Thursday, April 10, 2008

Bhool Bhulaiya

Knowing it is the remake of the great Malayalam movie "Manichithrathaazh", anyone who watches this movie or the Kannada remake Apta Mithra or the Tamil remake 'Chandramukhi' is bound to compare it with the original frame to frame. There is no question about it. Nothing can compare to the original movie and the talents of the stars which made it a success. The question is how successful are you in entertaining the new target audience with this theme that had been a success everywhere in the past. I don't think Priyadarshan failed in that.

Given that, I was watching the movie out of curiosity. I was not biased to keep saying to myself from scene to scene - hey, this was better in the old one. I should say I enjoyed Bhool Bulaiya and there is nothing wrong in watching it once. People who have not watched the original movie will enjoy it better because it is exposing them to this totally different story.

I liked the location where this has been shot. The palace is a great fit for this story line.

Selection of artistes is commendable, I felt. For example,Vikram Gokhale for Thilakan's role. Good fit!

Akshay Kumar has done a good job - compared to the old past when I had nothing to expect of him.

I loved the gorgeous sarees the ladies wore throughout the movie. Hmm Hmm! it is a delight to watch those colors.

One thing I noted was: it is a ditto of the original. Even the way the actors stand or react has been copied from the original.

Amisha Patel has been wasted totally.

About climax dance sequence and emotional scenes - Vidya Balan's performance looked artificial to me compared to Shobana's. I liked Soundarya's performance in ApthaMithra better. Jyothika overacted in the whole sequence with some black paint around her eyes in the Tamil counterpart.

There is only one person who did the same role he did in Malayalam in this Hindi movie. Vineeth! I think it is an achievement that he still looks the same and is able to fit in the same role after these many years.

The conclusion is, Manichithrathazh rules!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Laaga Chunari Mein Daag

I saw Rani Mukherjee and Konkona Sen Sharma on the DVD cover. I had no idea about the story or the director Pradeep Sarkar. Later I found that he is the one who directed 'Parineeta'. Anyway, I picked the DVD up trusting those faces. Konkona looked promising to me!

I did not regret the decision at all. I ended up enjoying the movie - a good one after a long time.I think it is a movie girls will enjoy and not guys.

Badki (Rani Mukherjee) and Chutki (Konkona Sen) are two sisters living in a palace which is falling apart. The relation between the sisters is painted so colorfully, interleaved with breathtaking cinematography of the Banares river banks in the song 'Hum To Aise Hain Bhiya'. I could not help humming that song - very catchy! During this song, the director conveys all the background of the story and their family situation. I could not stop wonder - who looks better, Rani or Konkona..not just from beauty perpective, but also the acting and the charm. Very good selection of cast.

Dad Anupam Kher is busy with buying lottery tickets and waiting for luck to kick in. Mom Jaya Bhaduri (so sad, she has turned so old..Guddi of old times..cant believe it..but well, she does a very good job with this role) is sewing petticoats day and night to make money for the family's living. They are constantly threatened by uncle and his rowdy son with whom a case is ongoing for the house.

Rani is emotionally upset that dad says 'If I had a son..' and sets out to Mumbai to shoulder family financial responsibilities. Now with the title - Laga Chunri Mein Daag - (meaning my dupatta is soiled)!, you can very well guess what is going to happen. But the way it is portrayed makes it interesting.

A commendable scene is when Rani calls her mom from Mumbai. She is faced with the decision on what course her life should take and her mom is totally lost in the frantic hunt for money to save dad's life in hospital. It was very nicely picturized.

You can debate on why Rani chose the path she chose. But then that is the basis of the story. Accept and move on.

The movie I was constantly reminded of was K.Balachander's 'Arangetram'. It has the same theme where a girl is forced into prostitution to become the breadwinner of the family. I kept on following LCMD story as it progressed, to see where it will differ from Arangetram. It did differ, and very beautifully. When Konkona Sen comes to know of how her sister has been earning money for the family, she did not react like KamalHassan did as the younger brother of the Arangetram heroine. Typically, even in real life, the reaction would be - oh My God, you sinned. How could you do this? etc. But the director did win my heart when Konkona said - everybody else should be sorry for putting Badki through this.

I would like to compare the rest of the movie to Vikraman's movies - where the story revolves around all nice people - and it is all about niceity (is there such a word). Those films always became hit. There is a positive message radiated from his movies.

It feels good to see a sister who understands Badki's reasons and tries to stand for her. It is a good change from the usual melodrama of complaints and curses. Abhishek's arrival also can be excused for the same reasons. It is good to see someone who accepts Rani knowing what her profession was. Reality could be different, but who can say that there are no such nice people on earth.

Kunal was really cute. Worth mentioning here.

This movie is definitely worth a watch.