Sunday, September 03, 2006

Toronto Day Zero

Today is Labor day. Had I not been so cheap, I would have gone up to Toronto this morning and gotten my hotels stuff finished with so I could have started with the movies immediately, but it would have been an extra hundred bucks, so I'm still here in New York...but that shouldn't stop the fun! So let's have a virtual opening Gala...This is a real Toronto gala film, but since it's already opened and closed in New York, I figure that there are no embargoes to deal with:


Written and Directed
by Karan Johar

We open somewhere in New York, where zillionaire Sam Talwar's (Amitabh Bachchan) son Rishi (Abhishek Bachchan) is getting married to his ward Maya(Rani Mukherji). Now, while Rishi is in love, Maya isn't, and while she's contemplating her fate, she meets one
Dev Saran(Shah Rukh Khan), a soccer star and son of the Kamaljit (Kirron Kher) the caterer, who he was going to pick up after the wedding was over. They have a conversation and he convinces her to go forward with the nuptials.

She goes back in the house to wed, He goes onto the street, where he gets hit by a limousine, thereby losing his career as a footballer.

Cut to four years later. Dev is married to Rhea(Preity Zinta), the editor in chief of the number two fashion magazine in the world, and they have a kid named son Arjun (child artist Ahsaas), who despite that his dad is a soccer coach, doesn't have a compeditive bone in his body. Maya, meanwhile, is stuck in a loveless marriage.
They meet in ridiculous circumstances, and soon become friends, advising each other on how to repair their crumbling marriages. This turns into love and love turns into adultery.

This being a Bollywood production, there's lots of dancing and singing [I remember all-singing all-dancing gangster shoot'em'up war movies from there], and lots of comic relief by Sam, who's an old school letch. There are also seem to have hired every out of work blonde in New York as an extra, which isn't actually a bad thing at all. The music is actually rather good, and the production numbers are excellent, although as the film gets more serious, they seem less and less appropriate.

The reason companies outsource to India is that the prices are far cheaper than they are here in North America or Europe. So it's obvious that when Karan Johar decided to film his latest opus in New York, Philadelphia and some suburbs in between that this would be one of the most expensive “Bollywood” movies ever made.

It is also very long at three hours and fifteen minutes, and feels it. This is an epic, even though there are only six characters with more than a few lines. The acting is excellent, [the cast are all major stars in India], especially the kid, but as the film grinds on the audience begins to grind down, and by the end we're trying to figure out all those places which could have been easy to edit out.

If you like this sort of thing, bring a pillow for your butt, you will need it.

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