Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Milenge Milenge [Kapoor Khazana Month]

"Mujhe khana pakana aur gana bajana hai, lekin tumko destiny badlana hai!"
With Kapoor Khazana in full swing across the blogosphere this entire month (surely Sanjeev Kapoor gets a look in - after all he does present Khana Khazana...), I thought it about time I joined the party. Unlike Sanjeev Kapoor, I won't be bringing any mouth-watering dishes to this party, but I am reviewing Milenge Milenge, the much-anticipated (but heavily delayed) film starring Kareena Kapoor and Shahid Kapoor (but more importantly Kareena; if only Shahid had a family dynasty like his co-star...). Kareena plays Priya, a girl who loves her morning cups of coffee (don't we all), loves painting, loves dancing, hates smokers (more on that later) and wouldn't hesistate to walk children across a zebra-crossing (she gives a new name to lollipop ladies; bollipop lady?!?). 

The apple of everyones' eye ate the seb while thinking of Saif
Basically, she's full of life, full of spice! (not my words but those sung during the film's intro) The song also describes Priya as "the apple of everyone's eye". If we're on the whole comparing Bollywood actors with fruits subject (I never thought I'd write that this morning!), then surely Shahid Kapoor is a banana? Why? Because he's tough on the outside yet soft and sweet on the inside! (and sometimes you may unknowingly buy a banana that's ripped...) Priya and her friends (one of whom looks decidely older than the rest, but hey, give a woman pigtails and the wonders it will do for her age...) decide on a get-together for lunch, but Priya's reluctant because she's got dance rehearsals (she's full of life, but doesn't want to be full of rice...). But Priya reluctantly agrees, as she's told "you'll miss a big opportunity if you don't come". This "big opportunity" takes the shape of one of the girls' aunts (played by Kirron Kher), who is a famous tarot card reader from Bangalore (aren't they all...). Aunty ji (what else should I call her?!?) tells Priya that "You were born in a place that's surrounded by water. Maybe in Mumbai."

Pyaar Ka Punchnama ya underarm ka gandha-ma?
With the prediction of Priya being born in a pond correct (I'm guessing it's a pond; I wouldn't dare say it was a gutter...), Aunti ji moves onto the next reading. "And in your childhood, when you were young, around six or seven, I see tragedy. And your parents..." Maybe it's a case of life imitating art, because when Kareena was young, she met a boy by the name of Saif, who rejected her for another girl. It was a real tragedy... (don't quote me on this; It'll make more sense when you read my review of Peepli [Live]) Tarot aunty goes on to say "You're more interested in settling down than your career. You are actually waiting for Mr. Right. Am I right?" Of course Priya is gobsmacked, amazed at how powerfully true Aunty ji's predictions are (Aunty ji's hair is so big that it could easily disguise an earpiece...). All Priya wants is "To get married, have a good husband, a small house, two cute children." The only difference between Priya and the real Kareena Kapoor is that the latter can afford a big house... (for all the little "bebos" to run around in!)

"If I'm Honey that makes you the sugar Aunty and Priya the spice!"
And so the film shifts into gear (well to be frank only into first) when Priya asks Aunty ji when she'll meet her life partner. Like an answer like that can be given easily (but remember this is Bollywood!). Aunty ji gets Priya to shuffle some tarot cards in order for her to find her jivan sathi (they could have played a certain card game instead to reveal her destiny to marry a Black man named Jack...). Priya's told she'll find her life partner "on the seventh of this month", to which Priya replies "Today's the first. That means seven days from now." Hold on a second. One add seven is eight, not seven! It looks like Priya was so busy with her dance classes that she forgot to attend math classes... (you can't blame her though, after all she was dealing with the aforementioned tragedy; #she's not full of maths, she's not full of tests, uh-huh!#) 

The destiny-tion of destiny was destined to be Destiny Islands (because it doesn't exist!)
Aunty ji goes on to say "You'll find him at seven o'clock in the morning. In a foreign country, close to water. Maybe on a beach." As much as I tried not to think of him, I couldn't get Akhiri Pasta (from Housefull) out of my head when she said this, after all, he lives in Puglia in Italy, and he serenaded Jiah Khan and Akshay Kumar's newlywed couple on a beach in that film. But whether he's an early riser or not, your guess is as good as mine... ("Alore! Mia was sleeping, but not snore-ay!") Priya  then says "I've no program to go to a foreign country.", to which Aunty ji replies "You won't go Priya, destiny will take you there." Destiny? Ah, of course, she must be talking about Destiny Airways, where the flight's are always cheap but the passengers never are... (either that or Priya's got a black friend called Destiny, who is of course the sister of Priya's black Jack!) 

Immy: "Smoking-kala-fag-is-balllistic-Calci-is-just-atrocious!"

Priya's told that she will recognise her life partner by the seven different colours he will be wearing. However Priya's friend Honey (played by Delnaaz Paul; the friend who I earlier mentioned looks older than her peers), is doubtful of Aunty ji's readings. She says "Priya wants three boys and not one. She wants a boy that doesn't smoke, drink or lie. You tell me in the current era can one boy have all these qualities?" Well Honey (they won't be making any money off this honey), a boy can, just look at a certain Akshay Kumar! Although he does lie from time to time... (he told the press that Tees Maar Khan was a good film!) Aunty ji cannot guarantee that Priya's man won't do these things, so it's perfect that Immy (or real name Amit; played by Shahid Kapoor), who smokes and drinks (and later will lie), will eventually be her man. Immy's friends are disapproving of his habit, especially Calci (named thusly because he lacks calcium? Judging by his lack of hair...), who says "Our body is like a temple. We should alway keep it clean." Well a lot of people believe Katrina Kaif's body is a temple, whether it is clean or not I cannot say, but what I do know is that Salman Khan was at her temple worshipping it everyday... (surely she's the god of vanity?)

The Five Mascara-teers were Dressed To Kill as they came to steal Priya's Toot(h)sie
Priya's destiny takes her and Immy to Bangkok, on a youth program (clearly a fictional event), where they're told by the an event representative (another generic foreigner) that males and females will live in separate hostels, and that no students should interact with each other after eight p.m. But with the boys being boys (who like to play with their toys toys), Immy and company (they're definetly not a Badmaash Company) decide to sneak into the girls hostel late at night. But not dressed as they normally would, oh no. They walk in, dressed as woman (or men with bad taste), and enter a girl's room in the guise of celebrating her birthday. I tell you, these were some of the most strangest scenes in Bollywood I've ever seen, and I've seen a fair few films in my time! The hostel's matron becomes suspicious as she hears music; the trannies (pre-op of course...) are dancing to 'No Entry' (oh the irony!). 

