Film Preview: Singh is Kinng/Bachna Ae Haseeno

Singh Is Kinng

Directed by: Anees Bazmee

Starring: Akshay Kumar, Katrina Kaif, Javed Jaffri, Neha Duphia and Om Puri

Singh is king, Singh is king, Singh is King…if the catchy title track is not ingrained in the brain yet, give it a few days for the osmosis to begin, as one of the biggest films finally hits the big screen. To say there is a lot going on for this film is a bit of an understatement.

Directed and written by Anees Bazmee, who has given many hits over the years, the most recent being last year’s Welcome (which also starred Kumar-Kaif) and 2005 biggest hit No Entry which might even be the biggest grosser of the decade (shame then that the film was terrible and not up to Bazmee’s best – this man also gave us the very good Deewangee), with the backing of producer Sajid Nadiadwala who was behind last year’s Heyy Babyy (which also contained a glaring spelling error in its title), the stakes are very high.

Without giving too much away, Singh is Kinng revolves around Happy Singh (Kumar), an overly helpful young lad who lives in a small village in the Punjab. Despite his good intentions, Happy manages to cause disaster wherever he is. Fed up, the villagers decided to send Happy to Australia to bring back the notorious gangster Lakhan Singh aka Lucky who is disgrcing the vilage on foreign shores through his bad behaviour (non Punjabis here will be wondering what the hell is going on with these names. All the Punjabis out there will assure you this is the tip of the iceberg). Happy takes on this job with his characteristic enthusiasm and a comedy of errors ensues, causing mayhem and madness.

Aside from David Dhawan and a few others, Bazmee is king of writing a situational comedy, garnering instant laughs and building up jokes to a side splitting climax with ease. Akshay Kumar has in the past shown good comic timing, especially in the happy go lucky (no puns please) roles he has essayed. Javed Jaffri is also a formidable comic talent (many will recognise him from Salaam Namaste where he played an Indian Crocodile Dundee -no, really) and should prove a perfect foil to Akshay’s straight man act. Akshay also shares a good chemistry with Katrina Kaif, who is currently on a career high, with her last release Race doing very well.

If that was not enough, Singh is Kinng does have a very catchy soundtrack that is sure to grow bigger once the film releases. With the majority of the filming taking place in Australia, and a song canned in Egypt, Singh is Kinng looks set to be a summer blockbuster of sorts. Though the Dark Knight won’t be too worried, he should remember Singh is Kinng, Singh is King…..

Bachna Ae Haseeno

Directed by: Siddharth Anand

Starring: Ranbir Kapoor, Minisha Lamb, Bipasha Basu and Deepika Padukone

Come the 15th August (India’s Independence day) barely will the dust have settled in the stampede to see Singh is Kinng when two more big fims hit the marquee – God Tussi Great Ho (God – You are Great – a long time in the making remake of Bruce Almighty with Amitabh Bachchan, Salman Khan and Priyanka Chopra) and Bachna Ae Haseeno. So why have I chosen to preview BAH? Well, not only is it the next Yashraj offering but also presents an interesting choice of casting which only raises the buzz around the film.

BAH is the story of Raj (Kapoor), a young playboy who makes women fall madly in love with him and causes everyone else to worry. The film follows him as a 16 year old through to 30, as he falls in love with three different women – Mahi (Lamba), Radhika (Basu) and Gayatri (Padukone) at different points in his life.

As soon as the trailer plays and we hear the opening trumpet of the song Bachna Ae Haseeno which was brought to life on screen by Ranbir’s father Rishi Kapoor in the 1977 film Hum Kissi Se Kam Nahin (We Are Just As Good As Anyone) we can tell this is going to be perfect summer viewing. And if anyone can do light entertainment well packed with gloss and colour, its Yashraj Films, who may not have had the best of years with Tashan and Thoda Pyar Thoda Magic underperforming at the box office but are still able to generate curiosity in their releases.

In addition, Siddharth Anand who made Salaam Namaste and Ta Ra Rum Pum with the same production house can also make a decent film, albeit with a very heavy Hollywood influence but in this case, this may be a bonus as it has been in his previous films.

The casting is also interesting, not least because of real life couple Ranbir and Deepika are romantically paired in the film but also Deepika was part of a superhit film Om Shanti Om, the film which won the battle at the box office against Saawariya – Ranbir’s debut film. So whilst Ranbir will be looking to prove his acting skills and to star in a hit of his own, Deepika will also be looking to show she is no flash in the pan. It will also be interesting to see Bipasha, fresh from the success of Race paired up with Ranbir as on paper the combination seems quite an unusual one. However the surprise package of the film could be Minisha who debuted in 2005 Yahaan and has got some interesting films in her kitty.

The music is also catching on quickly, with Khuda Jaane, Lucky Boy and Bachna Ae Haseeno all stand out tracks. So how will BAH fare at the box office? As previously mentioned, the Yashraj Films track record has been off kilter for the past year and aside from the hard core fan base, much of the audience seem to be treating Yashraj offerings with caution. However, one cannot doubt the effect a sound publicity campaign and the buzz a film like Singh Is Kinng (released the week before) brings to the cinema. Also with a long opening weekend, BAH may surprise us all by opening decently and building upon that, something any film these days would hope for. Let’s hope it is a case of bachna ae haseeno (watch out pretty girls) and not bachna ae audience!

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