As some of you may know, I am a fan of Bollywood movies. My knowledge and expertise is narrow, but I’ve been fortunate enough to have people who are knowledgeable provide me with recommendations. Including, as it happens, some members of the offshore development teams I work with.
Here’s a list of some of my favorites, with some links to reviews where I’ve done them. You can find more if you click on my Arjun Rampal Fan Page tab.
This link will take you to my movie review posts, most of them are Bollywood movies so just scroll past the American Sniper review.
Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi — This is one of my all-time favorite movies. I love it. You all should watch it. Shah Rukh Kahn.
Om Shanti Om — SRK AND Arjun Rampal
Rajneeti — Arjun with homage to Quentin Tarrantino — so, if violence bothers you, maybe skip, but this is a political film.
The Last Lear — Really really really good movie.
Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham — a recent recommendation from one of the offshore devs I work with. This is about family.
Band Baaja Baaraat — @alisharai recommended this on twitter. Super cute movie with a super hot kiss scene.
Kuch Kuch Hota Hai — SRK, with one of the hottest shoulder touching scenes in the history of ever. Persevere to the 2nd half of the movie.
My Name is Khan — SRK. I bawled like a baby.
EMI — kind of a silly movie but thoroughly redeemed by one of the love stories — probably a must see for Romance authors.
Because I’m going to whine, too. This is the whiney post.
1. I would like to know who is responsible for cutting 2 hours out of my day. That’s the only way it’s possible that by the time I finish all the stuff I have to do, or decide what I’m going to ignore, it’s time for bed and I got no where near enough writing done.
2. Why, WHY, when I have a sign on my door that says “DO NO DISTURB unless you’re bleeding, maybe” do people think that means “HEY CAROLYN WANTS TO TALK!”
3. I have the cutest shoes ever in the world. They have sparkles! But I think they’re making my feet hurt. ::cries inconsolably::
4. Who put all this junk in my room? And WHY, after I spend an hour throwing a bunch of it away, is there MORE of it? Why?
5. My email is breeding. Great. Because that means it’s only a matter of time before the rest of the bits and bytes start doing the same thing. Don’t turn your back on your computer for a minute.
Some good news
1. Page proofs came for Not Proper Enough. I finished them in a day. I think it came out good.
2. Arjun Rampal tweeted a link to video of him doing a shoot for Men’s Health Magazine. Oh my. You can watch the video on my Arjun fan page. Scroll down a bit to the videos. Probably safe for work, except it will be blazingly obvious that you’re not working so wait till you get home or watch on your phone.
Leave your best whine in the comments.
P.S. I just put in tags for the post and there was already one for whining.
Who wouldn’t want to win this coveted prize? Established in January 2012, this prize recognizes excellence according to me. Winners are chosen at my discretion. Bribes are welcomed and, well, the competition has been fierce! Winners receive accolades!
This is Rampal’s second movie, but the one that actually showed first, so this one also introduces Arjun Rampal.
How to summarize the plot. Well. It’s so crazy ass it almost works. Isha (Kirta Reddy) wins a scholarship to study cardiology in Glasgow. The sponsor of the scholarship, Yash (Sunil Shetty) falls for her the instant he sees her. Later, she meets this other guy, Taj (Aftab Shivdasani) who doesn’t seem to love her but I guess really does. There’s also Gaurav (Arjun Rampal) who also falls in love with her.
Yash is dirty stinking rich, and Taj is the son of a man who is stinking rich. Gaurav is poor.
The movie is about who she ends up with, with a very strong theme of why girls should pick their own damn husbands.
And The Object of Doom is . . . .
The Object of Doom (OOD) is the cursed item in a Rampal movie that when you see it you go WTF?? Wardrobe gives the OOD to Rampal because he’s the only man alive who could survive the curse. In other movies it’s been a hat, a white belt and a blue suit.
