Monday, December 25, 2006

Kabul Express

First, I salute Kabir Khan – the writer / director, a former war correspondent himself, who had visited Afghanistan several times prior to filming Kabul Express there. It’s the first movie to be shot extensively in Afghanistan after 9/11. And despite several attempts to dissuade him, including by the producers and the Taliban, he stuck by his guns (pun intended)….Second, I salute YRF (Yash Raj Films) for having the courage to produce this movie – it’s a rarity for Bollywood cinema, almost an art film but featuring 2 very bankable stars. The first week gross of almost Rs 8 cr, despite a very limited release in the NCR region, also gives me hope and contradicts the myth that Indian audiences do not appreciate quality films.

This is a war story about a few interesting human beings. It’s a simple story, well told, littered with excellent one-liners that make you laugh louder than most Bollywood ‘comedies’. And it doesn’t lecture us or pontificate but lets each individual figure out his or her own ‘moral of the story’. Can’t believe it’s the same John Abraham from the ham-handed Baabul…

Jai Kapoor (Arshad Warsi) and Suhel Khan (John Abraham) are journalists who land in Afghanistan searching for an interview with the Taliban – to shoot themselves and their channel into prominence. Along the way they meet Khyber, an Afghan, who becomes their driver and guide, in his Toyota jeep aptly named Kabul Express. They also meet Jessica Beckham, an American ‘veteran’ war journalist, also looking to interview the Taliban. And finally, they meet Imran Khan Afridi, a Talibani / Pakistani soldier. Together they spend almost 48 hours, in which they encounter amongst others, the Mujahideen, American soldiers, the Hazara (an Afghan tribe), Pakistani soldiers and a suicidal donkey.

This is more a story about the people than the war itself. Its set in late 2001, just after the American bombing, when the Taliban are fleeing the country. It doesn’t try to take sides, at least not in the Michael Moore one-sided fashion, but enables us to understand or at least tries to make us understand what the different people are trying to do, what brought them there, what do they want now etc. The movie also proves a theory of mine – that even in Bollywood, with a little bit of effort / intelligence and not a lot of screen time, you can establish and flesh out some characters quite easily. My favourite example is Jaya Bachchan in Sholay – I don’t think she occupied more than 15 minutes of screen time in an epic which lasted more than three hours. However, we get to know enough about her in that little time to be able to understand her, to be able to feel sympathy for her situation and finally weep for her…It’s the same here – we develop a bond with each of the five central characters, we feel for them and most importantly, we enjoy having met them.

The screenplay is excellent – like I mentioned above, excellent character development and some lovely one-liners. From memory here’s a sample, as Jessica joins Suhel / Jai / Khyber for dinner.
Suhel : So what will you have for dinner ?
Jessica : Wow ! As if there is a choice ? Here its kababs for breakfast, kababs for lunch and then for dinner, its kababs again. And if you feel hungry in the middle and you want a snack, you guessed it, its kababs again !
Khyber (who doesn’t understand a word of English): Arre, iske liye kabab manga lo, nahin to yeh saari raat chup nahin karegi…

There are also some fascinating conversations about who is a better all rounder (Kapil or Imran), which is a sweeter drink (Coke or Pepsi) and about who started the war (Afghans or Pakistani’s).

The cinematography is exceptional – rugged, serene, beautiful, there are frames where without a word being said, you really question the ‘wisdom’ of war and the sanity of our fellow human beings. The music is great – there are no songs in the movie (yes, you heard that right, its true !) but a beautiful instrumental theme which is used throughout as background music. The casting is great, Arshad Warsi continues to amaze me – see ‘Sehar’, if you want further proof of his acting ability. John is very good and there is no attempt to cash in on his 'chocolate boy' looks or image. Salman Shahid, Hanif Hum Ghum and Linda Arsenio, who complete the big five, are also very real. For the support cast, Kabir used some authentic Mujahideen / some local Afghani people and some Pakistani actors to give us an authentic flavour of Afghanistan.

What a relief to see this film, especially after the last 2 ‘disasters’ I’ve seen. Gives me renewed hope. Definitely worth a watch !

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Bhagam Bhag

I wish I had run as well – in the opposite direction. I have a headache as does the rest of my family. The story has more holes than the sieves in your kitchen. The jokes are stale. The comedy is slapstick at best. The actors are wasted…I don’t know / cannot fathom why they agreed to be in this film.
The central idea was a good one – a drama company lands in London missing their heroine. The owner announces that whoever will find a suitable heroine will become the hero. However, what follows is ludicrous…insane….the attempt to give a twist at the end is also pathetic and stretches our patience.
I’m now going to struggle to find anything good in this movie. The opening song is nice (Signaal, pyaar ka signaaaaal….). And, let me think….well, no…forget it….the rest is trash.
Govinda seems to be past it – he’s lost some of the spontaneity, he looks old and tired. Other actors who are past their sell-by date but persist in torturing us in the film include Jackie Shroff and Shakti Kapoor. Lara Dutta looks good, as always but is wasted in the film along with Akshay and Paresh Rawal.
There were some people in the hall who were in splits…I feel for them. I ask you to pray for them and for the director. May God give them better taste. On second thoughts, leave the director out of it – he deserves whatever comes his way.

Friday, December 08, 2006


I’m extremely grateful that I saw this movie. This movie has made me fearless. In the future, if I’m ever being tortured, I can just think of this movie and whatever pain and suffering I’m going through, will surely pale in comparison to what I went through while watching this film !

This is an unmitigated, unadulterated disaster ! Its an impostor of a movie – even movies like Golmaal, Apna Sapna were better as at least they didn’t pretend to be something they are not…at least they gave you a few laughs…This one rides on the coat-tails of Baghbaan (I haven’t seen it but my wife and parents have and they assure me that it’s a ‘beautiful’ movie and not my type), tries to be another tearjerker but falls flat on its face – the only tears you get are due to your own pain / irritation / suffering….

The movie itself suffers from a fractured plot, completely disjointed direction, contrived situations, fake emotions, about 20 (at least they seemed that many) forced songs which had no rhyme nor reason (pun intended), artificial 'hindi movie' dialogues, a Niagara of glycerine, a plethora of characters whom we don’t get to know at all and its all as predictable as the curves of Aishwarya and Bipasha in their bikini’s in D2 (its these visuals that gave me strength during my suffering !)

