Saturday, December 11, 2010

Band Baaja Baaraat: A Must See for Film Lovers!

I read a quote somewhere that said something along the lines of ‘it’s indicative of the film producers’ disconnect from their audience recently that good but not great films like Raajneeti, Dabangg, and Once Upon A Time in Mumbaai are being jumped on like manna from heaven by a film-starved public.’

There have been times this past year when I thought that maybe Bollywood and I were on the verge of a split. Certainly none of the major Bollywood productions grabbed my interest like Tamil films
Raavanan or Madrasapattinam and Bollywood seems to have lost interest in wowing audiences with super-spectacular films like Endhiran or Magadheera in favor of trying to be “cool” and “hip” and “post-modern” with films like Break Ke Baad and Anjaana Anjaani. Above all else, there has been a real reluctance in Bollywood recently to give audiences a fun, entertaining, and emotionally satisfying film.

Well, it will be a real shame if
Band Baaja Baaraat is overlooked by a public tired of the I Hate Luv Storys genre because BBB may be a youthful romantic-comedy but in every way that matters, it is the exact opposite of that dreary “Hollywood-lite” IHLS genre.

BBB is the story of Bittoo (‘double t, double o’) and Shruti and their wedding planning business… and how they fall in love. Bittoo (adorable Ranveer Singh in a smashing debut) is a restless small town boy reluctant to go back to cutting sugar cane in the sticks. Shruti is a serious, career focused girl, who finds in Bittoo the business partner she didn’t know she was looking for. The film follows the growth of their business and their relationship through the ups and downs until the inevitable happy ending.

It’s a satisfying journey.

I almost don’t know where to start with what I liked about
BBB without giving too much of the story away. I’m going to keep this as spoiler free as possible and then perhaps write something a bit more indepth later.

Bittoo and Shruti are charming. Ranveer Singh couldn’t have asked for a better debut. As Bittoo, he is a shaggy, lovable boy. He doesn’t have the matinee idol good looks of an Imran Khan, but he has a loose-limbed charm that pulls you in and makes you cheer for him. And he can dance. Bittoo is a regular guy. He likes to eat; he likes to girl watch; and he has a bit of an ego about himself. Anushuka Sharma is delightful and I’m glad to see her in a film that I enjoyed opposite a hero her own age. Shruti was the kind of girl you don’t see often in films anymore. She is a serious girl and career minded. She isn’t obsessed with love or boyfriends and the addition of a husband to her life would the icing on the cake, not her life’s purpose.

And the story was charming. I have little patience for stories about people with too much time on their hands. I like stories about work.
BBB has no time for moping or gazing out of bedroom windows because there are things to do! Weddings to plan! And I think the most romantic romances are realistic, which this one is. There is no love at first sight or destiny or that awful fake-bickering like in JTYJN, the two fall for each other over time, believably, until they figure out that love is when life sucks when the other person isn’t around – not a bolt of lightening from the sky. (And the dialogues were quite amusing and sharp – at least as far as I understood with my far from perfect Hindi; the subtitles were a bit too concise.)

The picturizations and music were, yes, charming. One in particular,
Aadha Ishq perfectly nails the filmi love song, which is supposed to capture that spark of first romance, when you can’t stop daydreaming about the other person and who you imagine them to be. "Ainvayi Ainvayi" is a serious earworm and "Dum Dum" is just a plain old-fashioned balls-to-the-wall dance number.

In short, I loved the whole film and I can honestly say it was one of the best films of the year and in the running for best Bollywood film of the year.

(And confidential to Jitesh Pillai and Filmfare - if Ranveer Singh does not get a BEST MALE DEBUT award, I will seriously cut a bitch.)


S said...

Ohh I can't wait to see this now. Looking at the fate of other movies at the box office, I hope this stays in theatres till next week when I go to India. :) oh btw filmigirl, have you seen Dumm Dumm Dumm?

Ness said...

yeah, I am SO SAD this is not playing near me but SO GLAD that it justifies me buying the dvd, because oh, I KNOW I WILL LOVE IT

Bombay Talkies said...

I've been hearing lots of good things about this film and your review seals the deal--def going to see if I can find it playing near me (fat chance but it's worth a try).

(Off topic but your line "matinee idol good looks of an Imran Khan" made me giggle. I don't think I'd ever describe Imran Khan as having good looks, but maybe that's just me...) :)

PHATso! said...

Loved the movie, and loved your review as well!! After one looong dreary line of rom-com flops ( all of which i watched first day first show <>)finally ONE movie which is fun , entertaining and more than anything, true to itself! And ranveer singh!! Can't wait to see more of him!

Anishok said...

So glad you liked it! I was hoping Anushka would get a good role and a good film. She's my favorite newcomer. Can't wait to see this!

Precious P said...

yayyy! I knew we were doing something right by supporting BBB! its such a fun ride & im happy Anushka got it third time right :D
*Happy grin & jump*

Sami Saayer said...

loved it. very entertaining.

maxqnz said...

Fantastic film - watching for the second time right now, two hours after watching it for the fist time. LOVE it, and for all the reasons you outlined. It's wonderful to see a sweet treat like this one doing well in modern BW. I hope reviews like yours can help convince filmmakers to give us more like this one

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I love Bollywood - and all the ridiculous things that happen in Bollywood - but it doesn't mean that I can't occasionally make fun of various celebrities and films.

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