At first I thought the OOD was the shirt Rampal is wearing for his first dance scene because, wow, it’s just not a great shirt. But he has such a charming smile, I wasn’t sure. If the shirt, which I think was a Hawaiian shirt, had only been a little uglier Rampal would have been utterly adorable. Instead, he’s just insanely cute. That’s the secret power of Hawaiian shirts, as every American knows. However, it turns out that in this film, the OOD is plaid and it was NOT given to Rampal. The result is tragic. Someone in wardrobe effed up badly.
Let me try to explain. Taj and his family live in Scotland. His father is is Lord Bharadwaj and they live in a castle. I was down with that. I figured he was a life Peer, or just newly ennobled. For my historical fans, Lord Bharadwaj is variously addressed (in English, so it’s not a subtitle translation problem) as: Lord. Lordship. The Lord, and other inaccurate stuff but, interestingly, never Laird. Because he’s a Scottish lord, Lord B wears plaid. A different pattern of plaid every day. (Scottish plaids, as you know, are clan specific.) He wears, plaid jackets, entire plaid suits, scarves and plaid pants. OMG.
I have NEVER seen such a horrific abuse of plaid in my life. And, when we first meet Lord B, he’s wearing red plaid and shooting skeet and right there on the lawn is a white guy with long blond hair (possibly an actual Scot) in the old style plaid where ALL you’re wearing is the plaid cloth wound around the torso etc, only his is blue plaid. Also blue-plaid man is sitting on a white horse. Bareback (Not THAT bareback). Because, what Scottish Lord DOESN’T have a Scottish guy on a white horse on his front lawn?
Also, at one point, just as an aside, I recognized the interior of the castle, because I have been there, and it was Stirling Castle. (The residence of the Dukes of Argyll) So, Lord B, who is a Scot (I presume) but who is also Indian, has apparently left the decor of his house intact from the previous owner, so all the portraits in the background of any interior castle shot (there are lots) are white men in powdered wigs and frock coats.
Some of the outside castle shots were NOT Stirling Castle. It was a castle-melange.
The Medical Student does no studenting
Anyway, you figure Isha is wicked smart, seeing as how she’s studying heart disease and angioplasty and won this scholarship. But she’s never actually in a hospital, only in classrooms with chalk pictures of a heart with the label “AORTA” next to it. So here she is at the University of Glasgow studying heart anatomy and then everyone goes to Switzerland to party.
The REAL Plot
Yosh (filthy stinking rich guy), having falling in love at first sight, calls Isha’s folks and arranges a marriage. Isha, however, has other ideas about marrying a stranger, because, what about HER life? She lets him down easy but Yosh does not take it well. He hires Rampal to do something or other, I was never really clear on what, that is to result in Isha agreeing to marry Yosh. The payout is 1.45 million pounds. Meanwhile, Isha is studying hearts, staying with Lord B, and Taj (Lord B’s son) is all, hey, we’re friends, that’s all!
Before this, Rampal is a model who never shows up for any of his bookings, to the despair of his agent (a woman) who is in love with him. Rampal quits modeling and goes to Scotland to make a cool million and almost-a-half. His agent follows, continuing to make bookings for which Rampal does not show up. So, of course, Taj steps in and is a HUGE success.
Let me share this, because, well, lookit:
So, anyway, Rampal puts his evil plan into play, and he and Isha fall in love in the Alps. Yosh gets wind of this and is plenty mad so he goes to Scotland to get revenge and smoke cigars. Only, Rampal’s evil plan plays out, and it works. Next thing you know, Isha and Yosh are an item. The plan actually IS evil and for a while I was not very much in charity with Rampal’s character. Rampal, who is not entirely happy with the outcome, takes his check to the bank where Taj just happens to be the boss, and the evil plan is uncovered.
Taj is suddenly madly in love with Isha and so Lord B calls her folks and arranges a marriage. I think Isha at this point has two prospective husbands. Then wild shit happens and Isha tells Lord B and her folks to please pick who she should marry because they know what’s best for her. They pick Taj. Then she sees Rampal give Yosh back his money. Lord B accuses Rampal of blackmailing Isha– which is actually the one evil thing he didn’t do –and then everyone agrees she should marry Rampal (because, yeah!) Arjun Rampal!
