International DVD Talk Intl. DVDs, Region Free Players, RCE, Hong Kong DVDs & More

Bollywood-Hindi-Indian films [PART 2]

Old 11-10-03, 10:50 AM
  #51  
DVD Talk Gold Edition
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 2,738
I watched Baghban this past weekend; it was average at best. I thought it was going to be something along the lines of K3G of Mohabbatein but it is not. The film is primarily a romance (with a mix of family drama) starring Amitabh Bachchan and Hema Malini. It failed to grab me from the get-go and never really built any momentum during the course of its 3-hour runtime. Die-hard fans of romantic films might enjoy it but I found the romance between the 2 stars to be overly syrupy and repetitive (you almost wanted to scream, "enough already, we get it, they really, really, really........really love each other"). I had issues with some of the plot points as well. The performers who played the parts of the 4 sons and their respective spouses added little to the film. Generally a too heavy-handed approach to the whole film in general. I enjoyed the scenes with Paresh Rawal as well as the scenes with Salman Khan. However, both have fairly limited parts in the film especially Salman Khan who just appears at the beginning and end. I consider myself to be a fairly forgiving movie-goer (I can overlook suspect acting, plot holes, etc.) as long as a film keeps me entertained, but I found myself counting the minutes until the film ended on far too many ocassions. All in all Baghban was fairly dull and a disappointment, especially as a follow-up to most of the other films I've watched recently.

The next film I'm looking forward to is Pinjar.
flixtime is offline  
Old 11-10-03, 03:18 PM
  #52  
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: New Joisey
Posts: 119
Don't forget Netflix has a good selection of Bollywood DVDs.

Couple of good older movies: "Sholay", "Mughal-e-Azam", "Gumnaam" (featured in the beginning of "Ghost World") & "Chandni".
dvdjoy is offline  
Old 12-03-03, 04:35 PM
  #53  
DVD Talk Gold Edition
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 2,738
I was curious as to what film India was going to submit for Oscar consideration which led me to the following bit of news:

There will be no Indian films from the world's largest film industry, Bollywood, at next year's Oscars.

Recent films were judged 'un-Indian' - unlike Devdas last year
All the six films shortlisted as possible entrants for the awards have been rejected by the Film Federation of India (FFI).

The federation said they were too Westernised and did not reflect Indian culture.

The shortlisted films were Koi Mil Gaya, Gangajaal, Janantaram Mamanantaram (a film based on Gulliver's Travels), Jhankar Beats (Musical Beats), Andaaz and Jogger's Park.


Granted that I haven't seen that many Bollywood films but isn't that a fairly weak list of films which they submitted for consideration. I've seen Andaaz and Jogger's Park and thought that both were below average (Jogger's Park was a little better than Andaaz (if we don't consider that Andaaz starred both a Miss World and a Miss Universe)). I enjoyed Koi Mil Gaya and Gangajaal but didn't think them to be particularly Oscar worthy. I saw just a little of Jhankar Beats but will go back to watch it in it's entirety. Janantaram Mamanataram I haven't seen but it seems to be a take on Gulliver's Travels.

What were the best films of the year in Indian cinema? Off the top of my head (checking spelling though from my earlier posts), a few of the better films I've seen this year are:

Satta
Main Madhuri Dixit Banna Chahti Hoon
Hawayein


maybe too:
3 Deewarein
Market
Boom
(sort of in a very, very enjoyable bad movie type of way)

Not that I'm saying that they are Oscar-worthy in particular but I think the first 3 films I mentioned along with 3 Deewarein would have been better choices for consideration than some of the other films on the list. What happened in local Indian cinema (Tamil, Telugu, etc.) this year? Was there anything of Oscar caliber on the local level?

I'm still waiting for the DVD of Pinjar to arrive in my local store. Has anyone seen the new Shah Rukh Khan film: Kal Ho Naa Ho - how was it? How about a film called Dhoop?

If you enjoy gangster films like Satya and Company, I'd recommend that you check out Patth. It's a new release that I watched recently and it was a very pleasant surprise. It isn't in the same class as Satya and Company but it's a well done film starring mostly B-grade actors (meaning no big name stars). The entire cast turned in solid performances and I thought the script was good as well. Nothing exceptional or new to the gangster genre but I'd strongly recommend it for those who like gangster films.
flixtime is offline  
Old 12-06-03, 06:41 AM
  #54  
DVD Talk Gold Edition
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 2,738
I watched the highly-anticipated Kal Ho Naa Ho starring Preity Zinta, Shah Rukh Khan, and Saif Ali Khan. I was expecting something along the lines of K3G, Mohabbatein, Mujhse Dosti Karoge, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Devdas (though I didn't really care for Devdas), etc. Kal Ho Naa Ho is the type of film that will cause me to go back and re-evaluate the scores I've given for every film I've watched prior to this one. I'd re-evaluate them for sure...........I'd go back and raise all their scores by a couple of points! I thoroughly disliked Kal Ho Naa Ho; it failed to entertain. If this is the type of blockbuster film that might give a Western audience their first taste of Bollywood cinema then they've just been struck by a bad case of food poisoning. The film, imho, contained approx. 10 minutes of entertainment value during the course of its 3:03 runtime. Save a 5 second Bhagat Singh joke, I found nothing to entertain in the first 2 hours plus! The film lost me from the opening scene and I thought about quitting on it nearly a dozen times during the first hour.......and a dozen times more in the second hour (and even a few times in the last act). I mentioned in my previous post that I did not care too much for Andaaz and Joggers' Park, but they now look like genius compared to this. I was not impressed by any aspect of this film; I certainly did not feel for any of the characters who I found to be annoying more than anything else; I just didn't care about them. I can overlook poor performances, editing, directing, production values, and a host of other things so long as I am being entertained - that failed in train-wreck fashion here. I thought Preity Zinta and Shah Rukh Khan were sub-par in their performances. Saif Ali Khan was good. Jaya Bachchan was more hit than miss, and Sonali Bendre was fine in a limited role. I've certainly watched mediocre films before but at least they delivered in the last act as I got caught up in all the emotional melodrama (Andaaz perhaps being the most recent example). In Kal Ho Naa Ho, I just didn't care for any of it despite the numerous emotional (attempted) climaxes (which went on for far too long). As far as the 10 minutes of entertainment value, 5 minutes (approx.) goes to one of the musical numbers during the final hour; another minute perhaps to a scene by Saif Ali Khan; maybe another couple of minutes to a scene with Shah Rukh Khan and Jaya Bachchan........and well, okay, so maybe 10 minutes of entertainment value was being generous. A painful and stone-faced viewing experience, Kal Ho Naa Ho is one of the least entertaining films I've seen in a very long while; I'd be generous in scoring it a 1.5/10 (frankly, a score of 0 was sitting in my mind a little over 2 hours into the film). To bring this sorry chapter to a close, I'll conclude that Kal Ho Naa Ho has been done countless times better in a countless number of films - watch anything else instead.........try watching paint dry perhaps, at least the smell of the paint will have some effect on your senses.

