Thursday, March 31, 2011

Deol Dhamaka!: Melodrama overload: Apne (2007)

Everyone loves to pretend that the know celebrities personally. We read about their likes, dislikes, wishes, dreams, fears, hopes, etc. and develop a relationship with them from afar. And when celebrities draw you in to their inner circle by making you feel like a part of their family, the feeling of knowing them only increases. We start to feel personally invested in these people, in their successes and failures. We start to care about not only the individual stars, but their offspring too. It's kind of messed up, actually.

So when news of the film Apne started hitting the rounds, I was very excited. Seeing Dharmendra and his two sons together on-screen? Of course I wanted to see that! It was the first time we were going to see all three Deol men together, playing family members. You could tell from the early promos that it was going to be a sappy-sweet family drama, which did make me a bit apprehensive about it (I feared another K3G), so I didn't quite go rushing out to the theatres. In fact, I didn't get around to it at all until January 2011. And it certainly was a melodrama-fest, but not as god-awful as K3G ... perhaps thanks to the fact that most of the cast (excluding Booby Deol and Katrina Kaif) can actually act.

Running toward each other in slow motion! No, not the romantic couple. The two sons running toward their father!
The story is fairly simple -- Dharmendra plays Baldev, an ex-boxing champ who was accused of cheating at the height of his career and suspended from the league. He has never gotten over the loss of his career and broods about it constantly. Before the start of the film, he had tried to train his son, Angad (Sunny Deol), to bring glory back to his family by winning the boxing championship. Though initially successful, Angad eventually quits boxing because of financial strain in the family. Baldev has never forgiven Angad for quitting on him, and their relationship is basically non-existent. A secondary strain on their relationship exists because Angad is responsible for his younger brother Karan (Booby Deol)'s disability. Karan was injured when Angad, in trying to defend his mother against goons demanding money from her, accidentally causes debris to fall on him.

They can never resist using Dharam's glamour shots in his films today. He's sooo dreamy!
Despite Karan's injury, he is a budding rock star and romantically involved with a young doctor named Nandini (Katrina Kaif). Angad is also married to the lovely and spirited Simran (Shilpa Shetty) and has a young son. Baldev's wife Raavi (Kirron Kher) and Simran constantly try to hold the damaged, fraying family together, but Baldev's bitterness affects them all deeply.

The one-handed dance!

Unable to bear Baldev's unhappiness, Karan decides to forget his dreams of stardom and bring honor and dignity back to the family by taking up boxing. His girlfriend Nandini helps him through a medical procedure for "magic hand fix" (too bad this wasn't around for Mohnish Behl's character in Hum Saath Saath Hai), and he trains hard, eventually reaching the championship level in U.S.A.


HAHAHA! Katrina's ACTING you guys!
He is pitted against reigning champion Luca Gracia, and does quite well until Luca cheats. Karan is seriously injured (again! This guy has worse luck than a V.C. Andrews heroine) and hospitalized, and Baldev is devastated to see what his ambition has caused.


Hair sweat flying in slow-mo!

When Angad realizes what happened to Karan, he challenges Luca to fight him. Baldev, already brokenhearted, tries to tell Angad not to do it. He says there is no way he can train in time for the match, but Angad refuses to listen to anyone. He trains hard and funnels all of his rage and frustration into his boxing. Will he win the championship and restore Baldev to glory? Will Karan survive and marry Nandini? And WTH, they have a sister (Divya Dutta)?

  • I can't believe Apne was Katrina Kaif's 9th film. She is horrendously bad. She was so bad in this film that I had to actually LAUGH at her expressions. Especially her close-ups when Booby's getting the crap beat outta him.
LOL. Seriously. I was cracking up at her "acting" ...
  • Booby Deol is not much better. I actually thought his acting was miserably bad in this movie.

  • For some reason everyone in Apne has red-tinted hair. What was that all about? Are they the Weasleys?

  • Watching Katrina try to dance in this song is hilarious, because she almost falls over:
  • Booby Deol's fight scenes are excruciating to watch. He has MOOBS. And they jiggle, in slow motion.
  • Divya Dutta is criminally underused. She is one "over-actress" that I actually enjoy.
  • Sunny's character is a total masochist. Kind of like Akshay Kumar's character in Dhadkan.
  • But then he transforms into CRAZYEYES!Sunny and it is awesome. Particularly when he's dropping gratuitous f-bombs. Except he doesn't quite get it right. I don't think you want to yell "I'LL F*CK YOU!" over and over to your enemy.

