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Masti (2004)
certainly the biryani in a menu of daals....
19 June 2004
Masti – a movie that surpassed all my expectations and went on to become one of my most enjoyed movies this year. Going in to watch this movie I had all the reservations – no actors that I really did like; a director that I had written off since his Ishq days; songs that I had not heard of; and the expectation that bollywood cannot do comedy humour for the British audience. How wrong was I going to be proven!!!

The comedy was spot on as were the apparent and intended lines and joke – this movie seriously did take the comedy to a crude new level not seen in bollywood. One would have to say that this movie did indeed take one step further for bollywood as American Pie did for Hollywood. The songs certainly did grow on me, especially the 'seyya ji' item number – the others are just as tappy (except the 'one the roof' – well all can't be perfect!!!). The next surprise was that this great movie was from none other than Indra Kumar – someone I had written off since his movie ISHQ over a decade ago. The director had to be good, talented and experienced to have this great comedic timing as well as being able to juggle all the actors. Finally, the actors were good and have to say that I am beginnings to like Vivek and certainly beginning to adore Amrita Rao – this girl is hot and one to watch out for.

Having seen this movie I will have to say that I will defiantly be open to the idea that bollywood can do comedy, but will be more excited about Indra Kumars next venture. One movie that I will certainly recommend that you watch, and if you have already watched it I will recommend that you go and watch it again.
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Hum Tum (2004)
a time pass yash banner movie until yash's actual movie
19 June 2004
It's difficult to say that it's not an excellent movie but it's also difficult to say that it's a crap movie. It's a movie that when you are watching it seems great, but upon reflection seems that there is something missing. It might be a Yash Chopra banner movie, but it is no Yash Chopra movie.

The polishing touches are what you would expect from this banner such as locations, actors, acting, directing and polishing are all there. The spot locations are great – from Delhi to Amsterdam to New York to Paris and back to Delhi. Credit has to be given to the director (Kunal Kohli) for making one feel that the characters do actually live in these cities and does not merely try to highlight the touristy attractions as others would do. The songs are good but not terrific – the best has to be the Rishi Rich item. The best thing about the movie has to be the actors and their acting. Top marks have to go to Kiren Kher – wow this women is wonderful as is her apparent command of Punjabi – her lines had me in stitches (such as: 'meh the tehnu poncha dita see the tu ne kameez pher li' or the best one being 'ooh dekh becha sadak the pooti ker dah pyai'). Rani was wow, great, stunning, wonderful, etc.. what can be said about this actress that is not already apparent. Saif, well I initially had my reservations about him, but it seems that he cant do anything wrong since Dil Chata Hai, and this movie is no exception.

At its core it has great actors and performance, good songs, nice story but it did not have the extra bit to make it a great movie. Go rent it or watch it at the cinema, but don't invest in buying it – save it for Yashji's actual movie.
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a choreographed action romantic movie
3 May 2004
The must see and anticipated box office blazer for 2004. Both the statements are correct: being Farah Khans first movie one would wonder what kind of director she would be and what her filmi style would be; also there being no entertaining movie so far in 2004 it would be correct to say that yes it was an anticipated movie. However, the one point missed out was that the movie was not necessarily amazing.

On the positive, Farah Khan has done an adequate job as a first time director. Her visualisation is very modern and novel and the movie on a whole is very picturesque. As expected the choreography and settings for the songs are excellent - the music on the whole has grown on me over time with the qawali being my favourite. Story wise, there were many different sub-plots going on and it helped to keep the viewers attention focused on the movie. The acting as expected was excellent from the King Khan. Sushmita Sen was excellent as well as stunning in her new look of saris (no doubt inspired by Yash Chopra style). Amrita Roa was the hidden gem in this movie, she has both natural beauty as well as presence and she looks promising. The less said about Zayed Khan the better. The support cast were also excellent and all churning out very good acting be it Kiren Kher, or Bindu, or Naseerudin Shah or Kabir Bedi. My best scene has to be the last song in the movie that gets doubled as a credit song - the first one I think in a bollywood movie.

