Fenil and Bollywood

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Everyone knows Kangna Ranaut, the accomplished actress of today. Here, she talks of her past and how it has made her the person she is

By Indu Mirani (MUMBAI MIRROR; December 29, 2009)


• What sort of a child were you?

I was very quiet. I used to suck my thumb. Other kids would never play with me and I would be sitting in one corner. There was something very strange about me. I didn’t live in the present. I was always in a dream world. I would be dreaming about the shows that I watched like Aladdin or Snow White and I would want to go to their world. My father would hate that I sucked my thumb, he would slap me and put my finger down and then I would cry.

• Were your parents strict with you?

I was never a naughty child, never troubled my mother. If you ask my parents they will say that I was very quiet, very peaceful and very scared of them. If they asked me to sit somewhere after five hours I would still be there. (laughs)

• Did you lead a very restricted life?

Yeah, I did. I wasn’t allowed to leave home after 6 o’clock so I would always make sure that I would go out late in the night. Then when my parents would say something like, ‘Andhera ho gaya hai, tum late aayi,’ I would just say ‘yes’. Slowly I became a person who wouldn’t listen to anyone. My father would be very upset with the clothes that I would wear. I don’t know what I wanted to prove. Now when I go home, I usually wear a salwaar kameez and wonder, why was I torturing them? (laughs)

A lot of the restriction came from living in a joint family. I remember having the biggest fights with my grandfather and every one’s jaw would just drop. Nobody had the guts to answer back to him and I was only 12 when I started doing so. He is an IAS officer and had lived all his life in Mumbai and for some strange reason he would always say that first all the males of the family would eat and then the females. I didn’t approve of rules like that and would insist on joining the men at the table. He would leave the table. My parents were quite embarrassed because of me.

• When was the first time you fell in love?

I was quite young. He was my English teacher, a very good looking guy and I was just a 13-year-old. That was the time I became aware of my sexuality. We were very comfortable with each other because he had been my teacher since I was eight or nine. But when I was thirteen and he would say, ‘Beta come here..’ or something like that, I would think what’s wrong with him, he doesn’t have to talk this way (laughs aloud). That was a beautiful romance because in my mind I used to romance him and he would be teaching me.

• How does living in a small town (Manali) compare to living in Mumbai?

These are two completely different worlds. This one is completely fake and that one is the real world. In Manali people live with animals. They feed them fodder and clean them too. So much of nature is involved there that you stay balanced. Here you deal with cars, roads, buildings and if you see a beggar, you treat him like a building and you treat a building like a human being. There is no reality here. I see so much of balance there, I see no balance here.

• What were you studying in Delhi?

Basically I went there for my vacations and then I decided to take admission in some college. Then I met a few people there and got into theatre. If you ask me honestly, I cannot recollect that time. I was like an animal, just wandering around. If someone was going to a modelling agency, I too would go with that person. I wasn’t aware of my actions at all which is a very pathetic and shameful way to live but I was living a life like that.

• So coming to Mumbai was also a part of that life?

Yes, my agency Elite sent me to Mumbai. I didn’t ask why I am going to Mumbai or what I will do in Mumbai. I came to Mumbai because I thought everybody came to Mumbai after Delhi. Then one fine day I stopped taking calls from the agency. I stopped going to the auditions. I used to go to town taking trains to give auditions and then within seven days of it all I was fed up. Then I said, ‘Forget it! I am not going to any audition as I don’t get any work.’

• Isn’t it all difficult for a young girl to manage?

It is and that’s what gets you into trouble. How do people get into problems? Actually they are the biggest problems for themselves. I got carried away with the life here, the nightlife, discos and the whole city life.

• You didn’t have any aspirations?

From childhood I would tell my parents and I would become somebody very famous. They used to be very rude to me when I would say this but for me it was always a matter of fact. I knew I was going to be what I wanted to be even if I had no idea what that was.

• And when you were rejected at the auditions, did it  dent in your confidence?

It did. I went through a lot of insecurities. I was leading a very random life for a year before I got Gangster. Before that too, I was supposed to do a few films. I didn’t have any concept of A grade or B grade cinema. I had hardly seen 10 films in my life. So if someone said, come to this audition, we want to sign a film with you, I would sign it. Fortunately for me, those films never took off. My parents would tell me that I would never be anyone and they would say all sort of negative things and I would think maybe they were right. I would think of myself as a loser in every sense, not only professionally but also in my personal life. That would scare me but also it wouldn’t last.

