Johnny and James

Posted by Anantha | Posted in , , , | Posted on Wednesday, November 21, 2007


Watched Johnny Gaddaar (JG) some weeks back. Thought about posting my comments here. But felt I should read few James Hadley Chase (JHC) novels on which Johnny Gaddar is based on before writing about JG. It was mentioned that Johnny Gaddaar is a dedication to James Hadley Chase and Vijay Anand. I never knew most of Vijay Anand's movies were thrillers. Coming back to JHC, blame it on the lack of my interest on thriller novels/novelists, I had never heard of him. Out of curiosity, I asked few of my friends like Jagadish and Hemanth about him. To my surprise both had read few books of James Hadley Chase!

Jagadish encouraged me to pick few novels of JHC. After doing some initial investigation in net I purchased 2 novels. Though Im not into reading crime thrillers, there is some thing about JHC that interested me into his novels. When I surfed for his books in a nearby bookshop, realized many of his books had the cover page of skimpily clad females! Must be considered naked during the time those books were published [1950s and 60s]. I did not want to pick novels with such cover pages, as I would have spent more time explaining to my cousins or parents that what I am reading is not porn or some thing but pure crime thrillers, than the actual time spent on reading the novel. I found Indian prints of the novels had less 'severe' cover pics, bought them. I could have borrowed these novels from any where, but I’ve a greed to own the things I like. I was also happy looking at the fatness of the book. If each novel was of 300-400 pgs each, any thriller of any sort wouldn’t have succeeded in keeping me glued to the book so long, neither would I have bought those novels.

When I started reading, what opened in front of me was a world of shrewd criminals, beautiful cunning blonds, rich old chaps with millions of insurance money, royal star hotels, martinis, vodkas, Cadillac, Rolls Royce, smoked salmon, never-heard-of dishes and what not. I started liking every bit of it. Generally we would read a thriller from police men’s/detective’s point of view or at least that was my assumption before I was introduced to JHC’s books. Most of his novels will let know the reader who the culprit is. But the question here is of perfect crime, that elusive perfect plot. Question is will the culprit be able to execute the so called perfect plan, or will s/he get caught..? what goes against his/her plans? Will s/he leave an easy stupid clue for police behind? These elements kept me glued to the book.

Johnny Gaddaar follows the same trick of letting know the viewer that Johnny is the culprit. The whole movie is about whether Johnny succeeds in his plan or not. That’s what makes the movie the best thriller I’ve seen till date in Bollywood.

Han.. coming back to JHC novels, I started with a novel called ‘There's always a price tag’. It was good. Then I read ‘Just a matter of time’, I liked this the most. The last book I finished was ‘I hold the four aces’. Which again was good.

I never thought some day I would go crazy on crime thrillers like this, reading 3 novels back to back to back :) Now have picked up the fourth one ‘You must be kidding’...

Jab we met is 'mauja hi mauja'

Posted by Anantha | Posted in , , , , , | Posted on Tuesday, November 13, 2007


It was purely Imtiaz Ali, the director of the movie who drew me to watch this one. I was impressed by his first movie, Socha Na Tha. That was simply marvelous.

Had this notion about the plot of the movie, like strangers meeting during a journey and then falling in love and then marrying against the wishes of each others family and then living happily ever after. Though this might seem like already-told-1000-times bollywood potboiler plot, again I repeat it was my expectation pinned on the director that added Jab We Met to my must-watch list.

Jab We Met is the story of a foolhardy, innocent Punjabi girl Geet who wants to live life on her own terms and our hero, Aditya (Shahid) is the only son of a business tycoon whom Geet meets during a train journey.

Story takes the expected twist when both miss the train in one of the stations. Geet blames Aditya for missing the train and almost orders him to leave her to her actual destination, Bhatinda. This gives enough time and space for both to fall in love with each other. Its the situational comedy intelligently woven in the script and the simply silly Geet that keeps you engaged till the interval. Not to forget decently complementing Shahid for all those nice acts by Kareena. Let me tell more about Kareena later.

Having narrated the first half of the story nicely, I feared for the highly predictable second half to go in typical bollywood ishtyle. But Imtiaz intelligently avoids all the clichés of bollywood and saves Jab We Met from being just another average Hindi film. Kudos to filmmaker.

Thank God dis movie doesn’t have a duet between Geet and Anshuman [Geet’s boyfriend, played by Tarun Arora], Geet's family doesn’t play antakshari here, chintu-bantus of Geet's family don’t act as messengers between hero n heroine. Thank God these kiddos don’t even act as love gurus. These things make the movie jhara haTke.

Dialogues sprinkled with humor, fabulous music scored by Preetam. Guys you might have listened to ‘Ye ishq hai’, ‘tum se hi’ and ‘mauja hi mauja’ but do not ignore ‘aao ge jab tum’, soul stirringly sung by Ustaad Rashid Khan, Its an awesome song. That’s my favorite too.

I would call it as one of the best performances of Shahid and there is lovely Kareena. Let me make one point clear that Im not a fan of Kareena, rather I’ve loved to hate her for her roles in movies like K3G, Yaadein and Mujhe Kuchch Kehna Hain. But Geet is so so so adorable, that by the time the movie ends, any guy would have started loving Geet madly and in turn would have ended up started liking Kareena!!

Watch it guys, don miss it. Watch at least for the sake of sheer pleasure of watching Kareena in her best role till date.