October and November releases

I've fallen behind in previewing some of the upcoming releases, and this post should help make time to review movies again. Several films to look forward to over the next couple months. Just look at the diversity of themes addressed in October and November. About time the remarkable evolution the Hindi film industry has undergone over the past decade become a consistent and prominent feature of the release calendar (with exceptions, of course; an average of two good movies a month would work). As always, the complete list of releases is at the bottom of the post. Notes on ones I look forward to follow.

Two biggies for Diwali releases coming our way October 16. (And a very HAPPY DIWALI to all; please refer to my Diwali post from last year.) Previewed Blue here, and the other, Main Aur Mrs. Khanna (Me and Mrs. Khanna), is by all means intriguing as well. Starring Salman Khan, Kareena Kapoor, and Sohail Khan, it's a simple love story based purely on the emotional quotient. Its plot and screenplay will make or break it. For what they're selling -- see the official website for more (its Wikipedia entry is a sheer misrepresentation) -- I think they've got the cast right.

Salman and Kareena were rather good together in Kyon Ki (2005), and there's reason to believe this can work, especially with doses of comedy, Kareena, and an underrated Sohail...*if* debut director Prem Soni gets it right. The soundtrack (Sajid-Wajid; listen at this IndiaFM link) is quite average, with the standouts being 'Don't Say Alvida' by Sonu Nigam and Shreya Ghoshal, and 'Rabba' (Rahat Fateh Ali Khan). Am I the only one who is reminded of Every Breath You Take (The Police) when listening to 'Pyaar Ka Vaada'? Several trailers at the UTV Motion Pictures YouTube channel.

The Salman Khan film I'm really excited about, and more than enough so to see in theaters, is a friendship saga, London Dreams (October 30). The storyline is appealing, the characters (played by Salman, Asin, Ajay Devgan, Om Puri etc.) invoke tremendous curiosity, the music (Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy; listen at this IndiaFM link) makes my top three soundtracks of the year, and they've filmed in my favorite city in Europe (Paris)! Its trailers promise a beautiful balance between style and substance. Comparisons to Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam (1999) and Rock On (2008) will abound, but it appears this is going to be very different.

A few notes on the lyrics by Prasoon Joshi, which are the best of any soundtrack this year. It's fair to say Joshi has officially cemented himself as being in the same league as Gulzar and Javed Akhtar (just saying he's broken the top tier). He's used a style of Persian poetry to weave his magic with words in a couple songs here (in 'Khanabadosh' and 'Jashn Hai Jeet Ka', for example) -- called 'rubaayee' -- which is a level only the very best reach. 'Mann Ko Ati Bhavey' is *perfect* for Salman. 'Khwaab Jo' should be popular in the awards circuit next year, and 'Tapkey Masti' and 'Yaari Bina' are simply marvelous dance tracks. Urban and rustic, beautifully-worded, and one that makes us hope it's translated competently on screen, four stars to this remarkable soundtrack, and many compliments to Joshi and S-E-L for their fine work.

Also on the thirtieth of October is Bollywood's take on the one and only Aladdin, aptly titled 'Aladin'. Generations upon generations (quite literally, we're talking since early eighteenth century!) have grown up reading or listening to Aladdin's tales. But this isn't that Aladdin. It's Aladin Chatterjee (Riteish Deshmukh) and Genius the Genie (Amitabh Bachchan) versus the Ringmaster (Sanjay Dutt), with Jasmine played by newcomer Jacqueline Fernandes. The music (Vishal-Shekhar) is disappointing, but I like Bachchan's casting as the genie; he was great in Bhoothnath (2008). Also like the effort to make Aladin more culturally relevant to India, but not sure of the direction. Regardless, I'll check it out for Amitabh and Sanjay. (Official website: Aladin.ErosEntertainment.com.)

