Friday, July 13, 2007

Rocky Balboa Review :"But it ain't about how hard you hit"

The year was 1976 . An unknown actor by the name of Sylvester Stallone wrote a screenplay for and starred in a little boxing movie , simply titled "Rocky".overnight he became a star and Rocky Balboa became a symbol of all those people who attempt to go the distance , to face the odds and make their dreams come true and achieve success through sheer determination.

But after that the movies went downhill, generating a huge amount of ridicule and flak for the general direction in which the Rocky franchise was heading . Everyone thought that Stallone must have finally lost when he decided to direct yet anther sequel. There was plenty of adversity he had to face, with media, studios and even the public. But according to Sly ( whose career was following a slump similar to Rocky's ) , he just had to make this movie and give a fitting end to one of the most memorable and endearing characters ever created .

The Verdict ?

No Mickey
No Adrian
No Butkus
But surprisingly , this turns out to be the best Rocky movie since the original one was released three decades ago !

The movie opens with a fight scene between Mason "The Line " Dixon (Antonio Tarver) and an unnamed opponent and ends with the audience booing and the commentator stating that boxing needs a fighter with a heart .When the scene fades out to shots of the streets of Philadelphia , with the "take you back" Capella in the background , you know that this is true blue , old-school Rocky. Just the way we've always liked it .

To cut a long story short , rocky is now way past his prime and now runs a restaurant ( Adrian's) and is happy enough to entertain the patrons with impromptu stories of his fights . Adrian has died of cancer , and Butkus is also long gone . Rocky's relationship with his son Robert (Milo Ventimiglia
) is strained because Robert has always had to live under the shadow of his famous father; he even believes that the only reason he was hired for his latest job was because of his last name.Also , Rocky reunites with "Little" Marie( Geraldine Hughes), who was last seen in the original film receiving advice form Rocky about not mixing with the wrong types . Marie works as a bartender, and has a son, Stephenson (nicknamed "Steps").

One fine day ESPN broadcasts a show titled "Then and Now," which It portrays a computer simulation of a fight between Rocky in his prime and the current heavyweight champion, Mason Dixon. In the Balboa-Dixon simulation, Balboa is predicted to have won KO13, a fact that riles the champion. Dixon's promoters try to sell Dixon on the idea of a fight with Balboa . It would be a win-win charity fight, where Dixon could not only improve his image with the public , but also please fight fans who would be able to see that Dixon would easily defeat the aging icon that is Rocky Balboa.

Dixon's promoters approach Rocky at his restaurant to pitch the fight with Dixon. He reluctantly takes up the offer after conferring with the ever grumpy Paulie(Burt Young ), who as usual is still mad at life and himself for not caring about his sister. Everyone close to him cannot believ that he would take up boxing again, but Rocky feels that he still has one last fight in him . with his wife dead, he's alone, he's an embarrassment to his son, he has nothing to lose and is desperate to not make a third act of his life go in anonymity.
At one point, his son asks Rocky: "Don't you think you're too — ya know, old?" Rocky replies: "Yeah but ya think ya oughta stop 'trying things' 'cause ya had a few too many birthdays? I don't." He adds: "What's crazy with standin' toe to toe sayin' 'I AM.' "
Rocky returns to his old trainer, "Duke" Evers (Tony Burton). Duke tells Rocky that, since his body is much too old and beginning to deteriorate, he cannot train for speed. Instead, Rocky must train to build power ("buildin' some hurtin' bombs").

At this point , the mandatory "Rocky Training Montage" kicks in , with a revamped "Gonna Fly now" theme.All those classic moments are there , including the raw eggs, punching the meat and the run up the steps of the museum .Truly electrifying stuff that had me riveted to the screen . The build up to the fight is presented like a live sports presentation and the fight itself is top-notch stuff and highly realistic . IMHO , even better than Million Dollar Baby or Raging Bull. Along with the amazing background music and slick editing , the fight literally had me at the edge of my seat(Yes , I'm a die-hard rocky fan ) . The outcome ? Completely in line with the movie . I just cannot see it end in any other way . Just like the first movie , this one ends with "Yo Adrian !"

