Thursday, August 2, 2012

Forthcoming: Heroine

Okay, after watching this trailer, words cannot express how ecstatic I am that it's Kareena Kapoor doing this film instead of Aishwarya Rai. Mostly because this movie is perfect for Kareena. (And I also never really liked Aish, but that's beside the point.)

As anyone with a Bollypulse probably knows, Heroine is a forthcoming film directed by Madhur Bhandarkar and starring Kareena Kapoor and Arjun Rampal. The movie is supposed to expose the "realities" of a the Hindi film industry. I know. As a Madhur Bhandarkar film, this is completely shocking.

Really though, I know this is nothing new. And I know this pretty much looks like a Fashion version 2.0 (complete with the same Mughda Godse). Nevertheless, I am so unbelievably excited for this movie. One small part of it is that I've always loved movies about Bollywood (Khoya Khoya Chand, Om Shanti Om, Luck By Chance, etc.)  The other part of it is that Kareena is a powerhouse and I know this movie will be good because of her.

Now to the trailer. Kareena looks, needless to say, ravishing. Is it too much for me to say that she might be becoming the new Queen Bee of Bollywood? If this movie does well, that may very well be the case. My other favorite part of the trailer was, but of course, the item song. The snippets we see of "Halkat Jawaani" are amazing, and the song is already stuck in my head. I can't wait for the music of this movie to release.

Even though this is definitely a topic that has been covered before, Heroine still looks bold, interesting, and best of all--glitzy. And this exactly how I like my Bollywood to be.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Obsessed: "Aa Re Pritam Pyare"

I was always Team Munni so it' no surprise that my latest obsession is "Aa Re Pritam Pyare" from Rowdy Rathore -- sung by Mamta Sharma of Munni fame. This song is just plain rowdy and I absolutely love it.

I think what made me fall in love with the song was the picturization (I can never get enough of the village-y item numbers) and the fact that there was actual good choreography. Everyone raved at how amazing Katrina (barf) was in "Chikni Chameli" but what pissed me off about that number was the utter waste of screen time on zooming in on her face as she mouths the words with her collagened lips. "Aa Re Pritam Pyare" has dancing all the gals dancing all the way through. And if we're being honest here, they three girls are a little unsynchronized at times BUT totally make up for it with their facial expressions and by making it look like they're having a ton of fun. The energy is fantastic. Most people are gushing about Shakti Mohan (the girl in the purple) but my favorite is Mumaith Khan (the girl in the fuchsia). Her enthusiasm is unmatched.

This is what a true item number should be. But somehow, this song is largely underrated and isn't as popular as it should be. Could it be the lack of a big name actress? Do we really only need Katrinas and Kareenas and Malaikas to ensure a song's success with audiences? The harsh answer is probably yes. So while everyone else obsesses over hot messes of songs like "Anarkali Disco Chali" I'll be replaying this for a while and appreciating its brilliance. :)

Monday, May 21, 2012

Forthcoming: Cocktail

So I take a Bollybreak for a couple months and come back to a whole new blogger interface and a whole bunch of new movie news to catch up on! As I peruse through what's been going on lately, one forthcoming movie has certainly caught my eye: Cocktail starring Saif Ali Khan, Deepika Padukone, and newcomer Diana Penty.

In all honesty, Cocktail doesn't really look like anything we haven't seen before. A Love Aaj Kal vibe with a Dil Chahta Hai type theme. And a love triangle. But I can't care, this movie just looks too cute to NOT be excited about!

After Agent Vinod (which I haven't seen yet, but was apparently a hot mess) I am so excited to see Saif in what he does best: light-hearted comedy. With movies like Salaam-Namaste, Kal Ho Naa Ho, etc., etc., Saif proved his lovable-ness in all his funny roles.

Then of course there's my undying love for Deeps. Say what you want, but this girl has charisma. And this new actress, Diana Penty is beautiful!

Plus, the music seems fun and upbeat. Cocktail may end up lacking substance, but I think it's sure to be a good time. At the very least.

What's your initial reaction?

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Shahrukh in Farah Khan's next?

Well, clearly they've patched things up. 

I swear I've been hearing about Happy New Year! for at least five years, but if the rumors are true then it's finally happening. Five years ago, I probably would've been really excited by this news. Now I'm a bit uneasy. And skeptical.

I liked Main Hoon Na (2004) and absolutely loved Om Shanti Om (2007) but I don't think that was Farah Khan's doing. Shahrukh owned those films. Truth be told, Farah's movie style kind of blows. Especially judging from that complete mess of a movie Tees Maar Khan.

