25 October 2008


Because I have trouble keeping track of who-all is in Salaam-e-Ishq, I'm going to list the main cast in pairs here and get it out of the way: Priyanka Chopra and Salman Khan, John Abraham and Vidya Balan, Juhi Chawla and Anil Kapoor, Akshaye Khanna and Ayesha Takia, Govinda and Shannon Esra [or Esrechowitz], and finally, Sohail Khan and Isha Koppikar as the unlucky newlyweds who just can't find a spot to have their wedding night without setting fire to their room or ending up in the hospital.

You can see a star-studded trailer of the movie here. This particular trailer also includes the title song from the film (by my favorite music directors, Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy), and which is very, very catchy  and quite possibly contains bagpipe music.

First off, a mini-review: I knew that Salaam-e-Ishq was based on Love, Actually, so I was prepared for the loosely-intersecting ensemble style, but I thought that the film took a little too long to come together in the first third (it's too long a film to call that section a half). The tone was too varied amongst the different subplot-establishing scenes, but I think the songs went a long way in pulling all of the different stories and styles together. Once it got going, the rest of it was more evenly paced. And other than all that, I loved it.    

I'm just going to mention a few of the performances from the film.

1. This is the fourth Priyanka Chopra movie I've seen, and the first where I've actually remembered what she looks like once the movie was over; the others were Don, Krrish, Bluffmaster! and her special appearance (along with everyone else) in Om Shanti Om. I sort of knew she was going to be in this movie before I watched it, so that helped.  It's not like I wasn't trying to keep track of her before this, either. I was familiar with who she was and what her name was, but just not her face or personality. Or what she starred in. If you had asked me yesterday who the girl in Krrish was, I wouldn't have been able to tell you.

To misquote from our movie at hand, 

     "Yeh [Priyanka] hai kaun?"         


However, I should be able to remember Priyanka from now on. I think she finally had a role where she could actually show some personality and spark. I wasn't sure about her filmi, overacting-type indignation in the first half, but since she was playing a Bollywood item girl trying to reinvent herself as a leading heroine, I guess I can see where she was coming from. And anyways, she makes up for it in the second half.

2. Strangely enough, and against all odds, I really liked . . . Salman Khan. I can't believe I even just wrote that.  He and Priyanka had a really romantic storyline and great chemistry.  I can't believe I just wrote that either. How girly.

3. Juhi was beautiful and heartbroken and real.

4. Anil Kapoor. Wow. I don't think he said a word until halfway through the film, yet was thoroughly compelling. On a very shallow note, he looked much better unshaven.

5. Frankly, I saw this film for Govinda. I'm sure there are plenty of 'em out there, but I have yet to see a bad Govinda film (okay, I've only seen three Govinda films: Partner, where he was adorable and he danced; Albela, where he was adorable and he danced; and this, where he was extremely adorable but I wish he had danced more). How can you not love Govinda? I suppose I will have plenty of chances to find out.

Oh, and I liked that Govinda (as Raju) called Stephanie's boyfriend "jackass no. 1".

02 October 2008

Hindi Word of the Day Archives for September 2008

This month's selection of words is a (mostly) totally random collection. For a while there at the beginning of the month, I thought I had come to the end of my Hindi vocabulary limits (I hadn't been watching too many Hindi movies recently), but some good suggestions got me back on track (shukriyaa Anarchivist, for suggesting milaap, tuufaan, insaan, nasiib, and qasam!).

phuul (flower)

dhuup (sunlight, the sun)

baal (hair); zulfein (tresses, locks)

raaz (a secret, a mystery)

lenaa (to take, to receive)

likhnaa (to write); lekh (something written); lekhaanii (writing instrument)

zaruurii, zaruudii (necessary)

agar (if)

denaa (to give, to let)

milaap (meeting; mixing; union, harmony; reconciliation)

tuufaan (a storm of wind and rain)

insaan (a man, human being); insaanii (human); insaaniyat (humanity)

piiche (behind, afterwards, later, back, ago)

uthnaa (to rise up, to get up, to stand up); uthaanaa (to lift, raise, pick up)

nasiib (destiny, fate, fortune)

qasam (an oath)

farz (duty, obligation)

qarz (a debt, loan)

ajnabii (a stranger)

dushman (enemy, adversary)

bhaasa (language)

bhii (even, too, also, as much as, still)

phir (again, then, next); phir bhii (even so)

lagnaa (to seem, to begin to); some verb forms--lagtaa, lagte, lagaa, lagii

pahle (before)

gandaa (dirty)

bajaa, baje (o'clock [singular, plural]); ek bajaa (one o'clock); do baje (two o'clock)

paas (nearby)

lifaafaa (envelope)




I am not a native Hindi speaker. The words I list are either ones I have picked up by watching Bollywood movies or from perusing my Hindi reference books, including Teach Yourself Beginner's Hindi Script, Teach Yourself Hindi Dictionary, Teach Yourself Hindi Complete Course, Living Language Hindi Complete Course, and best of all, the enormous Oxford Hindi-English Dictionary. Despite all these reference sources, it is still totally possible that I read something wrong or misunderstood it--so keep in mind that this list is made by someone who's only been watching Hindi movies on a regular basis since November 2007 and has no previous experience with the language.