Movie Review: Bunty aur Babli

Title:  Bunty aur Babli
Director: Shaad Ali
Starring: Rani Mukerji, Abhishek Bachchan

This film was one of the 10-run Rani-Mukerji-stalking-my-Netflix-recs incidents. The first time I watched it, I wasn’t sure I’d ever watch it again.  A month later, I owned a copy and was working on a true effort to be able to replicate the dance steps to “Nache Ballye”

I just had so many misgivings. Despite the safety net I had going on (the ever-present, inescapable Rani Mukerji), I was unsure.  Who was this Abhishek Bachchan guy?  This con-artist jaunt across India….would this be too over the top?  Did I even like the idea of a movie centered on criminals?  That cover art looked awfully….bright.   How head trippy were the musical numbers going to be?  Would Rani Mukerji continue to be someone who delivered good performances?

Oh, me, of little faith.

I really did resist.  Even after seeing Abhishek and acknowledging that I had here a Bollywood candidate for the “Mama liiiiiiiiiiiiiike” category of male attractiveness, I remained aloof.

I tried to dismiss the first song based on Rani rockin’ the side ponytail.
I tried to dismiss the proliferation of the bright-and-shiny colors.
I tried to dismiss the fantastic montage of con-artist wackiness presented with an overlay of the Bunty aur Babli song.
I tried to dismiss the delightfully over-the-top cheeZe of Vimmi’s sobbing  “MUMMMMMMYYYYYYY!”
I tried to dismiss the appearance of Abhishek’s Daddy Amitabh-the-Awesome and of Abhishek’s wife Aishwayra Rai (the sickeningly beautiful).
I tried to dismiss the cliches, the completely BollyWTF moment that is the Nache Ballye dance number, and the totally X-Files/Men-In-Black ending.

I actually walked away after the first viewing saying, “Well, that was entertaining.  I’ve seen something else from Rani Mukerji, which is adds to my unwilling collection….but I don’t need to see that again.”

But about a week and a half later, I had a moment where I realized the “Dhadak Dhadak” was stuck in my head I thought I’d watch just the one song.  That was all she wrote.

It’s just a fun movie.  The songs are very peppy, very danceable, and very catchy.  Abischek is funny (and fun to look at), and Rani once again proves she’s got acting talent every time Vimmi sobs and you laugh instead of rolling your eyes.

Maybe it’s just the lack of a fun, whacky, colorful movie in my collection that made this one so entertaining that I bought a copy, but when I try to find an English language equivalent of this type of straight up fun?  I’m at a loss.

I wouldn’t count this one as an Intro-To-Bollywood flick for the average viewer, but for the Glee-lovin’, Broadway-worshiping type?  Bunty aur Babli might just be a fabulous starting point.

Things I Liked:
-Abhishek
-Way more of Vimmi and Babli’s outfits that I ought to admit (really want the blue dress from the first con)
-The wedding and wedding night scenes
-Every.  Single.  Song.
-The old Sikh with the bus who stops to help
-The federal agent ending

Things I didn’t Like:
-Amitabh’s hair (but this is a universal problem, not just this flick)
-I could have done with a little more non-musical development during the series of cons (discussion of what they would vs. wouldn’t do…clearly Babli drew some boundaries)
-I want more after the Fed-wear ensues!  Where’s Bunty aur Babli II????

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