Posts Tagged ‘kareena kapoor’

So the title of the post says it all. 3 Idiots is a wonderful, wonderful movie, and I recommend it to one and all. So if that is all that you wanted to know, read no further.

But if you’d like to know more, here’s the first clear message. That in Rajkumar Hirani, we have one of the finest story tellers in Indian cinema today. From the Munnabhai series to 3 Idiots now, we see Hirani’s films combine some fascinating elements: light-hearted comedy which does not need to be slapstick and yet generates the guffaws in the audience, emotions that manage to wet your eyes, a message to the society, and in the end, a fantastic feel-good factor. As you come out of his movies, you have a smile on your face, which says that it was time very well spent there, on the cinema seat.

Yes, that seems to have become the trademark of Rajkumar Hirani, and which is certainly how 3 Idiots is too. And I am sure that Vidhu Vinod Chopra has a big role to play as well. I suspect that he is not a typical money-providing silent producer, but rather a keen team player shaping out the details of the film, and in that respect, the Hirani-Vidhu Chopra combo is one of the best things going in Indian cinema today. Cheers to them, and may they keep brings good films to us.

3 paras done, and I have not even mentioned the name which is the only name, otherwise read everywhere else, where 3 Idiots is being written about. Yes, Aamir Khan. Undoubtedly, he is brilliant, and the film completely rides on him. Which in some sense, is a shame. I mean, Rang De Basanti was not called 5 Rebels or Dil Chahta Hai was not called 3 Great Friends, and yet Aamir shared a lot of the screen space with others. And here, a film is CALLED 3 Idiots, but for most parts of the movie, it is 1 Idiot, and then perhaps another couple of quarter idiots, making a total of 1.5 Idiots on the whole!! This is just an observation. But from the narrative point of view, or from our enjoying the film itself, it does not matter at all. Aamir works, nay, he rocks! As usual!!

If Rocket Singh celebrated the Salesmen, 3 Idiots celebrates Engineers. As an Engineer myself, the entire education system shown is so completely identifiable. It was almost nostalgic in that sense. The extremely quirky character that was built around Virus or Viru Shahastrabudhe (Boman Irani) seemed exaggerated, but rest assured, in all engineering schools, some such highly quirky characters exist, in the garb of faculty! Boman of couse, is another great member of Hirani’s team, a fabulous actor, and he does a great job.

Madhavan does not get many moments to excel. In a far shorter role, he had made an impact in Rang De Basanti, but here, he appears almost like a hero’s buddy, hanging around with him. Sharman Joshi, the 3rd Idiot, does have his moments. A few high charged scenes show his innate ability on screen, and we wish that he gets better roles to showcase his awesome talent. Kareena, for most parts, is good eye candy, and which is fine with us. If you must have eye candy, get the best available one in the industry today!

3 Idiots has its genesis in a book of Chetan Bhagat’s (which I have not read) but I believe Rajkumar Hirani has taken off from there, and built an amazing story with plots and sub-plots nicely woven in. In fact, this is another Hirani trademark that you see in the Munnabhai movies as well. For those who do not remember, the character and the story of Jimmy Shergill in Munnabhai was not trivial, and in fact, an excellent sub-plot, with its own climax before the real climax! Likewise, Hirani brings in sub-plots here as well. The delivery of Mona Singh’s baby, and what it takes to make it happen, is one such climax before the real climax. Keeps you glued to the seats, and does not allow the story to meander.

Likewise, Hirani has the uncanny ability to create symbolisms that the audience carry with them beyond the film. If it was the “jadoo ki chappi” in Munnabhai, here it is the “All is well” chant. Yes, it has left a mark, and if proof is needed, one has to only check my Facebook wall, to see how many have combined this phrase with their Christmas greetings!!

In conclusion, I would only say that my respect for Rajkumar Hirani has gone up multifold. Yes, the world is talking about Aamir Khan, and he does drive the movie. But I see this even more as a Hirani film, the masterful story telling, the simple and effective manner to entertain, without needing to resort to slapstick, without needing item numbers or unnecessary schmooze, or violence. Without needing to go to Switzerland (like Yash Chopra) or without needing half the industry best in his film (like Karan Johar). Yes, indeed, Hirani delivers in the way cinema should. With a good story. Told and shown well. Simple, but touching the heart, making you laugh, and making you cry a bit as well.

Cheers to Rajkumar Hirani!!

Kurbaan is clearly a different animal from the Karan Johar stable. I am glad for Karan to have dared to try a different genre. It is an eminently watchable movie!

** Spoiler alert: if you are planning to see the movie, you may not want to read further. Not that I am telling the whole story, but inadvertently, I may mention stuff that you’d rather see on-screen and be surprised! **

Kurbaan is largely based in the US, and with minor changes in skin color, language and characters, could easily have been a niche Hollywood film.

Ok, before anyone jumps on me, I do not think that Hollywood equals greatness or perfection. So by calling Kurbaan a Hollywood-esque film, I am not giving it any exalted status, in that respect. It is just in a matter of story focus, style, genre and a certain thrill that we do not see often, in Indian films, but see in Hollywood all the time.

