30 December 2002 | Peter-175
WHAT THE HECK IS THIS.
Holy cow. This movie is ridiculous. I'm so frustrated at trying to figure out which Hindi films are worth buying and which ones are pathetic. It seems like almost every review section for a Hindi film has comments like "The best film Ive ever seen" and "The worst movie of all time." How does someone unfamiliar with all these movies know what to believe? Well, I've seen 3... Lagaan, Dil Chahta Hai, and this one. Lagaan, aside from an overly long cricket game, is a very sweet and charming film. You can't go wrong with it. Dil Chahta Hai grew on me. It started off as a really bad, MTV-like movie and then it redeemed itself with a little bit of depth and one of the most beautiful sequences in sight and sound I've ever seen or heard- Wah Ladki (something or other) You know it if you've seen it- it's where the whole movie theater flaps their arms up and down. And the song makes me want to jump up, dance, rejoice and cry, all at once. The dancing on that song is spectacular and the filming is equal. But Dil Chahta Hai is pretty corny at times- a little too corny- and forgive me, but even though it's a more male-to-male friendly culture, there are some parts that seemed SOOOO homosexual. But its good qualities are hard to ignore. Now comes my 3rd Hindi film experience with Kaho Naa Pyaar Hai. I have to tell you... this movie manages to include TV SOAP OPERA, DRAMA, COMEDY, MYSTERY, ACTION, MUSICAL, 60s BEACH PARTY MOVIE (Remember Annette and Frankie?) EPIC (due to length) and of course FOREIGN FILM. Where they would place this film at a Blockbuster Video store is anyone's guess. I can't even figure out what I feel for this film. What do I tell you? Maybe I should tell you that I rolled over and laughed out loud more than once, and more than I have in a long time at a movie (Last time I laughed like that was in the Japanese "Spirited Away" and before that, "The Eyes of Tammy Faye.") Maybe I should tell you that I was in disgusted awe of all the blatant product placements that are shoved against the screen for more than a few moments (Coca Cola, Nokia, and countless others)? The movie is embarrassing to watch? The cinematography and directing are a cross between a really terrible television program (e.g. Baywatch) and Moulin Rouge. If you are trying to read the English subtitles, you know that there is something missing- that they are not well translated. You feel like you are watching a really cheesy commercial for about 3 hours (When the gigantic coke signs appeared at the end of the film, while the main actor is singing and dancing on stage like an overgrown Backstreet Boy, I swore the film finally made sense- it was a 3 hour Coke commercial!) The movie is extremely cheery though. It is colorful- and the scenery on the island is gorgeous. There was so much of that wonderful scenery too, and so I appreciated some things that I know I'll never get to see in an American film. But how does one explain a movie where a guy poops in his pants and it falls out (unseen) on the floor, where Santa Claus appears like a madman on a cruise ship, where the main character dies and you think its the end of the movie but then it says "INTERMISSION," where the last third of the movie is full of action sequences that completely destroy everything that came before- where the plot makes absolutely no sense and you know that the writer and director had to tack on an extra hour of nonsense to meet the 3 Hour Quota for Indian films. Where a grown man dreams of being a Backstreet Boy and sings a tune that will get stuck in your head since it's repeated through the whole film. I don't know what to make of this movie. Its ridiculous; its badly acted. Badly directed. It's terribly written. It wants to copy American films, but doesnt know which one to copy, so it copies every single one- but is so bizarre that it is nothing like anything in American cinema. And yet I want to watch it again because I can't believe I saw what I saw.