Monday, November 29, 2004


On Diwali day, the most anticipated film of this year has released and three weeks on it has been declared a blockbuster. Here is what I think of the performances of the main players.

In the first half, the romantic scenes when young, is all the same things that we've seen him do over and over - the clichéd shake of the head being the most prominent one. He himself is believed to have admitted that he can sleep through his romantic roles !!

The prison & court room scenes offer him a chance to do something different, but he completely falls apart when playing the older man. The absent-minded look when making the paper airplane and the trembling is so inappropriate and unnecessary especially when the 55+ Amitabh Bachchan & Hema Malini, his parents/guardians, have been shown to be so naturally lively & energetic.

This role coming after Kal Ho Na Ho goes some way in breaking her image of the bubbly and lively actress. She delivers a decent performance and justifies her selection as half of the eternal love couple that this movie set out to be.

A very big opportunity for her to establish her as the No. 1 actress in Bollywood. Having been cast opposite no actor (maybe opposite Anupam Kher) and no songs being picturised on her, she had to power her performance solely based on her acting skills. And she does a great job in the courtroom scenes and also holds her own against SRK, Anupam Kher and Akhilendra Mishra.

With the songless Black opposite Amitabh Bachchan, where she plays a blind girl, coming up, with director Sanjay Leela Bhansali who is known to extract brilliant performances from his actors, she is sure going to become the Rani of Indian Cinema.

Music/Songs - according to me, the BIG player
Well, I had already been addicted to the songs having listened to them non-stop for the last few weeks. Some reviews said that the songs were out-of-place. Well, I strongly beg to differ because I think that the songs have been excellently picturized with great lyrics, choreography and direction. Although there is not the Yash Chopra regular, Holi song, there is the beautifully done Lodhi song. The special effects used in the song Tere Liye right at the time when the lyrics go "zindagi leke aayi hai beete dino ki kitaab" was very heart-warming.

The tunes by Late Madan Mohan, you must listen to the "Making" cd atleast once, are simply amazing. Lata Mangeshkar is at her best, especially in the last few years, although I am not sure I can picture Preity Zinta singing in that voice. The various male voices have been chosen well too and I really missed the last 2 songs in the CD while watching the movie.

And finally, Yash Chopra:
This is certainly not the best movie Yash Chopra has made. I was disappointed even after hearing the name of the movie as it is not a typical YashRaj films title. The idea of creating a timeless classic love story with the Ind-Pak background has been tried before, most notably, in Henna. The striking similarity of some scenes to Madhuri Dixit in Dil To Pagal Hai, the meeting by chance, the gardens in DDLJ-Silsila, the scene where SRK talks to the heroine's mother, SRK following the heroine to her home, is not just a coincidence. An equivalent to the timing of most songs can be found in previous YashRaj films (directed by himself, his son or Karan Johar).

He has definitely managed to get an excellent cameo out of Hema Malini and Amitabh Bachchan, who has had less good performances than Abhishek in the last few months. The picturization of the songs is excellent and although, the climax could have been much better, the best part of the movie was the last poem by SRK.

I would say that the movie did not meet the pre-release hype. However, the heightened expectations created by the media were unrealistic in the first place.

I had heard a few reports that this would be the last film directed by Yash Chopra. Well, this was an apt summary/précis of all his films.
Maybe the fact that most eternal love couples are remembered 'coz there love story had an unhappy ending or maybe because most of this couples have the woman's name before the man's name when their name is mentioned, worked against this would be classic love story.


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