Last edited by flixtime; 12-06-03 at 06:50 AM.
flixtime is offline  
Old 01-19-04, 01:39 PM
  #55  
DVD Talk Gold Edition
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 2,738
Just wanted to attempt a Top Films of 2003 list, so here goes:

Top 5:
1. Main Madhuri Dixit Banna Chahti Hoon
2. Satta
3. Rules – Pyaar Ka Superhit Formula
4. Hawayein
5. Munna Bhai M.B.B.S.

Top 6-10 (+1):
6. Dhoop
7. Pinjar
8. Market
9. Patth
10. 3 Deewarein
11. Boom - probably makes the "Worst List" for many but I really enjoyed it

Best of the Rest:
- Haasil - in all fairness, I don't remember this one too clearly, perhaps it should have made it into the Top 6-12
- Kaakha Kaakha (Tamil language)
- Darna Mana Hai
- Samay

Enjoyable:
- Kuch Naa Kaho
- Koi Mil Gaya
- Mumbai Se Aaya Mera Dost

As a point of reference, others I've seen which didn't make the lists:
Armaan
Bhoot
Calcutta Mail
Gangaajal
Tere Naam
Zameen
Khel
Baghban
Joggers' Park
Janasheen
Kal Ho Naa Ho
The Hero
Out of Control

Haven't yet seen:
Jhankaar Beats - supposed to be good
Hungama
Aanch
Line of Control - not looking promising
flixtime is offline  
Old 01-19-04, 04:03 PM
  #56  
Suspended
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: University at Buffalo
Posts: 153
I have been searching for Dev Benegal's "split wide open" for a while now, i know it played in toronto couple years ago as part of Toronto Film Festival. If anyone has it or knows how to get a vhs/dvd of it, let me know. Thanks
french fan is offline  
Old 10-14-04, 05:40 PM
  #57  
DVD Talk Gold Edition
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 2,738
Well.....I stepped away from Bollywood/Indian cinema for the past couple of months due to having watched a string of disappointing, mediocre, and even mind-numbingly bad high-profile releases.

For anyone who used to follow this thread (and perhaps found some merit in my recommendations), I just wanted to step in and plug some of the better films I've seen this year.

I can't really say that I've seen anything extraordinary this year but I'd recommend in no particular order:

Prarambh...The Beginning (stars Vijay Raaz, most recognizable perhaps as the wedding planner (featured in the romantic subplot between him and the servant lady) from the film Monsoon Wedding)
Raghu Romeo - another film starring Vijay Raaz
Chameli
Ab Tak Chhappan
I - Proud to be Indian

To comment on a couple of films I had hopes for:
Maqbool - started of well, horrible second half. Skip it.
Meenaxi: A Tale of 3 Cities - bad art-house film that - although it sometimes looks impressive - is a waste of time. Skip it.

Most of the big-name, commercial Bollywood films I've seen this year are not worth the time. It's only rental material but as best that I can recall Khakee would be the one to see (though I'm not sure if it counts as this year's film since it might have been released very late last year).

I've only been watching Bollywood films for a couple of years now but I sure wish the big commercial films would exhibit some more variety. It seems like the same 3-4 films over and over....and over again. Plus from a technical (directing, acting, script, plot, etc.) aspect, too many of them seem lazily made. Maybe it was inevitable that the novelty of Bollywood would wear off but I sure wish I could re-discover my past enjoyment of these films. That said, I'm really looking forward to Aamir Khan's "The Rising" later this year.

A big disappointment from Tamil cinema would be "Pithamagan" though I did really enjoy a couple of Tamil films released in the past few years:

Anbe Sivam (2003) (borrows from Planes, Trains, and Automobiles in the beginning, but it easily surpassed virtually all of this year's Bollywood efforts)

Nandha (2001)

Samurai (2002)

And to close a few notes on a couple of Bollywood films from last year that I mentioned I was anticipating in my previous post:
Aaanch - Recommended
Line of Control[/b] - Skip it
flixtime is offline  
Old 10-27-04, 11:44 AM
  #58  
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: United Pingdom
Posts: 53
Meh, I hate Hindi films,


Tamil cinema ownz all.

I heard someone mention ar rahman. Very good taste for you to like this guy, since he is one of the best music producers in the world, I heard you mention Kannathil Muthhamittal, I’ll recommend some other movies he has scored for you:-

1. Roja – 1992
2. Bombay
3. Uiyre (Dil Se)
4. Kadhalan
5. Auyetha Ezhuthu (Yuva) Great new film
6. Kandu Kodein Kanu Kondein


These are just some recommendations, available on DVD here is the link:-
http://e-sales.ac/ayngaran/

Enjoy the rich music, and great cinematography in these films.
Brain_F15ting is offline  
Old 10-27-04, 09:45 PM
  #59  
DVD Talk Platinum Edition
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Berlin
Posts: 3,824
Thanks for the sale link at Ayngaran!I love Tamil films also.But I don't hate Hindi movies.Better get some DVD's on this sale!
Kumar J is offline  
Old 10-28-04, 08:06 AM
  #60  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
toddly6666's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 6,290
bollywood films are in a sad state!

Just from experience, I know it's impossible to get an objective review of a Bollywood movie from an Indian that watches Bollywood films. There seems to be two kinds of Indians in the USA - one that hates Bollywood movies and then one that calls every single new movie "great movie! good movie! Blockbuster blah blah blah!" There is no objective balance...I watch movies from every country and every movie should be treated equally - a movie should not get extra bonus review points just because it may be from a third world or developing country that got enough money to throw in a Matrix special effect. There is no excuse for sloppy & amatuerish movies no matter what. Most Bollywood movies are either technically professionally-made B-movies (Koi Mil Gaya, Kal Ho Na Ho, Main Hoon Na) or amatuerish-made B-movies (Rudkrash, Khakee). It's not the traditional style of sing-and-dance and 3 hour soap opera that makes a Bollywood movie stupid, bad, sloppy, or amatuerish - it's the director's sloppiness, the poor male acting and their flamboyant wardrobe, the bad storyline and dialogue, and the poor editing (especially during fight scenes). It's really sad that there is only maybe one honestly good movie out of hundreds of Bollywood movies released per year...
The old Bollywood movies are much better and more professionally made, but I'm mainly interested in contemporary Bollywood movies - especially ones made after year 2000, since most of the Bollywood films from 1970s to 1999 seem dated....Some decent new ones are Laagan and Dil Chahta Hai: Laagan is good but way too long to ever watch again (it's got Dances with Wolves syndrome) and Dil Chahta Hai seems to be the main recent movie that intelligent young adult Indians relate to - a better than usual Bollywood story, but still seems typical and not quite good enough for non-Indian standards...and I've seen some of the North American Indian movies, which are of course different than Bollywood movies, but not in a good way since these have a totally amateurish production all-around. It seems that the only current Indian directors that have the potential to retain the essence of India, yet jump out of one-dimensional Indian movie-making mentality, and make original movies are Mira Nair and Gurinder Chadha. That's not saying much because it's a good chance that these two directors will still continue with chick-flicks (no action or sci-fi movies). There seem to be new Bollywood directors that are doing a tiny bit different storyline and believe that they are doing something groundbreaking - having lesbians, having kissing, having young man-old woman love story - but this is not groundbreaking, not original, etc. to anyone outside of India. An original film which would stray away from a country's typicalness is the type of film that Bollywood has yet to make - USA making Matrix, France making Brotherhood of the Wolf, Russia making Nochnoi Dozor (Night Watch), Poland making AVALON (although it's a Japanese production), Thailand making Tears of the Black Tiger, etc.. - basically movies non-typical of the country's style of movie-making. Where are those Indian filmmakers??? There aren't any so it seems...


