Friday, December 09, 2005

Nil n Icky

"That movie is gonna be one of the worst ever..." predicted one reader in response to this post last month.

You were dead right, girl. Neal n Nicky is not "funny, frothy and fantastic" . If there is one F word that describes it (besides the obvious one) it's FAKE.

Neal, "the Neal", if you please describes himself as a typical Indian boy with "nothing typically Indian about him". However, the only "unIndian" quality he exhibits is playing American football (or perhaps the Canadian version ).

Who else but a desi banda plays the field but knows deep down in their heart: I will have an arranged marriage!"

Because my Mummy knows what's best for me.

Come again?
The trouble is, if Neal is supposed to be this suave 'ladies man' then it's not clear why his eyes pop out everytime a hot chick passes by. As in God-I-am-so-lucky-she's-even-looking-at-me.

Then we have Nikki, who is out to prove that Indian naaris can also look as starved as Kate Moss. We can roam around in bikini tops and mini skirts, just like those white chicks. And have dishy ex-boyfriends who speak French. But wait, the Indian naari is superior because she will still be a virgin.

Of course she does behave badly once in a while, but only when drunk. That's when she sings songs with lyrics like: "I wanna show my body groove the nite away .. Halla re, halla re". And says to strangers 'take me home'.

But she meant her own home, silly.

What went wrong
You know the teens-finding-true-love-after-trashing-the-countryside genre of films in Hollywood. This is the Yashraj version. But no, it just does not work. For one the actors can't carry off their parts. Uday is too wannabe, Tanisha screechy and desperate to show off her ribcage ("see, see how much charbi I lost!")

The first half is particularly and spectacularly bad. Things actually improve after the interval. And the ending is rather sweet. But, it's too little, too late. The movie ends and you don't really care this way or that.

There are some nice touches here and there, of course. The most memorable 'kracter' of the film is the sardar with a guitar (modelled on Rabbi Shergill) who suddenly jumps out and plays a crucial part.

Which is sad because there was plenty of comic potential. Except someone forgot to write the jokes and decided to distract the audience with cleavage instead.

India Rocks
You know how for years we Indians lamented that Hollywood shows India as a nation of elephants and snakecharmers? Well we are finally having sweet revenge with Bollywood. And Yashraj films is leading the charge...

It started with Bunty aur Babli where the duo made an idiot out of two dumb whites by 'selling' them the Taj Mahal. Then in Salaam Namaste you had Jaaved Jaffrey's bimbo sidekick whose only dialogue was 'sorry?'

Now, you have dozens of white bimbo chicks pouring out of tight t shirts. All eyeing our Indian hunk. One babe even introduces her body parts by name (yeww, but true). If I were white and female I'd scream,"Hey, we're not all like that! Bollywood, you have the wrong idea..."

Tough luck, sister. You're an extra in our films now - like we were once in yours.

Parody time
Lastly, the makers do try a touch of self-deprecating humour. There's a small parody of DDLJ with Neal and Nikki running towards each other in a sarson ka khet before they say "nah". That's not our style.

But it's taken to literal and ridiculous lengths when they actually dance on mountain tops in true Bollywood style, to make Nikki's firang ex-boyfriend 'jealous'. Again, it could have been funny but isn't.

Bottomline: Neal n Nikki is going to get very bad reviews. I would give it 1.5 stars. Only for the ending - make that two.

It's not about being meaningful or making sense. But films like Kya Cool Hain Hum or No Entry were at least fun and feel-good. This one never quite evokes even those feelings.

Neal 'N' Nikki better not be a hit! declared and I sincerely hope so too. Because that would force the film makers to treat the youth audience with more respect.

And enough of globe-trotting. Can we have a youth-centric Yashraj film set in contemporary India, for a change?


  1. 'Youth centric'+ 'yashraj-film' + 'set in contemporary India'= Nice try!

    But you have all right to dream! I am with you... :)

  2. I can't stop laughing at the underlined humor of the whole review.. well, forewarned is forearmed.. am surely not gonna waste my time on it...

    BTW I love your "India rocks" part of the article :).....

  3. Rashmi, thanks! Thanks because I was going to get a treat from a friend with the movie and a little nice dinner thrown in. Thankfully, now it is Apaharan.

    BTW, that idea of a revenge is really good (read sweet). Beyond Tom Alter playing the usual smuggler baddie in films, we haven't had too many of these folks in Bollywood. How about an entire movie? :)

  4. Thanks Rashmi-Your reviews are always taken

  5. Well atleast it is not a complete copy of a bollywood film...just kind of

  6. I am sure you have seen "Hazzaron Khwahishen Aisi" (or whatever be spelling), which is not Yashraj production but quite a good youth centric non-preachy movie. If you haven't, try it.

