Bachna Ae Haseeno poster

Bachna Ae Haseeno

wogma rating: The keen should rent; else TV/online (?)

quick review:

It's a reasonably mature look at relationships and gives women actual, believable roles to play. But alas, the finer points lack polish and the wimpy, predictable end completely disappoints.

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Director: Siddharth Anand
Running time: 160 minutes
Genres: Comedy, Romance
More Movie Info

Bachna Ae Haseeno - Preview

- meeta, a part of the audience

Once Aditya Chopra is done patting his back and reminding us that he's the man behind Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge and once you get back into the habit of not looking for a reference to a Yash Raj film, the story begins to emerge. Women with strong characters and a fairly mature portrayal of relationships are the two things that Bachna Ae Haseeno can surely boast about.

Falling in love is almost always a random occurrence in Hindi movies. You just "come...and fall in love". But Bachna Ae Haseeno deals with the complexities and the process of how the characters are led-on and betrayed, how they hurt, how long the healing process takes, and ultimately how all the relationship needs is closure.

I'm a sucker for even relatively coherent plots. And here I have two! Ideally I would be ecstatic. But - yeah, obviously there's a but - it’s only the overall stories that are pretty neat and novel. The details that add up to the pretty bird's eye view of the stories are very ordinary. Also, this third story hanging around is so lame that it begs for negative marking.

There are these other subtle things that blended pretty well into the story. Raj (Ranbir Kapoor), the boy whose only focus in life is to woo a girl because he's in Europe, grows into a person who would do what it takes to maintain his independence. Then he smoothly turns into a mature person who's ready to introspect and bear the burden of his responsibilities. For this you have to tolerate Ranbir's boyish chuckle and puppy eyes, though. To be fair, there are glimpses of very good timing, especially post-interval when he's reacting rather than being the center of attraction. He has the boyish charm because of which the audience feels for him, despite his character doing the meanest things to people around him.

The women, each in their own right have a whole range of emotions to play around with and do pretty good justice to them too. Interestingly though, the character arc for each one of them is such that each one has to play smitten, confident, fun-loving, hurt, vengeful, shrewd at some point or the other and they all have the same way of expressing these emotions. So, an indignant Minissha looks exactly like the indignant Bipasha or the attitude that Bipasha throws around feels very similar to the attitude Deepika is wearing. Almost as if, the briefing they were given related to only one character. And yet the characters are all different.

So, what's going on here? We have pretty good performances. Though Deepika's voice doesn't vary much and her dubbing doesn't match the intensity with which the lines are said. But I absolutely enjoyed Bipasha's track - both, due to her acting, and the way her character is written. Minissha Lamba's story is actually the most charming of the lot. The characters in general are pretty well-detailed. Yet the film fails to touch in absolute terms.

For one, the structure of the story is too episodic. Granted the chapter-like feel is intentional but it cut the movie too sharply into 20-25 minute pieces. Individually, these pieces don't always work either. The first two pieces in fact, feel like a set-up for the actual show. And they certainly need better lines than "we're abroad, we can't miss a train" (what does that even mean!?).

Lighting a thousand candles and wiping off smudged kajal (eye make-up) from your girl's eye somehow don't generate chemistry automatically. The sincerity in the eye contact, the stance of the body, the way the two bodies hold each other are all missing in most instances. Even a nice human being can brutally mistreat the person who has wronged them. But if the mistreatment is exaggerated, with the sole purpose of arousing sympathy of the audience, it gets irritating.

Ultimately, the climax kills the otherwise decent plot. It's rushed and thus dissatisfying. Aditya Chopra/Siddharth Anand come up with fairly non-standard (in Hindi cinema) concepts. These concepts revolve around the situations that the urban population in the mid-late twenties faces. You can almost see the concerns change over the years. Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge - Dil To Pagal Hai - Hum Tum - Salaam Namaste. And now the love vs. marriage debate. They take a very contemporary and relatively mature look at the problems and then cop out! They literally chicken out so that we don't feel too bad while walking out of the movie. That's sad because we as an audience are ready to take it, now.

Then, there are these other things like having only one song before half-time which is picturized with Deepika Padukone. No doubt, this one is the typical good-locale-let's-dance-here kinds. But, if put in context with the placement and styles chosen for the two other songs with Minissha and Bipasha, you figure that its not without purpose, is very much in line with the subtext of the story and relates to how the male lead character feels for these women.

- meeta, a part of the audience

41 reviewers(?) - 14 yays 15 so-so 12 nays

Warning: clicking on "full review" will take you to an external website that could contain spoilers.

Thumbs up, by Nita, A Wide Angle View of India : ...Another good performance was that of Kunal Kapoor.... full review

Thumbs up, by Sanskriti Media, AOL INDIA : ...The beautiful locales are used to the optimum... full review

Thumbs up, by N K Deoshi, Apun Ka Choice : ... For starters, he rids ‘Bachna’ of any mawkish sentimentality that often peeves even the most flippant viewer no end.... full review

Thumbs up, by Baradwaj Rangan, Blogical Conclusion, The New Sunday Express : ...there’s so much good writing here, and so many nicely drawn characters, that the overall film is a pleasant surprise – one that shows that a big glitzy commercial entertainer needn’t be entirely devoid of heart and soul.... full review

Thumbs up, by Aly Kassam, Bolly Spice : ...There are times when the film is extremely illogical, but it makes enough sense to win you over.... full review

