Hindi Movie Reviews

I wrote these reviews some time ago after watching the movies. They aren't the latest but hey, I don't get paid to write them anymore and so - I don't!

Aazmayish (Trial)

The trailers for this movies heralded Rohit Kumar, the young hero, as the newest sensation to appear in Bollywood. Of course, the fact that the producer of the movie seems to be his father (I am not sure of the relationship but they both do have the same last name) might have something to do with this high praise. Actually, Rohit Kumar does not dazzle us with his acting prowess in the movie but his performance is adequate and he is perfect for the role of the son of Dharmendra (the other hero of this two hero project - sort of -) because their features are somewhat similar.

The story, as usually happens in any Hindi movie, is the same old formula thing but is pretty interesting because of the way the relationship between the father and son is portrayed. Anjali - "The Lyril Girl" as she's known in India - plays the part of the girl that Rohit falls in love with and who happens to be (big surprise!) the daughter of the villain (Prem Chopra).

The story is about the love between a father and a son and how they are friends as well as being a father and a son. The two of them live in a colony where the people work for rich contractor Prem Chopra. Prem's father-in-law, who is dead and who owned the construction business, had promised the people that he would build houses for them and part of the story revolves around Dharmendra's and Rohit's fight to get the promised houses built for their people. The rest of the story is about Rohit's and Anjali's love affair and the "third man" in the triangle - Mohnish Bahl.

Music makers Anand-Milind make an appearance after a long delay and though they seem to have stopped lifting Tamil maestro Illaiyarajah's tunes, their tunes still have a hauntingly familiar ring to it. May be we should start a competition to guess who has inspired the A-M duo this time!

The film is watchable but not something you should go out of your way to see. If you have nothing to do of an evening or if you drop in at your local video-shop and see the casette, it's worth taking a look at. Oh, for the movies of yester-year!

Baazi (Wager)

A collage of scenes and story lines from several other movies, improbable scenes and effects - policemen who are being fired upon by terrorists trying to put out a fire, a satellite-dish which electrocutes a man, shoes which change from high-heels to flat-heels in the middle of a dance-: the kind of thing that Hindi movie fans and fanatics have come to love are found in abundance in this new movie starring Aamir Khan.

Aamir Khan has been fairly silent for a while and we have seen him in just one movie after his super hit "Hum Hai Rahi Pyar Ke" (We are the travellers of love) and that was the double-Khan starrer "Andaz Apna,Apna" (Styles of their own). "Baazi" has been billed as the first "action" movie by Aamir Khan and I have no intention of contending that as he does indeed indulge in a lot of beating up and getting beaten up (instead of his standard one fight per movie routine) but I would like to say that all the iron he is reported to have pumped in preparation for this movie seems to have done him little good. He does remove his shirt a la Salman Khan in one fight sequence but we don't see those rippling muscles that we are supposed to see.

Aamir also does a bit of cross-dressing and poses as a woman in part of the movie and is very convincing indeed. Hmm... maybe he's got something there.... Maybe he should stick to female roles in the future! 'Nuff nitpicking! On to the story!
The story is about an honest cop (ooh, how original!), played by Aamir Khan, who is trying to guard a minister (Raza Murad) who is sniffing out corruption in the government. The man behind all the corruption is his own deputy (Paresh Rawal) and incidentally he is the same guy who wiped out Aamir's family when Aamir was very young (another original idea used quite a lot in Hindi movies). Anyway, Aamir is pursued by a female TV reporter (Mamta Kulkarni) who comes up with all sorts of ingenious plots to get Aamir Khan alone but how she is to get an interview with him when there are no cameras present, is left up to the viewer's imagination.

The music score by Anu Malik is good but as it happens these days a lot with Anu (maybe the guy is overworked - what with all those movies that he's been taking on) you keep on wondering, "Haven't I heard that tune somewhere before?" I guess there's nothing like an already tried and tested tune, now is there? The songs are catchy and should be at least comfortable hits if they don't make mega hit status.

This movie has the same slick westernish look that director Ashutosh Gowariker's first film, "Pehla Nasha" (First intoxication) showed (the look is not there throughout the movie folks, but wherever it appears, it does look good!) but I hope "Baazi" doesn't share the same fate as "Pehla Nasha" which was a super flop.

