Sunday, June 05, 2005

Bunty aur Babli review

[Edit on June 6, 2005, 6:30pm PDT - approx. 130 views of this post till now, a new record for my blog... I am touched :-) ]

Finally I saw it, went to Naz yesternight and caught the 9-12 show. Yes, I am talking about the movie Bunty aur Babli, about which I had blogged previously. The plan was to watch it last week with Gaurav, but had to meet Sanjay, Anshuman and Jagadish for some stuff... so postponed the plan.

The movie is a nice timepass movie... light-hearted and full of fun. I strongly recommend watching it [and then coming back to my blog to read the review :-)].

Another interesting part was the subtitles. They converted "chaat pakora" to "pizza" and things like that.. and the song lyric conversion was hilarious [adding to the overall fun score of the movie]

Okay then... on to the review.

Spoiler Alert:
This review will go in a lot of details, so if you have not watched the movie, you better watch it before you read on.

Content Warning: This content is rated PG-13 by me, some topics may be unsuitable for kids. Please be careful

[skip summary]
The movie is about Bunty a.k.a Rakesh Trivedi and Babli a.k.a Vimmi Saluja [Abhishek Bachchan and Rani Mukherjee], who are from small towns and have big dreams. They bump into each other at the lucknow railway station after having fled from their respective homes in search of a more eventful life.

However, they realise that hard work and honesty is not going to pay and turn to conning people. Once they start liking their job, there is no stopping them. They also give away a lot of money they make to the poor.

They do a lot of very brainy [and amusing] heists, you have to see it to believe it.

However, there is a police officer [Amitabh Bachchan] who is on their tail.. and finally he does catch them, when they have promised to reform themselves! The last part of the story is also interesting when he finally frees them and then recruits them as anti-conning experts [a la catch me if you can].

And now, on to my comments...
The movie started at my weak point, with scenes of Banaras, [you all know why that place is so dear to me]. Seeing the ghats, ramnagar fort, the sand on the other side of Ganga etc. made me nostalgic... I am so waiting to visit Banaras again.

The first half of the movie has a nice bunch of capers by the duo, each bigger and better than the previous one. The songs were mostly well placed [except for the nach baliye one] and the scenes of Ladakh in "Chhup Chhup ke" simply blew me away. I am putting that place in my to-visit list :-).

Rani and Abhishek share a very nice screen chemistry, which is evident in the first half in their conversations. The scenes between them showing the development of the romantic relationship fills one up with mush... as is expected from something from the Yash Raj banner. *sigh*

The second half largely belongs to the senior 'B', who amuses with his load of "UP ishtyle" dialogue delivery [not to forget that junior 'B' also refers to himself as "hum" instead of "main", a truly UP/Bihar trait]. It was nice to see them both on screen together. There were some obvious dialogues ["kahaan se ho? allahabad se.. shakal se hi lagte ho"] and the "Kajraare Kajraare" song and the scene before that bring out the father-son duo's talents.

The capers were also very witty... I liked them all... esp the Taj one... hilarious!

A lot has been said about the song, about hot hot aish looks in it, but I beg to differ. I found her more attractive in "Ishq Kamina" than in this number, indeed I found her looking cheap and sleazy in this number. If this is how a bar dancer in UP is supposed to look like, then she did a good job :-).

The ending was also very nice ["agar maine ek bhi baar aam ka achaar aur banaya to main mar jaaoongi!!" :-) ]. I am sure they will have a sequal coming [like Dhoom], but more than that, I think this can be exploited more and be made into a TV serial, with Bunty and Babli fighting crime in their special way in each episode... what do you say??

The songs were nicely picturized. Did you notice Shiamak Davar in the "Nach Baliye" song? Also, I think Big B's rap song in the end was cute :-).

Acting wise I think the main characters did very well. I wonder why I still have this feeling that Amitabh could have done better. [loved the "makkha makkhi" joke :-) ]. Junior B was nice. Rani was also good. I am slowly moving towards making her my fav. actress in the current batch, having seen Hum Tum, Black, Veer Zaara and now BnB.

