Friday, December 19, 2008

Merry Christmas!...And, What the Heck, Let's Revisit HAHK and KANK

Merry Christmas, Everyone!And, yes, believe it or not, I really do want to talk about HAHK and KANK again!


Well, since I couldn't find any other Christmasy moments in Bollywood, I popped in KANK to capture this one. Then I started watching, cuz you can't just pop a SRK movie in and not start watching...

Pretty soon I found myself lost in the world of KANK. I know, you're probably shaking your head while reading this, saying, "Of all the movies she could repost on, why, oh why KANK?" Well, I'll tell you why. I realized while rewatching that there's a whole bunch of fun stuff to cover--and all I did was pretty much tackle the issue and the way Kjo addressed it in the film. While all of that's fine and dandy in terms of discussion, I missed out on a bunch of great screen shot opprotunities and star gazing--Because, let me tell you, the stars of this film look amazing.

I really love Bollywood movies that are set in India, before the whole NRI trend in the '90s. As I've said before, I find these movies comforting because they remind me of the films my aunties would watch when I was little. But I've also got to admit, I love the glitz and glamour of Bollywood in NYC, too. What could ever be painful about seeing gorgeous stars like Rani Mukerji dancing around a beautiful city that I already adore? My dad and his wife live smack dab in the heart of Manhattan, so I could be biased, and I find India just as beautiful (though in a different way), but my point is, the combination doesn't bother me one bit. I love guys in Abercrombie and Fitch. I love Shahrukh Khan. Why wouldn't I want to see Shahrukh Khan dressed in Abercrombie and Fitch? That doesn't mean I don't like him in pyjamas and a just means I like having the best of both worlds!

Of course, Abhishek always looks great in my book. But seeing him in long trenchcoats, scarves, and suits didn't hurt either. I think I said in my first post that I was really impressed with him here, and the same holds true today. As a matter of fact, this is one of my favorite dramatic performances from him. The obvious question of the hour is why anybody would want to cheat on him, and I think the film makes the circumstances believable enough. Yep, he's a great husband, and he's really hot, but he and his wife have some major communication issues. Although, if this was my husband, I wouldn't be trying to "discuss" anything!

As you can see from the screenshots, Rani looked stunning in this film. And the makeup! Gosh, this woman is gorgeous, and with her amber eyes and carmel complexion, she can pull off almost any color.

I've heard some complaints about Preity's eye makeup being too heavy. I don't think that's the problem. I think the artist just did some kind of weird wing shape in the other corners that made her look older. I would have stuck with the smoky eye--a character like Rhea needs a smoky, kohl rimmed eye to match her "rockin'" wardrobe and career--but I would have blended the color out a bit more. Other than that, can Preity ever look bad? She totally pulled off the New Yorker look, I don't care what anybody says!;)

Let's not forget Amitabh Bachchan, whose looked smart and snappy (despite the whole "Sexy Sam" trashtalk). This was a much better look for him than the embarassing ponytail he sported in Cheeni Kum.

Now, onto the jodis of the film. There were so many great jodis in KANK! So, keeping in form with the recent jodi lists of the PPCC and Rum, I made my own jodi list for KANK. Which was your favorite?

1)Rani/Abhishek Jodi.If you're a die-hard Rani/Abhishek fan (like I am), you may be leary of watching a film where your beloved couple isn't exactly basking in marital bliss. But take heart...KANK still gives you that "Ranishek" fix you've been craving...they have a lot of screentime together, and look picture perfect in every shot! I was a little disheartened by the circumstances, but come on, its just a movie. I simply popped in Bunty Aur Babli immediately afterwards and skipped to the honeymoon song to end things on a happier note. Ahh, yep, that did the trick!

2)Shahrukh/Rani Jodi. If you're a fan of Rani/Abhishek, perhaps you weren't too keen on the Shahrukh/Rani jodi. Or maybe romances based on marital affairs are too unsettling for you to sit back and relax with. Whatever the case may be, "Tumhi Dekho Na" is so picturesque that it really created the backdrop I needed to believe the story. I'm not sure how it managed to do that on images alone--but it did. There was something about the colors, the changing seasons and the haunting melody that I found myself falling under their spell, even though I didn't want to. I thought Rani and Shahrukh accomplished what they were supposed to--they created a chemistry that was forbidden and yet enchanting enough that even I forgot about Abhishek...for a second.