However on the negative side, the movie lacked the final polish to it. All the ingredients were there but the final pizzazz was missing - maybe Farah should have got the Chopras or Johars to help in the editing. Additionally there was too much masala mix in the story and it would have nice to cut some of these out and pay more concentration to the main storyline. Also Sushmita was not used to her full potential and was really there for eye candy. Finally Farahs directorial style is neither unique or original, in fact it is borrowed/copied from others: she has taken the modernised look from the Johars, the glamour from the Chopras, the action from John Woo (down to the Mission Impossible music and the flying doves) and Wachowski brothers (where SRK does a Neo inspired flying dive into Sunil Shetty as well as the slow motion actions).

Having said all that it is an entertaining movie and the message at the end of the movie is inspiring and very with the times and its good to see a movie that is neutral to the indo-pak issue. No doubt Farah is a director to watch out for in the future and should she direct a movie for the Johar / Chopra banner then that will be a must see and anticipated box office blazer of a movie.
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Pinjar (2003)
a modern day classical art epic
19 April 2004
wow wow wow wow wow

This unquestionable loss of words is what I felt like when I saw Pinjar. Going in not expecting anything from the movie was a good way to stay objective, but having watched it, it really makes you think of all the suffering and torment that went on during partition. Being born and brought up in the west, one tends to forget the pain and the struggle that our forefathers and mothers must have gone through. I would have to quote this as one of the most serious art movie that bollywood has made in some time. Although in my view an art movie, it managed to churn out wonderful cinematography, narration, characters and pace. Before this movie I was very dismissive of Urmila and this had made me change my view on her acting capabilities.

A definite movie to watch on a Sunday afternoon with a nice cup of chai.
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Mehndi (2003– )
the true colours of life
6 December 2003
Being a virgin to Pakistani mini serial plays, I was a bit reluctant to watch any mini serial. But there were three factors that attracted me to Mehndi: (1), was the title song by Jawad Ahmed, (2) one of the actresses in the play - who I later found out was Amina Haq, (3) I was just recovering from a viral infection and was confined to bed rest for 3 days - so had nothing better to do.

What I did notice was:

The quality: the production and direction quality was remarkably professional and advanced. I would have expected it to be very tacky and grimy. But I was somewhat surprised.

The acting: never being interested in Pakistani plays or actors, I never realised that they would have very talented professionals in the industry. What really struck out as to how attractive yet professional allot of the characters were. The two that really stuck out were Hamayon Saeed and Amina Haq.

The story line: this is what really got me hooked and kept me hooked through all 14 hours of the serial. The characterisation of the story was amazing and attention to detail on aspects such as culture, attitudes, views, 'khandani' matters was amazing and so true to life. It was a case of, once I started watching it there was no stopping till I reached the end.

The story arc of the four sisters is very well depicted and assembled together with the overall story. At times the dialogues did get to me (and I got hold of the fast forward button on the remote) but on the whole it was greatly entertaining. It had it moments both comedy and sad, and I will have to say that for the very first time I became so emotionally attached to the characters that I had to get hold of the nearest Kleenex.

A thoroughly enjoyable roller coaster of a story and a very high expectation for all future serial plays that I may watch. I would highly recommend this to any watcher who is willing to be patient to sit through 14 hours, but will promise you an experience that you will definitely remember.
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Kal Ho Naa Ho (2003)
Live a every heartbeat (..and in every scene)
5 December 2003
Being one of the first person to watch Kal Ho Naa Ho in my group, I was constantly battered by the same questions: is it worth it? what would you compare it to? whats it about? etc.

To answer these and other questions:

Was it worth it: well depending on your perspective of what an entertaining movie should be like, then the answer would either be: 'yes definitely' or 'you will be mad to miss it'. It is so worth watching and with it Karan Johar has confirmed the he is indeed a milestone in Hindi Cinema history. The movie is definitely directed by a another (Nikhil Advani), but it is a Johar camp movie. With the Johar camp you associate a good story, good production, good songs and the 'King Khan'.

What would you compare it to? Well to be honest .nothing. It has the originality of `Kuch Kuch', the splendour of `K3G' and the freshness of `Dil Chaata Hai'; but it cannot be compared to any of these or other movies. It is in a league of its own. The story may start as the run-of-the-mill hindi-cinema story, but just when we begin to get comfortable with it, it takes a turn down another path. Don't get me wrong, it is not a complex story at all - but it is unique and compelling.

Would you watch it again? Well to be honest, I am writing this after having watched it a second time. What is so rare about this movie is that even the second time round I laughed at the jokes, tapped at the music and got emotional in the sad scenes.