Rocky has always been more than just about boxing , it's about the triumph of the human spirit and as was famously put in the first movie "Going the distance ". And Stallone brings back that simple charm and naivety that makes Rocky such a lovable character ( After being told that Stephen's father is Jamaican , he thinks that Jamaica is in Europe mistakenly identifies a white male as Marie's son ) . The Rockyisms are all there ( "Nothing hits as hard as life itself ....") as well as some touching moments that show how underrated Sly has been as an actor/director ('she didn't leave me Paulie she died' ) It's nice to see some of the characters form the first movie being give more expanded roles including Marie and Spider Rico ( Rocky's Opponent in the opening scene of the first movie ) . Oh Cuff and Link also get a mention .
The general feel of this movie is dramatically different form it's other sequels .It feels much closer to the original Rocky movie than the others( Which is a good thing ). Right from the opening sequence to the final "Yo Adrian !" everything remains true to the original.

The only problem I have with this movie is it that it gets a bit weepy and you just can't help cringing at some of the cliches. It almost borders on self-parody at some points. But these are just minor drawbacks .

In short , this a satisfying and fitting finale to the Rocky saga , that more than makes up for the damage done to the series by some of the sequels ( especially the terrible Rocky IV) . From a movie standpoint, it brought everything full circle. An elegant and powerful ending if ever there was one.

"Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain't all sunshine and rainbows. It is a very mean and nasty place and it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me or nobody is going to hit as hard as life. But it ain't about how hard you hit, it is about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward, how much can you take and keep moving forward. That's how winning is done! Now, if you know what you're worth, then go out and get what you're worth. But you gotta be willing to take the hit, and not pointing fingers saying you ain't where you are because of him, or her, or anybody. Cowards do that and that ain't you. You're better than that! I'm always gonna love you, no matter what. No matter what happens. You're my son, you're my blood. You're the best thing in my life. But until you start believing in yourself, you ain't gonna have a life."

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Dhoom 2 Review : Return of the Masala Movie

The nineties were a much more simpler time for us movie-goers. We didn’t demand much and the filmmakers were more than happy not to comply . Action movies consisted on one fight scene after another , tons of fake blood, outrageous laws-of-physics defying stunts and a wronged protagonist sworn on revenge( usualy due to the death of the mother/father/sister)

Ajay Devgan making his entrance on two bikes...with one foot on each .

Akshay Kumar...The khiladi... pherhaps the ony bollywood star to take on the Undertaker ( Galat panga liya tune undertaker , apne baap se !!! grrr!!!) , a sumo wrestler , jump from a moving plane , a hot air balloon , and mud-wrestle with Rekha .

Suniel shetty , star of manly revenge dramas...Raghuveer , Mohra , Takkar , Vinashak.
And any move having more than 1 hereo ( a mullti-starrer in those days ) was sure to have gastric-ulcer inducing masala... Mohra , main Khiladi tu anadi , Waqt Hamara Hai !!!
But why am I reminiscising so much?? Well because after watching Dhoom 2 , I felt that I had seen the only true Masala Action Movie this year...Don tired to be suave and cool...Krrish had the alien superpowers...this one tosses all attempts to be subtle out the window and goes all out to be a masala entertainer!!

The story consists of a international super-theif "A"( Hritik Roshan ) whose only ambition in life is to steal priceless artifacts so that he can , literally , leave his mark on the world( The scene where the three cpos are discussing this is 100% filmi-grade masala at work ). Aishwarya Rai as Sunheri is the female super thief who wants to be associated with A .

In comes meterosexual he-man super-cop Jai Dixit( Abhisheik bachan ) and his bumbling partner Ali( Uday Chopra) who are assigned along with man-hunter Shonali( Bipasha Basu) to nab the dyslexic super-thief .

With this semi-interesting plot , we are treated to the loudest , most hackneyed Hindi action movie since DUS.

