in.  It was a beautiful film though.

Traffic Signal – another “weaver”!  I liked this film starring Kunal Khemu.  (Thanks to Sita-ji for the recommendation and to tipping me off to the fact it’s the cute kid from Raja Hindustani!)  Lots of great ensemble cast members fill out this very real and slightly gritty tale of life in Mumbai.  I bet it’s safe to say folks who actually did enjoy Slumdog Millionare would like this one.  They have similarities, but this movie is much more “Indian.”  I loved the beginning statement of how they are respectful to all the people working at traffic signals.  (I was thinking “What people? There are people working at traffic signals?” and picturing someone changing lights or something.)  It’s a movie about a great rainbow of people who all make the community of a traffic signal work.  From the prostitutes to the beggars, each person has a job and they all work together to make things work.  Even in strife people shine.  I liked it quite a bit. Plus, Konkana is in it!

I’m taking a mini-break from Bollywood to enjoy the first 9 episodes of Dae Jang Geum.  The story of a cook in historic Korea.  It’s my best friends favorite and she watched it in China.  I finally found the english subtitled version from the library. Very exciting!

I need pictures in my post don’t I?  I need to work on that…

Indian Movie Review: Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge

How do I give you a quick summary of what this movie is about?  I’ll try my very best.

Simran Singh (Kajol) is a very homely* and tradition bound girl.  While still dreaming of falling in love, her father receives a letter from his friend in India requesting that their promise to marry their children be fulfilled now that they have come of age. Now that her wedding is imminent Simran asks to go on a month long tour of Europe with her friends; as a last hurrah before marriage.  Knowing that she will be with all girls, and after she promises that she will be a good girl, her father agrees.

At the same time we are introduced to Raj Malhotra, a college flunkee who’s main goal in life seems to be experiencing all he can and enjoying it along the way.  After his father; Dharamvir Malhotra (Anupam Kher) praises him for keeping up the family tradition of failure, he agrees to let Raj take  a train tour of Europe.

So, our hero and heroine meet while rushing to catch the train.  After a few weeks together traveling and experiencing a taste of true freedom, Raj and Simran part, only to realize they are in love with one another.

Immediately Simran tells her mother (Farida Jalal) that she is in love, while her father; Chaudrey Baldev Singh (Amrish Puri) overhears and in his rage hustles the entire family off to India to complete Simran’s marriage to Kuljeet.  Raj realizes his love for her and is encouraged by his father to chase her off and not return until she is his bride.  Raj is too late, and must travel to India in search for his love and win over a stubborn father.

One of many train-chasing moments in DDLJ

One of many train-chasing moments in DDLJ

I try not to go into movies with too many expectations; that way they can’t let me down, and there is always the chance to blow me away.  This one pretty much blew me away.  I knew to expect something good when a few of the reviews I had read said that this was a “classic” and that it “redefined romance for young Indians.” (Thanks to Neflix for that last one.)  While the average viewer on Netflix gave this one a “3.9”  I had to give it a full 5.  Follow along for my reasons.

1) Zara Sa Jhoom Loom Main

Swimming Time!

Swimming Time!

I LOVE this picturization.  It was fun to see the girl as the one who loses control and then manage to scare the guy a little with her drunken escapades.  Raj just looked dumb-founded when Simran started to shimmy and shake.


I think that the chemistry between Shahrukh Khan and Kajol is undeniable and astounding. The way that Kajol kicks her feet whenever she’s picked up and dances away only to be picked up again is pure entertainment.


And Again..

And Again..

This picturization has become one of my favorites, climbing up there with Chaiyya Chaiyya and Dhoom Taana.  They’ll all be ones I’m sure to watch over and over again.

2) Raj

I adore this character.  (Apparently so do a lot of other people because I constantly read about Shahrukh playing or not playing “the Raj character” in most of his movies and different reviews)  I love the fact that despite his playboy exterior he is a gentleman at heart and would never really do anything uncouth.  Case in point:



How amazing. 🙂

Add all that he goes through for Simran in the second half of the film and you pretty much have the perfect man.  (Hunting, cooing at pigeons with his future in-law, dancing at the engagement, getting in to fist-fights and more!)

Also, the fact that you can pin-point the moment he falls in love with her:



3) Anupam Kher

This uncle-ji is my favorite.  I thought he was amazing here.  He always touches my heart in every role I’ve seen him take on, I can perfectly imagine what he would be like as a father in real life.



4)This scene/line:



Son, at every turn in life, you’ll find two roads.  One right, one wrong.  The wrong route will be easy, it will draw you.  But the right path with be hard, with lots of hazards, a lot many troubles.  On the wrong road, initially, you might find success, happiness, but in the end, you will lose.  Upon the right path, initially you may trip at every step, you may face hazards, difficulties, but…in the end you will always win.

This line struck a major chord in my and applied very aptly to a decision I’m making in my personal life.  It was like karma or a sign from above when he said this and it just made sense.

Not to mention the squishy dil moment afterwards.



In all, this movie was very touching.  I could really feel what the film-makers were trying to convey throughout the movie and I empathized with the characters along the way.  If, for some reason you have not already seen this one, I would highly recommend it.  5 of 5!

*I’m strictly using the non-US version of this word here.  Homely in many countries comes to mind people (aka: women) who are down to earth, follow traditions, take care of the household and are generally quite complacent.  Not the definition of homely where it just means ugly.