Someone mentioned Khakee and it is worse than B-movie garbage. The title could even be changed to the English title, "Cocky", the film's main premise of a showcase of Akshay Kumar's character (probably not so far from his true self). And I couldn't even get through Pinjar as well, totally ungripping and boring....

Knowing that most contemporary Bollywood movies generally suck and are amatuerish, I can only think of three good recent movies which aren't too inside-Indian jokey and could be enjoyed by the rest of the world as a normal movie:

Devdas (2002)
Mission Kashmir
Fiza
toddly6666 is offline  
Old 04-03-05, 04:11 PM
  #61  
DVD Talk Gold Edition
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 2,738
From the director of "Devdas" comes the well-received Black, Hindi cinemas' version of Hollywood's Anne Bancroft/Patty Duke starrer "The Miracle Worker". I last watched "The Miracle Worker" many years ago and my recollection of that film is little to none but I do recall enought to say that it is a safe bet that the first half of Black owes a great deal to that film. To Black's credit, I did catch a glimpse of the name "Helen Keller" as the opening credits rolled on through (the print was a bit small on the home TV screen and I wasn't paying close attention so I don't recall the context), however the recognition should be credited.

I thought that Black was especially commendable on a few fronts but overall - though I personally would still recommend a viewing - it was not as good as some of the reviews led me to believe.

The good - it is a very pretty looking movie. It falls into that category of films where every shot could be framed and hung on a wall. Another plus was the strong performance of Bollywood mega-star Amitabh Bachchan as the eccentric teacher. Frankly, I've been finding his most recent performance to be quite tiring but he should be commended for his work here. Barring a strong showing from Aamir Khan in the much-delayed "The Rising", Amitabh Bachchan - even this early in the cinema year - should likely win the Best Actor award at the Indian version of the Oscars (don't know the name of the awards - Bollywood Film Awards?). Another strong performer was newcomer? Ayesha Kapoor playing the childhood version of the blind & deaf character - Michelle. I thought the director went a bit over-the-top early on in giving her character a bit of a demonic spin but that's not her fault and she did a very nice job with the role.

The movie comes in at a tight (for Hindi cinema) 1 hour and 57 minutes - excluding closing credits (no songs or dances for those who might be curious). The first half is decidedly the better half (and likely features the greatest portion of the film that is indebted to "The Miracle Worker"). The first half focus is on the teacher/student relationship between Amitabh Bachchan and Ayesha Kapoor. I thought the second half - which departs more away from "The Miracle Worker" - sagged a bit due in significant part - but not exlusively - to Bollywood superstar Rani Mukherjee taking over the role as the adult version of Ayesha Kapoor's blind & deaf Michelle. Rani Mukherjee was acceptable at best but not really better than that or a match for Amitabh Bachchan's work.

In addition to the film being pretty-as-a-painting, it was refreshing for me to see a level of editing in this film that was for once a match to the level displayed in other cinemas of the world. In this technical sense - editing/cinematography - Black is likely one of the best Hindi films in a couple of years. The dialogue too (again not sure how much might have been lifted from other sources) was meritable and many cuts above the usual inane drivel found too often in big, commercial Bollywood films. Though Black might be an art-house film on the Bollywood scale, it should be considered more a commercial film on the international scale. Don't expect some neo-realist gem or the like. This is glossy pop entertainment with big stars.......it's engineered to win awards.

I too can level some criticism at the film. There is the not so good to offset to some degree the merits of the film. Perhaps someone can enlighten me a bit, but for a character who is supposed to be deaf it sure seemed like many of the interactions between the blind/deaf character and others overlooked the fact that Michelle was supposed to be deaf. While I can write it off some degree to a cinematic necessity, I did on more than one occassion find it disconcerting and kept wondering "but she's supposed to be deaf too right". I thought that whole angle needed to be done better and it was my biggest criticism in the film and a severe flaw (unless someone can give me a different take on things). Another point is that, the blind/deaf character seems to be educated by Amitabh Bachchan in the English-language (there is quite a bit of English in the film). Yet in parts of the film - and the narration - she also knows Hindi. I thought this was inconsistent and a bit of a stretch - where did she learn Hindi? I'll also criticize the narration in general where the blind/deaf character as an adult narrate the opening and at some other points - again the character speaks perfect Hindi. Stylistically, there is a part in the opening narration where the screen is pure black and the character narrates something to the effect "this is my world"; I think it would have been even more effective if you didn't hear her voice and instead only saw the subtitles to bring the viewer closer into the world of Michelle (make the concession to audiences of reading the subtitles because it is necessary, but at least take away the sound). To make things easier, the narration if necessary should have come from a different character instead.

While Black did keep me entertained, curiously I was not really enlightened or moved on an emotional level by the film; I connected on some level with the teacher character but I never really found myself hoping for the character of Michelle. When the movie ended......it ended; I did't pause for a few moments and ponder the experience or anything like that. I was entertained, the movie ended, and I moved on.

All in all though, I did enjoy Black and will grade it a 7/10 for the cinematography, Amitabh Bachchan & Ayesha Kapoor's performances, commendable (even if borrowed?) dialogue (not revelatory or anthing, but at least worthy of attention), and for a step in the right direction of getting Bollywood film editing more on par with the rest of international cinema.
flixtime is offline  
Old 04-03-05, 09:24 PM
  #62  
DVD Talk Platinum Edition
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Berlin
Posts: 3,824
Anyone seen Dhoom on DVD?I heard the songs and it was a little catchy and my friends wanted to se it out of curiosity.
Kumar J is offline  
Old 04-04-05, 12:22 PM
  #63  
MrN
DVD Talk Platinum Edition
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: B.W.I.
Posts: 3,699
Originally Posted by Kumar J
Anyone seen Dhoom on DVD?I heard the songs and it was a little catchy and my friends wanted to se it out of curiosity.
I really like the title song - but the film (to me) was mostly a bore. The plot is right out of Fast & the Furious, except with bikes. There's some comic relief in the form of an informant some frenetic editing to hide the lack of any real action and the end couldn't come fast enough.
MrN is offline  
Old 04-04-05, 12:23 PM
  #64  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Lyon Estates
Posts: 10,795
what's the name of that Indian chick with the major beaver?
dick_grayson is offline  
Old 04-04-05, 05:15 PM
  #65  
DVD Talk Gold Edition
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 2,738
Back again, though I haven’t been updating this thread (I don’t really sense a significant level of interest for Indian cinema in this particular forum – (any recommendations for an alternate?)) I have been keeping abreast of Indian cinema. I’m by no means well-schooled in the subject, but I do feel 2004 was a poor year for Indian cinema or shall I say Bollywood specifically.