Yosh decides to marry an annoyingily perky friend of Isha’s and Taj decides to marry Rampal’s agent. The End.
Reasons to watch this movie
The relationships and the way they develop, fall apart and are re-made are really interesting. Rampal’s redemption is … I’m still working on that. But I think he redeemed himself. There’s also a Rampal-only song which is mostly him showing his (real life) modeling chops (see below) and that in itself is worth the whole movie.
There’s also a shower scene and several gratuitous scenes of a shirtless Rampal. (Thank you!) Also, Scotland, Switzerland, the Alps and Stirling Castle. The first song is catchy with interesting choreography. There’s a sort of disturbing song with Yosh and a sort of pretend-Isha, but his clothes in this song are totally a reason to watch. Gorgeous. Some of the other song and dances were, alas, poorly choreographed and, well, one of the women had 1) the ugliest shoes ever and 2) no ability to dance in the way she was asked to dance. Rampal has very good control of his body so he’s fun to watch move. Also, he totally rocks the heat.
In the last third of this movie, it’s as if Rampal went and got acting lessons. He’s all angsty and heartbroken, and he totally steals the movie. I swear, you think he’s going to come right through the screen and grab you by the shirt, stare into your eyes and cry out, “My God, the PAIN! I LOVE her!!!! And I can’t have her.” If I knew more about movies and acting, I might be able to say why that is.
Reasons NOT to watch this Movie
In this movie, Rampal is mostly pretty good. The scenes where he had a lot of dialogue didn’t go so well for him because, well, he wasn’t playing off the others. Some bad dancing not by Rampal. Bizarre plot twists.
I didn’t think I’d be able to see the Bollywood SciFi/Adventure movie RA.One until it was out on DVD, but it was showing in a town about a hour away so my sister and I went. W00t!
The movie stars Shahrukh Kahn, Karina Kapoor and Arjun Rampal and would be a win even if those three were all the movie had going for it. But it’s not. This movie was loads of fun.
As most of you know I am a major action movie fan and this movie had tons of action. Shahrukh plays Shekhar, a video game programmer who wants to impress his young son, Prateek, who does not have much use for heroes. What he wants is a game with an unbeatable villain. Thus are RA.One (Rampal) and G.One born: an unbeatable villain (RA.One) linked to the hero (G.One) by dohickies that plug in about where their hearts would be. The programming is so so awesome that inside the game, RA.One achieves sentience. G.One, by the way, has been programmed with Shekhar’s personality, love of aphorisms, and a belief in our inherent goodness.
RA.One leaves the world of the video game for the real world and embarks on the search for revenge against Prateek, who has beaten him in the penultimate level of the game. RA.One kills Shekhar who admits to being Prateek in the hope that RA.One will stop going after his son. It is, of course, the ultimate sacrifice. Through a series of events, Prateek realizes that RA.One is alive and after him. He’s able to bring G.One out of the game in the hope of saving everyone’s life. Through much exciting fighting, chasing, more fighting and with a break for some almost romance between G.One and Shekar’s widow (Kapoor) and then a train exploding through a train station, RA.One and G.One face off in a battle to the end. As you might imagine, good wins over evil, but it’s bittersweet. . . until we see that G.One has been brought back. . . (Sequel Bait!)
Special Effects and Action
Total win. The FX did not take the place of the plot and they were also colorful and extremely effective. RA.One’s non-human appearance was scary. This movie is visually fun. Here is my favorite visual of the film:
Oh, come on. What did you think it would be?
Because, the minute Rampal was on the screen? Good Lord. The movie cranks up several notches because Rampal 1) is too gorgeous to believe and 2) totally rocks the villain. The fight choreography was decent to really good. The chase sequences great. There was good wire work. Since the characters in these scenes were superheros/supervillians, there was inhuman and gravity defying running, jumping, leaping and other feats of athleticism. There were homages/tips of the hat to: Terminator, Speed, Iron Man, Superman, Spiderman. This was special effects as they ought to be done: enriching the movie, not taking over it.
