just another day at the bubble factory: Ajab Prem Ki Gazab Kahani
A film that opens with an extended crotch joke - one in which people, including the hero, are yelling for over 50 seconds - is already on my bad side. But even in that aggravating minute, there were things to like: the colors of the shops on the street, the lovely billowing sari, the bunch of cheerful balloons. And so Ajab Prem Ki Gazab Kahani continued all the way through its run time, full of colors and light and even a totally appropriate brawl among bubbles - but also way too much loudness, wackadoodle scrambling around,
and an air-headed heroine. The boisterous comic book spirit implied by the promotional graphics
was used consistently, sweeping up sound effects, sped-up action, interesting wipes between scenes, the story, and even the acting into a colorful but very lightweight package. But even when it was screaming in my face or being just plain ol' dumb, I couldn't possibly turn it off, thanks entirely to Ranbir Kapoor.
Couldn't agree more.
Guh. I consider myself warned.
Let us pause a moment to bask in the awesomeness that is Ranbir Kapoor as Prem in this movie. Great character, great performance. He's Ducky from Pretty in Pink!
He rocks the over-the-top "cool"!
He really looks like he's in luuuuuruve, lighting up when he sees Jenny, and cares about what she thinks of him.
And at other times genuinely sad.
He fills Prem's everyday gestures with such sweetness or humor at a nice, normal level even when the film itself goes overboard or surrounds him with total duds.
Also, he is yumsicle.
That jalebi-making hip-swivel is hot.
Now for Katrina...wet noodle.
Heehee. My thoughts exactly.
She seemed to be trying, at least some of the time, waving her hands around for ages to express worry or making her eyes really, really big. Yet at others she just stood still doing nothing, as though she wasn't really even in the scene. Gotta blame some of that on director Rajkumar Santoshi, of course. She was not at all aided by a role in which she had to dress and act like a thirteen-year-old who was happy to take advantage of Prem's good nature and risk-taking when it suited her. Also, this movie deserves as severe a smackdown as Striker for its horrendously out-of-context and fairly casual threat of rape. The incident is made all the more bizarre because the threat is issued not by the would-be attacker but by his father, who tells poor Jenny that his son will rape her if she won't agree to marry him.
No. No, movie, NO. On the other hand, I liked the indulgence in Katrina's real-life past: of course Katrina knows what Salman Khan's body looks like, right?
I have very little else to say about Ajab Prem.... Apart from Ranbir, whose presence is the whole reason I decided to watch this in the first place,
it did nothing for me and I suspect I won't remember it a week from now. I haven't talked about much of the plot or any of the side characters because they don't matter and left no impression. Overall, the film seemed 90s-y in ways I don't like and I found it only occasionally funny or interesting. Similarly, apart from the meaningless rape bit, I also found nothing to hate in it either. It's just not at all my cup of tea...or maybe, to fit more in the flavor of this film, a fluorescent pink strawberry milkshake sprinkled with pop rocks: fizzy, bubbly, loud, sweet, a bad combination, and nothing I'll ever order again.