Fenil and Bollywood

Posts Tagged ‘punjabi kudi

By Bollywood Hungama News Network, September 14, 2009 – 16:13 IST

Dil Bole Hadippa! A young, super-excited fan of Bollywood Hungama.com, Anita couldn’t help sharing her review of Dil Bole Hadippa with us after she caught a sneak peek of the highly anticipated film at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). Read on to find out if the movie lived up to her expectations.

For all of you who have been waiting to see Dil Bole Hadippa (DBH) and Rani Mukherjee’s triumphant return, you will not be disappointed. DBH was what Ta Ra Rum Pum and Thoda Pyaar Thoda Magic should have been, a light-hearted Indian-flavoured family entertainer from Yash Raj Films. It’s good to see that both Rani and YRF have returned to the formula that we all know and love.

The film starts out with Veera Kaur (Rani Mukherjee), a hardcore typical Punjabi kudi who is completely obsessed with cricket. She’s so confident of her abilities that she boldly claims that she can hit six sixes in a row, even when a pro pitcher takes her up on the bet. Veera also works alongside Shanno (Rakhi Sawant) and others in a dance troupe that performs regularly. Of course, while they perform, she’s backstage playing cricket with the kids, which is extremely endearing.

Enter into the story Rohan Kapoor (Shahid Kapoor) and his father Vikram Kapoor (Anupam Kher). Rohan is an accomplished cricket player in England who has lived there for many many years. Vikram somehow convinces Rohan to come to India and be by his side.

Dil Bole Hadippa! Vikram’s close childhood friend, Liyaqat Ali Khan (Dilip Tahil) is from Lahore, Pakistan. To foster peace between the two nations, the friends have set up an annual Peace Cup. Vikram asks Rohan to captain the Amritsar team and lead them to victory.

When Rohan comes across Veera for the first time, her adorably bad English and her defensive patriotism catch him completely off guard. She’s most definitely like no one he’s met before. Veera finds out that the Amritsar cricket team is holding tryouts for selection. She gets extremely excited and runs off to become the town’s new batting star. Unfortunately, when she goes to the tryout, the security guards and the rest of the men in line scoff at the notion that a woman could play cricket with them. Rani is heartbroken.

Rani realizes that she can dress up as a man and possibly fool the cricketers into letting her onto the team! Rani freaks out when she sees that the same foreign jerk who annoyed her, Rohan, is the captain. She stumbles and lies and tells him her name is Veer Pratap Singh. Veer succeeds in impressing Rohan and is accepted into the team.

After a lot of fun-filled moments between Rohan, Veera and Veer Pratap Singh, its time for the final cricket match.

Dil Bole Hadippa! Overall, I would definitely recommend Dil Bole Hadippa. It’s been a while since I’ve seen a movie that doesn’t take itself so seriously. I really liked that aspect of DBH. Plus, if you’re a Rani fan, this is most definitely the movie for you. She is beyond amazing and she is back like she’s never been before. Shahid is pretty much the most adorable thing ever and also a good reason to check out the film.

Anita can be reached at http://wasabi-girl1.livejournal.com/233500.html

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein or statements made in the above column are solely those of the blogger, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Bollywood Hungama. Bollywood Hungama accepts no legal liability or responsibility for any claims made or opinions expressed herein.

BRAZILIAN BEAUTY: Giselle Monteiro

HARSHADA REGE Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; Aug 6, 2009)

Who’s that girl — that’s the question everyone is asking after watching Saif Ali Khan swoon over Punjabi kudi Harleen Kaur in his new film. Well, she is Brazilian model Giselle Monteiro, 20 who can barely speak a few Hindi words. As to how she landed herself a Bollywood film, Giselle smiles, “I came to Mumbai early last year and within 20 days I was signed for this film. I was at a photoshoot when someone told me that Imtiaz Ali is looking for a foreigner to play Saif ’s girlfriend. It was a small role, but I thought I’d give it a shot, and when I went for the audition, Imtiaz felt I would be perfect as Harleen.”

Giselle’s not new to the arclights. The lovely lass began modelling back home when she was only 17. “My dad told me that if I want to carry on studying I will have to fund myself. That’s how I got into modelling. Also, I wanted to travel, so I left home and travelled around the world,” she says. From Europe to Hong Kong to Thailand and finally India, Giselle is now at home in Mumbai. She wasn’t surprised she was asked to play a Punjabi girl. “I’m often asked if I’m an Indian, so coming to India and exploring the market here was always on my mind. Luckily for me, I was playing a shy girl in the film, so I didn’t have much dialogue,” she laughs. “Right now, all I can say is chai lao and namaste… but people come up and try to talk to me in Hindi.”