"All the single ladies, all the single ladies, who did this? Put your hands up!"
They fob off the matron by telling her (in mock womens' voices of course) they're there to celebrate Nandini's birthday. But then, all of a sudden, a football pops out from Immy's friend's (who I'll talk about more in-depth in the next post) bosom. Strange that he needed to put two footballs there (you know where!) to convince people he's (or should that be 'she's'?) actually a woman, considering he's already on the large side... It was so funny to watch the ball just bounce as the group looked panicked. They then proceeded to "bhaag bhaag nikalo nikalo!" (not a plug for Delhi Belly I assure you...) While I try and get the thought of Bollywood making a film titled 'Full Entry' starring those lovely ladies out of my head, check out four of my favourite songs from the film (#Yes baba, yes baba, full entry...#).

#"Tujhe dekha toh yeh jaana sanam, churaya hai teri diary sanam..."#
Immy randomly enters a girl's room, which luckily (it's "destiny" I tell you!) happens to be Priya's. Immy pulls off his disguise (he wasn't fooling anyone) and it's love at first sight as he glances at Priya for the first time. Oh and he steals Priya's diary (the first rule of girl club: you don't steal a girl's diary!). And upon reading Priya's diary Immy decides to fulfill Priya's so-called destiny. She spots Immy playing a guitar on the beach with the sun having risen in the background (I believe this is how Kareena spotted Saif...). 

"I'm Immy Montana! You play luck with me, you're being lucky with the best!"
In order for Immy to be her man she looks to she if he's adorned in the seven colours that Aunty ji predicted her man would be wearing. There's only the faintest of difference between some colours - I never knew 'jeans' blue and long-sleeved top 'blue' could be classed as different colours! (neither was even dark) Who knew a 'Scarface' top could be so colour friendly! ("say hello to my little colours!") With Immy having successfully got his friend to return Priya's diary to her without suspicion, he dumps his cigarette (his body is a temple; he recites the same words Calci used back at Calci) and shows what a stand-up guy he is to Priya. Immy's put in the deep end as Priya decides that Immy would be perfect as a spokesperson for anti-smoking. Immy points out that Calci looks like a thirty-five to forty year old man (the good, the bald, and the baldy) purely because he smokes (and not because he doesn't drink milk right?), but in actual fact he's twenty-four. If only anti-smoking campaigns in real-life were this hard-hitting!

He was destiny's child but she was very much an independent woman
Both Immy and Priya renounce their dislike of alchohol, just as Priya begins falling for him. Then she discovers that he xeroxed her diary, and thus begins their separation (they were barely together!). Shahid gives a seminal performance during the film's serious moments - it really shows his talent to come (or his talent that already been displayed; depending on whether you know the film was filmed way before its 2010 release date or not). Immy tells Priya its destiny that they are to be together, by literally pointing out that they are standing outside a mall called 'Destiny' (Destiny Airways have branched out much like easyJet did...). Priya decides that destiny will bring them together (rather than love), so Immy's to write his name and number on a bank note, which then through circulation (by purchasing a book called 'Numerology'; surely her destiny can't be as bad as her math) should come back to Priya if they truly are meant to be together. Priya decides that destiny works both ways (or three ways in the case of Destiny's Child) as she writes her name inside the book, and then sells it. 

The Indian Avengers: Destinyman met Sikhman as Batman Begins... (annoying Immy!)
The film then does its best to confuse you as the whole fate angle is explored to death (they are star-crossed lovers and I crossed my stars out for my rating of this film). They decide to get in separate elevators, and if they both press the button for the same floor - then they are meant to be one (or they could both be living on the same floor in the hotel). Unfortunately for Immy, a Sikh man and his son (I think), the latter of whom is dressed in a Batman outfit, enter his elevator. The Sikh man says "my son will be an actor someday!" to which Immy was probably (not) thinking "If he becomes an actor then I'll play Catwoman some day!" Because you see, the kid is so annoying (he presses all the buttons on the elevator just for fun while shouting "yeh yeh!") it's hard to believe. Milenge Milenge was so heavily delayed that it wouldn't be too far of a stretch to think that that kid grew up to play the superhero in Krrish... (Roshan to the rescue!) 

"No fear, mera beta ka tofa hai Sophia, so put down your your beers and cheer!"
Immy's father (the bouncy, bubbly, moustachey sort of father; Trilok Kapoor played by Satish Shah) decides that Immy's to marry Sophia (played by Aarti Chhabria; she's actually more pretty than Priya), in front of an audience who strangely clap like the trio are singing or something! (Ready? #Humko pyar hua, Priya hui loo-ser...#) Signs for Priya and Immy's destiny are everywhere, quite literally - 'Priya Sarees' (here's my take: 'L-immy-ca l-immy-ca priyo priyo, aur khub maze se jiyo jiyo!'). There's also a guy singing "O Priya, O Priya, there's no one like you!" (well there is, Kareena's sister Karisma playing Mia in the rumoured sequel...) in the car next to Immy. With failed attempt to find the Neurology book after failed attempt, Immy decides the last resort is to track down the bill of the scarf Priya bought with him at a clothes store, in order to locate Priya (to convince us the plot is semi-realistic three years have expired since the events in Bangkok). So off goes Immy to Delhi, and Priya abandons her fiancee to meet her friends in Delhi. Perfect. I was confused at different points throughout the film as to where in India they were (but one thing's for certain - #East or West, India is the best!#), but it all made sense towards the end when Immy and his friend's taxi driver said "Just like there's New Delhi and old Delhi, similarly there's Santacruz east and Santacruz west in Mumbai. It's very far, Worli, Dadar, Byculla..." I'd have to agree with this point, I've been to Mumbai for an extensive period of time and Santacruz is huge (I was there during Christmas, cruising for Santas...)