What's it about? Well it will not be fair to tell you about it, as it's an experience you should have first hand. But it has its plus points: the comedy is great (both in the gujju digs as well as the 'kantabein' scenes); the music grows on you (maahi ve being the best); the guest appearances of 'charmed' actresses; the acting - excellent all round from SRK to Zinta to Saif to Jaya; along with good direction and production. It also has its negative points - but then so do other movies and I would rather not get into those.

It may not be the DDLJ or Lagaan of hindi cinema, but it's the best movie of the year and definitely a movie that will entertain me for years to come.
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Hungama (2003)
what a chaos (hungama)
14 October 2003
Hungama can easily be dubbed as India's answer to the 'Comedy of Errors'.

It works out really well when you do not expect a lot out of a movie and coming out thinking - yeah that was great. That is the case with this one. The cast were not all that appealing and the songs were passable - so when I actually got to watch the movie it made me sit up and realize that maybe bollywood could do comedy and did indeed have a sense of timing and humor.

The confusion or chaos revolves the name Anjali - it is the name of a prominent businessmans (Paresh Rawal) wife and also the name of a girl on the run from her past trying to make it in Mumbai (Rimi Sen). There are then a handful of characters that cross their paths and it inadvertently causes a lot of confusion. There is not enough space here to go into them, so its better to go and watch the movie.

On the acting side the show stealer is Paresh Rawal. He is excellent in this movie - it will have to be said that he is on par if not better then Johnny Lever nowadays, if not better. The two main leads Akshaye and Aftab also were terrific with a good change to see the later doing some good acting. Rimi Sen is good and fits into the story well. The rest of the support cast (and there are plenty of them) are well balanced and compliment the story well.

The two backbone characteristics of the movie namely the script and music would have my mixed views. The story is excellent. But the music left something to be desired.

Overall its one of those movies you would watch when you just want to have fun.
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Baghban (2003)
an old story comes a time when it really has to be retold
13 October 2003
Baghban - the first curiosity came with what the name rely meant. And the second curiosity was that could Hema still look so stunning!! The second one was yes she can!!! And as for the first one it came after watching the movie. I understood why its meant to mean the caretaker or Guardian. The movie is trying make a metaphoric relationship between an individual and their family and comparing it to a garden. Your family are like a garden, you have to slave over it and look after it for it to flourish and thrive, and any neglect will result in a weeded unattractive piece of earth. But the relationship that one has with their garden is very interactive - the gardener will put all their effort in trying to get a thriving garden and in turn the garden will reward the gardener with a sense of achievement, and fruits of labour.

This is the topic that Baghban is tackling - family life, and more specifically the life of the elderly. All their lives, our parents thrive the give us the best, to ensure all our wishes and dreams are achieved, to ensure that our lives are given more priority over theirs. But in this modern world what is excepted in return? Maybe the saying is true - nothing is free is this world - not even the love from your parents. Can we say that there is an expectation from our parents that we should look after them in their old age? Is it a sense of duty? NO - it is essence of humanity and gratitude that we should foster and love those that have loved us - and should not be obliged to do so but cause we want to do so. If we look around us there are so many children that have been abandoned, abused or neglected - so we should be grateful that we are not one of them and its are parents that are responsible for it.

The essence of this story has been integrated into Baghban with Amitabh and Hema being the head of the household. Both churning out wonderful performances. It was great to see Hema after such a long time and looking still fab as memory recollects from the 70's. Amitabh delivered a wonderful performance as a hurt, angry and confined old man, and its good to see such roles being written for him. The pair together brought a sense of love and comfort not seen onscreen for quite some time. Their four sons and their families give out appropriate performances and help to pull the movie along. Also the guest appearances are good and adequate. The show stealer has to be Paresh Rawal. Indirectly or intentionally the guest appearances and Paresh characters iterate the fact that friends you can choose, but family you can't - and in times of need it is your friends that stand by you and not your family.

The story has been told many a times before but maybe because it is made now at a time when such a message has to be iterated again, or it was the combination of direction and acting that made this a memorable experience. The movie has its down points, but they are thin and varied and can be expected when tacking such a subject in a such a short time. In all it is not a good movie, it's a great movie, but remember take your box of Kleenex with you.
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Saathiya (2002)
all round pleaser
28 August 2003
With Mani Rathnam and A R Rehman linked to a project, one cannot be in to much doubt that if nothing else the music is going to be mind blowing.

