Tuesday, November 25, 2008

For Those Who Missed Me...Main Hoon Na!

One of the best things about finishing this semester is returing to Bitten By Bollywood! It's been a long three months...Resisting the urge to type up 10 paragraphs on how much I loved Main Hoon Na instead of cracking open my nursing textbook was sheer agony!

But....Main Hoon Na!!!

I saw this one twice in the past couple of months. It literally saved my semester, because with all the homework I had, there were a few times where I just had to get away. And what a fun place to escape to--Main Hoon Na was everything snappy and sweet and Shahrukhy that I love about B-wood. Farah Khan really gives you your money's worth--you get action (Shahrukh in his Mission Impossible gear in the first sequence was hot), a creepy villain(Suniel Shetty, you scare me), some good family stuff (nothing boring), catchy songs (I can't even pick a favorite), comedy (Farah, you have a great sense of humor), and Sushmita Sen's gorgeous saris (Which we'll take a peek at later!).

The plot outline really doesn't do the movie justice, so I'll just skim it over before we get into the good stuff. Major Ram Prasad Sharma (Shahrukh Khan) goes undercover at a university to protect the General's daughter(Amrita Rao) from the wrath of the enemy, a terrorist named Raghavan (Suniel Shetty). At this university Major Ram also finds his long lost brother (Zayed Khan) and meets a beautiful teacher whom he falls for instantly (Sushmita Sen).

What is it about high school and college stories that I so adore? Why is it always so appealing to watch a movie or a soap opera that centers around teenagers and young adults? There's just something about them that takes me back to that period of my life, from my first crush to being the new kid, from the stress of the school lunch room to the need for peer acceptance. Main Hoon Na, while set in a university, still has that high school vibe. There's a zany principal and wacky teachers, and you meet just the right amount of students to make you feel at home when the school dance scene rolls around. Amrita Rao's character, Sanjana, even gets a makeover that transforms her from the girl next door to a polished beauty (Although I thought she looked great before the transformation, I still love makeover sequences. Even though, as Beth once said, I feel a twinge of guilt for it-I hate to think beauty has to conform to a certain image, but gosh, its still fun to watch! )

There are a lot of relationships in the film, and they all worked for me. Shahrukh and Naseeruddin Shah were surprisingly believable as father and son. Amrita Rao's crush on Zayed Khan was cute and sort of reminiscent of Anjali and Rahul of Kuch Kuch Hota Hai. Shahrukh and Sushmita's romance, while a very minor part of the film, added just the right amount of color to the story (Literally--check out the vibrant "Tumhe Jo Maine Dekha"). But the most memorable relationship in Main Hoon Na was the touching reunion of brothers Major Ram and Lucky (Zayed Khan's character). These two worked really well together here, and Farah Khan took great care in developing little details to accent their bond, such as their signature gesture of running their hand around their head (reprised in Zayed's Om Shanti Om cameo). Kirron Kher as Lucky's mother adds even more emotion and depth in some of the pivotal scenes towards the end, making this angle of the story the heart of Main Hoon Na.

As I mentioned above, Suniel Shetty is one scary villain. If I ever make a Bollywood film of my own, I'd cast him as the bad guy in a heartbeat. He had the same effect on me as Umrao Jaan's sleazeball regular customer...the man just looks shady. Yet its the funniest thing...when I see him in press photos or cameos, I'm surprisingly attracted to him. There's something about the way he carries himself, or the way he dresses that makes me forget all about the creeps he plays. Which, I suppose, is a complement to his performances.

And where has Zayed Khan been all my life? I really enjoyed him as Lucky--he's like John Abraham with personality. It could have been the storyline, though. The idea of two long lost brothers reuniting has sentimental value to me, as I had a similar experience when meeting my own little sister. She's spunky and hip and I'm the not-so-cool big sister, but we click despite the age difference. As a matter of fact, she's totally the Lucky and I'm totally the Major Ram--I'm always grabbing her off of rooftops!

Amirta Rao showed some more life than in her refined performance as the perfect Ponam in Vivah. Her relationship with Lucky, while again not the the focal point of the film, made for a refreshing couple to root for.

