Saturday, December 24, 2011

And Where Was the Masala in 2011??

As I got to the end of my Top 5 in 2011 list I realized that all my favourite movies of this year have been un-Bollywood in one way or another, which of course begged the question: was there no good masala fare for me this year? Why yes, yes there was! In fact, in the special category that I like to call "glittery fluff-ball", there were two movies that went neck to neck all the way to the finish line: Mere Brother Ki Dulhan and Ladies Vs Ricky Bahl, both Yash Raj offerings.

We're talking the traditional Bollywood with song and dance, outrageous plot holes, no brains required, glitter and colour, weddings and glam, sexy locales and gorgeous people. And I do love me some of this Bollywood just as much as I love the off-beat kinds. But I can only have one perfect ball of fluff a year, so let me take you through the excruciating process that led to my final decision.

They're both very good looking movies, for sure, so points all around for that. I love the MBKD soundtrack more, but LVRB stands tall with a couple of earworms too (or so my iPod says). I love the actors in both movies, even though if you twist my arm I will trade both Ali Zafar and Imran Khan for Ranveer Singh's smile. So we're 2 - 2 now, I guess.

The ladies are all on par too: Katrina Kaif with a very endearing performance and a hot body like no one else around, Anushka Sharma spreading joy effortlessly and never failing on the dramatic side either. But then... LVRB has three other ladies who rock the screen, and in fact the story belongs to them more than it belongs to the main couple: Parineeti Chopra, Dipannita Sharma and Aditi Sharma. Not only are they fun to watch, but they each bring a different flavour to the mix, just like proper masala spice should. So I guess LVRB is now ahead for character development.

But it doesn't stay in the lead for too long because MBKD makes up for that by giving us the most lovable couple in recent memory, one that will stop at nothing in order to make it to the wedding canopy together.

Sigh... We're even again. What else? Dancing is always important for me, but sadly one of the films (MBKD) has mostly poor dancers, so while the choreographies are fun, they're not terribly impressive; while the other movie flattens two of the best dancers in Bollywood by giving them boring steps. So I guess that means MBKD takes a point for effort on this one.

Having said that, LVRB wins that point right back for Fatal Attraction because Oooo eMMM Geee, it's a trance song!! In Bollywood!!! And it's the background for a party in Goa!!!! And everything about this picturization is mindblowingly awesome. A song made for Dolce and Namak if there ever was one.

Ahem... Sorry about that little outburst, but this song honestly blew me away in the movie. It was by far my favourite 5 minutes of the film. I know Madhubala is awesome too, but it's nothing I've never seen before in Bollywood whereas Fatal Attraction is. In fact it's so un-Bollywood that I was convinced it was ripped off from somewhere, that's how odd it is to me. If it IS plagiarized it's from something so obscure I would have heard it once at some party, but despite searching high and low I could not find anything to back up this hunch. So no accusations will be made and LVRB gets the full point for it.

This process went on and on, getting as detailed as pitting Ranveer's stupendous facial expressions in the scene where Ishika signs the contract (my favourite bit of acting from him) against Imran's puppy eyes every time he tells Dimple to trust him to work things out. The nickname Dimpy in LVRB got a point as well, offset by Katrina's "correctly beautiful and appropriately sexy" description of herself in MBKD. It goes on and on, we're talking days of debate here!

So in the end it came down to this crucial question: which movie would I watch over and over and not get bored? And on this... Mere Brother Ki Dulhan just wins. I thought LVRB would have a good rewatch value, but seeing it the second time in the theatre I was already bored and checking the score of the Blackhawks' hockey game on BBM, so I guess it didn't pass that test. And since the glittery fluff-ball is more about being entertained than it is about smart filmmaking choices... it goes to Mere Brother Ki Dulhan after all.

And with this we end a week of fiery debates for me, and a year of awesome Bollywood movies for you.

Looking forward to 2012 and here's hoping it tops the most excellent 2011!


Anonymous said...

Great post Dolce :-) I thought ZNMD was your ball of fluff this year? Is LVRB a better film than ZNMD? :-/ That makes me sad that I was unable to watch it.


Dolce and Namak said...

Oh no, Sanyogita, not by a long shot! ZNMD is the better movie in every aspect. But my criteria for fluff doesn't necessarily include filmmaking skills. :) It's all about entertainment. And ZNMD had things that I would roll my eyes at every time, so I don't think I'd ever rewatch it from beginning to end with a grin on my face as I would with MBKD. Plus, it's a more serious movie in a way, or it wants to be taken more seriously, so that kinda disqualifies it. When I want midless fluff, I want mindless fluff! :)

LVRB is somewhere in the middle: there are a gazillion plot holes that I notice, but I could still rewatch it and enjoy most of it and have a happy smile on my face at the end. But that said, it's in no way the better movie. It's just a fun, fluffy, feel-good movie, with lots of eyecandy. :)

Anonymous said...

Have to agree with MBKD too, I watched it again this weekend and it does have repeat value, I want whatever pills Katrina's having (acting lessons and personal training ones no doubt) though it has established I cannot stand Imran Khan who is a worse dancer than Sunny Deol (and that is baaaaadddd!) ;-)

Dolce and Namak said...

Awwww, I know man, he so sucks at dancing it's painful to watch (IHLS title track? Ouch!). But... I still adore him. :) But luckily for you, since you can't stand him, his presence in the movie is rather subdued and definitely playing second fiddle to Katrina, so I'm glad you agree overall on the entertainment value of the movie! :)

Siham said...

I haven't watched LVRB yet, but I loved MBKD. One of my favs this year. Probably because it felt more Bolly to me than most movies this year. Anyway - it was so fun and entertaining, and I'm never bored with films like that. :)

me said...

I am surprised this was a contest, ESPECIALLY in the music. I've just watched LVRB and found the almost all the songs completely meh and utterly forgettable . I mean that literally, the only ones I can remember already are Jazba & Thug Le. I've already watched MBKD at least 4 times, and songs closer to 400 it seems, so even though I liked LVRB, and think that Anushka is stunning and her joDi with Ranveer has no current equal, MBKD wins hands down for me.

Dolce and Namak said...

Hey Siham, yes, I hear you, there's nothing like a good natured fun movie! Just can't go wrong with it. Glad it was one of your favourites as well! :)

@ maxqnz: Heya! Actually no surprise, I tend to like a movie that gives me more than just romance any day, so the fact that LVRB was focused on the other story as well earned it some good points for me. Also, I liked all the songs in LVRB because Ranveer can DANCE! :) (More than I can say for Imran and Ali), and that makes any song better in my book. The soundtrack of MBKD is awesome, but with such weak dancers, no wonder they all turned out to be more of a party song than a choreography. For me a good dancer (even if the choreo is not up to par) is ALWAYS worth rewatching more than any other type of song (ask me how many times I rewatched Dum Dum Dum and I don't even like the song!). Last but not least LVRB had the better acting hands down. As in people were actually acting as opposed to hamming it up and being over the top (as delicious as Ali Zafar is). :)

So for me LVRB was pretty high up there. But that said, MBKD is certainly more fun (perhaps precisely because of its over-the-topness), so upon rewatch I had to vote for it. Sometimes being ridiculous and entertaining ends up working in favour of a movie when you least expect it. :)

me said...

"so the fact that LVRB was focused on the other story as well " - that was one of the letdowns for me. Had they ditched a couple of the forgettable songs, they could have put more effort into that part of the story. I would have liked to see them actually beat him, not have him "concede", and I wanted to see him truly hurt, especially for the cruelty of his con on the naive Saira. Not a bad film by any stretch, but it could have been more.

Post a Comment