Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Nicki's view - Memento vs Ghajini (Tamil) vs Ghajini (Hindi)

First of all, I would like to tell those who were waiting on a post from me that I've been extremely busy at work. Gosh, I started this post two days ago!! Urgh. It's the busiest time of the year. Working at a payroll company, I get no time off for the months of December and January.

Well, let's talk about Memento, the film that both the Tamil and Hindi versions of Ghajini has taken inspiration from. I still say inspiration because I honestly don't see as being a "remake." Yes, I will say it again -- Ghajini has taken the main plot of Memento and used it, making it more suitable for the Indian audiences.

If you go in watching Ghajini, either versions, having too much expectations and finding so many faults in it because it isn't realistic, then forget watching Ghajini. For me, the Indian cinema industry has always had a lot of masala movies - mixture of many genres with a bunch of WTF moments. How do you expect a Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, or even Fanaa to do so well? Aren't there too many loose ends as well? Although there isn't much violence in those movies compared to Ghajini, isn't it the same thing - "unrealistic"? You want to talk about realistic but a movie is a movie unless it's a documentary then that's another story. That's why I love Indian cinema. I feel I can escape into my own world and jump into a dreamland when watching the films. If I wanted to watch something more serious, then I'll watch an "art" film, as many would call it. There's many types of movies catered towards everyone. For me personally, I don't feel the need to always criticize a movie. Sometimes I may just make fun of the movie despite how much I love it but still nothing to be taken too serious and get all upset about. Or call the stars names for doing a movie which the formulas have been overplayed many times. No way am I am expert on analyzing films, I mainly watch films to be entertained. If in the end, I'm satisfied, than that's all that matters.

You can read both my reviews on Ghajini with no spoilers - Ghajini (Tamil) with Surya and Ghajini (Hindi) with Aamir Khan.



Read at your own risk about Memento since I am going to spoil the whole film, on why I don't think Ghajini has been remade

I started off giving spoilers of what Memento is all about. Then it got too long... I still had to write about Ghajini!! Therefore this is how I did it.

- Some flashbacks are shown
- Main character's signifant other gets killed
- Main character suffers from short-term memory loss due to severe head trauma
- Main character write notes, takes Polaroids, has tattoos body to remind him of the incident
- Main character is looking for killer

Some differences
- Leonard is an insurance agent fraud investigator
- Movie is told in both reverse and choronological order
- Movie shown from Leonard's perspectives
- Flashbacks and black & white film is used
- Cop manipulates Leonard and uses Leonard's condition to help him
- Leonard was married and lost his wife to two burglars trying to invade his home
- Audience is guessing who the villian is
Ghajini (Tamil & Hindi)
- Sanjay is a rich businessman
- Flashbook are mostly narrated with documentation
- Several crooked cops are in the film but doesn't know much about Sanjay's condition
- Sanjay lost his love to goons who wanted her dead because of her knowledge of them
- Villian is revealed

Memento is definitely a brilliant movie. Interesting, filming Memento took less than a month. One reason why it's really a good film is the how the story was told and unfolded. The film is definitely a thriller that keeps you guessing what happened, why it happened, who it's happening to. Many of the scenes are re-played again to ensure and remind you to pay attention and stay focus on what's really happening. While watching the film, you see it told in two different forms. One is reverse chronological order, in other words, backwards -- it is shown in black and white. The other one is in chronological order and shown in color.

When watching Memento, you have a case of why did he just kill that guy? What's up with the killing? So the way Memento was filmed, I didn't see any of that in Ghajini. Plus, you don't feel pity for Leonard at the end. Everyone is manipulating each other for his or her own selfish gains. When the film ends (actually it begins because it's backwards), you are in confusion because you can't believe all that's happened. For me, I loved how confused I was. What I mean by that is, I love a film that makes me think even more about hat happened. So I watched it the second time around, I understood it a bit more. However, the film is still unclear. It never really let you have a good feeling of who actually is the bad guy -- what I mean by that is there is no sense of truth there. Natalie, the woman who you felt sorry for, you end up disliking because she starts to manipulate Leonard as well. She takes advantage of his condition and uses him. Just when you thought Leonard actually had someone to confine in, even Teddy, a cop, who was helping him in finding the killer, manipulates Leonard for his personal gains as well. You can't even say Leonard is the"good" guy either because once the movie ends (it actually begins) - Leonard manipulates even himself -- it unfolds how Leonard knows he will not remember things so he purposely leaves himself clues so he can have a detective game and solve it.

If anyone wants me to go into details what happened in Memento, please let me know. I will do that but it will be very detailed and descriptive. Just that I wanted to focus more on the Ghajinis on this post.

