Thursday, November 17, 2005

Neal n Nikki

Nikki Bakshi
Sweet n sexy
Full on rocking
Hot n happening

The evolved junta might go ugh! but brace yourself. This is the tune which will be ruling the airwaves in the coming weeks. It's a Yashraj film and you know how hard their Promo Machine works.

Yup, those are the rather cheesy lyrics from the catchy title track of their next release - 'Neal n Nikki'. A film, which, like Salaam Namaste seeks to redefine what being 'young and Indian' is all about. But from a continent away.

So while Salaam Namaste was set in Australia, this one's got Canada as the backdrop. And judging from the promo CD sent to JAM magazine by Yashraj, it's DDLJ in reverse.

Synopsis: Neal (Uday Chopra) gives into his parents’ wishes of marrying a girl called Sweetie from Bhatinda, but has just one pre condition to getting married. He wants to live it up one last time and wants to go to Vancouver on a 21 day bachelor vacation.

So the poor dear is let off for one last, long roll in the hay...

Neal gets lucky on his first day out in Vancouver and is asked out by a hot super model. A silly, spunky Indian girl screws up the date. The girl? Nikki Bakshi (Tanisha Mukerjee)!! But this is only the first of many chance encounters, where Nikki – mostly by accident – ensures that Neal never, ever gets lucky!!

Whatever Neal does, Nikki un does. Call it luck, call it fate, call it anything. Bit by bit, Neal’s bachelor vacation starts falling apart – whether he is going skinny dipping with a girl, or enjoying a romp in the back seat of a car. Nikki turns up everywhere to spoil things for poor, poor Neal!!

So far, so good. Now comes the really 'cool and modern' bit.

A truce is called between the two, when Nikki decides to help Neal get some serious action. She tells him she can get him laid and takes him to “babe heaven” – Whistler!!

Will it work?
Most likely, yes. Neal is living out every Young Brown Male's fantasy. Getting 'lucky' with a hot white chick on the day he arrives in Vancouver, for example. It's what every nerd who steps out of the airport is secretly hoping!

As for Nikki, she represents the "I can be naughty, but I'm basically nice" face of the young Indian woman.

I know, the film's tag line is "Nice is out, naughty is in" but I'm pretty sure they won't be showing Nikki "going skinny dipping with a boy, or enjoying a romp in the back seat of a car". Trust me on that.

The special feature of the Yashraj 'trendy' films factory is somehow, they get the styling just right. And I don't mean just the clothes. They do push the envelope, but not so much that it tears.

I mean in the end of Salaam Namaste, Preity isn't just left holding a baby she conceived while in a live-in relationship. The couple does marry.

Secondly, Yashraj is definitely formula but they always add some interesting touches. In 'Salaam Namaste' for example, the Jaaved Jaffrey character was quite a riot. Like 'Kaantaben' was, in Kal ho na ho.

Thirdly, Aditya Chopra is definitely the Invisible Hand orchestrating it all. Arjun Sablok is credited with story, screenplay and direction. Which is bad news - given his earlier, excruciating 'Na tum jaano na hum'!

But, if Yashraj has decided to film it, you can be sure the kinks and chinks have been ironed out. The same happened with Kunal Kohli, after all. After a disastrous Mujhse Dosti Karoge he managed a Hum Tum.

I thought the film was a poor rip-off of When Harry met Sally but most of India went gaga over it! Of course, Saif as leading man (and Rani to an extent) also added charm to Hum Tum.

Will two relatively lightweight stars like Uday Chopra and Tanisha manage to work the same magic? Well, at least Uday has worked hard on his 'look'. Pehle se accha lag raha hai. Tanisha has lost oodles of weight (a little too much I think!) but seems to suit the role.

But hey, one more chi-chi youth film with Preity/ Rani/ Saif in the lead would have been hard to swallow. It's been-there-done-that, we're-bored-what-next.

Having lesser known stars can be a blessing in disguise. The producers simply have to pay more attention to the story and dialogue.

They know that if the film's an entertainer, the word-of-mouth from the first weekend crowd will bring in enough audiences in the days to follow!

Bollywood goes corporate
Yashraj has managed to 'scale up' and corporatise. Cranking out more and more content for an entertainment-hungry India.

And when one has to churn out 2-3 'products' a year, originality is what takes a hit. The designer youth films of the Chopras are invariably 'inspired' by phoren ones.

Of course, being far smarter than the Bhatts, Yashraj never copies scene by scene.

Wonder Neal n Nikki ka idea kahaan se uthaya hai. With the film getting released next month, we'll know soon enough!

The caveat
For all its fabulous promos, box office success and even awards, a Yashraj film is never what I would call a 'classic'. That's because it is based on formula - although one that's been tweaked a bit and packaged beautifully.

