So, the rating is purely of my own devising.Expect a lot of personal opinion here and not a lot of legitimate movie criticism. There will be five categories. Music, Characters, Plot, Costuming, and Overall rating, out of five stars, the stars being this * symbol.
*= No bueno
**=Meh, could have been better
***=I liked it while I watched it
****=I loved it and showed it to friends and family
*****=Loved it, spread it around, and was still talking about it even after I returned the movie
To make it musically, the songs have to be memorable or catchy. Characters means that I like the characters portrayed or the actors that play them. Plot basically judges whether or not the story makes sense. I mean, some story-lines are ridiculous, but they still are good. Some story-lines are just dumb (and probably didn't make the list. Believe it or not, I have seen more than 10 Bollywood movies, so that makes me qualified to even make a top ten. Obviously.) Costuming! This is one of my most favorite parts of Bollywood films; the costuming. There was a rough patch there, in the late nineties, early 2000's where the costumes were really, just awful. But then again, fashion was awful everywhere...I mean, Britney Spears and Backstreet Boys were the trend-setters then...Yup. Not a great time for fashion. Lastly, there is the overall rating, which is the order of the list.
Let's start from the bottom and work our way to the top, shall we?
This was my very, very first Bollywood film, way back in the days when my family used to get movie rentals every couple of weeks. (I guess this fever was a long time coming.) It has been ages since I've seen it, but it has stuck with me. It has also served as a sort of litmus test for friendships. I knew when one of my then new college roommates had seen it that we were going to BFFs. I mean, when you live in the USA and have both seen a movie than is only marginally available, along with a handful of other strange or rare movies, then you know you have to be friends.
Anyways, back to the movie. It had a strange, unreal, poetic dreamlike flavor to it. Kind of reminds me of Moulin Rouge. I love movies that really take me to another time and place, and this movie was ambiguous enough, that you weren't sure if it was a fairytale or not. Needless to say, I wouldn't mind seeing this one again. The title links to the IMDb page, so you can find a summary because I am afraid that I would give too much away. Here is my opinion though: The story wasn't quite what I expected and I enjoyed it even more so because of that. The main character was adorable and a heart-stealer. The costuming gets the rating it does because of the whole feel of the movie; it was all so magical.
Music: **/ (Three and a half because one song was particularly memorable, even after all these years.)
Bride and Prejudice
Just kidding guys, this might have been my very first "Bollywood" film. I put Bollywood in quotations because I am still not quite sure if I would classify this as Bollywood, mostly because there is just so much English! Haha, you get so used to hearing Hindi that listening to the movie in English is just odd. But it does have the typical song and dance. Aaand I love the wedding dance. I recommended this movie to a friend, except I forgot to mention that it was a musical, and it threw them for a loop when the first song happened. But I do love the storyline. I mean, it's Jane Austen's classic tale! Everyone loves a good love/hate relationship story that ends in marriage.
Characters:**/ (Love Aishwarya Rai as Elizabeth, but not so sure I like Martin Henderson as Darcy.)
Costuming: *** (Really appreciate traditional Indian dress. It's so bright and colorful!)
Beautiful Shak Rukh Khan plays the best friend. He was basically adopted by a rich Indian businessman in American, and when his adopted father wants to arrange a marriage for his jerk of a (biological) son, he asks Shak Rukh Khan to make it happen. Besides the romance of the story, this story really made me think about the culture shock that Indian brides can go through. India is unique because of the tradition of arranged marriages but as India becomes more and more integrated with the world, they have to find a way to adjust their unique traditions with other cultures.
Characters:**** (Oh-my-freaking-goodness...so Shak Rukh Khan's character does the stupidest, most dramatic, possibly most romantic thing ever, potentially suffering severe nerve damage. We all screamed, like seriously screamed when it happened.)
Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham
This is the most recent one. We watched it last night. Since I cannot pronounce all the different k-words, I use its shortened nickname: K3G. So much simpler. The best part of this movie? So much eye-candy. I also loved the relationship between the brothers, and the portrayal of a mother's love. So touching.
Characters:*** (Kajol's character was slightly annoying, but her younger sister was even more so. I wouldn't mind just watching Shak Rukh Khan and Hrithik Roshan the whole movie, but having better female characters would have made the movie that much better.)