But that was not the case with Saathiya. It not only had mind-blowing music and score it was one of the best movies of 2002.

The music and the respective picturisations are excellent, especially in the case of the title song ‘Saathiya'. My other favorite song is the tongue in cheek song ‘Choori pe Choori'. However all the other songs are very pleasurable as well. The main question was how would first time director Shaad Ali perform on this story, that would be a remake of Mani Rathnam South-Indian movie be as good as the original? Would he produce an art movie piece as his father (Muzaffar Ali) has done with movies like Umrao Jaan, or would he deliver a commercial piece? What one can be sure of is that Shaad has taken the craftsman of his fathers art movies and put them to commercial use, and delivered a movie that is unique, professional, modern and outstanding.

The acting is excellent as is the story line. Having liked Rani from Ghulam to K3G, is wonderful to see her finally taking the lead in a role that does her justice. Her realistic portrayal of Suhani, a modern genre women dealing with the trials and tribulations of married life is excellent. Having not seen anything of Viveks before, is was a surprise to see an actor of his young caliber holding such presence on screen, that it overshadowed SRK. It is evident that this actor will reach high strides in his coming career.

For a change this movie actually delivers a subconscious message, something not commonly done in bollywood movies. The message is ‘lifes to short, tell those around you how much they really mean to you'. Taking this to heart, I can truly say that I loved Saathiya.
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Dil Ka Rishta (2003)
Not worth a Rishta
28 August 2003
Dil ka Rishta will soon be a forgotten memory in Ashwaria career.

The concept of the story is a tried and tested formula guaranteed with some level of success. Unfortunately, it comes at a time when Indian audiences are expecting more from movie then a simple story being retold. They expect a new twist or angle or a new concept all together. This Dil ka Rishta does not deliver.

There is nothing new to the story that has already not been seen before: boy likes girl, she likes someone else and by coincidental twist of fate the boy is responsible for the girls future. The locations are all to common and the songs not that memorable.

It is an unfortunate fact that Ash, as good as she is has not delivered an entertaining movie since her Taal / Devdas days, and with only a few big banner projects for 2004, one wonders if she is still the reigning queen of bollywood?
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28 August 2003
The tag line for this movie should be `ET meets Forest Gump in Bollywood'

Director (and Papa) Rakesh Roshan has created a movie especially for son Hritik. The role has been specifically created to show is acting abilities and overlook is famed dancing abilities. Here Hritik Roshan plays the role of a mentally retarded boy and has done this extremely well. This role would be the only one since his debut that has truly been written with him in mind. and boy does he need a hit with this one now considering his last hit was KNPH

The other cast are pretty much on par with the storyline. Preity Zinta looks absolutely stunning throughout the film and is simply good to see. Her acting both serious and comedic is excellent and is well suited to Hritik. Rekha gives an adequate performance as Hritik's mum as does Rakesh as his father.

The other main cast member in this movie are the special effects - it can be seen that very soon ILM could very soon be opening a branch in India. The alien has been well created and generated. The space ship looks spectacular and is on par with movies such as Independence Day. The soundtrack is moderate and nothing to shout about.

Although a break though for hindi cinema, this movie could have done with a shorter time and less songs as well as more effects. Maybe one day in the near future, India will be creating movies on par with 'Lord of the Rings' or 'Matrix' (imagine Neo jumping into a song sequence.), but until then we will have to make do with Koi.Mil Geya.
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Devdas (I) (2002)
perfection can sometimes be too much
28 August 2003
When one saw the promos for this movie `most elaborate sets'… `most intricate costume design'… `most expensive Indian movie ever' it would make you think that you are truly about to witness a milestone in Bollywood history.

Unfortunately ones expectations are very different to what they see in reality.

Devdas was no doubt a movie that can indeed be called a milestone in Indian cinema, unfortunately not for the reasons it should have been. It may have been the most expensive and detailed movie ever; but it ignores the fact that a movie is all about entertainment and this Devdas unfortunately was not.