I did see most of the hyped Indian films such as: “Swades”, “Veer-Zaara”, “Choker Bali”, “Shabd”, “Raincoat”, “Naach”, “Kisna”, and at least a handful of others. I also checked out most of the film considered for Oscar submission including the Marati-language films “Shwaas” and “Anaahat”, and others. I also watched the Telugu-language version of the well-received Tamil film – “Autograph”. Lastly, I did check out Hollywood’s contribution to the mix – “Bride and Prejudice” starring Aishwarya Rai.

Note: bypassed “Dhoom” because like MrN states it seem to straight out of the “Fast & Furious”, “Torque”, “Biker Boyz” school of films. I’ll agree though that the title song did seem very catchy judging from the trailer.

I won’t say that I didn’t find some significant level of entertainment value in some of the films mentioned – and some others (otherwise why would I keep watching them besides the fact that I currently crave a great deal of variety in my film viewing). Aside: Priyanka Chopra has pushed aside Bipasha Basu as my new favorite Bollywood babe (Priyanka was smokin’ in “Aitraaz”, the movie not so smokin’ however). Lara Dutta would occupy the two slot though she wasn’t looking that great in the recent “Jurm”. Where was I, oh yeah, while I did find entertainment value in a fair number of the films I would really recommend them to those of you without a particular interest in these types of films. What I’m trying to say is that none of the above were really worthy of any international breakout attention.

The Marati-language “Shwaas” (Indian’s Oscar submission) was pretty awful. I don’t watch the TV-show “ER” but I’d imagine even the worst episode of that show is better viewing than “Shwaas”. The other Marati-language film “Anaahat” fared measurably better but is certainly not recommended viewing.

The Bollywood blockbusters “Swades” and “Veer-Zaara” did provide significant enterainment value but were decidedly not on par with Bollywood blockbusters of the past (K3G and the like). I enjoyed “Swades” a little more than “Veer-Zaara” but both were highly flawed from a film-making point of view.

Bollywood arthouse – and Aishwarya Rai starrers – such as “Choker Bali” (Bengali actually?), “Shabd”, and “Raincoat” while entertaining to a degree were all sub-par films.

Acclaimed director Ram Gopal Varma’s “Naach” showed much promise but ultimately was in significant need of major editing to remove repetitive scenes and cut the runtime significantly. In a poor year though, I’d say it’s worth a look.

2005’s “Kisna: The Warrior Poet” with Vivek Oberoi was a surprising pleasure on all levels for the first 55 minutes or so but it falls apart from a film-making point of view after that (you really have to send your brain on vacation for the rest of the film (a plus, Sushmita Sen’s brief appearance was very good)). I am a sucker for this type of period adventure film though and despite my criticism I really enjoyed this one, and of the films mentioned so far “Kisna” would hold the most replay value for me (but this is for me only and other films likely would be better candidates for others).

The Telugu-language remake of the Tamil film "Autograph" while it did have some outstanding moments also failed to impress. Maybe the Tamil version was better.

And lastly we’ve got Hollywood’s contribution to the Indian cinema train-wreck of 2004, “Bride and Prejudice” starring Aishwarya Rai and directed incompetently by Gurinder Chadha (who seemed so capable in her handling of “Bend It Like Beckham”). Gurinder Chadha is going to direct the American re-make of the Korean smash romantic comedy “My Sassy Girl”, be afraid……..be very, very afraid. “Bride and Prejudice” after the first 10 minutes or so is just plain terrible – really awful - on so many levels, heck pretty much every level. For a far superior film in a somewhat similar vein, I do highly recommend Deepa Mehta’s “Bollywood/Hollywood”. Some of my favorite American film critics actually gave positive reviews to “Bride and Prejudice”; they are not only wrong in their assessment but displayed a certain level of incompetence in handing out a positive review; they really need to – in my not so humble opinion - school themselves in this arena of filmmaking. Toddly6666 in his earlier post laments the merit of reviews in regards to Bollywood films, well “Bride and Prejudice” is evidence it can on occasion cut both ways.

In an earlier post I mentioned my till-that-point top Indian films of 2004; the list has not changed.
flixtime is offline  
Old 04-05-05, 03:45 PM
  #66  
MrN
DVD Talk Platinum Edition
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: B.W.I.
Posts: 3,699
Originally Posted by dick_grayson
what's the name of that Indian chick with the major beaver?

???

If you mean the women in Dhoom, the one who 'performs' the title song is Esha Deol (daughter of Hema Malini and Dharmendra) and then there's Rimi Sen who plays the cop's wife. I heard there was going to be a sequel to this and I can only wince.

And yeah, flixtime, Choker Bali is indeed in the Bengali language and so that's the second reason why it wouldn't be Bollywood. I thought the director did an ok job, but the film just didn't hold together for me.
MrN is offline  
Old 05-11-05, 11:49 PM
  #67  
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Around Toronto, Canada
Posts: 237
I'm new to this particular thread, but here goes.

A couple of weeks ago I got to see Bombay (Tamil) with some friends. It was a pretty good film, but I was especially impressed with some of the songs in it. "Tu Hi Re" was absolutely mesmerizing.

Audio stream: http://www.raaga.com/channels/hindi/movie/H000270.html
Translation: http://www.bollywhat.com/lyrics/bomb_lyr.html#3

Some time before that, I got to see Karam. I haven't seen a great deal of Hindi/Tamil movies but I think this film was a lot more stylized than most Bollywood films. The cinematography was great and that first scene, which was a song, was incredibly beautiful.

A few weeks before that, we saw Veer-Zaara. I thought it was more engaging than Karam, personally. Too bad we were watching a bootlegged version and a huge chunk of the film skipped, and occasionally subtitles would disappear, so I think I missed some of the story.

We would've seen Kal Ho Naa Ho but Veer-Zaara ended right before midnight and we didn't want to sit through 2 more hours of a movie and risk falling asleep halfway through.
Vision of Love is offline  
Old 05-12-05, 12:02 AM
  #68  
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 106
Has anyone seen White Noise?
alessandro is offline  
Old 06-20-05, 06:18 PM
  #69  
DVD Talk Gold Edition
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 2,738
Had a chance to watch a highly-anticipated title for me in particular, the Ram Gopal Varma produced (but not directed) - D (2005). D is the third and latest gangster-themed film following the Ram Gopal Varma directed film "Satya" (1998) and "Company" (2002).