Now, let's compare both Ghajinis. The Tamil version with Surya released in 2005 and was a megahit. Even the Hindi version with Aamir that just released on December 25, 2008, is heading up to a sure hit and has been sold out in many places.

Again, you can read both my reviews on Ghajini with no spoilers - Ghajini (Tamil) with Surya and Ghajini (Hindi) with Aamir Khan.


Besides the Memento-ness that it took mentioned above -- Main character suffers from short-term memory loss due to severe head trama, main character write notes, takes Polaroids, has tattoos body to remind him of the incident, main character is looking for killer....

And what I've written above -- Sanjay is a rich businessman, flashbook are mostly narrated with documentation (diaries, newspaper, someone telling Nayantara and Jiah want happened to Asin & Surya/Aamir), several crooked cops are in the film but doesn't know much about Sanjay's condition, Sanjay lost his love to goons who wanted her dead because of her knowledge of them, villian is revealed....

What else is similar between the two Ghajinis?

- The beginning, especially before intermission is a copy frame-by-frame
- Most of the songs come in the same order
- There's a medical student who wants to study about Sanjay's condition
- Asin and Pradeep Rawat play in both the Tamil and Hindi versions

Why do I think the Hindi version better? First, Aamir changed the second half and changed what I didn't really like in the Tamil version.

Read with caution, I warn you, spoilers between the two Ghajinis below.

In the Tamil version, the medical student played Nayantara was so freaking annoying. Therefore, I enjoyed Jiah in the Hindi veresion and felt she did the best that she could.

In the Tamil version, Nayantara meets Surya later on in the film while in the Hindi version, Jiah meets Aamir earlier in the film.

In the Hindi version, both ladies - Asin & Jiah's songs were shorter. It's ashame since Jiah was pleasing to the eyes to do an item song and looked hot while it was cringe time when Nayantara was there.

There was a bloody fight scene in the Tamil version and was deleted from the Hindi version.

In the Hindi version, Aamir clicks a picture of Ghajini before Jiah's item number, "Lato." I wanted to point out (Thanks Darshit!!) for telling me it was Pradeep Rawat as Salman's friend in Baaghi. Nothing was like the for Tamil version.

In the Tamil version, there is a song sequence when Asin is in the train talking to Surya and they both can't wait to see each other again and image being with each other - the "Rangola" song. In the Hindi version, there is no breakout song like that. Aamir and Asin parts way -- there is background music - "Kaise Mujhe" song.

In the Tamil version, the scene when the villians were in Asin's apartment, it was Surya who calls Asin up to see where she was at and that lead the villians know where she was. In the Hindi version, none of that happened.

In the Hindi version, the villian's name is Ghajini. However, in the Tamil version, no one is named Ghajini.

In the Tamil version, the villian had a twin. Thank goodness that part was taken out in the Hindi version.

In the Hindi version, the climax fight scene was fought at the villian's location. Thank goodness it was changed in the Hindi version because in the Tamil version, it was fought at a girls' hostel where Nayantara stay. It was very violent and at least one girl got shot at that scene.

In the Hindi version, Aamir takes revenge on Ghajini by hitting him with the iron rod that was used on him. I loooove that because in the Tamil version, none of that happens. What comes around comes back around!

In the Tamil version, I didn't feel that the movie left me with closure, it wasn't complete. After Surya kills the villian, he is sitting in car staring a cute, little girl and smiles. That's it.

In the Hindi version, I felt there was closure. Jiah gives Aamir a gift and it was the footstone that Aamir and Asin had their footprints on when they entered their home together. In the Tamil version, we never see what happens to it. In addition, in the Hindi version, Aamir sees Asin again. I love that. I felt complete after watching the film. I love a happy ending.

Because of all these differences, these are the reasons why I prefer the Hindi version of Ghajini. Ghajini (Tamil) vs Ghajini (Hindi) is definitely a remake with some differences, not Memento vs Ghajini.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Ghajini - Bollywood style with Aamir Khan

Finally saw the Hindi version of Ghajini with the one and only, Aamir Khan. Am I satistfied? Yes!! Disappointed? Nope. Is it your favorite film of the year? Nope. Is it similar to the Tamil Ghajini? Yes and No.

Well, as you may or may not know, I have seen Memento. A week ago, I saw Surya's Ghajini, which I discussed about the similarities of the two films. After I post this, I am going to blog about all three films, the differences and similarities.

Today, I had my heart on seeing Aamir's Ghajini for a while in the theater. I love all kinds of film genres. Some people may think this film is too violent for them. Not me! One of my favorite Hollywood films is American History X, which is a very violent movie. For me, I try not to dismiss any films of any language or genres. If I do, I'll never get to say that I have seen it. I try to open my eyes and see it with an open mind.