Depicted from the Bimal Roy movie of the same name, this Devdas was too full of glitz and glamour and each scene was too colorful and overdone. What Sanjay should have done was to stick to his HDDCS strategy whereby if the set was glitz then the characters were dressed in a simple manner and vice versa. In the case of Devdas both the sets and characters were so glitzy that they did not give each other the opportunity to stand out.

Looking beyond that, the story is well known and was excellently portrayed by the leads. Khan was excellent, as expected and would be the only actor that could do the role any justice. Ash proved that she can be stunning and act at the same time. Jackie was on par with Khan. Madhuri, hmm, this movie went on to show that she should not be forgotten or cast aside just yet.

Although an Ash fan myself, the funny thing is when I think of Devdas I automatically think of Madhuri, and how stunning she looked. This movie would definitely be a jewel in her acting portfolio. This was her movie as Paakeezah was Meena Kumari's and Umrao Jaan was Rekra's.

The story is well known and does not require any indulgence, but one should point out the excellent dialogues as well as the background music as well as mind-blowing choreography to Dolare.

One can hope that Sanjay does not overdo his next venture and then maybe the Oscars may beckon.
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traditional movie making in the new generation
28 August 2003
Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam was a movie of epic proportions, but cannot be classified as an epic. It was a movie that demonstrated that grandeur gestures are still very much alive in bollywood and went to show that stage designs could still outdo foreign locations and shots.

This was a coming of age movie for both Ashwaria Rai and Sanjay Leela Bhansali. For the former it proved that she had broken the mold of the fairy princess and that she could really act dramatically; and for the later it proved that Khamoshi was not a one time hit.

Sanjays vision is large and glitzy. This could be seen in all the scenes, be it the stage designs or the costumes adorned by the characters.

When one thinks of HDDCS one automatically thinks of a favorite image that captivated us, and in my case is of Ashwaria coming down the steps for the ‘Nimbora' dance number; or when she slides open the door in her red sari in the title song. Each scene is carefully created and appropriately decorated.

The story is simple, no added masala and it carefully balanced with catchy songs. The acting is excellent from all the leads (Ashwaria, Salman and Ajay) as well as the support cast.

It is evident that this movie sparked a liking of traditional movies in bollywood.
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Not iska Dewana
13 July 2003
Warning: Spoilers
***MILD SPOILERS*** I am always remember that a Rajshiri Production was something to always look forward ever since I was introduced to the Indian cinema by Maine Pyar Kiya. This banners movie though not as polished as the Chopra's or Ghais's movies, they were very family orientated, well developed, had a good blend of comedy to serious moments and delivered good performances from actors.

However it seems that this time around Rajshiri, specifically Sooraj Barjatya has decided to break their tried-and-tested formula and go for a more modern movie. In doing so he has given us a movie that is unrealistic, far too long, not properly developed and annoying to watch.

Something that we had come to expect from this banner was the availability of pure family entertainment movies, but it seems that the director really wanted to go ultra modern in this flick and push the boundaries even further then other movies. First up there is the unnecessary under dressing of Kareena and friends (hey I do not mind seeing it, but what conservative Indian parent is going to let the daughter wear tank tops, strapless & backless tops and mini skirts?); then there is openness to talk about sex; it also seems family culture is thrown out the window (like any parents will let their daughter stay out till 2/3 am with a stranger); and finally there is the onscreen kissing (not that interesting when you watching it with elders!!)

Carrying on with the annoying bits, there are so many - where does one being: what is the deal with the animation? Was it really needed? The parrot was so annoying and not really needed. To make matters worse for the parrot, the subtitles (that were being provided in the UK) were so off the mark, an example, because the parrot quotes Indian movie titles he said 'Raja Hindustani' and the subtitle said 'Mr Wonderful' ? Moving on , then there is the dog Mr Johnny, again a reincarnation of the dog actions from 'The Mask'. One final annoying bit was that Sarooj decided to dump Alok Nath from this movie - he would have really suited the role of the father.

Drawing to the boundaries of idiocy, was the wonderful town that the characters lives in. It is meant to be a small village/town but it seems to boast a modern airport, infrastructure and hang outs of a city. In trying to develop modern characters it seems that director has created a town that is something found in a fiction novel. It would have to be considering that it has quick access to: mountains for skiing, ocean for deep sea diving, mountains for climbing, rivers for river rafting, long white sand beaches and ability for bungee jumping! Wow!!