A nice point of the film was the presence of some good character actors in small roles [Raj Babbar, Kiran Juneja, Puneet Issar, Rameshwari, Prem Chopra, Ranjeet, Ravi Vaswani, the lady from WBHH, the guy from lagaan, Apple Singh, ...]. This made sure that even small scenes came out well. That said, the acting in some portions did leave a lot to be desired. The girl who talked to Vimmi [babli] at the Miss India content was simply horrible. But mostly it was nice.

Now, on to some controversies:
Firstly, I read somewhere that some sikhs had complained about the fact that vimmi, a sikh, is shown taking drugs! I think they were talking about the first con scene with apple singh, in which Rani is shown smoking. If these people cannot differentiate between drugs and a fancy brand cigarette, they need to do a little more homework before making allegations. Also, Rani is shown opposing junior B's cigarette habits later, which the protestors cleverly chose to ignore.

That said, I think this movie could have done with a little less alcohol and tobacco. In this time, movie stars should try not to glorify their use to the people.. because the youth "does" get influenced.

Secondly, some people have objected to the "hot" scenes between B and B just before the interval, with all the kissing and cuddling going on. My take on this is that although I agree that you may feel a little uncomfortable seeing that with parents etc, it was shown in a very artistic way. After all, they try to highlight the "love" angle of sex. This is a hundred times better than the ads of the continuous stream of sleazy movies coming out of bollywood presently. I whole heartedly welcome the sensitive show of love between husband and wife in movies.

Incidentally, just after that song, they showed a trailer of "Bachke Rehna re Baaba", the Mallika Sherawat/ Rekha version of "heartbreakers", and Mallika alone managed to show more skin in that 3 minute trailer than Rani could manage in a 5 minute song!

Finally, as an ending comment, Yash Chopra sure knows how to make his leading ladies look good :-) . Rani looked very sexy in the movie, except the disco song in which she looks like a prostitute. The dress designer has done wonders with her clothes, especially the kurtas worn in the first song - they give her the young-and-innocent-yet-sexy-in-a-nice-way look. I think they will be next "in" thing in fashion in India [and I will miss it all since I am here in the US :-( ]

Goes on to show that you do not need to take off your clothes to look sexy [a la Mallika and others currently].

Thanks for reading uptil now. I hope you enjoyed reading this review.
Please post a comment and let me know your views about the movie or my reading of it. I am sure a lot of you have different points of view than mine.



  1. Anonymous7:54 AM interesting review, in deed although a little opinionated ;-). I do agree that Aish was better in Ishq Kameena but then, the Kajraare song, I thought, belonged to the father-son duo anyways.

    More on my opinion about the movie at (another case of shameless publicity, what? ;-))


  2. Hey nice post boss:) Next time onwards I shall be looking forward to reading your posts before watching the movies :)- that will be a real nice idea.

    Aish has started to look old now :(

  3. Nice writing of the review. However, one faux pas was overlooked by even the most microscopic an observer. That is, B and B shows a snap of a hoarding proclaiming the entrance to Harcourt Butler Technological Institute where Ms. Mukherjee attempts to partipate in the shady Miss India Contest(a horrible potryal though.. missing reality by miles), in Lucknow(as shown by the gate hoarding. One must recall that HBTI is in Kanpur and not in Lucknow.

  4. Anonymous10:26 AM

    the review is more of a story give away anyway u gave the warning before ;)
    As an ardent indian movie buff and critic myself i think BnB could have done better with a better story line focusing on the 'how' of their escapades. It would have been interesting viewing.
    Also i think conning can be done in a smarter sense which would make way for even more interesting viewing. the movie was a good family entertainer, but if big brands like the yash banner intend to produce off movies aka dhoom and BnB a lil romantic slush should be off and more focus on the 'idea' of the story.
    Its sad that at the end of the day seeing a happy couple happy pleases our cinematic senses and their dances and songs our voyeuristic delight.
    Aish was nonsensical but i loved the song. And less of alcohol and cigs should really depend on the character potrayed and not the glorification.
    Small 'B' has definitely come of age with his free flowing of expressions and watchin rani and him together was a delight.

