So, a friend of mine actually asked for recommendations for Indian movies, which was ironic because he’s Indian and I’m decidedly not. Since I’ve been stuck at home, mostly prone and on an ice pack for most of the last year, I’ve indulged in quite a few. When you’re stuck in one place, a 3-hour movie is a great way to pass the time.
I thought about organizing this in a particular way, but then I’d never finish it, so I’m just going to go by my Netflix and IMDB ratings.
Band Baaja Baaraat I really liked, mostly because I love watching Anushka Sharma. She plays an ambitious young woman who wants to start her own wedding planning company, and finds a niche in creating affordable but spectacular events. Ranveer Singh plays a young man who wrangles his way into the business, and eventually they test the waters of romance. This actually drives them apart, and they dissolve the company, only to find that they can’t live or work without each other. The dance numbers fit in because part of their success hinges on creating these dances and getting everyone at the weddings to join in, and they’re a lot of fun.
Oh, and if you watch Barfi!, look for Jhilmil’s amazing transformation into Neha in Dostana. It’s a silly little movie about two men who pretend to be gay lovers in order to get into a fabulous apartment with Neha, while disguising the fact that in the process of learning to be friends with her, they’ve both fallen in love with her instead.
I’m also a big fan of Imran Khan. I saw him first in Mere Brother Ki Dulhan, which has one of the most improbable plot lines ever, but he is adorable and has a great sense of comic timing. I liked Jaane Tu. . .ya Jaane Na so much I bought the soundtrack – the story and the way it’s told is very different from most of the run-of-the-mill Bollywood movies of best friends discovering they were made for each other. Delhi Belly could be enjoyed by even non-Bollywood fans – it’s not a musical – but remember to turn on the subtitles. Everyone speaks English until you meet the bad guys. Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu is funny and sad, but not a must-see.
But speaking of must-see, Aamir Khan is a force to be reckoned with in Indian films. If you watched Lagaan, you’ve seen him, but you probably don’t know it. Watch 3 Idiots. Watch Dil Chahta Hai. Watch Mumbai Diaries. Watch Rang De Basanti. Watch Ghajini. He has a long, long list of credits.
I think I’m going to finish up for now with one of my favorite actors to watch, Hrithik Roshan. He might not have as many movies, and he definitely doesn’t have the acting chops of Aamir Khan, but he’s an amazing dancer and quite possibly the most beautiful man on the face of the planet. This does not mean that you should watch Kites, though, which was so awful I’m not even going to link to it. Really. Just don’t. Guzaarish, though, campy as it might be at times, is completely enjoyable. He plays a world-famous magician paralyzed from the neck down when an act goes wrong, and follows him from being an inspirational radio voice for the disabled to fighting the government for the right to die. He’s paired up with Aishwarya Rai, who is quite possibly the most beautiful woman on the planet, and they’re together again in Dhoom 2. It’s a very silly movie, just like Dhoom, but if you enjoy ridiculously far-fetched plots and action sequences that completely ignore all known laws of physics, go for it. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. Koi. . .Mil Gaya is the story of a young man who gets special powers from an alien and. . .and. . .the story is ridiculously convoluted and borrows shamelessly from Close Encounters of the Third Kind and E.T., and it’s a cheesy, guilty pleasure. Preity Zinta makes it better. More on her later. Anyway, I watched it only because it’s the prequel to Krrish, which is about his son, raised by his mother in a remote location so he never reveals his inherited super powers to the world. (Of course, he does. And dances. And falls in love with someone he shouldn’t. It’s Bollywood.) Come to think of it, I wouldn’t say any of his movies are must-see, but I love to watch him. Maybe Krrish 3 (they skipped right over 2, because 1 is 2 because Koi. . .Mil Gaya is 1. . .or something like that) will be better? Whatever, he’s been working with a personal trainer to look even better for it, so even if it’s bad, I’ll watch it.
That’s enough for a starter, and I didn’t even hit a single SRK movie. Yeah!