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Producer: D. Rama Naidu
Director:
Satish Kaushik
*ing
:
Anil Kapoor, Kajol, Anupam Kher, Mink Singh, Johny Lever
Music: Anu Malik

Released on : January 22, 1999


Reviewed by: Anjali Abrol
dilwaliji@indolink.com


out of 
Pre-movie thoughts:
Kajol....Anil Kapoor...Anupam Kher...Johnny Lever...Satish Kaushik...Shakti Kapoor. Sounds like a well-balanced cast. Kajol, the reigning Number 1, with Dushman, PKTDK, PTHHT, KKHH...Anil, picking up with JBKK after a low in his career... a fresh couple....Mink Singh....disgusting.... Potential, potential. Music...didn't listen to it...but also didn't get any great feedback..so I decided to wait up 'til the movie.... Potential, hope. Feedback on the movie, though varied, was, overall, not so great. Many said it was pure 'crap', whereas word from London said it was funny at times, pretty good overall, stretched a bit, music was 'crap'...though the response was still good--full houses in theaters even after two weeks...Main kahan paas gayi hoon? Yeh kya chakkar hai? Much confusion? Bilkul. Hope, hope.

The movie takes off with Vijay (Anil Kapoor), a rich (and only) son of Anupam Kher, returning home from studying in America. Yes, even the Hindi movie fanatics who can't understand a word to save their lives get the point... there's an overdose of 'American designer clothes' (thank God the 'lil "designer" darjees in India spelled Hilfiger correctly, not Hilfinger....darn those typos!)... for sure a typical from America (main kya Ralph Lauren ki beti lagti hoon?). He's a lazy one, motherless and brainless, choosing pleasure (American-style, of COURSE!) over work and responsibilities. Tsk tsk, America's desi children are so terribly spoiled and morals is just a word in a dictionary that we have yet to open. Anupam Kher, the 'pregnant' father (looks like a goose-feathered pillow to me), wants his beta to work, take over the business, and judging on Anil's loose lifestyle, wants him to get settled to an innocent, wonderful Indian girl (how pure they are, how corrupt us phooljharis are in America). Pardes, anyone? Puh-lease!

Shakti Kapoor, some loser who works for Anupam, wants his niece, Anita (Mink Singh), to marry Anil for the traditional "then I will take over his business and money" bakwaas. Anil sings a wonderful "I've Got Style" or something, song, with Mink, they look like total idiots, with a bunch of losers trying to dance with them to some hopeless waste of film. Anil's clothes begin to beg for help, Mink's clothes beg for some more.

Megha (Kajol) is Anupam's personal secretary, and is amazingly efficient at everything, her job, her taking care of Anupam, her CLOTHES, etc. Potential wife material. She also comes from a family of dimwits, and she must take care of all of them before they use up all of the water in India with their fake tears.

Anil refuses to get married, Anupam uses the traditional "I am dying soon" scene, Anil agrees with one shart, that he will marry only for a year, and basically, if he is 'whipped' by the end of the year, he will stay married to the girl, otherwise, talaak. Anupam is discontent (obviously, when you have such a moron for a son) but agrees, sets up Kajol with Anil, figuring she can whip him, asap. Kajol and Anil meet, Anil tells her about his stupid agreement, she gets mad and says some bakwaas about she not the girl from America that you can just sleep with and rent, and throw away with money (prostitutes, we are, for sure..it's a requirement for all desi girls in America). Did we fail to point out that prostitutes in India are far too many, and are the main culprits in spreading HIV? I guess Bollywood doesn't have time to read newspapers (though they kept showing the newspaper written in English...ahhh ...they must've not had the time, with all that rona dhona...) Anyways, Kajol agrees after a big scene at home where everyone in her dimwitted family is either going to blow themselves up or hang themselves, and so they are married.

A year and several songs pass, she has done everything for him, pujas and bruths, nursing him and cooking for him, loving him and singing with him, dancing and more... and he decides that  he appreciates her kind services but isn't whipped, so "C-ya". Her life crumbles, Anupam is disgusted and saddened, and Anil keeps searching for that darn "feeling" he didn't feel for her.

She goes home, tries to rebuild her life, men sexually harass her (of course, if she were in America, her life would be normal, she would be fully respected in society and move on to another contract, no prob), and Anil figures out he loves her.

The rest of the movie is filled with Anil trying to get Kajol back, her soon-to-be annoying stubbornness, some songs, alot of rona dhona, pregnancy, lot of whining, some blood here and there, and a baby..the rising agony ends. Fabulous, no?