  5. Anonymous6:47 PM

    Hi Bhaiya... I would like to say just one line that the blog was good but the movie was not so good... there were a hell lot of scenes full of over-acting and were making absolutely no sense... and to increase the beauty of the movie the producer/diro duo added a full volume of PJs... Rani had never looked so bad in any movie and what else is left to say ??? haan !!! one "muhawara"... unchi dukaan fika pakwaan kinda movie was it....

    But at the end, everyone has his/her own likings and dislikings... I hated that movie but some other may even like that crap :-).


  6. good review bhai...down to the last microscopic element of the movie. pretty much expected from you. I myself have some things to say about the movie myself.
    I loved the movie. it was different, though copied from english movie. but as far as hindi movies are concerned it was a breath of fresh air compared to all the headache movies that have been released. with its simple comedy and simple portrayal it reminded me of the old hrishikesh mukherjee movies like chupke chupke, guddi, golmaal etc. those movies were not as big as some of the blockbusters of their times, but are still remembered as great comedies. I think Bunty & Babli falls in the same category.

    I recently watched guddi and chupke chupke again, and it made me laugh all over again..just as it did when I watched it the first time.

    ok, back to the movie...I agree that being an Indian I did feel a little awkward watching the love scenes with family, but as you said it is a natural phenomenon and wasn't shown in any sleazy way as compared to Murder or Jism. and I think that much love scene is expected from Yash Chopra movies.

    I don't know about all you guys...but my most favourite thing of the movie were the two dialogues...."Yeh World...." which was used in different contexts by all the three main characters and the one which was always used by rani.."Oye rakesh" had the typical punjabi accent which mad me feel close to home, to swades.

    bhai I have a different opinion on that tv serial idea of yours. I think making a sequel will ruin the effect of the movie....kyunki bollywood ho ya hollywood..sequels are always a bad idea and ruin the plot line of the movie. and for the tc serials......given the state of affairs of the channel wars for showing soap operas....there is a high risk of it running into trouble waters after a few episodes....there a few serials like CID which have still maintained its audience and its original storyline....its difficult but not impossible...but we need a good director and story writer who would carry the serial properly till the end and not abandon the cause of the movie in the mid somewhere and then just follow their instincts, as and when they like.


  8. nilima6:53 AM

    have'nt seen the movie yet, but feel like seeing, after reading ur review.appreciate ur effort in posting such a detailed review.i too agree on not glorifying the use of alcohol & tobacco on screen.something is being done in this regard by indian censor in the news paper a couple of days ago.more after seeing the movie.

  9. Thanks for warning at the beginning, not to read the review if already not watched. So, i didn't read it ;).

    Came to your blog after a long time. The pictures are really nice and a sigh of relief for me as it seems you are having fun too. As you know i will also be a graduate student soon.

    Chalo, keep the fire burning.

  10. Siddharth Verma9:38 AM

    Nice review man, .. but did the Chopra family paid you for writing this! Jusk joking.

    Anyways movie was nice but not as nice as expected especially with so much of hype created around it. I know you would have not faced this but in this side of world we were already overfed with loads of BnB promotion activities even before the movie got released, eg. BnB reading news on news channels etc.