I feel the film is appropriately titled in that my grade for the film wouldn't be much better than a "D". What went wrong here you ask? Simple.......everything. I can't say that I found a single redeeming aspect in the entire film (thankfully, excluding closing credits, it was only 97 minutes long - shockingly (and mercifully in this instance) short for Indian cinema). Where "Satya" and "Company" are at least very good and for "Satya" in particular excellent, D is nothing but C-grade shlock.

Randeep Hooda plays the lead character Deshu. Randeep had better find a new career path because a rock has more charisma than he displayed in this film; he falls far short of the previous actors - J.D. Chakravarthi, Manoj Bajpai, Vivek Oberoi, Ajay Devgan - whose performances were so key to the successes of "Satya" and "Company". The rest of the cast is poor as well, including some solid character actors from Hindi cinema who have done much better work in similar roles from other films.

The story is just a poor rehash of things done much better in both "Satya" and "Company". While there really weren't any song and dance numbers in this film, this had to have one of the more intrusive, miscalculated, and mismatched soundtracks I've ever heard; all the musical cues should have been stripped from the film entirely (sometimes less is more). It would be a good film for a film class case study on the subject - often exemplifying a total mismatch of what you are seeing and what you are hearing (loud music when there should be silence, slower/poetic music when the visuals are rapid-fire). The director and music composer seemed to be on different pages.

Enough venting. It truly was a struggle not to just stop watching entirely but I - mistakenly - put my faith in Producer Varma. Very disappointing.

A few other films I've seen (can't provide in-depth comments because it's been a while since I've seen them):
My Brother (2005) - not must see or anything but certainly worth a rental to fans of Indian cinema (I did find it fairly moving towards the end). Sanjay Suri in the lead was more hit than miss but the rest of the cast was pretty good. I would have scored it higher if it had come out 5 years or more ago.

Lucky: No Time for Love (2005) - Bollywood film with Salman Khan and Aishwarya Rai look-alike Sneha Ullal. The good: the film was shot entirely in Russia and there is a lot of nice camerawork; it looks good on screen. The bad: just about everything else. Brain-dead is smarter than this film. Sneha Ullal while cute can't act. It was kind of creepy actually watching the romance between the 40-year old Salman Khan (he's supposed to be younger in the film) and Sneha Ullal's character, since Sneha and the Director's idea of playing an innocent/naive 18-year-old seemed to take shape on-screen as her acting like an 8-year-old.

Mumbai Express (2005) - nice to see Kamal Hassan and Vijay Raaz again. A silly but entertaining movie for the first half, falls apart after that. Someone please stop casting Manisha Koirala in any more films.

Morning Raga (2004) - another disappointment (if you watch any more than 10 minutes or so). Plays like a sub-par made-for-TV afterschool special. Perizaad Zorabian - the annoying actress from "Jogger's Park" - is well.......still annoying and an awful actress.

Black Friday (2004) - a controversial film (in India) about some "terrorist" attacks in Bombay in the early 90's. Getting a significant amount of acclaim. The subject matter was compelling but, despite a promising start, ultimately I found the film mediocre, dull, lacking in focus, and poorly executed.

Hari Om (2004) - Vijay Raaz is probably the best thing going for Hindi cinema. Also stars French actress Camille Natta (from the Jean Reno French film "Crimson Rivers 2"). This was a romantic comedy/fish-out-of-water film with Raaz as a auto richshaw driver and the lovely Camille Natta as his French tourist passenger roaming around some beautiful locales in Northern India. While cinematic fluff, it was pretty entertaining and I'd certainly watch it again when I'm in the mood for some light, escapist fare. I'll definitely keep an eye out for future efforts from Director Ganapathy Bharat (this was his first film). Hari Om gets a thumbs up from me.

.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.

Sometimes I question myself as to why I consider to slog through Indian cinema especially when contemporary Indian cinema is somewhat of a train-wreck right now. While there are some good films, greatness right now seems to be in very, very short supply, and to find even the good films you have to wade through a mountain of cinematic sludge (the wholly unreliable reviews from professional critics regarding Indian cinema is another source of frustration.........and by professional critics I mean both Indian critics who seem to lack a sense of International cinema, and foreign (American) critics who likewise lack in experience when it comes to Indian cinema.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
Ummm.........I got sidetracked......anyway what I do want to say is that I will continue to slog through the cinematic sludge that is Indian cinema because every once in a while you get lucky!!! And that my friends is a great feeling!

The gems in this case would be:
Swapner Din, aka Chased by Dreams (2004) - this Bengali-language film from Director Buddhadeb Dasgupta is a poetic gem of a film. As a viewer I was almost transported to India, something many Indian films fail to do. This is a casually-paced dream of a film and I savored every moment. Director Dasgupta is a true talent and in this film displayed a skill and artistry rarely seen in contemporary Indian cinema. I knew just from his opening shot that this film was going to be special. The film was funny and dramatic and suspenseful and romantic. This wasn't just a well-crafted arthouse film but it was also marvelously captivating, enchanting, and without a single doubt entertaining. I don't know if it is still eligible for 2005 but if there is any justice Swapner Din and not "Black" will be India's submission for Best Foreign Film consideration at the Oscars. Swapner Din is recommended not just to fans of Indian cinema, but to fans of cinema as a whole. Everyone should check it out.

Navrang (1959) - this is another winner. While the acting style is a bit dated and I took a few minutes to warm up to that fact and catch on to the feel of things, Navrang was incredibly charming and magical; this innocent almost fairytale-like film was both a visual and musical delight. There are some great dance numbers in the film (that I don't want to spoil for you, so just see it for yourself). I wish current Bollywood cinema would find some more room for this type of classical Indian song & dance, instead of all the MTV-like trash they are opting for now. If Criterion ever loosens up and decides to delve more in to Indian cinema this film would come as a highly recommended starting point.
flixtime is offline  
Old 06-20-05, 10:45 PM
  #70  
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 106
Originally Posted by flixtime
The gems in this case would be:
Swapner Din, aka Chased by Dreams (2004) - this Bengali-language film from Director Buddhadeb Dasgupta is a poetic gem of a film. As a viewer I was almost transported to India, something many Indian films fail to do. This is a casually-paced dream of a film and I savored every moment. Director Dasgupta is a true talent and in this film displayed a skill and artistry rarely seen in contemporary Indian cinema. I knew just from his opening shot that this film was going to be special. The film was funny and dramatic and suspenseful and romantic. This wasn't just a well-crafted arthouse film but it was also marvelously captivating, enchanting, and without a single doubt entertaining. I don't know if it is still eligible for 2005 but if there is any justice Swapner Din and not "Black" will be India's submission for Best Foreign Film consideration at the Oscars. Swapner Din is recommended not just to fans of Indian cinema, but to fans of cinema as a whole. Everyone should check it out.
I agree. It's a great film. Also check out Dasgupta's previous A Tale of a Naughty Girl (recently released on DVD in Australia).
alessandro is offline  
Old 08-02-05, 12:41 PM
  #71  
DVD Talk Gold Edition
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 2,738
Still have to check out "A Tale of a Naughty Girl". Trying to track it down locally first. I'd definitely like to check it out.

