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Asia-AICN kicks off with a look at Bollywood.

OK serious film geeks, here is the first of a new series of reports Father Geek has decided to bring you every Wednesday morning. Darius 25 will be giving us stories and reviews from Bollywood, that's India, folks, one of the strongest cinema cultures in the world. Hopefully in the near future he will be joined by a regular AICN staffer in Hong Kong and another in Japan so this mid-week column will keep us abreast of the hot asian film scene the way our boys in Paris are doing for Europe. I know these columns aren't for everyone out there, but we have 500,000 Asian readers at AICN and we owe it to them to cover THEIR film industries with at least a once a week column. And if you get in the habit of reading these you just might learn something new and exciting about this world we all live in. Anyway here's Darius 25 with the 1st of AICN's Asia Reports...

Here is my first report/review of the latest things happening in Bollywood.

Two movies were released this past Friday (April 14) - Gang, and Hadh Kar Di Aapne (roughly translated as That is Enough). Gang has been in the making for about 6 years now. It was basically considered dead since its director, former actor Mazhar Khan died in 1998. It has also its bad luck since the career of its main star, Jackie Shroff, has basically gone down the drain in the last couple of years (He is not exactly a financially viable star anymore). The film also stars Nana Patekar, Juhi Chawla and Gulshan Grover, and is about four friends who form a gang and try to move up the local underworld in Bombay. I haven't seen this one yet, but I should be able to see it this week and send you a review.

However, I was unfortunate enough to see the other Indian movie released this week - Hadh Kar Di Aapne. This is a so-called romantic comedy which tried to rip off every other romantic comedy in Bollywood. Also, it also tried to be a stupid comedy (like Adam Sandler) but ended up too loud and too dumb to be funny.

The basic premise is about a detective, Raj Malhotra, played by Govinda, who goes to Switzerland to spy on a friend's wife. Now, right off the bat, you can identify one attempt to cash in with the craze of romantic comedies. The character's name Raj Malhotra is the SAME name as another male lead in the Indian Blockbuster Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995). DDLJ was the highest grossing movie in India, until 1998, when another film Kuch Kuch Hota Hai beat all of its records. DDLJ's success was a little bit surprising at the time because another similar-themed film, Hum Aapke Hain Koun, was released less than a year ago. Also DDLJ was famous for making its lead actor - Shah Rukh Khan, the most famous actor in India and perhaps even making him surpass India's legendary Amitabh Bachchan.

Anyway, in Hadh Kar Di Aapne, the detective gets confused about the identity of the woman he's supposed to follow. Along the way, he also falls in love with a girl whom, you guessed it, was the woman he was supposed to be following. He finds out the truth and then it turns out that she is not his friend's wife (This was revealed at the beginning). All turns out to be well in the end.

Confused yet ? Believe me, this movie is actually more confusing than what I described in the above paragraph. The point is that the plot is supposed to stupid, so people could relax and just forget their troubles. (Most of the commercial movies are like this in India - the biggest audience is the families and all they want to go see are some nice songs, and some clean entertainment.) The trouble is this movie is as ridiculous as movies can get. The acting is plain retarded. The main actor - Govinda - just acts like he has rabies or he is mentally insane. The clothes he wears are way too flamboyant for a drag queen to wear. Also he is way too loud - he always speaks in a very high volume and he NEVER shuts up!! The other actors are ok with what they were given. One would wonder why would an acclaimed actor like Paresh Rawal would take a role in a film like this. He plays one of the supporting actor/comedy relief in this movie. His role is that of one of the fellow vacationing Indian tourists in Switzerland.

Comedy ? There is nothing that most audiences have never seen before. Govinda acts like this in most of his movies basically playing the same role of lovestruck doofus. The director's last movie, Pardesi Babu (which also starred Govinda), was actually a romantic drama. That movie was actually good because Govinda was able to turn in a restrained performance.

As for the songs, they were not very memorable. Most of them featured pretty weird costumes and the dancing steps were WAY off. I mean, I actually felt embarrassed watching these ridiculous dancing steps. The tunes were not really hummable, but the locations were actually pretty good since most of the songs take place in scenic Switzerland.

Basic Summary - Avoid this movie. It was aptly titled Hadh Kar Di Aapne. Govinda has really done enough and I think he will find out soon enough when the box office results come in.

Just to keep you guys up-to-date on bollywood news. The nominations for the second annual Bollywood Film Awards were released today. This is not the most famous bollywood film awards (the Filmfare awards are), but they are getting better. The awards will be presented on May 27.

