Saturday, August 30, 2008

Rock On

Rating : 7/10
Running Time : 135 Minutes
Release Date : 29th August ‘08
Director & Story : Abhishek Kapoor ; Music : Shankar Ehsaan Loy
Starring : Farhan Akhtar, Arjun Rampal, Purab Kohli, Luke Kenny, Prachi Desai, Koel Purie, Shabana Goswami

I’m probably going to miss out on the ‘most original summary award’ with this, but Rock On rocks ! I went in with a lot of apprehension as I adore Farhan Akhtar’s movies too much to watch him bomb in his acting debut but I needn’t have worried.

The plot is also unlikely to win any originality awards. Its about a group of four college students, who had formed a band named Magik. The story of how that band fared ten years ago is woven into the band members present day existence, with all of them in different jobs – two still with some connection to music but the others with none whatsoever. The business of making money clearly dominating the urge to make music. What happens next, as I mentioned before, is predictable. Even the sub-plots are predictable as is the story of what had happened to them ten years ago. However, it leads to a nice kind of anticipation where you know whats coming and you still want it to happen.

What sets it apart for me is the crisp editing – flashing constantly between the past and the present yet never losing steam, keeping you hooked. And the acting. I thought there were some amazing performances.

Farhan Akhtar fits so naturally into the college singer’s skin as well as the dispassionate corporate honcho’s boots that you wonder why he wasn’t acting earlier. Arjun Rampal was excellent in a role where he spoke less – none of the histrionics of Om Shanti Om or the good looking playboy flamboyance you normally expect from him but a quiet intensity. Purab Kohli as Killer Drama was hilarious – showcasing perfectly the character of a person who just refuses to grow up. Shabana as Arjun’s wife was also very good, slipping easily into a fashion designers role and then conveying realistically a housewife struggling to support a family. Devika had a nice cameo and finally Prachi, as Farhan’s wife was probably a bit too sweet and a bit too wide-eyed but I’m sure we all know women like that.

There are shades of Dil Chahta Hai here to the extent that it is about friends re-uniting and rediscovering life together. But what I really liked here was the contrast between the youthfulness and the zest of old and the bored existence of the characters ten years later – the corporate life, the routine existence which sucks every creative juice out of your body, leaving you drained and dry. There were some very nice touches as well – none better than the garba night ‘Ashiqi’ performance or KD’s song and dance routine towards the end. And the music – I’d been doing my best to avoid listening to it, I thought it was very ordinary but it somehow seems to come to life during the film – I was in full head nodding, feet tapping mode through all the songs.

I think live music generates its own kind of passion and a good performance can move you more than any DJ or any remix. And if you’re as old as I am, it can make you remember the years when watching performances was frequent and actually an option. And I hope the idiots running Bangalore watch the movie and reverse their ‘no live music’ ruling. But then you need passion and brains to do that and it may be asking for too much.


Rating : 5/10
Running Time : 110 Minutes
Release Date : 29th August 2008 (India)
Director : Timur Bekmambetov ; Writer : Michael Brandt, Derek Haas
Starring : James McAvoy, Angelina Jolie, Morgan Freeman

This is a movie made in the noble ‘Hero’ tradition of film-making, as practiced by most Hindi and several Hollywood films (All Bond, super-hero films). The Hero simply cannot die, how much ever you beat him, pump bullets into him etc. If you’re able to overlook this little foible and the lack of a plausible plot then a high adrenalin cocktail of spectacular stunts, special effects and her royal poutiness, Angelina Jolie, await you.

Normal, wimpy guy with boring cubicle existence, replete with cheating girlfriend and irritating boss, suddenly has life move into another gear as the Fraternity, a secret society of assassins, kind of ‘recruits’ him. Most of the film revolves around his brutal training and his focus on killing the guy who’s killed his father…thus following the second noble tradition of hindi film-making, the ‘revenge’ plot. Twist follows turn, zig follows zag, as bullets fly, collide and puncture human bodies in graphic slow motion for most of the movie. The stunts and special effects are really, really good here – like Matrix, I can foresee a lot of rip-offs of the different effects they used.