As previously mentioned, I'm kind of down on Bollywood cinema right now. That being the case I decided to check out a couple of Telugu-language films.

Varsham (2004)
Nuvvostanante Nenoddantana (2005)

I'm very pleased to report that they both come recommended to fans of Indian cinema. Putting any hopes for innovation aside, Bollywood right now can't even make traditional formula films like they used to in years past. Not to worry, as these two aforementioned Telugu films fit the bill nicely. While from different directors and featuring different male leads, both films otherwise feature much the same cast (in the female lead and supporting players). I enjoyed the more old school song and dance numbers in these films as opposed to the Bollywood MTV-like stuff. Varsham even had a pretty exciting action scene. Nuvvostanante Nenoddantana despite an overindulgence into low-brow comedy (around the 30-60 minute) which threatened to derail things did recover and was very entertaining. I wish the filmmakers would scale back on some of the comedy that make the characters you are supposed to be rooting for more annoying than not, but what can you do. Varsham did not fall too much into the same comedy trap but it was present. From that standpoint, it scored a little higher than Nuvvostanante Nenoddantana but I found the latter a little more entertaining.

If you are looking for some nice light entertainment (they are not masterworks, meaningful, or must-see) both of these films should prove much more satisfying than similar Hindi-language efforts. There is no doubt that from a technical viewpoint, the Telugu filmmakers responsible for these films are far more accomplished in their abilities when compared to their Bollywood counterparts. There is a professionalism, sincerity, and pride in product in these two Telugu-language films not seen on anything close to a regular basis in Bollywood. If you like Bollywood films (for more than just the star actors), you really should consider checking these out. I certainly plan to share them both with assorted friends/family that might be over. I really enjoyed them both and they have nice replay value.

And then we have the big-time Bollywood film Waqt starring Amitabh Bachchan, Akshay Kumar, and Priyanka Chopra. The first half-hour is turn-it-off bad. The rest of it is mediocre at best Bollywood cinema - lots of melodrama, tears, and far too little sense. Certainly devoid of any care to the craft of filmmaking and that's what bothers me the most - and why I'm so critical of current Bollywood fare. I don't get the sense that they care about putting together a respectable product. Sure, generally speaking, the Telugu films I mentioned are similar in style, story, melodrama, comedy, etc. but given that formula the filmmakers gave me the impression in the Telugu films that at least they were striving for max scores within that arena - they achieved far more with the formula than you see on display in Waqt.

Finally, I'm really looking forward to the forthcoming release (finally!!!) of "Lagaan" star Aamir Khan's "The Rising" aka "Mangal Pandey". I hope it lives up to my expectations.
flixtime is offline  
Old 08-06-05, 10:12 AM
  #72  
DVD Talk Gold Edition
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 2,738
Wow! Wow! WOW!!! I'm totally geeked to see this now!!! Following is a link to Rich Cline's (as of the last 6 months, my #1 favorite reviewer (he watches a great variety of cinema)) Shadows on the Wall review of The Rising aka Mangal Pandey.

The Rising (2005) review

I believe he saw the film at its world premier at the Locarno Film Festival on Aug. 3. It opens wide in India, UK, and limited in the U.S. on Aug. 12. Words can't describe how much I'm hoping it plays somewhere near me; I've been waiting a long time for this one. I'm a little over-excited right now but might it even have a chance to snag an Oscar nom. like "Lagaan" from a few years back.

Here's a link to a site with a too-short trailer (stay tuned after the trailer as they also show a brief 30 second clip of a dance number from the film - turn down your speakers before the dance clip as the audio is much louder than the trailer audio).

The Rising trailer

And the IMDb.com link:
The Rising at IMDb.com
Caution: might be better not to click the trailer link found in the "Plot Outline" section at the top. It links to a teaser trailer that I have a feeling contains a spoiler (too late for me but what can you do).

And another review:
Film Exposed review
flixtime is offline  
Old 08-14-05, 01:56 PM
  #73  
DVD Talk Gold Edition
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 2,738
I've got some time on my hands and I hope you do to so you can read the following - my long-winded (hopefully focused and not too rambling or incoherent) review of "The Rising" aka "Mangal Pandey" (2005).

I made the mistake of not following a rule I mentioned earlier in this discussion – the one where I say not to trust professional – whether they be Indian or International - reviewers when it comes to Indian cinema (though I suppose that can be applied to cinema as a whole). I checked out “The Rising – Mangal Pandey” yesterday and I was not impressed. Upon leaving the theater, I would have been charitable and given it an unenthusiastic score of 6/10. A night’s sleep later and the realization of how little I found memorable about it leads me to call it more on the scale of 5/10. “The Rising” is a long way from better films such as “Lagaan” and “The Legend of Bhagat Singh”. Heck, while it might be better from a critical perspective than the recent Vivek Oberoi starrer “Kisna” (discussed earlier), I’d have to call the deeply flawed (after the first 50 minutes) “Kisna” a more entertaining and satisfying experience on the whole. When you take into account the amount of time (Aamir Khan’s return to the screen after a four-year absence) and effort (???), and the years-long journey it took to bring this film to the screen, “The Rising” should be considered a failure.

The following – my look at the film – will involve significant spoilers so stop now if you don’t want your viewing experienced to be tarnished. Things started off well enough with the opening and the “Mangal Mangal” song with the men on the elephant. I didn’t have a watch but I think the film ran about 2.5 hours with an intermission at roughly the 1.5 hour mark. I really have little positive to say about the film and its opening 1.5 hours. Where was the screenplay? All the time that this film was in the works and the best that is offered is a hollow and scattershot screenplay. As an examination of the 1857 Sepoy Rebellion against the British and their East India Trading Company, the film is a disappointment presented with lack of both detail and scope; it is a surface treatment at best lacking depth. Also lacking is character development, as there is little weight assigned to examining the relationship between the two main leads through whom the events unfold. Aamir Khan as Mangal Pandey and Toby Stephens as William Gordon submit passable performances but are given so little to work with as far as meaningful dialogue that they have little opportunity to distinguish themselves (with Toby Stephens benefiting slightly by a small speech during the trail at the end). Which leads me to another gripe I – as an International/English-speaking viewer – had, the wholly unnecessary and intrusive Hindi narration by I believe it was Om Puri. Throughout the film, the tail end of all English-language scenes were concluded with the annoying narration of Om Puri explaining in Hindi (naturally for large portions of the Indian population) all that we had just heard and witnessed. The repetitive nature of this narration was a nuisance and was one of many components that kept me from find this film to be an engaging experience. The worst example of which occurs at the end of Toby Stephen’s speech mentioned above.