The main actors , with the exception of Hritik are not required to act much . Abhisheik reprises his role of the not-so-angry young man of Dhoom , while Uday brings some much-needed comic relief to the movie . Bipasha has what can best be described as a very very extended special appearance. She doesn’t bring much to the movie , and is missing for almost the entire second half . Ash is competent enough as the accomplice .

The movie belongs to Hritik and overshadows the other actors most of the time he is on screen . he gets the coolest gadgets , the most awesome stunts and perhaps the only serious scenes in the movie that actually require some acting to be done .
The stunts are brilliantly executed ,and among the best seen in Hindi movies till date, though they don’t make much sense . (a submerged Abhisheik surfacing from underwater using a jet-ski...10/10 for style , but was it really needed ? ). The robberies are daring but have glaring and quite obvious logical flaws ... in the very first scene , "A" steals the crown jewels of a generic firangi Queen form a moving cool , you say . But the jewels are lying in an open room with only two security guards. I would have brought my safe along .

The robbery form the museum. It was well executed...but how the hell did he get outside the museum form a roomful of guards?? That sequence has been left to the audiences imagination .And why didn’t he just get out the way he came in ??

The worst part of the movie has to be the songs. Looks like Pritam wasn’t inspired enough. ( They are really out of place a. only the title song and to a certain extent “Don’t touch me”and “dil lagana” were any good . they only slow down the pace of the movie . The choreography is good but the costumes from all the songs look the same an its simply a case of mix and match .

As I said before there are a lot of plot holes and logic takes a backseat in the proceedings. If you are the kind who likes taut and cerebral thrillers , it’s best to avoid this movie if you’re looking for that kind of thing in it. This movie also suffers from pacing problems and Bipasha’s character could have been easily deleted. the ending could have been a litle bit better .

Overall , I really feel that the original Dhoom was a tighter , better scripted movie . However , if you remember to leave you brain at home , this an enjoyable and strangely satisfying movie… the masala movie of the 21st century .

p.s Is it just me or is’nt Dhoom:2 grammatically incorrect ? Should’nt it be Dhoom-2 or just Dhoom 2 ?

Monday, November 27, 2006

Umrao Jaan Review : Where's the ada ?

JP Dutta is known for the length of his movies . His last movie (L.O.C) has the distinction of being one of the longest Hindi movies ever made . A running time of 4+(F-O-U-R) hours . 2 intervals. The longest song shown on-screen ( 13 min!!) . So it was not without some apprehension that I went to see his latest , Umrao Jaan (UJ) . Not that I have anything against long movies . Border . Hum Aapke Hain kaun . Khakee . Completely different movies . Different Directors . Different themes. All of them 3+ hours in length. But they’re engaging movies , which held your attention till the end. It just goes to show that even though a movie may be 3+ hours in length , it doesn’t mean that the movie is boring .

The verdict ? Not by any stretch of imagination is UJ a bad movie . In fact , it is one of the better movies to come out this year . But a movie 3+hours in length needs the little extra-something ( “je ne se quoi” as the French call it ) to keep the viewer engaged . And sadly that’s missing in this movie .

Since the movie is based on the novel of the same name , the director already has a good storyline to work with . He had already made it clear the he was not going for a remake of the 1981 movie . In case you didn’t know , it’s the tragic story of a girl who gets kidnapped form he village as a child and is forced to work as a twayif (courtesan).

The movie belongs to Aishwarya Rai . She looks absolutely stunning throughout the movie (reviewer bias? Sorry about that ladies. ) and has a air of grace , confidence and elegance about her ( You can easily see why she was Miss Universe ) Her acting throughout the movie was superb and is surely one of her better performances . She manages to convey the pathos of her (overly)tragic character with aplomb. But I felt that she was unconvincing in some of the scenes though ( She seemed quite happy to be chosen by the Nawab for her “services” , which I found a bit hard to digest ) Her dances were also quite good .

Abishek Bachan was good in the role of the Nawab (Her main love-intrest) . He has that mixture of arrogance and confidence that’s required of a nawab. Although I found the scene where he stabs a another customer after declaring himself as a genuine Pathan offspring quite hilarious(Not what the director intended , I’m afraid) .