I'd heard so much about Sushmita Sen but had never seen her in a movie. Now I can see why her name remains in the media and blogs, despite her lack of recent film releases. She's just so beautiful, classy, and even perfect for comedy (as she proved in some of her scenes with Shahrukh).Her role in Main Hoon Na was relatively small, but she made a good first impression on me--it looked like she really had fun with it.

Naseeruddin Shah and Kirron Kher couldn't have been better cast--although again, they didn't have huge roles. They just added the right touches to an already fantastic product.

As for Shahrukh, this has got to be one of my favorite characters I've seen him as. He wasn't too over the top, he wasn't too aggressive, and he looked mighty fine. And his hair was just the way I like it--Not to big, not too long, not a mullet, and no mustache. The only thing I could find fault in was his bell bottoms and vest...a little too dorky for me (Especially after seeing him all cool in his action sequences). Yet it did make his character more endearing, I suppose.

I know I said I couldn't pick a favorite song, but...can they all be my favorites? Seriously, Farah Khan's earned my trust in the song selection department, because just as in Om Shanti Om, I enjoyed every single one. Even "Tumse Milke Dil Ka", the song that has Shahrukh lip-syncing the lamest phrase ever--"Like that--Check that--Wicked!" But if I had to pick an absolute favorite, it would probably be "Tumhe Jo Maine Dekha", a song I appreciated more when I listened to it on my Ipod...its picturization was so vibrant that I didn't notice the music had just as much color.

Which brings me to Sushmita's saris. Now, I've never worn a sari before, but after seeing some of Miss Chandni's, I really want one. They were so pretty...and different. Let's close this post with a tribute to them!

Did you notice her bookcover matches the sari? Yep, most of them have matching book covers.Really.

And my absolute favorite...

Text © Nida Nazir 2008


dubbagol December 3, 2008 at 6:14 AM  

Hi Nida,

Great to have you back and blogging. We reallly missed you.

Happy Dubbagoling:-)

Dubbagol Team

bollywoodfoodclub December 3, 2008 at 7:19 AM  

Nice write up here! This was my first Shusmita movie too and I loved her and her saris. Totally agree on your comment "And his hair was just the way I like it--Not to big, not too long, not a mullet, and no mustache." I know it's in poor taste but I will admit here that I thought a lot about Veer Zaara, Dil Se and this movie when watching the recent events in Mumbai, you know all that commando rappelling from helicopter action, etc. Welcome back to blogging hai! And let me sign off by saying,"Like that--Check that--Wicked!"

p.s. Over at Ajnabi's blog, (http://ajnabi1977.blogspot.com/) she posted a preview to Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, and with in that there are pictures of a vested SRK, reminded me a bit of MHN

All the best,

Nicki December 3, 2008 at 7:45 AM  

Nida!!! Welcome back! Missed you!

I agree with Main Hoon Naa showing some sexiness of Shahrukh. Usually I don't find him good-looking (he is attractive in his own way) but in MHN, he looked really good.

About Sush, she is very lovely in MHN. Unfortunately, she doesn't have too many films that shows off her talent. I did enjoy her in the following films - Dastak, Sirf Tum, Aaghaaz, Filhaal, Tumko Na Bhool Paayenge, Aankhen, Samay, Biwi No 1, and Maine Pyar Kyun Kiya.

Nida December 3, 2008 at 9:23 AM  


Aww thank you! It's great to be back.


Hi! How have you been? Thanks for the warm welcome!You know, you're right about the "Rab ne Bana de jodi" connection....Ahh, the many looks of SRK...

You know, "Dil Se..." is my next movie to review. I popped it in the other night, and now I'm not even sure how to review it in light of the recent tragic events!


Wow, thanks for the Sush list! And I missed you too! :)I wonder why she hasn't done more, but it says a whole lot that even I knew who she was a year ago and I hadn't even seen her onscreen!

ajnabi December 3, 2008 at 4:43 PM  

Did I do something wrong? Weird, I thought I posted a reply. Anyway, glad to see you back (hope your semester went well) and so glad you liked MHN!!!

