Home > Bollywood > Don’t Worry, Rocket Singh. Aal Izz Well !!

Don’t Worry, Rocket Singh. Aal Izz Well !!

December 30, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

Two postings ago, I had expressed my concerns around how some of the brightest directors of Bollywood had failed to deliver in 2009.  I had also hoped and prayed that the year ends well and on a positive note, with the latest offerings from Shimit Amin and Raju Hirani.

To repeat what is easily the catchiest and the most popular phrase of the year:  AAL IZZ WELL!!  Very well, indeed.

Shimit Amin’s “Rocket Singh – Salesman of the Year” came in early December like a breath of fresh air.  The movie was a pleasure to sit through, despite its predictability and at times, a cliched approach.  Here was one of the most focused films to come out of Bollywood in a long time, with both Shimit Amin and his writer, the wonderful Jaideep Sahni, never deviating from what they had set out to achieve and show on-screen.  Gone were the unnecessary songs, the excessive dosage of melodrama, the boring romantic angle and the sappiness that Bollywood is a master at. 

Instead, what I saw was crisp-filmmaking, a well-thought of storyline and above all, an ensemble of actors who were a sheer joy to watch.  Here was a group of people…mostly unknowns, who gave performances that were simply wonderful.  (This year, we saw a burst of new talent onto the hindi movie scene, in films like Dev D., Gulaal, Wake Up Sid, 99 and Rocket Singh, where the real scene-stealers were those unknown actors…and not the true leads of the films.)  And then there was Mr. Rocket Singh himself…Ranbir Kapoor. The opening sequence of the film, where you see his expressions change from apprehension to relief to happiness within a few seconds, are a testament to his acting abilities.  Don’t worry, you Khans!!  Your worthy sucessor is here….to stay.  Aal Izz Well.

Which brings me to the other release of the month…the movie that seemed to have taken the world (of Indians…) by a storm….Raju Hirani’s “3 Idiots“.  Yes, Raju’s film is purely commercial at heart.  Unlike Rocket Singh, which did not seem to care for the box-office response, 3 Idiots is full of masala moments.  Including a couple of scenes in the second half that almost make you go “What the hell are you doing, Raju?” (The child-birth and the marriage sequences..)!  But don’t worry…Aal Izz Well.  These are all minor irritations.  And if such long scenes are “minor irritations”, then you can very well imagine what a wonderful story Raju Hirani must have weaved that it still stands tall despite all the afore-mentioned shortcomings.

3 Idiots has a chock-full of glorious moments, some of them straight out of those long-lost college days of ours…when the fear of exams and assignments reigned supreme in our hearts and yet all we wanted to do was to live our lives.  The acting is great (with the new guy “Chatur Ramalingam” once again stealing the scene from the movie’s leads…his “auditorium speech” sequence is easily the one where I have laughed the most this year!!), Shantanu Moitra’s music is spot-on, the melodrama is such that Raju inserts a hillarious ending to every such scene effortlessly, thus forcing a smile to our lips at almost the same time when the tears are swelling into our eyes.  What a master!!  Oh, and India has never looked so beautiful on celluloid since a long long time, with C.K. Muraleedharan’s cinematography capturing the beauty of hilly Simla, Manali and Ladakh in its full bloom.

Yes…my faith has indeed been restored.  Both Shimit Amin and Raju Hirani have proven their abilities one more time and I am proud to have seen all of their offerings.  Here’s looking forward to putting my hand on my heart and saying “Aal Izz Well…Aal Izz Well” a lot more times at the movies in 2010 than I did in 2009. 🙂 🙂

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Categories: Bollywood
  1. January 1, 2010 at 3:32 pm

    You are right – Aal izz well is easily the catchiest phrase of 2009.

    As for Rocket Singh I liked everything except the ending. A more realistic ending would have been to not give away the company for free but instead give 50% back to Rocket Singh and team and keep the other 50% to himself and then let them run the company without interference.

  2. arun verma
    January 4, 2010 at 7:22 pm

    AAL IZZ VEL indeed. Omi vaidya as chatur is a great find. As you mention Raju uses a plethora of cliches .. the birthing scene, the marriage scene .. rain whenever there is a sad or dramatic moment etc but it all works well within the genre of his film… and the genre of his films belongs only to him. I’d go on to say that he has successfully managed to create a new genre within bollywood… a kind of Hrishikesh Mukherjee meets Manmohan Desai.

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