I don't see Yashraj ever making a true cult film like Dil Chahta Hai. A film which was made with a completely different mindset.

Trouble is, even Farhan Akhtar can't make another Dil Chahta Hai (and shouldn't be expected to either!). We need both kinds of filmmakers. And then some!

For now, let's just hope Neal n Nikki is at least half as "Funny, frothy, fantastic!!" as Yashraj promos describe it!


  1. Indian moviegoer cmng of age n all... but, this is gng 2 b a fewdays wonder... very soon moviemakers r gng 2 run out of ideas n Mahesh Bhatt will still b making sex thrillers throwin silly comments abt ethics n all agnst others!

    The Bottomline: The industry is gng 2wards a loss of ideas... wht they shud do is instead stick to slapstick comedies n mindless formulas... tht ll kp the xpctations low, at least!

  2. Yashraj has his place in the history of Indian Cinema as an entertainer. And he lives up to this image with most movies that he created.

    He also seems to understand the psyche of typical Indian crowd and is generally able to deliver what appeals to them best- "Try a little adventure and then firmly comeback to the good old Indian values"

    I am tempted to guess the rest of the story : to the surprise of neal - nikki turns out to be the dame with whom he was to marry. As a further surprise she knowing of his bachelor tour decides to ensure that he does not lose his virginity. When she found that it would be difficult to keep crossing paths with him just at the right time - she played the game of leting him believe that she can do it for him. In the end - all that ends well...... as neal realises the benefits of being just of nikki's.

    All looks fit - except the yash chopra twist. That one bit that will surprise the audience and will make them think of the movie for a long time. What could it be or could it be that he missed it this time..... only time will tell.

  3. You hv been there and done that.. but what abt ppl frm chote shehar??? let them hv an additional dose of livin-relationships a la the bade shehar way.. as far as bollywood is concerned, copying is a respected and successful tradition.

  4. Dont hope much from the movie. It will be another sucky yash raj movie. Just like Salaam Namaste.

  5. YUCK...another one with the fit-for-Mr. Dombivli/Dahisar/Nalasopara Uday Chopra.
    Wonder how many more films is the Yashraj banner going to sacrifice on that dud. (No the last word isn't a typo)

  6. I am sure nikki will turn out to be the sweetie from bhatinda


  7. Great, another absolutely stupid movie in the long list of 999 movies is on its way, why did you have to talk about it?

  8. Rashmi, here is an idea considering that are are an editor/writer(?) for an "youth" magazine. Conduct a really elaborate poll/survey to reflect the pulse of the 16 - 25 moviegoer. No candy-ass questions such as who is your favorite actor and such please. Try to be more objective and frame questions with a survey goal in mind. For example, The goal of this survey could be to reflect on the attitudes of the people and the wants of the movie going public who year after year are accustomed to spending their hard-earned money on useless crap with men and women jumping around and running around trees.

    I leave you with this hilarious commentary from a moviegoer who vents his frustration upon seeing the movie Chocolate

    We all like a good laugh don't we?

  9. Like it or not, Yashraj films are an inescapable part of India. Yes, sand_dunes - even in Bangalore. Next time u're at Forum mall check what's playing at the multiplex!

    The recent spate of Yashraj 'youth' films have been successful at the box office. Acknowledging / analysing this as a cultural phenomenon does not make me their "official PR".

    Blogs are not a medium of criticism alone. Where credit is due, I believe in giving it.

    Whether or not I like these films is a separate issue. Didn't I clearly mention I thought 'Hum Tum' sucked? I may conclude that after watching Neal n Nikki but that will not necessarily stop it from being a hit.

  10. Hmm... why do we have a Yashraj films banner fluttering around here? I thought this was about movies and not about production houses. Frankly 95% of desi movies suck. Period. I will have to be more cautious about your comments on the blog and question if your posts really reflect the pulse of the Indian youth. The Indian youth is more mature than you give them credit for. I mean seriously, is "Neal and Nikki" even a film worth mentioning? The film reeks of pretentious nonsense decked up for the greenback. I am really interested in reading the subtexts of these movies. Once in a while, I also want to see people act, if you know what I mean.

    Do you even realize that these production houses create these 3 hour travesties with the NRI audience in mind and that the Indian box office collections are regarded as pocket change?

  11. that movie is gonna be one of the worst ever. that song is sooooo irritating i can't even stand to think of it. won't watch the movie if you pay me to.

