Mehbooba (2008) 2 brothers, 1 woman, a chandelier, and lots of balloons, slaps, and Johnnie Walker

Mehbooba was released in 2008, but director Afzal Khan began filming in 1999.  There are a lot of reasons why the filming took so long to finally be released which you can read about HERE.

mehboobaThe film stars Sanjay Dutt, Ajay Devgan and Manisha Koirala in the lead roles. Set on a huge canvas and shot across three continents, America, Europe and Asia, with four different countries as the story’s backdrop, with New York, Budapest, Austria, Bikaner, Jaisalmer and Mumbai as the key locations, the film boasts of lavish settings and locales, expensive sets. (source) Also check out the film’s official website for more on the story.

Come with me for a quick review of what I enjoyed from the film.  Fancy NRI New York City based businessman Sharvan Dhariwal (Sanjay Dutt) meets Varsha (Manisha Koirala) and they enjoy a balloon filled party.  mehbooba.balloons

The film has some huge dance numbers, like Kuch Kar Lo with playback singer Sonu Nigam

Varsha finds Mr. Shravan Dhariwal much too arrogant for her traditional Indian ways and he takes things too far at a fancy balloon filled New Year’s party.

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Varsha warns him, and then winds up for a  tight slap to the face.

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Look at the aftermath of the slap: one sad bollywood balloon,  Sanjay, I mean Mr. Shravan Dhariwal, left alone with his feelings of regret, a cigarette, and a half empty bottle of Johnny Walker, black label, since he is a business tycoon afterall. Even business tycoons have it bad sometimes.  I almost feel sorry for him, dekh:

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Don’t feel too sorry for him because he’s got an evil plan brewing.   While sitting there he decides he will win over this Varsha woman in order to take his revenge.  He now has a vendetta!  He begins to formulate his nefarious plan the next day on his yacht, complete with the requisite blond gori extra (to represent low moral values, hai na?),  a bottle of Johnny Walker, and a phone that reveals that even thought the film was released in 2008, this scene must have been shot in 1999. ( Addition to this post:  It should be noted that  along with the Johnny Walker,  Samir the oenophile was able to identify Champagne, wine, orange juice, Perrier and  Heineken in front of the gori.  Perhaps this is used to emphasis the evil decadence of America and what it can do to an innocent NRI tycoon-industrialist-hotelier-investor.)

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Evidently Mr. Shravan Dhariwal ki plan works because he gets Varsha Merha all dancey, wiggley, and happy here in the Tu Meri Mehbooba number with playback singer Udit Narayan:

Spoiler alert: Varsha Mehra does what is normally done after making the 7  nuptial rounds, if you know what I mean. Mr. Shravan Dhariwal tricked her into a night of love all because of that slap he suffered from Varsha at the party, and then on top of all that HE goes on to slap HER!  As we say here in the USA, payback is a mother%$#@&*!

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Well you can’t just slap Sanjay Mr. Shravan Dhariwal at a lavish, balloon filled party in front of hundreds of his peers without some payback! In case those stills weren’t enough, take a look at what happens!

She was tricked by that player, but I say to Varsha, don’t hate the playa, hate the game.mehbooba.played

Like lots of girls do, Varsha heads over to Budapest with her broken dil.  She’s de-flowered afterall, so devalued in her own mind, but she meets a nice fellow, Karan (Ajay Devgan) who understands and loves her tarnished image.mehbooba.tarnish

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Karan wants to take Varsha home to India to introduce her to his family so they can get married.  Karan arrives to India before her and his brother also returns to India from New York and is delighted to see him. Karan spends a lot of time with Shravan. They party with dancing girls and drink Johnny Walker.

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And they spend more time drinking Johnny Walker.

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mehbooba.tub.2They even hang out in the hot tub together which some might find a bit homoerotic, but they’re brothers, you know how brothers take hot bubble baths together, right?  They take baths together and caress each others faces, right?

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Despite all these good times, Karan notices that Shravan is very melancholy and spends lots of time playing the piano and drinking Johnny Walker.