We already know from the promo’s and interviews that this movie is about widowhood - hardly a new topic and there is nothing new in the treatment / plot either. Amitabh and Hema Malini are the in-laws, Salman is the son (he shares a 'very close' relationship with the father so they call each other 'Buddy' at least 50 times to establish this fact ! Extremely irritating !), Rani is the ‘bahu’….you’ll be effortlessly able to piece the rest of the film together ! This is Rani Mukherjee’s second crack at being a widow – while in ‘Hum Tum’, everything was so natural, the story was so realistic, we understood what Rani felt / what she was going through and why, here we have mannequins and completely unfathomable events / character behaviour…

The only silver lining I could find was a beautiful song (Kehta hai Baabul) sung by the Big B himself (even the music is apparently composed by him - however the audio CD version is sung by Jagjit Singh) – it features through the movie as background music and also along with the credits, which only doubled the reason to reach the end quicker.

Avoid this one like the plague – the most entertainment we got were from the comments of 2 student groups sitting around us….I’ve never seen a full movie hall empty as fast as it did when this one ended. Maybe they could use this for fire drill training !

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Casino Royale

This is an aberration - I'm reviewing Hindi movies, not English ones. However, was moved enough, almost compelled to write what I think is going to be a very polarising review ! Here goes...

Casino Royale made me think of why I watch Bond movies…I’m sure the reasons are different for every individual, but mine came out something like this…

  • At a primal level, I love Bond movies for the beautiful women, the gorgeous clothes (or lack of them), the brilliant humour / one-liners / pick up lines and the action – which was always cutting edge…you saw things which made you marvel, were ahead of their times, wonder if that could actually be so?
  • At a slightly more cerebral level, I always found Mr Bond very aspirational…he could do with a touch of class, without getting flustered, things which would have normal people going ‘Mommy’ ! He was a guy’s guy…he made everything look easy – he could naturally, instinctively figure out how gadgets / machines operate, how to charm the socks and other garments off every woman he met and also…he always won !

Now we have Casino Royale, Daniel Craig (the 6th Bond’s) debut movie.

Firstly, the fact that I had the above thoughts during the movie is not a good sign. In Bond movies, you’re neither supposed to have the time nor the inclination to think, damn it!

Secondly, we can go through the above list

  • Gorgeous women: conspicuously absent…We had Eva Green (Eva who?). She probably won’t even figure in the top50 most beautiful women of Pune. What a comedown after Sophie Marceau, Halle Berry, Honor Blackman, Britt Ekland et all.
  • Gadgets : again, missing in action, like Q. Most current Bollywood movies have more in the name of hi-tech than this Bond film. Even cars – while he does get a DB7 very briefly towards the end - in one scene he’s even shown driving a Ford (Nooooo! Even my butler wouldn’t drive a Ford. This cannot be!)
  • Humour: some good lines, (example: “Vesper :Am I going to have a problem with you, Bond? Bond: No, don't worry. You're not my type. Vesper: Smart? Bond: Single”). But otherwise severely dialled down as well. No idea why? Compare with the following lines from Goldeneye and you’ll see what I mean: “Xenia Onatopp: You don't need the gun. James Bond: Well, that depends on your definition of safe sex.” Or even “James Bond: I must say, I've had a lovely evening. Xenia Onatopp: Well, once again the pleasure was all yours.”

Third, we can discuss Mr Craig.

I didn’t like him – didn’t think he fit the bill.

He’s different – he’s the fittest Bond, with rippling muscles and superb upper torso. However, for me, Bond’s appeal was that you could be great / cool without having spent half your life in a sweaty gym. He is the least sexiest…working class kind of face & behaviour, probably more at home drinking beer rather than Martini’s. There’s quite a telling exchange with a barman in the middle which illustrates what I’m saying – “Bartender: Shaken or stirred? James Bond: Do I look like I give a damn?”

He’s good in fist fights but doesn’t seem to inspire the same credibility around mechanised stuff (and at some point in time that’s going to be tested!). Also, if they keep showing him getting cut / bruised / bloodied in every fight, the man’s going to look like a wreck after just two movies. I mean, the beauty of Bond was that he could save the world, beat all the baddies, destroy 2-3 buildings and then just casually brush a few specks of dust from his tux before landing up at the casino. But apparently not anymore…

Finally, the plot. Mr Bond spends 30% of his time in the movie playing cards. He also spends 80% of the movie chasing Le Chiffre, who is a banker to the terrorists, playing the stock market with their money…I mean how ludicrous – I don’t mean from a logic point of view as that way all Bond plots are ludicrous – but what a come down from the days when the Bond villains wanted to rule the world or the moon or monopolise the world’s oil supply etc. An example of the ‘small thinking’ - Le Chiffre hires a terrorist (one terrorist who dresses as a cop) to ram a oil tanker rigged with an explosive (again, one explosive) into a new airplane prototype of a company – so that the company’s stock price will fall and he will make about $100mn or so…Guys, show some imagination…by this logic, even Harshad Mehta could be a Bond villain….And Pierce Brosnan / Sean Connery / Roger Moore would probably not even bother foiling the plot for $100mn or so…they would want to save billions…that’s more like it.

I came out from the movie not at all sure I had seen a Bond movie. Also, as an aside, I didn’t even particularly enjoy the one that I saw…No exhilaration, no thrills…just a pale imitation of James Bond, 007.

Friday, November 24, 2006


( My son, inspired by Dhoom2, shortly after the movie)

This is a fun movie…everyone has fun, the director looks like he enjoyed making the movie and most importantly, even the cast look like they’re having fun, they’re enjoying being the characters they are portraying, enjoying being in the locations they’re in. There's a scene where Uday / Bipasha do a spoof of Baywatch and another where Aishwarya says enough of health food and asks for a juicy burger ! So its only natural that the fun rubs off on the audience !

This movie is not about the plot, even though it isn’t all that bad. There are shades of the Saint (Val Kilmer) and the Thomas Crown Affair. And it does ask for some suspension of judgement as some details are not totally believable,. It’s a not so standard cops (Abhishek & Uday Chopra, as in Dhoom) chasing a robber (Hrithik) story – with some predictable and not so predictable twists along the way. The action sequences are fantastic – some breathless stunts that well…make you gasp & hold your breath. And for a change, even the disguises are good – this has consistently been a weak point of Hindi movies as usually the disguises are laughable – here, though, in a couple of places even we (and not just the cops in the movie) struggle to spot Hrithik…

However, as I said before, its not about the plot or the action sequences…this is a movie about the stars ! So here goes

  • Hrithik : OhMiGod ! Hunkalicious ! Simply outstanding…I’m running out of superlatives here. For me, he towers above everyone else in the movie and that too on almost every dimension – action / looks (I want his wardrobe !) / coolness / emoting/ credibility. And when he enters the dance floor – Wow ! Everyone else better move aside ! Hrithik rocks and rules !

