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…

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Last nights movies.

Well, in one case movie is a loose term.  I watched Kaal (blech) and The Inner/Outer World of Shah Rukh Khan last night.

Kaal was the worst Bollywood film I’ve seen yet.  The cinematography was awkward and distracting.  They repeated shots of the tigers which annoyed me and reminded me heavily of cheap and crappy anime.  The movie had great potential; it was produced by Karan Johar and Shah Rukh Khan.  Starred John Abraham and Vivek Oberoi alongside Esha Deol and Lara Dutta.  Entering later in the film is Ajay Devgan.  It is supposed to be a thriller, but with the odd framing and laughingly week thrills I just was annoyed with it through the film.  I was sorry to have watched it.  Not to mention in the last 10 minutes it had a bunch of  parts ripped straight out of Final Destination.  Unless you are a die-hard fan of any of these people and absolutely have to see everything they’re in – stear clear! The only redeeming bits to this movie were the opening and closing item numbers, even if they were missing their subtitles.

Blurgh.

Blurgh.

The Inner/Outer World of Shah Rukh Khan.  Where do I start?  With the sad fact that I was in or near two of the cities he was in during the time the Temptations tour was here in the States? (I lived three hours from Orlando and went through the hurricane he talked about…)  And I was in Atlanta for a family get together around Thanksgiving that year.  Alas…  No use crying over something I can’t change.  I am a bit concerned with a few things that King Khan said though…  He mentioned that he has to work so hard and become someone else during filming because that is the only way that he can forget the grief of losing his parents.  Does anyone else see a problem with this?  Is psycho-therapy non-existant in India?  I’m left wondering if everyone just thinks that if they have a problem then they have to learn to deal with it on their own and not seek help.  Wouldn’t it be better for him to treat it and try to gain control over it than to simply avoid the subject altogether?  I feel that he needs to become a complete person, not just a star.  It’s really sad that he can’t move past that grief and holds onto it so tightly.  I’d rather he be a healthy and happy human being than an unhappy and fantastic super star.  I love the fact though, that he helps his children to respect and believe in both Hindu and Muslim customs.  They are lucky enough to belong to a home that is accepting of both religions and that’s a rare thing – in any part of the world.  In all I was happy to have seen it, it gives me a little more insight into my favorite Bollywood Indian Film Star.  I’m also left wondering – did they ever release a DVD of Temptations 2004?  I bet a lot of people would have liked seeing that.