Farah relies on formula, masala, and over-the-top comedy. It worked in Om Shanti Om since the movie itself was a bit of a parody, it kind of worked in Main Hoon Na, and it was plain dumb in Tees Maar Khan.

To me, Shahrukh is way too established and mature to be doing cheap Farah films, even if it is for a "friend." Even the name of the movie itself sounds like a cheap comedy disaster waiting to happen. In my opinion, he should scrap this project and push for a Don 3!

Wise up, SRK.


Thursday, March 15, 2012

Mela's First Day First Show offers Bollywood films simultaneous to theatrical release

There are reasons behind why my movie reviews end up on this blog months after a movie's theatrical release. One is sheer laziness, but the other is lack of accessibility to new Bollywood films. I do have it better here in the U.S. than most other folks, but it's still difficult. There are movie theaters that will play Bollywood films, but only the big blockbusters and only for a very limited amount of time. I'm also completely against piracy, and will refuse to watch pirated DVDs.

So I simply have to wait for original DVDs or hope that some day a certain movie will end up on Netflix Instant. Clearly not the ideal way for a Bollyfanatic to live.

Thankfully, others are realizing this conundrum and things are being done to help remedy it. The recently introduced entertainment service Mela just launched a new initiative called First Day First Show which will release new movies on their platforms simultaneously with their theatrical releases in India.

Mela's current distribution platforms include the Roku streaming player, the iPad, and Mela's set-top box. Their movie streaming service is available for only $4.99. Unfortunately, I don't own any of the mentioned products that are compatible with Mela but the development in and of itself is a big one. Plus as Mela continues to grow, so could their platform selection.

The first movie Mela will be featuring in its new FDFS initiative is Chaurahen, starring Soha Ali Khan and directed by Rajshree Ojha (Aisha). Though the movie was completed in 2007 and was featured in various film festivals, its official Indian theatrical release is March 16, which is when it will also be available on Mela.

As Bollywood makes an effort to cater to a global audience through its content, it's only logical that those movies then be easily accessible worldwide. Netflix and Youtube have already made some headway with the Bollywood movies they've made available to viewers. Mela furthers the efforts by offering newer content. While the platform and movie selection may be low for now, we can hope the choices will continue to grow or, at the very least, that a new trend in Hindi film availability has begun.

Movie Review: Luv Ka The End

Starring: Shraddha Kapoor, Taaha Shah
Director: Bumpy
Original Release Date: May 6, 2011

*No Spoilers*

Yes, you read that right. The director of this film was someone named...Bumpy. I have no idea who he (or she?) is, but I digress...

Luv Ka The End was the first production of Y-Films, a subsidiary of Yash Raj Films which caters to younger audiences. Because of the horrible reviews and the cheesy look and feel of Y-Films in general, I went into this with really, really low expectations.

This film is formulaic, cheesy, and the complete opposite of "deep" or "moving." It really has nothing new to offer--especially to an NRI viewer. But you know what? I actually enjoyed it! Sure, Luv Ka The End didn't explore some new unfound territory, but for a Bollywood movie it was certainly quite refreshing.

Let's backtrack. The movie is about a sweet girl named Rhea (Shraddha Kapoor) who basically gets duped by her creep of a boyfriend Luv (Taaha Shah). With the help of her friends Jugs and Sonia, Rhea plots revenge against Luv which all comes to a head on her 18th birthday at a big college party. As you can probably tell, the movie did take some inspiration from Hollywood films like John Tucker Must Die and even Mean Girls.

There were a couple specific things I liked about Luv Ka The End. First of all, the characters actually spoke Hindi. I know, shocking. The movie didn't follow the atrocious trend of showcasing India's youth only speaking really unnatural English. Also, the characters actually looked their age. Not too young, and not too old. Rhea looked 18, not 25 like in most American shows/movies I'm used to. Lastly, the movie portrayed youth and sex in a pretty realistic manner. Rhea wasn't afraid of putting her "izzat" on the line at the thought of losing her virginity at 18 years old. The movie even had a gay character. Sure, the situation was mostly comedic, but so was the movie.

Performances by the lead characters were only okay for me--nothing too memorable. Taaha is just really good looking. I'm not sure how I feel about Shraddha yet and if she really has what it takes to be an A level actress. I'd have to see her in a less juvenile role to be able to make a real judgement. The performance that did stand out to me was that of Sreejita De who played Sonia, Rhea's ditzy friend. She was funny, natural, beautiful, and someone I'd like to see more of in the future.