• Is there anything that you hated about yourself and wanted to change?

I hated everything about myself, my life, everything. When I came here, I was very uncomfortable about the clothes that I wore. I used to wear those really cheap clothes, buy them from streets and wear them and I would look so funny. I used to feel funny, not that I looked funny. Those dresses were not appropriate and no one should go out on the streets in them. They were fine for parties but I had no concept of what to wear and when. And I looked like a 16-year-old coming from some village trying to be modern. Not that I was dumb, I was intelligent but it was just so weird that people kept looking at me not very respectfully and I hated being so uncomfortable. If I had been wearing just jeans and a T-shirt, nobody would have noticed me. That was worse because if you are looking for assignments and modelling work and if nobody notices you then it’s terrible. So I was uncomfortable in every way. I never became friendly with anyone. Life was strange without parents, proper food, proper house, nothing at all in place. I hated everything around me and the way I was. I would go on for weeks and weeks without thinking where I was heading. That was a phase I remember and someday I will definitely make a movie on that.

• Was there peer pressure to do things?

I would do whatever others did. It didn’t matter if I liked it or not. It wasn’t peer pressure definitely but because I wanted to be one of them or maybe I wanted to prove that I belonged to this world, I went on like that for years and years. I didn’t hate it at that point of time. If I would have hated it, I would have changed it. But I had no clue what was wrong with my life. It took me two years to realise who I really am. Not that I hated it but I wasn’t happy either.

Were you lonely?

Loneliness was never a problem because whenever I was lonely I would do something that would make me happy. My problem was that I had too many people around me and they never let me be alone. Before I became an actress, I would go for auditions with people, have coffee and come back, normal life, not very different from Delhi. Then after I became an actress, there were designers, ADs, people who roam around the whole day on the sets. They kind of open those doors for you. You get shocked with what is happening around you but you don’t show it. This is how your new life starts and it just takes over.

• You also got into some wrong relationships

Well, when you get into a relationship it’s not wrong at that point of time and I won’t consider anything wrong with them. For me, I have been in two relationships till now, and both have been beautiful in their own way. It was I who was a random soul, and I still am. I still have so many things to learn in life. I am not a perfect person, nobody is perfect. So whatever experience one goes through is because of oneself.

Did you at anytime realise that you were in relationship that you shouldn’t be in?

See, relationships are not that important in my life. I don’t feel any pressure to say that love means everything and blah blah! For me, I don’t think love is something which will make me complete. It’s who I am. I have something to prove and I have a strong urge to do certain things in life. And if I don’t do that, I will be a very unhappy person. I never gave that kind of priority to any relationship. If I would have done that I would have been in a happy relationship and an unhappy career. I am clear about my priorities now. People at times judge me. They say that she says her priority is her career and her ambitions… but that’s ok. I am not ashamed of the fact that it actually is.

Today I am done with dating. Now if I get into a relationship, it will be with a proper plan. Now I would want to be with a man with whom I can see a future and give it more time and energy. If I see a man turning into my husband in the near future then only will I go ahead with a relationship. This is what life or age does to you. You can preserve your innocence but at the same time you cannot deny the fact that you cannot sometimes take another chance with life.

• So that means you are not going to fall wildly in love now because you are first going to look into the husband aspect of it.

Yeah. That’s true actually; otherwise I have always fallen in love first and then seen the right and wrong of it.

• You are too young to reach this decision. At this age people are still having flings.

Yes, if you start little late. But I started too early. (laughs) I started at 16. (laughs loudly)

• Are you still edgy?

That’s a very difficult question because to explain who I was is very difficult even for me. I mean nobody knows who they really are. Right now, I am definitely not the person who I want to be. There is still a lot to achieve but I am also definitely not the person I hated to be. I am okay now, peaceful,  but I want to be a better person in future. I am sure the better part of me is still to come.

Who do you want to be?

I just want to be a person whose very presence makes people smile. I want to have positivity and grace as a woman. When I came here, I was a tomboy. Not even a tomboy, I was something between a guy and a girl. I want to be a nicer human being so that when I look at myself I should feel proud of myself. Right now I don’t feel proud of myself. Earlier I used to feel shit about me. Whatever I said, I did, everything was wrong. I would always say the wrong thing at the right time. Now I don’t do those things which make me hate myself. I don’t beat myself up everyday when I go home. I am peaceful. But I am not even the person who would be so proud of herself.

