Shah Rukh Khan as Raj and Kajol as Meera, Dilwale (2015) picture image

Shah Rukh Khan as Raj and Kajol as Meera, Dilwale (2015)

Sorry, this posting series has gotten away from me, much like reviewing Hunchback versions. Anyway let’s see if I can somehow watch/review two more movies before then end of July. On a better note I did at least decide on the next Hunchback version.

Anyway I hadn’t planned on reviewing another Bollywood movie since I just did one but I watched this with a friend of mine so  I figured why not?

Before we get to this movie, a brief history. As a semi-casual Bollywood fan I enjoy the pairing of Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol. Prior to Dilwale I had seen every movie they have been toegther, which is not major accomplishment. But as a person who enjoys this pairing I was very excited to hear that in 2015 they were going to be a new movie and I had wanted to see it in theaters but then another movie came out around the same time and distracted me. That movie was Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Then I heard Dilwale sucked and I forgot all about it. That is until I saw it streaming on Netflix and I knew I should watch it. So was everyone right? Was this the worst movie with this actor pairing?

The answer is yes. I didn’t finish the movie, I’m such a pro at the whole reviewing movie thing. (I know am not.)

I was so confused by this movie. Most of the characters  are terrible. Shah Rukh Khan plays Raj, I think he repairs cars or something but he used to be a gangster. He has an idiot brother who likes a boring yet conventionally attractive girl. Raj is okay with the pairing until he meets the girl’s  sister, Meera. Meera and Raj had an affair 15 years ago in Bulgaria but she was in a rival gang and both their father killed each other or something. And then she shot him.

Was there anything good about the movie? I mean maybe we should just focus on the positives.

Oddly I liked that the film said they were in Bulgaria, as random as that sounds. But there is a movie called Hum Dil de Chuke Sanam, which a way better movie, but in that movie they tried, and failed, to convince the viewer that Hungry was Italy. It was clearly Budapest they went to and not Rome. So I guess kudos Dilwale for saying you filmed in a place and putting that in the story?

What else? The Shah Rukh/Kajol part of the story was better than anything with the younger couple. That should have been the movie. Their chemistry wasn’t as good as any of their other movies.

Some of the lighting was okay. It was OVERDONE in cluttering the frame but it was a nice distraction in parts.

Everything was bad. This movie was bad. If you like the pairing of these actors and want to be a completionist sure you could watch it  but I would recommend the other movies they have been in. Sometimes it’s not worth being a completionist.         

Paheli picture image


Today we have a different fairy tale movie because it’s a Bollywood movie. Fantasy movies are uncommon in Bollywood and more to the point this movie is based on a folk tale. It’s also based on a short story written by Vijayadan Detha which also had another Bollywood movie based on it called Duvidha from 1973.

However the movie we’re going to look at today is called Paheli which means Riddle. It came out in 2005, stars Shah Rukh Khan in a double role and Rani Mukherji. It was also India’s entry for the 79th Academy Awards but since it’s not about Indians having issues with being Indians or some historical events it didn’t get the nomination.

Rani Mukherji as Lachchi and Shah Rukh Khan as the Ghost Paheli picture image

Rani Mukherji as Lachchi and Shah Rukh Khan as the Ghost

The plot goes that a young lady named Lachchi is getting married and she is pretty excited. On her way to her new husband’s home, they stop at a place where it’s said a bunch of ghosts lives erm haunt or really just hang out. One of these ghosts falls in love with Lachchi. And stalks her a little bit.

On their wedding night, Lachchi’s husband, Kishanlal, is more interested is managing accounts, much like he did on the road. He then tells Lachchi that his father is making him leave on a seven year business trip the next day, so it’s better if they do nothing on their wedding night as Lachichi has to stay behind. This devastates her. Kishanlal stops at the same place with ghosts from before, it’s like watering hole rest stop type of place. The ghost who loves Lachchi recognizes Kishanlal and takes on a physical form and learns about Kishanlal’s extended business trip. The ghost then takes on Kishanlal’s likeness and goes to his home so he can be with Lachchi. He does tell her that he is not her husband but a ghost that fell in love with her and he asks her what she wants. This moves her as no one ever asked her what she wanted before so she accepts him and his love.

They spend four blissful years together while Kishanlal pines for home and writes letters that don’t get deliver because the Ghost pissed off the messenger. However he returned home when he hears rumors of Lachchi’s pregnancy. To settle the two  Kishanlals the men decide to go to the King as one Kishanlal is totally cool and the other one is a massive whiner. Before they get to the king they run into a shepherd, who makes them perform tests to prove who is the real husband. The final test is that the Shepherd asks the real lover of Lachchi to enter a water bottle which the Ghost does and is sealed inside. This devastates Lachchi but then it’s revealed that the Ghost possessed Kishanlal before entering the water bottle so they can be together.

Just to note, the book ends with the Ghost staying in the water bottle.

Rani Mukherji as Lachchi and Shah Rukh Khan as the Ghost Paheli picture image

Rani Mukherji as Lachchi and Shah Rukh Khan as the Ghost

On the one hand this movie is very mean to Kishanlal who is just presented as weak-willed man who is just doing what his parents told him and he does harbors affection for his wife and then is all but abandon in his duty. However on that pesky other hand, the preceptive the movie took is about a woman who is posed with a riddle, live a sad life as the duty of marriage forces on her or take the love she is offered. According to Shah Rukh Khan it’s a woman’s liberation movie though small in scope.

This movie really is a riddle because Kishanlal and Lachchi are two side of the coin, Kishanlal does his duty and is punished for it to the extent that he is possessed by a Ghost for the sake of Love while Lachchi takes love in a selfish manner and is reward for it. The way the movie presents it, you’re on Lachchi and the Ghost’s side but it still misguided even with a nobler theme.