Most of the supporting cast is competent . But the one who stands out the most is Shabana Azmi , who as the Madame of the brothel , dominates every scence that she appears in .

A period movie demands attention to detail and authenticity . In this aspect , I found the movie to be a bit underwhelming . The costumes were perfect and suitably extravagant . The outdoor sets conveyed the feeling and ambiance of 19th century , nawab-infested Lucknow quite nicely . The indoor sets , although looking quite good , weren’t good enough . They looked a bit lackluster and really could have been much better .I felt that throughout the movie the peripheral characters and extras were not used properly…somehow the extravagance , over-indulgence and thezeeb of the era was not brought on to the screen as it should have…

Anu Malik has composed some of the best music of his career for this movie . The songs and the accompanying mujras are excellent, with fine choreography , although Ash looks a bit stiff in some of the steps . This brings me to one of the major drawbacks of the movie. Though the mujras form an integral part of the movie, they are over extended and too many of them . Most of them could have easily shortened. The same thing happens in other parts of the movie.( More on that later. )

A movie based on a novel ( especially a tragedy like UJ) reqiues some deft direction to bring the story on screen and characters to life ( And not end up Like Sanjay Leela Bansali’s Devdas ) . Most of the scenes have been handled quite well by JP Dutta , with minimal melodrama and liberal use of obvious poetic imagery throughout the movie . Most are quite good , but some of the scenes and dialogues (very few ) seem straight out of an Ekta Kapoor soap opera. The liberal use of esoteric Urdu also makes following some of the lines a bit difficult .

But unfortunately he remains oblivious of the length of the scenes . The one with a drunk Abishek trying to argue with Ash being a case-in-point. Just like the Energizer Bunny , it goes on and on , and what sounded like a good idea on paper comes out quite flat on-screen.
Like an over-indulgent parent, JP Dutta just doesn’t know when to say stop. With some better editing , I really felt that 30 minutes could have been easily removed from the movie without affecting it much and giving a dramatic improvement to the pace of the movie .

I’d have to say that UJ is a fine effort . This is not the kind of movie that will be liked by everybody . It’s quite bleak and depressing . It’s definitely not a time-pass or masala movie . I f you liked morbidly tragic movies like Chandni Bar or Omkara , you’ll probably like this movie too . The biggest drawback is it’s 3 hour running time .There aren’t simply enough really interesting moments to fill up those 3 hours. How ever if you’re patient (and stoical) enough to sit throughout it , you’ll find it a somewhat rewarding movie. Don’t watch it expecting another UJ(1982) or Memoirs of a Geisha ( a movie with a similar plot. ). Quality and in artistic accomplishment in commercial Hindi movies does not exist anymore…

Jaaneman Review : doesn't take itself too seriously

When I first saw the trailers for this movie , I thought "Oh no , not another of those stupid love triangles! No way am I going to watch this !" . But after a few good reports from my friends , I thought that it might be worth it , so I decided to take a chance …. And boy was I in for a pleasant surprise!Far from being a mushy love-triangle , this turned out to be a well made , funny , unusual and most importantly entertaining movie. To be truthful , I have never seen a love-story presented in this way before( At least in Hind movies ) .

The plot ? well it deos'nt really matter much in this movie . Salman Khan plays Suhaan, a struggling actor , and Piya’s(Preity Zinta) ex-husband . After a series of extremely contrived circumstances he ends up helping ,along with his Uncle (Anupam Kher) , NASA Astronaut( that’s not a typo!) Agastya Rao (Akshay Kumar ) fall in love with his ex-wife so he doesn’t have to pay her alimony .Its as simple as that . The amazing part is , it works .

When the first scene opens with Agastya and a blond soviet female astronaut,in an orbiting space-station, you realize that this is not a movie to be taken seriously .

The film has been very creatively shot . I loved the first two song sequences where the extras and dancers literally jump into the song sequences .The "fourth wall" is conveniently ignored throughout the movie . In one scene Salman even mentions to is uncle that the flash-back sequence is going to start , followed immediately by one of the walls of the room being turned into a movie screen… which Salman Khan calmly steps into .

