Summer 2009 – A Visit to Bollywood

Reetu Bajaj ’12

Summer has passed away, and the cool chills of autumn have hit us quite fast. Homework, papers, readings, and extra-curricular activities are now drowning the lives of students. But let’s go back to the good old days of the summer of 09 and review some of the movies Bollywood cinema had to offer us!

1. Love Aaj Kal – (“Love Now and Then”) Starring Deepika Padukone and Saif Ali Khan with Rahul Khanna, Rishi Kapoor, and Giselle Monteiro, “Love Aaj Kal” takes place in London, San Francisco, and New Delhi. Studying in London, Jai (Saif) and Meera (Deepika) have been in a relationship for two years but as their careers take them to different paths, they decide to just remain friends. Meera goes to India to pursue a career in historical places restorations as Jai awaits in London, hoping to receive his dream job in San Fransico’s Golden Gate Company. The couple remains friends through internet and phone calls. Restaurant owner Veer Singh (Rishi Kapoor) is a silent observer to their break up process since it happens in his restaurant. He tries to convince a reluctant Jai that he is making a mistake and believes he should go back to Meera. Sensing that Jai is not taking him seriously, Veer then starts narrating him his own love story with Harleen Kaur (Giselle Monteiro) which took place far back in 1965 in Delhi. From then on begins the recounting of these two love stories running analogous together which incidentally end up with a similar finale after many twists and turns which also are similar despite the different period zones. After making the much acclaimed and adored “Jab We Met,” Imtiaz Ali succeeds in giving us a very different love story that we have never witnessed before on Indian screen. Having a screenplay full of surprises and music that’ll keep you “twisting” in your seat, “Love Aaj Kal” was definitely a hit for all audiences this past summer.

2. Kisaan – Directed by Puneet Sira, “Kisaan” resembles the story of Manoj Kumar’s 1967 hit movie “Upkaar.” Set in the backdrop of a village in Punjab, “Kisaan” is a story of farmers’ suicide. Aman (Arbaaz Khan) is the eldest son of Dayal Singh (Jackie Shroff) who decides to move to the city for a higher education as a lawyer, while the younger one, Sohail (Jigar Khan) decides to become the farmer. As Aman becomes quite modernized and marries a city vamp (Dia Mirza) , the tale sets of a twist where violent clashes occur among the family and shrewd businessmen and soon, the property of land is put at stake. Directed by Puneet Sira, “Kisaan” is a very melodramatic movie that had an overall weak narration and failed to capture the attention of audiences.

3. Kambakht Ishq – Directed by Sabir Khan, this comedic movie starred Akshay Kumar, Kareena Kapoor, Aftab Shivdasani,and Amrita Arora (note that even Sylvester Stallone plays a minor role too!). Viraj Shergill (Akshay) is a buff stuntman in Hollywood who believes that women exist just to make love with. On the other hand, Simrita Rai (Kareena) is a troublemaker with a sardonic tongue who believes that all men are dogs. By the forces of nature, these two meet and of course, the hilarious and most ridiculous situations take place. Now, like in every Bollywood movie, there is a dramatic surprise of fate that binds them together in a way that they would have never thought of. In general, it is a one-time see movie; the first half is definitely more exciting than the second, and some say the whole movie would have failed if it weren’t for Akshay’s acting. Thus, I would recommend it for Akshay Kumar’s fans and the people who like watching the senseless entertainers.

Kaminey – A Story of Kaminapan

~ Radha Venkatraman ’12

This Vishal Bharadwaj directed and Ronnie Screwvalla produced film is a one of its kind production.  Charlie and Guddu are the two roles played by Shahid Kapoor, who are identical twins, who have very different philosophies in life. Charlie, a horse bookie has a lisp and is into getting ahead in life the easy and fast way by using the short-cut. While Guddu stutters and is an AIDS activist. Priyanka Chopra the heroine of our film is Sweety, the sister of an influential politician in the city of Mumbai and Guddu’s girlfriend. The film centers around the lives of these three individuals and how fate plays a very important role in determining what is supposed to happen when their paths cross one another.

The music has been provided by Vishal Bharadwaj and lyrics by Gulzaar. The song Dhan Te Na has become a chartbuster and a crowd puller for the film. The music for the film is foot tapping and appropriate for the story line as it carry’s the movie forward. Bharadwaj has once again provided the masses with an intelligent film, one which has a very dark and eerie effect throughout. Shahid Kapoor has done a wonderful job of playing both the roles simultaneously and lives up to his father’s name. The cinematography in the movie is very artistic, while the acting and music seem to be its strongest points. All in all a total masaledar film, one which you should definitely go check out.