I'm not even gonna pretend the music of Luv Ka The End was any good. Although the "Mutton" song had me laughing out loud.

If you're looking for a fun, lighthearted flick then this movie's for you. I was impressed by the modernity of Luv Ka The End in terms of the themes it decided to explore (teen sex, partying, drinking, etc.) If nothing else, watch this movie for Ali Zafar's cameo at the end!

Final Verdict: 6/10

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

First Look: Yash Chopra's Next

Almost a full year ago, I expressed my great inner turmoil regarding this movie. It will mark the joining of two polarizing forces: my one great love, and my one great hate. A film with both Shahrukh Khan and Katrina Kaif seems so unnatural. How can something so pure be paired with something so vile? I contemplated this and then decided to drop the matter. We'll cross that bridge when we get there, I thought.

This week, that bridge has come. My chilling fears were brought to life in the form of visual stills. A movie with Shahrukh and Katrina. It's really happening.  I must now face my fears.

For those unaware of the upcoming project, it's a movie starring Shahrukh Khan, Katrina Kaif, and Anushka Sharma and is Yash Chopra's first directorial venture after the brilliant Veer-Zaara (2004). It's said to be a romantic and emotional film (clearly this is assuming Kat knows how to express emotion on screen) and began filming on February 22 in London.It's set to release this Diwali.

Currently, I'm at a loss. A movie starring the king of romance, directed by Yash Chopra, produced by Yash Raj Films, and with music by A.R. Rahman is bound to be amazing. Anushka Sharma is also something to look forward to. But will it be possible to love a movie if you detest the heroine? Perhaps. After all, Mere Brother Ki Dulhan was one of my favorite movies of 2011 despite the Kaif.

Right now all I can do is believe that Shahrukh Khan will redeem this film regardless of Katrina's performance (or lack thereof).

And maybe one good thing can come of this. Maybe Katrina will learn how to act.


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Obsessed: Kareena's Outfit in "Dil Mera Muft Ka"

Earlier this month, Bollyfans went abuzz when trailers for Kareena Kapoor's much talked about mujra in Agent Vinod came out. While most were probably paying attention to the song and dance, I for one was oggling over her beautiful outfit!.

It was hard to find pictures that do justice to it, so I suggest watching the video to get the full effect. I love everything about the outfit. The color, style, and most importantly how good it looks on Kareena. With a bit of a modern twist on the mujra, this outfit is sexy without being trashy. 

Interestingly, the suit looks pink in the video, but red in most pictures. Not sure what the real color is, but the pink is simply ravishing. Red would be a bit too harsh, in my opinion (though she did pull it off in Chammak Challo). 
I already wrote about how much of a fashion icon Kareena is, so will this Anarkali look go down in history and start another trend? Well I definitely think the Anarkali style will be creeping its way back into mainstream Indian fashion after this number. Kareena strikes once again.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Countdown: 5 Romantic Bollywood Songs

In celebration of Valentine's Day I've decided to do a quick countdown of my top 5 favorite romantic Bollywood songs. I'm not very well-versed in older movies, so some of those evergreen hits that most know and love are missing from this list. I also tried really hard to not create a list solely comprised of Shahrukh Khan songs. But what can I do if I personally equate Shahrukh with romance?

Without further adieu...

 5. "Ek Duje Ke Vaaste" from Dil To Pagal Hai (1997)
Who knew that one of my all time favorite romantic trac would be an opening credits song? Everything about this song screams cute. From the dialogue about love to the actual lyrics of the song, "Ek Duje Ke Vaaste" is just dreamy. And is it just me or does anyone else get goosebumps at the first bout of music when the "Dil To Pagal Hai" letters appear?

4. "Aankhon Ki Gustakhiyan" from Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam (1999)
The coyness of this song is what's most appealing. In a word, this song is playful but undoubtedly romantic. The dynamic between Aishwarya Rai and Salman Khan is super fun to watch, as their chemistry is undeniable. The lyrics of the song are also beautiful and alluring.

3. "O Re Piya" from Aaja Nachle (2007)
Rahat Fateh Ali Khan completely and truly owns this song. To me, the picturization is a bit so-so, but the song itself is one of the best of recent times. It's soothing and not too fancy or fake sounding. It's a song where I feel I can actually hear the instruments--a nice break from the normal autotuned voices of today!

