Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Mini-reviews: part 7 (Manoj Manchu edition)

Part 1 (Hindi/Tamil), Part 2 (Telugu), Part 3 (Prabhas), Ram, Part 4 (Telugu), Part 5 (NTR JR), Part 6 (Sumanth)

I *heart* Manoj Manchu.

The funny thing is my first intro to Manoj was Vedam. I always thought he was the cutie who had the most adorable dimples. Hower, since I absolutely am in love with Bunny, I overlooked Manoj during that time.

It was until Bindaas that I fell completely for Manoj.  Seriously. I love love love his character. I wanted to see more of him.

And I did. I got all the dvds I could, even one without subs but watched it anyways.

You know what's funny? Every time I put on a Manoj Manchu dvd on, my daughter always says, "that guy is cute." Not realizing that it's the same guy! He has different looks in his films.
And he has a nice body!

Order of Manoj films I watched first to last

Vedam (2009)

Since this mini-review is focused on Manoj. I decided to only talk about (more like copy/paste) his part from Vedam
If I talk about Bunny's part, I will go on forever :D


Vedam is about three un-related people who happens to come together at one point for a significant cause.

Meet character #1 - Vivek

An aspiring rock star who has a chance to go to Hyderabad with his band and get his big break.

I haven't seen Manoj Manchu in anything prior but thought he did a good job. His dimples are so adorable.

Vivek and Lasya (Lekha Washington) have a love-hate relationship.

Could the dvd for Vedam hurry up and release?? I'm talking about the official Telugu dvd with English subs. I know there's a Malayalam dubbed version. But I only want the original version. No Hindi dubbed version either!

Bindaas (2010)

Ajay (Manoj Manchu) is a free-spirited guy and doesn't take anything too seriously, just living a "bindaas" life. His family has estranged him from the tree due to a conflict that his deceased father had done in the past that caused another family to rival with each other. The feuding is so chaotic that each opposing families want to kill each other. In order to close the gap with the family, Ajay plans to unite both families together.

Manoj Manchu!!!! Why did I take soooo long to watch this film?? I absolutely looooved Manoj in the film. His character is soooo freaking adorable. Not only that, Manoj is also a cutie pie. His dimples are to-die-for! He gave his character his all and did an awesome job. I've said before I love fun, loving, carefree, unselfish guys and that's what his character is all about.

Sheena is mostly there for the songs but has a cute love interest with Manoj. She was seen in Bollywood with Teree Sang. The storyline is nothing new but it was great to see fresh faces and laughable comedy. Definitely worth a watch.

Nenu Meeku Telusa (2008)

Nenu Meeku Telusa is a slight case of Ghajini. Except this Ghajini doesn't go seek revenge at all.

Like Ghajini, Aditya (Manoj) suffers from anteograde amnesia but Aditya loses his memory every day. Every morning, he plays the tape recorder to listen to what he has recorded to tell him what to do throughout the day. He got this condition from a car accident where he loses his father. No one knows about this condition except for his uncle and doctor. He works at his uncle's company where his girlfriend Madhu (Riya Sen) also works. One day, his uncle got brutally murdered and Aditya is the primary suspect! Officer Anjali (Sneha Ullal) is assigned on the case.

Overall, Nenu Meeku Telusa is worth a watch. What brings the film down are two leading ladies who are absolutely gorgeous with ZERO acting ability :( IMO, Riya Sen is on my top 3 list of the most beautiful women in India while Sneha is an almost carbon copy of Aishwarya Rai. (Who are my top 2?? Bips and Aish)

Definitely a Manoj film all the way. He even shows off more of his dance skills and has a different look with the flat-ironed  hair and hot six-pack bod!

The funniest line is from Brahmi, "What the frock?"
The film has a mixture of love, comedy, and drama.

Jhummandi Naadam(2009)

Balu (Manoj Manchu) lives and breathes music. His idol is S. P. Balasubrahmanyam aka SPB and hopes one day to become a great singer like him. Back at his home village, Balu made a challenge that he will not return back until he become a great singer in Hyderabad.

Captain Rao (Mohan Babu) is Balu's old-fashioned neighbor hates the ideas of the younger generation. His best friend's daughter from the USA, Sravya (Tapsee), stays with him documentary on traditional Telugu music. Balu ends up being her local guide to her. They both fall in love and Captain Rao hates it.

There are many, many reasons to watch Jhummandi Naadam.
One of them is Manoj Manchu. This is my absolute favorite film of his!!
The storyline! I love the main message - just because you are young and modern, doesn't mean that you forgot your traditional roots.
Music!!! Hello, SPB is my ultimate playback singer! I loooove his voice.
The clothing - I love the bright, colorful traditional outfits and even the modern outfits on Tapsee.
Let's not forget about the music and cinematography.
And watching Manoj act with his real life father, with both being rivals :D
So of course, definitely worth a watch!

Prayanam (2009)

Dhruv (Manoj Manchu) and his friends are off to the Malaysian airport. He bumps into Harika (Payal Ghosh) and falls completely head over heels for her. Telling his friend about his quick love story, he vows that he will make her fall for him in the 2 hours they are at the airport. The guys are going to Singapore and the girls are going to India.

What sets this film apart is that it 95% of the film is shot entirely in a Malaysian airport. The songs are played in the background, so there are no random person coming to dance, no item number, no elegant outfits or clothes changing in a song.