  • Abhishek : He’s good, he’s cool (floral suits him), does justice to his part, but for me doesn’t set the screen on fire. The role is a simple one – so I guess, to be fair, there wasn’t much more he could have done.

  • Aishwarya : imagine a perfectly bronzed Ash, dressed either as Lara Croft or in the kind of clothes that most Dad’s would never allow their daughter to wear, the kind that only moth’s on a diet could eat. I readily admit I have a bias, and I’m going to use this movie as evidence in all further debates about her looks. She is paired with Hrithik in the movie and I think there are very few couples on this planet who make a better couple in terms of sheer looks. One slight issue was that she was given a part ‘tapori’ character – I think her role & the movie could have been better served if she was made more suave (like Hrithik & Abhishek), perhaps with some idiosyncracies, kind of like Rene Russo in Thomas Crown Affair (the Pierce Brosnan remake)

  • Bipasha : she brings a lot of oomph in the early part of the movie – looks great, acts well. However, her role is extremely limited, but on whatever we do see of her is extremely promising / she deserved more.
Uday was good – he has a full 'tapori' role, as in Dhoom, and he continues to evoke the easy laughs. However, more interestingly, there is another level of jokes / conversation as well in the movie – the one liners, slightly more subtle jokes / dialogue, the kind you get in Hollywood movies. This is done through Abhishek and Bipasha in the early part and Hrithik / Aishwarya in the latter part. One disappointment for me were the songs – not the music, the sets, the dance / choreography but more the lyrics & the playback (especially for the women) – they didn’t seem to match up to the characters. The best song remains the remix of Dhoom Machale which is also used as background music through the film.

This is a movie which is overtly about being cool. Even Hrithik is described as a ‘cool chor’ by the cops in the movie. But pleasantly, it succeeds. While Dhoom made biking cool, I was trying to think of what things would become cool due to the sequel
1. Rio De Janeiro, Brazil – one of my favourite cities in the world and amongst the most beautiful ones I’ve had the pleasure to visit. I can just see the spate of Indian’s choosing to go there now (even if its too far), thanks to this movie.
2. Bandana’s – the pirate style, as worn by Hrithik
3. Roller-blading – while there is only one sequence, its great…

For the last word, I’m going to take refuge in my son once again. He’s at the kind of age where he picks up one word and then starts using it for anything and everything. So when I asked him ‘how was the movie?’, he used his current such word, a word which I totally agreed with as a one word summary of Dhoom2 : ‘Awesome!’.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Apna Sapna Money Money

This is a movie created to cash in on current trends, to purely make money ie ensure revenues are greater than costs, without having much to do with the art form of making movies. I’m going to go through a hypothetical checklist that I’m sure the producers / directors / scriptwriters of such brainless comedies go through

Plot : Half Done : keep it loose, don’t worry about logic, coherence or other such minor details. A girl fetching diamonds worth 50cr for a broke gangster is inexplicably asked to travel by train from Goa to Mumbai. Enter a cop, who has been trying to nab them for four years (but failing spectacularly), another small time con-man who is running away from Goa and then literally anything is possible
Sub-Plots : Over Done : Include several, trying to cover all possible movie segments and target audiences. So we have a Christian mechanic trying to marry a Hindu neighbour but is stalled by angry father, a young girl who has a hole in her heart and needs lots of money for operation, a milkman wannabe don who worships Amitabh’s ‘Sarkar’ etc etc
Item Girls : Done : use 3, just in case someone doesn’t like the personality of one…quite innovatively, give the item girls some bit-parts as well, not just a song, to ensure that there is plenty to see throughout the movie for the average testosterone fuelled red-blooded Indian male viewer.
Make fun of some disability : Done : here the nominated disabililty is near blindness
Make fun of some community : Done : instead of the regular Sardarji’s, this movie has gone for Nepali Gurkha’s
Dress up a Man in drag : Done : always works – raises a few laughs and also gives opportunity for the man to watch a girl undress…
Vulgar jokes : Done : just enough to avoid alienating the crucial family audience
Other Jokes : OverDone : the scriptwriter here has diligently saved all the forward email jokes and sms jokes that he got for a year. Everyone will find at least five funny…
Arshad Warsi / Boman Irani / Paresh Rawal / Anupam Kher : Done : All successful hindi comedies over last five years have had at least one of the above. Here its Anupam Kher and if it was me, they couldn’t have paid me enough.
No major stars but side-actors who cant act : Done : Neccessary to keep overall costs low, here Ritesh Deshmukh heads this list. Also include a couple of have-beens, who logically should have retired, to add to star appeal. Here Chunky Pandey (honestly though, he wasn’t that bad) and Jackie Shroff are prime members of this list.
Rap song : Done : Mandatory after Bluff Master. Again, in true value for money mode there are at least two or three (I lost count).
Its the very definition of a time-pass movie and if you go with an open mind (pun intended), there will be a few laughs and precious little else. Watch (only if free) and forget !

Saturday, November 18, 2006


I would probably not have watched this movie were it not for a persistent younger cousin brother who wanted to watch it for a third time, my liking for Preity Zinta & Akshay Kumar and some intrigue generated by the songs, which seemed good fun.

The movie is not as bad as I had thought – I’ve seen many worse ones. With a few fixes, it could have even been good.

The songs are very nice – really vibrant, beautifully choreographed with some nice touches. There’s one where Salman and Preity are shown romancing and everything seems to rise to welcome them – the stairs pop out and then light up, then a table and chairs pop out from the ground, then the railing comes up and then finally two illuminated trees come up to provide the backdrop. In another, Akshay and Preity are walking through central park and everyone around them is in operatic ballet mode – all couples are sashaying around, pirouetting, twirling…quite beautiful.

It’s a pretty standard love triangle, where Salman (divorced husband of Preity) decides to help Akshay (NASA astronaut, ex-nerd and ex-college mate & chief secret admirer of Preity) to get married to Preity so that he can escape alimony payments. Preity is in NY so both fly over and since Akshay is nervous around women, Salman dictates what he has to say, when, where etc. Suddenly there is a twist in the tale – albeit a predictable one – and surprise surprise – Salman now wants to win her back for himself but then what about Akshay ?