Starting on the movie. It's a love story triangle with a new twist? Well not really, its same formula for two guys who have admiration for one another falling for the same girl. The Girl in question is Sanjana (Kareena Kapoor). She is meant to be modern, feisty strong headed girl who lives in a small town in India. Her parents are looking for a suitable match for their daughter, with the typical requirements of being rich, rich and rich. Sanjanas sister living in the US informs them that a well respected and rich boy who she has dealings with is coming to their town and he is interested in seeing Sanjana. Enter Hritik Roshan as Prem. Over a period of two weeks he manages to smitten the mum, dad, parrot, dog and friends. Also in this time he changes Sanjanas view from hating Prem to loving Prem. Then disaster strikes. It seems that this loving Prem was not the intended Prem. Enter Abishek as the intended Prem. Who just happens to be the boss of the loving Prem. Of course the loving Prem decides to abandon his love for his boss and runs away when he finds out that his boss also loves Sanjana. Ahhh. but don't worry all ends well as expected in Indian movies.

The cast and characterization would be described as mediocre at best. Karenna acting is what we have come to expect from her, the immortalization of Po from K3G. Her expressions are the same: her shocked look, her annoyed look and crying look. She really falls flat on her face when she has to act emotional. Then there is Hritik, who so wound me up with his acting that I would cringe every time he came on screen. His over the top acting reminded you of Salman Khans acting in Hum Aapke Hai Kaun, but at least it suited him then. It also seems that being so desperate for a hit, Hritik is desperate to draw on the female appeal by shedding his clothes for the first time in this movie. Finally there is Abishek. To be honest his character really grew on me and really thought he was good. It could be because placed next to the other two his was the only one that seemed good.

This movie would have been so much better if the right cast had been chosen. Sanjanas role had would have been better played by either Pretty Zinta or Rani Mukerjee. The love Prem would have been perfect with SRK and intended Prem with Aamir Khan. Then that would have been a movie worth watching.

I guess we can only hope that the next Rajshiri movie is worth waiting for.
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Nothing new to offer
12 July 2003
Mujhse Dosti Karoge (MDK) is a very polished, perfected and stylish movie that we have all come to expect and love from the Yash Chopra banner. But having watched the movie it became evident that though it was from the Yash Chopra banner, it was not a Yash Chopra movie.

Don't get me wrong here, it's a movie worth watching – great picturisation, good songs, nice clothes, foreign locations, a love triangle and a young & hip cast. BUT it is not much different from the other run-of-the-mill love stories, and nothing makes it standout from the crowd as a Yash Chopra venture would have.

The story is simple (but a little flawed at times) – three friends grow up in a small town in India, but Raj moves away to the UK with his parents. He sends regular emails to Tina, but unknowingly gets responses from Pooja. Through these responses he falls for the girl he thinks is Tina, but in reality is Pooja. When he finally realizes the truth, tragedy strikes and peoples morals are tried and tested and true love wins.

Rani looks fab. She is the embodiment of a sexy lady. She dresses very well, can relate to the character and acts very naturally. Kareena is all Kareena and what we have come to expect from her. She is very well suited to the crazy, bratty girl (remember Po from K3G) but falls flat on her face when it comes to emotional and challenging roles. Hrithik is good in the role and has done the role some justice. Support staffs are just part of the background. The songs are good and with the times, however the mixed medley is really good to see, we should definitely have more of them in movies to come.

Overall an entertaining movie, but definitely not a classic or a milestone in Indian cinema.
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A classic movie of the modern genre.
12 July 2003
This movie is extra special for me, it marked the end of studying and walk into the real world, and what made it even more touching was that I had just completed a degree in University of Strathclyde and a lot of the outdoor and songs were shot on the University campus and surrounding Scottish locations that I could relate to.

This was the starting point of glitzy, orchestrated and professional movies in the Indian cinema. Attention was paid to the smallest of details as well as being the first to: bring designer clothes brought into the movies, modern dressing was addressed, sets were realistic and well created and most importantly the characters were well developed – we knew where they were coming from, where they were and where they were going.

SRK and Kajol are the best pairing in modern day's hero's and look wonderful together. They have the kind of chemistry that really complements each other and they know how to hold themselves against each other. Rani looks good in her role. It is clear to see that she has great potential and will accomplish a lot in the years ahead. Anupam Kher, Farida Jalal and Johnny Lever are great in their roles and really well suited.

