Valentine’s Double Feature: Krrish (2006) & Little Dragon Maiden (1983)

Nothing does better than a foreign film double feature, right? Haha. Its the reality over here however, with a Bollywood superhero/romance film Krrish and a Shaw Brothers film, Little Dragon Maiden, I’m hoping that these two Netflix alphabet selections will grab some of your attention. I had no choice because the choices were really limited for these two letters plus let’s be honest that a Bollywood viewing has been overdue.

Let’s check it out!

Krrish (2006)

Krrish

Director: Rakesh Roshan
Cast: Hrithik Roshan, Priyanka Chopra, Rekha, Sharat Saxena, Manini M. Mishra, Naseeruddin Shah

Krishna is forced by circumstances to use his superpowers and become a masked superhero, Krrish, before getting drawn towards his lost legacy. – IMDB

Being the very clueless person that I am, I totally didn’t realize that Koi Mil Gaaya is actually the movie before Krrish which this movie refers to quite a bit but still stays self-contained so not watching the previous one didn’t affect my understanding of this at all. With that said, this one is a Bollywood superhero movie which starts off pretty heavy on the romance and Bollywood bits with the second act being more Krishna (Hrithik Roshan) discovering his way to be helpful but keep his identity hidden as a superhero/vigilante. The third act is being a lot more action-packed with more fight scenes.

Starring the very handsome Hrithik Roshan (who I first saw in Dhoom 2) and the beautiful pre-Hollywood Priyanka Chopra, its really quite fun to see them together although the romance bits are pretty much really cheesy (as you would expect in a Bollywood film). At the same time, the story is pretty innocent especially because Roshan’s character Krishna has lived most of his life away from people and big cities so when he goes to Singapore to follow the love of his life, he’s a bit like fish out of pond sort of deal which always brings in some laughter but then he is always incredibly smart because he has special abilities. While the romance parts took up most of the first act and a part of the second act, it still felt not as effective as the center of the film being about Krishna finding the way to become Krrish, a masked superhero who ends up saving the day when a fire breaks out at the circus and then leading him to discover his own background especially his father’s past against the evil man of a big corporation who dreams about building a machine to see the future and become God. This part all links to the first film mentioned above because that story is told there.

All in all, as great as Priyanka Chopra and Hrithik Roshan is in Krrish, the romance didn’t grab me a whole lot and the songs weren’t really my taste either. However, while the romance here didn’t quite work, the superhero aspect did. Sure, there was some unrealistic CG effects going on here but then this movie is in the 2000s so its easy to overlook it. I’d be interested to eventually catch up with the first film and the movie after this one, oddly titled Krrish 3 (which made me think that there was a Krrish 2 until I did further research).

Little Dragon Maiden (1983)

little dragon maiden

Director: Shan Hua
Cast: Leslie Cheung, Jing-Jing Yung, Kuan Tai Chen, Leanne Lau, Ni Tien

Little Dragon Maiden mixes the old with the new to create pure golden magic as kung-fu fighting veterans Chen Kuan-Tai and Lo Lieh join relative newcomer Leslie Cheung in a far-out swordplay love story that rocks. – IMDB

Guilty as charged that I haven’t really seen any Shaw Brothers films. If I have, it was when I was really young that I don’t even remember it. However, big fan of Leslie Cheung here and Little Dragon Maiden is a story that almost everyone who knows the Chinese culture has heard of and know at least the basic love story involved. Even though, I haven’t seen a whole lot of movie interpretations of it before, this might be the first one that I finished, its a familiar story.

Somehow pairing this with Krrish works because most of the story is about Yang Guo played by Leslie Cheung who starts off as an orphan and ends up being taken in by who he learns is his father’s killer who doesn’t want to teach him martial arts and when asked, gets sent to join a martial arts sect who bullies him because of his father and he ends up seeking refuge in the Ancient Tomb sect which is where the Little Dragon Maiden is. Because of a promise she made, she ends up taking him in despite the sect’s rules. The obvious happens where they do fall in love. I can get that this story would be touching but due to the length and how its executed, its more outstanding in its martial arts and personality development in Yang Guo rather than the love story which involved some misunderstandings and some bad stuff that happens to the Little Dragon Maiden.