Kareena felt Far from home and ill after eating a Bun while promoting Ra.One
Priya somehow manages to get herself on a radio show to profess her love for Immy and how much she misses him (because the whole world would want to know right?). This sparks empathy from callers all around India - I was surprised Priya and her friend didn't stick missing posters everywhere! As Honey dances while flicking TV channels (this was just stupid), Priya notices Aunty ji on one channel, giving her reading to another (hapless) person (this just proves fortune tellers peddle the same old garbage). But alas, she goes back to Aunty ji, and after picking a few tarot cards, she tells Priya she can't help her because she tested destiny and now destiny is testing her (does destiny know she's no good at math?). 

Ijaaz ka jawab tha "yeh kitaab meh do Kapoor equals poor!" (film)
There's a funny scene involving the bookstall owner called Ijaaz (played by Satish Kaushik) who having unknowingly sold a man the Numerology book (that Priya wrote her inside of; it would have helped with her math if she had kept it) for thirty rupees, buys back the book for two hundred rupees! And then he proceeds to go to Immy's house, and hands the book over to Immy's wife Sophia, wanting five thousand rupees in return for it. He asks Sophia "Are you his sister?", to which Sophia replies "No, I'm his fiance." Bookseller bhai (he's my brother from another bookseller) then hilariously says "Oh, fancy. You're his cousin sister." So I'm guessing he thinks they're Muslim... 

Bebo sat down as Jejo (jig early jig often) bat the remote around
Does Priya eventually find the banknote Immy wrote his name and number on? Does destiny bring Immy and Priya together? (let's just say I found it unbelievable that Sophia would accept Immy's divorce without a fight...) Does Honey stop dancing at inopportune moments? You'll just have to watch the film to find out! As I mentioned earlier, this film really showed Shahid Kapoor's strength as an actor. But I wouldn't say he's had that one defining role as of yet. He's dabbled with playing a woman in this film, and I must say it came across quite well. Who knows, to really be up there with the greats of Bollywood he may have undergo a transformation (he could play Catwoman like I mentioned earlier), be it a character with a facial disfigurement or a disability (e.g. Shahrukh Khan in My Name Is Khan). After all, Robin Williams transformed himself for a particular film, and it did wonders for his career... Why should Shahid? Because it's his DESTINY of course!

She smokes cigarettes. She drinks alcohol. She reads girls' diaries. She's a blessing... in disguise

Don't know what Akshaye Khanna signifies?
No he's not one of the men Aunty ji predicted
would be Priya's jivan sathi using her tarot cards
(let's just say the 'fool' card kept reappearing).
Read my
Rating Aur Hating post to find out... 

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Zero Screentime Walas

#"Kiraya, kiraya, hua bill pehli baar ve, kiraya, kiraya..."#
Landlords. You wouldn't want to be one - on the one hand you're forever chasing your tenants for their overdue payments, and on the other hand you're dealing with a persistant itch that doesn't keep itself at bay. To be frank, this is true of only of one landlord; I'm talking about Sameer's (Shahid Kapoor) landlord in Chance Pe Dance. The landlord's simply known as "Kersi the itch", who knocks on Sameer's door as Sameer berates his friend Gaurav (played by Vikas Bhalla) for only leaving him one bread roll (how did Sameer get the body he has by eating bread rolls?!?). Sameer reluctantly opens the door to be greeted by a panick-stricken Kersi who demands payment of the rent. Sameer says "Deduct from the deposit!", to which Kersi replies "The deposit is exhausted. I want the rent!" Kersi comes off like a petulant child - strange for someone in a role of authority. Sameer should have stuffed a "bread roll of authority" into Kersi's mouth - that would have shut him up! (but not have stopped him itching...)

Sameer ameer aadmi tha islie usne Kersi ko purs-e meh se roll-s diye
Sameer reluctantly agrees to pay the rent, not just for the past month, but for the past four months. But with Kersi being Kersi (curse Kersi!), he wants forty rupees, and not the four Sameer fobs him off with (who knew renting a flat could be that cheap in Mumbai...). Sameer says he has no more money, and proceeds to prove it by showing Kersi either side of his body. Maybe Sameer should have lifted his t-shirt; he's got six (pack) lakh right there... To end the masterclass in acting, scratch that (no pun intended), juniorclass in acting, Kersi says (as Sameer shuts his doors) "My younger brother is returning... hu su karu?" So clearly judging by the last line he is Gujarati (not another funny Gujarati character...). But it begs the question, who exactly is his younger brother and from where is he returning? With a name like "Kersi the itch", one can only assume his bhai (either one) is returning from Springfield in the good ol' U.S. of A...

Itchy & Scratchy                         The Kersi Bhaiyas

Sameer's next task task for Fast Fast was to deliver a packet of Pass Pass
The next oddball (I'm sure his courier company ship oddballs...) in Chance Pe Dance is Sameer's boss at the courier company (called 'Fast Fast Courier', but like everything else in India is probably Slow Slow...). Sam (his nickname in the film) is dragged away from the courier building's front entrance by his boss, who says "Sameer... idiot... courier means?", to which Sameer replies "Pick up and drop." His boss then hilariously says "It was a mistake to pick you up but now I'm dropping you!" (although I'm sure Sameer lifts more weights than his boss; Sameer would be able to literally "pick up" his boss up, not the other way around...) He delivers the lines in such a way you wouldn't think he was firing Sameer. With Sameer bemused as to what he did wrong, his boss says "Absolutely nothing. You neither deliver on time, nor take your salary on time. The deliveries are always late but you take the salary in advance. That too, two months in advance." You would think Sameer would be taking his salary in advance in order to pay for his rent right? (but more likely to pay for his bread addiction...) 

The brown fart had perfected the art of the do hath thappad
Sameer's boss (why doesn't he have a name? - it would make my writing that much easier!) then gets all angry (wait till he finds out what 'male courier' means in the West...) after he asks whether Sameer wants to be an actor. He says angrily "Then go to a studio all decked up ("powder wowder laga kar!") and keep waiting there!" ("fielding karo, fielding!") The subtitles really don't do what he said justice! This was all said while slapping himself, and then he taunted Sameer by motioning to apply make-up on his face. With the brown one-piece suit he was wearing, the gold chain and the wavy unkempt hair, he reminded me of a certain Italian (slash Indian) lothario from Housefull. One owns the finest hotel in Puglia while the other manages a courier company whose logo looks just plain ugly-a...

