Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Beginning Of Mini-Reviews: So Much More In So Much Less Words!

Because I don´t have much time and because the latest movies I´ve seen are kind of review-worthy but not enough for proper, stand-alone reviews I present to you: 

"Beginning Of Mini-Reviews: So Much More In So Much Less Words!" (Part One)

Let´s start with:

Ishaqzaade (Hindi, 2012): "And there they lie... rotting in their foolishness."

Ugh, so, so much disappointment! What the posters promised: That this would be my favourite film of the year, with a strong and bold heroine (she´s helping actively in her father´s political career, she dances with the item girl, she´s got a gun and what´s most important: SHE KNOWS HOW TO HANDLE IT), a hero to die for (he´s a good-for-nothing macho who makes you want to kill him in the first place but then he comes and steals your heart! AND: He´s got HAIR! Like, IN THE FACE!) and a story which was too good to be true: Romeo and Juliet in the harsh and violent world that is UP? OMG, gimme more!

What I got: I loved the first half but then, it just went so, so wrong. I was like: WHAT? Wait a minute? He did... WTF!? And then I was: Okay, so he´s a motherf***ing son of a b***h but I was willing to accept it (although utterly disgusted) because hey, I´m sure that Parineeti aka Zoya gets over it quick and proceeds to the good stuff which is giving the bastard what he deserves aka A GOOD KICK IN THE N**S. But alas, NO! What I really got was the most frustrating excuse for a plot ever. Not only does Zoya forgive the git, she also marries him again(!) and then they die in the most pointless, stupid way possible! Statement about how society kills love? How going against your parents leads to a miserable end? Nah, none of it. And hey, why don´t we just kill ourselves in the most painful way possible? Straight shot to the head? Please, that´s for wusses. Let´s shoot thrice into our abdomen region and die slowly from blood loss. Because that´s so much more fun.

You see, I had a really strong reaction to Ishaqzaade. I really, really hated the movie. The whole message was just so disturbing. And it´s such a shame because there is so much going for it: From Parineeti´s strong performance, the wonderful music and setting, the beautiful choreography to the great, fast paced editing. I was never bored with Ishaqzaade but it was just not enough to make me forget the sexist, regressive story. And I´m not someone to get overly pissed at sexism or misogyny in movies. Where others throw tantrums I´m just enjoying my movie. But this one was just superbly stupid and just plainly - wrong.

Teri Meri Kahaani (Hindi, 2012): Period Drama Romance *OH YESSS!* (and a little more)

After watching the crazy bulls**t that was Ishaqzaade I was in dire need of some fluffy, harmless fun, so I chose to watch TMK. And my, did I get what I wanted! TMK is a nice little movie that holds what it promises on the posters: Romance, fun and a slight feeling of nostalgia. Maybe it was because of my very low expectations but I was enjoying myself throughout the two hours or so of the movie´s duration. Yes, I did get bored with it a little from time to time, especially through the 2012 part of the movie but there was always some nice shot, some catchy song to get back my attention. I didn´t have a problem with the editing like some other people I´ve talked to, I thought it was a good idea to present the love stories in small, interchanging slices rather than telling every story through.

Anyway, I did have a problem with the difficulties the three couples faced and which led to their seperation: I actually thought they were way overreacting. Why couldn´t Govind just tell Ruksar what really happened? And why was Radha so upset that she and Krish met on the night of his break up? I mean, he didn´t plan it or anything. I understand her being upset about the posting pictures on Facebook thing that would have annoyed me, too.

Whatever, what I really, really LOVED, was the whole 1910 part of the movie. Everything was perfect in that. It had the best setting, the characters were more drawn out and REAL DRAMA, GUYS! Forbidden love, that´s just what my filmi dreams are made of. The part where Aradhana comes to Javed´s wedding and they talk through that barred window-thingy? Oh, the angst! Awesome. I don´t know why Kunal Kohli just didn´t take this story and made a whole movie out of it. What a wasted opportunity. Nevertheless, the movie did entertain me. It´s a nice, little timepass with satisfying performances of both Shahid and Priyanka, gorgeous cinematography (especially in the 60ies part which was my favourite concerning the style) and engaging little stories. Great for a one time watch alone and even better for a girls movie night because of 1910´s long-hair-beard-Shahid-yumminess.

*OMG. Can´t. Handle. The. Hotness.* Is there a drooling smiley?
Cocktail (Hindi, 2012): "Oh Deepika, look!"

I have never been more stunned. Deepika is an actress! Who would have thought that tall, wooden girl from Om Shanti Om could act? Well I didn´t, that´s for sure. But after a couple of years Deepika delivers in Cocktail a brave and bold performance, very unusual for a Hindi film heroine. (Not that it´s that unusual nowadays but normally it´s in the style of Vidya Balan´s TDP than in the way Deepika aka Veronica is presented: Yes, she parties, yes, she drinks, yes, she has casual sex but she is also a completely normal girl. The fact that she´s deeply unhappy or that she doesn´t get the guy in the end are not because of these things, the reasons for it lie elsewhere, which is a welcome change.)

Cocktail is your typical rom-com on the surface with the much seen before love triangle-trope but under all the parties, weekends in Capetown and shopping, Cocktail is a character study. Veronica is a partygirl, with beauty, money and many friends but deep inside she is incredibly lonely, sad and vulnerable. She clings to people, desperately afraid that they may leave her someday, even to the extent of changing her personality. This is a difficult and challenging role to perform and it could go easily wrong. But "Dippy", Ladies and Gentlemen, plays her so naturally and off the cuff, like she never did anything else before. It is amazing and engaging to see. All the while watching I wanted to give Veronica a hug and tell her that everything will be okay. (Although she would have probably just brushed me off with a joke).

But what about the two other people in this movie? Well, Saif is his usual self, goofy and incredibly charming at the same time but his role should have gone to a way younger actor. I´m just sayin´. Imagine Ranbir or Ranveer Singh in this and you get a sense how much better this could actually have been.

Anyway, since the movie belongs to the ladies, let´s quickly proceed to the third in the group: Diana Penty, (does anyone else think that her hame has a dirty sound to it or is that just me?) who played Meera, the innocent village girl. For a debutante, she was really okay, growing stronger as the film progressed and making me care about her in the end. But I never believed that she was what she was supposed to be. With her tallness and model looks she just didn´t look like I imagine the typical village belle. But maybe I´ve just seen too many Bollywood movies, so it could just be me.

I wouldn´t say that Cocktail is a movie I will watch again, but it was definitely worth watching that one time. The performances are good, with excellent cameos by Dimple Kapadia and Boman Irani (who was really awkward in this but I guess it was the role?) and a Deepika who outshines everyone, beautiful scenery and a nice, realistic setting. What more could you want?


  1. don't you feel ishaqzaade borrowed its basic premise from romeo and juliet? and it is interesting to see that two movies with very similar endings (though totally different in their class and treatment) - dil se and ishaqzaade- can evoke such different reactions from you. :)