The plot is quite severely intellectually challenged. The twist is something completely implausible / the timing just doesn’t make sense. Wish I could say more but then it would give the twist away. All I can say is that the ‘twist’ cannot be what its made out to be for anyone with half a brain ? The circumstances of their divorce were also funny, to say the least. The movie also refuses to get into any sort of depth – we don’t understand any of the characters – what they are like, why do they do what they do, what are they thinking etc. They are just there to keep the story moving. Finally, the way Salman is shown to be a stud with women – the way he talks (fake, irritating American accent) / his pick up lines etc (especially in a scene with an air hostess) would have most modern women reaching for their can of mace / insecticide.

I also have to admit a bias – I have never understood how as terrible an actor as Salman became a star and continues to get gainful employment in Bollywood. And this movie only reinforced my opinion. He overacts, has a wooden / blank face most of the time and has a repertoire of not more than 3 expressions throughout the movie. The emphasis is purely on his dresses which are all designed to provide multiple exposures of his pectorals and bulging biceps. Both Preity and Akshay’s roles are dwarfed by Salman’s and not developed enough to make us feel any sympathy for them. I truly cannot fathom why either of them accepted the roles since both are capable of so much more. We don’t understand at all why Preity chooses who she chooses at the end and also how / why the unlucky third party behaves the way he does.

There are some interesting bits early on in the movie, showing Anupam Kher as a dwarf, who’s sensitive about his height, and how all conversations seem to constantly refer to his height.

My recommendation though, would be to not watch the movie unless, like my cousin brother, you can’t get enough of Preity, or like some hopeless women (none that I know personally), you can’t get enough of Salman. If that’s the case, then based on his dresses in the movie, you’ll definitely get your money’s worth.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Umrao Jaan (2006)

This is clearly not a movie for everyone – based on just the genre’s that it straddles. First, it’s a period movie, set in mid-nineteenth century Lucknow, which I think cuts the total potential viewers in half straight away. Next, it’s a tragedy, and I’m not giving the story away as the movie is told in flashback and you know this from frame one. This probably reduces the remaining viewers by another half. Finally, it’s a slow paced movie, with a pace more akin to a test match (if Australia is not playing – they only seem to play at one pace !) rather than a one-day international. This probably knocks off another half of the remaining viewers.

Those potential viewers / current readers left though, are probably going to enjoy it!

If you’ve not seen the previous Umrao Jaan (1981 / Rekha)
The movie is set in mid-nineteenth century and relates the tale of a courtesan – her rise and fall, her search for a life outside her profession, her attempt at finding true love and also her search for her own identity and her roots. It is a story told quite beautifully – the settings, the dresses, the bright colours stand out as a nice contrast to the sorrow unfolding in front of us.
It’s a very real story – there are no mercies given nor asked. There are no sugary characters, no cloying sweetness, no fake lovey-doveyness – but real emotions. Its quite a change from the normal Bollywood movie, where only good things (at least eventually) happen to the hero / heroine.

If you have seen the previous Umrao Jaan
The newer version tells the story better – the older one in parts seem a bit disconnected / fragmented. The characters, apart from Umrao Jaan herself, are also fleshed out better.
Also, the Rekha movie shows a very bleak side of Lucknow / Faizabad – the houses are very dark, the building dilapidated. This movie, on the other hand, shows beautiful palaces, rich people, a cleaner, more prosperous city.

However, the earlier version was more authentic – the urdu / language was better, more ‘true’. In some places here you feel the language is a bit forced, not natural, the characters are being forced to speak urdu.

For all
Finally, I think the biggest difference is the quality of songs / the lyrics. In Rekha’s movie, the songs are classics, they give soul to the movie, and are popular even 25 years later. I seriously doubt any of the songs of UJ’06, with one exception, are going to be played even 25 months later. Don’t get me wrong, they’re good songs, nicely sung, beautifully choreographed, lovely sets etc but they’re just not in the same league. I was actually shocked to find Javed Akhtar is the lyricist, since I expected more from him – but things became clearer when I read his comments on the official Umrao Jaan website – he claims he was trying to bridge the gap between the nineteenth century and the current generation. I feel he would have been better off being authentic and staying with the era the movie is set in!

The one exception though, is the haunting, heart-rending ‘Agle Janam’, excellently sung by Richa Sharma, and poignantly used as background music during the latter half of the movie.

Aishwarya is very good, stunningly beautiful in some scenes (as you would expect) and also very emotive, fitting the role (as perhaps you would not expect) and doing justice to it. Abhishek is nice to look at but some how his expressions, his demeanour does not fit the movie – I feel he needed some more gravitas in his role, his body language some how still comes across as a 21st century playboy, rather than a nineteenth century Nawab. The real jewel, though, in the movie is Shabana Azmi – she is brilliant ! Here there is no artificiality, no forced urdu. She is effortless and imparts a very human edge to her role as Khanum, the owner of the brothel.

Net, if you enjoy the genres that this movie straddles, you will enjoy it. However, it is not a classic, as Rekha’s Umrao Jaan was. This one is more beautiful as a spectacle but lacks the soul !

Friday, October 20, 2006

Don (2006)

I loved the movie, can’t wait to see it again, and can’t wait for the DVD so that I can see it several times again. And yes, I have seen the original Don (1978), I loved that one as well, grew up adoring it / Amitabh Bachchan. I will compare the two movies later but I loved both and both deserve their own place in their own respective era’s / time.

Don (2006) is a thrill a minute, edge of the seat, don’t blink or you’ll miss something, superbly stylised action movie. It’s a sort of Don(1978) meets James Bond (the Pierce Brosnan era, with all its hi-tech gadgetry etc). It is unbelievably slick and amazingly cool. Its got the finish of a top-end magazine like Vogue or GQ…glossy, beautiful, a work of art. And the action scenes are breathless, non-stop and come at you one after another.

I had severe reservations about Mr Khan as Don. Especially as there are few bigger Mr Bachchan fans than me – I idolise the man. However, I’ve come from the movie convinced that no one else in the current set of stars could’ve carried it off as well as Shahrukh. He looks and behaves like Don – completely different to the chocolate faced ‘Main Hoon Na’ and ‘Kal Ho Na Ho’ giggling lover boy we are used to. In this movie he has a steely look about him, a nastiness that is very believable. He is slightly over the top, but only to the degree you would want him to be.