With that said, the fight scenes here and the martial arts bits and such are really fun to watch. Similar to how I liked the creatures in Labyrinth, Little Dragon Maiden has the magical Condor who is a key element in the actual book that its based on which ends up making a late appearance but the design as silly as it looks because it just didn’t age well, there is this fantastic charm to it. You can see it in the poster above.

That’s it for this Valentine’s double feature for the K & L selection!
Have you seen these two foreign films? If so, thoughts?

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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)

dostana

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?

Double Feature: Don (2006) & Je Crois Que Je l’Aime (2007)

While I was just about to hatch a schedule to get some Academy Awards nominated movies for this year within this next month, Netflix has decided to rule my life.  So many movies expiring.  I had about a week of break before it all started up again. Although, I’m working on reviewing everything I watch, I might just end up saving a few of these next few Netflix for the future while I get the more urgent issue done.

Still, here’s a little double feature for two foreign movies…

DON (2006)

DON 2006

Director: Farhan Akhtar

Cast: Shah Rukh Khan, Priyanka Chopra, Arjun Rampal, Isha Koppikar, Boman Irani, Om Puri

A simple man (Vijay) from the city of Mumbai is recruited by a police officer to masquerade as the Don, the leader of an international gang of smugglers. But things go wrong, the officer is killed and now Vijay is on his own, with only his lover (Roma) and a lame ex con artist to help him to prove his innocence. – IMDB

Don is an Indian action thriller with a runtime with 171 minutes (a little less than 3 hours), it took me about 3-4 evening to finish.  Unlike Kahaani, which was a little shorter, this one had an incredible issue with pacing.  It was just so boring and I kept falling asleep so I had to turn it off.  Its not really a problem with the story because as it is a thriller, the little twist ending was decent.  I’m pretty sure the thought would have skimmed your mind at the turning point of events but if you were like me, you might dismiss it.  The last hour was massively better than the first two thirds.  I am glad that I didn’t give up and just turn on something else. I did have another 2 Indian movies in queue ready to expire.

I’m not exactly sure if there is a hype for Don. Seeing as there was a sequel, I figured the first one must have been relatively well received. This one is definitely far from one I’d ever venture to see again.  So slow, felt extremely long and man, I just wasn’t buying Don as Don.  The songs weren’t particularly appealing to me either. The only actor that saved this movie was Boman Irani who plays DCP de Silva.  That man acted the hell out of that role. By the way, this man was the Professor in 3 Idiots (review HERE) and he was so awesome in that one also!

I’m taking a little break before I check out Don 2 but I’ll eventually do it, maybe when its bordering on Netflix expiration again 😉

JE CROIS QUE JE L’AIME (2007)

JE CROIS QUE JE L'AIME

Director: Pierre Jolivet

Cast: Vincent Lindon, Sandrine Bonnaire, Francois Berleand, Kad Merad

Lucas, a wealthy, 43 year-old divorced businessman, is irresistibly attracted to Elsa, a 38 year old renowned sculptor from whom he has commissioned a piece to decorate the reception at his office. –IMDB

Je Crois Que Je L’Aime (English title: Could This Be Love) is a French romantic comedy.  The only reason this landed on my Netflix queue was because I had previously seen a movie called Queen of Play with Sandrine Bonnaire and she was pretty amazing in that one.  Coming to this one, Sandrine Bonnaire still holds the charm as the female lead as a ceramic artist passionate about her work and willing to give up a job to avoid any trouble of difference in opinions.  Still, being caught where she needed the money, she gave her new employer, wealthy businessman Lucas a second chance.  Sandrine Bonnaire plays the more serious Elsa.

On the other hand, there is no doubt that Lucas, played by Vincent Lindon, has a certain chemistry. The story is more mature as these actors are older than the average romantic comedies.  Its a different vibe.  I don’t have a problem with these things, love is love, age isn’t really an issue.  However, the story didn’t really build up from much. Thats not saying that its not good because it has a good bit of fun moments mostly because Lucas is so afraid that being tricked out of his money in his previous relationship, he ends up being suspicious before falling in love but he just can’t help falling in love with Elsa, so he hires a private investigator to check her background and track her and the lack of communication between those two are absolutely hilarious.

There are some funny and sweet moments but the story was not built up properly so it had choppy moments.

Overall… Je Crois Que Je L’Aime was more entertaining than Don. Although both of these are average, beware of Don’s length and pacing before you attempt.  Consider yourself warned 😉

Have you seen either of these? Thoughts?