However, the movie lacks soul – we feel no sympathy for any of the characters, none of them is really built up in any depth. Having said that, while you’re watching the film, that doesn’t bother you as you get sucked in to the vortex created by the action. I would avoid it unless you’re a fan of the action genre, in which case it’s a must-see. And the cinema beckons for this one, avoid the DVD’s.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Perfume : Story of a Murderer

Rating : 8/10
Running Time : 147 Minutes
Release Date : January, 2007
Director, Co-music & co-writer : Tim Tykwer ; Screenplay : Andrew Birkin, Bernd Eichinger, based on the novel ‘Das Parfum’ by Patrick Suskind
Starring : Ben Whishaw, Dustin Hoffman, Alan Rickman, Rachel Hurd-Wood

It’s a story unlike any other you’ve seen or read. Its macabre, yet beautiful. Its set mostly in the filth of medieval France yet has almost a lyrical loveliness about it. And it keeps you hooked right from the first frame to the last.

This is a story of Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, a man born with an olfactory gift, a nose that can capture and detect smells of everything around him. He’s born to a poor mother, who runs a fish stall and his first sound condemns her to death. We see a little of his upbringing in an orphanage and then some part of his life in a tannery. None of it is pretty and right from the first frames, there are unnerving scenes. Yet they’re shown without sensationalism, without lingering on them and you understand that its all part of a bigger picture. And then, we see his inexorable movement towards the profession that would be the best use of his gift, becoming a perfumer.

And this is when we realize Grenouille is no ordinary man – he is obsessed not with money or fame or love but rather with scents themselves. He wants to be able to capture every scent in the world and his journey takes him from the streets of Paris to the fields of Grasse, the Mecca of fragrances. And this is where I stop and let you discover the rest on your own.

The movie has 3-4 brilliant touches. First and foremost is the performance by Ben Whishaw, playing Grenouille – it is outstanding, truly magnificient. His character speaks no more than 50 words through the film but just by slight facial expressions he manages to communicate all the emotions and the almost maniacal intensity that consumes and drives his character throughout the film. The performance is so good that Dustin Hoffman and Alan Rickman pale in comparison, they seem like mere character actors. The next brilliant touch is the narrator, John Hurt, who talks us through the whole film – his gravelly, matter of fact voice and choice of words enhance the movie and help us understand this most complex of characters. The third is the simplicity of the plot – when you have a good story, you don’t need sub-plots. This movie, like its lead character, stays focused on what it wants to say and depict. And the fourth is the cinematography, which depicts all the filth, the muck of that era, but without overpowering us or depressing us. And the montage that accompanies Grenouille's birth and later, his first awakening to his gift when he is five, is amazingly well put together.

This is not a film for everyone and definitely not for kids. There is no adrenalin rush here yet a quiet intensity which keeps you glued from start to finish. This is a movie which will heighten your sense of smell, will make you more aware of the fragrances around you. And I don’t think you will ever choose a perfume the same way again.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Maan Gaye Mughal-E-Azam

Rating : 2/10
Running Time : 146 Minutes
Release Date : 22nd August ‘08
Director & Writer : Sanjay Chel ; Music : Anu Malik
Starring : Rahul Bose, Mallika Sherawat, Paresh Rawal, Kay Kay Menon, Zakir Hussain

What desperate hardship could’ve forced actors like Kay Kay, Rahul Bose to be involved in such crap. Surely, the house or car they wanted to buy is not worth being associated in such mindless tripe ? Paresh and Mallika are not known to be too choosy at the best of times, but I expected better sense from Rahul and Kay Kay.

You know there is something wrong with a film when they have a cheesy ‘boing boing’ kind of comic soundtrack to highlight their jokes, like an ancient American sitcom. It abounds in silly jokes, sleepwalking actors, item songs and cheap laughs and is a waste of the considerable talents at their disposal. The lack of a plot or elaborate sets means the film could not have taken more than 5 days to shoot or cost more than 5 crore. Mallika’s last film Ugli aur Pagli had the tagline 99 slaps, 1 kiss. This film could have alternate titles like ’99 stupid jokes and 3 silly songs’ or even ’99 close-ups of Mallika’s bust and 1 backless shot’. I gave it 3 only because I laughed thrice in the film. I spent the rest of the whole movie with my head in my hands. I wouldn’t wish it upon anyone.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Bachna Ae Haseeno

Rating : 4/10
Running Time : 180 Minutes
Release Date : 15th August ‘08
Director : Siddharth Anand ; Writer : Aditya Chopra ; Music : Vishal-Sekhar
Starring : Ranbir Kapoor, Bipasha Basu, Deepika Padukone, Minissha Lamba

Bachna Ae cinema dekhne waalon
Ek aur timepass film aa gaya
Itna sara hype hai
Itne sare heroine
Phir bhi film hai bakwas, bilkul third class – ae o !