She’s in a steady, long-distance relationship with a boy back home. “Marcos hasn’t seen my Bollywood film yet,” she says. And it’s doubtful if she will be able to go home to share its success with him, for Bollywood has taken notice of the Brazilian beauty. “I haven’t signed anything as of now. I have to start attending language classes and, most importantly, dance classes. It’s really difficult to cope with the jhatkas, but I am getting into the Bollywood groove now,” she says.
Why should this Brazilian model, Giselle Monteiro, play a Punjabi kudi, when we have so many kudis in India? Ask Imtiaz Ali
By Subhash K Jha (MUMBAI MIRROR; August 02, 2009)

Giselle Monteiro

Anyone who’s seen Love Aaj Kal, has come away wondering who ‘Harleen’ is. Her name hasn’t appeared in the credits. Evidently there’s a good reason for it. This Punjabi kudi isn’t a Punjabi kudi at all. She’s a 19-year-old Brazilian model called Giselle Monteiro who couldn’t speak Hindi or dance to save her life, at one point in time. And director Imtiaz Ali didn’t want to let out that a Brazilian was playing his Punjabi kudi — and so put off audiences.

In the film, she’s the one who is wooed and won by the Sardar Saif. And yes, the sequence showing her dancing at her engagement drove the entire unit up the wall. Apparently our Brazilian babe just couldn’t get the steps right. Says Imtiaz, “We wanted to put her through the paces with Sarojji (choreographer Saroj Khan). But it never happened. Sarojji didn’t have the time. For a foreigner to get the Indian adaa right is very tough. We take for granted those nakhra-jhatka-matkas which we’ve seen our sisters perform at weddings. Indian girls have those adaas without being trained. But for a foreigner it is tough. Giselle could’ve done with a bit more training.”

She’s Brazilian!

Giselle Monteiro

Even when Harleen became visible in the trailers she remained   inaccessible to the public. Imtiaz says, “Why a Brazilian girl to play an old-fashioned Punjabi girl? Well, I was auditioning girls from all over the country to play the Punjabi girl opposite the Sikh Saif. I couldn’t find the right girl to play the 1965 ki gali mein rehne wali ladki, purane zamane ki.”

Then one day Giselle walked into Imtiaz’s office for another part.   “Giselle came to me to play Jo, Saif’s Caucasian girlfriend in the second-half. She wasn’t right for Jo. But my wife who was there suggested Giselle   for Harleen. I turned and looked at Giselle and realised she is Brazil’s Harleen. She didn’t know how to speak Hindi. But she had only two lines to speak, which we dubbed.”

Significantly Giselle understood the old-world values of her small-town character better than an urban Indian actress would have. Says Imtiaz, “The small-town mentality in every part of the world is similar.”

Love Aaj Kal2

Very rarely do you come across a film which fulfills all your expectations and in fact, provides more than expected. This year, however, we were mostly bombarded with some pathetic flicks. But behold as Love Aaj Kal has arrived! The film sees love and relationships in a new light but what works big time is its terrific execution and smart storytelling. Love Aaj Kal is surely one of the most refreshing romantic flicks to come out of Bollywood!

The story of the movie: Jai (Saif Ali Khan) and Meera (Deepika Padukone) is a modern-day couple based in London. They are always together but are clueless whether they can be categorized as ‘boyfriend-girlfriend’! Meera gets an opportunity to move to Delhi which she doesn’t want to miss while Jai is soon going to be at San Francisco. Jai and Meera conclude that their long-distance relationship won’t work and thus, decide to break-up (happily). At this point, Jai comes across veteran Veer Singh (Rishi Kapoor) who is shocked to see how Jai treats relationships and break them so easily. He is of the view that the present generation can’t understand love. Love is that trap in which he got entangled 4 decades back when he was the dashing and cool Delhiite Veer (played by Saif again) and when he came across Harleen Kaur (Giselle Monteiro). Jai laughs at Veer as to how he had travelled thousand kilometers from Delhi to Calcutta just to catch a glimpse of Harleen.

Jai-MeeraVeer-Harleen-both these ‘love stories’ were poles apart and of different generations. But love is the same as it was 4 decades back. Jai soon realizes that he’s having the same feeling and experience that Veer must have gone through when he fell in love with Harleen!

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The opening scenes give a strong indication that Love Aaj Kal is a different and unique film. During the opening credits, the glimpse of the scenes to follow is shown but yet, you won’t be able to guess what’s going to happen in the film! The execution and editing really works wonders in this film!

The first half of this film is very interesting and surprising. The way the couple break-up was indeed hilarious! Jai and Meera keeping in touch with all modern-day means of communication (sms, call, internet, Mobile Internet) makes you smile. And the eternal Jai-Harleen cute love story also flashes a smile on one’s face, albeit for a different reason!