• Are you ever fake?

Yes, I sometimes say things for the sake of saying things. Like the most common thing that I would say, “How are you?” makes me feel so fake. I prefer to say, “Kaise hain aap?” that makes me realise what I am saying. When I say it, I do really mean, kaise hain aap? So I am watching myself.

• When you were in trouble at any point in your life, have you taken any favours from your friends?

I have never ever taken any favour from anyone in my life. I have never called up any friend to discuss my problems or ask them for solutions. I have really great friends who claim to stand by my side when I am in trouble. I have been in trouble but never had the courage to test them because if my time was already bad, I wouldn’t want one more shock. So I never really tested my friends.

• When you say you never had the courage, you mean you were scared that they would not be by your side?

I don’t know. I never had the courage to discuss my problems with people around. I have always shown the happier side of me and I will continue to do that. It’s not my friend’s duty or concern to help me out with my troubles. I think it’s unfair to do so.

The presence of friends makes me uncomfortable. It distracts me from the situation. It’s the same with my parents. Even in childhood when I was in trouble, I would lock myself up in my room and would not leave my room until I had solved the problem. I have a lot of faith in my strength but parents and friends get so weak and I just think handling them is much more difficult than handling the situation.

• How do you manage to look so different in every film? Is it deliberate?

Honestly, it is. It bores me to death to be the same because for me it’s a character that I have to get into. So I change everything that I can. So I kind of do the fun things so people are shocked but I don’t like myself looking the same all the time.

Sometimes it can be embarrassing. Recently, at the Paa premiere, one of my co-stars was treating me like a fan. It was only when I said, ‘I am Kangna,’ that he realised that it was me. It’s so embarrassing, we work together for 60 days and they don’t recognise me. It has happened with me a lot. When I was in theatre, my guru used to tell me that it is a blessing in disguise. At times he would give me a guy’s role. He said that you have a face which can be moulded into anything. But another thing that really matters is whether my hair is curly or straight. It changes me so much that sometimes I too wonder about the look. It’s very good for a double role though.

By IANS (Mid-Day; December 26, 2009)

Vishal Bhardwaj’s production venture “Ishqiya” faced the censor board’s ire for using the word ‘sex’ in its promos. But the ban has been lifted, giving respite to the producers.

The film has a scene where actor Arshad Warsi uses the three letter word, but it did not go down very well with the censor board.

Bhardwaj and his co-producers managed to convince the board members that the word was needed, and they finally gave their nod.

“It was initially decided that the word would be beeped and we gave an application for it to the revising committee, that comprises six-seven members. We had to convince them and make them understand that the word is essential for the film and the dialogue,” Mansi Maroo, co-producer of the film, said on phone from Mumbai.

With the censor board’s approval, the producers will re-launch the promos with the word audible.

“The dialogue lost its impact because of the ‘beep’ and now our whole plan has been delayed. In order to rectify things, we will have to re-do the scene and launch another promo with the word audible,” she said.

Asked if Bhardwaj too accompanied the other producers to the meeting with the censor board, Maroo added: “Vishal did not go for the meeting but he did have talks with the censor board people.”

Set in eastern Uttar Pradesh, “Ishqiya” is a tale of romance between individuals caught in a web of crime, suspense, passion and deceit. Directed by debutant Abhishek Chaubey, the film also stars Naseeruddin Shah and Vidya balan in pivotal roles.

Maroo also revealed that such procedures create hindrance in the film’s promotion.

“We have lost two-weeks of right promotion.”

“However, we are glad that finally we were heard and our job was done,” she added.

IANS tried to contact censor board chief Sharmila Tagore, but she was not available.

“Ishqiya” is slated to release Jan 29.

At the Paa premiere, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan bonded with Ranbir Kapoor, making him blush as she recalled that he was caught sketching her secretly the first time they met in 1999

By Preeta Rao (MUMBAI MIRROR; December 17, 2009)


The lives of the Bachchans and the Kapoors seem to be intertwined on many levels. First, it was Amitabh Bachchan’s daughter Shweta who married Nikhil Nanda, a Kapoor prodigy (Raj Kapoor is his maternal grandfather).

Then there was Abhishek’s romance with Karisma Kapoor, which ended soon after they got engaged. And now Ranbir Kapoor seems to be completely floored by the Bachchan bahu, Aishwarya Rai.