This was an apology of a movie (pun intended). Its actually not that bad, but I couldn’t resist the ditty. Its in the 4-5 bracket as far as I’m concerned but two women I know feel it deserves a higher rating, and its not because they have a crush on Ranbir or his six packs (you can read what one felt here, though she gives more of the story away than I would like to).

Its about a heartbreaker who has his heartbroken and his subsequent actions. A guy who behaves like a weak, invertebrate scoundrel on two occasions and then suddenly decides to develop a spine and turn a new leaf.

Like the women it showcases, the movie is naïve and innocent at first, based in Switzerland, where Minissha and Ranbir meet and reenact Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge.
Then it becomes a bit sultry, a bit modern, a bit fast, set in Mumbai with Bipasha. And finally, like the most interesting character of all, Deepika, ultra modern, progressive, a true advocate of women’s lib, set in Sydney.

My issues are several. I didn’t feel any sympathy for the lead character, Ranbir, because of what he’s shown doing, the way he breaks the hearts of Minissha and Bipasha. He crossed the line and so for me ceased to be a ‘lovable’ rascal, like say a Saif in Hum Tum, but instead became someone who I began to dislike (the character, not Ranbir, more on him later). The three women are not properly developed – we catch a glimpse of what they’re about but not enough to really care for them. Deepika is the most interesting portrait, something different, while the other two are too stereotypical (cute Punjabi girl and sultry supermodel respectively). And the second half transformation of Ranbir is not fully explained – why he does what he does etc plus I found the whole thing implausible. And I thought the ending was too trite, too superfluous.

There are some good laughs – they use music from other Yash Raj films to good effect with the clip from Dhoom2 being used very effectively. The background SFX of a toilet flushing was used well initially but then became repetitive. Ranbir’s friend, Sachin (I think it was played by Hiten Paintal), was outstanding, with very nice lines (and T-shirts). And I laughed the loudest on Deepika’s no-nonsense reaction when Ranbir introduces himself to her.

Ranbir can dance (vs what I stated earlier in Saawariya), can look cute but has to do better when doing emotional scenes. And he has to do something about his hair. The women acted well – Minissha is a really fine actress and brings a touch of credibility to whatever she does, Deepika looks lovely and carries off a difficult character well, while Bipasha looks hot and later bothered with élan.

I wish they’d kept it funny in the second half rather than going for melodrama (I have an idea for how they could have done this). And it wasn’t even that great in the first half. My son complained in the intermission that it was ‘too romantic’ for him to watch and promptly fell asleep. I wish I’d done the same.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Singh is Kinng

Rating : 5/10
Running Time : 136 Minutes
Release Date : 8th August ‘08
Director & writer : Anees Bazmee ; Music : Pritam
Starring : Akshay Kumar, Katrina Kaif, Neha Dhupia, Om Puri, Kirron Kher, Ranvir Shorey, Sonu Sood, Javed Jaffrey, Yashpal Sharma

For those who like that kind of stuff, this is yet another mindless film masquerading as a comedy. And all the hype yet again reveals something very slapstick, very ordinary. The first half is not so bad, if you don’t mind a little slapstick and some very Punjabi humour. The second half just deteriorates into unnecessary weeping, melodrama and one implausible situation after another.

The plot, that of a do-gooder cum nuisance, Happy Singh, being sent to Australia to bring an ex-resident of the village and current Don, Lucky Singh, is already implausible to the extreme. The sub-plots, involving Katrina, Kirron Kher, Javed Jaffrey and the other members of Lucky’s gang stretch credibility even further.

Its not without its moments though…the lingo is very rustic Punjabi and raises a lot of laughs. ‘Chehra itna bhola, andar bam ka gola’ or ‘lady Bheem’ were both delightful descriptors of Katrina. Names like Happy, Lucky and Mika cannot belong to any other community in the world. Pankaj Uddas, with his mournful, morbid stories, was a very nice touch. Javed Jaffrey’s removal of all guns from his person was funny. And the scene in the second half, involving Lucky Singh on a wheelchair being used as a waiter, was absolutely hilarious.