  7. I wonder where our movies are going. On one hand you have excellent and thought- provoking movies such as SARKAR or APAHARAN and on the other hand you have those inane i-ape-hollywood-yet-try-to-indian movies. The only way this one was gonna work with No-Hopers as leads was if it had an X-Factor. Of course, in this case its Sex-Factor. But Tanishaa can't carry off a sexy role to save her life, and poor Uday will never be able to act no matter how many films he does.
    Verdict : Watch only if you like anorexic Tanishaa or for the firang ( supposedly) Babes . Trashy !

  8. hii ..

    can u please start publishing rss feeds ???

  9. U r dead right... the movie sucks

  10. the Rss feed is at

    The moment someone starts getting rich and famous they begin to suck.

  11. Na Tum Jaano Na Hum (Only Arjun Sablok knows the trick)

  12. Bad movie..BTW, do u get premier tickets for all the movies.? You seem to have the reviews within hours of the movie getting released.

  13. if this is the new age cinema which celebrates the indian youth,then either i am blind or they are very secretive about where they are or i must be surely 100 yrs old because i just cant find them any where .... trust me i tried

  14. I didn't agree with your review of 'Home Delivery', but this one is spot on.

    The lead pair could not act for nuts. Unintelligent script and poor direction.

  15. hahahha ..... ur blog was jus great ... makes me want to watch the movie now ...

  16. I have to agree with "in a new land". I think I am gonna watch it too see how bad it really is !!! Besides lets admit that Tanisha does look awesome in those micro-mini's ;-))

  17. hey! just came across your blog! nice review! I too wrote one! It would be great if you could read it and leave a comment and could u pls even tell me how i could improve my writing!

  18. This movie sure isnt a masterpiece or a work of art for sure. But like it or not movies are a reflection of our society. Just 15 minutes ago I was channel surfing and this movie Anari with some wierdo hero and Karisma Kapoor as its star cast was showing. Watch that and you will know how much we have progressed. N&N will seem like a Hollywood movie.

    No sex is fine.
    Bad sex is intolerable.
    A joke about sex is atleast laughable.
    N&N deserves the laughs as do Salaam Namaste's Javed and B&B's Taj Mahal sale. If Hollywood went by logic, they wont have even their "H" left. Imagine a Lollywood full of logic.

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  20. told u it wud suck! insult to intelligence, these kinda movies.

  21. the review seems to strike the rite chords at the rite time ...the only youth centric contemporary india types movie in recent times ... that comes into my mind is the one and only 'dil chahta hai'. i bet a lotta pppl n specially guys related to it in some way or the other ..wot say guys ?
    any ways Neal n Nikki might be a despo attempt of Tanisha to look hot n a far too streched try of Uday 'meat shop' chopra ( Coz thats wot his body looks like !!) but one things clear that its not gonna work ...coz youth of today wants much more than a lame comedy of sex n funkiness .....n one more thing nice will always be in....

  22. in response to ur previous call for writers.., well.. heres my URL.. u might wanna check out my overall writing..

    im also listed on the sizzling blogs list


  23. and im based in mumbai.. missed out on that in the previous one..

  24. Did you happen to read todays Mumbai Mirror, the movie director has given his lame excuses to defend the movie.

    Here is my take on the movie...

  25. What do you mean when you said "...there was plenty of comic potential. Except someone forgot to write the jokes...". Would you please elaborate Rashmi?

  26. I havent met a single person who has liked this movie. For me it was amongst the best movie that I have seen in recent past.. Believe theres gng to be a paradigm shift in indian cinema.. But no one seems to be agreeing to it. Just hope that this goes on to be hit. Chnaces of which are very less

  27. LOL!!

    Well written - the promos of this movie were sickening, and I am not wrong that this movie has turned out this way.

    Infact, any yash raj movie post ddlj have been disasters. I sincerey hope they stop making movies alltogether!

    Keep inkin - this is the first post by you I am reading!!


  28. I dint care to read the review earlier...spend 120 bucks for the movie...
    THis movie sucked major time...
    felt i was in a Booby trap(pun intended!)

  29. Yo, i dont knoe wat u guys are talkin abt, cuz i think this movie was pretty awesome.
    Its not completely bollywoodish and neither is it hollywood but its a try and deserves a thumps up. For ppl who dont understand the jks, they wont find it funny. The girl, nicky, her clothing was a bit too revealing but i found her caracter very cute, her stuborness and celeverness and her way of plotting revenge was rather cute. And u can't blame the actor for their clothing since its totally not up to them. They tried their hardest to be canadian and though they can't pull it off as a real canadian born child, they did pretty good. And being a canadian my self, i have to admit canadians arnt as bad as they portrayed it. but as far as it goes to their acting, they werent the greatest, but both of them are improving their acting skills and deserve an appreciation. And before I leave, i'd also like to add that the songs were great, everysingle one of them, and the ending was very sweet.

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