2. "Main Yahaan Hoon" from Veer Zaara (2004)
How can you not melt when watching this song? It's one of the most romantic songs from one of the most romantic movies. It's a song about a man who promises to always be there for the woman. Who wouldn't want that? It's the perfect Valentine's Day tune, no matter your relationship status. And it's one that I can listen to over and over again, no matter the day.

1. "Suraj Hua Maddham" from Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham (2001)
 "Suraj Hua Maddham" encompasses it all. It's sweet, sexy, romantic, beautiful, and I can go on and on. I think the reason I love this song with all my heart is because of its subtleties. It's subtly sexy, romantic, etc. The lyrics are wonderful, picturization is perfect, and it features one of the top jodis of all time. A little over 10 years later, and this song still feels fresh and new. And this is definitely one of Shahrukh's top song-performances ever.

Bollywood and romance go hand in hand, and these five songs prove that point. And if you love Bollywood, chances are that you also! So no matter what you're doing this Valentine's Day, take a moment to listen to a romantic Bollywood song.

What are some of your favorites? I'm sure I've missed some.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

"Sh*t Bollywood Says"

So all the "Sh*t ___ Says" videos were getting really old, uninteresting, predictable, etc. Until I came across this one a couple days ago. It's HILARIOUS. Take everything, of course, with a grain of salt.

The best part about this is how spot on the accents are. And of course, loving that dig at Katrina Kaif ;) It looks like the actor in this is someone named Waseem Shaikh, who does a phenomenal job. The editing and presentation is also really good--not ghetto like most of the others.

Take a look and enjoy! Oh, and turn on closed captioning for English subtitles, if needed.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Movie Review: Don 2

Starring: Shahrukh Khan, Priyanka Chopra
Director: Farhan Akhtar
Original Release Date: December 23, 2011

*No Spoilers*

If you ask me whether Don 2 was better than Don, I probably wouldn't be able to give you an answer. Because it was a remake, the element of surprise in the first Don wouldn't be possible in any other installment of Don. Therefore this sequel stands on its own.

I'd been waiting almost five years for this movie. After Don, I just knew there had to be a sequel. Five long years later, we finally have it. And it was pretty much everything I could have asked for. I feel like I shouldn't go into too much of a synopsis, in fear of killing it for anyone who hasn't seen it (is there really anyone who hasn't seen it?). I'll stick to being vague.

Shahrukh Khan's entrance in this film is bomb (pun intended). Seriously, it was goosebump inducing and almost comparable to his Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham helicopter entrance. Simply powerful. I was also worried about the long hair when I initially saw stills, but he pulls it off oh so well.

The story is an interesting one, and one that brings Don and Vardaan back together. It feels well thought out rather than simply thrown together. Loose ends seem to actually get tied up as well. And, don't worry, there are enough twists and turns in the story to keep you at the edge of your seat.

Shahrukh is simply flawless in this movie. Brilliant acting, brilliant styling, brilliant everything. He seems young(er) and fresh, yet polished. At 46, the man has maintained himself well enough to act with a costar almost 17 years younger than him. Speaking of said costar, Priyanka Chopra is beautiful but largely underwhelming in the film. This could be blamed on lack of character development for Roma, or the overpowering nature of Don's character. (Or maybe I was just too busy paying attention to Shahrukh!)

As for new characters, Lara Dutta was cute but didn't really have a whole lot to do. I would be more annoyed about the lack of impactful female "presence" in Don 2, but we all know that this movie simply revolves around Don--as it should. Kunal Kapoor does a great job in his role.

So the story was good, characters were good, what about music? I think I was the lone wolf who loved the Don 2 soundtrack before viewing the film. After seeing all the tracks in context I further realized what a phenomenal soundtrack it is. "Zaraa Dil Ko Thaam Lo" is easily the best of the batch, and picturization is superb. I also love "Dushman Mera" but the picturization of this one (shown at the end) is just...weird. "Hai Ye Maya" goes well with the film. Unfortunately, "Mujhko Pehchaan Lo" which is a truly great track, was not included in the film.

Another great aspect of Don 2? The action. That's all I can say. The action sequences in this movie are truly a highlight and show how far Bollywood has come in this respect. No more "dishoom dishoom"-- the action in Don 2 is simply at another level.

I had only one real gripe with Don 2. In the first Don, Don's character was very dark and sadistic--almost creepy. I missed that element in the sequel. While Don's character is still dark, that creepy "I enjoy killing" attitude just isn't there. Even so, this is only a minor complaint in light of the amazingness that is Don 2.

Easily the best movie of 2011. And a slap in the face to those who say that Shahrukh Khan is losing his fire.

Final Verdict: 9.5/10