However, there was a tendency to degenerate into slapstick (the film begins with the oldest slapstick routine in the book with Akshay chasing a hen through the streets of his village), the situations become more and more flimsy and I really didn’t understand the need to switch gears and become so emotional in the second half – it absolutely ruined the whole film. Katrina & Neha looked lovely through the film, Akshay holds his own and most people acted decently, except Ranvir, who looks out of sorts and a bit mis-cast. The music is a split between the good (the title song and Jee Karda), the ugly (the snoopy dogg song and ‘Talli hua’) and the ok (most others), though all songs were forced into the film

I’ve also not understood the recent trend of choosing another country just for exotic locales – when it was a rarity, like the tulip fields of Silsila or the Switzerland scenery in Darr, it worked. Now I really feel the locale should have something to do with the plot…I mean the Mummy, quite obviously, needed Egypt just as Crocodile Dundee needed Australia. Singh is Kinng needed neither yet we were treated to songs in Egypt and the rest of the movie ostensibly in Australia.

In some ways though, the movie is almost like an ad for Punjab and its delightful, over-sized, gregarious residents. I remember when a restaurant chain called ‘Punjabi by Nature’ opened up in Delhi and quickly established itself as an iconic Punjabi place with its vodka-shot gol gappa’s, oversized naan’s (pls never order 2) and tangy butter chicken. This movie has already, due to its title, established itself as an icon of all Sikh’s and has been parodied / used and re-used in news channels, normal conversations, posters, sms jokes etc. Its commercial success is almost assured. Pity though that the imaginative title and the lovely designer pagdi’s was followed by something so trite, so ordinary. Surely the kingly Singh’s of the world deserved better.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008


Rating : 6/10
Running Time : 150 Minutes
Release Date : August ‘03
Director & Co-Writer : Prakash Jha ; Music : AR Rahman
Starring : Ajay Devgan, Gracy Singh, Mohan Joshi, Yashpal Sharma, Mukesh Tiwari, Mohan Agashe

What if you walked into a job where your superior and all subordinates were on the take and were dancing on the tune of a local power broker and his wanton son and were mute spectators to the atrocities committed by them ? Question is, would you be able to reform your subordinates and take them on ? And even more interestingly, would you be able to do so realistically, without assuming superhero powers ? In the old hindi movies, in myriad such plots, the hero always became a guy who was able to miraculously bash up scores of evil henchmen, survive tens of attempts on his life, mouth potent dialogue with villains listening mutely etc. And finally, most interestingly for me, would such a situation justify the use of brute force with scant regard for the law (kind of like the use of torture by Messrs George Bush and his cohorts), including even killing and maiming potential suspects without going to the court ?

The last question is what Ajay Devgan, the new SP of Tezpur, struggles with in most of the second half, aided by the pin-pricks of his conscientious wife. The film is gritty, builds up fascinatingly, gets off to a great start and is helped along with some very good performances (the son played by Yashpal Sharma and Ajay Devgan at his brooding best in particular, and 2-3 of Ajay’s subordinates including Mukesh Tiwari). However, what lets it down is the end – too melodramatic, and the hero betraying traces of superhuman-ness…

Also, the question about the brute force doesn’t really get answered (the film is apparently inspired by the Bhagalpur blindings where some 30+ people were blinded while in police custody). In a country where the judicial system is a mess, senior cops are on the take and there is a high nexus between the politicians and the underworld, I’m not sure a strict adherence to the law is really going to make progress or even, more basically, allow the honest cop to remain alive.

Bedroom Window

Rating : 6/10
Running Time : 112 Minutes
Release Date : January ‘87
Director & Co-Writer : Curtis Hanson ; Co-Writer : Anne Holden (novel)
Starring : Steve Guttenberg, Elizabeth McGovern, Isabelle Huppert

One of the rare movies I caught on telly the other night and watched all the way through despite all the pesky ad-breaks in the middle.

It’s a very interesting premise. During an illicit liaison with the boss’ wife, just after the edited sex you get to watch on Indian TV and while he’s in the bathroom, she hears a scream from the street and gets a good look at a potential rapist / killer trying to drag a potential victim into a dark park. His attempt is foiled by the screams of his victim and of the witness but then there is another woman abducted / killed just half hour later and cops suspect a link between the two incidents.