At the premiere of Paa about two weeks ago, the Bachchans and the Kapoors were seen mingling like never before. Ranbir walked up to Ash and gave her a warm hug, while Abhishek played the cordial host. After ten minutes of the Aishwarya-Ranbir interaction, Abhishek was seen running to his beloved wife, with a tinge of insecurity masked by his courteous smile.

Before Abhishek could enquire about what was brewing between the two, Aishwarya took Abhishek into a flashback, to the sets of Rishi Kapoor’s Aa Ab Laut Chalen. This was in 1999, when Ranbir and Aishwarya met for the very first time. Apparently, while Rishi and Aishwarya were engrossed in a serious discussion over a shot, Ranbir, who was then assisting his father, was seated next to them unnoticed, busy making a sketch. But even before Ranbir could finish his sketch, his dad pulled across the notepad and caught Ranbir secretly sketching Aishwarya.

As Aishwarya narrated this funny incident to Abhishek, he seemed quite amused while Ranbir couldn’t stop blushing.

By Taran Adarsh, December 11, 2009 – 17:13 IST

Some films absorb you instantly, from the very outset. But it takes time to get into the world of a salesman who thinks from his heart.

Come to think of it, ROCKET SINGH – SALESMAN OF THE YEAR is about a simpleton, but the story of his struggle and accomplishment isn’t the kind that would charge you or make you charter a similar path in life. Also, the story of an underdog who comes up the hard way should make you feel euphoric in the end, right? But ROCKET SINGH – SALESMAN OF THE YEAR doesn’t.

BY BOLLYWOOD HUNGAMA.COM

Frankly, ROCKET SINGH – SALESMAN OF THE YEAR is more of a documentary on the life of a salesman. It’s a decent film, no two opinions on that, but the question is, [a] Is the story powerful enough to excite you and [b] Does it grab your attention in entirety? Sadly, the answer to both the questions is in the negative.

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There’s another problem and this is strictly from the point of those seeking entertainment. A Yash Raj film with Ranbir Kapoor [after AJAB PREM KI GHAZAB KAHANI] essaying the title role, coupled with fun-filled promos [‘Pocket Mein Rocket Hain’] might make you assume that it would offer loads of entertainment, but this has barely a song or two, as good as no romance and hardly any comic moments – the recipe for most Hindi movies.

In a nutshell, ROCKET SINGH – SALESMAN OF THE YEAR is a dull and dry experience.

Harpreet Singh Bedi [Ranbir Kapoor] has just graduated and his marks are, well, let’s say a little embarrassing. But marks never stopped him from dreaming of an exciting and adventurous career, and they never will.

He takes a deep, positive breath and dives into the world of sales, rumoured to be an ultra cool career. It’s everything he dreamt of, with its smooth dressing, smoother talking men and women who can sell ice to an Eskimo, dreams to an insomniac and a lifetime mobile connection to a dying man. But soon, his idea of success begins clashing with the strange ways of these ‘professionals’ and ‘bosses’ he looked up to.

ROCKET SINGH – SALESMAN OF THE YEAR may be based on a simpleton’s life, but the viewer gets a hang of things only towards the second hour. The entire first hour is devoted to establishing the characters and also getting used to the way sales persons go about their business.

There’s not much excitement in the first hour, barring a few attention-grabbing scenes that pop up intermittently. The story just flows, with the viewer not reacting much to the proceedings. But things change for better towards the post-interval portions when the protagonist and his colleagues’ lives get complicated.

At least two sequences deserve a mention here. The first, when Ranbir and his boss have a lengthy telephonic conversation. The second, when the boss realises his folly and apologises to Ranbir. But, unfortunately, the culmination to the story doesn’t give the feeling of euphoria or victory. Ideally speaking, it should have. That’s one of the reasons why the impact is missing.

Shimit Amin is an efficient storyteller and he has been most faithful to the plot, but if the plot itself has its limitations, there’s not much he can do to boost the proceedings. Jaideep Sahni has had the courage to narrate a new story, but the story is one-dimensional. Also, there screenplay is devoid of songs, romance and entertainment, which will go against the film completely.

Salim-Sulaiman’s background score is effectual. Vikash Nowlakha’s cinematography is alright.