 Akhiri Pasta                        Sameer's Courier Boss

Monday, 20 June 2011

Chance Pe Dance

#"Agar bati na hoti, toh Michael mera bhagwan na hoga..."#
If you were given only one chance to dance, would you take it? Well that's (sort of) the premise behind Chance Pe Dance, a film by director Ken Ghosh (Ken to Katrina Kaif's Barbie; which I've mentioned in my Rating Aur Hating feature). The movie starts off with a hip dance number featuring our leads, Shahid Kapoor (Sameer Behl) and Genelia D'Souza (Tina). This was supposedly done to get the audience excited for what's to come (I was just confused). Sameer, a budding dancer come movie star, decides to leave his home in Delhi for the bright lights of fame in Mumbai (#Fame! I want to be stuck in traffic and pollution forever...#). While standing in front of a mirror he recites "Kacha papad pakka papad" repetitively at speed, which translates as "Cooked poppadum, raw poppadum." I guess Sameer says this in order to get his vocals in ship-shape condition (or to get his tongue in a twister with Tina later on in the film). He then smiles, and quickly turns it to a frown (how Shahid must have felt going from Milenge Milenge to Mausam?). After glaring romantically at his reflection, he kisses his imaginary fans (Priyanka Chopra would be one of these...), of which I'm sure Michael Jackson would have been one of eventually (whom I'm going to talk about next).

Shahid Kapoor will next star in 'Iron Man 3: Bre... Bre... Brebread'
Sameer's definetly one 'puri' short of a Behl puri , because he then does some odd things (I must admit they're rather inventive as well). It's certainly worth mentioning each one in turn. He gets the ball rolling (quite literally) when he throws a tennis ball into a birdcage to get a hi-fi player started. He then worships his god Michael Jackson (#You know I'm bhagwan, bhagwan - you know it...#). This is not the first time Shahid Kapoor's been featured in a film with the King of Pop; in Badmaash Company Shahid Kapoor's character's T-shirts proved so popular that even Michael Jackson wore one in concert. If Shahid Kapoor's characters' fascination with Michael Jackson (Jackson Konnection!) continues in future films, then expect Shahid to star in an action film ('Yeh Toh Baccha Hai Ji') where he dangles a baby over a balcony in one scene... (while flexing his muscles of course!) Like any good househusband, Sameer then releases an ironing board from the wall, to iron clothes you would think. But no - to iron  bread instead! (which are thrown to him through his window; BreadEx?) Yes you heard me right, to save time making toast, iron your bread! I was in two minds about watching this film, but after seeing Sameer do this, I had to continue watching. How do you keep clothes fresh? Put them in the fridge like Sameer! 

"Vipul Dahi, now with added bogee! Chee Chee!"
In order for Sameer to get his big break, he begins auditioning for advertisements. In one hilarious scene, Sameer tries his best to sell "Vipul Yoghurt" ("a treasure of strength!"), but keeps getting distracted by a boy who constantly picks his nose. This yoghurt comes in strawberry and litchee flavours, and judging by the boy's actions, a greeny-yellow salty flavour as well... With off-beat scenes like this one, it's a wonder how this film didn't do well at the box office. Disgusted at the kid wiping his snot on Sameer's trousers, Sameer finds out that the kid is in fact the director's son. To make amense (words cannot describe how funny this was), Sameer persuades the boy to put Sameer's finger in the boy's nose! (some people, *cough* Katrina Kaif *cough*, will sleep with Salman to get to the top whereas others are happy just picking noses to get to the top) I mean Vidya Balan's career has gone from strength to strength, and now she's set to star in  'The Dirty Picture' as Silk Smitha (the nose picker?). 

Genelia was not familia(r) with the route as Sha-hid behind her head
With the film being called Chance Pe Dance, it had to obviously involve dance somehow. This is where Tina (played by Genelia D'Souza) comes in, a dance choreographer, who despite being irritated by Sameer (wait till she discovers he irons bread!), is impressed with his moves. Genelia gets a lot of bad rap (by India's own Dhanye East...) for being a bad actress, but I think she rather shines in this film. Her stand out scenes involves her, Sameer and a motorbike (Hero Aur Heroine Honda!). With Sameer having no luck finding a taxi, he turns to Tina, who is pushing her bike along the road. Why? Because she can't get her bike started and there isn't a petrol station for miles around. So what does Sameer do? He shakes the bike vigorously, and then bounces on it! (accompanied by the "doobi-doobi-doo-ba" song) Low and behold, this gets it moving, and then Tina rides Sameer home. Slowly. I loved the exchange of dialogue between Sameer and Tina at this point: "On your way home?" "No we were taking a walk." "We?" "Yes, my shadow and I." (this was after Tina said she and her bike were taking a walk) Tina is anything but a fast driver (I won't get in to the whole women drivers debate...), in fact she's so slow she amuses Sameer when she stops at a red light when the street is practically empty, just to be safe. Tina's slow driving is a running side-plot; it definetly adds a certain depth to Genelia's character. Sameer asks for Tina's number after dropping him off, to which she replies "Why? You want to do fraandship with me?" I just loved the way Genelia said it like a proper desi girl (Mujhse Dosti Karoge! - proper bad film...)

"Luingi's" airtime was low so he topped up his below by sewing a hole
Just like Badmaash Company, we're treated to great scenes between Sameer and his father (played brilliantly by Parikshat Sahni). When Sameer was young, he was told by his teacher "All you can score is zero. And you want to be a hero!" These sentiments are echoed by Sameer's father, who is against Sameer going to Mumbai, let alone becoming a star (unless your father is a famous actor then you'll definetly be a star). Sameer's father's disdain for his son's ambition grounds the film, and yet again proves that Shahid plays characters that are (somewhat) realistic. In Badmaash Company, Karan (Shahid Kapoor) and company could have easily lived the glamorous life of con men (shown with aplomb in Catch Me If You Can), but Karan returning home and being told his wrongs by his father (Anupam Kher) lessened Karan's self-importance. But back to Chance Pe Dance. Later in the film Sameer returns to Delhi (he discovers his father's shop is one of many that has been demolished), having decided to pack in his ambitions of becoming a film star, after another setback. We see a humorous side to Sameer's father, as he tells Sameer he bought the lungis Sameer had been advertising on TV, but isn't sure "he can carry it off." Can we look forward to the day when actors like Sameer's dad (Paresh Rawal I'm looking at you) start advertising lungis? I'm sensing a money-making scheme... (the slogan would be 'lungi: they spread as fast but don't smell as bad as fungi!') 

