Heroine songs


Halkat Jawani  bySalim Merchant and Sulaiman Merchant, sung by  Sunidhi Chauhan or  Saaiyaan by my fave Rahat Fateh Ali Khan?

Khwahishein  is beautiful too. Composed by Salim-Sulaiman and exquisitely sung by Shreya Goshal…

 

Beautiful melodies. This is what I love about Bollywood films. Later on, when I recall them, I remember them by their music. I start humming the songs, on my way to work, in the shower. sometimes I wake up to a Bollywood melody and it makes me want to see the movie again.

this never happens when I start thinking of Hollywood films, even though some may have a good soundtrack.  It’s an irony that what I disliked most about Bollywood movies initially, now I love most. I look forward to the moment when the songs get released prior to the movies themselves.

Seeing a film for the first time is like going on a blind date. Bollywood lets you take an advance peek. And when you then come to meet that song again on the silver screen, it’s like meeting a friend.

Bollywood has perfected the art of integrating songs in a movie, may it be  a daydream, a memory, fast forwarding or backtracking in time. Writing a song into a film is a wonderful cinematographic and narrative tool that Hollywood ought to rediscover.

I am definitely going to buy the soundtrack of Heroine.

 

 

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Jannat 2 – not exactly a review


(I am reposting, since yesterday’s post didn’t show up on wordpress. same post, added my two favorite songs)

Initially, cross my heart, I didn’t even want to see the movie. I read reviews that weren’t very favorable and I don’t like the genre. I need to be dragged to see any film promising an abundance of gun-toting and car chases and where blood flows in rivers. Yet, if it’s a good movie it’s worthwhile to check it out. As a die-hard Bollywood lover, I went to see it almost with a sense of duty. And I figured if it’s coming from Mahesh Bhatt’s corner, it cannot be THAT bad.

It didn’t have a strong beginning. The intro to the story had me yawn and my mind began drifting trying to convert rupees into dollars and the subtitles started running away with the setup.. 1,2,3 and I was lost. Oh yes, I reminded myself, small time crook, illegal arms, Emraan Hashmi and 2 hours to go.

Just when I thought, I may as well start napping, this is going to be a Hollywood cross-over, the characters of the movie started coming to life. One by one.

The characters:

Emraan Hashmi as Sonu Dilli, the small time crook, who falls hopelessly in love with ravishing Jhanvi, unknowns to him, daughter of the local don.
Randeep Hooda as ACP Pratap Raghuvanshi, a cop out on revenge and a drinking binge
Esha Gupta as Jhanvi Tomar, the lovely doc, director of a clinic for the poor, it seems.
Mansish Choudary as Mangal Singh Tomar, the vicious don
Sumeet Niijhavan as Sarfaraz, wonderful villaini performance, small role but memorable character, hot.
Modh Zeeshan Ayyub as Balli, the sidekick, as good and innocent as they come

Randeep Hooda, the magnificently dysfunctional cop. What a performance! His screen presence is magnetic. I felt that already in Once Upon a Time in Mumbai, where he caught my attention first. This performance puts him right at the top as a new Bollywood force to reckon with, villaini, but I can’t wait to see him as a romantic hero. I bet he’ll be sensational. He has the right timing in delivery, the intensity, it’s just a joy to watch him. The camera work was also great, framing him beautifully portraying him as this dark presence throughout the movie. His filmography is already quite substantial but I hadn’t seen him in most of those movies.

Bollywood’s villains are the BEST!!! nothing compares to them. Sorry, but Hollywood villains can pack up and become sales clerks :-)

The romantic angle: Emraan can’t pull off a convincing romantic hero, you may think, he’s not glamorous enough, tall enough, handsome ‘nough and partly that’s true. Would I fall in love with him? no, visually he’s not a feast, but he has heart. and that transpires in his performances. And the matter of fact is, if a man loves you and treats you like his queen, his rani, he becomes irresistible over time.

The script was interesting and original, the story well-told, the characters well developed. You could feel empathy, even with those villains, which I liked. Kudos to Shagufta Rafiq.

The director of the movie, Kunal Deshmukh and cinematographer Bobby Singh did an outstanding job together. The shooting locations were mesmerizing. The chases very realistic. The camera work and angles worked really well.

Esha Gupta was beautiful, graceful and shining in those music clips.

The music was nice. I loved Rahat Fateh’s song Tu Deedar Hua..

and

Tu Hi mera by Shafqat Amanat Ali

I liked this movie. I liked the way it ended.

Check it out. I’d give it 3.8/5

Tezz: fast and not so furious


I admit, I was prepared for the worst. In India, Tezz didn’t turn exactly into box office gold and I dislike 90% of action movies, unless they make me laugh and time zooms by fast.