Ranbir Kapoor is an exceptional actor and ROCKET SINGH – SALESMAN OF THE YEAR mirrors this fact. The actor underplays his part beautifully, which only goes to prove that he’s equally at ease essaying straight-out-of-life roles. Prem Chopra is exceptional. A number of new faces enact pivotal roles here, but the ones who stand out are Ranbir’s boss Puri and colleague Nitin. Both are fantastic.

D. Santosh is first-rate. Gauhar Khan leaves a strong impression. Shazahn Padamsee doesn’t get any scope.

On the whole, ROCKET SINGH – SALESMAN OF THE YEAR is more of a documentary on the life of a salesman. Lack of music, romance and entertainment, coupled with zilch hype, will go against the film. A colossal disappointment!

AB Corp inks deal with Prabhu Devaa

By Kunal M Shah (MUMBAI MIRROR; November 24, 2009)


Several production houses want to make a film with Prabhu Devaa post Wanted, but it is AB Corp that has managed to sign the director.

AB Corp has finalised the deal with him for a film with Abhishek Bachchan in the lead role. Boney Kapoor and Sajid Nadiadwala were also in the race to make a film with Prabhu Devaa, industry buzz reveals. But for the time being, it looks like AB Corp has won. Our source said, “Prabhu Devaa narrated the idea to Abhishek around 20 days ago and he loved it instantly and immediately agreed to do it. So now, Prabhu Devaa is busy working on the script. The film is a typical Prabhu Devaa film with an abundance of romance and heavy action. The film will go on the floors around June next year.” Abhishek Bachchan played safe, “We are talking about working together. Nothing is confirmed as of now.”

Abhishek Bachchan Prabhu Devaa

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I am out of the theatre and still thinking, “Is this the same Rajkumar Santoshi who gave some hard-hitting and intense films for a long time?”. Yup, he directed Andaz Apna Apna but that was like some 15-16 years ago. Post-AAA, he came up with close to dozen intense and almost realistic films. A certain image of Santoshi was carved out thanks to his kind of films. But with Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani, he breaks that image and proves that he STILL can come up with solid youthful entertainers! Sweet, witty, little absurd… Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani succeeds completely in making you laugh!

The story of the movie: Prem (Ranbir Kapoor) lives in a town called Mount Valley and runs ‘Happy Club’ in the coffin shop of one of his friends’ father! He is carefree, happy and wants to make others happy. A case of mistaken identity leads him to meeting Jenny (Katrina Kaif). He soon falls in love with her but doesn’t profess even though both he and Jenny become thick pals. The reason-both are as different as chalk and cheese. To begin with, Prem is the son of a staunch Hindu while Jenny is Catholic. Jenny wants her dream man to be literate and who works hard for his family. But Prem is 9th standard pass and doesn’t work at all. And lastly, Prem is a vegetarian and Jenny is not (or is she?)! And does Jenny feel the same for Prem? Or does she love someone else?

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Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani is a different entertainer, esp in terms of storytelling and execution. Every director in Bollywood attempting a comic film takes a usual stereotypical route. But RS doesn’t show any such signs. He treats the plot in his own way. Either he knew it would work or maybe, he himself was little confused and misfit for the film! But whatever maybe the reason, the end product rocks!

If one is looking forward to some sense, logic and intelligent comedy, then Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani is not for them! The film abounds in complete loud entertainment and also in absurdity at times. However, it gives equal importance to romance and scores here too. In fact, it maintains a fine balance between romance and comedy and delivers a fab rom-com to the viewers!

Some scenes rock in the film and make you laugh loudly! Ranbir’s entry in the beginning itself is hilarious! The following kidnapping sequence and the weird misunderstanding that crops up in Katrina’s mind was damn funny! Note how a sad song is incorporated in the beginning itself when the prem kahani has just begun, unlike in other films where tragic kind of tracks are mostly towards the end. It’s a novel film as I said!

The film gets a bit slow in the 2nd half and the song ‘Tu Jaane Na’ in this hour stops the flow of narrative. That’s one glitch in the film besides the title of the film. It sounds cool but doesn’t suit the film completely. The explanation for the title was done towards but still it didn’t justify. But fortunately, no one’s complaining nowadays about incorrect titles. Films like All The Best and Wanted were also so named although there was no connection between the title and the content!

