And here I thought Rani Mukerjee didn't do kissing scenes.
Boy, was I wrong. In Bunty Aur Babli, Abhishek Bachchan and Rani Mukerjee kiss. A lot. And you know what? I'm not complaining, because these two were hot together! But don't let me mislead you with that intro...their romantic jodi was really only a small part of their relationship in the film. The pair worked very well together in many other ways, and that is what made BAB appealing. Whether they were arguing, laughing, kissing, dancing, scamming innocent people...It seemed like Rani and Abhishek had a lot of fun shooting this movie. So I had fun because they were having fun.
Some argue that "Kajra Re" was the best thing to come out of Bunty Aur Babli, but I say it was the connection between the lead pair. It's a must-see for any Rani-Abhi fan out there.
**Aside: Lately, I've tried to be realistic about the whole onscreen "chemistry" thing (Something I thought a lot about in my first experiences with Bollywood but have since realized is more of a reflection of two professionals who did a good job at what they were supposed to do and a director who knew how to make that translate onscreen). Don't get me wrong--its still fun to get excited when I see a couple who has good chemistry, but its just not something I think is automatically carried by two people from film to film (By the way, this realization was not based on my own thoughts, but on something Carla said in a comment once). But call it what you want to--in this film, Rani and Abhi had great chemistry.
This comedy/adventure centers around Rakesh(Abhishek Bachchan) and Vimmi(Rani Mukerjee). Rakesh lives in a small village and dreams of making it big as an entrepreneur. Vimmi lives in another small village and hopes to become the next Miss India. One day they each decide to run away from their homes and pursue these dreams. Rakesh brings his business ideas to an investor, who turns him down but eventually steals the idea for himself. Vimmi is offered an indecent proposal as her only entry into the Miss India contest--which she adamantly refuses. Both are almost discouraged completely--until they meet each other. They discuss their situations and devise a plan to con the man who stole Rakesh's idea. Their plan works, and they quickly realize scamming people is the easiest way to acheive their goals.
As I said above, I'm not sure the movie would have worked for me if Rani and Abhishek hadn't clicked so well with their roles. Its just not my type of movie, I guess. But, luckily, the director cast two people who knew how to pull this one off.
I knew Rani was an amazing actress, but I never would have guessed she'd be that good in a comedic role. I should have known--I'm always in awe of Rani's transformation from her public persona to the character she is playing. I mean, if you watch her in interviews, she seems so refined, politically correct, quiet, reserved. But then you see her onscreen and she can be the exact opposite: sultry, sassy, playful, fun, loud, etc. Quite the versatile actress, she was hilarious in this film. Here's one of my favorite scenes:
You can't tell from the screenshots, but after this last frame (where the other girl is saying "what a bitch") Vimmi shouts back, "you bitch!" in English...but she does it in a really cute, almost innocent way...watch out for this if you see the film and you'll see what I mean.
Abhishek was less of a surprise--some of the best scenes in Jhoom Barabar Jhoom belonged to his comedic flair. He was great here, too, looking babyfaced and cute throughout most of the film (with the exception of Bunty and Babli's honeymoon, where he had that sexy five'o clock shadow that transforms him from adorable to hot).
The only thing negative I have to say about Abhishek is that I felt he slipped a little on the acting front at times. Now, I'm one of those people who happen to think Baby B can really act, and disagree when critics say otherwise. But, here, for the very first time, I saw a glimmer of what they are talking about when they call him "wooden". I don't mean this as a contradiction--He really did do a great job as a whole, particularly in the funny scenes. I just felt he slipped a little when things got serious. But I still love him, and still feel he was the best choice for this role.
As for Amitabh Bachchan as the cop hoping to capture Bunty Aur Babli, I could take him or leave him.
I'm typically not a big fan of the whole "cops and robbers" thing, as these films usually contain a lot of violence (not something I can't handle to watch, but something I don't particularly care to watch). However, Bunty Aur Babli contained very little violence, and the scams were cut and dry, easy to follow without much bloodshed. This helped to sway my opinion in a favorable direction, but may be a disappointment for those expecting an action flick (it's not).
As for the music, say what you will about Yashraj films, but they sure know how to whip up some cool song visuals. And, no, I'm not talking about "Nach Baliye", the song that looks like it was the inspiration for Love Story 2050--I have mixed feelings about that one...
I'm talking mostly about the pretty "Chup Chup Ke", the song used to portray Bunty and Babli's honeymoon. In classic Yashraj fashion, we're transported from one beautiful locale to another as each new verse plays...and it's this song that truly displays the smokin' hot connection between the leads I described at the beginning of this post...
And Rani got to wear this cool skirt...(By the way, this is the same expression I would have on my face if I were on my honeymoon with Abhishek Bachchan/Bunty).
Of course, Bunty Aur Babli is not known for this song. It's the dazzling item number "Kajra Re" featuring Aishwarya Rai that people remember most.
I'd heard so much about this song that my curiosity got the best of me last summer and I peeped it out on Youtube. I didn't really appreciate it back then, but this time around, I think I can see why it is such a hit.
For one, Aishwarya is her usual stunning self--the look her makeup artist did really suited her here(I'm a makeup artist, so this stood out to me even more than the fabulous outfit she wore--another flattering element that deserves to be mentioned).
Its also a very pretty song--Alisha Chinai's sweet voice is as smooth as butter. Aishwarya dances well, as I usually think she does.
Also, watching "Kajra Re" in the film meant I got the subtitles--a plus because some of the lyrics were very cool:
This song was made before any real life romance emerged between Ash and Abhishek--at least as far as I know--so it was somewhat amusing to watch her cast him aside in favor of Daddy B. I know they were all in character, but...you still gotta love the irony, right?
Speaking of Amitabh's Lt. Singh, check out this line Ash uses to seduce him:
Lt. Singh chooses the latter option, making him probably the only man on the planet who would pull out a knife instead:
And, last but not least, I got a whole new insight on the whole "Aei Handsome" thing from JBJ--I had no idea it originated here!
The worst thing about my Bunty Aur Babli experience was the growing ache in my heart caused by my lack of funds to purchase tickets to The Unforgettable Tour for its Chicago stop. It almost made my "Kajra Re" moment bittersweet. Another bummer in my life as a college student--and a single parent! Oh well, hopefully they'll come back someday...they will come back, right?...Right?? ;)
For me, this was a pretty good way to spend a Tuesday night. But don't go into Bunty Aur Babli expecting to be blown away by plot or storyline. Just go in wanting to have a good time, because that's what this film is all about.
Text © Nida Nazir 2008 Bitten By Bollywood
Thursday, July 31, 2008
And here I thought Rani Mukerjee didn't do kissing scenes.