Monday, June 30, 2008

Will blog soon

I've been on vacation and haven't really returned back to reality yet. I wanted to start blogging on the movie reviews but I got an email from my boss and he wants me to work on a project due on Thursday. Hopefully I'll be done soon. I haven't gone back to work yet either. I'm going tomorrow.

I will be blogging soon on the following Indian movies...

If you happened to come on this page after I already blogged on the following movies, just click on image or link below to get to review....

Friday, June 20, 2008

Saawariya - Beloved by who?

Saawariya is an adaptation of the Russian short story - "White Nights" by Fyodor Dostoevsky. In the beginning of the movie, Gulaab (Rani Mukherji) narrates the story of a musician name Raj (Ranbir Kapoor) who she calls Saawariya. She is smitten by Raj because of his cute, adorable, naive nature but only wants to befriend him. When Raj sees Sakina (Sonam Kapoor) on a bridge, he falls head over heels for her. Sakina loves Raj's company but her heart belongs to Imaan (Salman Khan) who she awaits nightly for at the bridge. However, it's been years since Imaan has left. The more time she spends with Raj, she is falling for him. Will Imaan ever come back or will she fall in love with Raj?

From the promos, Saawariya looks so beautiful and dreamy. Everything about it seems like a fantasy world. Sanjay Lee Bansali is a well known director/producer who has given hits and/or critically acclaim films such as Khamoshi - The Musical, Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, Devdas, and Black. Therefore, Saawariya has been a highly anticipated film of 2007.

Another reason why people would want to see the film is to see the debuts films of Ranbir Kapoor and Sonam Kapoor? Why? Rishi Kapoor's son - Ranbir. Anil Kapoor's daughter - Sonam. Rishi and Anil are both well known established stars earlier in their career and both still act today.

At first glance, Ranbir looks dorky and nerdy. But when you watch him on screen more, you start to adore him because of his sweet presence. Besides his smooth dancing (which reminds me of Hrithik Roshan - could just be the dance moves), he has a nice physique.

I saw Saawariya on the big screen when it first came out. For some reason, the scene where the towel drops off, you can see his bare butt (nice too, by the ways) - it was cut out from the official dvd. Not that it really makes a big difference to the film but just something worth noting.

From pictures, Sonam reminded me of Sonali Bendre and at times, Katrina Kaif and even Dia Mirza. She is so lovely and beautiful. Her character is quite boring and laughs a lot. I was very disappointed because I wanted to see her do more than look pretty. Since this is her debut film, I'll wait to see her future films. I think every star is likeable if you give them a chance, there will be at least one film you will enjoy them in.

Lillipop was soooooo adorable - I just wanted to give her a hug. It was great to see Zohra Sehgal on screen again. Most people will remember her from Kabhi Kushi Kabhie Gham. I love her chemistry with Raj (Ranbir Kapoor).

I love Salman Khan. He's always been one of my all time favorites. Love him or hate him, he's has made his marked with Bollywood long ago. I still find him handsome. Hey, I met the guy before - he really is good looking! In addition, he's sweet! In Saawariya, he fit the role so well. Imaan is a tough, silent, good looking guy which Salman portrays perfectly! His role was short but you can see why Sakina (Sonam Kapoor) would fall for a guy like him. She's so innocent and naïve which makes her want to be loved.

I have to say that Rani Mukherjee is the best thing about the movie. Not only does she look lovely, she brings an extra aroma. I love her her outfits. I'm glad to see her in Saawariya after a long hiatus of boring roles for her.

Ranbir and Sonam definitely look really cute together on screen. I rather see them together as a couple in real life than Ranbir and Deepika (sorry Deepika fans, I just think Ranbir look better with Sonam).

The movie is beautiful, no doubt. I don't know if I would recommend Saawariya to a newbie. I can not tress how beautifully stunning the colors of the movie is. I'm not totally satisfied with Saawariya. I felt the movie was too long for a weak storyline. Saawariya is definitely worth a watch but don't have high expectations.

Who are you?