Priyanka Chopra simply sizzles. When I look at her on screen now I’m ready to do all the things Jim Carrey does in the ‘Mask’ when he see’s Cameron Diaz dance at the club ! I only wish her part was bigger. Boman Irani continues to look the part in whatever part he is given and does a very stylish take on DCP DeSilva. The music – I didn’t think too much of it when I heard it on the net…but now as I write, the refrain is pulsing in my head, all the songs have acquired a life of their own (and Priyanka sets the screen on fire in ‘Aaj ki Raat’). The wardrobe guys also deserve a special mention - from Shahrukh's suede look in 'Main Hoon Don' to the cool, black leather jacket of DCP DeSilva, to the hot numbers that adorn Priyanka - I think the clothes will spark a thousand imitations.

I’m not going to mention the plot at all – my logic is that if you’ve seen the 1978 version, you already know it to a large degree. And if you’ve not seen that one, the last thing you should do is read about it – much better to see it / experience it and be blown away ! I will add though, that there are a few twists and turns. While Farhan Akhtar is true to the overall concept of the earlier Don, he has really put his own stamp on this remake by inserting a few really unexpected moments.

Now, the promised comparison. I really believe that both movies are great and sit comfortably in their own times / their own settings. When I see the old action movies (Gold Finger / From Russia with Love) today, I enjoy them, but I do get a feeling they are a bit dated. Every era has its own ‘look’, its own definition of hi-tech…for example 30 years ago a cassette could be considered hi-tech in India. Today it would be a DVD or a micro-disk. In the old Don, I thought the overall plot was amazing / original but hated the ending (the scene in the cemetery) which I thought was a farce / a joke. The new Don takes the basic plot but puts it in current settings. Mumbai becomes KL. Instead of a rickety police van transporting Don to prison, we have an airplane (a la ‘Con-Air’). There are some new characters. There are also some old characters that are interpreted differently, have different aspects to them. And it has an ending that is sensational ! A brave, polarising ending, which, just to relay some of the comments I overheard while exiting the hall, spoilt the movie for some but made it for others. For me - it worked and I salute this 'brilliance'.

I’ve loved every Farhan Akhtar movie so far – Dil Chahta Hai is in my top10 all time Hindi movies. Lakshya comes close to that list and so now, does Don. He simply gets better and better. He manages to extract something more from the stars, show them in a different light (Hrithik / Preity in Lakshya, Aamir / Saif in DCH....Shahrukh & Boman Irani in Don). He is willing to gamble, take a risk, do things his own way. Excellent stuff !

The one criticism that is possible of this movie though, is that it’s an ‘upper class’ movie. The earlier Don, while also a slick thriller for its time, I feel still connected with the common man in India. This one, I think, will struggle to do so – in terms of the locales, settings, clothing, plot…all were great / cool for me but I don’t think will have the same appeal in the smaller towns etc. Also, the same can be said of Farhan’s earlier movies as well – they all cater more to the upper / upper-middle class of India – the world that Farhan inhabits. However, its a minor issue and I still think the movie will be a huge hit !

The great thing, I remember, about watching Don (1978) as a 7 year old, was that when you came out of the movie (and for the next few days)…you felt you were Don ! You wanted to be like him, copy all mannerisms, you were mesmerised, felt the sense of power. I saw the same impact of this Don (2006) on my son (coincidentally also 7 years old). But even better, it still had the same impact on me ! Just love it !

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Pyaar ke Side Effects

Imagine a love story with every cliché possible, every predictable twist and turn but it still manages to make you laugh…and in some parts makes you laugh very loudly. I went into this movie with very low expectations and came out with the movie having delivered a notch above.

Sid (Rahul Bose), is a DJ who meets Trisha (Mallika Sherawat) when he is playing songs at her wedding in Delhi and she is contemplating running away. Six months later they meet again, now in Mumbai. They meet some more… they fall in love ! When Trisha proposes marriage after three years, Sid is not quite ready – they then break up, patch up, break up again etc. On Trisha’s side, we have the typical over-protective father, another typical over-protective best friend and as the side love interest, the guy who she was going to get married to but ran away (at least this was something different). Sid, on his corner, has Ranvir Sheorey as a Rhys Ifans (Spike, Hugh Grant's roomie in Notting Hill) style best friend who never bathes / changes underwear, an understanding brother in law / sister, and as his love interest, the wonderfully voluptuous star (Sophie Choudhary) of the album Baby Doll Volume 3 (doesn’t leave much to the imagination, does it ?).

As you’ve guessed, the plot is not really the strong point of the movie. What is great is the style of the movie – its shot in a partly demo style, where Rahul frequently talks to the camera in the middle of scenes, kind of lecturing on what is happening, usually about the side effects of pyaar, engagement, breaking up etc. What is also very good is the honesty of the movie – no topic is taboo, they go and make fun of topics which previously were kind of off-limits (there is a full discussion around bra-straps and why they are so complicated to open for men, there is another conversation between Rahul and his Mr Big). And finally, the jokes are brilliant…I think some of them are lifted from English movies, but no worries because they have indianised them beautifully. We have Mallika’s refreshing take on what makes Delhi women different from Mumbai ones (and around the whole Mumbai vs Delhi thing in general). We have this other discussion around why marriage is not good for men, proof being that no superhero is married (I swear I’ve heard this before, but can’t remember where – in any case its so wonderfully indianised that you’ll laugh out aloud anyways !)

This is the first movie I saw of Mallika’s and I was really pleasantly surprised. I think casting Rahul Bose opposite her was a mistake – he came across as quite wooden, his dialogue delivery is quite stiff, Hindi a bit accented, definitely not as spontaneous as Mallika. Ranvir Sheorey was brilliant again as the best friend, Aamir Bashir was a very believable brother in law, Sophie Choudhary was a very believable Baby Doll Vol3.

So, put the kids to sleep and go enjoy…not one movie that you’re going to see many times or buy the DVD but definitely worth a look-see…

Monday, October 02, 2006

Khosla ka Ghosla

Khosla ka Ghosla is a humorous showcase for Delhi, a city I’ve lived in from the 6th standard all the way till end of college and a city with which I have a love-hate relationship !

I love the buzz in Delhi….the feeling that everyone is trying to progress / make money. I hate that in most cases they’re actually trying to make it illegally and its you they’re trying to rip off.
I love the aggression, the enthusiasm but hate the fact that it results in the use of violence almost as a first resort.
I love the feeling of open space / spaciousness (especially vs Mumbai which always feels very crowded) but hate the fact that due to land-grabbing / illegal construction / the conversion of single-storey bungalows into ugly multi-storeyed eyesores in residential areas, this is rapidly disappearing.
Finally, I love the mentality of anything can happen, nothing is impossible and the sheer inventiveness this leads to – the ability of overcoming any obstacle or coming up with ‘shortcuts’ is amazing but I hate the fact that this is accompanied by a complete lawlessness and lack of consideration for other humans.