The story is really simple and beautiful, just love how it's shot.
I fell in love with Dhruv because he's silly and spontaneous. Manoj in cutesy, lovestruck characters are the ones I love the most :)
Payal is gorgeous and gave me the Priyanka Chopra vibe. I love how Harika played hard to get :D

Raju Bhai (2007)

Raju (Manoj Manchu) is a good guy at heart and ends up saving the don's son. In the process, he got offered a job to work for him because of his fighting abilities and strength. One day, Raju runs into Anjali (Sheela) who likes to help out others. They both hated each other because they like to annoy each other. Later that hatred turned to love. Once in love, she convinces Raju to change his lifestyle and he does. Both want to get married. Later, he got caught up in a police brawl and was beaten badly at a local brothel, which Anjali witnessed. She hates everything about him and wants him out of her life. Later, she learns the truth.

I saved this dvd last cause it didn't have subs :(
But because I like Manoj so much, I bought it.
It is a Telugu remake of the Tamil film, Chithiram Pesuthadi.

Because this is the Telugu remake, I'm interested in seeing the original Tamil vesrion.

I loved the film overall. This is what I am talking about when I say I love a little bit of traditon meets modern. The storyline didn't focus on forbidden love, more about misunderstandings and personality clashes with the two leads.
Manoj as a badass. What a sight! I love that he is that diverse. He did a really good job. I enjoyed his dancing a lot in the film. Sheela was outstanding as well and quickly climbing to one of my faves.

Did I mention how hot he looked?? Yes, seriously....And look at how hot he looks. Yum!

Sri (2005)

Sri (Manoj) falls in love at first sight with Sandhya (Tamannah). Trouble stirs up when the landlord’s men troubling Sandhya and her family. Only to find out that Sri’s father is connected to the landlord.

Because I couldn't find this film anywhere for sale on dvd, I was able to find an unsubbed version (boo!!!) online. I tried to watch it but the quality wasn't that great :(

From what I saw, it was just okay.

Besides Manoj for being the main reason why I wanted to watch this film, Tamannah was the other reason. She's on my top 3 favorite actresses in the South. It was great to see Tamannah's Telugu debut film.

Donga Dongadhi is the only film left I haven't seen of Manoj. If I happen to find it online without subs, I totally will watch it! It also stars one of my other fave actresses, Sadha!

Manoj is up there on my top fave hotties in Telugu cinema.

How do I define hottie?? Looks + personality + style + dancing + me buying their dvds blindly + wanting to watch *all* their films

No one can top Bunny....but Manoj is really close.
I am torn between Manoj and Nitin as my #2 because I fell in love with Nitin because of his dance steps but he cannot beat Manoj in the acting, style, and dimple department. So those two remain my #2. Then next comes Varun Sandesh.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Modern Bollywood - good or bad?

Woah, has it really been THAT long since I've blogged? Last time was on 02/15/2011 with my top 5 Bollywood films of 2010.

I started this post over a month ago but with Blogger freezing up on me, I gave up because I wrote this really long post already. And now, I have two jobs, no kidding. So this post got delayed again...

During that time, I did manage to watch more films but just didn't blog about it, not even tweet about it. Maybe soon afterwards, I will post more mini-reviews. Not sure when I will do a full review again...

There has been many discussions and petitions for bringing "old" Bollywood back. I understand that the "new," modern Bollywood is lacking what made me fall in love with Bollywood in the first place. That's one reason why I ventured out to South Indian films and even blogged about it.

However, at one time, I did want to see Bollywood films have romantic comedy and not have so many storylines about parents disapproving the young couple's love. Not that I mind it much. Admittedly, I did want to see a slight moderation in focusing on the couple's love life. I thought about this after watching Mere Pehla Pehla Pyaar (Hindi) and Happy Days (Telugu).

In 2006, I got into Korean movies the same time as I got into Telugu. Korean cinema intrigued me because of the romantic comedy between the hero and heroine. Most of the Korean romantic comedies have the heroine as the sassy girl who has a mind of her own and speaks up. I dislike the damsel in distress heroines.

Now, after much consideration....does that make me a bit hypocritical?? Me wanting "old" Bollywood back and watching Tamil/Telugu films now? And then asking Bollywood to showcase more storylines that has no conflict from parents?

Slowly but steadily, whatever the case may be, Bollywood has had films that fit into that category for me! Films like Wake Up Sid, Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na, I Hate Luv Storys, Break Ke Baad, Band Bajaa Baraad....

I just don't want *every* Bollywood films to be "Oscar-worthy" or "westernize" at all.

India is still the only country till this day with a colorful culture. People still flaunt around with their gorgeous, traditional outfits. Even when I go to the International market here in Atlanta, I see them proudly wear sarees, salwar kameez, dhoti, etc. I, especially, love it when it is portrayed in the films.

What I mean by that is if I watch a Korean or Hong Kong movie that has traditional outfits, it's considered a period film, or even a historic film. Can I not watch a movie that is set in the present time and the cast dressed in traditional attire? Except in weddings?

Even Hmong movies are like this now. I will watch a movie and the cast is dressed and wearing brand name outfits in their homes on the rural farm. It's like the battle of who has the cooleset clothing.

I do like the storylines shifting from poor boy/rich girl, rivaling families to reasons why couples breakups because of personality clashes or going through life and learning from it.

Keep the songs. I love that.
A lot of the new Bollywood movies that have come out does have music in the background instead of singing/dancing to each other now.

Not that I mind the "old" storylines.

See...I really don't know what to think anymore. I just like movies, in general :D