Badmaash Company ka latest venture paani mein doobi-doobi-doo-ba" gaya!
Onto the film's music. It's not that great really, apart from one song. The less said about 'Yaba Daba Yahoo' (a term for when you search Yahoo for 'The Flinstones'?), another song from the film, the better... While I figure out how exactly to convince the general public to buy chaddis ("look, even Salman Khan wears them!"; he could advertise lingerie and still make money...), check out 'Pal Mein Hi', my favourite song from the film (like me you've probably heard it before but may have not known which film it's from), and 'Rishta Hai Mera' (the one with the giant Shahid and Genelia!).

Sameer's father was Parishant that his Sahni was too Nani
Parikshat Sahni continues his powerhouse performance as he sees how popular a contestant his son has become (on a TV dance show) and says "What was that? Where did you get it? I don't have... You got it from your mother! On TV you look just like her!" I found it quite touching when Sameer's father was about to telephone vote for his son but instead told Sameer to fulfill his wish of becoming a star. I'll stop there - before I get all "senti" (which I mentioned in my Break Ke Baad review). It seems the young and the old are fascinated by Sameer's "hero" status in the film. When Sameer returns to his pad (not a luxury pad just an ordinary indian pad; i-pad!), a couple of kids tell him "Hey hero! When will your movie be out? Sameer then says "why?", and one of the kids tell him "Then we'll give up watching movies!" Sameer hilariously says in response "Give up watching movies! Like they can afford the tickets! They aren't my target audience anyway!" No, Sameer's target audience is Mumbai's fashionable lungi crowd (of which I'm not one...). 

'The Face of Ace' scene one: "Hero banega beta? Acting karega? Kapre dho!"
Having avoided paying rent to his landlord (who I'll feature in the next post), Sameer's friend Gaurav Saxena (played by Vikas Bhalla) pours his heart out to Sameer, being a fellow struggling artist and all. He tells Sameer they should go to "club zigzag" (I guess where everyone gets so drunk they can't walk properly...), but Sameer refuses, preferring to scoff down plain slices of bread instead. And then, if you thought poetry was dead, Gaurav says (regarding meeting producers/directors) "roses are red, violets are blue, Gaurav wishes good morning to you!" Sameer then says in reply "roses are red, violets are blue, SMS stalker, who the heck are you?" (because any Bollywood producer will listen to your ideas if you present them with roses or violets...) Whether Sameer is a success or not depends on director Rajiv Sharma, played by Mohnish Behl, an actor who I've got accustomed to seeing playing a villain.

"Scratch's the way I like to annoy them, Shaheed, Shaheed, Shaheed!"
For a man who's low on money (this is a guy who sneaks in to a school to have a shower), Sameer has rich taste. He goes up to a roadside cook and says "I'd like a Spanish omelette with some wholewheat toast (I thought he liked white toast?!?) and a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice please." The cook says "huh?" and amusingly Sameer says "Ek vada pow dena aur chai." (Give me a burger and tea) You've got more luck (by chance) getting a plate of boiled eggs and a carton of (artificial) orange juice than a Spanish omelette... With Sameer getting nowhere, and having been kicked out of his house due to lack of rent payments, he decides to become a school dance teacher (because the school dance class is ranked 22nd in Mumbai, not 2nd!). On his first day (in a dance hall right out of Narnia; giant pool balls?!?), Sameer falls asleep (that's what you get for eating just bread!; a carb-heavy diet indeed), as he assumes none of his pupils will turn up (but they do, and they leave before he wakes up). To stop his class bickering, Sleeping Bag (sorry Sameer; that's the nickname his pupils give him) scratches his hand down against a blackboard (the sound Genelia makes when she shrieks...) 

Pointshaala: #"Point se point mein lagaya... owwww!"#
Sameer says to his class "Michael Jackson, Gene Kelly, Shammi Kapoor, Hrithik Roshan, Govinda, Shiamak Davar are legends in the art of dance." Either they're legends of dance or they were once the rumoured cast of the Danceables... (with Govinda obviously playing Sylvester Stallone's role; a case of bad acting and bad dancing...) One of his standout pupils (because she's the only one standing when he's sleeping) is Shania, who is described as having "no audio, only video" (typical of Indian televisions...). By the end of the film Sameer has changed his pupils' lives so much that Shania is not only speaking but singing as well (like her namesake in Radio: Love On Air). There's a funny scene when one of his pupils accidently kicks him in the nether regions when dancing. With them being children, there's confusion as to where exactly he was kicked, as they say "Sir are you hurt on your leg? On your hand? Then right over there? (point peh!) He can't have kids now!" (his balls now resemble Behl puri...) For some reason the film dubs a kid when he says "Because she hit him there." Presumably done because children watching this film will be offended by the word 'point'... (whereas Mallika Sherawat's films are child-friendly; they'll dub her voice rather than her gratuity...)

"Oy rabba yeh khane ka dibba brunch ya lunch ke liye hai?"
With Sameer down on his luck (and down one ball), Rajiv Sharma decides that Sameer would be perfect as the lead for his new dance movie, with Tina as his choreoographer. However, Sameer's hopes are dashed as he realises the "you could be a star!" mantra is directed at everyone, and not just at him. The film deals superbly with the blows (a left uppercut to be precise...) the film industry doles out, and Shahid Kapoor delivers his emotional scenes with aplomb (but you already knew he's a great actor right?). There's a brilliant scene when Sameer, who by this point is living in his car, looks with hunger at the school children's lunches,who then surprise him by offering their lunchboxes to him (a little birdy *cough* Priyanka Chopra *cough* told me that Shahid's already got a big enough lunchbox...). While the other children's lunchboxes consist of the usual fare (sandwiches, crisps etc.), Shania's consists of just daal and rice (because she's not a "hi-fi" kind of girl; remember no audio just video...)

