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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Hum Tum (2004) or A Jerk Who Grew Up To Be A Man!

This is the story of two very different people who are victims of improbable co-incidences in three different continents over several years who finally give in to their fate and fall in love. In other words, its a run-of-the-mill masala movie with a difference (quite a paradox, that) and I love it! Its the movie I like to watch when I am feeling blue and need a laugh or when I am happy and need to see my happiness reflected on-screen.
Rhea (Rani Mukherjee) is your normal feisty, intelligent, attractive, girl-next-door. On her way to the US of A for further studies, she runs into Karan (Saif Khan) who fancies himself a lot and fancies women even more. He never misses an opportunity to impress the ladies. That his efforts meet with indifferent success is completely due to the ladies' bad taste and no fault of his! Rhea is one of a long line of girls who are unappreciative of Karan's seductive appeal. The guy does everything he can to impress her - he double guesses her food orders wrongly, goes through her purse while she sleeps, ogles every thing in skirts, tells her how much he likes mentally undressing women, and even kisses her. Really Rhea - you are hard to please!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Ek Musafir Ek Haseena (1962)

DVD-cover Director Raj Khosla's excellent romantic-thriller is an old favorite that I never get tired of re-watching. It has all my favorite elements - a taut, well-written story, a beautifully done romance, cute Joy Mukherjee, lovely Sadhna, great songs, and some startlingly modern views on marriage.
The story is set in turbulent Kashmir of the late 40s when the newly formed states of India and Pakistan were engaged in a deadly combat to take control of Kashmir. In late 1947 Pakistani tribal irregulars marched into Kashmir and got as far as the outskirts of Srinagar before the Indian Army seized control and stopped their advance.

Asha (Sadhna) is a young Kashmiri girl in Baramulla who is getting married just as the tribals (or kabaaylis as they are referred to, here) attack their village. The wedding ceremony is interrupted by the attack and Asha is abandoned by everybody in their haste to flee, including her groom (Kamal Kapoor). She manages to reach the shelter of a nearby forest.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Ganga Aur Suraj (1980)

poster Beth's poll on the path to awful movies reminded me of some of the bad movies I have seen because of who’s starred in it. There are several of those - most of them starring Shashi Kapoor! This one is by no means the worst of them (Atithee takes the prize for that), but it comes close!
Here's the plot dynamics. Inspector Shekhar (Iftekhar) is an honest and upright officer of the Indian police force. Shekhar will sacrifice anything to catch the dreaded dacoit Vikram Singh (Kader Khan). Vikram has but one weakness – his young daughter - while Shekhar has neither daughter nor weakness. He does have a wife and two sons, though.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Mouna Raagam (1986)

Mouna-raagam Need a melt-into-a-puddle, non-mushy romance? Need two romances for the price of one? You need Mouna Ragam (Silent Symphony) - director-writer Mani Ratnam's first memorable film and in my opinion, one of his best. The love story of two strangers united in an arranged marriage unfolds in a gently flowing narrative that keeps you spell-bound. You're wondering what the narrative is. Well here goes...
Divya (Revathi) is a lively, fun-loving, college student. Her joie de vivre lights up her household which is ruled by her stern father (Sankaran). Her family arrange a marriage for her with Chandrakumar (Mohan) a manager for a Delhi-based company. Divya - a modern woman - is unwilling to marry a stranger. She tries to put the groom off by cataloging all her faults for his benefit. Instead of being convinced of her unworthiness, the disobliging Chandrakumar is charmed by her forthrightness! (And who wouldnt be - Revathy is at her charming best here.)

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Bride and Prejudice (2004) - Jane Austen gets spiced up

The title says it all. The movie has lots of brides, brides-in-waiting, brides-to-be (there are grooms too, of course, but they don’t really amount to much) and a truckload of prejudices. The movie is roughly based on Jane Austen’s romantic comedy Pride and Prejudice. By roughly, I mean that Austen’s story comes in for some rough handling here. However, we will ignore Jane’s hurt sensibilities at the mangling of her novel and enjoy this adaptation on its masala merits! Those of you who are familiar with Pride and Prejudice probably don’t need to be told the plot. Those who aren’t, you need to read the book ASAP or proceed with reading the rest of this post.
Clueless-but-Cute-American William Darcy (Martin Henderson) comes to Hicksville, India (Amritsar to the uninitiated; and the appellation is his, not mine!) to attend a friend’s wedding. Also with him are his friends the Anglophilic Indians (Naveen Andrews and Indira Varma) who rejoice in the Indian names of Balraj and Kiran Bingley. You may charitably conclude that they are the Indian descendants of Austen's Bingleys who settled in London's high society.