Over the next few days, her conscience troubles Isabelle incessantly as she got a really good look at the killer but since she cannot, of course, reveal that she was there, she is struggling to decide on what to do. Steve Guttenburg decides to then do something romantic, without really thinking through it and he goes and tells the cops that he had seen the killer – he gives them the description that he got from her and then pretty much hopes that will be it. However, obviously it doesn’t stop there and with one thing leading to another, he has to go to a line-up, meet the cops several times, meet the would-be victim (Elizabeth) etc. And before you know it, we have a thriller on our hands…

The ending is a bit disappointing / predictable but the film does a fine job of keeping you hooked and building up the tension. This is one of Curtis Hanson’s first few films and he shows us glimpses of what made him red-hot later with films like LA Confidential. The three lead performances are very good with Steve doing his classic good guy act, Elizabeth being cute and Isabelle being exotic. I’m sure, somewhere out there, is a hindi film producer who’s thinking of copying this film, with Emran Hashmi in the lead role – it has an illicit relationship, sex and murder, after all.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Ugly Aur Pagli

Rating : 5/10
Running Time : 150 Minutes
Release Date : 1st August ‘08
Director : Sachin Khot ; Writer : Anil Pandey ; Music : Anu Malik
Starring : Ranvir Shorey, Mallika Sherawat, Sushmita Mukherjee

I’m trying to think what I found most interesting in the film. The characterization of Mallika Sherawat as an aggressive, slap-happy female, her hilarious film scripts, Ranvir Sheorey’s passive ‘slave’ characterization, his T-shirts which always seemed to foretell whats going to happen to him or the short-lived character named Debu. All these kind of make up for the predictability and actual implausibility of the whole film, some clichéd & slapstick jokes and the unnecessary melodrama at the end (though the last couple of scenes were actually well handled).

I think Mallika’s actually quite a talented actress who’s acting ability gets overshadowed by her other, more obvious and visible assets. She did a very good job in Pyaar ke Side Effects and continued to impress in this one as a very tom-boyish character, who is hilariously described by Ranvir in the film as a cross between Keshto Mukherjee and Medha Patkar. Add to that shades of Nirupa Roy / Nutan as a weepy waif and you have a more complete picture. Basically, she’s a girl who loves her drink (a little too much), is a strong minded but kinky character, comes up with impossible challenges, who is not hesitant to use muscle vs brain and who prefers ‘yes men’ around her vs men with a mind of their own.

Ranvir Shorey is one of those no-hopers in terms of life and also in terms of women. A guy who’s failed four years in engineering college, a guy who was dressed in girls clothes by his parents for his first few years, a guy who has never done anything of note in his life and a guy who routinely gets beaten by his mother. No wonder, he considers himself blessed to be in Mallika’s company, even if its as her slave.

Sushmita Mukherjee (Kitty of Karamchand fame) has a very nice cameo as Mallika’s mom. Most people act well, fit their roles nicely. The story moves along quite nicely but drags a bit in the second half. It was almost as if the director / writer, having set it up so nicely in the first half, didn’t know what to do with the characters in the second half. Pity, as with a little bit of care, this could have been a truly great film.


Rating : 8/10
Running Time : 160 Minutes
Release Date : May ‘04
Director & Co-Writer : Mani Ratnam ; Co-Writer : Anurag Kashyap; Music : AR Rahman
Starring : Abhishek Bachchan, Rani Mukherjee, Ajay Devgan, Esha Deol, Vivek Oberoi, Kareena Kapoor, Om Puri, Vijay Raaz

This is a fascinating story of three different men and how their lives intersect, quite dramatically, on Howrah Bridge. They are of completely different social strata, have completely different dreams and ambitions, are of very different natures. The only common thing being they all have girlfriends. For a change, this Hindi movie builds the characters well and even more importantly, ties it all up well as well. It doesn’t necessarily choose the happy, predictable path but shows what probably were just rewards for the individuals concerned.