Yeh tha Fool Ka Final Chance Pe Dance: #"Limbura, Limbura, Limbura..."#
I was really impressed with Genelia D'Souza in this film - she truly is a revelation (it was a revelation to me that she was the older sister of one of Sameer's pupils). Another great scene with her and Shahid (one of many) is when Sameer is sitting in his car singing "Something... Something..." (he's good at dancing not singing alright!; this is not the upcoming film 'Gaana Ko Jagana'...) With Tina being right outside Sameer's home (his car), we're treated to an intimate moment between the two whereby his car is compared to a home. The bedroom is the back of his car, the front is his living room and the dining room is his dashboard (obviously...). Tina then says "You can have a new view whenever you want to. Park in front of the sea and you have a sea view, park near a mountain and you have a mountain view. But you chose the best view! Bindaas Star of India hoarding view! (and if you park in front of a gutter in India you have a ghatti view...) 

#Kabhi Kabhi Genelie moti hoti hai, aur kaise voh soch le Life Partner gonna be OK?#
The lines Genelia were given in the film were some of the best, especially when she mocked her dance boss and Sameer (in a man's voice) by saying "Boss, tumhara right time aur mera right talent; we'll create history! He was such a popat!" Apparently that's what you call crazy people in the industry. Chance Pe Dance was initially shot halfway through with Jiah Khan as the heroine, to be replaced later by Genelia. It just wouldn't have worked - Jiah is too sexy too play kooky. Genelia may have her critics, but she was definetly "popat", kooky, offbeat (whatever you want to call her) in this film... Therefore, it wouldn't be too far of a stretch for her to play the lead in a remake of a highly popular film (I'm not thinking of The D'Souza Code...) of the French variety...

Genelie: "At least you'll never be a chocolate - even Milk Trays have hearts."

Don't know what Aamir Khan signifies?
No he's not the Dhobi that (insert 'Ghat') Sameer 
hires to wash his clothes after he becomes famous.
Read my
Rating Aur Hating post to find out...

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Zero Screentime Wali

#" "And I... I... will always love Dhokla... not Bolly!"#
When you think of 'Big Ben' what image does it conjure up? An image of the great bell clock at the Palace of Westminister in London right?. Well after seeing Toonpur Ka Superrhero, I will forever be left with the indelible image (dreams or nightmares? I'll leave that for you to decide...) of a Gujarati housewife with a love for "dhokla" (not love, not sex, just dhokla...). If you don't know what dhokla is let me take a minute to explain to you - it's a steamed yellow coloured snack (yellow like Quavers; Anjini Dutt's favourite snack in Three - Love, Lies, Betrayal) from the Indian state of Gujarat, where our lady in question hails from. We learn at the beginning of the film that "Sherapan always savoured Big Ben's dhokla." And then Sanjay Dutt's voiceover (not god; see previous post) says "Those were the times when rolling pins could cork guns." You see, Big Ben (translates as 'big sister') doesn't need a gun, or a knife (sends a good message to combat gun/knife crime), all she needs is her trusty rolling pin! (on second thought people may get ideas and start using rolling pins instead...

The felon put the velon in Ajay Devgan's left eardrum
Big Ben's big plan (a kid's TV show I'm going to pitch to producers...) is to defeat the Toonasurs (the Devtoons' archrivals) by feeding them dhokla. Well it would have been a good plan, purely because anyone that's ever eaten dhokla can vouch that they're quite dry, and eating too many of them can make you feel bloated (a look director Sajid Khan can carry off well these days; his favourite snack?).When Aditya (Ajay Devgan) decides to abandon the Devtoons plan to defeat the Toonasurs, Big B (I've heard that Amitabh Bachchan is campaigning for her to be in the next season of Bigg Boss...) says "harr pili chiz dhokla toh nahi hota na?", which roughly translates as "every yellow thing isn't a dhokla no?" Meaning to say 'not all that glitters is gold'. You see for Big Ben, dhokla is worth its wait in gold (wait, I thought saffron was?), and Aditya isn't gold he simply glitters (watch a few films from Ajay Devgan's back catalogue and you'll see his shirts glitter...). While I give a shopkeeper dhoka so I can steal his dhokla, check out this video to see how Big Ben came to be!

Chulbul saw Hulchul which caused him Gharbar so he jumped on Big Ben
With Big Ben being a Gujarati native, you would think her accent would reflect this. However she doesn't speak in pure Gujarati, but in broken Hindi-Gujarati (because Gujarati characters are used for comic effect; begrudgingly so...). I've always found it odd that filmmakers think that Gujarati is purely a funny language. By far the funniest character in Housefull was Batuk Patel (played by Boman Irani), and he was a Gujarati. The day Bollywood filmmakers give Gujarati characters serious roles is the day I give up dhokla (I've already given up Cokla Cola...). It seems the whole dhokla fascination (before that there was the Kachori Conspiracy...)  started with 3 Idiots. After Pia (Kareena Kapoor) is handed a plateful (sequel to Housefull?) of dhokla by Rancho (Aamir Khan), she says: "You Gujaratis are so cute. But why does your food sound so dangerous? Dhokla, fafda, handwa, thepla, khakhra. Sounds like missiles - Today Bush dropped two dhoklas on Iraq... 400 dead, 200 injured!" Well dhokla may not be missiles, but eat too many of them and you to will be dropping on... Anyway, speaking of 3 Idiots and Batuk Patel, a woman like Big Ben would have made the perfect wife to Viru Sahastrabuddhe (also played by Boman Iran), or Virus, the professor in the film. Her yellow treat (not of the nose variety) would be a perfect antidote to his "virus"; feeding him dhokla (instead of shaving him) during his seven minute power nap... 

"Nasto toh thik chhe, par ah toh dhokla noh tukdo chhe!"

