OKADA KA RISHTA, DIL KA RISHTA, AISHWARYA RAI AND THE FRENZY OF ECSTASY
I’ll start this post off with my okada fantasy. For any non-Nigerians reading this, an ‘okada’ is a commercial motorcycle, sort of like a cab on 2 wheels. So, anyway, I was on an okada last night and closed my eyes… and transported myself to a fictional Bollywood world. I was on a beautiful black and silver motorbike behind a handsome Bollywood star (first it was Abhishek, then it was Hrithik, then it was Dharmendra (but much much younger)). The wind was blowing through my hair (well, it actually was in real life), and there was lovely music playing in the background. We were somewhere in Bangalore, I think. It was lovely. The one thing I could not do, which I would definitely have done if my fantasy were real, was hold on tight to my Bollywood hero. NEVER! The VERY last thing you want to do on an okada is touch the okada-man. No disrespect to okada men everywhere (it’s an occupational hazard), but they aren’t very clean, to say the least (and some of them are pervs, but this certainly isn’t exclusive to okada-men). Anyway, I eventually opened my eyes and returned to the real world. My okada man went through a mucky puddle and splashed water on both of us (eww), I gave him a scolding and got off five minutes later at my house. Well, it sure was a nice fantasy while it lasted.
Okay, on to ‘Dil Ka Rishta’ (DKR), starring the khoobsurat Aishwarya Rai. I wasn’t really expecting much from this movie, basically because I hadn’t heard anything about it before I got it, and also because it doesn’t star any of my favourite actors (Ash is beautiful and dances beautifully, but she’s not a great acting talent, in my opinion). I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. It was good enough to keep my attention. I guess it’s good to have low expectations – if I’d been expecting to really enjoy this one, I just might have been disappointed.
Check out those pots... colour-coded to match Aishwarya's outfit.
DKR starts out with Aishwarya’s character (Tia) stomping all over a man’s heart (his name is Jai, and he’s played by Arjun Rampal) when he summons up the courage to tell her he loves her. Instead of at least giving him a polite ‘no’, she looks horrified, runs away and jumps on her boyfriend Raj’s bike (Raj appears just in time). At first, I thought this was harsh, but it turns out that Jai is a big fat LOSER, and the chump flat out deserved it.
Interestingly, by the end of the film, Tia is all over Jai (yes, the same Jai), like a brazen hussy. She wants him to love and marry her so badly, it’s almost embarrassing. She throws herself at him, but he’s not biting. Why? That’s what this film is all about – the bit in the middle.
"Hey, Jai, I love you and I know you love me, so put that anklet on my ankle and marry me NOW, dammit!!"
"I wish... I wish... I wish Jai would just fall in love with me and marry me already!"
"Come on, Jai... you know you want to."
And the bit in the middle is the good bit in DKR. The lead actors are all pretty competent. Arjun Rampal, who I haven’t liked in anything else I’ve seen him in, is quite nice here, and so is the guy who plays Raj – can’t remember his name. I recognised the actor who plays Jai’s dad in the movie from ‘Hera Pheri’. He was good in this film if a bit of a meddler (a huge humongous gi-normous meddler, actually). The legendary Rakhee is also in this movie, and is as good as ever, even though I haven’t quite forgiven her for breaking Amitabh Bachchan’s heart (well, technically, the heart of his fictional character, Sikandar) over 30 years ago in the film ‘Muqaddar Ka Sikandar’ (which, by the way, is a good film). The woman who plays Jai’s secretary is absolutely dreadful. What is it with secretaries in films – does the role go to a family member of the film-makers for kicks or what? They are consistently bad. The music in DKR is quite good, especially the title track. And I like the fact that the storyline tackles the issue of drink driving, which is an important issue that often gets overlooked. If the film makes one person stop his/her drunken friend from getting behind the wheel of a car, then it will have done a great service.
Random thought: there’s also a café called ‘Café Bistro’ in the film, which struck me as quite funny. Another random thought: Don’t you just love how Bollywood films create fake-pretend illnesses (I borrowed the term ‘fake-pretend’ from Beth, she who loves Bollywood)? I mean, they just create all kinds of sicknesses, unknown to medical science, just to propel their storyline. (He has a rare type of disease, a timpanic dysfunction where he can only hear words spoken from the lips of the one he loves – hey, I’ve just come up with one!). And don't even get me started on fake-pretend cures to fake-pretend illnesses. I must admit I like that sort of resourcefulness. After all, new diseases are discovered everyday, hai na? Up fake-pretend illnesses!! As we say in Nigeria, ‘carry go!’
But back to DKR: although the character of Jai is a LOSER, he does kinda sorta shape up by the end, and I kinda sorta liked him. But the ending is a bit annoying. They find a way to patch things up very nicely (and in true Bollywood style unrealistically) and emerge with a happy family and smiles all round, but… what about Raj? I really, really liked him. Is he now going to be forgotten while Tia and Jai now play happy families? Is his son going to be raised as another man’s child? Is it fair for Tia to just move on with her Jai while forgetting all about her husband (although it’s not her fault)? And why am I now Raj’s champion? (Hmmm… just realised the 3 main characters all had 3-letter names: Raj, Tia, Jai). Anyway, like I said, the end is annoying, but the film ain’t half-bad.
Aishwarya is alright in this film, as she is in most of her movies. She looks great, dances great, and acts – not great, but good. And I noticed something interesting about her in DKR… she had a ‘frenzy of ecstasy’ (or two, or three). In fact, I realised that in almost every Ash film, they manage to covertly sneak in one or two frenzies of ecstasy. What is a frenzy of ecstasy, you ask? I’ll show you a couple from DKR:
Okay, so both photos are from the same frenzy of ecstasy.. but it was a long one.
And here are a couple of frenzies of ecstasy from ‘Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam’:
So that’s a frenzy of ecstasy.
For me, the star of this film (DKR), though, is this guy:
He is just so adorable, and the camera absolutely loves him! Cute little guy!
But if I were his mum and dad, I sure as hell wouldn’t be letting anyone to do this to him, especially so close to a precipice like that!! Sheesh!!!