3)Abhishek/Preity Jodi. There was something about watching this couple hug prior to "Where's the Party Tonight" that made you ache for them--and what they didn't know. You knew halfway into the film that there wasn't going to be anything going on between these two--they were completely trustworthy, and totally committed to their spouses. And they were so fun to watch on the dance floor! Both playful, energetic and spunky. I always imagine that the director of Jhoom Barabar Jhoom saw Preity and Abhishek in KANK and said, "I've got to give people more of these two! Sign them up for my next project!"

4)Abhishek/Amitabh Jodi. Of course, their dialouges together consisted mostly of the word "Dude", but still...I always get warm fuzzies whenever I see these two onscreen together. Especially on the dance floor! Without their jodi (and Kajol's cameo) "Rock 'n' Roll Soniye" would have been unbearable!

5)Amitabh/Kirron Jodi.Of course, I'm still waiting for someone to snatch up Big B and Kirron Kher for a new twist on a romantic comedy. This was the best jodi of the film! The relationship with Dev's mom (Kirron) and "Sexy Sam" was a great side story, and saved Amitabh's character from looking like nothing more than a dirty old man.

6)Everyone Jodi. Gosh, everyone just clicked with one another in some scenes. Especially when the four main characters shared screenspace--think the snappy confrontations at the ballet, at the "Rock n' Roll Soniye" party, and at the hospital. Those one liners--particularly Shahrukh's--were hilarious. And who could forget the intensity at the dinner scene in the second half? The contrast between Shahrukh and Amitabh's icy comments over the flaming candlelight was sheer brilliance.

7)Little Arjun/"Simran" . A cute "in" joke referencing DDLJ. Aww!

8)Me/Arjun Rampal/John Abraham. Oh, did you miss that part? ;)

So that sums up the KANK recap. Now, onto that other film with a famous acronym...

HAHK, or, Hum Aapke Hain Kaun. I have to chuckle while I write this, because, gosh, this film is something else. It really is. On the one hand, its utterly ridiculous...the film stretches nearly four hours long, the plot doesn't kick in until the last hour and a half, and there's a lot of technical snafus. When I first saw this, I didn't quite "get it". My comments from readers assured me I wasn't alone. I decided to put HAHK way in the back of my DVD cabinet, proud for trying and glad that I at least liked some of the tunes.

Yes, that is a dog listed in the opening credits. I'm not kidding.

Anyways, for some reason, I decided to pop it in again last night. I'm not sure why. Maybe it was Daddy's Girl's recent post on Sooraj Barjatya's films, or the fact that I was one of the few bloggers who liked Vivah, or the upcoming holidays (I saw HAHK last Christmas, and I'm big on holiday repetition with films), but I just felt like watching it again.

And you know what? I got it. In fact, I loved it. Everything that confused me the first time around literally delighted me this time. A song about shoes? Awesome! Practical jokes? Funny! Family values instead of a plot? Aww! A dog as an active character? Bring it on!

I always said Vivah was a film I enjoyed because it felt like I was spending time with the characters as opposed to watching an actual movie. Because of this feeling, the weak plot never bothered me. I found every moment in that film touching and sweet, like my grandmother telling me the story of her courtship with my grandfather. I felt something similar with HAHK this time, although with this film I thought the emotional depth was even stronger. There was love all around in HAHK. Love between Nisha and Prem (Salman/Madhuri), love between Pooja and Rajesh, love between both families, Prem's love for his bhabhi...its just beautiful to watch. For example, there's a touching moment when Pooja's mother sings to Rajesh's father about how she is entrusting her most beloved treasure--her daughter--into his care. The two gaze at each other and sing, sharing a moment that is powered by their love for their children, and nothing more. How did I miss that the first time around?

Of course, the best part of the film is still the music and Salman/Madhuri. But that was one thing I mentioned even in my first review. It was the rest of the film that I didn't quite get, but now that I've pieced it all together, HAHK has shockingly become a Bitten By Bollywood classic. I'll probably watch it again every Christmas. It's not holiday themed by any means, but it gives me that same cozy feeling that I get when I'm decorating the Christmas tree, listening to carols and sipping hot cocoa. It may not be for everyone--it sure wasn't for me, at first--but it's become one of my comfort foods in Hindi cinema.