 Shah Rukh Khan as the Ghost Paheli picture image

Shah Rukh Khan as the Ghost

Given as the movie has its core story components at the start and end you would think that this would mean that the Characters would be a least be interesting. Well no.  The Ghost’s characterization is he is a bit of a prankster, nice and charming. That’s not bad but it’s very typical of characters played by Shah Rukh Khan which are ubiquitous. Lachchi doesn’t seem to have much of a personality either. She likes love but that is kind of it.

Rani Mukherji as Lachchi and Shah Rukh Khan as the Ghost Paheli picture image

Rani Mukherji as Lachchi and Shah Rukh Khan as the Ghost

As is standard with Bollywood movies this one has musical numbers. The songs aren’t bad but they are not that interesting either. All the songs are nice but run together in terms of sound. It could be because the movie is a period movie so there isn’t a ton of variations of style they could use effectively. Again the songs and choreography are nice and nothing more.

Rani Mukherji as Lachchi Paheli picture image

Rani Mukherji as Lachchi

Where this movie really shines is the technicals. It’s pretty! Most Bollywood movies are pretty, it’s their style but this one is lavish. The jewelry even gets its own credit. It was done by Tanishq and at the time of this movie’s release they offered a Paheli collection. The costumes are very nice too, nothing is very like distinctive as a stand-out but Lachchi is often seen wearing oranges with blues which is a striking combo.

Rani Mukherji as Lachchi Paheli picture image

Rani Mukherji as Lachchi

Paheli is a beautiful movie on the visual level but the spirit of love is well intentioned but misguided.

Way back in July, Skylar suggested that I make a list of my personal favorite movies. So here they are, my ten favorite movies in no particular order as of December 2015.

Stiff Upper Lips  

Samuel West as Edward Stiff Upper Lips picture image

Samuel West as Edward

Stiff Upper Lips is a parody of British Edwardian movies in particular Merchant of Ivory movies and that time period all together.  I first saw this on Masterpiece theater and thought it was super silly. It’s super well acted, the sets and costumes are great and the humor is awesome.  I quote this movie all the time, in fact my AMV editing name came out this movie.


Shah Rukh Khan as Veer and Preity Zinta as Zaara in Veer-Zaara picture image

Shah Rukh Khan as Veer and Preity Zinta as Zaara in Veer-Zaara

Veer-Zaara is a Bollywood movie and it was the second one I ever watched, the first was Devdas. It’s such a lovely movie in its look, plot and characters. I know it flawed but I really love it.



Vidya Balan as Lalita in Parineeta picture image

Vidya Balan as Lalita in Parineeta

Another Bollywood movie. I watched this movie late one night when I was very anxious and it calmed me right down so this movie has a calming influence on me. Again it just a lovely pretty movie.


Tang Wei as Wong Chia-chi and Tony Leung Chiu-Wai as Mr. Yee in Lust/Caution picture image

Tang Wei as Wong Chia-chi and Tony Leung Chiu-Wai as Mr. Yee in Lust/Caution

If you want a Depressing movie about China in WWII here ya go. This is not like a nice movie in its plot BUT it’s so pretty. It was based on a novella and the movie gives the plot/characters so much depth without like spelling it out for you. It’s a really well done movie.


Castle in the Sky

Pazu and Sheeta seeing Laputa Castle in the Sky picture image

Pazu and Sheeta seeing Laputa

I have talked a out this one before, I love it.

Land before Time (Original, the sequels do not exist)

The Land Before time picture image

The Land Before time

This movie, this movie, sigh, it was my childhood favorite. I loved dinosaur when I was a little kid. This movie is traumatic for little ones but I love the characters and the animation is still great.

L’Amant (The Lover)

Jane March and Tony Leung Ka-fai in The Lover (L'Amant) picture image

Jane March and Tony Leung Ka-fai in The Lover (L’Amant)

I think this movie is like a guilty pleasure for me. It doesn’t have a plot but it has a meaning and point. Again it’s a well done movie.


Flushed Away

Flushed Away picture image

Flushed Away

The first time I saw this one I thought I was going to hate it but I loved it. I love its humor  characters and style (in parts). I love the slugs, the frogs, and Robby’s alias Millicent Bystander. I also love the mime on the cell phone.


Salma Hayek as Frida Kahlo picture image

Salma Hayek as Frida Kahlo

Agian it such a beautiful movie. I love the way the film incorporated Frida’s artwork into the style of the movie.


Maggie Cheung as Flying Snow in Hero picture image

Maggie Cheung as Flying Snow in Hero

GAH This Movie is way too pretty, I love it.

So yeah those are some of my favorite movies. I actually watch a lot more TV shows (and anime) than movies like as go to things or just in general.  I need to watch more movies.

Here some Honorable Mentions,

Gone with the Wind (I love Scarlett, I think is a great character, terrible person but great character and the costumes.)

Gloomy Sunday (Another depressing yet lovely movie, I love the ending though.)

Rebecca (I love the mood and style of this one)

Ranma 1/2 second movie Nihao My Concubine (Ranma is one my favorite anime and this was the first thing I saw of it and I was confused but I still love it)

Asoka (I love the music in this one and the style)

La belle et La Bete (I have talked about this one before)

Muppets Caper and Most Wanted (I love the muppets and I can’t pick between these two^^)

Lady and the Tramp/Dumbo (I dunno why  love these movies as much as I do. I might do my top disney movie )

Gorgeous (I need to rewatch it because I loved when I first saw it but I can’t recall it well right now except for the Just Smile fight which was awesome)