Teen Maar

27 04 2011

Teen Maar is a decent attempt at remaking a Bollywood flick. But there surely are certain glitches. The biggest drawback, in my opinion, is that it failed to recreate the magic of the original Love Aaj Kal.

I personally feel that the kind of hip-hop, modern, metro lifestyle shown in the movie hasn’t really gotten itself infiltrated  into the Telugu society. While it was easy to watch Deepika and Saif do all sorts of things, I can’t say the same about their counterparts in Teen Maar. Both Michael (hero) and Meera (heroine) are so unconventional with respect to Tollywood that I feel there had been a certain mental block to accept them right away.

I am still baffled by the inconsistency between my own reactions to the two versions. The reason might be that by Bollywood standards, the lead characters aren’t atypical at all. Surely, I loved Love Aaj Kal and was awed by the characters. I enjoyed myself a lot. I don’t remember contemplating on the virtues or otherwise of the characters at that time, as I’m doing now in the case of Teen Maar. I don’t say that Teen Maar has been a complete shocker for me but I felt that it somehow seemed unreal, close to fantasy.

At some point in the movie, Michael wonders before Paresh Rawal/Sirji (any idea why Pavan choses to address him as “Sirji” instead of just “Sir” or something else? [Updated much later: “Sir Ji is a colloquial word used in North India. It is ascribed to a person who is enterprising, resourceful, seminal, approachable, respected and above all a Realist. ” Source: E-PAO. So it was just my ignorance. 😛 ]) on the relevancy of the marriage in current times. According to him, marriage is just a fad which appears to be out of fashion these days.

This monologue struck me as odd and absurd. Nothing can be farther from truth than his statement. Marriage is still very much relevant, at least in my society.  Attitudes like these were what gave the characters the fictitious touch and made everything seem far-fetching.

Coming to the other drawback which spoiled the show was the first half hour (I missed the credits and hence anything that came before them). The chemistry between Pavan and Trisha wasn’t established well and the scenes looked like something badly put together in a hurry. (I’m not sure, but I might be talking about Editing too). The whole episode until their breakup was so pale and bland. The sizzling chemistry and the comfort levels between Saif and Deepika couldn’t be replicated for Pavan and Trisha. What a let down!

However, the movie on the whole gets better in the second-half. I noticed that Trisha’s character has been changed minutely in that she seemed reluctant towards the break-up and the director projected as if the whole thing happened only because of Michael’s confusion. I don’t know whether I can trust my memory, but I remember that Deepika too was keen on the break-up and in fact it was she who blurts out the words. If I’m right in my observation, I can only attribute this discrepancy to the distinct Tollywood touch.

I really liked the performances of the lead characters. Trisha looked very pretty and stylish. She carried herself very well. Pavan Kalyan was too good. As Arjun Palvai, he was mind-blowing. I liked the whole flashback episode. I liked it better than that of Love Aaj Kal’s. Kirti looked well as Vasumathi though I must admit that she wasn’t any special. I didn’t like her close-up shots.

The background music was lovely, especially during the flashback. I liked only two songs – Aley Baley (which has been inspired by LAK’s Chor Baazari) and the love song that comes in the flashback (I forgot the lyrics).

While the whole episode of the street fight, rescuing the girl and throwing curse words at the boss by the hero seemed a bit absurd to me, I (as a devout follower of Telugu movies) would rather ignore the illogicality of it all and prefer to just grasp the underlying message the director is trying to convey out of it. Consequently, I’m not so appalled by the failure of the NYPD to appear at the crime scene in time (as some of my friends living in US reacted). Things like this are happening since time immemorial in Telugu cinema. Aren’t they?

The movie is undoubtedly a visual feast and what it’s missing is just the “oooh” factor, which LAK successfully managed to generate. The strongest plus point is Pavan Kalyan. It’s his show all through the movie. On a side note, I certainly think that Teen Maar is a lot better than Pavan’s previous hit Jalsa.

Love Aaj Kal (Bollywood movie)

30 08 2009

Watched ‘Love Aaj Kal’ yesterday. I loved it. I guess it would remain as one of the few ‘close to the heart’ movies of mine. The movie is all about how the lead characters, Jai and Meera, discovered their love for each other.

Here is the basic plot:

Jai(Saif) and Meera(Deepika) decide to break up after 2 years of being together as boyfriend-girlfriend when their careers destine them to different countries. They feel that long distance relationships rarely work and mutually agree for the breakup. They continue to be in constant touch as they move on and find new partners.  Ironically, they realize how much more they enjoy each other’s company after their breakup.  But when Meera agrees for marriage with her current boyfriend, Jai and Meera go through a second breakup – this time putting an end to all contact. At Meera’s marriage, Jai babbles through his uneasiness that if only she could have asked him, he would have married her long ago. He finds it difficult to digest the fact that she will be married in a few minutes.  The very next day after her marriage, Meera walks out on her new husband claiming that she is not able to get Jai out of her mind – she is in love with Jai. When Meera calls Jai to let him know, she finds Jai all excited about his job offer in his dream company. So, she just decides to wait for Jai to realize his love and return to her, which he does in the end.

Oh, quite a story.. Isn’t it?

Actually, there is another thread parallel to the above story – love story of a coffee shop owner, Veer Singh, back in 1960s. Veer Singh falls in love with a girl in his neighborhood, pines for her, pursues her with single-mindedness and finally marries her.  As he narrates his story to Jai, he says a few words about the current generation’s attitude towards ‘Love’ in contrast to his generation.

  • These days, people have so many options. But back then, there was no option in the matter of ‘love’.
  • The hearts of today’s youngsters are filled with so many things that it has become difficult for ‘Love’ to squeeze in.

I think an important reason for me liking the movie, besides the story and direction, is Deepika. She was perfect as Meera. She seemed so natural. I’ve seen 3 of her movies till date – Om Shanti Om, Bachna Yeh Haseeno and Love Aaj Kal – and have been awed by the way she carries herself.  She seems very independent, straight-forward and at the same time very graceful. I guess she is my new favorite.

When I heard that Kareena had actually wanted to do this role, I could only say ‘Yuck!’ Thank god, she didn’t do it. Otherwise the whole character of Meera would have come out very differently.

Chor Bazaari (absolutely loved it) and Dooriyah are my favorite songs from the movie.Enjoy them here:

Before wrapping up, here is my favorite dialogue from the movie:

“Tum hameshaa sahee kehte ho, jaaneman!” ( Jai often says to Meera)

In English: “You always say the right thing, darling!”

It’s not the actual dialogue, but the context and the way Saif says it makes it very endearing.

This is a movie to be felt. Beautifully made. Kudos to Imtiaz!

Title: Lovie Aaj Kal (Love These Days); Starring: Saif Ali Khan, Deepika Padukone; Direction: Imtiaz Ali; Music: Pritam