Monday, 13 June 2011

Toonpur Ka Superrhero

Johnny pressed the bike's Lever to get him and Lovina Move-ina
Ever wondered what Kajol would look like in a live-action 3D animated film? (I'm sure her monobrow will take on a life of its own in 3D...) Well it goes without saying she would be a Ka-toon (come on you must have seen it coming!), but in Toonpur Ka Superhero, she along with her hubby Ajay Devgan, play a happily-married couple (not in cartoon form might I add) whose perfect life is thrown into disarray by a rag-tag bunch of cartoon characters. Ajay Devgan plays Aditya Kumar, a famous actor who plays a famous superhero on TV (much like Shahrukh Khan played a parody of himself in Billu Barber). Kajol plays Aditya's doting wife Priya, who's strangely obsessed by feng-shui, and the way things should face. Early on in the film, Priya says "According to Feng Shui, the children should be facing east while running, and your racing track is facing west." I didn't really understand this - surely whichever way the the track is facing/children are running, there will only be one outcome? And no, I don't mean someone will win either way, what I mean is "East or West, India is the best!" (Although India has never done well at soccer...) What better time than now to show you a video of the most memorable song from the 1997 Salman Khan vehicle (if Salman was a car he'd be a Lexus; great interior but poor performance...) Judwaa!

Kisne Amrish Puri ko jagaya hoga aur abhi voh Toon-ple of Doom banayenge!
With a nifty voiceover explanation by Sanjay Dutt (I guess he's the voice of god), we get a quick introduction to the cast of characters living in Toonpur. On the west side of Toonpur live the 'Devtoons', and on the east side live the 'Toonasurs'. Why those names? Your guess is as good as mine. With the Toonasurs being evil I presume this is a play on 'Dinosaurs' (Dilly the Dinosaur must have had a dark side to him...), whereas Devtoons is a play on Dev Anand surely? I did spot one Devtoon wearing a beret... According to Toonpur's ancient scriptures (yes, I really did say that!) once upon a time the Devtoons and Toonasurs lived in perfect harmony with their king "Tooneshwar" (I was only a minute into the film and already I was getting sick of 'toon' being a prefix for every word!) residing over Toonpur. The two clans' friendship is broken when commander-in-chief Jagaro (who looks strangely like the late Amrish Puri) dethrones Tooneshwar (Jagaro ko nahi jagawo!) and puts a dark cloud over Toonpur. 

Salman Khan will be next seen in 'Chuck De Pandey-a'
The Devtoons have no option but to enlist the help of real-life hero Aditya Kumar, someone who Bolly (of the Devtoons) is a huge fan of. Bolly is a little sikh boy with a passion for firing bombs (and who loves Hindi films - like us all!) out of cannons (a sikh terrorist; Tere Bolly Laden?). Who else comprises the Devtoons I hear you ask? First we have police officer Pandu (surely inspired by Chulbul Pandey in Dabangg). Then we have Sherapan (he looks like a cross between Sherlock Holmes and Peter Pan) and Big Ben (more on her in the next post; when Big Ben strikes 1 it's time to eat!) "Toonpur's hot chick" is Lovina, whose make-up got lost in the war, but somehow always looks ravishing (but her accent's irritating). I'm guessing her full name is Lovina Toondun; Raveena had to make a comeback somehow...

Vinay got an earful from Kay Kay about how he had to Pay Pay to get his shirt back
Guppy is Toonpur's resident crooner, wanting to become "Toon Idol", but with no luck as he uses a broken microphone. This character is clearly a copy of veteran composer Bappi Lahiri. In fact, Bap (he's a friendly chap...) is suing the filmmakers for using his likeness (check out the video below). Throughout the film the other Devtoons endeavour to shut Guppy up whenever he breaks into song. What does this say about Bappi Lahiri? With the sikh bomber reference and now this, who knew this film could create such controversy? (Toonpur Ka Superrinjunction...) Next we have the famed scientist professor Homi, who reminded me of Boman Irani's professor in 3 Idiots (and not just because they're names sort of rhyme!). We also have Yuppy Devtoon (there was no mention of his name so I named him), who's always with a laptop in hand. Clearly a tribute to all us bloggers... Finally we have Toonpur's god of knowledge, known as "the website of knowledge". Apparently his "server is down, who will help him?" (has he thought about switching from dial-up?) On the Toonasurs side of Toonpur we have Bakbaksur, who looks remarkbly like Vinay Pathak (and who Bheja Fry-s Homi out of a cannon), Kanasur, who's a throwback to the villains in 'Mahabarat' (the religious epic I watched in my youth), and sumo wrestler Jeeromoto (because he's big and he likes cumin?).

After Housefull, Sajid Khan will direct the sequels 'Mouthfull' and 'Facefull'
Speaking of likenesses, I spotted an eery likeness to Sajid Khan (director of Housefull; the bulbous head really swung it for me!) when Guppy undergoes a complete transformation in order to kidnap Aditya in the real world and bring him to Toonpur (don't call it a fake world, there will be a toon backlash; toonlash?!?). Equipped with a special pen which will make Aditya unconscious when Bappi presses a red button, the hideous creation sets out to do the deed. The toons agree that they will pretend that they have a movie they want Aditya to star in (Aditya and the Beast?). After Guppy talks to Aditya's secretary Khanna on the telephone referring to himself as "Holly" (from Hollywood of course!), Bappi and a few others disguised as the frankenstein (half man half botox injection gone bad) enter the real world and approach said secretary. After kissing the secretary on the hand the freak confirms that he has the four crore rupees and the script for Aditya to read in a van (#chumma chumma script aur paise de de chumma!#). 

"Danda se koi chot na lag jaye!"
As Holly takes Aditya away to narrate the script to him in private, one member of the film crew approaches them and tries to take Aditya away to resume his acting duties. Sensing their plan going awry, Pandu repeatedly hits the crew member on the bum with his 'danda' (and this film only got a 'U' certificate...). Suddenly Holly's face begins to fall apart, and sensing this Pandu sprays Aditya with the pen. Cue mayhem as the toons struggle to kidnap Aditya. But kidnap they do, and off they all go to Toonpur via a sewer (because cartoons have to also travel by Underground...).

Toonpur Ka Superrbirth: Kajol fires her raygun as Devgan gives birth to their thirdson
As the real world struggles to find Aditya, he discovers that the toons have kidnapped him to kill the Toonasurs. As Aditya escapes from the acid factory (the toons look like they're high on something), he runs around town in a frenzy looking for a way out, getting bit by a dog and knocking over a man with a basket of oranges along the way. Before watching this movie I thought that having live actors in an animated world wouldn't work; looking like something made on a small budget (every other Indian animated film). But when Aditya starts juggling said oranges, everything looked as it should (apart from a minute or so later when instead of denting cars he ran into they simply sparkled with stars and fairy dust). After being all oranged-out, Aditya decides that if he can't beat the Devtoons he must join them (you wouldn't want to get on the wrong side of their toon-per toon-trums...).