And there you have it--two films that have unexpectedly found their way into my heart this season! Maybe I need to lay off the eggnog...or maybe they're both a lot more charming than I had thought. Either way, I hope everyone is having a blessed holiday and I'm wishing you all a Happy New Year!


Darshit December 26, 2008 at 12:53 AM  

Merry Christmas.

Thanks a lot for adding me on your fav list. I just came to know abt it.

Wardrobe was fabulous. I especially, liked Abhisheks clothing. Black with vibrant red and blue. Superb. Also colourful was 'Tumhi Dekho Naa'. Vibrant song. Jodi I loved are, Abhi Rani and Big B-Kirron. Still it made me think, why Ranishek, didn't happen.

U looked gorgeous alongwith John and Arjun ;-D

All time favorite. Numerous times i have seen this. I m so glad u liked it.

I liked that funny pic of Salman, showing him as 'Tuffy'. Though i find quality of subtitles quite average. Better you should try watch movie with Hindi speaking person. Dialogues are good. I just loved Madhuri in this. Music also was fab.

Darshit December 26, 2008 at 12:55 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nida December 26, 2008 at 12:42 PM  


Sure, no problem! Your blog is great!

Yeah, I noticed last night when taking the screencaps that both Abhishek and Amitabh wore a lot of black with bright red or blue accents. It looked really, really sharp.

Thank you for the compliment! :) You know, working with John and Arju wasn't easy, but someone had to do it!

As for HAHK...yep, there's no going back now...I love it!

I really wish I did understand Hindi. I could tell the subtitles weren't the best (although they weren't the worst, either). There was a crucial part in the film (when Rajesh and Pooja get married and Prem leaves with the wedding procession, he says something to Nisha about marriage, and it wasn't translated at all. I knew it was important because after that Nisha never looked at Prem the same). Also, at the end, during the critical time the plot was unraveling, the subtitle guy got behind and couldn't keep up with the dialouges. And there were times he was too far ahead. Luckily, the small amount of Hindi I did know helped me to piece it all together!

Nicki December 26, 2008 at 2:22 PM  

Hey Nida.

Yah for your post about re-visiting these two films. Honestly, I'm no big fan of HAHK cause I love MPK too much. Yous still have to watch MPK. I'll have to re-watch HAHK again one day. I saw it too long ago and haven't re-watched since then. As for KANK, I liked it. I don't understand the flak it's been given. I think some people just have higher expectations than others.

I'm a huge SRK/Kajol fan so SRK/Rani for me, hehehe. I really like Abhi/Rani as a jodi though. Preity's so bubbly and fun; plus she matches with almost anyone cause of her personality.

You are too silly about your jodi withi John and Arjun. I think I'll have to re-watch that scene again. :)

Nida December 28, 2008 at 3:34 PM  


Guess what--I JUST bought "Maine Pyar Kiya"! I can't wait to watch it, but will probably space it out a little with some of the 70s masala flicks I purchased...also grabbed "Jaan-e-Mann"!

Hoping to catch one of the Korean flicks you recommended sometime this week!:)

I saw this originally before I ever saw a SRK/Kajol film. So for me the jodi worked because I wasn't comparing the two. It's so hard not to after "Kuch Kuch Hota Hai"!;) I loved Rani in here but I wonder how different the film would have been if Kajol had accepted the role seeing as it was offered to her first. Could you imagine "Tumhe Dekho Naa"?

And I knew you of all people would appreciate the John/Arjun part ;) I wrote that in just for you!

theBollywoodFan December 29, 2008 at 4:53 PM  

The SRK-Rani jodi works for me! Despite some of it being purely unethical (there's a right way and a wrong way to the same end -- I wish they'd done it the right way, but maybe going by impulse and not drawing a line was intended to imply, in some weird ways, that SRK and Rani's characters were still youthful and mistake-prone?), it's easy to see the film from within the prism of contemporary relationship issues and make a case for its feasibility, either way. I think the bigger issue to Indian society was that it somewhat, albeit indirectly, almost advocated for an unfair solution to the problem (i.e. the wrong way), instead of being up-front and matter-of-fact about it from the outset -- a major compromise of trust and respect, foundations of every values system, Indian or otherwise.