This is a little beyond CRAZY EYES, Sunny ...
  • Besides the red, Dharam also develops a streak in his hair like Rogue from X-Men.
  • Sunny and Shilpa's kid in this movie seems very ... "special" ...

  • Dharam's character is one selfish baaaaastaaaard for the way he treats his entire family -- all for the sake of Eternal Glory. This ain't the Triwizard Tournament, Baldev. Interesting how in both this film and Yamla Pagla Deewana, Dharam plays a total selfish jerk that both his sons worship. Particularly Sunny, who is his punching bag in both films. Thankfully, he doesn't seem to be that guy in real life. Also, I did sincerely appreciate his acting in this film. He did indeed seem devastated; a shell of himself. And despite how selfish his character is, you do find yourself rooting for him.
  • Ultimately Sunny's character Angad is the one I sympathized with the most. He is so sweet and humble, so saddened by his father's rejection of him, and so noble. His scenes of training also provide an AWESOMELY bad song.

All in all, despite making fun of it throughout the watching experience, I'll say I enjoyed the movie. It was heartwarming, tearjerking goodness - a shameless melodrama fest. The story itself was interesting enough in how it unfolded, and they added in little bits that I didn't expect (like Luca having his own motivations and weaknesses). Solid performances from Dharam, Sunny, Kirron and Shilpa outweighed the lackluster performances of Booby and Katrina. And ultimately, it's a celebration of family!

    Thank you again to all the great friends and colleagues that made DEOL DHAMAKA such a blast. I can't believe we have over 100 links for Deol Dhamaka! Please be sure to visit the links list and check out all the fun and creativity that Deol Dhamaka inspired this month.

    And I definitely have to give the renowned title of MISS DEOL DHAMAKA to one of my favorite BollyBloggers, Ness of Shahrukh is Love. Ness created a blog post for literally EVERY SINGLE DAY of Deol Dhamaka, and I think they are all brilliant and hilarious.

    And much love to all the fabulous participants, all talented bloggers in their own right! The blogs below have far more to offer than just Deol Dhamaka fare, so I definitely recommend that you follow them!
    *if I have missed anyone inadvertently, please, please let me know!


    1. Oh man, good on you for tackling Apne - after I watched it I was too traumatised by just the FIGHTING to even try. I LIKE BOBBY in this though. His moobs are nowhere near as bad as SUNNY'S AWFUL TOUPEE.

      OMG you made me laugh SO HARD with your astute observation on Sunny's misunderstanding of trash talk and how to use swearing in the ring. HA. OMG. LAUGHING SO HARD.

    2. Really, though. Sunny is having a Bad Hair Life.

    3. Oh come on now, he used to have such A LUSCIOUS CURLS. Different to Bobby's mop. Dare I say, a HALO.

      Katherine and I have LONG been advocates of the close-crop for the heroes who should JUST SAY NO to trying to relive their luscious haired youth through dead animal looking things plastered on their scalps. *cough* Chi Chi *cough*

    4. Also: WOOT I GOT A TITLE! I want a sash! and a TIARA! I'm gonna milk this!

    5. Lol at this review, its so on point, it was so melodramatic just to my taste but i felt there were scenes where the director should have asked them to cut back a bit, and yup Bobby needed a gym body for that role, it made him look ridiculous next to Luca and i shall never forget Sunny's i'll fuck you (ROFL) Thanks for reminding me!! i also love the songs especially You gotta hit the bulls eye, a lovely motivational song

    6. I can't believe you made it through this film!!! I should give it another try with my "irony" goggles on. :)

    7. You didn't like K3G? That's one of my (unofficial) favorite films... I mean, it's so Karan-Johar-Yash-Raj-perfect-kitschy... :D

    8. Apne was failed at box office because it showed too much family..

    9. Thanks for all your comments guys!

      Lime(ette) - I'll say that K3G is a movie that I love to hate ... but honestly it mostly makes me want to stab myself in the eye. The last KJo movie that I truly loved was Kuch Kuch Hota Hai. I agree that it's a perfect cheese-fest. It's been a long time since I watched it. I should give it another try, eh?

      Glamour.Raafatrola - Haha, too much family. Almost as bad as a Sooraj Barjatya film, huh?

    10. I LOVED APNE, saw it in Mumbai the day of release. I can be accused of 'parochialism' but it was so full of that punjabi apna-pan. When you live away from your family for 10 years, its these emotions in Hindi films which keep you going :)

      And the vulnerability of Sunny was same as seen in Ghayal or Gadar (Tough cookie, but what a lovable son/husband and father)

      Fully Filmy but mazaa agaya

      P.S. for the first time I fell in love with Shilpa Shetty :-)