Planet Bollywood
Neal N Nikki
 
Producer: Yash Raj Films/Aditya Chopra
Director: Arjun Sablok
Starring: Uday Chopra, Tanisha Mukherjee, Richa Pallod
Music: Salim Sulaiman
Lyrics: Anvita Dutt Guptan, Irshad Kamil, Asif Ali Beg
Genre: Comedy
Recommended Audience: Adult
Film Released on: 09 December 2005
Reviewed by: Alok Kumar  - Rating: 7.5 / 10
 
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Public Rating Average: 5.09 / 10 (rated by 412 viewers)
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Let me start off by saying that ´Neal N Nikki´ is by far one of the dumbest films I have seen of late (And I´ve watched a lot of them, from ‘No Entry to ´Garam Masala´). There´s no story to speak of, the leads are appalling, and there is vulgarity galore. Let me also say that it is one of the most unpretentious, breezy, and light-hearted Indian films I have seen in recent years. For those of you who haven´t seen it, please go watch! But don´t expect another typical Yash Raj Films´ family entertainer. This one makes little-to-no sense is crass, crude, and loud, etc. But it´s a whole lot of fun, if you can throw logic out the window and enjoy the absolute debauchery. It´s American Pie for Indians and in spite of the fact that the movie is a no brain-er, ´Neal N Nikki´ is damn good. The music rocks and the production values are excellent.

The sheen and glitter of a Yash Chopra presentation are all there, just not the usual wholesome ingredients. But seriously, $#&@ wholesome ingredients! &/ cliched family entertainers! I´m sick of watching them. They´re all the same damn movie. It´s as if someone made one thirty-hour movie with the same six people and edited out three-hour portions of it, naming each Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham, Kal Ho Na Ho, etc. Here´s something that´s akin to a kick in the balls of all those wholesome family films. This film is the anti-family film- Neal and Nikki are terrible people who do terrible things and act all upbeat and "modern" about it. Now that I´ve moralized and judged like the typical Indian audience member, I´ll now say that I haven´t laughed so hard in a long time.

´Neal N Nikki´ has two of the shadiest characters I´ve seen in Indian movies. Neal (Uday Chopra) comes from India to Vancouver three weeks before his wedding to get laid and have fun before marriage. He meets Nikki (Tanishaa Mukherjee), an Alcoholic Indian Party Girl (Think Paris Hilton with just a little melanin and probably just as many venereal diseases) who dresses like a prostitute and acts like one too. Neal and Nikki get off on the wrong foot due to Nikki´s constant interruptions of Neal´s attempts at sex. But one whore like dance by fashionably/logically challenged Nikki to the immensely catchy "Halla Re" later, they´ve grown on each other. As a result of their newfound friendship, Nikki decides to help Neal get laid and, in the process, falls in love with him herself. Trouble ensues when Neal´s plain-Jane fiance Sweetie (Richa Pallod) enters the picture. If you´ve seen an Indian movie at some point in your life, you probably know how things work out. That´s the story. Really. I´m not kidding.

Like I said, anyone expecting traditional Indian entertainment aka Chopra´s ´Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge´ will be sorely disappointed. Ten years later after DDLJ, Chopra decides to make this film, the anti-DDLJ. Like I said, Neal and Nikki are no Raj and Simran. These two idiots are so out there that if they ever met Raj and Simran, their heads would explode! Chopra has been veering towards unconventional entertainment of late (´Dhoom´, ´Bunty Aur Babli´, ´Salaam Namaste´, etc.), but this one is easily the best out of the new films since 2004´s enjoyable ‘Hum Tum’. Lets be honest, ´Dhoom´ sucked. ‘Salaam Namaste´tried too hard and ended up sucking too, thanks to a lame Abhishek Bachchan cameo at the end. ´Bunty Aur Babli´ was a disaster, barring aside Aishwarya Rai´s "Kajra Re" (One of the few times I´ve ever seen an ENTIRE FILM carried on the shoulders of an actress and her Item Number). Not that it´s a great achievement, but ´Neal N Nikki´ is miles ahead in terms of ability to enjoy than these above-mentioned films.

So while the film may be moronic and utterly stupid, its pretty progressive in the way it looks at sex and the love lives of twenty-something’s. While the theme and execution are so enjoyable, the leads are not! Uday Chopra is an SRK wannabe who needs to get his own style. We have too many guys trying (and failing) to pull off the arrogant "cool dude." Even when Shah Rukh tried to act like a stud, he still came off as dorky, which was charming. This guy tries way too hard to ape his style, but really seems to believe that he´s the next best thing. Sure, Uday has muscles and height but is a terrible actor. Not that the material required any real acting. So, while Uday Chopra has no depth and no range, his superficial performance in this superficial film works just barely even if his lipstick distracts.

Tanishaa Mukherjee is mediocre, but shows some sparks of Kajol. She did a much better job emoting in Sarkar; here she went over-the-top in some scenes. I believe if she goes light on the make-up and tries to restrain herself, she´ll do better. She´s not one-tenth of her sister in terms of talent. Kajol could go over-the-top without hamming, or could overplay a role and make it look charming and spastic. Tanishaa is a wannabe. A toned body is the last thing an actress needs (Look at frumpy, but talented Kajol). Still, she´s funny in some scenes, especially the "Are you a virgin?" conversation. Richa Pallod follows the trend of her costars and is neither all that attractive nor talented. She´s bland in that Shreya Saran, Ayesha Takia, and Bhumika Chawla kind of way where you wouldn´t be able to pick her out in a crowd of “fugly” extras. Clearly, gone are the days when actors and actresses were actually unique, instead of talent less star kids (We´re looking at you, Kareena/Esha/Zayed/Fardeed/Tusshar) or cookie-cutter supermodels with the same personality (If you replaced Priyanka with Lara in a movie, would anyone really notice?).

The music is enjoyable too, and the locations are nice. The film has gorgeous cinematography and is a polished product. With stronger stars, this one could´ve been better, but as it is, not bad. It´s quite fun. If critics can digest some of the crap they´ve given glowing reviews to, they should dish out some compliments for this one too. Granted, I had low expectations from this one, but I was shocked! This film is hysterical! My advice to you is to not think about it and enjoy the candy floss airhead romance. I should also mention that you not watch it with the kids because it´s definitely not for them. And it´ll probably work better if you throw back a few while watching it (But this being a family site, I´m not condoning drinking). If you´re over 15 and under 30, you´ll like this one.

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