Today is my Grandpa’s birthday, last year I did a whole survey of his life, so this year I want to do something a little different. I control my Grandpa’s Netflix list, which means sometimes I sneak in Indian movies. Grandpa loves movies and has very clear and firm opinions on them, which he types up and shares with the rest of the family. He just sent his thoughts on Ghajini, which inspired me to track down a few other reviews to share with you all.
His favorite Indian movie! He kept talking about it for weeks and I ended up buying him the DVDs for Christmas. He can’t remember the title, so he just calls it “the elephant one”.
Review (verbatim from his email)
Jodhaa Akbar A super spectacular film of of an Indian emperor of many years ago. He brought peace between the Hindu and the Muslims. All the scenes were lush,colorful and ornate. There was a elaborate dance scene with many many dancers. There were battle scenes with thousands including many elephants, horses and camels. It took two DVDs to get it all in.
There were long scenes of the emperor and empress staring at each other. If they had cut that staring time down they probably could have gotten it all on one DVD. It was a film well worth seeing.
(I mean, he’s not wrong, there is a lot of staring)
Tara Zameen Par
Grandpa’s seen it and I haven’t. Oh well, I’ll just go by his description.
Like Stars on Earth: It is the story of a 10 year old boy who is having much trouble in school both in his studies and socially and even on the playground. To make things more difficult his older brother is a star in the classroom and sports. His successful father thinks the boy is lazy and a cut up. The school gives up on him and recommends a special boarding school. It is the same problem at the boarding school until an art teacher recognizes the problem. The boy has dislectia. (I know the spelling is way wrong but my spell check is not working and I cannot find it in the dictionary.) The teacher gives a long explanation,with examples, to the father and in doing so also teaches the viewing audience about the illness. With understand by both the school and the family it all works out happily at the end. It is a good film. As it is a Bollywood production it is long. About 20 min. shorter would be better. The musical interludes were not as extreme as usual and did not interrupt the story very much.
(This really seems extreme to me, I think Grandpa and I have different standards)
I’m really impressed that Grandpa liked this movie! He has very high standards, so congrats to Reema Kagti for meeting them
Taalash: A Bollywood movie. The story revolves around a couple who’s young son was killed in an accident. She is still sad after a couple of years and the husband in depression, is blaming himself for the accident. I normally poo poo spirits and contact with the departed. I this case I accepted the idea and the couple were each returned to comfort via communication with their son. She via a medium and he by a walking talking beautiful realistic ghost. This attractive ghost helps him, who is police official, solve a murder and another crime. Sounds weird but it is OK.
(Walking talking beautiful realistic)
I think I just sent him this one because I knew he would like the army training scenes? And I was right!
Lakshya It was a Bollywood a little over three hours long. I was going to stop for a day when the intermission sign came on but it never did and the film was good so I viewed it in one sitting. I am sure I saw the lead man in a prior film. I think it was the historic one. The story is of a lazy lout who is shamed by his girl friend and father into changing. He joins the army and soon goes AWOL as the army is tough. He is shamed back into the army and becomes a hero. There were two elaborate dance scenes that jump right into the movie. They were in the first third and did not spoil the serious part of the story. The best parts were the scenes at the military academy and the climbing of the cliff. I don’t know how they filmed that and it looked like the lead man really did the very difficult climbing.
(Army is tough!)
Jab Tak Hain Jaan
This might be my favorite review. He misses large parts of the plot, but he does get the jist of it right!
Jab Tak Hai Jaan Obviously a Bollywood production. Well done and a good love story mixed with some moderate action. The hero by working hard goes from part time jobs to owning and operating a successful restaurant. His love interest who is engaged to another takes a church vow of separation if his life will be saved after an accident. He goes off to Afghanistan and a dangerous position in the army. There another girl is involved. It is a good story and the scenes as filmed were interesting and sometimes spectacular. The two ladies were good actors and surprising to me very good dancers. As is usual in these films all of a sudden there are a whole bunch of people doing a elaborate dance routine. It was two minutes short of three hours and I view it all in one sitting.
(very good dancers)
Wake Up Sid
Not sure why I sent him this, I should have known he would hate it. Ranbir Kapoor, both as the Sid character and as a real person, is not someone Grandpa would like AT ALL.
Wake Up Sid
Sid is a super brat. Half of the film is to show how coincided, rude and lazy he is. He is extremely rude to his parents especially his mother. It is way over done. You know from the start that by the end he will change. There is no suspense.
It starts with him flunking collage. I thought that the actor looked too old for collage. Then I found out that he was in high school. Slow moving and boring.
(Yeah, Grandpa would have no patience for this kid.)
Completely forgot I sent him this one. Oh well, he liked it so it all worked out.
Ghajini was a block buster. I started it at 7:45 and by 10:00 which was my bed time it was still going strong. I got up and looked at the sleeve and found that it was over three hours long. I finished it this morning. It is a wild story with lots of impossible fights. There were four dance scenes inserted with no connection to the story. One was in a spectacular setting and quite long. The plot was too complicated to explain but the idea was exceptional.
(I think he means this song? I’m not sure)
Bonus, a non-Indian review from a few days ago which I find delightful and hilarious and also accurate: