Now I like Katrina Kaif. Video of the Day: “Rafta Rafta” from Namastey London (2007)


namastecover.jpgI watched Namastey London yesterday and expected it to be one of those fluffy mediocre movies made for an NRI audience. I watched it only because I’ll watch almost any Bollywood film and went in with low expectations, especially because I haven’t enjoyed Katrina Kaif’s acting so far. Now I have to say something I never thought I’d say: I love Katrina Kaif. There, I said it! I could maybe chalk this bold statement up to me spending another cold lonely winter night in Minnesota, thus being more vulnerable to Bollywood’s spell, but nahin! Dosto, I would say the same thing if I were watching this movie with a wonderful boyfriend at an outdoor movie festival on a beautiful summer night. Do you understand NOW what a bold, bold statement that is? She drew me in immediately, and I liked her through the entire movie, she could do no wrong. This is one of the things I love about Bollywood, I will just fall in love with the stars in one movie, and will do it with stars I had no idea I’d like, ones who I detested in other movies; like Kaif in Sarkar, Maine Pyaar Kyun Kiya and Partner. It happened to me with Karisma Kapoor in Dil To Pagal Hai. It happened to me in with Kareena Kapoor in Omkara, and it’s happened with others. Most of the stars have me from the first time I see them, but I like it even more when I didn’t like them and suddenly switch my opinion. So how thrilling to shock myself by say things like, “I love Katrina Kaif!” I love to prove myself wrong! I remember seeing Partner with Nandini, and thought Kaif was so stiff and looked so vacant. Then Nandini explained that Kaif needed her lines dubbed by someone else for the film as she didn’t have command of the language. Nandini said this gave her hope that she herself could then even be a Bollywood star if Hindi fluency wasn’t a requirement. Me too! I’ve heard about the Katrina/Akshay chemistry, and now I truly understand it after seeing Namastey London. I love how Kumar checks her out in these scenes, like a gentleman predator:

namaste aksay katrina chemistry

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kaifNamaste.britishSure it was a light movie, but I was pleasantly surprised with Katrina’s character.

Kaif successfully captures that Jazz loves the independence that living in England has provided her, yet she loves her Hindustani roots.

Ahh! Back home taking in the Ganga! I mean I have to hand it to her, she looks really in love with her mother India here.

namastelondon.kaif.india

She even gets to share some serious Bollywood pearls of wisdom:

wisdom of bollywood.love.katrina in namaste london

I especially liked the stupid one dimensional portrayal of the Britishers all (except for Charlie Brown’s father) being shallow bigots. They even have bad teeth! These Britishers said great lines like:

namastebigot.jpg namaste london bigots

At BFC, we’re always looking for chances to break into Bollywood, and here’s another example of how it could be done. How fun it would be to play a dastardly racist! I’ve put it out there Bollywood, now come and find me! I dare you! Nandini, are you in? And one final thing, the movie also included the brutally handsome Upen Patel. Here he’s warned by his father (Javed Sheikh) and the picture of Mecca on the wall, not to shack up with a girl:

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Look at him tell off his fiancee’s racist parents here:

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I’ll tell you what’s a crime and what’s unacceptable, that Patel is so stunning! It sets the standard just too high for most humans. And now that I look more closely, I see Avril Lavigne is playing the role of his girlfriend. Now here’s a bit more about the movie.

Namastey London (Hindi: नमस्तेलंदन, Urdu: لندنNamaste Landan) is a Bollywood film directed by Vipul Amrutlal Shah and set in London, England, United Kingdom. Akshay Kumar, Katrina Kaif, Nina Wadia, Upen Patel and Rishi Kapoorstar in the film. Jasmeet “Jazz” Malhotra (Katrina Kaif) is an Indian girl, brought up lovingly by her father Manmohan Malhotra (Rishi Kapoor). Jazz loves everything that is British – something her father, a very Indian man with very Indian values, does not approve of. And he’s not alone. Parvez Khan (Javed Sheikh), Manmohan’s best friend, has a son, Imran Khan (Upen Patel), who also embraces Western culture. In fact, he lives with his British girlfriend, something Parvez simply cannot tolerate. Jazz is forced to marry a local from India: Arjun Singh (Akshay Kumar), Punjabi farmer. When the couple come back to London, it turns out that they are not married under British law due to Jazz’s deception to her father. Arjun Singh is crushed to find this out. Furthermore he realises that his beautiful bride still intends to marry her British boyfriend, thus being forced to watch as Jazz flirts with another man. However, Arjun won’t give up without a fight and sets out to make his wife fall in love with him. (wikipedia)

From Namastey London, “Rafta Rafta” by RDB (Rhythm Dhol Bass) and Himesh Reshammiya, lyrics by Javed Akhtar:

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16 thoughts on “Now I like Katrina Kaif. Video of the Day: “Rafta Rafta” from Namastey London (2007)

  1. Glad I don’t stand alone on this one! I loved the beginning how she schemed to get out of meeting her marriage prospect by acting a mess. Dumb like a fox! I also enjoyed her unsuitable clothing she wore when in Punjab. Also, when she was interviewing marriage prospects in India she was funny, sly and very likable. I liked seeing Rishi too. Her love blinded her about Charlie for a bit too long for a smart girl, but such is pyaar. I think it could have been a better movie if they had made it longer, more character development, etc., but they seemed to have been going for the NRI market, thus the shorter movie. BFC officially supports Katrina! Up with Katrina! Katrina Kaif, Zindabad!

