Bollywood Double Feature: Dil Chahta Hai (2001) & Dostana (2008)

Movie reviews have been scarce on here and I apologize deeply for it.  Its just I’ve been trying to get a life outside of the internets going, like getting certain priorities straight.  Don’t get me wrong though.  I still watch movies and I have a ton backlogged.  I just can’t write as fast I used to.  But, the review for the first of these two Bollywood features have been sitting in the back of my mind for a little while (a few months maybe) and I just felt like they deserved a little review so here we go with a Bollywood double feature.

Bollywood or any Indian cinema takes time to watch.  Nothing short of 3 hours to spare in your schedule is needed and it really sucks when it doesn’t really even give the slightest of entertainment value.  That’s something that makes me hesitate to watch it sometimes but when the crushing deadline of Netflix appears threatening to expire them, I cozy up with some tea and clear out my schedule and that is how I ended up seeing these two: Dil Chahta Hai and Dostana.

Let’s check them out!

Dil Chahta Hai (2001)

dil chahta hai

Director: Farhan Arhtar

Cast: Aamir Khan, Saif Ali Khan, Akshaye Khanna, Preity Zinta, Sonali Kulkarni, Dimple Kapadia

Three inseparable childhood friends are just out of college. Nothing comes between them – until they each fall in love, and their wildly different approaches to relationships creates tension.- IMDB

Dil Chahta Hai is a movie on friendship and love, but mostly on friendship.  The beginning leads us into backtracking to how two of the three friends haven’t seen each other in a few years and now one of them is sitting in a hospital for some unknown reason.  It peaks the interest in getting us intrigued for one, who is in the hospital and in a seemingly serious problem and two, who is this third friend and why is he refusing to come even in an extreme situation.  What is the falling out so serious that could cause this, right?

This is a powerful movie if anything.  I wasn’t a huge fan of the songs themselves but other than that, the story was really well in developing each of the characters.  The friendship was something that was so strong and well-emphasized and it gives somewhat of a good look at how the dynamic of friends and each of them balance each other so that their friendship thrives.  Most of this is by giving each friend a good amount of their own time to tell each of their own stories and their feelings and that helps us to understand of each of them and connect deeper to the characters.

I don’t want to go too much into detail here but Dil Chahta Hai is an impressive drama about friendship and it was done so well that by the end of it all, I was pretty touched at the end and got a little misty. That was pretty much unexpected for me and in such a good way.

Dostana (2008)


Director: Tarun Mansukhani

Cast: Abhishek Bachchan, John Abraham, Priyanka Chopra, Bobby Deol, Boman Irani

Two straight guys pretend to be gay in order to secure a Miami apartment. When both of them fall for their roommate Neha, hilarity ensues as they strive to convince one and all that they’re gay, secretly trying to win her heart. –IMDB

 Dostana is a fun, lighthearted comedy done in absolutely the most hilarious ways.  I have to say, it charmed me quite a bit.  I personally don’t think Abhishek Bachchan is all that handsome but somehow I managed to even see some charm in him.  In fact, for the first bollywood movie EVER, I knew all the main cast.  Its something to be proud of, okay? Dostana had me laughing so hard throughout the whole movie plus as cheesy as some of the music usually is, and it has that whole opening song to start the movie (which usually is a sign of extreme cheese), this one redeemed itself really quickly.  John Abraham, Abhishek Bachchan and Priyanka Chopra have the best chemistry and they are all extremely charming characters.   Plus, the whole pretending to be gay thing works out to make this even more laugh out loud and there’s just so many of those.

There aren’t enough compliments I could give this one because it swept me off my feet unexpectedly.  I truly expected it to be just a really ridiculous concept but the way they did it was quite smart.  I don’t have all that much to say about this one because it was just so fun and hilarious.  The characters are charming and it never gets too dramatic.  There is really no better way to spend 3 hours than to be constantly laughing and knows how to do just that 🙂 As much as this is about love, its also about friends so it makes this quite a memorable movie.

Overall, two very good Bollywood movies.  They are both worth your time.  If you’re looking for a good drama (with a few laughs), Dil Chahta Hai would be your choice and if you want to just turn off your mind and downright roll off your chair laughing at the hilarious situation two guys pretending to be gay while living with a pretty girl, Dostana is a sure fire! Its rare I get back to back winners in these double features but both of these boast a pretty great cast and a very well executed storyline.  If you cross paths with them, you should definitely give it a chance! 🙂

Have you seen either of these? If you have, did you like it?

Ghajini (2008)

In January, a lot of the non-2013 reviews will be because its going to expire on Netflix.  It seems to be a trend these days.  Apparently, a ton of these Bollywood flicks are going away soon, so expect a few of these ;).  This landed me on Ghajini.  Now, why did I even put this in my list? Well, you’ll see in just a little bit..lets get a little synopsis.

ghajini posterDirector: A.R. Murugadoss

Cast: Aamir Khan, Asin, Jiah Khan, Pradeep Singh Rawat

Sanjay Singhania (Aamir Khan) has short term memory loss after an incident.  His memory vanishes every 15 minutes but as still, through tattoos and journals, he has pieced his life together with reminders to plot his revenge for the man responsible for his girlfriend’s death (Asin).  However, when a medical student Sunita (Jiah Khan) and his memory gets in the way, will he be able to trace the man and get his revenge?