The female characters in the film are a total waste. The opening portion of the film seems to establish one of the British women as a key supporting character only to have her completely disappear from the rest of the film. A couple of other women characters are curiously introduced (along with one line of rather tasteless commentary – delivered by the Indian fan-waving servant - that seemed out of place for a film like this) and then completely disposed of only to appear at a key moment later in the film as “tools” to resolve a point of plot (which easily could have been handled in another manner with a good scriptwriter). William Gordon’s love interest played by Amisha Patel is entirely useless to the film and the character should have been written out entirely. To make matters worse, Amisha Patel’s performance in the role was awful. I think this was the role Aishwarya Rai eventually turned down. I remember thinking – for a variety of reasons - very little of her when I read she turned down the part (I thought she was too full of herself), but seeing the role I don’t blame her one bit and she should be commended for passing on it. And how about giving me a different angle on the British soldier/India woman romance besides “suttee” (sp?), didn’t we already see that in Pierce Brosnan’s “The Deceivers” and even the old “Highlander” TV-show. Mangal Pandey’s love interest played by Rani Mukherjee fares better but only as a result of being compared to Amish Patel. The relationship between Mangal Pandey and Rani Mukherjee’s dancing girl is also surface at best and could easily have been disposed of to have the script focus more on the two lead males and the backstory and politics of the rebellion itself. Okay, it is a Bollywood film – not only Bollywood I suppose – so you need some romance, so why not go with the staple love triangle between Aamir Khan, Toby Stephens, and Rani Mukherjee. This way perhaps you could have included more scenes of character development and given more plausible reason in the script for the men to run into each other thereby better establishing the friendship/conflict/culture clash between the two. As it is Aamir Khan saves Toby Stephens, Toby Stephens save Aamir Khan, and so on and so forth but the relationship is given little of the depth needed to make me care about the characters. There should have been more time allotted to scenes of Aamir Khan and Toby Stephens discussing how each man felt in their respective situations.

Also, in a small way, I had a tough time buying into the view of Mangal Pandey as a heroic figure when he – and the other Indian troops - came across too me more as confused British lapdog’s than anything else; their decision to revolt more a result of personal insults to their religion than any greater sense of moral/ethical obligation to their countrymen or an “enlightenment” in regards to their “negative” roles in relation to the political and social movement at the time. The Sepoy Rebellion was far more complicated than portrayed in this film. At the end you are given a brief glimpse of the Indian Kings/Queens who wished to rise against the English; they should have been more incorporated into the entire film instead of just towards the end. Actually, the film should have not only included them in the end but it should have opened too with them, and shortly after introduce our two main characters as pawns or a microcosm against which these grander, more epic events played out. Unfortunately, the final product lacks this sort of epic scope and grandeur; the aimless scripting in the first 1.5 hours only giving snapshot time to establishing the events which occur over the last 1 hour. There should have been greater screen time to examining the political/social climate which led to the rebellion. And if the film was slated to be a more simple entertainer for the masses, then well……..it should have been more fun and entertaining.

Looking back, the only character that really stood out for me was the other Indian Sepoy “commander” who, along with Mangal Pandey, stirs the rebellion shortly after the intermission point in the film. I don’t recall the character’s full name but his last name was Khan (I don’t recall the actor’s name but I have seen him in supporting roles in other Indian films, I think his name begins with an “A”). I thought he had tremendous screen presence in his role and really overshadowed Aamir Khan in scenes they shared together.

Let’s see……what else went wrong. I’ve read some reviews that mention “spectacular” battle scenes and songs; these weren’t in the version I saw. Besides the “Mangal Mangal” song which appears at both the beginning and towards the end, the music did little to distinguish itself from other Bollywood fare (though thankfully it wasn’t of the MTV-style that is too common now). The on-screen visualization of the song shown in the trailer in certainly a nice watch but the music did little. I did really enjoy the “Holi” song and dance number which popped up in the post-intermission segment but still it was rather routine by Bollywood standards. Also, the musical numbers felt even more tacked on than the usual Bollywood fare. Whereas in “Lagaan” and “Bhagat Singh”, the songs generally speaking enhanced the narrative, here except for the “Mangal Mangal” number they could easily be cut without notice.

As far as the “battle” scenes, there really weren’t any of note. Whatever there was were more action scenes than truly epic battle scenes. These “action/suspense” scenes centering on the flowering of the rebellion and the rebellion itself – perhaps four scenes or so in the second half were without a doubt the highlight of the film. However, the filmmakers do err – albeit just for a flash of a moment - in the last fight scene. When Mangal Pandey and William Gordon are swordfighting, they show the remainder of the Sepoy troops running over to witness the sword fight only to veer off – as would a herd of animals – in another direction to oppose the oncoming British troops; these brief shots came off almost farcical and I nearly laughed at its comic appeal (not the intention of the filmmakers at all).

Visually, the film was rather routine far except for a handful of long shots that showed assorted troops marching or troops in formation at the parade ground, and of course some grand shots of the action scenes. Unfortunately, even the handful of very praiseworthy action/suspense scenes in the second half were not enough to turn around my opinion on this film. I can’t think of any single (let’s say as long as ten minutes) portion of the film where it managed to truly and continuously distinguish itself. Replay value for this film for me will be little as a result. The action/suspense scenes were good but I’d guess (this is only a guess so I could be wrong) even the longest of them was more in the seven-eight minute range and was followed by a drop off again in what followed. The final hanging scene is a lower grade play off the end of “Braveheart” and the after-the-fact charge of the Indian people towards the hanging platform and later glimpse of the warrior version of Rani Mukherjee were ill-conceived. Also, unlike some other films, the decision here to show a portion of the end of the film (the hanging sequence of Mangal Pandey) at the beginning was ineffective and it would have been better not to spell out so clearly the character’s fate in the beginning (not to mention the teaser trailer which kind of ruins the end of the film (even though you are given a good idea of the Mangal Pandey’s fate from the opening)).

Given all that went into the film and the potential of the subject matter, the filmmakers seemed to do as little as they possibly could with this effort. The closing narration of the film gives a glimpse at the potential for a more epic story in the vein of “Braveheart” but it was not capitalized upon. And even the closing narration went on too long as it tried to forcefully string along a connection between the Sepoy Rebellion and India’s 90-years later independence (via the over-credited efforts of Mahatma Gandhi (Bhagat Singh Zindabad!!!!!!! – I sure hope I used the correct Hindi word)).