Magpie Ima December 3, 2008 at 7:36 PM  

This was a great review of one of my all time favorite movies. I particularly love Tumse Milke Dil Ka for the great music, over-the-top sets and, yes, the geese. Who could forget the geese. It's good to see you blogging again.

Sanket Vyas December 3, 2008 at 9:29 PM  

Heya, beginning to wonder if you had disappeared into a Bollywood movie ;) Glad to have you back and blogging and what a splendid review it was. I tend to favor SRK's older movies as I feel he plays Rahul (in Kuch Kuch Hota Hain) in every movie he appears in. This one was a refreshing change and Sushmita Sen was certainly channeling a 'Hot For Teacher' vibe from Van Halen.

You should definitely get a Desi friend to tie on a sari - 7 yards of fabric never looked so good...

Nida December 3, 2008 at 9:58 PM  


Hmm, strange, this was the first comment I got from you? Ahh, Blogger, Blogger...Anyways, I knew you'd be proud that I finally saw this! And you were right about it, 100%!

Magpie Ima,

Well, thank you! I agree...the geese added a nice touch to all the eye candy already there!


Wouldn't that have been nice (to disappear into a Bollywood movie, that is)! Thank you! It's good to be back, and congratulations on your new baby! I didn't get to comment on that post, and I meant to! Lol---you know what else Sush reminded me of in this movie--a Herbal Essences ad!
And as for the sari...You're right! I'll have my stepmom do it.

Joss,  December 4, 2008 at 3:44 AM  

Hey, Nida, it's really good to have you back, and better still, you are reviewing my all-time favourite movie! OK, there are several of those... but this is the one that made me fall in love with Bollywood. I've seen it ten times now, and I'm ready for another viewing. Never more ready - I've had an incredibly stressful term (my son injured his leg in the first week, and will only be having any treatment in the final week). If I watch Main Hoon Na, however, I know I will be happy two and a half hours later! First few times I watched it my boyfriend would come home from work to find me dancing round the kitchen with a huge smile on my face, then after that he just know without asking if I'd been watching it again!

Everything you said is spot-on. Farah Khan puts so much detail into every dance, every scene. I think that is because of her background in advertising, where you have so little time to try to pack in so much. It makes her films very tight, and very different from so many Bollywood movies, which are often, to be honest, blousy. Every time I see these songs I notice new things, especially in the background. There is always action going on in at least three planes.

I was going to finish One 2 Ka 4 tonight, but you've put MHN in my mind, so I think I'll watch that instead - for the 11th time! Either way I get to see Shah Rukh looking hot!

I'm glad you got to the end of your term in one piece. You were very disciplined not to get distracted by blogging. It's a wonderful way to while away the hours. I look forward to reading what you have to say about Dil Se - difficult to write about at the moment, I agree, as it is to watch anything with gun crime in it. I felt uncomfortable watching the opening scenes of One 2 Ka 4, although luckily these were totally lacking in credibility!

Have a good Christmas holiday.

Saurabh December 4, 2008 at 4:09 AM  

Welcome back!

Main Hoon Na? I watched this, and I must admit that it is one of the best movies ever done by Shah Rukh, not? And Shah Rukh's upcoming, Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi (12 Dec) must be good too!

Thanks for the great screen-captures. Hope you wear a Sari like Sushmita!

Nida December 4, 2008 at 12:02 PM  


Merry Christmas to you as well! So this was your "hook" into Bollywood--I can definitely see why! MHN is just so much fun and warms the heart and soul...Like you said, it just makes you happy!

I pray your son has a speedy recovery!

I had no idea Farah Khan was into advertising. Well, that makes so much sense, now that you mention it. Her films are very pleasing to a variety of senses...something advertisers must be able to do. Now I haven't noticed the background stuff, but will check it out when I rewatch "Om Shanti Om" this week!

I've never seen One 2 Ka 4, how was it?

I'm stumped on what to say about "Dil Se.." besides the whole politcally correct thing, its one of those films that I just don't know how to feel about on first glance..maybe I'll rewatch next week and post? We'll see how it goes.

