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Aaja Nachle (2007)
Best film of the year--sure to be a smashation!
2007 has been dry, but finally, we have been delivered. Aaja Nachle is full of elements Bollywood has been missing for some time and is in SORE NEED of. Namely:
1a) Dance numbers. That is to say, numbers focused on DANCING, rather than someone's flashy Western outfit, locations, batman angles, etc. 1b) LOTS OF dance numbers. I'm sick of scanty three-song phoned-in craptations. Aaja Nachle keeps the music coming all the time! That's the way it should be done.
2) Classical infusion. The end of the film is a knockout surprise in this respect. I don't want to spoil anything, but there is so much here for those who love the ancient stories as well as the new.
3) Hot dudes. OH MY GOD, Kunal Kapoor!
4) MADHURI. Looking spectacular, so charming, totally in control of her performance and giving it her all. Her hips are the world's 9th wonder.
5) Great young leading ladies i.e. Konkona Sen Sharma. She is the best actress to have come out in the last couple of years and the girl is here to stay! Sonam Kapoor? pfft! Katrina Kaif? pfft squared!
The story is simple but busy, with dramatic moments that touch deeply and comedic moments that have the audience rollicking. There isn't a single minute that drags; this film is not only well written and well acted, but well paced (a dear rarity in Bollywood). In short, it is here to bring Bollywood back to where it belongs! An unmitigated success from the inimitable Madhuri. I'm going to see it again this week, then I'm going to buy the DVD--ORIGINAL! Not that anyone needs to be reminded, but you must see this film!
Chak De! India (2007)
This movie is 1000% formulaic, but the formula works perfectly! The girls are super cute, fresh, spunky, and--what I haven't seen in a long time--exhibit all different kinds of Indian 'looks' (as opposed to every single one of them looking like Kareena with their hair and skin bleached). These girls have a really natural charm, and actually represent their states. I don't know when the last time was I saw a girl on the screen who actually looked South Indian. Great acting all around, lots of chemistry between the characters, and SRK is the perfect actor to play a stern-yet-sensitive leader who gives ridiculous pep talks. This role plays to his strength and avoids his weaknesses (the vibrating crying face is down to a minimum). If you want to see a really fun, energetic, rah-rah-India film, this one's paisa vasool for sure. The only thing is that it represents the Indian public as really nasty and disloyal to its athletes. I'm not sure if that's realistic, but it's kind of an unpleasant part of the film. The girl who plays Komal Chauta is beyond cute! I would love to see more foul-talking, short-haired baby faces on the Indian screen.
Neal 'N' Nikki (2005)
NnN is quite possibly the world's worst film--and also the funniest. The only thing better than a good film is one so bad it falls right over the other side into greatness. I enjoyed every painful, awkward, un-self-conscious, enthusiastic, ridiculous, out-of-touch SECOND of Neal n Nikki. My friends and I have had a Neal n Nikki Nite three times already. If you want to be TRULY entertained, please see this film. Also, for such a stinker, it has a great soundtrack.. The bad songs are enthusiastic and cheesy so you can't get them out of your head and end up really enjoying singing them (Neal n Nikki; Amanda; I'm in Love), and some are just genuinely good (A pretty girl from Bhatinda; Hallare; Anakh Lariye). This film is a gem.