Monday, January 29, 2007

Salaam-e-Ishq

(Many, many spoilers ahead)

'Tedious, long and requires two aspirin' is how we'd describe this movie.

This is a lumpy-patchwork-quilt of stories from Shall We Dance, Love Actually, Raja Hindustani (why, WHY would anybody do this??) and Pyar ke Side Effects. Nikhil Advani, the director of Kal Ho Na Ho (which we thought was eminently watchable), brings you six love stories in one movie. Most of them badly written, vaguely connected, and interspersed with songs which prove to be the Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy trio's worst movie score so far.

What *happened* boys??

Whither the young-and-in-love perkiness of Kuch to Hua Hai? Or the happy-bollywood-shaadi-ness of a Maahi ve? Or even the eighties-disco-sity of, well, It's the time to Disco? Where has it all gone? Okay granted, there is the title track which is okay (thought it lacks a certain something) and the Tenu leke main javanga* which starts off well, but somehow loses direction after the opening bars. And as for the Babuji dheere chalna remix...*pained sigh*. We don't know what to say anymore boys, really we don't. Except maybe, WHAT ON EARTH WERE YOU THINKING?? It's *ghastly*! You've done absolutely nothing with that song and it's completely pointless to throw in an old song unless you put a new spin on it (think Bluffmaster and Sabse bada rupaiyya).

On to the stories now.

Priyanka Chopra and Salman Khan: KKamini (Priyanka) is an item girl who dreams of being cast in a Karan Johar movie. Rahul (Salman) is a con-man (in the first half of the movie), who plans to make big bucks out of a publicity stunt staged by Priyanka, which involves her falling in love in with a mysterious man who will eventually die. Priyanka is not terribly convincing as the wannabe-bollywood-starlet, but gets better in the second half of the movie. Salman is ...there, doing what he does (I considered saying 'acting' but I think I'd be pushing the word too far).

Ayesha Takia and Akshaye Khanna: Gia (Ayesha), is Shiven (Akshaye)-the-commitment-phobe's long-suffering girlfriend. Hiccups in their relationship are overcome by Ayesha's unwavering faith in Akshaye UNTIL she comes across a video-recording of Akshaye in a drunken moment, telling her that he can't see himself getting married.

A fairly decent performance by both of them. Akshaye carries off comedy better in this than he manages in Hulchul and Ayesha is convincing as the girlfriend who-has-had-enough.

Anil Kapoor and the Bimbo: This story has just about as much substance as clear soup. Vinay (Anil Kapoor) sees bimbo (Anjana) on train and is hypnotised by her cleavage. Bimbo drops diary on train. AK finds diary and despite diary containing no details of address/telephone number/last name, AK manages to locate bimbo who is (surprise! surprise!) a St. Vitus' itch dance carrier teacher to a bunch of foreigners who are attending her class to (presumably) get a nasty skin disease a taste of Indian Culture (ri-i-ight).

(Honestly, if THAT is what mid-life crisis does to you then I refuse to have it. I absolutely REFUSE. Anything that can make you think that extreme dumbness + cellulite + hotpants (aarrgghh!) + graceless dancing + a godawful remix of Babuji dheere chalna = Hot, is NOT something I will have anything to do with thankyouverymuch)

Bimbo, when done with her demonstration of the 'truly horrid things you can do to audiences in three minutes' squeals with joy when presented with her diary and gives AK a peck on the cheek for being such a sweet guy (because of course, guys who ogle at your cleavage are so sweet!), and AK is promptly smitten.

Juhi Chawla, as AK's devoted wife, and mother of his two children, plays the doormat to a T, sacrificing all her dreams so that he can fulfill his. You will be tempted at this point, to wonder if her character is just partially blind or mildly deranged. Apparently, according to the film, she is neither.

Govinda and Shannon Ersa: One of the best/most entertaining stories in this entire film. Govinda is the die-hard-romantic taxi-driver who dreams of falling in love with a white woman. On cue, Shannon enters his life only, she has come to India to win back her Indian boyfriend who refuses to marry her because his family wants an Indian daughter-in-law. Govinda, predictably enough, vows to help her find the absconding boyfriend (because he 'louwes' her!), and together they traipse across the length and breadth of India, where they are met with they-just-left-here stories in all their pit-stops.

John Abraham and Vidya Balan: Johnny boy and Balan play a happily inter-religion-married couple until Balan has an accident and suffers from amnesia. Johnny boy then spends the entire second half of the film taking her to places and meeting people in an effort to get her memory back. Balan is much better in this film and appears to have realised that coy-eye-rolling does not a good actress make. Johnny boy is better than he was in Taxi No. 9211 (which is actually not saying much, but it's the best we can do).

Arbaaz Khan and Isha Kopikkar: Arbaaz and Isha are the frisky newly-weds whose attempts at having sex are thwarted everytime by a. a dupatta catching fire and burning the house down, b. an audience of five children, c. a runaway car and d. an errant rig which holds up Arbaaz's plaster-cast-leg, in that order. We figured that this was an attempt at comedy.

To summarise, watch it if you have plenty of free time. And yes, aspirin.


*And I get that throwing in Punjabi lyrics has proved successful in the past but MUST you force the language down our ears this way? Isn't that the most clumsy set of lyrics ever? What was wrong with saying it in Hindi??

5 comments:

Beth said...

Yours is the first review I'm reading! See how special you are? Anyway...yikes! As high as my hopes were until just a few moments ago, I believe you. I'll still see it - and I still really like most of the soundtrack (but I take your point about "Babuji," and I don't like the giggling in it), but...sigh. The boys, they do let you down, don't they?

ggop said...

This movie needed to be 30 minutes shorter with some editing. But looks like you went with very high expectations!
gg

Arthur Quiller Couch said...

First you waste your time watching it.

Then you waste your time writing about it.

I mean, seriously, WHAT were you thinking?

Chronicus Skepticus said...

Beth: I *luurrhhve* you forever! :D

About the movie, I think maybe you should take the whole review with a tiny pinch of salt. It wasn't *terrible*, if you consider the whole thing, just really bad in parts. AND it was *very* long.

Akshaye was purty...but then he's always purty...*sigh*

ggop: True. I guess the movie's not all that bad if you forget the fact that it's from the same guy who made Kal Ho Na Ho.

You're right about the expectations. :(

Couch: Well your royal grumpiness would know, I'm sure, that you don't know how good/bad a movie is until you watch it?

And having watched (and regretted), writing about it was the obvious next step, no?

And as for wasting my time, I don't have anything better to do with it you see. :D

Anonymous said...

The last pair has sohail khan & not arbaaz khan