There were several cameos most of which went right over my head, except once when I could at least tell the person was a Big Deal. I just didn’t know who the Big Deal person was. Which is only my ignorance in play.
There was a lot of humor, some of the wry, some of it just flat out hilarious.
The movie is long, but I’m now used to that. There wasn’t a bunch of backstory, it was just a lot of story being told. The singing and dancing was fun. SRK is at his most appealing in these scenes. The romance between Shekhar and his wife Sophia was touching and quite sexy. The building relationship between G.One and Sophia was also sweet and sexy. SRK was adorable in these scenes. SRK is both powerfully adorable and stand up and cheer for him heroic. I very much appreciated that Sophia was brought into the action scenes. She didn’t just stand around and scream.
My one complaint is that he did not appear in the movie until quite late. His voice, did, though and I stand by my claim that he has one of the sexiest voices around. The RA.One character previous to Rampal’s scenes (as RA.One) has taken on the physical appearance of another man who was quite good, but not Rampal. However, it made sense. Once RA.One took on Rampal’s appearance there were plenty of scenes like these:
Mostly I was in awe. Rampal was a scary MoFo with some wonderful backdrops and other framing shots instead of blood and guts to prove it. Thank you. Also a thank you to wardrobe for losing his shirt. Next time, try to lose SRK’s shirt, too.
The Take Away
Total win. This was a fun movie and Rampal was scary and gorgeous. I’m so glad I got to see this movie in the theater.
I See You clocks in at just barely over 2 hours, so it’s one of the shorter Bolllywood films I’ve seem.
This movie had great production values and a talented cast. I can’t say as much about the script because parts of this story descended into Three Stooges-eque farce. The main story, however, is intensely romantic. I watched this movie with my sister and at the end we both went, ohhhhhhh because it was just so sweet.
Rampal plays Raj Jaiswal, an Indian living in London who stars in a TV talk-show-ish thingee called British Raj. I really enjoyed the humor of the show title because 1) It’s funny and ironic and 2) It’s the only humor that wasn’t slapstick.
Raj is a player. He loves women, women love him and he’s loving his single life. His hot date with a co-star is ruined when discovers a strange woman in his apartment. He learns, however, that only he can see and touch her. In fact, she is the spirit of a woman, a physician, who is in a coma. The romance of this movie involves Raj discovering why and how her life is in danger and figuring out how to stop the bad guys from killing her physical body. Without realizing what’s happening to him, Raj falls in love with this spirit. The end is just lovely. Complete and utter win.
Oh, Lord, where to start. Most of the comedy was just . . . dumb and a writing fail. The series of events that grounded (I use that term VERY loosely) the comic events just didn’t make sense. They weren’t remotely based in reality and most effective comedy has at least a kernel of plausibility. It’s like Beavis and Butthead were sitting a room stoned out of their minds making up shit that could happen in this movie they wanted make. It was Benny Hill level humor. Nurses in tight outfits. Doctors who just happen to have private ambulances at their disposal, comatose women stolen out of the hospital and parked in an apartment. Anyway. Fail.
I’m tempted to watch this movie again, only I’d fast-forward through the stupid parts and only watch the romance, which was just lovely. Especially the ending. Which probably won’t be what you think.
This movie stars Shah Ruhk Khan and Arjun Rampal so it’s a double win, not the least because SRK is ripped in this movie. Also, my copy of the movie came with a poster of SRK that shows off all the hard work he did to get that six pack. ::swoon:: Did I mention to poster is SIGNED? Well, it is.
As with many Bollywood movies, there’s LOADS of backstory here, to the point where there are really two different movies. I’m getting used to this as it is a different take on story. In many cases, I think, the amount of backstory included considerably weakens the main story. Not in this case. This is a movie about reincarnation and the first part of the movie tells the initial love story and its tragic ending. The second half, as you might imagine, is the story of the reincarnated characters and eventual justice.