The story is well developed with a great direction and writing credits, it can be seen that Karan Johar will be a milestone in Indian Cinema. It is really excellent the way the story in split into two halves and after the intermission one gets the feeling that they have been transported into a different world from the one we just saw before the break. I shall not indulge into the story too much but its is not your run of the mill love story.

All I really have to say is that I saw this movie again recently after a few years and it still looks fresh and modern and it still makes me laugh and cry.
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could have done with a better title
11 July 2003
When you don't expect much from a movie and it makes you smile, laugh and gaze – then it can be said that it is a has been worth while.

What made me smile? Well it was really the whole concept of BH. English dialogue being spoke by Indians and them dancing to Indian songs. It was a reminder that 2002 was definitely the year off bollywood in the UK. I saw BH at the same time as seeing the West End production of Andrew Lloyd Webbers ‘Bombay Dreams' and they both made me sit up and look twice. Also the director has purposely ensured that it is a simple story line, easy to follow and easy to relate to. A plus point is that it is the length of an English movie rather than an Indian one (90 minutes compared to 240).

What made me laugh? Definitely the grandmother and her quotes. Dina Pathak definitely did a good job on this and was good to she her outside her Indian movies. The over the top mother was also very good, typical of some mothers.

No need to guess what made me gaze? Well it was Lisa Ray. This movie really made me look up and take notice of her. Her performance is good, though with some room for improvement. She looks really good in the song ‘Sona Sona'.

Overall, a good entertainment movie to watch on a night in.
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Taal (1999)
the loadest taal(beat) in ghais career
11 July 2003
a fresh feel, a fresh look, a fresh concept

Taal is a great movie. Great story, great performances, great songs and great look & feel. It should be the utopia of modern Indian cinema and it should represent what all movies should aspire to be like. This can be classed as one of the best, if not the best movie ever made by Subhash Ghai.

The cast is great, including the supporting cast. The star of the show is Ashwaria, whose portrayal of a simple village girl coming to terms with love, hurt and pressures of modern life is excellent. It was probably the role that helped her to shed her Barbie doll image and her acting was very natural, full of character and spot on. It was good to see the transformation from the first half where she is the small town girl, to the second half where she is a reputable icon. Akshaye was great in his role as Manav, a determined, strong headed, love bitten guy. Akshaye always gives sound performances and never lets you down as in this case. Anil Kapoor is fab in this role. His comedic side always hit the right note (best part being the rules of life!!). Alok Nath & Amrish Puri gave good performances and really do support the movie.

The story is simple, to the point and not extra bits added in. Manav sees Mansi and is smitten by her and slowly she develops feelings for him (through some fab songs like Taal and Ishq Bina) and then he goes back to the big city. She follows him and is cast aside by his family. Becoming more determined she pursues a sing job, becomes really good. Her career is helped by Vikrant who also has feelings for her and proposes to her. The climax helps to bring things together.

If one was to think of something bad to say about Taal, then they will be thinking for a long, long time.
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Mohabbatein (2000)
what it must fell like to fall in love
2 July 2003
A classic or a run of the mill bollywood love story?

Everyone will have their own opinion but I think it is stuck half way between. It could have been a great classic but lacked the final pizzazz to get it to such a status. Don't take that to mean that it is not a great movie, that it is, Aditya Chopra has definitely inherited the correct genes from his father and taken them a step further to bring to the audience a movie that is professional, artistic, well crafted and with a hint of modernisation. The story line was good, but made a bit to complicated for its own good – was it necessary to have so many love stories, this resulted in not much detail and characterisation being developed on the individual love stories. Also the school setting with the strict headmaster and made one wonder of this was meant to be a bollywood copy of ‘Dead Poets Society'.

The assemble cast is great together and its wonderful to see SRK and Mr Bachchan locking horns onscreen and the dialogues are great between them. Amitabh give a good performance as does SRK in his love stricken solemn role. Ashwaria brief role was all that – brief and would have been good to see her a bit more. The 6 love stuck teenagers gave good solid performances. The songs were fab as was the choreography. Sets, locations and finishing touches were as expected from the Yash Chopra banner.
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Lamhe (1991)
A break from tradition
2 July 2003
Lamhe. A great movie released in the wrong generation. It was a daring move for Yash Chopra to tackle a taboo topic such as this in a professional mainstream manner. This movie bombed at box office all too unjustly because the audience could not handle the subject matter - a love that ignores the boundaries of age. Does it not happen in real life?