In another sequence, the trio are interrupted as a qawali group steps out of the wardrobe and proceeds to provide the background music for the song. These wouldn’t be out of place in a Tim Burton movie.
The movies constantly weavers between reality and fantasy , and it all looks really nice thanks to some great camera effects , and slick editing work , which I really cant recall in any other Hindi movie . Sometimes even the lighting and backgrounds change according to the characters reactions ! The sets are also pretty nice and colorful .

Most of the humor is the tongue-in-cheek variety , with the director gleefully taking pot-shots at established filimi conventions .To say that watching this movie a would require some suspension of disbelief is an understatement ! For e.g When Salman Khan questions his uncle about getting money for his flight to New-York , his uncle immediately withdraws a big wad of cash from his pocket , saying that it was the money he was saving for his wedding. A tearful salman khan accepts the money , promising to get his uncle married as soon as he returns . As soon as Akshay Kumar makes his entrance , a halo appears over his head .
Since this is a love story , you have you emotional moments too...they're pretty well done and not overly-melodramatic . Most of the emotional scenes are in the last half hour . I loved the last part of the movie , where Akshay finally gets his lady love ( it's too cute. )

Akshy and Salman have a good screen presence and on screen chemistry . Akshay's geeky laugh was just perfect . Slaman's also given quite a good performance...the boo-boo diapers scene being a case in point .
On the downside , the movie is a bit stretched . Two of the songs could have easily been taken out of the movie or shortened . Few of the joke are are bit lame too. other than that , it was really hard to find fault with this lovable movie.Its too bad that this movie was presented as a love story...I'm sure it would have done much better if it had been presented as a comedy movie instead of a love triangle .

If you're the kind who looks for moving performances, meaningful cinema or you're a cynic who enjoys ripping apart movies for the smallest mistakes , then this movie is not for you. This is the kind of movie where you just sit back , relax and enjoy the ride . i f you liked movies like Andaaz Apna Apna and Deewan Mastan , then you'll surely like this one too .

Go for this movie if you're looking for a very uniquely made and light hearted romantic comedy

DON review...The best-laid schemes o' mice an 'men .....

<-------Pointless Discourse ------>
Being a megalomaniac bad-ass is much more fun than being the hero....
1.You get to do the craziest things without any excuses...And no cleaning up later.( Shoot the poor bloke who wants to leave your gang, kill the police informer with a well placed golf ball)
2.You get all the cool Gadgets( A watch that detonates bombs and warns you of pesky intruders ) 3. You have a vamp for company ( Isha Kopikkar)
4.Your base of operations are in the snazziest locations throughout the world( Paris , Malasiya)
5. You get a cool wardrobe ( Funky Shirts, Tag Huer , Oakley , et all)
6.Highly Personalized Transport ( Covertible Mercs , Helicopters )
7. You get the best lines ( "I like me too...", "Mujhe uske joote pasand naih the...")
And you get to look cool in the process
<-------End of pointless Discourse---->

First of all , hats off to Farhan Akhtahr . He took a really big chance in remaking Don . Remaking cult classics is always a risky proposition ... you have to stay true to the original and still put something fresh for the audieice . And when the original has some of the most iconic moments in Hindi Film History (... Khaike paan Banars , Yah mera dil , 11 mulk ke police ...) you know that you have a tough job on your hands . If you go wrong , you wil have earned the warth of a generation of Aunties and Uncles He took a even bigger chance by getting Shah Rukh to fill in the Big Bs shoes. He doesn't seem to have much success outside of his romantic roles ( Not necessarily because they are bad movies ) . So it was with some apprehension that I went to see this movie....would Farhan massacer the classic ? Could SRK match up to Amitabh ? Would I be paying just to see the same move , albeit with exotic locations and modern Technology? Well , to tell you the truth , Farhan has made a pretty decent movie. Does it surpass the original ? No way ? Does it come close ? Yes it does . Will it become a classic ? Not likely

The Good

SRK is pretty good as the Don . ( More on that later ). The costumes , his mannerisms and ex-pression are as close as anyone can come to the Original Don without imitating him . Face it , no way that SRK can pull off an Amitbh... so he decided to do it in his own way.He mouths the dialogs with malice and does a generally good job of bringing the bad-ass Don on screen, although he is less successful as Vijay. Think of it as Baazigar-meets-Duplicate. You get to see him use plenty of high tech-gadgets , romance damsels and deal death with uber-coolness ( Poor Cahnky Pandey...)
The first half of the movie moves along at a brisk pace . Its basically the same Don an a modern setting , while the second half deviate considerably from the original.

