Archives for posts with tag: shahid kapoor

Wow.  Wow, this movie is bad. And for no reason! You’ve got Priyanka Chopra, Shahid Kapoor, and a fairly promising love-across-time premise!

Unfortunately, you also have catastrophic screen-writing, the conviction that assy dudes are secretly adorable, and some seriously dodgy stubble on Mr. Kapoor from 1910.

Right, so: the couple exists (different names, different jobs, whatever) in 1910 in a garrisoned village in what is now Pakistan, in the 60s in Mumbai, and nowish in England. They meet by chance, they fall in love, and then something occurs to break them up (in two out of three options, it’s that Mr. Kapoor is a jackwagon; in the other it’s that he gets arrested for sticking it to the British–because he wants to impress a girl, so…yeah).

It’s not unusual for Bollywood movies to be tonally discordant, but this one is especially jarring, partly because it’s not long enough (I know, right?) to give each story due time. The 60s segment is basically a screwball comedy, complete with goofy sound effects. It is the most charming. The 1910s segment also has a few of those sound effects and everything is a hilarious sexy joke, but also Ms. Chopra’s character is politically active and then suddenly Mr. Kapoor goes to jail and religion is a thing (which, yes, I understand as pertinent issues, but…you haven’t seen how dumb this movie is). The 2012 segment doesn’t even try at all to do anything except Shakespeare gags? So, okay, sure.

Nothing is done with much conviction (except Ms. Chopra’s weeping, which was largely convincing and also picturesque), up to and including the dance sequences. Since the story makes no sense and the pacing is generally bad and Mr. Kapoor is unappealing in all three roles….  This director also made Hum Tum, in which Saif Ali Khan was a little bratty, but there’s a pretty big gulf between “a little bratty” and “simply the worst,” which is where Mr. Kapoor pretty much lands.

Director: Kunal Kohli
Rating: NR
Length: Only 117 minutes, but still too long!
Score: 1/5

I’ve been out of the blogging game for a while, and I didn’t really miss it. But I watch so many movies, and I’m pretty sure that all of my real friends are not particularly interested in all of them (I’ll set up an about page to give you a vibe), so to save some relationships, I thought I’d try this format.

And this is because of the film Mausam, about which I have about a billion feelings.

I have these feelings because Mausam is trying to be too many movies at once, and it does none of them especially well. In fact, here’s a list of movies it could have been, one at a time, and probably been sort of cute and watchable (or, frankly, serious but still watchable).

1. Sikh boy falls in love with Muslim girl, and the usual complications ensue.
2. Sikh boy falls in love with Muslim girl, and neither of them is especially great at tracking people down; the usual complications also ensue.
3. War in Kashmir tears lovers apart.
4. Life in the air force may injure you even if it is generally glamorous what with all the Ray-Bans.
5. September 11 was bad and made some people in the United States be even more awful about Islam.
6. Sectarian violence, even Kashmir apart, is a problem in India.
7. Edinburgh is gorgeous and makes you act goofy.
8. The Punjab also is gorgeous and makes you wear bright colors and dance and ride bicycles (many films have been predicated on this, and they work very well).
9. Anupam Kher, for some reason, is your uncle.

That is not even everything that is going on the movie–there’s a village girl that’s also in love with the hero and makes trouble for no reason, and I thought Anupam Kher might be in some kind of serious political trouble, but either I misread the situation or that just never paid off. And I know what you’re saying: it’s Bollywood, and this is how things work. I get that. I get that you just have to accept that everyone in Britain travels in carriages and goes to formal balls all the time, and that you may have to watch the hero run across Switzerland (in this case playing itself, unusually). I get that families are large and nebulous, and that people travel insane distances at the drop of a hat, and that being laughed at for having once been covered in mud is just the biggest turn-on. I get that you’ll get to an hour from the end and wonder what else could possibly happen, and never expect that it’s that the bride gets set on fire (not the case here, by the way, that’s Vivah). I get that Anupam Kher is somebody’s dad.

I am used to these things, and yet Mausam had way too much going on, and also went insanely off the rails in the second half. Maybe one of the 23432847239487324 complications would have made an actual plot, and maybe also a coherent social or political point. You really can stop at “please don’t murder innocent people with Molotov cocktails and swords.” You don’t have to add a ferris wheel with a child that needs to be rescued. Oh, and a horse. Hell, you could stop at “everyone please find a working phone.”

So why did I watch it? Because I thought it would be Bollywood Top Gun. You show me Shahid Kapoor in aviators and I am there. Seriously, this was my immediate reaction on coming across this movie on IMDb, talking to a sympathetic friend on gchat:

there
is a movie
in which Shahid Kapoor
is
A FIGHTER PILOT

And that’s also why I kept watching. Sonam Kapoor is sort of blah, Anupam Kher is wasted completely, the writing is frankly laughable, the songs are deeply unmemorable, and, while the backdrops are gorgeous (the Punjab, Edinburgh, Switzerland), there is really only one reason to watch this movie: Shahid Kapoor is just stupid hot in it.

With basically any other movie, that would be just a shallow and pointless thing to say. We all know that Mr. Kapoor is handsome, and that that’s kind of the point of him. But Hrithik Roshan isn’t good-looking enough to make Kites bearable, and the one-two punch of Christian Bale and Johnny Depp doesn’t save Public Enemies. (Public Enemies is probably better than MausamKites is not.)

When I say “stupid hot,” I mean it. The only person on this production who performed at 100% on his job was the person responsible for whatever Mr. Kapoor was wearing and how he was doing his hair. I will give you two moments that bear this out. First, there is a throwaway, 20-second-long scene in which Harry (Mr. Kapoor’s character) spouts gibberish at an RAF officer just so that we can see him in a British, olive drab, tough-guy flight-suit, because all the time he spends in the boring navy blue of the Indian Air Force is apparently insufficient. Literally nothing happens in this scene. It’s just for the flight-suit. Second, at some point Harry comes through Edinburgh Waverley station, and you see him come up an escalator. He is wearing a dark coat and a scarf and I laughed out loud on my plane ride when this happened because you are clearly just supposed to be blown away by how good he looks. You are, but I still laugh at the cynicism, even while appreciating the effort.

Also, he makes the mustache work. And the beard. Have a google image search. I’ll wait. I mean, holy crap.

So here’s the run-down; the format may change as this blog goes on.

Title: Mausam 
Year: 2011
Director: Pankaj Kapur
Stars: Shahid Kapoor, Sonam Kapoor, Anupam Kher, and also the treat of Vaibhav Talwar
Rating: Dunno; I’d peg it at PG-13 for the unnecessary corpses
Length: 161 min. (too long)
Score: 2/5. It should really be 1/5, but, stupid hot. Movie generally too scattershot, and sometimes nonsensical. Worth watching on a plane or if you really, really like Shahid Kapoor. Maybe have a cocktail first.