  12. hmmm dont know whether this movie is going to be a hit or or not...
    apart from the insanely irritating nikki bakshi para there is another part of the song that makes me want to find the lyricist or whoever has written the song, and put that guy back in school..
    "i am the neal
    i am the man"
    give me a break here!! i am THE neal?? gosh this is like hansa in instant khichdi..."i am the hansa and he is the praful" only on that serial they are supposed to be silly and not cool... dont know if any guy or girl in their right frame of mind wud want to watch a film like this... me wud not...

  13. rashmi.. you're actually appreciating something.. becoming a softy?

  14. First things first, how old are you? and why do you write as if you are on SMS?,

    Hi all PPL who Commented......
    (99% of the ppl who commented on this particular post are being too critical..)
    ---> Nope, we are just calling a spade a spade"

    Do u guys comment like ths for every movie that is cming up...
    ---> Yes

    i hate the hypocrisy behind u ppl....i m sure all thoz who hav written thoz verbally assailin coments will be a part of the audience showcasing the movie.....
    ---> You can rest assured, I will not be wasting my money and more importantly time to see a bunch of wannabes running around trees and dancing on interstate highways with rented BMWs and clothes with huge GAP logos.

    After reading the whole lot of comments just leaves me pondering if Rashmi is a part of the sounds so much as if she is advertising the movie n all of us are jst acting critics to the best production house in India and the 27th best Production House in the world.....
    ---> Ofcourse dammit, if you are shelling out money at the movies, you better be a critic. Movies are packaged products at the end of the day. Film making is known as an industry. No one is doing anyone a favor.

    guys...Look at the big picture that Rashmi is trying to portray.....and one thing i whole heartedly agree to is........"Like it or not, Yashraj films are an inescapable part of India".....
    ----> I really don't give a damn about a production house. It is the content of a movie that makes a movie great.

    n whom do we credit for the movies being hits??? look at dhoom, humtum, veerzaara..salaam namaste....etc etc.... dit we all shell out our money to watch themm??????n look at films like Mujse dosti karoge...(labelled as one of the disasters)....
    ---> Sorry to disappoint you. Looks like I saved a lot of money and time.

    the evolved junta definately knows wt tehy at the end of teh week its definately the beutifully packagd movie that wud make them shell out ther moneyyy....
    ---> *cough* *cough* Last I checked, evolution had stopped since Satyajit ray passed away. The people seem to as evolved as the photo-copier people who steal movie scripts from elsewhere and don't even have the courtesy to mention it.

  15. @ shuchi

    ---> Here I am, taking a deep breath and I swear this will be my last post. To begin with, you sound incredibly incoherent and your thought process does not have a goal.

    Well looks as if u have spent a lotttt of your valuable time inspecting every word tat I have written...I too would wat to reciprocate…

    --> Please spare us and don't reciprocate. Lets close the chapter right here.

    I Hate To Brag But I would have loved debating with someone who at lest knows what he is talking least cm to the point
    U r talking all kind of crap without knowing the pulse of the post..........
    It seems u r venting out all your frustration in this 1 Blog....
    At lest be Sporting enough to accept the truth..
    It’s ok if 10 people have 10 different point of views...but I don’t understand wt u talking comes within the spectrum of sensible talk....

    ---> I have no freakin idea what you are trying to say. Please see the underlined words/phrases/alphabets/crap/

    These are the few lines from your above comments that reflect something which is "WHY":

    1-"Great, another absolutely stupid movie in the long list of 999 movies is on its way, ""why"" did you have to talk about it? "

    2-("WHY don’t u "...missing word here ) Conduct a really elaborate poll/survey to reflect the pulse of the 16 - 25 moviegoers..........

    3- I mean seriously,("WHY"..missing word here ) is "Neal and Nikki" even a film worth mentioning?

    4-and ""why"" do you write as if you are on SMS?,

    "WHY" is it that u have this irritating habit of questioning wt everyone else is doing ...(within one’s own space)

    ---> Seriously, the usage of the word "space" has become more of a fashion statement. FYI, the above string of words are also known as "questions". If you cannot answer, you are welcome to plead the fifth.

    But aren’t u judging something that has not even cm out in the market
    U no the best way u can prove urself???
    Don’t watch the movie !!!
    and here I just want to mention wt Rashmi says....Whether or not I like these films is a separate issue. Didn't I clearly mention I thought 'Hum Tum' sucked? I may conclude that after watching Neal n Nikki but that will not necessarily stop it from being a hit.

    Considering the other movies....if they r hits...u cant question anybdy..the audience shelled out their "HARD EARNED" money to watch the movie ....
    So mr. prope//er....HOPE u gt the point !!!

    ---> No, I don't think I got the point. Your incoherence seems to be directly proportional to the time spent in posting a response on the blog. I am ready to pay people if they can tell me what the above alphabet soup amounts to.