SRK plays bit-part actor Om Prakash who is hopelessly in love with leading actress, Shantipriya (Deepika Padukone). Om doesn’t have a chance with her, but he loves her madly anyway. It turns out that Shantipriya is secretly married to a producer Mukesh Mehra (Arjun Rampal). Mehra is not a nice man. Not at all. He’s deliciously played by Rampal. During filming of a movie in which Shanti stars and Om (comically overplays) his bit part, Om saves Shanti from dying in a fire and the two begin a charming, lovely friendship. It’s really well done.
Even after Om learns of Shanti’s marriage to Mehra, his love remains steadfast. Mehra arranges for Shanti to die in a fire and it’s an evil, evil, evil plan. Evil. And he succeeds. Om tries to save her and cannot. Indeed, he later dies in the hospital. The night of his death, he is reincarnated as Om Kapoor, the son of a famous Indian actor and, as the second half of the movie begins, he is 30 years old and a famous actor in his own right. He has a well known fear of fire.
It’s been 30 years since Shanti’s death, but her evil husband, Mehra is still alive and has been successful in Hollywood. He’s back in India and wants to make a movie with Om Kapoor. Om slowly recalls his previous life and how Mehra murdered Shanti. Om is out for revenge. And he gets it.
This movie was really really good. The ending was Hollywood Noir and extremely well done. There’s a surprising twist toward the end that really brings home how evil Mehra is.
The Take Aaway
Total win. Watch it. The title song, Om Shanti Om, is loads of fun. Great singing and dancing. Also as the credits run there’s some fun stuff to watch.
This appears to be Rampal’s first movie, since the credits say “Introducing Arjun Rampal” and he is surprisingly good in it considering some massive story problems. It’s not a half bad movie actually.
But I must warn you — maybe warn isn’t the right word. Someone involved with this movie has a water fetish that involves Arjun Rampal and to that person, I give a heartfelt thank you.
We get Arjun Rampal frolicking in all kinds of water. Rainwater, ocean spray, waves, underwater, waterfalls, rivers, fake perspiration, an oasis.
At least twice he is shirtless! and for some time he is wearing a shirt that is mostly rags. There is a very very strange dream sequence when he pees his pants. I am not kidding. Some of the water frolicking is in Rampal-worshipping slo-mo so again, thank you, you twisted freak whoever you are.
I envy the person who had the job of spritzing Rampal with water whenever they needed more fake sweat which was a lot. This movie was beautifully filmed. Really. Especially when the shots involved Rampal. There were lots. With water and hair flips and beads of water running down his perfect face and taut muscles and …..
Right, I’m back.
Was there a Plot?
Well, yes, I guess so. But I didn’t like it much. Rampal is a lawyer who doesn’t practice law because it’s all corrupt and no one will help the wrongly accused poor people. He lives at home with his racehorse training father and seems to have an entire suite of rooms for his own use that is at least as big as a regular house. He does some horse training I think, but he doesn’t actually have a job.
This stalker girl walks up to him and tells him she loves him and he, wisely, manages a weak smile and backs slowly away from the crazy girl. Only, it turns out she’s the love of his life after all and they agree that they will mutually support each other no matter what and if they don’t the punishment is death. But they don’t get married.
Then he wants to start this legal aid society in order to defend innocent poor people but that takes money which he does not have and he is unable to convince anyone one to donate to an endowment. So he gets the brilliant idea that he will rob a bank to fund his Legal Aid Society. Genius! And it’s all OK because he’s doing it for the innocent poor people. Stalker girl, however, is unconvinced his plan is a good idea and tries to talk him out of it. This, he points out, is in violation of their mutual support agreement and you know what that means, right? (He might, possibly, be crazier than Stalker girl.)
On the morning of the big heist he gets to the bank only to find the place swarming with armed guards. Someone, a female someone, has called in a warning. The bank heist cannot take place as planned.
The next thing you know Stalker girl is dead and he’s defending himself in his murder trial. He gets off, believe it or not, and then we learn that he did kill stalker girl because she betrayed their pact only THEN he finds out it wasn’t her that called in the tip — she did not betray their pact and he is really really sad. The end.
The Take Away
This is an Arjun Rampal water fetish film. Watch it.