Nida December 4, 2008 at 12:06 PM  


Thank you for stopping by and posting a comment! :)

I hope to see more great Shahrukh films, but, for me, I agree this is one of the best! (I'd have to say I love him in "Kuch Kuch Hota Hai" and "Veer Zaara" next--character-wise, that is).

Can't wait to see "Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi"!

I'll have to go sari shopping soon....:) And hopefully it'll look good enough that I can post a picture (I once heard a little kid say on "Koffee with Karan" that Kajol doesn't look good in a sari--Harsh!!! If she doesn't look good, I'm afraid to post a pic! Jk)

Joss,  December 5, 2008 at 3:08 AM  


I have the same problem with the idea of buying a sari, and I am not in any way Indian. Somebody on a Bolly blog recently said that white women always look wrong in saris because they don't know how to carry themselves properly. I can't believe we all clumsy lumps. In fact, I would have thought that the sari was a garment that looks good on just about anybody. It hides a multitude of sins, although it does it does, of course, expose the greatest sin of them all, that around the waistline. Anyway, I'd be interested if you've ever seen any good pictures of white women in saris on your travels round the net. I want one like Sushmita's red one with the gold brocade! Nice to see your new pic on the comments board. I'm sure you'll look great in a sari. Do it!

Ipshi December 5, 2008 at 4:46 AM  

Had almost lost hope on this blog... so glad to see u back and whatta bang it is. Will give ur compliments to farah because my boss is a good friend of hers and iv met her too.
i really loved this movie, cos it had something of everything and was very entertaining.
i loved sush's sarees and they'd become all the rage here.
Im not a very big fan of amrita rao and zayed khan... the latter has never managed to look agreeable after this movie!
i cant wait to hear what u think of dil se

Nida December 5, 2008 at 8:39 AM  


I'll let you know if I find any! And I think white women look great in saris...I'll try it if you do!;)


Oh, no! I'm so glad you didn't lose hope!!!!:)Wow, you'll pass my comments to Farah? That's so EXCITING!!
Well maybe that's why I haven't heard of Zayed Khan before...lol

Reema December 5, 2008 at 2:07 PM  

There you are. I was wondering where you went.

What a good movie to come back with. I love Main Hoon Na, it's just so much fun. I love the casting of Naseeruddin Shah as the father, because him and Shah Rukh look like they could be father and son. As for Zayed Khan, this is probably his best movie. The rest goes downhill for him. :P

theBollywoodFan December 6, 2008 at 10:42 PM  

Sushmita was just fantastic in this! I cannot get enough of Tum Se Mil Ke -- it's unbelievably well sung and extremely well choreographed (from the point the chorus begins).

Nicki mentioned Maine Pyar Kyun Kiya, here's a sari-clad Sush opposite Salman. Speaking of saris, Nida and Joss, I think all women look great in saris (as they do in everything, really ;), so please don't let anyone discourage you! :)

And finally, I have very fond memories associated with this film. This post illustrates why. The only bit I didn't like was that cycle rickshaw chase. The rest made for fun entertainment!


Nida December 7, 2008 at 3:27 PM  


Hi! It is so much fun, isn't it? And I agree on Naseerudding and SRK...I thought the same myself when watching, how they look like they could really be father and son.

Aww, that's too bad about Zayed Khan. It seems to be the concensus that this was the best he's done...here I was hoping I'd found a new actor to film-follow.:(

Nida December 7, 2008 at 3:34 PM  

Bollywood Fan,

Wow, thanks for the link! She looks so amazing...I think I'm officially fascinated with her. She's so sophisticated and seems like a strong woman. And she's mature enough that she looks good opposite Salman and SRK.

You know, I dind't like the cycle ricksaw chase either!