Telling two stories that run parallel in a film is not easy but Imtiaz executes them with élan and even intersects them wonderfully, a la Rang De Basanti style! Also, the film, especially in the 2nd half reminds one of Jaane Tu…Ya Jaane Na.

The film gets slow and drags at few places in the 2nd half. But the final 30 minutes compensates for the cons. The film manages to show a true picture of today’s confused individuals who fail to think rationally before taking big decisions and denounce and detest love.

When it comes to performances, each one is brilliant in their place. Saif Ali Khan shines wonderfully and manages to come up with one of the outstanding performances of his career. He had two diverse roles in the film and he performed both of them perfectly. It was a treat to see Saif as Jai getting confused, irritated, sad, shocked-all at once in a couple of sequences. At the same time, he looked like a convincing Sikh and was extremely likeable as Veer Singh too. It’s great to see Saif in another modern and fresh love story (after Salaam|Namaste) and this time, he scores as the producer too. He’s definitely on a roll!

Deepika Padukone was simply outstanding and gives a charming performance. Her brilliant job will surely put an end to all speculation regarding why Kareena was not casted in her place. Deepika was perfect for her role and she and Saif look excellent together. Love Aaj Kal would surely be another feather in her cap. Great going, Deepika!

Rishi Kapoor also manages to impress as much as Saif and Deepika. Everyone will surely love him in the still-young-at-heart role. After Luck By Chance, this is surely another brilliant performance from this actor. The one who enacted the role of Harleen is actually a Brazlian, Giselle Monteiro. Yet, she is likeable as the Punjabi kudi of the 60s. Only someone like Imtiaz Ali can extract such fine desi performance from a firangi! Rahul Khanna is as usual charming. It’ll be great if he gets the role of protagonist too! Neetu Kapoor comes in unexpectedly! Raj Zutshi and others were okay.

Love Aaj Kal5

One can argue that songs weren’t necessary in the film. Quite true, since many songs crop up unexpectedly and the film could have been a romantic songless flick! However, although songs at several places weren’t necessary, it doesn’t bore or put a brake on the narrative. And the songs itself are so good that one doesn’t mind! Pritam scores a sixer with this album and is surely one of his best compositions. Also, songs are also very well picturised, esp ‘Mein Kya Hoon’. It was just outstanding and also impactful. ‘Ajj Din Chadeya’, the best song of the film in my view, also brings a smile on one’s face, even though only the initial part of the song is played in the film. Rest of the songs, ‘Twist’, ‘Dooriyaan’, ‘Chor Bazaari’ and ‘Thoda Thoda Pyaar’ are brilliant too!

Irshad Kamil’s lyrics also deserve a special mention. The way he has used some unusual words in songs is extraordinary. For instance, in Chor Bazaari, the word ‘ghatna’, which is never before heard in any song before, is used here!

N Natarajan Subramaniam’s cinematography was flawless. It’s great to see the lensman didn’t show the popular landmarks of the city in which film is shot. For instance, in scenes of London, not even a single scene or frame show Tower Bridge, Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square or any other popular London landmark. Similarly, Red Fort and India Gate are missing in the Delhi sequences! It is little things like these that make Love Aaj Kal special!

Salim-Sulaiman’s background score, as expected, was top-notch. Aarti Bajaj’s editing was sharp, slick and brilliant. Watch the film and you’ll get my point! Production design was marvelous and eye-catching, especially in the sepia coloured 60’s scenes!

Finally, Imtiaz Ali, the writer and director, comes out with flying colours! His debut film, Socha Na Tha flopped but it was noticed and appreciated by moviegoers. His second offering, Jab We Met, succeeded across the country. And now with his third flick, he has surely been hailed as the one of the finest directors of our country. The way he treated both the diverse stories and found out striking similarities is worth appreciating and extra ordinary! Also, it’s fabulous to see Imtiaz comparing Calcutta and San Francisco. Both the cities have a tram network and if SF has the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, Calcutta have the rustic Howrah Bridge! Hats off Imtiaz for your wonderful effort!

Some of the best scenes of the film:

  1. All songs (well shot and picturised)
  2. Jai and Meera’s break-up
  3. Jai and Veer Singh’s conversations (damn interesting!)
  4. Jai and Meera at the airport
  5. All scenes of Veer-Harleen’s love story
  6. Drunk Jai escorting drunk Meera to her home
  7. The New Year’s eve at Delhi
  8. The marriage
  9. The last 30 mins, including the SF scenes!

On the whole, Love Aaj Kal is a very interesting take on the modern relationships and surely emerges as one of the best films of the year. Performances, songs, cinematography rocks but it is Imtiaz Ali’s touch which works wonders! Highly recommended!

My rating-**** ½ out of 5!

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