Khosla ka Ghosla does a brilliant job of highlighting all the wonderful and not so wonderful things which make Delhi what it is – along with the above, you have the helpful neighbours, the chartered buses, the almost ludicrous belief in deities – Mata / Baba etc and the near - idolisation of NRI’s. And its done with a wonderful sense of realism – there are no comic stereotypes, no slapstick for easy laughs. The humour lies in the reality of the situation, the people and how they choose to overcome their problems.

Kamal Kishore Khosla (Anupam Kher), a salaried person on the brink of retirement, buys a plot of land where he can construct a bungalow which can fit all of his family – with a floor for each of his kids… Shortly after the purchase the plot gets ‘grabbed’ by an unscrupulous property developer, Mr Kishan Khurana (Boman Irani). They first try the straightforward methods, all the things you and I would do in the same situation…they meet the person who sold them the land who peacefully points out this is their problem. They meet the land-grabber who equally peacefully quotes his price for vacating the property, they meet the police who offer to get the price reduced but want their cut. They meet lawyers, politicians, activists as well who have pretty much the same response as the police. Bunty (Ranvir Sheorey), his eldest son, a good-for-nothing, good hearted, unemployed loafer comes up with the idea of using ‘force’. He hires a bunch of strong men from the local akhara (wrestling club) but the only outcome is that is father gets jailed ! Mr Khosla is now at breaking point….he is resigned to his fate and is ready to give up his plot.
This spurs his younger son, Chiraunji Lal, aka Cherry (Parvin Dabas) to try to do something. His relationship with his father was never a very good one, even though he is the smart one in the family, the one who bears the burden of all the expectations. This relationship is put under even more strain when he announces to his stunned family that he is about to leave shortly for America. His girl-friend, Meghna (Tara Sharma), is involved in a theatre group led by Bapu (Navin Nischol), and cannot understand how he can just leave, abandoning his father. The second half of the movie is all about what happens next….how a computer engineer enters the world of real-estate and without doing anything beyond the realms of reason, tries to get his increasingly reluctant father his land back.

I really enjoyed watching the movie – I loved the way some of the characters have been fleshed out…I found I could relate to them, understand why they behaved the way they did and could easily spot some of their traits in my circle of family and friends. And I loved the realism…there is nothing shown in the movie that could not happen to you and me. There are also some moments where you squirm – especially in the first half – the primary thought in my head was ‘Shit, this could be happening to me !’. You feel the pain, the agony that Mr Khosla is going through for no fault of his and his helplessness and frustration with the situation.

One more thing I really liked / want to comment on is the start – which was a very innovative way to introduce all the characters in the Khosla family and their relationships with each other.

Everyone in the movie acts very well – Anupam Kher and Boman Irani are truly the chameleons of modern Bollywood – they seem to fit into any role with ease. However, the surprises were Ranvir Sheorey as Bunty, Vinay Pathak as the visa agent and Navin Nischol’s secretary (tried hard but couldn’t get his name) - they all truly excelled in their roles and gave their characters something extra…

Khosla ka Ghosla is like a Coffee Crème Caramel – light, easy, sweet in most parts but with a touch of bitterness. When I was leaving the hall though, I couldn’t help wondering what a non-Delhiite would think of the movie…whether they could relate to the movie as easily as I did and see the humour in the situation ? Or would they think this is something else those crass people up North do ?

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Lage Raho Munna Bhai !

I think this movie deserves an Oscar – actually several of them, not least for originality and a quirky Indian-ness which is rare these days where every other movie is set in US or UK or other exotic locations abroad. And also for delivering very powerful social messages in a fun, gentle, non-preachy manner, mixed with such good jokes that you can’t help laughing throughout. I hated the first one (Munna Bhai MBBS), couldn’t understand what the fuss was about…but am I glad they did a sequel because I absolutely loved this one !

Munna Bhai (Sanjay Dutt), a Mumbai toughie, is smitten by a Radio VJ, Jahanavi (Vidya Balan, the heroine from Parineeta). Once, on Gandhi Jayanti, she organises a call-in quiz about Mahatma Gandhi with the prize being a radio chat with her. Munna Bhai, of course, with the able help of his side-kick Circuit (Arshad Warsi), wins the quiz. When he meets her he pretends to be a professor (to explain how he knew so much about Gandhi) and then the fun begins ! Other key elements of the plot include

  • Jahanavi lives with her grandfather and a few of his friends, who are all elderly citizens, in a house named 2nd Innings House – which is so named because these retired, elderly folks believe life begins at 60 !
  • There is a business man, Lucky Singh (Boman Irani), who is friends with Munna Bhai / Circuit, and he has ‘designs’ on the house Jahanavi lives in…
  • Once Munna Bhai has to actually go to a library and learn about Gandhiji and he gets so engrossed in his studies that he spends 5 days non-stop there – and then Gandhiji himself appears in front of his new ‘disciple’ and becomes his Jimminy Cricket / Fairy Godmother style companion
  • Soon, inspired by his new companion and his learning about Gandhiji, Munna Bhai starts doing a ‘Gandhigiri’ radio talk show with Jahanavi – advising people on how to solve their problems Gandhi-style…

The movie works at several levels – its got plenty of laughs, extremely lovable, true-to-life characters and also at a more serious, intellectual level where it really does bring Gandhi’s philosophy into modern times. And finally, also the way it debunks and pokes fun at several unique Indian habits….

  • The whole obsession with kundali’s / astrology etc
  • The new fad of changing a name to change luck – Kkhurana etc…
  • The inability of our senior citizens to enjoy themselves after retiring – have fun, let their hair down, do the things they always wanted to do but were prevented by the rat race
  • The habit of showing off by putting up photo’s with rich and famous people

All the cast are very good in the movie – however, 2 notable performances were Arshad Warsi who was again brilliant with excellent comic timing and his face a canvas for a plethora of emotions. And Boman Irani – who really brought Lucky Singh as a quintessential Sardarji to life, a ‘villain’ you couldn’t help but love…

Another amazing thing about this movie is the vulgarity and violence – there is none ! Amazing ! I thought this wasn’t possible anymore ?