The film belongs to Ranbir Kapoor, without a shred of doubt! He was extremely lovable and does an extraordinary job. He was funny during comic scenes without going overboard even in a single place. At the same time, he scores in emotional scenes as well. Watch out for him when he keeps on regretting about Jenny but at the same time, tells his pals to change the topic. And how can I forget-the club scene where he dances flawlessly and comically a la Shammi Kapoor! That sequence would have been just another funny scene if it was not for Ranbir. With such great job in all his 4 films that has released till now, Ranbir proves that he’s soon gonna be the next superstar! Fortunately, we’ll get to see him soon in Rocket Singh and Rajneeti. Ranbir is supposed to have strong roles in both the films. This Kapoor boy is definitely on a roll!

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Katrina Kaif was equally good as Ranbir and surprises one and all with such a fab performance. Earlier, she used to face the criticism that she is famous only because of her looks. But all this will stop now for sure. With Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani, she has proved that she can act well and can maintain an important position in the film even in front of a powerhouse performer like Ranbir Kapoor! Way to go, Katz!

If you hated Darshan Jariwala in Life Partner, you’ll love him in this film as Ranbir’s dad. His scenes with Ranbir were excellent! Even Smita Jaykar, who played Ranbir’s mom was great and is a perfect actor for the role of actor’s moms! Upen Patel disappointed. He was a miscast-with his Western accent, he didn’t suit at all as the son of a politican (Govind Namdeo) seeking Hindu votes. Also look out for the scene where he laughs in a stupid manner! I liked Upen in 36 China Town and Shakalaka Boom Boom but here, he was simply not impressive at all!

Govind Namdeo’s performance was nothing special. Zakir Hussain convincingly played the over the top villain. The actor who played Tony did a great job. All actors playing Ranbir’s pals were good. Salman Khan rocked in a special appearance and the person who played Jesus delivered a ‘divine’ performance!

Pritam’s music is rocking. So were the songs. ‘Tera Hone Laga’ and ‘Main Tera Dhadkan Teri’ has already topped the chartbusters. ‘Prem Ki Naiyaa’ is a cool number too. S. Thiru’s cinematography was flawless. Nitesh Roy’s art direction was impressive, as it reminded of the sets used in the comedies of 90s.

There’s nothing much to speak about the story as it was plain ordinary. However, the screenplay by R D Tailang and Rajkumar Santoshi was fantastic. The one-liners, the gags and the funny hilarious situations that arise in the film are praiseworthy. So kudos to the duo!

And finally, hats off to Rajkumar Santoshi for coming up with such a wonderful entertaining film even though he has been making some serious intense films since 15 years. Many directors have failed in the past after attempting a genre which isn’t their cup of tea. But Rajkumar Santoshi survives, all thanks to his great execution. He’s also there in one of the scenes (did anyone notice?). Note how scenes unintentionally remind of Andaz Apna Apna. The humour in some scenes and also the kind of misunderstandings faced by some characters as also the climax fight-all give a sense of déjà vu!

Some of the best scenes of the film:

1.       The first scene

2.       The ‘yellow outfit’ sequence

3.       Jenny slaps Prem

4.       The scene involving Salman Khan

5.       Prem turning into non veg

6.       Dancing Prem at the club

7.       The intermission point

8.       The chase

9.       Prem regretting that he didn’t profess to Jenny

10. Prem meeting Rahul for the first time

11. Jenny hiding in Prem’s house

12. The scene at the police station

13. Prem at the Church

14. The songs ‘Tera Hone Laga’, ‘Mein Tera Dhadkan’

15. The last 25 minutes

On the whole, Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani is an out and out entertainer. It has some really wonderful comic moments that are novel and will make you laugh for sure. At the same time, the romantic moments are well handled. Ranbir rocks and his chemistry with Katrina is electrifying! A must watch for people of all ages!

My rating-**** out of 5!

This review first appeared on MouthShut.com: http://www.mouthshut.com/review/Ajab_Prem_Ki_Ghajab_Kahani-179060-1.html

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By Taran Adarsh, November 6, 2009 – 09:40 IST

Rajkumar Santoshi has changed lanes. Known for intense, hard-hitting movies [with the sole exception of ANDAZ APNA APNA], Santoshi now attempts a rom-com in AJAB PREM KI GHAZAB KAHANI, his new endeavour. That’s something we all know by now, right?

But not many of us know that Santoshi is equally at home handling a comedy. And AJAB PREM KI GHAZAB KAHANI proves it.