Having said that, I must note that an obvious bias plays into my view -- Disney's Aladdin (1992) happens to be one of my favorite movies of all time. (Who remembers that fantastic platform game on the Sega Mega Drive (aka Genesis in the U.S.) back in the day?) And here are Jasmine and (well...) I =)

Aside: So I was at Goofy's Kitchen at Disneyland (Anaheim) last weekend, that's where the picture's from. Parents -- for kids three to ten years old, this is an incredibly exciting place. For those like me at a child's birthday event, the food absolutely makes up for a lot. (Mickey Waffles, anyone?) If you're ever in Southern California with family, I'd highly, highly recommend you dine there.

Moving on to November, and the sixth sees Katrina Kaif -- check that: KATRINA KAIF! -- opposite Ranbir Kapoor in Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahaani (A Fantastic Tale of Unconventional Love). Ranbir's performance in his [early] October film Wake Up Sid might have only received very positive feedback, and I'm looking forward to its DVD, but we knew since seeing him in Saawariya (2007) that he can act. Here, it's a Rajkumar Santoshi-directed comedy in which he plays yours truly (that's right; read hopeless Katrina admirer :) The soundtrack gets a around three stars for being pleasant -- Aatif Aslam fans, check out his two songs, one with Alisha Chinai. Plenty at the film's official (and rather fun) website: AjabPremKiGhazabKahani.tips.in.

Tum Mile starring Emraan Hashmi and Soha Ali Khan is, per its posters, "a love story that goes beyond romance...", centered around the 26 July 2005 floods in Bombay. Everyone from Bombay knows at least one person who was somehow impacted from the crises of the flood, so there's an obvious interest in the theme. Then, we have two good actors in Emraan and Soha, who have quite a bit to work with here. The music (Pritam) is Emraan standard (i.e. good, here's Darshit's review; listen at this IndiaFM link), with the rock version of the title track being my favorite. (By now, hopefully every mention of Pritam triggers a disclaimer of his inability to not plagiarize. So please remember, there's an excellent chance some tunes to songs in Tum Mile are not original.) Official website: TumMile.in.

And finally, there's Kurbaan, releasing November 27 (that's Thanksgiving Weekend in the U.S.), produced in part by Karan Johar. Starring Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor in a film that carries, from the theatrical trailer, a theme reminiscent of the Pakistani film Khuda Ke Liye (2007). As an Indian American Muslim who has lived in Pakistan, I can vouch for the accuracy and authenticity of Khuda Ke Liye. So, if you plan to see Kurbaan, or if you've seen New York (2009) or plan to see My Name is Khan (2010) -- whew -- please consider Khuda Ke Liye (it was a box office success in India as well) to be mandatory viewing.

Do wish films on a similar subject were better spaced out. Then again, in our celebrity culture, a big star can complain all he wants about an incident at an airport in the west a week after accusing a relatively younger star of disrupting peace with his comments on discrimination when buying a home in Mumbai, so good luck figuring things out. :)

The soundtrack to Kurbaan (Salim-Sulaiman) leaves some to be desired, I'd expected much more. (To be fair, I've only listened to it a couple times.) 'Ali Maula' is the most authentic of the lot. Then again, I might be more of a purist for the genre, so probably not a good critic of its appeal to the masses (but people, that Arabic bit in Shukran Allah could've seriously been better researched and pronounced!). Official website: Kurbaan.com

Release Dates (source: IndiaFM)

Oct 16: All The Best, Blue, Main Aurr Mrs Khanna

Oct 23: Bal Ganesh 2, Shaabash! You Can Do It

Oct 30: Aladin, London Dreams, Love Ka Tadka

Nov 6: Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani, Jail

Nov 13: Dulha Mil Gaya, Tum Mile

Nov 20: Pyaar Impossible, Right Yaaa Wrong

Nov 27: De Dana Dan, Kurbaan


realtor from Vancouver said...

Hi. Thanks for this post. My nephew is a big Bollywood fan and I'm sure he will like it. However, it gave me some inspiration to watch something else than I'm used to. Several years ago I watched few Bollywood movies on one movie festival which name I don't remember but I remember that they didn't charmed me a lot but also didn't disgust me. May be I will change my mind.

