This is the story of Romeo. A dude who was living the life. He had the works - the mansion to live in, the chicks to party with and the cars to be driven around in. Until one day, the ... See full summary »
This is the story of Romeo. A dude who was living the life. He had the works - the mansion to live in, the chicks to party with and the cars to be driven around in. Until one day, the family he was the favorite pet of, decided to move and left him back, abandoned on the mean streets of Mumbai. Romeo is now faced with situations he has never been in before. He encounters four strays, who scare the daylights out of him. But soon, he smooth talks his way into their hearts and he makes friends. Then, Romeo finds love! He encounters the beautiful, ravishing Laila, the most beautiful girl he has ever seen - and he loses his heart to her at first sight. Finally, he encounters a villain! The dreaded Don of the area - Charlie Anna. The Don who everyone is scared of. So hop on to the adventure as Romeo, wins friendship, love and a new life - inspite of Charlie Anna and his gang! Watch how Romeo turns into - Roadside Romeo! This Diwali - Get ready for a barking good time!! Written by
Am I the only non-Indian teenage boy who actually enjoyed this film? If not, that's fine with me. That's right, I watched Roadside Romeo (a wordplay on an Indian term for 'flirt') on DVD with English subtitles and liked it. It's probably the 2nd in a full line-up of movies about dogs from October 2008 to February 2009 (Chihuahua, Romeo, Bolt, Marley, Hotel and Vomit). Sure it may be campy at some parts, but hey, this is India's first well-animated film, so I'll cut them some slack. This film is kinda like a CGI Bollywood version of Lady and the Tramp meets All Dogs Go To Heaven, but there's nothing wrong with that. You'll need to watch some Bollywood films in order to understand the film itself. Myself, I haven't even watched any ordinary Bollywood film, but I've watched some clips and heard of Yash Raj's other hits, so I understand.
Ever since the giant Hindi studio Yash Raj Films included a clip from 'Cars' in 'Dhoom 2' and used the Disney Store and a song provided by Disney (non-pop) in Ta Ra Rum Pum, Disney had decided to join forces with the studio to create Roadside Romeo. Before the film was developed, Indian animation looked pretty cheesy. But Tata Elxsi, a VFX studio responsible for doing VFX for plenty of Bollywood films and two of Marvel's films, did a pretty impressive job on making it almost Pixar quality. (I've heard in the commentary that someone from Pixar came over to visit the creators and teach them how to do fur)
Anyway, the film is about a spoiled, cute-looking, rich dog dude named Romeo (Saif Ali Khan) who gets abandoned on the streets of Mumbai, where he gets bullied and then befriended by a pack of strays with unique personalities. Guru is the leader of the pack. His name speaks everything about him. Hero English is a dog with a funny hairstyle, buckteeth and a bow-tie who wishes to actually speak full English, though a lot of the characters speak broken English and Hindi at the same time. His eyes and his buckteeth might make you think of Sid the Sloth from Ice Age. Interval is a big fan of YRF who copies many lines of the actors who have starred in their films. Mini is, believe it or not, a pretty aggressive alley cat, just about the only one in the movie, who thinks she is a stray dog and refuses to disbelieve it. Oh, and there's also a mouse who is kind of the Jerry type when it comes to enemies.
Together, Romeo and the strays start a salon after Romeo shows his haircutting skills just so they can get some business. One night, Romeo falls in love with a pretty female pooch named Laila (Kareena Kapoor) after hearing her sing and watching her dance. The next day, Romeo meets a ferocious, disgusting, big-lipped bulldog with a bit of an accent named Charlie Anna (Jaaved Jaffery), his sidekick Chhainu, who gets beaten up all the time and looks like Wile E. Coyote's long lost father, and his female ninja dogs, Charlie's Angels. Which set of girls do the Angels parody? Well, duh! Romeo and Charlie rival over Laila, much to the dismay of Romeo's friends. Who will win? Everyone knows the answer...
I've listened to one of the songs from the film everyday surprisingly. They're just so catchy! My most favourite song has to be "Choo Le Na". The songs are better than the cheap pop songs Disney has to spew out today! ;) A few song sequences in this movie act like Indian music videos. You might see a character appearing in some random place while singing and dancing. The biggest example is in "Cool Cool".
The creators acted quite like Pixar when doing this movie. Not only did they do impressive animation/motion capture inspired by that of Ratatouille, they also released teaser trailers without actual footage one year before the film was released. In the film itself, they managed to slip in some in-jokes of the Pixar tradition, including the name "Tata", some posters of other Yash Raj films, photographs of YRF's actors/actresses and some Mickey Mouse references. Heck. they even added some bloopers in the credits! If only Pixar used them more often... Maybe on their DVDs.
Though it ain't the best animated film of 2008, Roadside Romeo has plenty of charm and feel, including some tension, beautiful romantic moments (especially , and clever humour. It does have gross-out humour including flatulence, but there's one bit of it that actually made me laugh. At Charlie is the most appropriate victim! My big problem with the film was - did Yash Raj care about the audience of theirs that loves Disney and is not familiar with Bollywood? Still, there are some parts that kids would enjoy (Hindu kids, even), such as the little mouse's moments and the Looney Tunes style gags. But not all of it is kiddy. Poor Romeo gets strangled several times, for instance. Kids might not even be interested, to tell you the truth. :rolleyes: And yes, Indian cinema still has intermissions. I highly recommend this film if you're a freak for animation, Bollywood, dogs or anthropomorphic animals.
7 of 9 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?