The show stealer in Lamhe is no doubt Waheeda Rehman, who is on par as Dai Jee (nanny) and does a fab role and looks good reciting her yesteryear song in the medley section. Anil Kapoor give a sound performance about a man maturing with age and views, but still bearing the pain of the lost love. Sridevi is good in her double performance, though a fan of Sridevi - she was a bit shrieky in the younger role. Anupam Kher was excellent in his sidekick role and was a good break from time to time.

Yash Chopra did a good job on a whole on this movie, scenery and songs were good as expected from him. His tackling of the subject matter was brave and very professional and stopped the movie turning into a tacky melodramatic memory. It was a starting point for a generation of movies that would go beyond the boy meets girls and over comes issues and lives happily ever after.
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Chalte Chalte (2003)
happy endings don't always happen in real life
24 June 2003
What can I say about Chalte Chalte?

The cast was excellent as were their portrayal of the individual characters, with Rani shining out the most. She has come a long way from her days in Ghulam, and with her last few performances, she is sure to take the place that Kajol held. She looks classic, acts flawlessly in both emotional and comedic scenes and seems natural. SRK, what is there to say about him hat has not already been said - he is on par with his other performances.

The story is entertaining and patchily scripted with a few flaws and surprises. I have to say that I expected a lot out of this movie, but inevitably it was a concatenation of a other bollywood movies with storylines being nicked from movies such as Saathiya, DDLJ and Hum Tumhare Hai Sanam. Never the less, the songs were good, direction was professional and it was good to see other locations apart from Switzerland.

I had to issues with this though: 1 - why did they not use Johnny Lever to his full potential?

2 - why is it necessary to have a happy ending? Priyas own words were: even though you love each other it is sometimes not possible for a couple to be together. This is a way of live. With their excellent portrayal of married couple squabbles, it was unjust to say that they would forget everything and go back to being a happy couple? IF they had separated as couples do, it would have being a truly realistic movie and a step for bollywood in acknowledging that all things are not lubby-dubby.
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Andaaz (2003)
what a sight (andaaz)
24 June 2003
What can I say about Andaaz?

Why is the world such a small place in bollywood movies? One should pass a law on coincidental occurrences in bollywood movies, and maybe them will they take notice of the real world going on's.

Akshay acting has really matured from the time he joined bollywood, with the most dramatic turn change since Dhadkan, with his acting in andaaz being very good. Lara and Priyanka are, well. typical beauty queens trying to act. To be honest they have potential, especially Lara, but I guess we will have to wait and see if she becomes another Ash or Namrita!

Positive points about the movie, apart from Akshay, are the songs which are really good, as are their picturisations. Story wise, it is the typical same old story recycled for the modern genre, with new faces and more skin. I think that the producers are hoping for the less-is-more theory, i.e. less clothes means more box-office receipts. But seriously, we need to get new and fresh screenwriters into the industry to bring in line with the demands of the new generation.
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Armaan (2003)
What armaan i had from Armaan
24 June 2003
What can I say about Armaan?

Change in location to a hospital setting made one wonder if this would truly be a change from the traditional bollywood norm movie. Far from it, the characters and storyline is the same. Boy meet girl - boy likes girl - enters villain (ess in this case) and break-up boy and girl - after much tabulation boy and girl get back together!!

Bachchan acting was good, a change from his recent stereotypical arrogant mature man; It was nice to see Anil Kapoor finally back with a meaty role, to do justice to. Pretty Zinta was fab in the role, one can see why Honey Irani said that she specifically wrote this role with Zinta in mind; Randhir made a pleasant return to the screen; and Gracey was good in her minute role.

For a first movie, Honey Irani was good, unfortunately with such an emotional drama and impressive cast, it lacked the professional touch and would only have done it justice if an established director had taken then helm. Maybe for now she should stick to writing her screenplays, something she is very good at.

The only recollection I have of the movie is the few catchy tunes such as 'meri zindagi meh ayeho' and the hippy hairstyles!!
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