BY BOLLYWOOD HUNGAMA.COM

If you’re attempting a rom-com, you need to get a few things right…
One, the romance should be livewire. Ditto for the chemistry between the on-screen pair.
Two, the film should make you laugh. As simple as that!

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In AJAB PREM KI GHAZAB KAHANI, the romantic moments are endearing. Most importantly, the on-screen chemistry is electrifying. Ranbir and Katrina look great together!

I’ve often said that comedy is serious business and the audience has moved over from banana peel humour in movies. The comedy in AJAB PREM KI GHAZAB KAHANI – though it borders on absurdity – is funny in most parts. Sure, there’re times when you feel that the humour looks forced [climax fight especially], but you don’t grudge it since Santoshi’s intentions are crystal clear from Scene 1 onwards: Entertainment ke liye kuch bhi karega.

Another factor that goes in its favour is Pritam’s music, who belts out a couple of lilting tracks.

On the flip side, the film could’ve done with a fresh plotline. When you talk of ‘Ghazab Kahani’, it has to be ghazab by all means. It shouldn’t fall prey to predictability, but the second hour succumbs to mediocrity occasionally.

Yet, despite the blemishes, AJAB PREM KI GHAZAB KAHANI is a full-on entertainer. One thing is for sure, you’d fall in prem with Prem and his antics. An ideal date movie that should connect with the youth.

Prem’s [Ranbir Kapoor] fundas in life were very simple – be happy, make others happy. A case of mistaken identity leads Prem to almost kidnap Jenny [Katrina Kaif], who was brought up by indifferent and uncaring foster parents.

Prem falls in love with Jenny, but realizes gradually that Jenny is in love with someone else [Upen Patel], the son of a conniving politician [Govind Namdeo]. Prem decides to sacrifice his love and get the lovers married.

In the first sequence, Santoshi makes it loud and clear that AJAB PREM KI GHAZAB KAHANI is very unlike his previous ventures; this one harbours on illogical situations. Right from the time Ranbir sets his eyes on Katrina [the yellow outfit episode], the film is a roller coaster ride.

A few sequences entertain you thoroughly. Sample these: Katrina slaps Ranbir when he stammers as well. She feels he’s imitating her; Ranbir’s sequence in the church; Salman Khan’s cameo; the love-hate relationship that Ranbir and his father [Darshan Jariwala] share; the sequence at the party; the interval point when Ranbir falls on the ground literally… the first hour of the film simply rocks!

But the second hour makes you a little grumpy. The third angle of the triangle [Upen Patel] isn’t convincing, while his father’s [Govind Namdeo] track is beaten to death. Even the villain [Zakir Hussain] is a sore point.

Watching the second hour makes you feel that the film may’ve had a longer running time and in order to bring down the length, a number of scenes must’ve been chopped off, which, in turn, must’ve resulted in continuity lapses. For instance, Katrina’s kidnap by the villains looks too sudden. When and how did it occur?

Yet, there’re two sequences in this hour which are remarkable and which should bring the house down. One, when Ranbir wears Katrina’s top to hide her presence in the house and the climax fight, when Katrina mistakenly bangs Ranbir a couple of times.

Directorially, Santoshi proves the naysayers wrong and bounces back with a film that the youth would relate to. You can’t write off the maker and AJAB PREM KI GHAZAB KAHANI proves it. Pritam’s music has ‘Hit’ written all over it. S. Thiru’s cinematography is first-rate.

Ranbir Kapoor is the next big thing and AJAB PREM KI GHAZAB KAHANI proves it yet again. He’s charismatic, emotes exceptionally well and tickles your funny bone without making faces. It’s a fantastic performance all the way. Katrina Kaif continues to surprise. She surprised you in NEW YORK. She surprises you again in this film. She scores in both emotional and light scenes. Also, Ranbir and Katrina make a wonderful on-screen couple.

Darshan Jariwala is exceptional. Smita Jaykar is very good. Upen Patel is decent. Govind Namdeo is getting typecast. Zakir Hussain is fair. Navneet Nishan is alright.

On the whole, AJAB PREM KI GHAZAB KAHANI entertains majorly. At the box-office, the fantastic pre-release campaign coupled with the terrific chemistry between Ranbir and Katrina, excellent music by Pritam and tremendous appeal for youth should ensure a big start for the film at the ticket window. The business prospects seem excellent, thus ensuring handsome returns for its investors.