Lets start at the beginning. Imagine, if you will, a perfect confluence of the movie Predator and Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead. Arnold Schwarzenegger was covered in mud as a natural camouflage while hiding from the super-powerful alien. Howard Roark begins the novel while standing naked on a clifftop watching the rising sun. And what does Mr. Bachchan do? He is covered in mud, stands semi naked on a cliff and jumps off into a pond below. One is tempted to go wow at this point, marveling at a combination of the strength of Schwarzenegger, the character of Roark and the skill of a Indian Navy diver. Instead, one is stranded with a throat-punctured lad with no moral qualms about burning others alive who ogles at a gorgeous woman falling through trees with his hands and waist-down in water. :P
I do not know which was worse, witless wonder Govinda fitting naturally into the role of the monkey, or Aishwarya Rai falling in lauuu while she actually has a horrible case of Stockholm Syndrome. You gotta love the definition on wikipedia: "...is a term used to describe a paradoxical psychological phenomenon wherein hostages express adulation and have positive feelings towards their captors that appear irrational in light of the danger or risk endured by the victims". My favourite character by far, though, is the inspector Dev Pratap who is chasing after his wife. Other than his periodical "rrrrr" and sunglasses, the director realized that the more this guy speaks, the less chances are there of the film getting any reviews at all. You see, critics would have been rendered "speechless". Therefore, he gives all the angry-man looks and smokes cigarettes in as much macho finesse as Clint Eastwood in "Good, Bad and Ugly". But that is where the similarity with Dirty Harry ends... the poor guy is so macho that he had to take his best shot at Beera while hiding between a bunch of women, and then misses even from that distance. Imagine him asking "... you've got to ask yourself one question: "Do I feel lucky?" Well, do ya, punk?". At least from my side, this particular image inspires a huge ROTFL! :D :D
And Priyamani, sweetheart, you took my breath away. Although I was really disappointed to find out that you weren't really another Bong Bombshell in Bollywood (sidenote: BBB - hey I like that!). When I become the Governor of West Bengal, you can take honorary state citizenship any time you want. But as Bolly at Twisted-DNA's blog has already pointed out (must-read!), being the hero's pretty sister had almost guaranteed that you'll be raped, come back to tell the story and then commit suicide. I am surprised you didn't get the hero's best friend killed in the process as well. Although, I know, given the extreme sex appeal of bald men around you and an on-screen husband who is part of a traveling sisterhood of eunuchs, you wanted to commit suicide anyway.
Ah okay I've been too harsh on you, Mr. Ratnam. The only redeeming factor I found in the entire movie (as part of the re-enactment of the Ramayana), was Raagini being asked to take the polygraph test to prove her chastity. Among the few things I could never picture as a good attribute of the character of Rama, this one ranks the highest. If you believe in your love to be so eternally pure and you are indeed the much-loved king of the land, the chastity of your wife should not be up for debate by public opinion, much less in your own psyche. Sita did well to step away from you and descend back to her mother after living through so much lack of faith from Lord Rama himself. Ah well... one wishes Mr Ratnam himself had taken the polygraph test to ask himself what he was thinking before he made this movie. But as we all know, when