Best regards,

Emily said...

I'm very excited for Kurbaan, and there are several other movies on your list I'd love to see if I can find the time to drive all the way to Kansas City for them.

What is Love Ka Tadka about? The name is cute, but I've never heard of it.

bollywooddeewana said...

Good mention about Khuda kay liye, its on British Tv this friday night/saturday morning anyone on this side of the pond should check it out on Channel 4 on saturday at 1:45am


Anonymous said...

Aladdin (1992) is a very inaccurate, Indianized film (Mughali architecture and other culture, a Bengal tiger named Raj and a monkey named Apu etc) ...no wonder so many people likes it!

BTW, doesn't the London Dreams poster look a bit too Americana to you? The stars should've been the lines of the Union Jack instead.

dunkdaft said...

Oooi Maa!! Itni saari releases, aur ek chhoti si jaan? Kinne pichchar dekhunga ?? :D

Really, the movies are showering now. And I m looking so much forward to London Dreams, Tum Mile, Blue [of course], APKGK, Kurbaan and above all Aladin. Phew...

Somehow I wish if Blue can be replaced with Aladin [release dates] Cause Aladin looks perfect for Family Diwali Mazaa. Blue can wait for a week. But.. never mind.

There is something abt Sallu+Bebo jodi, that makes me unexcited for a movie. Don't know why? and also this reminds me another Diwali release of both, Kyun Ki... ; Agree on lyrics of Prasoon Joshi in LD. He is THE guy from this generation who can pull off the Gulzar legacy. He has excellent skill to create world of words on given situation perfectly.

Another mention to Khuda Kay Liye haan? :) really, I think there are no movies needed after that one, cause none will match the finesse of it. It has raised standards to ultrahigh that no one, just no one will ever be able to match.

bollyviewer said...

Thanks for this - I had no idea Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani was releasing so soon. It sounds like fun and its about time Santoshi did another comedy. And after Wake Up Sid, I am ready for more Ranbir - especially with Katrina!

I am pretty excited about Kurbaan, too. Hope it delivers on the promise of its trailer. Khuda Ke Liye is on my to-watch list as well, since I've heard nothing but good things about it. Will try to do them both together, for maximum impact!

theBollywoodFan said...

Jay: I hope you have a better experience with your next round of Bollywood movie-watching. Have you seen Lagaan (2001)? It's available at most rental stores, and is a good one to start out with. You can also check out the many great blogs (listed on the blog roll, see the list in the right sidebar) to get a better sense for what kind of film might work for you. Good luck, welcome to the blog, thank you for your visit and comment, and do visit again!

Emily: Kansas City has cinemas playing Hindi movies! That's neat. Hope you can make time for the movies you want to see. This IndiaFM page has the info on 'Love Ka Tadka' you're looking for, it's Nauheed Cyrusi from 'Anwar' in a romantic comedy.

theBollywoodFan said...

BollywoodDeewana: Thanks for the info! Those in the region have a great opportunity to check it out, then. (Or at least save it for viewing late...a start at 1:45 AM?) Great intro at that link:

"Channel 4 celebrates 'Cinema Pakistan' with a film set across three continents and cultures, Shoaib Mansoor's Khuda Kay Liye explores what it means to be Muslim in today's world."

Anonymous: Agreed on the London Dream poster, maybe they took the 'stars' as in rock stars too literally?! =) Also agree on Aladdin. The tale as it exists in the original text (or at least the edition I read as a child) was quite different. The Rajah's insistence on Jasmine being wed reminds of the many such situations in Hindi films. I hope this Bollywood take has a magic carpet. There's always a chance we give Aladin a Knight Rider of sorts, LOL.

theBollywoodFan said...

