Saturday, November 26, 2005

Salaam Namaste - Offbeat

A subject that has not been dealt effectively finally finds its way into the folds of Hindi cinema. It depends on the viewer's take on live in relationship. A simple story of a couple(not a married one) staying together just to find out whether they can be compatible in the future or not forms the backdrop of this movie.

Writing a review on Salaam Namaste at this point may not serve a lot of purpose for others, since I guess most of them would have watched the movie by now. But I had the opportunity to watch it after a considerable time thanks to the India Association here. As always, my punctuality deserts me at such moments and I arrived at the Physics seminar hall a good fifteen minutes late. But the good thing about Indian movies is that the viewer can follow the story from any given point. It doesn't matter whether one is fifteen minutes late or an hour late!

It is about two people, Preity Zinta and Saif Ali Khan, who have divergent set of views and though both of them lead their lives with different ideologies, have mutual feelings for each other. Saif is pretty keen on a long term relationship with Preity, though the latter is very doubtful of the both of them striking good chemistry. So, they decide to live in together for a few days and then see how the relationship takes shape before deciding to tie the nuptial knot. The early days goes on brilliantly before a series of events force both of them to decide whether they are making the right moves.

Now, to watch such a hindi movie after a lot of repetitive, cliched and boring themes leaves us with a pretty good feeling. It is not the run-of-the-mill movie where the hero and the heroine are running around trees and then finally decide to come together at all odds. The subject here is quite touchy and the director(I missed the credits. Remember I was fifteen minutes late!!) has done a good job to portray such a theme with ease. When most of the movies flash the The End message on the screen as soon as the hero and the heroine get together, here the movie ends once the two of them have stabilised their relationship after showing the viewers the pros and cons of a relationship. It is never easy to direct a movie of such a controversy prone subject(Kushboo and Suhasini can tell how controversial this is), but at the end of the day, a nice message is conveyed. But inspite of all that, the movie could have ended on serious overtones instead of getting meaningless comedy elements interleaved in the ending. It was totally disgusting to see Abhishek Bachchan(yes it is Abhishek in a guest appearance) wield his role as a doctor and that too with some slapstick comedy that was irritating.

Saif and Preity have done a terrific job. Dil Chahta Hai has made a big difference to Saif and he seems to fit any role to perfection with his good acting skills and he is one of those few actors these days who has a perfect sense of timing in comedy sequences. He makes it look really casual. Preity is as cherubic as ever, displaying lots of enthusiasm and energy, and springing to life with gaiety. Her display of emotions is truly commendable. It is not one of those movies where the actress has got just a job of pleasing the hero with her song and dance ability. She has a clearly defined role in the movie and plays it to laudable limits. Arshad Warsi, as Saif's friend in the movie, has played a good supporting role. He is the favourite of the masses after his fantastic role in Munna Bhai MBBS and here too, he does not let anyone down with his acting skills. Javed Jaffrey has been roped in for a very small role and I did not find anything exciting about his comedy. The songs are pretty lively and the cinematography is excellent capturing the picturesque locations of Austraila very well.

Overall a decent Hindi movie to watch and the offbeat theme breaks the dull lullaby of the old fashioned themes so often repeated in Hindi cinema.

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