I liked Abhishek’s character, Lallan, the most. Easily the most complex, a goonda / thug who knows only one way to settle an argument. A man who becomes a beast when angry but is goodhearted otherwise. A man who doesn’t know when to draw the line, for whom its always about more – driven by a need for power, money (to an extent) and respect. A man who has no hesitation in casting aside his loved ones, when he feels they are standing in the way of his progress. From the first scene when he is shown playing kabaddi in prison, he is magnetic, gritty and real. I think this movie marked the turning point in his career and deservedly so. His relationship with Rani Mukherjee is best exemplified by the song ‘Thoda Neem Neem, Thoda Sakht Sakht’ and is a nice case of good (Rani & his best friend / chief henchman, Vijay Raaz) vs evil – and thanks to Mani Ratnam’s deft handling we aren’t sure till the end who will win.

Michael, played by Ajay Devgan, is probably the most straightforward character. A student who finds the political system rotting and decides to do something about it. A person who drums up enough support to give the movement muscle and make the established politician (Om Puri) wake up and take notice. A person who is determined to make a difference and is lucky enough to find a girlfriend, Isha Deol (in a small but well enacted role), who supports him.

And finally we have Vivek Oberoi as Arjun, probably the weakest link in terms of casting, playing a rich kid, out to have a good time. He meets Ajay and Abhishek in that dramatic encounter on Howrah Bridge and life is never the same again. His personal life is also in turmoil – he’s been accepted by a US university and is due to go very soon. And he’s met this hot babe (a very very hot, innocent yet naughty Kareena, resplendent in white & other Indian outfits) who is about to get married to someone in Kanpur. I’ve never yet been able to appreciate Vivek as an actor (despite having seen him in Omkara and Shootout at Lokhandwala) and this movie didn’t settle that debate either. But I thought Kareena was magnificient and I love the way she is able to slip into a variety of roles so easily – in this she plays a naïve but adventurous college student to the T, making us believe in her. And I loved the relationship they showed between Vivek and his younger brother, a very nice touch.

I think Mani Ratnam deserves kudo’s for bringing this complex story masterfully to life. AR Rahman’s music is great, the songs are lovely (I’ve loved the videos of Fanaa and Anjaana even before I saw the film) and well placed in the film. Its like a very good modern art painting – seems like a jumble sometimes but everything is there for a reason. And when you step back and look at it, it starts to make sense / makes you think….A nice story (apparently inspired by Amores Perros and released simultaneously in Tamil as Aayitha Ezuthu with a different cast), well told.


Rating : 5/10
Running Time : 103 Minutes
Release Date : Nov ‘07
Director & Co-Writer : John Jeffcoat ; Co-Writer : George Wing ;
Starring : Josh Hamilton, Ayesha Dharker, Asif Basra

Its clichéd, its corny but nice. Josh Hamilton plays Todd, a nice American guy who’s hard-nosed boss sends him to India to train the new outsourced order fulfillment department. When he gets there, things are a bit of a disaster – accent, understanding of American small talk, the numbers (MPI’s, the amount of time taken to fulfill the order), understanding of the items sold (cheesy American souvenier items like the bald eagle etc) – everything is a mess…And the catch is that he cant return to America till the MPI is down to 6 minutes from its current 12.

Todd, or Toad as he’s called by everyone, is finding things difficult. He’s alone, in a strange land, surrounded by people who cant really understand him. Things are beginning to get to him when, in a chance encounter he meets another American who gives him some friendly advice…to give in to India, don’t try to resist it…things will then happen much more easily…And the funny thing is, it does…I wont bore you with the details but things start to take a turn for the better and he enjoys some unique Indian experiences including a downpour which floods the office, a misplaced shipment, Holi and a figurative ‘holiday in Goa’.

Amongst the key characters in the movie is Ayesha Dharker playing Asha, one of the girls in the call center, who asks a lot of questions and also boldly suggests that Todd learn about India before he tries to teach them about America. Another key one is Purohit or Puru, the person who is designated to replace Todd as manager, the man who will earn half a million a year (rupees, as Todd’s boss laughs and tells him), on the basis of which he was able to get engaged to a girl he loved since childhood. And finally, there is Todd's landlady, who breathlessly asks him 6 questions within a minute of meeting him.

It was a nice, easy watch. Not too disparaging or making too much fun of India or America, just passing a comment or two on how different the two cultures really are. For example, how Todd can live two hours away from his parents but only visits them 4-5 times a year. Or how educated, progressive Indian girls can still choose arranged marriage, where they get married to guys they don’t love (yet). Its funny at times, bittersweet at others, its east meets west. Its predictable but not to the point of distraction. Worth a watch, if only to learn more about the ‘monkey pulls a turnip’ position…