Darshit: It's going to be interesting to pick which ones to watch right away. SO far this month, I have BLUE and London Dreams, but that might change. Aladin would've definitely been more of a family film v Blue, no doubt.

Sallu and Bebo should be quite good, I don't see them not doing well, but I do see Bebo doing well with everything, so of course I'm biased. I'm looking for Sohail to act a little here. Somewhere behind that silly character specialist is a decent actor. Doesn't look like he's going to be any different here, from the trailers, but one can hope.

And yes, 'Khuda Ke Liye' has a lot of attention to detail, I wouldn't expect commercial fare, regardless of the cast, to top that either. It's rare to see a fair portrayal of two sides to any story, esp. one involving religion. They obviously got it spot on with each situation they addressed and in each country.

theBollywoodFan said...

Hi Bollyviewer! I'm quite looking forward to Ajab Prem, should be interesting. Song recommendation for you from its soundtrack (all songs streamed at this MusicIndiaOnline link) -- 'Tu Jaane Na (Unplugged)' by Kailash Kher. (There's also a version by Aatif Aslam.) I hope it's featured prominently in the film, because the lead cast (or should we call them...Katbir? :D) could make it quite cool.

I'd be curious to know your thoughts on Khuda Ke Liye. It's not the easiest to consume, as you likely already know. But it's an important film. As is the other really good film from Pakistan (at least this decade, there are two that stand out), 'Ramchand Pakistani'.


ajnabi said...

I couldn't find Khuda Ke Liye on Netflix until I found it misspelled (Kay Liye), so just a note if any of your other readers were confused like I was. :-)

I'm so looking forward to the Kareena films coming out (looks like they both require good acting, which is always a plus with Bebo), and I *might* check out the Katrina/Ranbir film... I think she's beautiful but have no appreciation for her acting. Still, I really like Ranbir so might be convinced into watching it.

theBollywoodFan said...

Thank you Ajnabi, for your note on how Netflix spells the title. Good info!

You know this -- I *always* look forward to seeing Bebo! She has consistently proven that she can act really well, but for some reason, she seems to have been stuck in Jab we Met mode for too long now. It worked great in JWM, but it's about time to move on. You're right about MAMK and Kurbaan simply demanding a lot more, certainly worth looking forward to.

Katrina's done quite well when she's been well cast -- thought she was great in Namastey London, Partner, and Yuvvraaj. Certainly not the best actor out there, but she doesn't need to be. Really looking forward to her in Blue, and like the trajectory of her career. We'll see.

Cheers! Thanks for stopping by.

Filmi Girl said...

Sooooo many movies to look forward to!!

I'm dying to see London Dreams and I agree that the soundtrack is the best of the year so far. :)

All the Best should fulfill my Rohit Shetty cravings.

Aladin looks fantastic - Ritesh Deshmukh is consistently underrated, I think, so I've got high hopes for his turn as a leading man.

Kurbaan I have reservations about - it could either be very mediocre or extremely moving. Fanaa or New York: Lite.

De Dana Dann is guaranteed to be a hit with me - Right Yaaa Wrong looks so cute! (Genelia!) and... let's see... Jail I don't care about - nor Tum Mile.

I'm dreading Pyaar Impossible - Uday looks terrible these days - but Ajab Prem looks adorable.


I'm gearing up for THREE FILMS this weekend! I hope I can get to all three. :)

dunkdaft said...

@ajnabi @tBF

Yaaron, the movie itself spells that way only. its Khuda Kay Liye on posters too :)

theBollywoodFan said...

Filmi Girl: There's so much diversity and power packed in the London Dreams soundtrack. Hope it's a great movie.

Thanks so much for your comment. I totally missed 'De Dana Dan' releasing the 27th, which has Kats, Sameera Reddy (!), and the Hera Pheri lot (Akki, Suniel Shetty and Paresh Rawal)! Now *how* did I miss *that*???!!!