India’s action movies until now unfortunately have been built largely around premises of older Hollywood productions, much like a dismantled Lego set, rebuilt with the same blocks, just reshuffled. Tezz was no exception. In the first hour of the movie, and if you know your american action flicks,  you’ll get hit by stonehenge-sized deja-vus. The flashbacks which should have brought the scattered pieces of the narrative together were clumsily spread throughout the movie, not answering the fundamental question WHY? what’s motivating the antagonist Aakash (played by Ajay Devgn) who wants to blow up a train between London and Glasgow… Who can stop him? Anil Kapoor by any chance? in his role as Arjun Khanna, from the anti-terrorism squad who doesn’t have to fight only terrorists but also racial biases on the homefront.  Boman Irani? who is playing the train traffic controller and pretty wasted in that role… Who can deactivate the bomb that was never installed?

Supporting cast Zayed Khan and Sameera Reddy. Poor Zayed Khan, who is trying so hard to make it in Bollywood and whose feet never seem to lift off the ground, career-wise, has a chance here in this movie to show how amble these feet can be.

Kangana Ranaut, as Aakash’s wife Nikita, shows none of her sexy assets that we came to love in When Tanu Weds Manu… She appears in the beginning of the movie but her fate is unknown til the last 15 minutes of the movie, when she reappears not to impress but to weep a lot.

Another big letdown were the extras, as usual. Could they have helped the movie? maybe a litte bit.  I mean, Bollywood, I beg your pardon,  CASTING DEPARTMENTS! Come On! isn’t it getting old that all the white dudes look like nerds and act like jerks? :-) they speak English with horrendous accents.

What is this movie all about, we ask. Turns out that the central idea is not hardened criminals keeping a nation in suspense by threatening to blow up a train with 500 passengers.

Latter yes, somewhat. We remain only marginally involved in what it means to the passengers, the train conductors to know there is a bomb threatening to blow them up. We get to know only the security officer on the train and a young girl who is the daughter of the central train traffic controller. Her role fizzles out in the end. We never see her happily reunited with her parents, which is a typical little BW glitch.. characters who have been built up all for sudden disappear in the frantic pace of the movie.

No, the central theme is deportation angst, a revenge drama, raging against daddy- in- law and the justice system that pushes illegal immigrants to the limit. Innocent  Indian ex pats with no recourse to legal naturalization procedures but who want to make an honest living in the UK are mercilessly chased and deported. Huh? and therefore building up enough stamina to want to cruelly blow up a whole train, to get money to start a new life, to pay for someone’s surgery.. (the poor blind guy tapping around his hospital bed and spilling out secrets, revealing the identity of Aakash, who is smart enough to have designed intricate Plan As, Plan Bs, Plan Cs… with none of them turning out so good, but who forgot to tell the guy to shut up.  Who was the blind guy anyway? I already forgot.  His and Nikita’s story remain a little foggy but does it really matter in an action movie?

so, okay, let’s recap.  You are a nice guy. You are smart. You are in love. Your father in law doesn’t like you. He makes your life miserable. He rats you out. You end up deported. Now you come back and want to blow up a train to get rich and you hate the country? Man, I don’t know…. :-)

I f you ask me if there is anything at all I liked about the movie… Hai. The chases were really well done and kept up the speed of the movie.  Indian villains are the best. In Hollywood productions a villain is usually a villain and will always be a villain. You are glad when the hand of justice grabs him by the neck and a million bullets pierce his chest at the end of the movie. Not so in India. Bollywood gives you the lovable antagonist. You don’t really hate him, do you? Yes, he might do wrong but his intentions weren’t all so bad, at least not sociopathic from the getgo. He went astray. He started out being a nice guy and he dies a nice guy. And who has it in his heart to hate Ajay Devgn anyway?

I love my Bollywood villains. They can be black and white in their actions but in between they come in all shades of grey. Before your Bollywood villain goes down  there is always the glorious moment of redemption. They always remain human. Aakash here is no exception.

Malika Sheravat lit up the screen momentarily with her item number.

Rahat Fateh Ali Khan’s song Tere Bina, illustrating Aakash’s better days with wifie Nikita, was my favorite film moment and cut off too early.

 

 

 

 

Directed by Priyadarshan

We have seen better from him. Still, wasn’t that bad.

I still had a good time.

 

Filmography

2012 Tezz

2010 Aakrosh

2009 Billu

2007 Dhol

2004 Hulchul

2004 Vettam

2003 Hungama

1999 Megham

1997 Virasat(as Priyadarsan)

1996 Kala Pani

1994 Gandeevam

1994 Minnaram

1993 Gardish

1993 Midhunam

1992 Muskurahat(as Priyadarsan)

1991 Abhimanyu

1991 Advaitham

1991 Kilukkam

1991 Nirnayam

1989 Vandanam

1988 Aryan

1988 Chithram

1987 Cheppu

1984 Poochakkoru Mookkuthi