  2. i believe these movies are a huge learning experience for the youth in India. To watch and learn things like what westerners want and how they act etc. Thats not to say that westerners don’t have some funcy preconcieved notions of Indians as well.

  3. I had watched a couple of Katrina films (Sarkar & Maine Pyaar Kyun Kiya) but it was Namastey London that made me stop being critical that she was a star as a result of Salman and started to think of her as her as an actress i like. So i had the same experience and now if i hear she is in the film, i look forward to seeing her.

    Luckykabutar i really think this is not a good movie for how indians should think of westerners. Although bollywood has churned out much worse, i believe its some movies like this is the reason why when a white woman westerner goes to india she is seen as like a sex object straight from MTV who is up for anything. But you are absolutely correct that westerns have lots of preconeived notions of indians that are incorrect – thats the problem with sterotypes i guess they work both ways.

  4. Namaste dw007, and thanks for stopping by. Love your blog by the way: http://thebollyblog.com/

    Glad we share the same idea about Kaif. It makes sense now that she’s more likable in this part because I think it’s the first where she does her own lines vs. being dubbed. Maybe what we didn’t like about her acting in the other movies was partially attributed to the fact that it wasn’t Kaif fully her playing those parts.

    Yes Luckyabutar and dw007, the movie is full of quite a bit of negative stereotyping, but that’s pretty obvious, so no harm done.

    And speaking of stereotyping and Kaif, I wonder if she’s perceived differently in Bollywood being essentially a westerner, and as a result is she approached by men in the industry with less respect than a Hindustani woman would be?

  5. Yeah also if you look at her characters in the movies before Namastey London they weren’t exactly likeable characters. In sarkar she was a bit of a bitch and in Maine Pyaar Kyun Kiya she had a very whiney and annoying character. So no surprise really we had a change of heart.

    Then again her character in Namastey London does some mean stuff (especially to Akshay when coming back from India) but we still manage to like her character despite all that due to her acting.

    As for how Katrina is treated in the industry, i think they are all too scared of Salman to treat her disrespectfully! :)

  6. dw007, you’re right about the characters in the other 2 movies, and in Partner it was sort of the same, she played a shallow character. LOL I like your point of them being scared of Salman. I bet you’re right!

  7. Katrina Kaif is a new prospect in bollywood films. She had appeared in films just few years back and already created an impression on the viewers. She had provided a sweet performance in Maine Pyar Kyun Kiya.

  8. Great post, I really enjoyed reading it. I loved Katrina in ‘Namastey London’ as well, there was just something so ‘real’ and charming about her that made it almost impossible for me to resist her. And she and Akshay did have fantastic chemistry in the film. I am really looking forward to seeing how she develops as an actor.

    You are so right about how Bollywood can completely change your mind about a particular actor in one fell swoop… it’s happened to me with Shashi Kapoor (‘Deewaar’), Salman Khan (‘Pyar Kiya To Darna Kya) and now Kareena Kapoor (Jab We Met).

  9. Katrina Kaif is a new prospect in bollywood films. She had appeared in films just few years back and already created an impression on the viewers. She had provided a sweet performance in Maine Pyar Kyun Kiya.

  10. Opps! Daddy’s Girl,
    I’m responding to this so late! Sorry! I completely agree back with you on, “You are so right about how Bollywood can completely change your mind about a particular actor in one fell swoop… it’s happened to me with Shashi Kapoor (’Deewaar’), Salman Khan (’Pyar Kiya To Darna Kya) and now Kareena Kapoor (Jab We Met).” I also loved shashi in Deewaar and I have to see Salman in ’Pyar Kiya To Darna Kya,” thank s for that tip and Thanks for stopping in. :) You have a great blog.

    saif,
    thanks for your visit.

  11. Hey Sita-ji,

    I am just going through some of your blogs.

    I liked Katrina a lot in Namatey London. I wonder if she was able to relate to the character Jazz that’s why she was so natural at it. I haven’t seen her in any other films since then that will make me like her again.

    Nicki

  12. I fell in love with Katrina in this too. I especially love the scene with Ritesh Deshmukh at the restaurant, kaif just sparkles in it, and i love the messages in this movie. More akshay-katrina and less akhay-deepika please!

  13. Nicki-ji,
    That’s a good point about her being able to relate to that character, thus playing the part so well.

    Bombay Talkies-ji,
    Yes! that part was hilarious. All her talk about dating and drinking, and talking about being tired of one night stands. That was so funny and to see Ritish’s reaction was great. :D

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