This page doesn't list Genelia in 'Right Yaaa Wrong', I'd watch it for her alone, but only once I watch 'Mere Baap Pehle Aap' which I've had unopened for about a year now. :(

Three in one weekend sounds *amazing*! Have a blast!

Darshit: Hah, that'd make sense, then, wouldn't it? :D I ought to pay more attention to the spelling. Thanks for the alert!

Filmi Girl said...

@thebollywoodfan I think you're right she's in Hook Yaa Crook which has John Abraham(?) maybe in it...

Shellie said...

When it rains it sure pours! I'm ready to through out this umbrella called "no new movies my way" already. I'm hoping that some of the earlier releases are out of video soon so I can at least watch them. I'm seriously thinking of staging a revolt.

theBollywoodFan said...

Filmi Girl: That'd be a neat pairing! High on my wishlist are better roles for Genelia. Difficult to imagine she'd have any issues after Jaane Tu, but again, there's a lot more than meets the eye, surely. Maybe I'll venture into her works from South Indian cinema -- there are enough Bollywood blogging forces leading me to them...for Genelia and Tabu! ;)

Shell: I know, right? I wonder if it was the dry spell during the strike (or holdout, or whatever it was for a couple months earlier in the year, such a distant memory now, thankfully). Talk about a bottleneck!

Good luck with catching up on newer movies on DVD. I feel your pain. Been averaging less than one movie per week over the past couple months, which is ridiculous. Now my to-watch pile of DVDs has too many titles sitting untouched. (Although that's probably football season and the beach at work :) *And* my local theater is playing multiple Hindi films every weekend!

Don't mean to complain about too much of a good thing, though. Come Spring, at least we'll have plenty of DVDs to check out!


theBollywoodFan said...

Related Times of India article: Hit movies, family time - (what) stars want for Diwali


Shellie said...

Thanks for the link to that article. It's nice to read what people are doing for the festival.

Happy Diwale to you and yours!

Bhargav Saikia said...

Like you, I love the music of London Dreams. Great poetry by Prasoon Joshi. I have good expectations from the film..finally a Sallu film to look forward to!

Aladin looks like a fun movie..and the new actress looks just like Jasmine should :-)

And then there's Ajab Prem..Ranbir Kapoor is brilliant..loved him in Wake Up Sid. Of course, lots of expectations from Raj Kumar Santoshi.

theBollywoodFan said...

Shell: Thank you, and hope you had a great Diwali! I certainly did out here, fun times with friends (we call ourselves the 'Bombay-wala gang' ;) and plenty of Bollywood-themed games! Really enjoyed your Diwali post at this link at your blog.

Bhargav: Absolutely, every trailer of 'London Dreams' has me looking forward to the film. Should be fun. Not sure about that Jasmine, to be honest.

Can't wait to see Katrina (!!) in Ajab Prem! :) Hope you had a great Diwali.

theBollywoodFan said...

Kurbaan will now release on November 20, per this Bollywood Hungama news story.

Anonymous said...

Khuda Ke Liye kept me hooked until the end. However I found the ending really tame and a big compromise from the movie maker. I hope we are talking about the same movie ie the british raised pakistani girl being forcibly married off to her cousin in Pakistan by her dad. Through out the movie, she is trying her best to escape from her situation but in the end she decides to stay on and set up a local school or something. I think that was not a realistic end at all. As a woman, I could empathise with her character all along. Any woman would have made her escape when she finally got one as shown in the film. The ending in the film was too idealistic and some what spoilt the movie for me. Yes an excellent movie indeed in portraying some tough realities in modern context

Anon from DU!

theBollywoodFan said...

Anon from DU! Good to hear from you, and sorry for my late reply, yaar. Interesting take on Khuda Ke Liye, we are referring to the same film. You've got it, it's that she wasn't the common woman to just flee. Too idealistic is exactly what it is, but really, it's encouraging that way too. Someone who's been through what she went through would just be more motivated to ensure others didn't have to go through the same horrific experiences.

Hope you are well. How was your trip to India?