"My name is Maximus Decimus Ajay-Devgan-us, commander of bad films..."
Aditya decides that they'll attack the Toonasurs using "Gandhigiri" - doing good by using words rather than actions (although in some bad films Ajay Devgan's been in he's used more words than actions). Cue a lame song ('Jeetoge Tum') where the toons recite "superhero", and our action man (I've got an Aditya action figure at home...) dressed from head to toe in gladitorial rags goes to battle. Aditya wants peace with the Toonasurs, but the seductive Monica (whom Aditya hilariously calls "Monica didi") stops him in his path. Monica along with a few other toons are white but speak Hindi, which I found strange (whereas Katrina Kaif is Indian but speaks like a white girl...). With their plan thwarted the Devtoons and Aditya have to come with another plan. 

Dancepur Ka Superrfinal: Aditya's act relaxed Remo while Geeta didn't get it
Back to the real world for a while if I may (phew!). Aditya's children, Kabir (played by Amey Pandya) and his sister Raima, who are big fans of the Toonpur Ka Superhero tv show, realise that the gold chain inside the evidence box given to their mother is Guppy's. These are your typical Bollywood children ("Mummy! Pappa!") - who are loveable and cute. Although in one scene Kabir does question the authenticity of his dad's line of work. "Your duplicates do all your stunts. They are the real heroes. You're a fake hero, dad!" Priya comforts Aditya by sayng "Do real heroes have two noses and four eyes?" Well some would say Abhishek Bachchan and John Abraham are their heroes, and in Dostana they together have two noses and four eyes combined... 

Kajol's disgusted to find Ajay's been shopping for pills to increase his Dev-guns
When Aditya decides to pack it all in and go back to the real world (the film was so realistic I thought I was actually in Toonpur...), Bolly repeats the same line Kabir did earlier (but in a girly voice). Kabir logs onto Toonpur's "chatroom", where it's possible to communicate with the toon world (you would be best advised to leave your brain at home). The real world then connects to the toon world via webcam, where the picture is fuzzy at first (cue a feng-shui line from Priya) but then obviously becomes clearer (I chat to my cousins in India and my picture is never this clear!). Did I mention that you should leave your brain at home? I found it funny when Aditya tried to make Priya jealous when he let on that he was having "love affair" with Lovina. I see the sequel 'Toonpur Ka Superrlover' on the horizon... (let's just hope that a cartoon seductress doesn't drive a wedge between Kajol and Ajay Devgan's marriage - Jessica Rabbit anyone?)

To make this London Guard laugh tell him there's a sequel to London Dreams
Kabir tells his dad he can help defeat the Toonasurs because he knows their weaknesses. We then hear what I think is the quote of the movie, "I've stopped using stuntmen. Because real heroes don't use stuntmen." Take Salman Khan. He's a real hero (he's driven his fair share of Hero Hondas in films), and he never uses stuntment! (because all his moves in Dabangg looked physically possible...) We learn that the god and angel of death of Toonpur is Rubdoot (so not Sanjay Dutt then?!?), who doesn't differentiate between good toons (Devtoons) and bad toons (Toonasurs), and who wipes toons out with his 'Toonastra'. Aditya says in reply "Toonastra? Cute name." With the naming of things in the film with a prefix of 'toon', Aditya's comment was probably added as a little joke regarding that. In fact, a few minutes later when Aditya asks if the toons have their weapons ready (to fight the Toonasurs), we're treated to another inside joke when Aditya says (after the other toons mention their guns; Lovina's weapon is a "bone gun" - her last boyfriend must have been a real dog...) his weapon is a "Dev-gun". You could see this coming a million miles off but it was nice to hear anyway. 

After crushing the toon's manhood Aditya became 'The Last Samur-toon'
If ever John Abraham decides to star in an animated movie where he must defeat the villains using only meat, he can use his "John Abra-ham"... Aditya's funny lines continue when he has to chant something five times in order for Rubdoot to appear. It goes something like this - "The green rail is stronger than the red rail." Aditya assured the other toons that he'd recited so many lines before that this would be easy - but he kept fluffing them. Something Ajay Devgan has never done in his previous films... I now present you with a clip from (Ram Gopal Verma Ki) Aag (which I've mentioned in my Rating Aur Hating feature), in which everything is bad, not just Ajay Devgan's dialogue!

Devil Devgan would Annihilate Ajay for starring in Tango Charlie
Towards the end of the film, when we meet Rubdoot, we hear the originally titled song 'Rubdoot', where Sonu Nigam strangely sings as him (I'm sure Sonu Nigam has sung as a girl as well). Tribute is also payed to films of yesteryear; I spotted Darr ("K-K-Kiran!") and some Dev Anand film (Surely Rubdoot must favour the Devtoons!). Toonpur Ka Superhero bombed (it was probably Bolly doing the bombing) at the box-office, with critics saying it was a remake of Space Jam. In that sense, Ajay Devgan plays Michael Jordan's role. Although that's where the similarity ends. Ajay Devgan's character Aditya wouldn't have been able to defeat the Toonasurs with only a basketball... (though I'm sure that Big Ben/Jeeromoto have eaten a few basketballs in their time) The film takes on the form of a videogame as the Devtoons... well you'll have to watch the movie to find out if they defeat the Toonasurs and Jagaro! Speaking of video games, I have an idea if any Bollywood producers/directors (Sajid Khan if you're paying attention I have the script and the four crore rupees ready...) are also wanting to make a live-action remake of a well-known product. With Abhishek Bachchan and John Abraham well-versed in playing a double act after Dostana (and the soon to be released Dostana 2), it wouldn't be too far of a stretch for them to play a brotherly duo of Italian plumbers, with Akhiri Pasta (Chunkey Pandey's hilarious character in Housefull) playing their archrival Wario! The plot? Well it'll be pasta based of course! ("Mama mia! Benne! I'm-a take over the world one Penne at a time!")

Superr Mario Bhaiyas? Or Superr Bad Actors?
Don't know what Sushmita Sen signifies?
No she's not the younger, more 
beautiful sister of Big Ben (small Sen).
Read my
Rating Aur Hating post to find out...
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