Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Speaking of block(buster) parties...

Memorial Day weekend was basically one big veggie-fest. Since I twisted my ankle while walking off the bus in heels, however, long movies provided great opportunities to ice the injury with an emergency-purchase bag of frozen peas.

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was disappointing. I feel bad disliking such an icon as Indiana Jones, but at least it was slightly better than Temple of Doom. For starters, the movie didn't showcase the usual amazing locations around the world -- you could tell the entire thing was a set. And come on... aliens??? (Or inter-dimensional species, whatever...) One thing I did think was hilarious, though, was the scene with the very unsubtle line letting kids know they shouldn't copy Indiana Jones by climbing into a refrigerator to escape a nuclear blast in Area 51. In general, though, the film was predictable, from the appearance of Shia LeBoeuf and the welcome re-appearance of Karen Allen, and it was filled with the typical accented villains (Russians, not Nazis this time) and leaf-skirted, ooga-booga jungle inhabitants. Quite frankly, it was really, really difficult to watch 66-year-old Harrison Ford trying to re-live his glory days. I left thinking National Treasure was way better than this fourth IJ film, and I will also never look at a Duck the same way again...

After Dr. Jones' disappointing return to the silver screen, Ms. Tungsten and I embarked on a much more eye-pleasing Hrithik Roshan spree.

Yaadein was a slightly preachy tale of a father whose three daughters have various stumbling blocks to marriage. The main love story, though, is between Hrithik and Kareen Kapoor, who is surprisingly and very refreshingly not playing her typical ditzy, popular character. The two play childhood friends who are so obviously crushing on each other but whose parents are so blind to it they arrange for the (conveniently wealthy) Hrithik to marry a business ally's daughter. (It helps, of course, that the other chick eschews anything Indian and traditional, so the audience knows who to root for.) But though Kapoor finally gets to play an interesting character who predictably tries to sacrifice love for family honor and friendship, and though there were some excellent shots of Hrithik in impeccably tailored and flattering colors and clothes (we even rewound a few scenes just to see him in an amazing suit), the story itself wasn't that believable or strong. Not that it had to be, but it also seemed suspiciously like Muhje Dosti Karoge, which we watched a few weeks ago.

Kaho Naa... Pyaar Hai was only slightly better. (This was the film that catapulted Hrithik to stardom.) In the first half of the movie, Amisha Patel plays a spoiled rich girl who falls for Hrithik the struggling singer, who is then killed by mobsters. In the second half of the movie, her mafia don father sends her to New Zealand, where she encounters her dead boyfriend's lookalike. Of course he immediately falls for her and helps her bring the mobster villains to justice. There is a very hilarious dance scene where Hrithik turns a feather into a phallic symbol; however, this was the hotter musical number. (It rivals Shah Rukh Khan in "Dard E Disco" from Om Shanti Om.) I was a little weirded out by the ending, though -- rather than appreciating the new guy for being different, he simply stepped into the life of her old boyfriend and assumed all of his roles, which was really, really creepy.

Krrish made up for the first two films' deficiencies, though. It rocked my world by taking a masked superhero to a different level. Though Krrish dresses like Zorro and saves innocent bystanders by flying like any other common superhero in any other metropolis, the fight scenes and flying sequences borrowed heavily from Chinese action flicks. It was an interesting amalgamation of different icons.

The movie is a sequel to Koi Mil Gaya, which I haven't seen, but the plot stands capably alone: the child of a prodigy who died under mysterious circumstances has superhuman abilities, so his grandmother raises him in rural isolation. Naturally, he leaves his podunk village to follow the first hot cityslicker he encounters. Once in the city, he uses his abilities to help people and save the world from the power-hungry mad scientist who killed his father. Awesome.

In all, my ankle got some good icing after hours and hours and hours of Hindi films!

1 comment:

Xtina said...

I'm late to the party here, but we just went to IJ, and I kind of liked it. Terrible in all the ways IJ is usually terrible (plot holes you can leap through). And there was no point in having the Mayan(?) people who crawled out of the walls. But in general, I was entertained, and amused. Moreso than Sex and the City.