I watched this movie with my family including my six year old son. And I’m ecstatic that his reaction was to ask me 100 questions about Mahatma Gandhi (about 50 of them during the movie itself)…he now wants to know everything about him / the freedom struggle etc…What more could a patriotic NRI want ? Great stuff…you’ll love it !

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna

Do you love your spouse ? Are you happy with life ? Do you think marriage is a compromise ? What if you find love outside your marriage ? Would you forgive your spouse if they were unfaithful ?

Don't believe the hype....KANK is a good movie, ok in parts, great in some others...nothing more ! It touches upon & raises all the above questions...valid ones, as anyone who has been married more than 3 years, will certify. But disappointingly for me it does not seek to answer them with any logic or probe the thinking of the characters and show why / how they respond to the above situations. And it tries too hard to be a Bollywood blockbuster by ensuring all the key formulaic ingredients are there - whether needed by the main plot or not !

Rishi (Abhishek), cool son of even cooler, swinging widower Sam (a delightful Amitabh) marries Maya after a long courtship. Maya is not sure whether she loves Rishi, has a nervous moment before the marriage and shares her feelings with a stranger Dev (Shahrukh). Dev is a star footballer, `happily' married to Rhea (Preity) with a son, Arjun. Within moments, however, this changes as Dev meets with an accident and is not able to ever play again. This makes him a crabby, irritable, miserable person who yells at everyone - strangers, wife and even son. Rhea is a happy, cheerful person who spends a lot of time at the office due to her job but to say she is a career-obsessed power woman would be pushing it. In the meantime, Rishi, who is a happy go lucky, fun loving person loves his wife deeply but Maya is unhappy...she is 'frigid', not able to respond to her husbands playful love and is upset by the fact that she cannot ever be a mother. She also feels Rishi is a child...not able to sit down and discuss things. The two couples' paths cross several times due to various reasons, the two unhappy people start meeting more regularly - they start by just sharing their unhappiness and then move on to trying to do things to save their respective marriages. And I dont want to spoil the rest by giving too much away - except to say that I feel the end may not go down well with a few people.

The movie is very unevenly paced - it has exhilarating moments (usually featuring Amitabh or Abhishek) but equally some others where you are squirming, looking around the hall to wonder what the others make of it. Most crucially for me, it fails to give a true 'inner' perspective of why Dev and Maya do what they do...what are they thinking ? What do they really think about their respective spouses ? What are they really unhappy about ? We see the two of them meeting about 50 times but we are very rarely privy to what they talk about apart from some superficial stuff. Its almost to the point that, as we don't understand their point of view, Dev and Maya become 'villains'...we feel no sympathy for them. Also, the movie focuses on Dev and Maya...who are not very happy people and too little on Rishi and Rhea - who are the happier ones. I would love to have known how / what Rishi thought of Maya's frigidity, about her obvious unhappiness ? And what kept Rhea going when faced with non-stop unhappiness from Dev everyday ?

For me the movie confirmed Abhishek's growth as an actor - he is amazingly spontaneous and able to switch easily from fun to serious while being equally credible at both. Preity and Rani are both good - they do justice to their roles, in Preity's case as much as the script allowed her and in Rani's case i think as much as she is capable of. Shahrukh - i dont know if its just me but i am definitely in the mode where his mannerisms are too predictable / too unidimensional...the furrowed brow, the 'intense' look, the giggling laugh....surely he is capable of something more ? For an actor who started with really different roles in Baazigar and Darr, i feel he now plays roles which are too similar, dont really stretch him as an actor.

Amitabh is God !!! Dont let anyone tell you anything different. Be prepared to see a very different side of him - a cool, womanising, 'with it' dude...and yet when he is required to be serious he manages it so simply, so naturally, with just a look, a gesture...i've been watching him with wide-open eyes since his Mr Natwarlal days but i haven't tired...i want more...lots more !

Nice try Mr Johar...but i expected something better from you !

Saturday, July 29, 2006


What a fantastic visual feast....guys, i really loved the movie (well maybe the ending could have been different ?)...and will definitely watch it again when its out on DVD...

This is Vishal Bhardwaj's adaptation of Othello....a tough ask even if set in modern take it a few steps (no, make that leaps) further and set it in rural india (UP / Bihar)...take actors who are suave urbanites and convincingly transform them into country bumpkins..then, maybe then you start to get an idea of the task that Mr Bhardwaj is trying to accomplish...If this was a diving competition, he would get 10 straight away for degree of difficulty !!!

Omkara (Ajay Devgan) is head hooligan (bahubali) of corrupt politician (Naseeruddin Shah) in UP...he has 2 lieutenants, Langda Tyagi (an unrecognizable Saif) and Kesu Firangi (Vivek Oberoi). Omkara and his Desdemona (a fresh faced Kareena Kapoor) fall in love and elope on the day Kareena is to get married to someone else that her father had approved of. The first seed of doubt is planted by the father : 'Jo apne baap ko thag sakti hai, woh kisi aur ki sagi kaise ho sakti hai' he tells Omkara....The rest is vintage Othello, with Saif playing Iago and ensuring none of the others have a moments peace....

A few things really stood out in this movie
  • The Casting : I'm not talking here about the stars but about the extras...I don't know what Vishal and co did (hire all the Bihari's in Mumbai as extras ? Go to a UP village and lift them enmasse to the set ?) but everyone in the movie is picture perfect...right down to the goonda who frisks the cop before he can meet Omkara (hilariously executed scene) to the cop himself (who looks like the kind of guy who would get frisked) to the 'tai' whose comment when she first meets Kareena brings the house down...the people in Omkara's village etc ...everyone is faultless...picture perfect !
  • The Sets : I loved the little touches of authenticity in the movie...the hand pumps, the broken down coolers and rusted drain pipes jutting out of the house...the whole surrounding, the house, the set merged beautifully in its surroundings
  • The cinematography : As anyone who has visited UP / Bihar will testify, its very hard to make the countryside look beautiful...In this movie, you feel like shifting there straight away...forget holiday Etah...The colours, the great use of sunlight really was stunning

Next we come to the stars...

I didn't like Ajay Devgan in Golmaal but here he is in his element...with his slow, measured reactions, his deadpan expression, you couldn't have asked for more. Unlike the others in the movie, who looked like they had to dress up for the part, Ajay looked like he simply went to his grandfather's cupboard and borrowed his outfits...I think after Khakee, i really liked him here...he seems to bring an air of unpredictability to his actions...A top class performance...