There are a few slips and questions that one can have, with the movie. And for the record, I will share those later. But for most parts, Kurbaan has an excellent script, maintains good pace, keeps you engaged, and looks quite real. The performances are good, there is minimal waste of footage, and considering the times we live in, it is almost too close for comfort!

Also the story is like Fanaa in many ways. A very smart, handsome and intelligent Muslim protagonist, having an Islamic axe to grind, partly on account of personal history and partly also on account of having been influenced, pretends to be a good lover boy, but ultimately abandons the love, for the “bigger mission”. This paragraph can describe both Fanaa and Kurbaan, so in that respect, they are similar. That both have popular Indian Khan heroes is another coincidence. Or done by purpose, as it may be more credible to the audience? I don’t know. Only Karan Johar and Aditya Chopra would know this with better conviction!

As the titles roll in, you are pleasantly surprised to see the name Vivek Oberoi there. After a long hiatus (by choice or forced due to no offers, not sure!), we see him on-screen. Happy to note that it is Vivek and not Vivekk or whatever it was that he had done with his name. If the return of the name to a normal spelling is an indicator of his return to normalcy overall, then we will look forward to see more Saathiya-s in future! While on the subject of names and spellings, there is Kirron Kher that we also see in the titles. Oh well, maybe the change in spelling worked better for Kiran than it did for Vivek. Long live Sanjay Jumani and Sunita Menon 🙂

The story is simple. Saif Ali Khan woos Kareena (considering their real life connect, perhaps it did not take much to woo her over) in Delhi, where both are college teachers. Gets married and tags along (as a major ‘sacrifice’ by leaving his career behind) with her to the US, when she is called back by her University there. They somehow end up picking a house in an Indian neighbourhood in New York, where the Muslim family across the road, invite them over for dinner. That is when Kareena comes across some strange goings on there, and shares with Saif. Who suggests her to ignore it. Kareena finds out, to her rude shock, that in fact, these guys are a sleeper terrorist cell, and worse, that Saif is very much a part of it. And that, the entire charade of love and marriage was just that. A charade. To get to the US legitimately.

That all of this happens before the intermission tells you that the story does not dwindle.

Saif is also a ruthless killer in his mission and would have not batted an eyelid in finishing Kareena off at this point. Except for the fact that she is pregnant with his baby, and there perhaps, just perhaps, there is a bit of love there. He chooses to keep her alive, but in near house arrest. Kareena had managed to inform about the goings on to Vivek Oberoi, a Muslim journalist, who instead of going to the police, decides to investigate the matter himself. Meanwhile the terror gang – well, a family in fact – led by Om Puri (inimitable style) and his wife, Kirron Kher (great performance, with the Afghani accent and all that) meanwhile plan the bigger plot. A series of subway bombings.

How it all ends up, with the FBI chasing them on one hand, and Vivek and Kareena trying to get them to justice from inside, makes up for the rest of the story.

It is a taut thriller, very unlike Indian films. Not much time or footage is wasted on unnecessary song, dance, romance. Whatever extent it is shown, is almost necessary for the story to move ahead. Well, when director Rensil had the hot Saifeena as the couple, he managed to integrate some hot scenes as part of the story, as these would be done well by the pair “naturally”. Fair enough!

The camera work and lights are used well, especially in the indoor scenes. Saif continues to impress with an excellent performance. Kareena looks awesome and acts very well too. Vivek Oberoi returns with a very credible performance. And as mentioned before, Om Puri and Kirron Kher deliver well, as usual!

Coming to the slips and minor flaws, if they must be pointed out:

1. The initial romance looks just too easy. Was Kareena just waiting to be picked up? Well..

2. There are a fair number of killings – on streets, in subways. The NYPD, FBI are shown to be like Indian cops here. Coming in late to the scene!

3. There is a scene where Saif is asked to go to “level 2” in a building, and he climbs two stories. In the US, level 2 would actually be just one storey up!

4. Nothing is mentioned at the end, about the Indian accomplice of Saif, who was staying and “guarding” Kareena’s father, at their house. A loose end left loose.. !

5. Saif’s character, the part which is interested to keep Kareena alive, is not explained well. Is he is love with Kareena, does he just want to save his baby, or both, is not clear. And why does he want to do that. This is quite crucial, and yet unexplained.

6. Likewise, once Kareena realizes the extent to which she has been “used” by Saif, there could only have been hatred in her mind, for him. She is aware that she is being kept alive, for her baby. And that her father is virtually a hostage back in India. In that scenario, the one scene where she seduces Saif back, can be assumed to have happened with a purpose. To get her hands on some documents from him. But when she nurses his wounds earlier, and at the end, when she cries for him, where did that come from? If she still has some love for him, the motivation for that is just not clear?

So yes, if you see with a microscope, you will find a few such question marks. But you can pardon those, in the interest of a genuine attempt by Rensil to create a very topical thriller, that keeps you engaged for the nearly 3 hours of its duration.

Go, see Kurbaan!