Farahan has also made quite a few changes to the script . Jasjit( Arjun Rmpal ) is no logner a circus-artist . Instead he is a hacker/security-analyst . Instead of the Don being killed , in this one he is taken to a secret location.
There are also a number of twists in the plot , especially the BIG ONE , right there in the end... never saw it coming ( Maybe I was too stupid)
There are some good action sequences. The Dons rescue from the Malaysian police is as good as anything in Hollywood . The car chase is also pretty can never go wrong with exploding auto-rickshaws .. Even tough the escape form the plane is a rip-off form Con-Air/Moonraker , its still pretty well done.

Priyanka Chopra is also quite good as Roma . Boman Irani is competent enough , although he looks sightly uncomfortable as DCP DeSilva .Kaareena Kapoor is okay for the 10 minutes or so that she's on screen .

The background score matches the film perfectly. cinematography is first rate .

The Bad

First of , all I really think that the movie lacks soul . The Original didn't have such high production values , but it was much moire engaging and lively . You never really get attached much to any of the characters . I felt that the same thing was wrong with Krrish... Koi Mil Gaya had me rooting for Rohit , while Krrish was just ho-hum.
The movie supposedly has 1200 edits . 1500 wouldn't have been a bad idea . the movie lags considerably for most of the second half .Although it does pick up in the end it really drags in some parts . ( But the ending does make up for it though ) . Like his previous movies ( DCH , Lakshay), he seems to have gone haywire in the second half .The number of dealings and double crossings revolving around the missing disc( The major plot point ) also gets on your nerves and after a wile you wish that they would just get rid of the damn thing .
SRK cannot pull off the UP-bhaiya act . It looks artificial , like he is imitating Amitabh . He should ave made it a Mumbaiyah-character. I really think it would have worked much better.
The worst part has to be the choreography of the songs . Yeh mera Dil...Remember how Sensuous Helen was ? Now we have kareena doing some kind of tribal dance that would be better suited on Tarzan, with heaving bosoms et al . Khaike pans banaras is insipid ( with a highly contrived setting) . Aaj ki Raat was the only one that was passable . I really expected much more.

The Ugly

In-your-face Malasiya .Thanks for the guided tour .
Yeah Mera Dil....kill the choreographer .

Overall , I would have to say that this a good film , but not without it's flaws . If you are expecting iot to recreate the magic of the original , then you will be disappointed .Not for the purists . Bu if you want entertainment , then this is as good as any other movie release this year.
I'd give it 3.5/5 . But I just cant help liking this it's a 4 .

<--Useless Trivia--->
The picture hanging in Dons safe is "The Scream" (Check it out... )which was stolen in 2004 and was still missing at the time that the movie was shot( It was recovered last month )...couldn't help but laugh at that clever piece of humor.

As close to reality as possible. But no closer

Circa 1990-2001

Ah, those were the days . We were students…Life was nothing but heading to school , hanging out with friends and with only the occasional exam to disturb our pointless existence .