And that brings me to Kareena...who brings a innocent, naive beauty to her role and actually seems to fit in with the surrounding...which one would never have thought possible after watching her Pepsi TV ads...this is as far removed from her normal on-screen persona as possible and I was really impressed.

Saif was very good as well - he was brilliant in Hum Tum for me but then my perception of Saif is that he is actually like that as a person - here he looked credible again as a scheming country bumpkin and i know for sure he is not that in real life, so i give him more credit here...

Vivek Oberoi was ok - hard to say whether anyone else could've done more with the role...same for Bipasha but someone else who really caught my eye was Konkana Sharma who really infused life and energy as Indu, Langda Tyagi's wife...she was really good and i will hope she gets more opportunities to show off her talents

What would i change in the movie ? Blasphemy for some, but possibly the ending...there is a certain ponderous inevitability to the climax which possibly could've been avoided with an unexpected last-minute twist or two. And also because I, like most Indians, am a sucker for happy endings...they uplift me far more than tragic ones....I mean I still believe Sholay (one of my all time favourites) would've been a better movie if they had not killed Amitabh ! So you get the picture ?

Finally, in case you're planning to watch with kids, there is a lot of good old-fashioned Hindi abuse / crude words...but it fits really well, is not excessive and there are a couple of excellent jokes around the words !

So all in all an excellent effort from Mr Bhardwaj...can't wait to watch it again and can't wait for his next one !

Saturday, July 15, 2006


Instructions for watching the movie

  • Detach brain carefully before movie begins
  • Leave brain at home
  • Commence watching

Warning : Any deviation from the above could result in an increase in India’s suicide rate

I think they should make this warning standard on all the movie posters / advertsing…

Ok – now lets be fair ! There are some great moments in the movie – there is a lot of laughter in different places. Some scenes really can cause you to roll down the aisle’s laughing (the Vande Mataram in the middle of the night and the one where they are trying to describe where in New York do they live come readily to mind). And I think if you follow the instructions above, then you can stand the movie once.

Its not really a movie – just a lot of jokes loosely knit together with an extremely thin, full of holes fabric of a storyline.

4 friends live together in a hostel, they get chucked out by the dean, while running away from some goons (whom they owe money) they stumble across a bungalow occupied by a blind couple who are pining for the return of their grandson from USA. One of them becomes the grandson and together they protect the couple from some other goons who are trying to steal from them. A pretty neighbour provides the eye candy and there is a predictable ending to round things off.

Throw in a lot of slapstick, a lot of scantily dressed white skinned extras, some (a few, not excessive) vulgar jokes and a lot of pranks – voila, we present Golmaal

One issue which bothers me about this movie and most other Hindi comedy’s is the need to make fun of physical disabilities – one of the 4 friends is dumb, the couple are blind…I mean why ? Surely there is a comedy possible without having to do this ? Take the original Golmaal for instance !

As for the cast, Arshad Warsi is his usual spontaneous self, Ajay Devgan better stick to action movies + the man really cannot dance so please stop trying to make him, Sharman Joshi was very impressive (good looking, emotive face, nice laugh) – I really tip him to go far (and not just in comedies). The rest were competent / made the best of the situation.

Watch it once, if you have nothing better to do…

Thursday, July 13, 2006


I have a 6 year old son and a wife who's between 30-35 (am not allowed to reveal exact age). They both loved Krrish. I kept waiting for the movie that could have been ! But then i am a very fussy watcher.

The plot should be quite simple but isn't
  • Krishna is brought up by grandmom (an over emotive Rekha) who realises he has the same superpowers which ultimately caused the death of her son, Rohit
  • Rekha's response is to hide him in a secluded hilly place where he grows up, superpowers intact, but with no materialism et all . She looks after his education etc.
  • Enter pretty woman, Priya (Priyanka Chopra - full marks for originality for this screen name) who makes Krrish fall predictably head over heels over her - there is a nice sub-plot here regarding ghosts which i wont give away
  • Priya leaves, Krrish follows her to Singapore (tearful separation from g'mom where she finally tells him the truth abt his superpowers / parents etc and she extracts promises from him to not reveal his powers etc). More sub-plots involving the tv-station Priya works in
  • Finally the metamorphosis of Krishna into Krrish with revenge for dad, obligatory villain holding heroine ransom scene (i wish i had the patent on this one), and a couple of predictable twists.
Whats great about Krrish are the action sequences - they are quite slick and definitely a notch above what is seen in bollywood movies so far. With direct lift's (or inspirations) from Matrix, Minority Report and Superman - they've done a great job.

I also really liked Hrithik - am not sure about the spelling of his name (is it one R or 2 ?) - he comes across very nicely as a superhero - mischeivous when he needs to be and serious when on the vengeance path. Having a body like his also helps carry it off. And his smile - very natural, a change from the rather wooden faces Hollywood seems to choose for its super heroes (Val Kilmer, Michael Keaton for Batman and Mr Routh for Superman Returns are cases in point).

I loved Priyanka in Bluffmaster - but here she was ok - still looks great (wearing dresses that show off her excellent bod without going too far - there was one scene with her in a wet white t-shirt tho, that went by too quickly for my liking - just kidding, i'm a married man !). But crucially for me she fails to inspire any emotion for her character - which comes across as weak, indecisive, selfish, confused. Too much in control of her friend, Honey (another ace in name generation from the casting team)

And now my fundamental issue - Krrish came across as a movie which couldn't make up it's mind as to what it wanted to be - a slick action movie, a kids adventure / super hero movie or a love story. True to Bollywood it tries to be all 3 and therefore loses its chance to become a really great movie.

My son loved the action sequences but the movie lost him for large chunks - they made the plot too complicated for him to really follow it. He would have wanted more of them - and a simple plot with a defined baddy who spoke in more simple language. Also, they took too long to introduce Krrish - i think he actually comes in only after 2 hrs or so are up ! Can you imagine a movie where the title character only really lands up for the last 3rd of the movie ?

They dragged the main plot a little too long, distracted you with too many sub-plots, spent too much time on the love story, build-up (past / background) and so lost the edge of the seat thriller that they could have made - one which kept you engrossed till the end, one which would've made the interval seem unneccessary or somethg where you just caught your breath.

For the sequel - and i would be disappointed if there wasn't one - i would have a simple storyline, lots of action, only a few characters (including the bad ones) whom then i can spend time building / giving depth and have the title hero right from the start

Its worth watching once but i would save the repeats for the sequel. Going though by the originality of the names, dont expect anythg more dramatic than Krrish2...