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Varsha arrives and she soon finds Karan’s rich, bahut rich, but little does she know he’s got a brother who is that same man who she had the intimate encounter with in New York. In fact, she never even catches a glimpse of him until her marriage to Karan is already taking place.mehbooba.crazycrazycrazy

Karan does eventually figure it all out and goes pagal and swings from a chandelier, did you know about THAT chandelier Shweta?

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mehbooba.manishaHow does Mehbooba end? Does Varsha marry Karan? Or does she marry his brother, Mr. Shravan Dhariwal?  You know I can’t even remember since it’s been a while since I’ve seen the film, so even if I wanted to tell you I couldn’t.  I do recall that they didn’t even ask Varsha what she wanted and I’m not sure that she should choose either if they didn’t even check with her.   As usual, please let me know what you thought of this film, I’d love to hear from you.

Lajja (2001): item numbers & eye candy, or could I say aankhon ladoo?

Yaar!

I watched Lajja(2001) (translation: Shame) and got carried away with the screen capping knowing I must do a post.  Yet what to post when I see the wonderful bloggers have already said it so well?  You know I specialize in the more superficial enjoyment of all films, so I’ll share my likes here by showing some photos and focusing on the item numbers, but please go and see the great reviews and thoughtful insight on Lajjaat the post punk cinema clubUpperstall, Filmi Geek and at philip’sfil-ums.

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Starring as pictured above Manisha Koirala (Vaidehi); Madhuri Dixit (Janki); Mahima Choudhary(Maithili); and Rekha(Ramdulaari).  All four of the woman stars have a form of Sita for their name.

Epithets: In common with other major figures of epic literature, Sita is known by many epithets. As the daughter of king Janaka, She is called Janaki; as the princess of Mithila, Mythili or Maithili; as the wife of Raama, She is called Ramaa. Her father Janaka had earned the sobriquet “Videha” due to his ability to transcend body consciousness; Sita is therefore also known as Vaidehi (Vaidehi Vaydehi, or Vaithegi) (Sanskrit: वैदेही)). (source) Thanks to Philip’sfil-ums, I know that Ramdulaari (Rekha’s part) tranlates to Ram’s darling.

 

lajja.menThis is a girl power film, and unfortunately there’s certainly large amount of misandry, (and misogeny, go figure) but worry not since there are some super male heros played by the always satisfying Anil Kapoorand Ajay Devgan to help tip the scales back in the favor of good men. Even super bad guy played by Jackie Shroff is redeemed by movie’s end. The film opens with this statement by the director:

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The music numbers covered here are all written by Anu Malik. Choreographer Ganesh Acharyaputs together 3 wonderful dances which serve to hold the sometimes disjointed picture together. Ganesh Acharya really does some provocative choreography with Urmila Matondkarhere, clearly showing life in the fast lane at an American nightclub. I did wonder a bit about the reason for putting those masks on the background dancers, but why not?  Jazz hands! Can one really ever get enough of the jazz hand?  I think not, so I had to share not one, but two screen caps of the jazz hand:

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Aa Hi Jaiye with playback singer Anuradha Srirampicturized on Urmila  Matondkar:

lajja.prestigeOur story starts with Vaidehi (Manisha Koirala) who finds herself married to a womanizing millionaire crorepati and living in the wicked west, New York City that is. You can see in the item number above the loose moral environment Vaidehi’s husband subjects her to. It’s all about the sex, drinking and money for her evil husband played by Jackie Shroff, but Vaidehi herself must keep up the family name.  Vaidehi makes her plea for a moral lifestyle and he won’t stand for it and ships her back to Hindustan. Of course there’s retribution for the husband’s evil ways and after sending Vaidehi back to Bharat he gets in an auto accident, rendering him impotent. Ha! Well we see that even the very rich, amidst their leaded crystal laden mansions in the USA have problems!