Name - Nicki
Alias - ApunBindaas
Location - Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Nationality - American
Ethnicity - Hmong
Fave Bollywood working actor by talent - Aamir Khan, Salman Khan, Shah Rukh Khan, Kay Kay Menon, Manoj Bajai
Fave Bollywood working actress by talent - Konkona Sen Sharma, Kajol, Madhuri Dixit, Preity Zinta
Fave Bollywood stars, in general - John Abraham, Bipasha Basu
Fave Bollywood oldies star - Rajesh Khanna, Rishi Kapoor, Kumar Gaurav, Hema Malini, Zeenat Aman, Tina Munim, Rati Agnihotri
First Bollywood film - Seeta Aur Geeta
Fave Telugu stars - Allu Arjun, Siddarth, Genelia, Kamalinee Mukherjee
Fave Tamil) stars - Surya, Sneha
First Telugu film - Bunny
First Tamil film - En Swasa Katre
First Kannada film - Julie
First Marathi film - Savarkhed Ek Goan

Yes, I am really non Desi. I know my knowledge of Bollywood cinema makes many people doubt me. Some people even have mistaken for being from Northeast Indian before. My nationality is Hmong. Most people don't even know what the heck that is. Read here for a Wikipedia article on the Hmong people .

As a little girl growing up in Atlanta, GA, USA, I watched Bollywood movies that were dubbed in Hmong or Thai from my parents. They were huge Dharmendra and Hema Malini fans. Growing up, I later realized that the versions I was watching were only half the size of the original. Most of the songs were cut off. How could they? I love the music and dancing. In my teens, I started to watch only the Bollywood versions, even with out English subtitles. During that time, it was hard to find VHS with English subtitles and DVDs were not popular yet. My mom used to purchase me Stardust magazine (I know, but that was the only magazine available back then, not like it is now - thank goodness for the Internet). When I read about a movie I wanted to see, I would write it down and my mom would rent the movie for me.

As I grew older, my parents became impatient with the English subs and will only watch an Indian movie that is dubbed in Hmong/Thai. My passion for Bollywood cinema never stopped me! I'm more obsess with it than ever.

Now in my early 30's, I started to watch other Indian cinema too - Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, etc (depending on who is in the movie). I started this blog when people ask me about my thoughts. I have many favorite stars but two stars that stand the most to me are Bipasha Basu and John Abraham. I love them for many reasons. Both are well round overall. They may not be the best looking or the best actors but I like them for a combination of looks, personality, charm, acting, etc.

I'm into trendy things. Even though I grew up watching Bollywood, I still love all the movies that are being released nowadays. I generally love anything. I love all the hip things and even traditional films. If you got it, flaunt it. I don't let real life personality interfere with the star's talent on screen. For example, I can not stand Kareena Kapoor's real life personality but I love her films and will watch her films.

The name ApunBindaas was a nickname I have had for a while. I wanted a name that was cool in Hindi. One of my friends told me that I could be Bindaas since I like all the sexy, hot Bollywood hunks and divas. Apun was added on since it was slang and just thought it was cool so I've been using that user id for all the Bollywood message forums.

My main focus on this blog is to talk about films that are generally known as "underrated" or "underappreciated." Or even just not those huge blockbuster hits. Of course, I will have some post on huge hits.

Wanna know anything else? Just ask away.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Shaurya - A Few Good Indian Men?

Shaurya is a about two best friends Sid (Rahul Bose) and Akash (Javed Jaffrey) who are are militant lawyers taking a case on a man name Javed. Akash lives life following the rules while Sid is carefree and not knowing what will come next. One day the two best friends were assigned a case for Javed, a man who is accused and charged with mutiny, treason and killing a fellow officer. Akash is the prosecution attorney while Sid is the defense attorney for Javed. Kaavya (Minissha Lamba) is a journalist who helps Sid out to find the truth. Then there's Bigadier Pratap (Kay Kay Menon) who is a strict militant living with his rules and wants Javed convicted. All records and witnesses indicate Javed is guilty but why is he silent? What is the truth?

Rahul Bose is enough for me to watch this film. Whether it's Mr & Mrs Iyer or Jhankar Beats, he never disappoints me. Therefore, I'm a huge fan of his. His films are mostly known as "art" since he doesn't play in a lot of masala movies. His character Sid is very silly and carefree which I love then he becomes serious when the time is right. That's why I love Rahul Bose. I love the roles he picks. I've never been disappointed in him in any films I've seen.

I'm used to Javed Jaffrey in supporting roles but usually as the silly character in a film. Sometimes when I think about him, I think of his character in Salaam Namaste, the silly Jaagu AKA Crocodile Dundee wannabe. However, his character Akash is really serious and it's Sid who has to tell Akash to chill sometimes and not take things too seriously. With short screen time with his fiance in the film shows he is a great guy who takes his work very seriously.