    The movie was a nice entertainer but
    it did slow down in the second half.
    Also I just think that it's a bit socially irresponsible kind of film. OK there are many hindi movies these days which fail on this count, but this is a Yash Raj banner family entertainer and is going to be seen by a large audience.. and I really don't know what impact the film may have on little kids who had gone with there parents to have fun , they may come out thinking that what BnB were doing is right.(Kids, and even some grown ups try to imitate what their heroes do).And more so with BnB coming out of their messed up lives so easily... it may just create some doubts. If we go even further the good guy ie BigB was shown in a very bad taste.Also the film glorifies alcohol and smoking.
    Coming to the point of Sikhs objecting to the movie. Ok some tolerance is expected by every community but I really don't know what will happen to a movie in which a hindu is shown eating beef for pleasure or for any other reason... for those who don't know Sikh religion bans every kind of smoking activity... very rarely you will find a Sardar smoking ... u will normally find them drinking... so I will better choose not to comment on this. Anyways Babli being shown as a Sardarni doesn't make much difference to the movie. I think if there were objections Chopra's may have just re-shot the scenes of Babli's father and instead shown Babli as a punjabi and not sardarni.
    Also the director did do a blunder showing HBTI in Lko....
    I am sure if I had gone to see this movie before listening about all the hype I would have liked it better.

  11. A big thanks to all of you for seeing and commenting on the post.

    Some points:
    1. I was also confused about HBTI.. then thought maybe they have opened another branch in LKO :-)

    2. I was opposed to the idea of saying "drugs" when meaning "smoking" - if sikhs are not supposed to smoke... [which is true], they have the right to complain.

    Bas .. abhi itna hi.. There were approx. 150 views in all.. great job, my dear readers :-).


  12. Anonymous11:44 AM

    just shows that ppl can always talk abt movies ; cause its an illusion and criticizin that illusion is easy as it makes no difference ;)

  13. congrats on the record blog
    I shall read the review after watching the movie

  14. hmmm...BnB...watched the movie yesterday...I would say that the movie was was an okay time pass movie...definitely not a must-dekho types...the so called hillarious episodes (including the Taj)...I wont call them hillarious...they were...hmmm...funny...I liked the one liners better (kyun bhaisaab chaand pe jaane ka irada hai kya? kyun aap ticket bech rahe hain? ticket to aap pehle hi le chuke hain)
    I liked the UP-Bihar touch in the dialogues...when I heard the rly station announcement...India ki yaad aa gayi...and the way Small B earns a berth in the train...
    and the best part of the movie...BIG B...he rocks!!! I fully agree with one of my classmate-friends who opines that AB is in his best right now...not 30 years ago...
    AB is full paisa vasool in this movie...otherwise, BnB is a movie...and that's the reason enough to watch it :D

  15. hmmm...BnB...watched the movie yesterday...I would say that the movie was was an okay time pass movie...definitely not a must-dekho types...the so called hillarious episodes (including the Taj)...I wont call them hillarious...they were...hmmm...funny...I liked the one liners better (kyun bhaisaab chaand pe jaane ka irada hai kya? kyun aap ticket bech rahe hain? ticket to aap pehle hi le chuke hain)
    I liked the UP-Bihar touch in the dialogues...when I heard the rly station announcement...India ki yaad aa gayi...and the way Small B earns a berth in the train...
    and the best part of the movie...BIG B...he rocks!!! I fully agree with one of my classmate-friends who opines that AB is in his best right now...not 30 years ago...
    AB is full paisa vasool in this movie...otherwise, BnB is a movie...and that's the reason enough to watch it :D

  16. dude,

    thanx for your post .... saw the movie today ....

    movie is a fundu time pass and for the uninitiated, the movie ended at a moral high point too...

    "mein yeh mehnat aur izaat ki zindagi aur nahin jee sakta .... please, mujhe bacha lo"

  17. KA.. KA samjhey ho.. 3 ghante ki filum dekhi aur uuke baad tohar 1 ghante ka reviewa padenge.. itna time nahin hai.. accha hi likha hoga..
    haan.. hamey to filum mein bus big B accha laga (k.. naam k hai) auur uu Aishwaryaa ka naach .. kya kaatil nachaniya hai baabu.. (although looking too cheap but exactly as it shud have looked)..
    chalo ab chalte hain..
    jai raam ji ki..


  18. Anonymous1:22 PM

    nice review....i thought the movie was ok...didnt really have a strong hold to it but i caught myself laughing a few times.
    i was wondering it u knew any site dat had the dialogues up for that movie. the "yeh world" lines were priceless yet so true =)