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But…lekin, there is a simple solution! Evil father ( Suresh Oberoi ) suggests:

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Meanwhile back in the safe arms of India, Vaidehi meet a bandit with a heart of gold played by Anil Kapoor, who is called a biscuit wallah and scoundrel here:

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In order to hide from her husband’s men hunting her down, Raju (Anil Kapoor)  and Veidehi crash a wedding and blend among the crowd.  It’s there they meet the bride to be Maithili (Mahima Choudhary)and meet her snobbish in laws. Look at Maithili’s sweet mother (Farida Jalal) be snubbed in her gift offering:

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The bride has an admirer who I thought tried to imitate yesteryear actor Johnny Walker. The second great item number is Saajan Ke Ghar Jaana with playback singers Alka Yagnikand Richa Sharma, picturized on the lovely Sonali Bendre:

 

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Eventually Vaidehi makes her way to another safe haven, where she meets Janki (Madhuri Dixit ) who is an actress. Her first exposure to Janki is her acting out a seen on stage from the 1960 epic Mughal-e-Azam .

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How can you not adore Madhuri?  The third item number is Badi Mushkil with playback singer Alka Yagnik,picturized on Madhuriand Manisha:

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That’s all the fun we get because Janki finds herself pregnant out of wedlock and her fiance is made to question her virtue by her Ravana-esque manager.  So when she’s doing her staged performance of Ramayana, she asks why should Sita  have to do the trial by fire to prove her virtue, why not Ram?

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Backstage she continues to share what’s on her heart and mind:

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Now that’s a great question, but I guess she forgot she was in India. It’s more than just an elephant in the room, it’s the elephant in the country.  The aftermath of the big question about equality has predictable results in a man’s world:

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The crowd beats Janki and as a result she miscarries.  Infuriated, Vaidehi goes to confront the evil, gossiping, lecherous pervert manager of Janki and get a load of what she says:

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Yeah!  She said it! Vaidehi escapes that mess and finds yet another safe haven with  Rekha‘s Ramdulaari. Do you see how in Rekha’s world they keep it real, cow dung patties drying on the wall.  Now that says “village!”

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And while I speak of cow dung patties, here’s a photo I took of some I saw on my trip to India:

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Back to Rekha and Manisha and their suffering:

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Another hero that comes to Vaidehi’s rescue is the super human Bulwa (Ajay Devgan) who handles dacoits on a train as well as the evil town leader Gajendra( Danny Denzongpa ). Now Bulwa has held a grudge ever since the Gajendra boiled Bulwa’s moms hands in oil.   This resulted in Bulwa amputating one of Gajendra’s arms back in the day, which of in turn caused Gajendra to hold a grudge against Bulwa.  Years pass and Bulwa returns for another confrontation and Gajendra whips off his pashmina to reveal that arm he’s been missing for years:

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Amputations are one of those things I look for in a Bollywood film.  Nothing says revenge like an amputation. Bulwa even commits a double arm amputation on another scoundrel.

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Bulwa is once again to the rescue when Vaidehi’s evil  NRI husband catches up to her. The sword wielding hero is ready to chop off her husband’s head, but to Bulwa’s horror, she stops him:

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Well Bulwa does have a valid point there Vaidehi, hai na?

Here’s one more screen cap to show what a bad-ass Bulwa is:

Since I’d like to end on a positive note, feast your eyes on the ever beautiful Madhuri:

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If you’ve seen Lajja, tell me what you thought.

My filmi fotos of India. Part III.

As described in my filmi fotos of India part I and part II, I found bits of Bollywood all around, and unfortunately I most often saw them from a moving vehicle and my camera was turned on too late for a good picture. This photo taken near Agra is distorted by the car window, but I like the color and the fact that two of my favorites, Amrish Puri and Ajay Devgan are in the movie poster. I don’t know what film this poster is from since I can’t read Devanagari script. If you zoom into the photo you can make out more stars.

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The most popular films during my visit to India were Aamir Khan’s Ghajini and Shahrukh Khan’s Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi as these theaters all show.