Memento is a wonderful, unique film. Maybe since it's not on my top favorite films of all times that I'm not as critical in analyzing Ghajini? Well, I'm saying this because if a certain film is one of your favorites, no matter who remakes it, or what language or country does it, you will criticize the "remake" or if there are just certain elements that are "copied." Honestly, I don't see Ghajini, Tamil or Hindi, a remake of Memento. But Ghajini has copied and taken the main plot of Memento, no doubt -- the Polaroids of people for remembrance, short-term memory loss, notes and tattoos on body.

If I like Surya's Ghajini, I will like Aamir's Ghajini, right? Right, but even more. I enjoyed so much that when I came home, I couldn't write a review without any caps! Therefore, I was able to make some caps online. No spoilers here but my next post with the comparison with the two Ghajini's and Memento will have lots of spoilers.

Below, copied and paste from Surya's
Ghajini. Almost exactly the same on some. If you want spoilers, you can read here with comparisons, even with Memento.

The successful businessman, Sanjay Sinhania. After a tragic incident where his ladylove gets murdered, Sanjay suffers from short-term memory loss, in which he can not create new memories and his brain refreshes itself every 15 minutes. He still seeks revenge to find the murderer.

Aamir Khan. What can I say or not say? He is my favorite actor. The best. He has not disappointed me for the longest time. Love his transmations. Love how he tries new roles. Love his facial and expressive eyes! Love, love, love him!

Kalpana is a sweet, aspiring model. Don't let her good looks fool you. She has a kind heart and go out of her way to help those in need, which caught Sanjay's eyes and heart. Since I liked Asin in the Tamil version, I absolutely adored her in the Hindi version as well! Sge reminds me of Isha Koppikar a lot in the looks department. She has a meaty role since she is seen in flashbacks only. Unlike Memento, her character is well-develop and descriptive, which makes you fall in love with her.

Medical student, Sunita, wants to learn more about the case of Sanjay Sinhania because he has short-term memory loss. Unlike Memento, there is no medical student --there is another female character but is caught in the deceptive memory loss game. Unlike the character Chitra, in Surya's Ghajini, Sunita didn't annoy me as much. I quite like Jiah Khan playing the role, which she added the extra oomph on screen.

Ghajini is the evil, selfish murderer Sanjay is looking for. Unlike Memento, the main character doesn't know who the killer is -- he is still searching for him. Unlike Surya's Ghajini, there was no one named Ghajini. Pradeep Rawat is so good which makes you hate him even more!

Song #1 - "Aye Bachchoo"
Kalpana at work and her intro

Watch Below

Song #2 - "Bekha"
Sanjay falls in love with Kalpana and imagines being with her

Watch Below

Song #3 - "Lato"
Sunita as an item girl dancing in club. Sanjay wants to kill Ghajini.

Watch Below

Song #4 - "Guzarish"
It's official -- Sanjay and Kalpana are in love!

Watch Below

Song #5 - "Kaise Mujhe"
Sanjay and Kalpana part, thinking about each other.

Watch Below

Just thought I'll make caps of what is similar to Memento, besides the short-term memory loss and seeking revenge.

Stay tune for my comparisons with all three films. Update 12/31/2008 - you can read it here now.

Spirit of Salman Khan - films and songs that I love of him

Since yesterday was Sallu's birthday, I thought I would talk about his hotness look in the 90s. Hey, I was able to persuade Shweta in finally adding Sallu on her hotness list because we both are Sallu fangirls. I'll have to admit that Sallu isn't looking as hot as he used to...but in all fairness, like I told Shweta, the guys she mentioned on her hotness post is at the peak of their careers, very unlike my shallow one but had to add in some oldies star. I can't look at the actors at their stage now because it's like me thinking my dad's friends look good, no way! Haha. Shallow me, I know.

In the spirit of the fun post by Shweta and Sallu's birthday. I'm going to list my favorite films of Sallu + his hotness, which I've seen all of Sallu's films except for God Tussi Great Ho and Yuvvraaj but I have it now but just haven't watched it yet. Instead of me pulling out everyone of his dvds, I just surf the net and took what I could find. I don't own all of Sallu's films on dvd yet but I hoped to soon.

A few of my favorites. No particular order. Just what comes to my mind right now. I'll just list ten.

Pyaar Kiya To Darna Kya

One of my all-time favorite Sallu films. Just read here to know why. Not only is he smoking hot in the movie but my first experience watching in the theater and has Sallu and Kajol in a movie! Yah!! 1998, to me, is when Sallu was looking the hottest.

Below is my favorite song from the film.
"O O Jaane Jaana"

Jab Pyaar Kisi Se Hota Hai

Dang, I used to own this film. Now, I have to get another copy! The film is about a rich womanizer stud, Sooraj, who finally falls in love with with Komal (Twinkle Khanna). However, his life turns upside down when he learns that he is the father of Kabir (
Aditya Narayan).