In my opinion, Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam should be able to sweep in all categories except for the best actor in which Sanjay Dutt should definately win. Also, with her two roles nominated in the best actress category, Aishwarya Rai should be able to walk away with the award. I actually find it unfair that the same actress is nominated twice in the same category - other people should have been given the chance like Tabu for the film Hu Tu Tu. Another thing that got me upset was Salman Khan's nomination in the best actor category for the film Biwi No. 1. This was a horrible performance from the usually good actor. He should have been nominated for his role in Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam.

Anyway, here are the full nominations:

Best film:

Tal -- Subhash Ghai

Biwi No1 -- Vashu Bhagnani

Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam -- Jhamu Sughand

Best director:

Subhash Ghai -- Taal

Sanjay Leela Bhansali -- Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam

David Dhawan -- Biwi No 1

Best actor:

Ajay Devgan -- Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam

Sanjay Dutt -- Vaastav

Salman Khan -- Biwi No 1

Best actress:

Aishwarya Rai -- Taal

Aishwarya Rai -- Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam

Kajol -- Hum Aap Ke Dil Mein Rehte Hain

Best actor (Critics' role):

Anil Kapoor -- Taal

Ajay Devgan -- Thakshak

Amitabh Bachchan -- Sooryavansham

Best actress (Critics' role):

Tabu -- Hu Tu Tu

Aishwarya Rai -- Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam

Kajol -- Hum Aap Ke Dil Mein Rehte Hain

Actor in a sensational role:

Anil Kapoor -- Biwi No 1

Govinda -- Haseena Maan Jaayengi

Akshaye Khanna -- Taal

Best Actress in sensational role:

Aishwarya Rai -- Taal

Karishma Kapoor -- Biwi No 1

Kajol -- Dil Kya Kare

Best Costume designer:

Neeta Lulla -- Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam

Manish Malhotra -- Hum Saath Saath Hain

Neeta Lulla -- Taal

Best choreography:

Ahmed Khan (Ramta Jogi) -- Taal

Saroj Khan (Nimbuda Nimbuda) -- Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam

Farah Khan (Dilber Dilber) -- Sirf Tum

Best cinematography:

Anil Mehta -- Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam

Kabir Lal -- Taal

Giles Nuttgers -- 1947 Earth

Best song - lyrics:

Anand Bakshi - Taal Se Taal Mila -- Taal

Sameer - Chup Gaya Badli Me Jake -- Hum Aap Ke Dil Mein Rehte Hain..

Mehboob - Aakhon Ki Gustakiyan -- Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam

Best editing:

A Muthu -- Biwi No 1

Mukhtar Ahmed -- Hum Saath Saath Hain

Subhash Ghai -- Taal

Best screenplay:

Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Kenneth Phillips -- Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam

Rumi Jaffri -- Biwi No 1

Subhash Ghai and Sachin Bhowmick -- Taal

Best story:

Pratap Karwat and Sanjay Leela Bhansali -- Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam

Subhash Ghai -- Taal

Sooraj Barjatya -- Hum Saath Saath Hain

Actor (supporting role):

Anil Kapoor -- Taal

Mohnish Behl -- Hum Saath Saath Hain

Anupam Kher -- Hum Aap Ke Dil Mein Rehte Hain

Actress (supporting role):

Mahima Choudhury -- Dil Kya Kare

Sushmita Sen -- Biwi No 1

Tabu -- Biwi No 1

Comic role:

Anupam Kher -- Haseena Maan Jayegi

Satish Kaushik -- Haseena Maan Jayegi

Johnny Lever -- Hum Aap Keh Dil Mein Rehte Hain


Rahul Bose -- Thakshak

Ashutosh Rana -- Sanghursh

Sayaji Shinde -- Shool

Best music:

A R Rahman -- Taal

Ismail Durbar -- Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam

Anu Malik -- Biwi No 1

Male singer:

Sukhvinder --Ramta Jogi - Taal

Udit Narayan --Chand Chupa - Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam

Kumar Sanu --Ankhon Ki Gustakiya - Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam

Female singer:

Asha Bhosle - Rang De -- Thakshak

Alka Yagnik - Taal se Taal -- Taal

Kavita Krishnamoorthy - Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam -- Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam

Newcomer male:

Rahul Khanna -- 1947 Earth

Aftab Shivdasani -- Mast

Sanjay Suri -- Pyar Mein Kabhi Kabhi

Newcomer female:

Rinke Khanna -- Pyar Mein Kabhi Kabhi

Nethra R -- Thakshak

Anoushka -- Sar Aakhon Par

- Darius25

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