only for Akshaye: Aap Ki Khatir*

* with apologies to Babasko, who thought of this sort of title first.

It's not uncommon for me to watch movies in multiple stages, but this one really pushed the limits. If I had been liveblogging, it'd have to look something like this:
  • Tuesday, 7:10 pm: movie about twenty minutes in and I can hardly keep my eyes open; realize I would rather be watching a Gilmore Girls repeat
  • Thursday, 9:27 pm: movie about thirty minutes further in and I can hardly keep my eyes open; realize I would rather be asleep and that a Kevin Sorbo-guested episode of The OC is better than this could ever be and I should just quit while I'm ahead
  • Friday, 9:30 am: a morning movie, even an "enh" one, is a good idea; I've had worse accompaniaments to a bowl of cereal
  • Friday, 4:53 pm: the lasagna is in the oven and my parents are supposed to arrive at about 6:00, so I can just finish it if I don't keep pausing to laugh at the subtitles
  • Friday, 5:30 pm: parents early
  • Friday, 8:38 pm: everyone tired; sense of loyalty to Mr. Khanna compels me to watch the final thirteen minutes and start getting screen captures
It's just not a good movie. Nothing about it is particularly interesting. The characters, with the exception of Akshaye's, veer toward the grating, especially Priyanka and Amisha's cousin (Bhumika Singh), who is supposed to be boy-crazy/man-hungry and says things like she feels ill if she goes two days without a boyfriend, the following,

and "no motivation without rotation," which I think means that the more you change boyfriends the harder you try for the next one, or something, I don't know.
There's a love story that you have to buy into in order for this movie to work, and I was never convinced by any of its leads. The plot is silly but no moreso than usual; there are a few moments in which people - either the characters or the actors - seem to be enjoying themselves, but the story and its execution are generally dull. Nothing about it is exceptionally bad, but I cannot give you a reason to watch it, even if you're a big fan of any of the leads. You can just check stills to see how silly they made forty-six-year-old Suneil Shetty look, and I'll tell you right now that Anupam Kher overdoes his bumbling father at times, as does Lillete Dubey her "I'm so glam and modern on the outside here in London but phir bhi dil hai Hindustani" mother, although she is balanced out a bit by the few speaking lines of her Monsoon Wedding costar Kamini Khanna, whom I am always happy to see.

With one exception.** I know I've said this a lot lately, but once again, bad subtitling ran amok throughout this movie. The best example was someone getting "ditched at the alter." Mostly there were jarring and repeated discrepancies between what was being said and what was written on the screen; while most of the time I suspect that didn't matter too much, I wouldn't be surprised if some interesting bits were lost in the fog. A few were probably just lazy typos, like "he" where there should have been "she" or "do" instead of "to" in an angry "do hell with your friendship!" Many times this happened during English dialogue, so the mistakes were clear: "nervous girl" was written for "nervous flyer"; "it's how I am" for "it's fashionable"; "he is the man" for "he is Aman" (this was about Akshaye, so I giggled extra); and "a don't-care-for-you attitude" for "your don't-care-a-damn attitude." Sigh. I'm sorry if my constant whining about this is getting irritating; maybe subconsciously I'm hoping that if I complain enough, someone with the power to fix the problem will do so, especially since it is surely so easy and affordable to avoid.

Deep cleansing breath.

Peace out, yo.

(There is a whole series of delightfully silly hip-hop-esque poses in the remix of the title song, which plays under the opening credits. I watched them many, many times. Love him as I do, Abhishek in Bluffmaster he ain't. In fairness I should add that right after this, which is as the song ends, his entire mode changes and he sits nicely with his hands folded and looks off towards stage left, as though he's making eye contact with a director or choreographer, waiting for their approval, and then laughs, as though he knows he's just mugged ferociously [and looks a little out of his comfort zone in the bling].)

** Okay, two. In addition to the bad subtitles, I had to fug one of Amisha's outfits, which you can read about on Bollywood Fugly if you are so inclined.


Anonymous said…
I had the exact same reaction to Aap Ki Khatir. If Akshaye hadn't been in it I wouldn't even have bothered to fast-forward through most of the movie (pausing only for him, of course) rather than ejecting it from the dvd player and sending it straight back to Netflix. Why can't the man choose better movies??? 36 China Town wasn't so bad, but Shaadi Se Pehle was almost as awful as AKK. Hopefully Salaam-E-Ishq will be as delightful as it's soundtrack. :)
Anonymous said…
Akshaye was the heart and soul of Aap Ki Khatir.

I think his movie lineup next year looks superior though- everyone goes through a bad phase, right?. Salaam e Ishq along with two thrillers with Abbas Mustan, and a movie called Gandhi my Father- which will win him accolades- that's a pretty good lineup.
The Exinator said…
Being such a gifted actor, Akshaye Khanna messed up his career himself. I mean Shaadi Se Pehle for Zinda, wtf? Then again, Aap Ki Khatir. He's been offered a lot of good roles but he turned em down for Aap Ki Khatir lol
Anonymous said…
I don't think Akshaye would have gotten any benefit from doing Zinda. That movie did more wonders for Sanjay Dutt, John didn't gain anything from it.

And he didn't pick Shaadi se Pehle for Zinda. Reason he dropped out of Zinda was because he didn't like Sanjay Gupta's (the director of Zinda)behavior offscreen. It was a personal issue offscren.

And I think Akshaye will have a great 2007. 2006 agreed was not very good for him career wise, but he'll bounce back. He's got some very promising movies lined up.
Sharon said…
no thoughts on the movie itself - but it *is* kinda sad that the OC is actually improving, now that it's almost definitely cancelled.

Did see the reveal abt Sorbo's character coming a mile away though. :D
I'm hopeful for 2007 too - fuelled mainly by the Salaam-e-Ishq soundtrack. Fingers crossed....

Sharon - I am sooo out of the loop. It's getting the axe? Whyyyyyyyy? It's finally good again! You're right about Kevin Sorbo, although I admit I only figured it out a blink before top attorney Sandy Cohen. I have a weird soft spot for Kevin Sorbo, so this arc is going to be enjoyable no matter what.
Sharon said…
beth - it's not officially cancelled yet, but the fact that this season only has 16 eps is supposed to be a bad sign. AND yes, it particularly sucks, considering I stopped watching somewhere in the 2nd season, and I've only just gotten back into it, and now we get a truncated (and possibly final) season? The TV gods hate me (see Firefly, cancellation of).

and considering Sorbo seems to have that same quiet intense thing that Ryan has, it seems to be perfect casting :D
Sharon said…
... and also, you've been tagged! ( You have to blog about what you learnt or realized in 2006... or was it the year in review? i forget, so you pick :D
Eggie said…
Beth, i think you've seen far less movie than I actually did and trust me - Aap Ki Khatir is Priyanka Chopra's best so far. Even if she's made of wood and can act at all.
Akshaye - my favourite :*
Anonymous said…
What I like in Aap Ki Khatir is Akshaye Khanna! Akshaye Khanna is the heart and soul in Aap Ki Khatir!
anonymous, I could not agree more. Although maybe assigning this movie "heart and soul" is a bit generous.

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