Watching Aamir Khan

Posted in Bollywood, comedy, Drama, movies, romance, thriller by jrahman on December 4, 2012

I planned a post on Aamir Khan playing a college / post-college kid over the years — from Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikander to Dil Chahta Hai to Rang De Basanti all the way to 3 Idiots.  That was nearly three years ago, after I had just watched 3 Idiots.  That post never got written.

I watched Talaash recently, prompting me to write this post.  I don’t remember what I was going to say three years ago.  But hey, it’s a blog, not the New Yorker, so I can just jot down some rambling and link a few songs, right?

What was the first Aamir Khan movie I watched?  Not Qayamat se Qayamat tak.  In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever watched that film in its entirety.  Aye mere hum safar is a great song, but what’s really there in that cheap knock off of Romeo and Juliet?

I think the first Aamir Khan movie I watched was Dil.  That was the movie all the girls were crazy for when we first started going crazy for girls.  I don’t think I noticed it then, but is it me, or Madhuri Dixit actually looks much older than Khan at mujhe neend na aaye?

Dil Poster

The first Khan-starrer that I actually liked was Dil hai ki manta nahin.

Back in 1991, I thought it was a very cool movie.  I had neither watched the original nor the original remake back then.  Perhaps I’ll do a post on the three some other time.  For now, let me note how that movie has dated, while the next one I watched is still one of the best.

I had not followed Bollywood for much of the rest of the 1990s.  And the next time I watched Khan wasn’t exactly a Bollywood film.  The thing about Earth is just how much better it is than the other two in the trilogy.

I had similar thoughts after watching Dil Chahta Hai and Lagaan.  Both were classic, groundbreaking stuff.  What did the respective directors next make: turkeys like this and this.

I wrote about Dil Chahta Hai earlier.  There is not just a post but probably a long form article, or even an academic paper, comparing QSQT‘s Papa kehte hain to DCH‘s:

And Lagaan — that really deserves its own post some day.  That’s the closest to an epic Bollywood has successfully made in recent decades.

Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India Poster

After the trio of EarthDCH and Lagaan, I watched a couple of late 1990s movies.

The ending notwithstanding, Sarfarosh was very good, while Ghulam wasn’t a bad remake of On the Waterfront.

Ghulam Poster

But what I really anticipated was The Rising: ballad of Mangal Pandey.  To this day, I lay awake at night wondering what disappointed me more: Episode 1 or this.

The Rising: Ballad of Mangal Pandey Poster

Unlike Mr Lucas, Mr Khan more than made up for it with Rang de Basanti which again, deserves its own post.  For now, Inquilaab Ziandabad.

This was followed by Fanaa, by which point Khan made three movies in a row where he goes from a happy-go-lucky homeboy to, well, just watch the damn movies.

Fanaa Poster

If Aamir Khan acted movies appear to be better than the respective directors’ other projects, how does Aamir’s own directorial work fare?  Taare Zameen Par is a fine movie, but not a classic by any stretch.  And the same goes for 3 Idiots.

Like Stars on Earth Poster

3 Idiots Poster

I haven’t watched Ghajini yet.  Frankly, not sure if I want to given I have watched Memento.  I did watch Dhobi Ghat, and the slow pace notwithstanding, enjoyed it.

Mumbai Diaries Poster

From the opening scenes, I thought Talaash would explore the Maximum City’s underbelly in a similar fashion.  Sadly, I was mistaken.  About that, some other time.

Talaash Poster


2 Responses

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  1. BDAF said, on December 7, 2012 at 3:43 am

    Ghajini was awful. Please don’t compare it to the far superior Memento. Other than the fact that like many Indian films, they were “inspired” by a Western (and increasingly, other foreign) original.

    Although my memories of Akele Hum Akele Tum indicate that it stacks up well against Kramer vs Kramer.

    • jrahman said, on December 10, 2012 at 7:49 am

      That’s a pretty strong endorsement for Akele hum akele tum — haven’t watched it, but now I am curious.

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