Was at A&F the other day, and a shirt saying 'Me and school have one thing in common -- class' would so fit in with what SRK likes to remind us is his persona =) On a related note, wasn't he wearing stuff by Gap in Kuch Kuch?

HAHK is just great. Not as great as MPK, though -- I'm with Nicki on that (just ignore the lady saying/singing 'I love you' in the background, LOL), but great nevertheless. Plus, Mads on roller skates!

Have a great new year Nida!

ajnabi December 30, 2008 at 11:34 AM  

ROTFLOL about your special appearance! And, I've watched KANK twice, which was twice too many, and I *still* want to plant my foot in Dev's... face. I haaaaaaaate that movie with a burning passionate fiery hatred. But I agree with you that Abhi rocks. So awesome.

However, HAHK might be worth another shot. Maybe. Maybe I should try to watch Vivah again. I might not be far enough along in my obsession to be able to appreciate either of them.

Nida December 31, 2008 at 2:29 PM  

The Bollywood Fan--Lol about the A&F shirt! Too bad Christmas is over...could have wrapped it up and sent it to King Khan himself!
I agree that the resolution was the "wrong" way to go about things. And you're right, had Kjo went the more ethical route, perhaps the film would have done better with Indian audiences--do you think? The only thing I can think of regarding Karan's choices for an ending is that #1 he loves SRK and assumes everyone wants to see SRK win in the end at all costs and #2 he's never been married himself so what the heck does he know about this stuff?

Ajnabi--See above possible reasons for Karan's behaivor and Dev's characterization. While he's certainly not my idea of a perfect man (ironically, Abhi's character was--lol), Dev was so bitter and sarcastic that I had to applaud SRK for playing such an unlikeable guy than his typical chocolate hero. So I don't blame Shahrukh for Dev. I blame Kjo for everything! Lol

If you try HAHK or Vivah again, let me know what you think!

theBollywoodFan January 3, 2009 at 7:24 PM  

Agreed on the reaction of Indian audiences. At the very least, I hope it encouraged dialogue of the issues among parents and children. Too often, these issues are just not discussed, and if it takes a film to encourage it, so be it. (Although as we've said, the negatives outweigh the positives in the case of this film.)

Nida January 9, 2009 at 9:44 AM  

Bollywood Fan--So true indeed!
Wonder how this would have fared if it had been an English film released in America? Like "Bend it like Beckham" and "Bride and Predjudice?" Although then, I suppose the songs and all Indian cast wouldn't have been fully appreciated here.

Daddy's Girl January 16, 2009 at 5:55 PM  

Yay! I'm so glad you gave HAHK another shot and liked it. Yay!!
KANK - not one of my favourites (I felt that it wasn't sure exactly what it wanted to be - a serious drama or a glossy, sleek, starry showcase) but in retrospect I do think it offers a lot more food for thought than your 'average' hindi film. It dealt with some real, difficult issues that aren't often confronted in big Bollywood productions, and that was brave. I somehow think it will be remembered a lot more kindly than it was first received. And I see what you mean about Preity's eye makeup - I didn't like her look in the film at all, I thought she looked evil and hard and angry (but maybe that was the point) but what you say about the make-up totally makes sense.
Oh, and I like the John, Nida and Arjun jodi very much! Great chemistry there!

Nida January 25, 2009 at 1:44 PM  

Daddy's Girl--Yep, I totally fell in love with HAHK! Next I'm going to watch Maine Pyar Kiya!

As for KANK, I agree with you even though I liked it a lot more than you did. Definitely think it will be talked about for years to come--in good and bad ways!

Glad you liked my debut ;)

Naqi September 2, 2011 at 12:43 AM  

My black cock...lund k topo...dogs do have such sense as showed in HAHK...that's the best movie ever made in hindi was the movie which causes BO earnings to cross 100 Crores...fuck u all SRK fans...the only best couple is SALMAN and MADHURI....aur DDLJ is a sucking was copy of MPK...raj goes to win heart of simrin's dad as prem did in MPK...1 more thing HAHK is just 3hr which role of every person was justified by the director...

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