Joss,  December 9, 2008 at 11:24 AM  

Nida and theBollywoodfan,

You didn't like the rickshaw chase? WHAT?! NOOOO!!! It was the best bit of the film (in a film where there were only best bits, taht is). I was jumping up and down in my seat laughing at it, even on the 10th viewing. One hundred percent solid gold entertainment! So funny to see his little legs pumping away like that, and keeping up with a four-by-four! And then he shot the doors off it with his hand gun. Mad! And the way the rickshaw flew up in the air and seemed to come back down to the ground in the next chapter - hilarious!

Re saris. I think we probably would look fine in them, Nida. Most heroines are so fair that they look virtually white anyway. We would look just like them! Pure Bollywood. Actually, I have a pic of me wearing a sari in Rajasthan, 18 years ago. I wish they had invented hipster saris then! The one I bought makes me look like someone's Aunty!

Nida December 9, 2008 at 1:29 PM  


Well, I'm not a big action scene fan. Don't know why. So this scene always loses my interest a bit. My mind wanders. But I will give you that--the jokes were funny, just things I'd seen in Hollywood parodies before.

You're right about the saris! Lol-Wow, you went to Rajasthan? Very cool! I think we should give them a try soon...:)

daddy's girl,  December 12, 2008 at 5:24 AM  

First off, glad your exams and all went well. I love your new background - beautiful. Also love Main Hoon Na, and love this review because it reminds me of how I felt the first time I watched it. It's such a fun film, great pace, just makes you smile - but it still has some depth. Love the songs (love 'Tumse Mil Ke' - so... perfect), love all the colour, love the main characters... just love it!

Anonymous,  December 15, 2008 at 7:02 PM  

Sushmita's character called Chandini Chopra in the movie is actually a take on Yash Chopra movies where the heroine is always clothed in sexy see through chiffon sarees. Prime example is Sridevi in Yash Chopra movie Chandini.

Farah Khan was at it even in MHN ie even before OSO.

All women look good in sarees western or eastern. My french friend wore my saree for a day long international function and carried herself so well ie gracefully that every one present there complimented her stating " we wud have never guessed that you are wearing a saree for the first time. You look so good and you carry yourself very well too". Naturally I was thrilled to hear the compliments for all my efforts (including converting a cotton emboidered short T shirt into a saree blouse for her in a span of an hour!)

I wud encourage all women to try wearing a saree ie those who are truly interested in wearing one!

Nida December 15, 2008 at 7:08 PM  

Daddy's Girl--Thank you for the good wishes! And the compliment on the blog layout--I figured it was time for a change!Love is a great way to describe my feelings for this film, too--its definitely made it to my favorites list!

Anonymous--Thank you for the encouragement! I will definitely be going saree shopping with my first nursing paycheck(unfortunately that's two years away:() But nonetheless, I can't wait to wear one! Maybe I can get my stepmother to bring me one from overseas...She always wears the most gorgeous sarees.
Interesting about the Chandni-Miss Chandi-saree connection...I still want to see that film (Chandni) But confess I haven't really been a Yash Chopra fan so far(With the exception of "Veer Zaara").

Daddy's Girl December 18, 2008 at 12:54 AM  

That's really interesting about Miss Chandni's name - I had no idea! I love how Farah packs her movies with those references - I notice one or two new ones every time I re-watch MNH and OSO, as I get to know more about Hindi cinema.
If you don't mind me weighing in, I would definitely recommend 'Chandni' for Sridevi (I think her great onscreen presence and verve really came through), but it was not one of Rishi Kapoor's finest moments (and that's putting it mildly!) And Yash-ji's concept of 'love' as depicted in this movie does absolutely nothing for me - the story really annoyed me! My favourite Yash Chopra film is 'Deewaar', with Amit-ji and Shashi.

Nida December 18, 2008 at 5:48 PM  

Daddy's Girl--I will be reviewing the awesome "Deewar" soon!;)

Farah is so cool, isn't she?!I just saw "Golmaal" last night and realized she picked the names of SRK's and Zayed's characters--Ram Prasad Sharma and Laxsman "Lucky" Prasad Sharma as a nod to that film! If you haven't seen it--you must!Anyways I could be wrong but that's what I'm assuming she did...

Hans Meier September 14, 2010 at 3:49 AM  

Nice and fun review as always.

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