    ..U being so critical just makes me pity u........
    coz i believe tat people who try to hurt others try to balance sm kind of a missing need... mainly bcoz..
    "Do u guys comment like ths for every movie that is cming up..."

    jus shows hw critical u can be...u jus want to kill and wound evrything tats cmin up in front of u....too bad

    ---> Once again, what language is this? Which planet are you from? Why am I talking to you? What are you saying? Is this a version of bird-flu?


  16. LOL!Id love to join in the nuking exercise but anyways...i was totally surprised to see Rashmi saying exxxxactly what i had written in another message board.....lemme paste that right here.....heres another part of the movie that drives me maddd!

    What generations X-Y-Z want!

    Hindi Song Title: Halla Re Halla Re
    Hindi Movie/Album Name: NEAL N NIKKI

    Hindi Lyrics:
    Na pairo mein payal na haaton mein kangana
    chali main chali main chali
    ho na ankhon mein kaajal na maathe pe bindiya deewane ki dhundu gali

    i wanna show my body groove the nite away
    chahe bas chahe yeh dil dilbar ko paana re
    halla re halla re halla re (x2)
    tu jhoom le tu naach le masti mein tu kuch pyaare
    halla re halla re halla re (x2)
    tu jhoom le tu naach le masti mein tu kuch pyaare

    main toh na jaanu kisko dhunde yeh nazar bekhabar(2)
    ho jiski khaatir todu main duniya bhar ki rasmein
    kare joh vaade pure nibhaye saari kasmein
    kahin toh mil jaye woh chahe dil toot ke mujhko
    rahoon na main bhi bas mein raahein na woh bhi bas mein

    I wanna show my body groove the nite away
    chahe bas chahe yeh dil dilbar ko pana re
    halla re halla re halla re (x2)
    tu jhoom le tu naach le masti mein tu kuch pyaare
    halla re halla re halla re (x2)
    tu jhoom le tu naach le masti mein tu kuch pyaare

    aya kahin pe mujhko mera humsafar joh nazar
    aya kahin pe mujhko mera humsafar joh nazar
    mohabbat ki rahon par main hadh se badh jaaungi
    main uske naam jawani kasam se kar jaaungi
    mujhe hai itna kehna wohi hai mera gehna
    agar bahon mein lele khushi se mar jaaungi

    i wanna show my body groove the nite away
    chahe bas chahe yeh dil dilbar ko pana re
    halla re halla re halla re (x2)
    tu jhoom le tu naach le masti mein tu kuch pyare
    halla re halla re halla re (x2)
    tu jhoom le tu naach le masti mein tu kuch pyare
    halla re halla re halla


    ahan!!!this my dear frnds is what being young is all say our very enterprising bollywood film makers....
    I mean what the hell???a loser actor and an equally sad actress need to kick off their what do u do???

    Of crse...go to the chopras..they have a formula for indian minds need anything more complicated???heck!no!

    Heres the recipe...flick the idea fmr recently hit movies...yea the us vs them funda is wrkin like pick up the Hum-tum formula....bein bold is in what if salaam namaste is a sad rendition of livein relationships???follow tht as well...put in 21 smooches like the 17 in kwahish and yea more recently...40 in laila(lol...i hadnt hrd of tht movie either!!!)....voila.....u have a fab hit movie there!!!applause applause!!

    PS-the 99%bare naked heroine point has been left out as it goes without saying!!

  17. I think this is the first movie with Mr. Chopra as the sole male protagonist. If only Yashraj can help I can overcome the prejudice I have against him :P. Now (is every despo all eyes ?), the centre of discussion is the inclusion of 21 smooches in the movie. And hence the saga of publicity has begun. This is why I don't really have a rosy picture of this movie's prospects at the B.O.

    If every movie was 'Dil Chahta Hain', it'd again be a formula. It's like that dialogue in The Incredibles -
    Everybody will be super, which means no one will be

    Dil Chahta Hain, as I've always referred to it not as DCH (apparently one of the male leads, I fail to remember, had so much respect for the movie that he did not want the movie to be known as the acronym -DCH), is definitely something that stands aloof. I loved every part of the movie with 3 people reflecting distinct mentalities and the portrayal was also lovable.

  18. JAM redefines the indian youngsters... word up

  19. sleaze show at its best!

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  21. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  22. I'm surprised folks don't get tired of watching sleazy movies all the time. Infact, the Censor Board is willing to give the go-ahead to movies like 'C U at 9' and 'Topless' if the script demands it.
    I don't quite understand the dilienation between what is appropriate for Indians in India and Indians living abroad.
    It is nothing but a load of crap and women are willing to go all the way for a small slcie of the pie.


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