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Ghajini. Delhi.India.08.09

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In addition to the Ghajini film posters, there were also these other Ghajini ads all over. At first I didn’t understand this Ghajini cartoon, but then realized it was a cute advertisement for Amul butter. If you look closely you can see the Ghajini cartoon arms read I slice bread and I make sandwich. Read about the advertisement and see a much better picture of it HERE.

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I liked the cute ad, but I also like butter and Aamir Khan. Here’s another picture from the train where you can see some Amul butter:

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Food on the Shatabdi Express train. Amritsar to Delhi.1.09

I can’t talk about Aamir Khan without giving equal time to Shahrukh Khan. This photo of SRK was taken in Ludhiana. The car broke down across from the sign. No problem though, since it left me some time to worship the sign of SRK. Enjoy!

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Update: Thanks to theBollywoodFan for identifying the movie poster from the first image as Sangram (1993).  He also let me know that Amul did a similar ad campaign when Rang De Basanti was released in 2006.  Here’s their cute Young De Basanti image.

“Mujhe Rang De” A. R. Rahman + Asha + Tabu = Fantastic!

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Sometimes there’s just one song that makes a movie for me and that’s the case with “Mujhe Rang De” from Thakshak (1999). I don’t want to seem like a Tabu fanatic, so I will try and be a bit discrete and post all the screen captures I took from the movie in the miniturized gallery form. If you want to indulge your own Tabusiasm (Tabu enthusiasm), please click on the smaller gallery pictures below to get a better look at them.

Here’s the fantastic, hypnotic “Mujhe Rang De” picturized on Tabu, dancing to the choreography of Ganesh Acharya, with playback singer Asha Bhosle, and music by A. R. Rahman. I wish I could also give credit to the wonderful back up dancers, and the set and costume designers. Enjoy!

And since I am a fan of Indian talent shows and contestant Anwesha Datta Gupta, check out her version here, with one of my favorites, Shreya Ghosal, on the judging panel:

Tabu speaks very well about our relationship with Bollywood here:


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Bollywood Insider: Latest reports from October, 2008

Back with the newest Bollywood chugli is Bollywood Insider’s Suzi Mann. Here’s what I found going on in October, 2008.

From

Happy Independence Day my Indian dosto. Jai Hind! Inquilab Zindabad! Bharat Mataki Jay! Vande Mataram!

 

Happy Independence Day to you!  We all eventually get our freedom from the Brittishers, hai na? Since I recently watched The Legend of Bhagat Singh, I’m feeling a bit revolutionary, so I also wish you on this day celebrating your long fought struggle for freedom a very happy Inquilab Zindabad! To read more about The Legend of Bhagat Singh, stop over to Philip’sFil-ums.

 

If I somehow developed Tourette syndrome I would like to have a Bollywood-style Tourette syndrome, and the phrase I’d shout out most often would be Inquilab Zindabad! I’d also shout out the following, of course using a very heavy Hindi accent: Jai Hind! Shut up! Get out! All the best! Scoundrel! What would you shout out if you developed a Bollywood flavored Tourette syndrome?

 

On this Independence Day click over to TheBollywoodFan, where you can find a great post on Indian patriotic films.  Thanks to blog posters-n-friends, jen AND Brahamandam, who both sent me a link to this Amitabh’s India Poised, perfect for viewing on this Independence Day. Enjoy, and of course Inquilab Zindabad!  Jai Hind!

And with feedback from one of my NRI consultants, Milind-ji, I will also add Bharat Mataki Jay! and Vande Mataram!

 

Bollywood Insider: Latest reports from June, 2008

Once again it’s time to get the latest Bollywood chugli from Suzi Mann, Bollywood Food Club’s favorite entertainment correspondant. Suzi gives us the latest news hot off the press on all your favorite Bolly stars!

 

 

From June 6, 2008:

Emraan cashes in, Fresh start for Akshay

From June 13, 2008:

Get the latest on Bollywood’s biggest stars in a special feature on the 9th International Indian Film Academy Awards hosted in Thailand.

From June 20, 2008:

Sanjay Romances Ash, Kaif voted sexiest woman

From June 27, 2008:

Bolly goes futuristic in Love Story 2050