Just last week, India won Cricket World Cup. While euphory wins India, it reminded me of two Bollywood movies about cricket, and I think this is the best occasion to review them on my blog.
Directed by Ashutosh Gowariker
Starring: Aamir Khan, Gracy Singh, Rachel Shelley, Paul Blackthorne
My Rating: 7/10
Lagaan is the story of a whole village, this is the story of cricket, and in some way this is the story of India. I think the one mistake you can make before watching this movie is to believe it is a historical movie. Wrong. It is a sports movie first. And one should go with this expectation only otherwise Lagaan reveals itself very surprising, and not in a positive way. Its main flaws are the length and the fact that the story is only about cricket. If you love cricket and the unbearable suspense a match gives, then you will love Lagaan. But despite those "details", Lagaan is a really well-made film, the visuals are superb. The soundtrack (AR. Rahman - take a bow) is so beautiful, you will always remember "Chale Chalo" and fall in love "Radha Kaise Na Jale" with the lovely and graceful Gracy Singh dancing as the picturisation. I have to mention her, she has a charm which reminds of those old-school actresses. Pity we don't see her anymore, because she had potential. Aamir is, as always, good and shows his perfectionism once again, though I wouldn't call his performance amazing. To sum up, at a first watch, Lagaan is an excellent sports movie, with amazing soundtrack and great performances; but it is also a big cricket match, and we never go back watching a cricket match twice...
Dil Bole Hadippa
Directed by Anurag Singh
Starring: Rani Mukherjee, Shahid Kapoor, Anupam Kher
My rating: 8/10
Veera (Rani Mukherjee) is a young village girl with big dreams. She is passionated about cricket and wants to make it as a professional. When her village's cricket team, now captained by Rohan (Shahid Kapoor), looks for a new player and that she tries her luck, she painfully learns that her only mistake is to be a woman... She then decides to pretend to be a man to pursue her dream. If you want to watch a typical, fun entertaining and Punjabi-ish movie, then Dil Bole Hadippa is perfect for you. It is not original, but its strength lies in the female-oriented story and in Rani Mukherjee's performance; those two facts are enough for it to be a really good and enjoyable movie. The soundtrack is catchy and effective ("Ishq Hi Hai Rab" being the best and a very lovely song), the visuals are sheer delight (this is Punjab for God's sake. :) ), lively and colourful. Shahid as the male lead is good (and the chemistry he shares with Rani is very nice) but he is totally over-shadowed by the incredible Rani. Dil Bole Hadippa is her movie throughout. She carries it on her shoulders alone, effortlessly, and with the charisma which is her trademark (and with a pinch of flawless comic timing). She proves once again she is one of the finest actresses ever, and only for her, Dil Bole Hadippa should have been a hit.