Thursday, May 26, 2011

Twice the Akki: Action Replayy (2010) & Namastey London (2007)

Again with the long time before updating! Sorry. I just completed the equivalent of 8 a.m. to 2 a.m. eight-straight-day copy-editing boot camp. So for the wait, twice the Akki for the price of one:

Action Replayy
Kishen (Akshay Kumar) and Mala (Aishwarya Rai) had an arranged marriage and hate each other. After they fight at their 30th anniversary party, their son Bunty (Aditya Roy Kapoor), who has been running from marriage after seeing his parents’ attitudes, decides to make them fall in love by going back in time with a time machine built by his girlfriend’s grandpa, Anthony Gonsalves (Randhir Kapoor).

Reasons to watch: Retro-ness! Seriously, who doesn’t enjoy a good ’70s slingback every now and then? Despite the fact that Aish only looks the part half the time, you’ve gotta love the blast from the past.

Akshay Kumar is hilarious, as always, even though HIS HAIR IN THIS FILM IS BEYOND ATROCIOUS. Please, please, dearest Akki, never do this to yourself again. Seek to get further from, not closer to, Bobby Deol’s hair catastrophes stylings.

Does this remind anyone of someone?
Maybe THIS catastrophe?
Geeky!Akki. It is hilarious, adorable and endearing all wrapped up in one.

Reasons not to watch: The whole premise is a bad take on Back to the Future, and the explanatory parts are too quick and pretty much don’t make sense. So in effect, the film barely, barely makes sense and it has plot holes the size of Mumbai. Like how did Bunty persuade Gonsalves to fix the time machine? How the heck did the guy figure out in weeks how to fix something it took him a lifetime to create before?

Bunty is kinda obnoxious and more than kinda annoying. I feel like a lot of the things he did were unnecessary and too obviously screwed things up more, dragging things out unnecessarily.

Hilarious Akki + annoying kid (Aditya Kapoor).
HOWEVER, Akki is so completely ADORKABLE (yes, that is dorky adorable) in the flashback sections of the film that it makes up for the annoyingness of other persons!


Long story short, probably not worth your time unless you just watch some of the central flashback part for Akki and leave the rest alone.

Namastey London
British Indian brat Jasmeet “Jazz” Malhotra (Katrina Kaif) gives her parents hell by being a British party girl and rejecting all of the nice Indian husbands her father (Rishi Kapoor) tries to pick for her. So daddy and mummy haul her off to India for a visit and while there, get her married to Punjabi farmer Arjun Singh (Akshay Kumar). Jazz pulls a fast one by demanding that they come back to England immediately for the reception, not giving the Indian marriage enough time to be legalized in the U.K. Instead, she announces her engagement to her British boss, Charlie Brown (yes, Charlie Brown – intentionally or ignorantly absurd?). Arjun, in love with bratty Jazz since first sight, is less than willing to give her up.

I came into this one with higher expectations and was sorely, sorely disappointed.

I really and honestly do adore the Akki and Katrina jodi – they’re both the right degree of spazzy and adorable to work! (Even though Akki’s closer to Rishi Kapoor’s age than KK’s.) Also, I love Rishi Kapoor. So much. He should be shown off more in films like this, not kept down to a minimum.

But as much as I love the people in this one, I really didn’t like it. I was pretty OK with it until two-thirds of the way through.

We work so well together.
I felt like it would be interesting to see the marriage of cultures, and the beginning promises to be that. By the end, the film is going out of its way to have all douchey white people. Like to the point of being absurd.

Oh, Akki. How I love thee sometimes.
And the only culturally-mixing couple that actually gets to exist in this film are Jazz’s friend Imran Khan (Upen Patel) (name irony, yes?) and his English girlfriend Susan, and even they don’t really mix cultures but stick to one family. When Imran tells his parents he and Susan are moving in together, Imran’s parents cast him off. When they tell Susan’s parents they want to get married, Susan’s parents demand that Imran renounce Islam and change his name, and from there Imran and Susan leave Susan’s parents and flee back to Imran’s, who magically take him back. (It’s kind of an interesting paradox: Susan’s parents accept Imran in theory and not in practice; Imran’s parents accept Susan in practice and not in theory.)

Then there’s also the fact that after Arjun gives her away Jazz runs out of her wedding with Charlie to catch Arjun and tell him she wants to stay married to him, and she runs out of the church… Scene cut to Jazz and Arjun riding a scooter in Punjab. ?!?!?!??!?! What??! We don’t deserve an explanation of what happens? We don’t get to know if they had an English wedding and another Indian one or what they decide on where to live, work, etc., after the film has tried to be ABOUT this subject.

Somebody has a split-second revelation about being a brat.
Akki also has unexplained dyed hair...?
So, in effect: This film about marrying/merging cultures basically doesn’t. Ignoring the failed attempt at that, I suppose it’s a pretty decent Akki/Katrina romance, but nothing more.


  1. Akki has unexplained dyed hair in various films, I've noticed...
    Action Replayy is fun, but not more... And of course, Aditya cough Kapoor is horrible. Though not as horrible as in Guzaarish.

  2. @Lime(tte): Aditya Kapoor is... yes. Awful. I just didn't want to say that. And I'm glad to hear another he's reason not to watch Guzaarish... Hrithik, Aish are both good reasons to watch. The gorgeousness of Sanjay Leela Bhansali films, also a good reason. The depressingness of SLB films, the inevitability of that film's plot... Even more compelling reason NOT to watch. Aditya Kapoor's presence is just the cherry on top.

  3. You didn't get a picture of Akki as a dork from Action Replayy?! UNACCEPTABLE. He was so cute. I love Akki. But I fail to understand why I heard such good things about Namastey London.

  4. I like this a lot. Thank you for sharing. I'm always looking for upcycles like this. In the end, you don't know it was a shipping pallet to begin with!
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