Costuming:** (One of the characters has NO fashion sense. She wears bell-bottoms with the front cut out, so it's capris in the front, bell-bottoms in the back. Ulghhh)
Overall: ***/ (I wanted to love this one more than I did. I mean, it has Hrithik Roshan aaaaand Shak Rukh Khan. But I didn't absolutely love it, which made me sad inside.)
Super sweet movie detailing the growth of relationship between a recently (arranged) engaged couple. The girl is sweet and loyal. The boy is super cute and is head-over-heels in love. The plot took a completely unforeseen turn towards the last hour or so of the movie. It was interesting, but I don't think it was completely necessary. It could have ended much sooner, still with the same ending! But still, I like it. This movie made me want even more than ever that arranged marriages were acceptable in LDS culture. ;)
If you recall, I shared a video from this movie previously here. This is an action/romance/buddy-cop/heist/thriller movie. Can you believe it, all in one?! Mr. A (Hrithik Roshan) is the world's most successful thief and a cop and his sidekick have decided to take him down. The movie goes from India to Rio, with music and dancing included. Aishwarya Rai is a girl thief who intrigues Mr. A, so he takes her on as a protege (that's the romance part). I watched the songs over and over again. :) Have yet to see the first Dhoom...
Characters:***/ (Just because I love Hrithik Roshan sooo much)
Om Shanti Om
This was my first Shak Rukh Khan movie. I love, love, love him. I remember a girl telling me about this movie like last year, and I was like, 'yah, yeh, whatever'. Little did I know what joy this movie beholds! This movie has it all: reincarnation, character growth, bad guys, 70's parody, aaaand Shak Rukh Khan. Seriously, he is so so beautiful. At first, the movie starts out in 70's Bollywood and Shak Rukh Khan is hidden under hideous polyester and 70's mustache. Just wait though. Wait. He comes back. Modern day and BUILT. Based solely on Shak Rukh Khan's presence, he puts this movie into the top five. The plot isn't that bad either. It's also somewhat a parody of modern Bollywood with a lot of special appearances from lots of big names. It's funny cause the more I see, the more people I begin to recognize.
I already posted about this movie here, so I won't go through my rave review again, but just to let you know, this is what started it all. This is also really the only historical one I've seen so far. I have started watching Lagaan (another historical Bollywood, but this time about British India) but haven't finished it yet, so I am not sure where it will fit in this whole list thing. Keep an eye out.
Costuming:**** (The mustache was a little weird, not going to lie...)
Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (DDLJ)
I want you to know that this is the longest running film in Indian cinema. It's been playing constantly for something like 15 years! I hope it keeps playing long enough that I can actually see it in India, someday (new life goal, yes indeed.) This movie also set the bar in Bollywood for romance. In another film, its entire premise was based on DDLJ. The main couple, Raj and Simran, have become synonymous with true love. True love, I tell you.
And now, ladies and gentlemen, here is my top choice. Ready?
I don't know what it is, but the whole story of best friends who fall in love gets me every time. Well, this is really two, almost three, love stories, but only one broke my heart. Seriously, I was simply in tears at intermission. I loved Shak Rukh Khan (Rahul) and Kajol (Anjali). They have this sweet handshake thing that they do, between them. It's a sign of true friendship. And Rahul's little girl is quite adorable. AND his HAIR. I don't know how he does it, but his hair is absolutely beautiful every time!Music:****
Costuming:**/ (It was hideous at the beginning, but got better as time went on.)
Jaane tu--ya Jaane na; includes the three requirements for a boy to become a man. Plus some great quotables. "Uh, sir, the terrorist is meowing..."
Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani; interesting look at the role of media in the govt., especially where corruption is concerned. However, some awful costumes and some silly moments.
Well, there is it. My top ten list. As you can tell, Shak Rukh Khan is slightly over-represented (5/10 movies!) but I can't help it! I just adore him so much. Next most represented, Hrithik Roshan, of course. Believe it or not, there were actually some SRK (Shak Rukh Khan) movies I've seen that didn't make the list. Sometimes he does make silly ones.
Oo, what I'm looking forward to? The first superhero Bollywood film. Hmmmmmmmm. :)