Links: Reviews of Ishkq in Paris, Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani

I should have updated ages ago, so instead of going chronologically, I’m going to organise the posts by subject or theme. Hush. In my head, it sounds more logical.

First up, the film reviews. Ishkq in Paris, starring Preity Zinta, released week before last and I admit it, the review is one of the cruellest I’ve written. But let’s not forget, that was one of the most senseless films I’ve seen. Why is there a k in the title? Why did Isabelle Adjani in that film? What did they do to the real Preity Zinta? And as if all this wasn’t bad enough, the film managed to do something that should never have happened — Chunky Pandey and Isabelle Adjani now have something in common. That’s just wrong.

In Ishkq in Paris, Zinta plays Ishkq Elise, whose mother is Marie (Isabelle Adjani). From her unnatural chirpiness, we may deduce that Ishkq is a bimbette teenager trapped in a 38-year-old’s body. It’s either that or she’s suffering from the trauma of looking at the Cubist sculpture that is Isabelle Adjani’s botox-and-plastic-surgery-devastated face and realising she could look like that one day. The horror, the horror.

Whatever the underlying reason, Ishkq is an odd bird. It seems she doesn’t know how to walk. She either skips (when she’s happy) or shuffles (when she’s sad). Her mood changes quicker than the weather, but her facial expressions stay much the same (give or take a glycerine-induced tear). When she wants a shift in the course of conversation, she hollers “Topic change!” but doesn’t actually change the topic. She’s commitment shy and pretends to be “psycho” when the craziest thing she does in the movie is go looking for dinner at midnight in Paris. As anyone who has been to Paris will tell you, that’s no time for din-din.

Then again, the Paris in Ishkq in Paris isn’t precisely the city of love that the French tourism board keeps telling us to visit. For one thing, a lot of it looks like Prague. Sure, it has the Eiffel Tower, but many of those streets and buildings are distinctly un-French in terms of their architecture. Most importantly, if you can find me a Parisian home that has a black woman dressed in a French maid outfit opening the door for you, I’ll swear off macarons for a week.

Ishkq in Paris begins as Zinta’s attempt at Indianising Before Sunrise. Ishkq (Zinta) meets Akash (Gaurav Chanana) who suggests she spend one night showing him the sights and sounds of Paris. After 24 hours, they’re going to go their separate ways and never see each other again. What follows is one of the most inept attempts by mankind to hit on a woman and convince her to sleep with him. It is no surprise Akash doesn’t get any, but I’m getting ahead of myself.

Here are some tips from Ishkq and Akash’s guide to Paris by night:

1. Clubs in Paris have can can dancers. Because it’s the city of Moulin Rouge. Duh!

2. There are places in Paris called Montmarte and Park.

3. Belly dancers are psychics.

4. Lots of people in Paris know Hindi, including faded movie stars and belly dancers.

5. Chunky Pandey is now a belly-button baring street performer in Paris.

From my review of Ishkq in Paris.

yjhd
Ranbir Kapoor celebrates, in YJHD.

Now on to movie review number 2: Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani. The film’s a huge success, having made some Rs. 70 crore in the first three days. Honestly, I can see why people would see the film even though I didn’t love it personally. It’s full of triteness but keep in mind we’ve been drowning in ghastly and gory action flicks ever since the first Dabangg. So maybe one of the reasons that films like Aashiqui 2 and YJHD are hurtling into the Rs. 100-crore club is that they’re a pleasant break from what’s been in the theatres of late. If only this meant good rom-coms, instead of either weepy or hackneyed stuff. This is particularly sad because actors like Ranbir Kapoor and Aditya Roy Kapoor are well capable of doing more than the flat, predictable roles they’re given. Ah well.

Ranbir Kapoor is full of the easy spontaneity and charm that has made young hearts go pitter patter ever since he appeared in a towel in Saawariya. He plays Bunny, who is essentially Sid from Wake Up Sid but with video camera and a love for travel. Bunny sweeps Naina the Nerd (Padukone) off her feet metaphorically and does the same literally to his best friend Aditi (Kalki Koechlin). Not only is the role spectacularly un-challenging for Kapoor since Bunny’s character hardly grows, but we can’t help wondering if Kapoor isn’t sick of playing the carefree, wisecracking guy who must, by the end of the film, find his serious side. Kapoor has had to act more in Pepsi commercials than he does in YJHD. …

Much like in Hum Aapke Hain Kaun, there really isn’t much that you can pick on or criticise in YJHD because there’s just so little meat on this bone. The point of YHJD is to show you pretty people having fun in pretty places and – if the feminine sighs in the audience were any indication – to see Ranbir Kapoor play the romantic lead. On all these accounts, the film scores. Everyone and everything looks fantastic. And for those so inclined, Kapoor has approximately four on-screen lip locks.

From my review of Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani.

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