The film is a must-see for all the Aamir Khan fans out there but if you are expecting the doe-eyed lover boy of "Dil" and "Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak", you are in for a rude shock. It is an enjoyable movie (except for all those improbabilities but in a Hindi movie I guess you've got to expect that and it does make one laugh, you know!) and is better than most and who knows, you might even love it!

Hum Aapke Hai Kaun? (Who am I to You?)

Salman Khan seems to have come full-circle once more. He started out in the Rajshri productions "Maine Pyar Kiya" (I Loved) and became an instant sensation and hit after hit followed. Then he had a bad spell when he all he did was produce flop after flop. Then came "Hum Apke Hai Kaun?", again from Rajshri productions and he seems to have struck gold again. Two other films of his have become box-office smashers since then and he seems to be on a winning streak once more.

At the recently concluded 40th Filmfare awards "Hum Apke Hai Kaun?" bagged two awards for it's director, Sooraj Barjatya - one for best director and one for best screenplay and his become one of the biggest box-office hits of all time - if not the biggest. But how is the film itself?

Whatever the awards and kudos it has garnered, in my opinion, it cannot compare with it's predecessor, "Maine Pyar Kiya". While "Maine Pyar Kiya" was a formula story, it still had a freshness and a beauty this film lacks. Anyway, this has basically the same cast as "Maine Pyar Kiya" except perhaps for the replacement of Bhagyashree with Madhuri Dixit for the role of heroine.

The film is indeed a refreshing change after all the pelvic thrusting, gyrating dances and the double-meaning lyrics that have pervaded Hindi cinema in recent times but the story is conspicuous by it's absence. There isn't much of a story-line and the songs don't compare with those of "Maine Pyar Kiya" though Raamlaxman, the music directors, seem to have been trying to recapture the earlier magic. The story, as such, is about these two families where the elder sister (Renuka Shahane) of one marries the elder brother (Mohnish Bahl) of the other and the younger sister of Renuka (Madhuri Dixit) falls in love with the younger brothers of Mohnish (Salman Khan). Then Renuka dies at child-birth and the elders of the two families - who know nothing of Salman's love affair with Madhuri - decide to marry off Madhuri to Mohnish. The story goes on from there.

Salman Khan's performance is really bellow par and it is I think only fair to say that this is Madhuri's film more than Salman's. She does carry out her role admirably. Though it is no great shakes compared to "Maine Pyar Kiya" (as I keep on repeating), this is a film that can be watched and enjoyed by the whole family.

Majdhaar (Midstream)

This is Salman Khan's third release since "Hum Apke Hai Kaun?" but I have a feeling that this is a film that will not fare as well at the box office as the others. This is not because the film is not good but because the story-line is not the usual box-office formula. Though it doesn't vary too much from the usual formula, it varies enough to make it an unusual movie and this might not be palatable to the normal Hindi film fan.

The film seems to have been written especially by papa Salim Khan for Salman and he excels in his role except when he tries to play the comedy scenes where I feel that he hams outrageously. Except for that, Salman really does a good job especially in the emotional scenes and doesn't bare his muscles once in the whole film (surprise, surprise!)

The story-line can be summed up by the words of one of the characters in the film: "You should choose the partner that you want beside you to cross the river of life, at the shore and not midstream!" The story is about two friends Gopal (Salman Khan) and Krishna (Rahul Roy) who grow up since childhood with the girl Radha (Manisha Koirala). They both come to love Radha but each doesn't know about the other's love for Radha. Then Gopal tells Krishna about his love for Radha and Krishna, in true Hindi film hero's fashion, sacrifices his love for his friend's sake. Not much different from all other Hindi films so far, right? It is now that the story veers from the normal but I guess I should let you see it if you are interested.

As stated earlier, Salman is excellent in his acting and Rahul Roy displays that sensitivity that we first saw in "Aashiqui". The story too is not too bad but is definitely not recommended if you are an action fan because there isn't enough action to fill a thimble throughout the film. The music is not remarkable but Nadeem Shravan (who make an appearance after quite some time) manage to put some good tunes in there. All in all it is a good film for the discerning Hindi movie goer.

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