Being cool consisted of listening to Backstreet Boy , Boyzone , N’Sync. Britney Spears was every guys fantasy . People used to listen to cassettes and CDs . Having a mobile was a status symbol . Napster was still around. ( Tell us more Grandpa…)

The situation of Bollywood movies in general and romantic flicks in particular could only be described in one word: terrible

We had to be content with weepy melodramas ( Kuch Kuch Hota Hai , Raja Hindustani , etc,) , formula action flicks ( Karan Arjun , ) , cheap comedies (Dhule Raja ) with the rare genuinely good movies ( Rangeela , Shool , Bombay , Maachis , Andaaz Apna Apna ,etc ). The parallel cinema movement continued to churn out good movies that were blissfully ignored by the general movie-going public but lapped up by the critics . Our favorite heroes were the ubiquitous Akshay Kumar and Sunil Shetty , who had the uncanny ability to take on hordes of baddies single handedly , dispatch vigilante justice ,with a few musical numbers thrown in for good measure

It was in this bleak filmi landscape that the then-unknown Farhan Akhtar ( Whose claim to fame was being the son of Javed Akthar and Shaban Azmi ) released his genre-bending , gravity-defying , Frankenstein monster of a film : Dil Chata hai ( DCH) .

It wasn’t the most realistic movie released.

It wasn’t the most aesthetically pleasing .

It wasn’t the most artistically made movie.

It didn’t have any heavy duty , out-of-work art house actors .

It wasn’t even controversial.

Even the critics didn’t like it much.

But against all odds, it worked .

It introduced bollywood to Farhan Akhthar . It revived the careers of Saif Ali Khan and Akshay Khanna . It cemented Aamir Khan’s position as the top Khan . It propelled Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy to the A-list of music directors .

People were confused . Was it a comedy? No , but it had it’s comic moments . Was it a drama ? No, but it had its serious moments . Was it a romantic movie ? No , it was a movie about relationships . Was it a coming-of age movie ? Yes , but not in the usual sense . It was an amalgamation, the likes of which weren’t seen before in bollywood …at least not executed with so much style and panache.

But why did it work at all ? Well , to fully understand , you had to be in the age group of 16-25 when the movie was released . I was a wee lad of 17…and it blew my and my buddies away .

It was more than a movie , it was a phenomenon . Aamir Khans cap, his goatee and hairdo . It became “the look”, surpassed only by Salman Khans look in “Tere Naam”. Goa became he dream destination for Gen Y . ( I did try out the soul patch for a while , but got rid of it when someone asked me about why I was going for the King Fahad look )

It was the only mainstream film that (remotely) portrayed the lifestyle of the urban youth at that time . Granted , that only the ultra-rich could have the fantasy lifestyle of the protagonists : Vacationing in foreign countries , expensive cars , 60” projection TVs , etc . But what clicked was the freshness and spontaneity of the script and acting . Not much melodrama here .

Aamir, Saif and Akshay weren’t portraying the perfect heroes on-screen … they were acting like a bunch of college pass-outs having the time of their lives … go to any college in India and you’re sure to find the same kind of cliques .Hanging out with your buddies , discos , movies , dates ... all there. Up to that time college life in movies meant choreographed dances in the campus and canteen , the presence of a nasty rival ( with his own gang) and the occasional turf war .

Love wasn’t simply the mushy feeling and cute messages of greeting cards . Three love stories, none of them conventional , but all perfectly believable . A divorcee and a college student. A fun-loving rich-kid and an engaged woman . Two people who had no intentions of marrying in the first place . No drawn-out speeches of endless love and sacrifice . No janam janam ke saathi . Modern relationships seen in a ( almost ) realistic way .

The humourous parts of the movie were the best . Most of it was subtle , not over-the-top and forced ( No Johnny Lever !!) . I dont think anyone can keep a straight face through the "Tum bhi Rohit ??!!" Sequence.

In short , it was a movie that me and my buddies could identify with . we didn’t see actors on screen , we saw ourselves( at least we tried to ) . Everyone wanted friends like that who can laugh with them,have fun,cry,HAD their support at all times.Those friends which COULD run to Your house even in the middle of the night

The music was fresh , creative and different . You had a disco number , an unusual love song or two and a buddy number . The images of the three vacationing in Goa with the title track playing in the background has almost become iconic.

Inspite of its short comings ( a slightly corny end-of-movie wedding sequence , the usual melodrama ) , this movie has made its place in the history of Indian cinema . It will be remembered as trend-setting , youth-focused and stylish film that became a cult favorite and a modern classic( please bear with the hyperbole ) . And it still remains one of my favorite movies .