Did I fail to mention the "comedic" angle of the movie - the horrifying telephone war between Satish Kaushik, Johnny Lever, and the other lil squirt? It frankly is not worth mentioning how traumatized the audience members were after suffering through that agony. Ahhhh...and the sexy punjabi "Pehlwaan"? Vah vah...kya body thi! Right arm dekho! Ab left arm dekho! Mujhe yeh samajh mein nahin aata, yeh right left arm ka chakkar kya tha? Uska stomach dekho! Do gut bahaar aa raha tha ya teen????

Costume-wise, Anil wore some interesting outfits, for sure. They did get better as the movie progressed...not bad for an Indian movie (yes, he wore a shirt, unlike some 5'4 steroid buffs). Kajol's outfits were fantastic and classy...not too little (Mink wore the scraps)--just right. She, on the other hand, wasn't just right for the beginning outfits (pre-marital)...her salwaar kameeze over-emphasized her stomach (made her look pregnant...yes, even before she 'got' pregnant.). Her make-up, though well-done, was overly-pasty at times, (they managed to hold off the bright pinks and reds) and her horrific eyebrows and lil blemishes, bad lighting, etc. could have used some help. Mink was dressed accordingly...her lil clothes fit her role as a phooljhari, her lil slit eyes, stringy hair, (na shakal na akal) lack of acting and dancing skills, and tiny part suited her perfectly.

The songs went well with the movie (let's not mention the Style song and the Papa Papa song), I enjoyed them thoroughly (hey, everyone copies off of everyone else, so I could care less)....nicely and appropriately depicted and choreographed.

Now about the teri meri story. Yes, in America, the girls are easy, we run to money especially if it's placed under the pillow, and marriage for one year? Hardly! We prefer just 6 months. The guys are always going to bars, drinking and smoking, and prefer loose girls (oh yes, which we are). Tsk tsk. That's why we ARE in America. On the other hand, all the Gangas (read: Pardes) and Meghas (and whoever else are pure and sweet) have respect and their culture to initiate their every move, well well, they are just the real Indian girls- cultured, dutiful, pure, religious, devoted, hard-working, and frankly, marriage-material. Only a true Hindustani ladki (or in some other movies, ladka) could straighten out such a terrible, Americanized ladka (ya ladki). Puh-lease! Anyone in America would laugh at this, whereas many, not all, people in India are left covering their mouth and exclaiming, "Hi Rabba!" This was, again, a major flaw in the film. Maan liya ke the Bollywood industries focus on appealing to the masses in India, but it's amazing how they seem to forget about the masses of people watching in America, Canada, England, etc. *rolling my eyes* Again, another disappointment on the part of Bollywood (add that to about 380 disappointing films of the 400+ Bollywood produces per year).

Though I won't mention the end, let's just say that the last 1/5 of the movie ruined it completely. The end was pure bakwaas. Yeh bhi maan liya ke Anil was a total jerk for asking Kajol to leave after a year, but Kajol wasn't all innocent either. She didn't exactly marry for love, she married to save her family, which is commendable but still not for the 'right' reasons. Didn't Anil marry to save his dad from his dramatic 'Beta, I'll die without ever seeing my pothe' episode? The end was stretched to where the people in the audience began to laugh at the very melodramatic end....that's when you know the audience has lost complete interest (and did we laugh!). On the other hand, some of Anil's ideals were not bad. He felt that a pati patni should be equal and be good friends (which, by the way, is a MUST in any successful relationship). The moving scenes were when Kajol uske pehr chooe, aur Anil uske, shaadi ke baad, as well as her late arrival from her maike, and Anil had complete trust in her and didn't interrogate her. The story also showed the pain Kajol endured with her head up high, which was a strong point in the film.

Kajol and Anil's acting were commendable. To act like such a jerk, and let it flow so easily and naturally (hmmm, I could think of many guys who could pull this off gracefully...!), either you really are that way or you are quite a great actor. Kajol went a bit overboard with her stubbornness, and the audience went from sympathizing with her to being annoyed with her. Anupam Kher, as usual, was fantastic, and so were the other sidekicks, until they got annoying.

Being a punjabi, I LOVED the Punjabi flavor to the movie. LOVED it. Great! On the other hand, many of the Gujaratis (and few sprinkle of others, U.P.wale, Pakistanis, South Indians, etc.) flooding the theater (as we are only few Punjabis around here) HATED it.....you could hear the constant grumbling amongst them as they couldn't understand a lick of it. They went mad when Johnny Lever spoke one line of Gujarati...you would have thought India made Bhel Puri its national food.

All in all, it isn't bad, it's interesting. Though I wouldn't watch it again anytime soon, I don't regret watching it in the theater (as I did watching Gharwali Baharwali or Major Saab--that's when I really craved a remote control). It's strongest point was that it actually had a (different) story...despite its flaws (that's a requirement for Hindi films), and wasn't as painful as some had said, nor funny, as others indicated...So don't go off of what others say, just watch it and judge it yourself.

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