Below is my favorite song from the film.
"O Jana"
Oh gosh, almost as similar as above but trust me, different tunes. Ironically, this song features Sallu and Namrata, not Twinkle (heroine of the film)

Khamoshi: The Musical

Such an underrated film. Great performances from everyone!! You can read here for more details of the film.

Below is my favorite song from the film.
"Jaana Suno"


Another film I used to own and am upset I don't. I love this movie. This film is about the sweet Akash (Salman Khan), who as a child befriended the handicapped orphan Aman (Sanjay Dutt). Since then, Aman has been living with Akash's family and grew up as brothers. Aman is a poet but writes under the name Saagar. One of Aman/Saagar's fan Poojar (Madhuri Dixit) wants to meet the man behind the poems. However, Aman wants Akash to pretend to be Saagar because Aman feels that women wouldn't love him because he's poor and handicap. Akash and Pooja starts to fall in love. But Aman is in love with Pooja as well.

Below is my one of favorite song from the film. It's so hard for me to choose my absolute favorite but I chose a song that featured Salman.
"Dekha Hai Pehli Baar"

Ek Ladka Ek Ladki

Salman + Neelam. Yah! This film is actually a remake of the Hollywood film, Overboard, with Kurt Russels and Goldie Hawn. However, I like the Bollywood version more. The film is about a snobby girl name Renu (Neelam) that ends up in Raja's (Salman Khan) town. Renu's greedy uncle (Anupam Kher) wants Renu dead. Raj ends up rescuing Renu only to teach her a lesson since both met earlier on bad terms. Raj lies and tell Renu her name is Rani and that she is his wife and they have three children, which are his nephews. Over the course of time, both start to fall in love with each other. But will Raja continue with the lie and tell her truth? Or will the uncle reveal it all?

Below is my favorite song from the film.
"Kitna Pyar"

Karan Arjun

I freaking love this movie!!! I know many are going to cringe at the thought of it. This is the movie that showcase my Sallu's muscles. This film about two reincarnated brothers - Karan Arjun - who have been selfishly killed by Thakur (Amrish Puri). But with prayer and hope from their mother Durga (Rakee), they have been re-born as Vijay and Ajay. However, their in their present birth, they do not know each other.

Below is my one of favorite song from the film. It's so hard for me to choose my absolute favorite but I chose a song that featured Salman.
"Ek Munda"

Maine Pyar Kiya

If you haven't seen Maine Pyar Kiya, why?? Do it now! Sallu's debut film and Sooraj Barjatya's best. Read why it's one of my favorites.

Below is my favorite song from the film.
"Kabuta Ja Ja"

Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam

I know many will not agree with this film choice. Many have found Sallu's character Sameer annoying but I loooved him! Love a man with a sense of humor. Vanraj was too boring for me. Some may argue that Sameer was too immature. I felt that Nandita loved Sameer and wasted her time trying to find him and suddenly gave up. When I first saw this film, I didn't like it. However, watching it again, it wasn't that bad, just didn't agree with how it ended. All I have to say is that I have my Sameer. :)

Below is one my favorite song from the film. It was so hard to choose only one song. Every time I hear it, brings tears to my eyes. So sad...
"Tadap Tadap"

Kuch Kuch Hota Hai

Wassup Dude? Yeah, I really like this movie. Even though Salman plays second fiddle to Shahrukh Khan. It's okay if Anjali can't make up her mind. I'll take Aman. If you don't know what this movie is about, what are you waiting for?

Below is one my favorite song from the film. Sallu looks so adorable!
"Sajan Ji Ghar Aaye"

Janam Samjha Karo

A case of "don't know what you got till it's gone." Chandni (Urmila Matondkar) is a singer and dancer at a night club where she meets Rahul (Salman Khan) and falls in love with him. When his uncle (Shammi Kapoor) comes in town and wants Rahul to settle down and stop womanizing. In order to get him off his back, Rahul convince Chandni to pretend to be his wife. When his uncle finally leaves, Rahul finally lets go of Chandni only to find out he actually fell in love with her.

Below is one my favorite song from the film.
"Love Hua"

I know I said only 10, but I added this extra one. It released in 2002 but Sallu was looking good and I enjoyed the film. There are shades of the Hollywood film, The Long Kiss Good Night.

Tumko Na Bhool Payenge

Below is one my favorite song from the film.
"Yeh Bekhudi"

Can't help it but other noted films of Sallu that I think he looks really good but may not Sallu's best films.

Auzaar (1997)

Song below - "I Love You"

Garv (2004)

Song below - "Hum Tumko Nigahon Mein"

Lucky (2005)

Song below - "Sun Zara"