1. Genelia D'Souza as Hasini was fantastic. It is no surprise she won the Best Actress Filmfare award that year for her performance. Reword her name to Haseena (gorgeous) or Hansini (swan), and it would be appropriate. She played a temple-going and superstition-subscribing (excuse me if that is grammatically incorrect) belle...
...who was a bindaas (fearless) college student not afraid to sneak out of class...
...and speak her mind to her concerned father every once in a while (despite contradictions, which only justified the realism in her character -- young, silly woman).
Most importantly, she was sincere and honest, a khuli kitaab (open book). She also appreciated the finer foods in life. :) The paani puri she loved instantly reminded me of its distant cousin sev puri (discussed in this post).
She was fantastic and lovable no matter what she wore (expressions and colors) and when.
She need not act in this. I am convinced this is who she is in real life!
And she liked Siddhu (short for Siddharth). Loved that she would use 'Siddhu' in almost every other sentence during their conversations. Sounded so innocent. Awwww.
She also managed to take over the film in this sequence. On a more serious note, she really does have phenomenal improvisational skills.
2. My introduction to Siddharth came in one of my all-time favorite films, Rang De Basanti (2006), in which he was fantastic as Karan Singhania. Here, he played the son of a rich businessman too. Again, his acting was excellent. He struck a balance between the comedy...
...and the sentimental. Each time he succeeded.
3. Loved how the movie started out. Every guy who has gone shirt-shopping with dad can relate to this:
4. The rest of the actors were extremely well cast. Siddhu's father -- played by Prakash Raj -- was very good.
5. This scene, in which the family was watching a soccer game, reminded me of at least three instances of soccer World Cups during which members from my extended family and I would stay up late to watch games. Each time, there was a wedding for which we had gathered. Each time, the living rooms we were in would be as loud as a sports bar. This was really quite representative of not only South Indian culture, but Indian culture as a whole.
6. What I really liked about the film was that so little looked artificial. The flow was natural, the people looked and acted very natural. And things seemed easy to relate to. The ambiance in some of the sequences was splendid. In addition to that TV room noted above, the dining room was well put together. Heck, Hasini was even made to sit to the right of the host (albeit farther away), perhaps an indication of her special guest status in the house (dining room etiquette experts, be proud!)?
And this scene in the living room was well done too. That lady in the blue saree reminded me of Tabu, which is freaky, given that this is my second consecutive movie review (the other being Kashmir Ki Kali) with honorable mention of the lovely lady :)
7. An important feature of the film was the time spent on the phone. Reminded me of this bit of dialogue in Jaane Tu, "Phone par, beta" (on the phone, child).
8. Oh, did I mention Hasini looked fantastic throughout, time and place notwithstanding?
9. The film has an interesting end. This provides some indication of the source of intrigue.
This might seem exaggerated to those who have not seen Bommarillu, but the film is easily up there with its Bollywood counterparts, films like Kuch Kuch Hota Hai and Dilwaale Dulhania Le Jaayenge. It has more soul than at least one of those two blockbusters. And this is not an impulsive reaction either. I watched bits of it again on Saturday, and continue to be amazed at how well everything fit!
I do not speak Telugu (sadly, but Genelia speaks Hindi, so that's okay), but the dialogue, as translated, was fantastic, and so was the music. Enjoy my favorite song below (love the music and choreography). Sita-ji shared it in her review, and I like this even more after having seen the film.
Was waiting to see Genelia in a second lead role before adding her name to my list of favorite actresses, and the film provided that and a whole lot more. Four stars and then some for a beautifully made and entertaining film that delivers because of fine performances by everyone involved. Watch Bommarillu to remind yourself why we all love Indian cinema to begin with!
My rating: 4.25/5 (excellent!)
My classification: G (clean -- great for family viewing)
A wish: When this film is remade in Hindi, please, please, please cast Genelia opposite Siddharth again or opposite Imran Khan. Anybody with me on not wanting Harman Baweja here?