Note: See our original Bollywood DVD review, Om Shanti Om, for an overview of this series of posts.
Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna (Never Say Goodbye, 2006) is a movie of superlatives. It is the highest grossing Bollywood film of all time and among its most decorated with an astounding 11 Global Indian Film Awards and 8 Filmfare awards (the rough Indian equivalent of the American Oscars). It is also, arguably, one of Bollywood’s most artistically shot movies and most cerebral in its plot. The story, set in New York City, starts with a chance meeting of two strangers on a bench and a life changing car accident. From there a love square develops in which questions of fidelity, happiness and free will become paramount. As does the question of divorce, a topic that is rarely addressed in Bollywood and one which places Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna on another list of superlatives: one of India’s most controversial movies.
See a clip for the movie, below.
Note: Spot Cool Stuff is are not from India and doesn’t claim any special expertise of Bollywood. However, we are casual fans of Bollywood and have watched more than our share of its flicks. Over the last year we’ve noticed an uptick in westerners asking us suggestions of Indian movies they might want to check out. Hence our new category: Blockbuster Movies (For People New to Bollywood Movies). We are not claiming that these are the very best Bollywood movies. We do think a new fan might appreciate watching them. All of our choices will be relatively easy to obtain (at Blockbuster or through Amazon, for example) and offer subtitles. We’ve opened this post for comments so, please, feel free to suggest Bollywood movies of your own . . .
Om Shanti Om (2008) begins as the story of an aspiring Bollywood actor (played by Shahrukh Khan who, ironically, is one of Bollywood’s biggest stars). The film then morphs into a murder plot. Then morphs again into a revenge saga. It all takes 162 minutes, several slapstick gags, one reincarnation and several dance numbers to get through. The Bollywood-film-within-a-Bollywood-film is a double treat for you if you are new to the genre, providing a behind the scenes look at the movie culture in India. Many of Bollywood’s top stars make cameos of themselves throughout the film. Check out one of the dance numbers after the jump.
Cast Highlights: Shahrukh Khan (the main character) and Arjun Rampal (the villain) are Bollywood veterans. Deepika Padukone (the main love interest) is very much a rising star.
Plot Complexity: Medium
Amount of Sing And Dancing: Medium (for a Bollywood movie)
Best Line: “Oh, Fish”
Funny Moment (That Wasn’t Intended To Be): The whole My Heart Is Full Of The Pain Of Disco song.
What To Look For: Subtle digs at the movie culture in Hollywood.
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