I've mentioned about Minissha Lamba because of Anamika. I liked her in everything I've seen of hers even though she's mostly been the supporting cast. She's not bad in Shaurya but her character is a bit annoying at first. Makeup wise, she looks awful and old. At times, she reminded me of a drug addict instead of a journalist. Overall she was disappointing.

Rahul and Minissha's short little love story is cute but unnecessarily. That's what happens when you get two people two spend that much time together - feelings start to develop. The movie's lighting is awful. Most of the clarity of the pictures look dark.

Sid was funny when he put a plastic bag over his head to "think." I laughed about it. There were times that I hoped he wouldn't commit suicide by thinking too hard because this strategy was shown more than once.

Kay Kay Menon - another reason why I would watch this film. He's so underrated. Gotta love him. When I first saw him in Sakar, I was blown away. This guy is good! Loooooved him in Corporate and found him sexy in Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi. Kay Kay is the best thing in this movie. He plays his character to the max! The ugly moustache made him look sophisicated and mature. I love Kay Kay.

The beginning half was a bit slow but the second half was much better. Amrita Rao was a pleasure to see on screen. She is soooo lovely!! I haven't seen her in a while. With her natural beauty, I wanted to see her on screen more but she was good at what she did. Her character was Virendra's widow. Miss you Amrita.

Let's not forget this guy - Deepak Dobriyal. Although he was silent in most of the movie, his facial expressions were right on target. When he spoke, he was great. I realized he's in 1971 - Prisoners of War also. Previously I mentioned it was one of my fave films of 2007 - a very underrated one. I would like to see more of him in the future.

In all, the movie has inspiration from Hollywood film, A Few Good Men. Replace Tom Cruise with Rahul Bose. Replace Jack Nicholson with Kay Kay Menon. Minissha Lamba is definitely no Demi Moore and don't even come close! Shaurya is a decent film if you like A Few Good Men. Just don't be disappointed in it. Or don't expect Kay Kay to shout - "You Can't Handle the Truth!!" in Hindi!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Indian Cinema other Bollywood?

Like many ignorant people who watch Bollywood - Hindi films, I used to think everyone in India knew Hindi and Bollywood films represented India. Little did I know there are so many languages in India. Everyday is a learning experience for me as I learn more about India. First time I was hit with knowledge about other languages in India, I was reading about Kajol's film, Sapnay. The Hindi version is rename Sapnay but the Tamil version is Minsaara Kanavu. No wonder it was hard for me to find Sapnay! With my shallow mind, I didn't think about watching much more Tamil films because I love eye candy. Prabhu Deva is an awesome actor and dancer. Just to be fair, I did watch Isha Koppikar's Tamil films - En Swasa Katre and Dharma. Kollywood (Tamil) - sorry! Since I'm a huge Bipasha Basu fan, I even went and got her Telugu film Takkari Donga. Mahesh Babu isn't bad looking. I want more eye candy! Does Tollywood (Telugu) have a chance?

It was friend showed me a picture of Allu Arjun. I was in heaven! This guy's hot! Has the body! I'm in love! My friend was even sweet enough to send me two of Allu Arjun's films - Aarya & Bunny. OMG…I was so impress and in love. So crazy that I even made this website dedicated to him - I even went and bought all his movies (thank goodness he didn't have many). (note - I don't own the website anymore, read here why) His dancing is amazing!!! I love a guy who can dance and is fine. I was willing to watch more Telugu films now.

Aarya - reviewed 07/27/2008
Bunny - reviewed 07/26/2008
Happy - reviewed 09/10/2008
Desamuduru - reviewed 09/14/2008

Thanks to Rang De Basanti, I was able to find my other crush - Siddharth Narayan! While a lot of females drooled over Kunal Kapoor. I rather have Siddharth. His boyish looks and charm made me feel like a teenage girl again. He's just so adorable. Next thing you know, I started watching his Telugu and Tamil films!!!

Nuvvostanante Nenoddantana - reviewed 08/31/2008
Bommarillu - reviewed 09/26/2008
Ayutha Ezhuthu - reviewed 11/13/2008
Boys - reviewed 03/08/2009

I'm willing to watch more South Indian Regional films now. Mainly due to the star cast. If I like a Bollywood star, I will go out of my way to watch their non Hindi films. For example, I looked everywhere for Dino Morea's Kannada film, Julie. I'm still searching for Sameera Reddy's Bengali film, Kalpurush (seen now, reviewed 11/2009