I know what you are all thinking: sounds like Memento, right? Just for starters, I love Memento.  Its possibly my first and my most memorable Nolan experience.  So, it goes without saying that with my very new discovery of the world of Bollywood, I had my doubts about this.  But, it is lead by Aamir Khan and he did a fantastic job in 3 Idiots (my review HERE) which remains my favorite Bollywood so far.  And this is my first time watching a thriller suspense drama so I didn’t know if I should be expecting song and dance.

ghajini kalpana sachin

First off, I didn’t hate Ghajini but when you use a storyline so similar to Memento, its hard not to compare.  Memento was genius, Ghajini is just really lengthy.  What really set me off was that I thought that it wouldn’t have song and dance and it did.  I know you’re going “huh?”, right? I know, I know.  But they did do it in a clever way by leading us back to Sanjay and Kalpana’s story and how he ended up where he is now.  So the songs was for when he fell in love and pursued her and just was so attracted, etc.  The love story part of the movie was with that.

ghajini kaplanaNow, I do have to say that, setting it up like this is pretty clever also because it gets us to see Sanjay and just feel bad for his situation. It attaches us to his character, except, I feel like something was missing. I connected to the character but I think I connected more to Kalpana than to him.  I can’t pinpoint what is missing but at a certain point, I got bored and then tired and I think I missed a chunk when I was forcing myself to stay awake. I actually think the length made me lose track of whether I was watching a thriller/suspense/drama or a romantic comedy…And in turn, it gave this little role to the bad guy and the whole revenge thing seemed to go really quickly in a way. 

ghajini bad guys

You know what somewhat angers me a little about this.  They  had a good and engaging characters and a pretty good story layout. Sure, it ripped off a bit of Memento and I didn’t expect it to be epic like that but there was nothing wrong with this except its length. The previous Bollywood flicks I watched: I remember saying that it was so good I didn’t even feel like I had sat through a 3 hour movie because it was so entertaining but somehow this one just didn’t get that.

Overall, I just hate saying that its the length that killed it but it was.  I can’t think of any part of dislike on top of that.  The love story was cute, the song and dance was ok (not as good as the others), the suspense was decent as well and seriously, I loved the characters the most.  Kalpana was awesome, lovable, hilarious and witty and Sanjay was great before and after the memory loss.  With that said, Aamir Khan is on my radar now because he’s just totally awesome! 🙂

3 Idiots (2009)

A writer and fellow blogger, Ankit Raj Bachchan asked me to search up and review some Indian movies in the beginning of March.  I have never watched any up to date and I asked him to give me some time.  However, I got a promotion on my tablet to buy 1 movie and get 2 free. By the time the voucher got to me earlier this week, I managed to see that it had 3 Idiots available to download, I swept it up right away.  I knew nothing of what to expect from it, nothing about the story, the actors, etc.  This is completely new and fresh to me so reviewing this is going to be a challenge in itself.  However, I did know from what Ankit told me is that it is THE biggest blockbuster of Indian cinema!

3 Idiots posterDirector:  Rajkumar Hirani

Cast: Aamir Khan, Madhavan, Sharman Joshi, Kareena Kapoor, Boman Irani, Omi Vaidya

Farhan (Madhavan) and Raju (Sharman Joshi) get news of the whereabouts of a lost college best friend, Rancho (Aamir Khan).  Due to this, they both go to look for him. During the trip, they think back to how they met, their college years and all the hardships that they’ve been through that has gotten them to not only where they are but also how strong their friendship actually is.  With their memories, we see Rancho is not only a lost friend but also that he inspired them to be who they are today and to live life without fear and to follow their passion.  He taught them how to think differently even if everyone else thought they were being idiots.

I’m going to start by saying this is a comedy/drama with hints of romance.  When I first turned on the movie, I almost fainted and asked myself what I got into because no comedy that I’ve ever watched lasts 2 hours and 51 minutes *faints*.  However, I have to say, I’d gladly give those 2 hours and 51 minutes again to the movie.  It was a bit cheesy in parts but all in all, this movie was funny, enjoyable and inspiring.  Maybe its because I can somewhat relate to the university days of studying in fear of what people would think (maybe even a bit right now).

3 idiots sing

In the first half of the movie, we had spontaneous singing and dancing with catchy tunes.  I always like a bit of that.  At first, I was laughing at the first song All izz Well because it was so random from start to end. Then after that, it was stuck in my head for the day after until we hit another song, Zoobi Doobi.  Forget about this one, its still in my head and I only know those two lines and the following melody.  Its right here if you want to hear it, the scene is quite fun and cute, give it a shot. I couldn’t find a good video with english subtitles, this one skips a little, but still check it out! I guarantee smiles at the minimum 🙂

Thats just the start because you still have songs here and there.  However, this is a really awesome story.  It never really makes you feel like its too long because they constantly crack some witty jokes and adds some silliness.  There are twists and lessons, ups and downs, obstacles and it has these heartwarming and touching moments.  It did really well in showing a developing and strong friendship, of being able to do anything for your friends.  Also, it brings up school (and some apply to life) issues about studying, searching for their future, the inspiration, conquering one’s fears to move forward.

3 idiots inspire

I don’t know anything about the director or the actors but I’d say that they did a superb job at bringing this movie to life.  The whole cast was fantastic, the story was set in a way to lure the viewers continuously with its change and balance between good and bad events that occur to our 3 main protagonists.

I’m definitely recommending this.  I was extremely pleasantly surprised! Its worth those close to 3 hours that you spend because chances are you won’t feel them pass you by because it just turns into a fun ride packed with some good laughs (and maybe pick up some thing extra)!