Perhaps due to my great expectations for "The Rising", my comments above are a little more ornery than the film deserved. But as of right this moment, I’m sad to say that Rock Hudson’s “Bengal Brigade” from the 1950’s (and Hollywood at that) is still a more entertaining presentation of the Sepoy Rebellion (if memories of the film which I last saw years ago still hold true). “The Rising” was an unengaging experience; it should not be given any consideration for Oscar submission as “Swapner Din” and if you had to force me hand even “Black” are more deserving candidates. I even enjoyed the Telugu films mentioned earlier more than “The Rising”. Aamir Khan should just go back to cranking out films on a regular basis like every other Bollywood star as his chance for something greater seems to have passed with the disappointment of “The Rising”.
flixtime is offline  
Old 09-21-05, 05:48 PM
  #74  
DVD Talk Gold Edition
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 2,738
Hmmm, roughly 600 views on this thread since my last post, I'm glad some of you out there are finding this of at least some minimal interest, so I'll keep at it (wish I could have been more timely and thereby insightful in my comments but what can you do):

Bunty Aur Babli – in another not so great year, this might end up being my favorite Bollywood film of the year. While there wasn’t anything particularly unique about it, I found it to be very enjoyable light entertainment. It certainly sprouted from the seed of the American film “Catch Me If You Can” but it did do more than enough to distinguish itself from those origins. It wasn’t better than “Main Madhuri Dixit Banna Chahti Hoon” (which I loved) or even “Munna Bhai M.B.B.S.”, but, and this might seem an oxymoron, it was very refreshing as a return to good, old-fashioned Bollywood cinema. Looking at the big picture, instead of being a genuine highlight of the year, “Bunty Aur Babli” should be the minimum standard to which all Bollywood films strive to achieve. The song and dance was strong. The film was visually pleasing. Abhishek Bachchan and Rani Mukherjee were very likeable. Actually Bachchan Sr. might have been the weakest thing about the film as his performance was too over the top. Still, I’d be open to re-watching this one sooner rather than later down the road.

Sarkar – Ram Gopal Varma back in the Director’s chair for his homage to “The Godfather”. Again starring both Bachchan Sr. & Jr. They turned in nice enough performances. This one was only a couple of hours long and didn’t have any song & dance. I enjoyed and would – while not calling it “must see” - readily recommend it. It is more of a small-scale, less epic, B-movie version of “The Godfather” but with that in mind – and perhaps as its goal – I’d say the film was a success.

Dus – this was going to be the subject of one of my long rants about how Bollywood makes awful films on far too regular a basis but then my ire found a new target in the HK film “Initial D”, so I’ll spare the dissection. Bollywood can’t make action films. Just when I was really starting to like Junior Bachchan he turns up in this idiotic disgrace. I think he is best in roles where basically all he has to do is play himself (such as the above “Bunty Aur Babli”. “Dus” is one of the worst films I’ve seen this year – avoid at all costs.

Paheli – a romantic fantasy starring Shahrukh Khan and Rani Mukherjee. While it had a lot of nice work going on visually with the clothing, sets, architecture, and natural scenery, I can’t say too much nice about anything else. Shahrukh Khan and Rani Mukherjee turned in very poor performances with Shahrukh at his most annoying and unlikable delivering the same old Shahrukh shtick. On a side note, it is a darned shame to see that the very amusing and likeable Rajpal Yadav (so endearing in his prominent role in “Main Madhuri Dixit Banna Chahti Hoon”), has been – it seems – reduced to being the new Johnny Lever aka the stock comic relief character for all Bollywood cinema. I think he is capable of so much more if only given the opportunity. I’d love to see a series of comedy films featuring both him and Vijay Raaz. Despite not being a good film, I might still actually mildly suggest giving “Paheli” a look for the visuals.

Parineeta – another entry in the romantic triangle genre that seems to be – like Devdas – a remake of at least one, if not more, earlier (and if I were a betting man I’d say “better”) version of the same story. Like “Paheli” it was impressive visually, in this case by its recreation of 1960’s Calcutta (not that I was there so I suppose I don’t really know, but it seemed convincing). It held my interest for about 45 minutes and then it just didn’t develop and I completely lost any interest in the outcome. I didn’t find the main lead characters as played by Saif Ali Khan and Vidya Balan appealing at all; I just didn’t care what happened to them. The film left me rather cold and detached. The screenplay came up well short and what was there could have been delivered better. By the end, I was struggling to stay with things and just hoping the senselessness would come to a quick end. Plus looking back on the opening scene, specifically the interaction between Saif Ali Khan and Vidya Balan, it just seemed like a big cheat on the viewer – an intentionally false representation of the situation.

Dhoom – picked this 2004 “Fast and the Furious” with bikes wannabe up when I found nothing else of interest. My thoughts are kind of strange in that it really wasn’t good in any way but the whole thing was rather innocuous, relatively breezy, and I did find some charm in the leads as played by Abhishek Bachchan, Uday Chopra, and John Abraham. Again, Bollywood cannot do action scenes. I could deliver a greater sense of speed and suspense by shooting a one toddler tricycle race than what is on display here. The film was a blend of “The Fast and the Furious” with a later small dash of maybe something like “Ocean’s Eleven”. Maybe the film caught me at the right time when my brain needed a vacation so that helped my enjoyment (it was certainly more entertaining, damned with faint praise as it may be, than Hong Kong’s awful “Initial D”). “Paheli” and “Parineeta” while containing a greater, though rather limited, amount of praiseworthy filmmaking were ultimately less enjoyable than the check your brain at the door “Dhoom”. So I’d actually give “Dhoom” a sort of backhanded, I’m-not-so-sure-why mini-thumbs up. Maybe it was just that I found the leads likeable. I understand a sequel is planned which is fine as I would likely check it out on a slow night.

To re-cap, “Bunty Aur Babli” and “Sarkar” come well-recommend and will end up - in yet another poor year - in my year-end top 10. The rest are disposable especially “Dus”.
flixtime is offline  
Old 09-26-05, 07:48 PM
  #75  
DVD Talk Gold Edition
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 2,738
And India's Oscar submission this year is:

Originally Posted by flixtime
Paheli – a romantic fantasy starring Shahrukh Khan and Rani Mukherjee. While it had a lot of nice work going on visually with the clothing, sets, architecture, and natural scenery, I can’t say too much nice about anything else. Shahrukh Khan and Rani Mukherjee turned in very poor performances with Shahrukh at his most annoying and unlikable delivering the same old Shahrukh shtick. On a side note, it is a darned shame to see that the very amusing and likeable Rajpal Yadav (so endearing in his prominent role in “Main Madhuri Dixit Banna Chahti Hoon”), has been – it seems – reduced to being the new Johnny Lever aka the stock comic relief character for all Bollywood cinema. I think he is capable of so much more if only given the opportunity. I’d love to see a series of comedy films featuring both him and Vijay Raaz. Despite not being a good film, I might still actually mildly suggest giving “Paheli” a look for the visuals.
The other films considered for the nomination were:
Mangal Pandey
Veer-Zaara
Iqbal
Swades
Parineeta
Page 3
Black
Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi
Sachein (Tamil)
Anniyan (Telugu)
Uttarayan (Marathi)
Achuvante Anna (Malayalam)
Graham (Telugu)
Kadal (Tamil)

On the bright side of things, "Paheli" is better - not at all a difficult thing to achieve - than last year's nominee "Shwaas". However, there is no way in hell that it deserves a nomination to the final five "Best Foreign Film" category.. I don't know if it was eligible for this year or last, but Director Buddhadeb Dasgupta's Bengali-language "Swapner Din" aka "Chased by Dreams" got shafted in either year (royally so if it was eligible for this year (at least based on the ones I've seen from the above list)).
flixtime is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.