Thumbs up, by Daliya Daspurkayastha, Bollywood Mantra : ...When any youth watch the movie, they can relate the incident with them or with any of their Casanova friend.... full review

Thumbs up, by Manasi Paresh Kumar, Deccan Herald : ...This breezy romance just about gets it right with Siddharth Anand’s urbane mindset and Yash Raj Films’ Punjabi tadka.... full review

Thumbs up, Filmiholic : ...Yash Raj folks have managed to produce something that is modern enough to talk of flavored condoms and whipped cream...and yet everything is fresh and clean and without even a hint of sleaze... full review

Thumbs up, Movie Talkies : ...Ranbir Kapoor is the perfect choice for the character because even while breaking hearts, he exudes a certain innocent vulnerability making this character all the more loveable.... full review

Thumbs up, by Vijay, MovieWalah : ...The first half is so interesting that I had decided on giving it 4 stars if only it continued like that in the second half too.... full review

Thumbs up, by Subhash K Jha, Now Running.com : ...The director has the guts to show his hero as a man thoroughly exposed in his self-seeking egocentricity... full review

Thumbs up, by Aditya Kuber, Scribbler : ...What I truly enjoyed was Bipasha Basu, Ranbir Kapoor and Hiten Paintal in that order... full review

Thumbs up, The World As I See It : ...So, if you are a fan of typical yash raj movies, with the mushy romance and dreamy characters, this is the movie to go to... full review

Thumbs up, by Nikhat Kazmi, Times of India : ...Deepika who's delightful too as the uber feminine feminist. Only, you wish there was more of her.... full review

So-So, by Deep, Deep's Home : ...Minnisha again, she went overboard like Ranbir in first story but later it was all good... full review

So-So, by Samrat Sharma, fullhyd.com : ...if there is a fault, it lies with the incongruent and loud direction... full review

So-So, by Martin D'Souza, Glamsham.com : ...the movie ends with a whimper, when a bang was what was needed.... full review

So-So, by Taran Adarsh, IndiaFM : ...BACHNA AE HASEENO has a great cast, great chemistry amongst actors [so sizzling, it could melt butter], great locations [jaw dropping actually] and some great moments... full review

So-So, Indicine : ...The second half is emotional (which is okay), a bit too long and very predictable... full review

So-So, by Harshita Kohli, indya.com : ...The cinematography is excellent and it shows that Siddharth Anand as director has spent considerable time selecting and scouting for locations.... full review

So-So, by Badal, Intermission, The Bookeazy Blog : ...The first half would have 85% of the guys in the hall guilty in their minds because it looks real.... full review

So-So, by Amit R Agarwal, merinews : ... The second half should have been cut by at least 10 minutes... full review

So-So, by Mayank Shekhar, Mumbai Mirror : ...I can imagine pretty women drooling over this young thing. I can imagine pretty women drooling over this young thing. I can imagine pretty women drooling over this young thing.... full review

So-So, by Anupama Chopra, NDTV : ...The humor takes a back seat and the pacing is hobbled with back-to-back songs... full review

So-So, by Jahan Bakshi, Now Running.com : ...Siddharth Anand and Aditya Chopra evidently atleast care to use their brains to draw fairly credible outlines (if not detailed sketches) of characters... full review

So-So, by Abhishek Asthana, Passion for Cinema : ...The story has brains (In the age of ‘Singh is Kinng’ this factor sure comes as a relief!)... full review

So-So, by Raja Sen, Rediff : ...The film's dialogue, actually, is its strongest asset, the lines working realistically on a rom-com level but, more impressively, staying in just the right key -- complete with slang and relatability... full review

So-So, by Sonia Chopra, Sify Movies : ...Bachna Ae Haseeno would be a rather ordinary piece of pretence had it not been for the utterly appealing cast.... full review

So-So, Times Now : ...What works for the film is the spot-on dialogues and cast.... full review

Thumbs down, by Preeti Arora, Buzz18 : ...none of the women is a real or a believable character either.... full review

Thumbs down, by Yasser Usmaan, DearCinema : ...The story is uni-dimensional and so are the characters. They do not have any logic behind their thinking... full review

Thumbs down, by Khalid Mohamed, Hindustan Times : ...Jism-like vibes from hottie Basu, who incidentally is terrific. She’s all steam and smoulder, even when the script is cold porridge... full review

Thumbs down, by Rajeev Masand, IBN Live : ...it's a failure on the part of the writers that we never once feel like Raj has truly understood what a cad he's been.... full review

Thumbs down, by Gaurav Malani, indiatimes : ...The screenplay adopts a simplistic unconnected episodic pattern without opting for any experimentation.... full review

Thumbs down, by Mr. Inkenti, Mr. Inketis Weblog : ...The entire film is a big drag with interesting sitcom type funny scenes here and there... full review

Thumbs down, by Lidia Ostepeev, Planet Bollywood : ...When one’s whole presence in a film is either an act of homage to a more successful film or a repository for the patronising gestures of the leading male character, what chance does a female actor have to prove her worth?... full review

Thumbs down, by Goher Iqbal Punn, Radio Sargam : ...The basic idea, the writers have brought, is appealing but they could not handle the saga... full review

Thumbs down, SearchIndia.com : ...course in all you wanted to know about wooing and dumping Indian girls but didn’t know where to ask... full review

Thumbs down, SmasHits.com : ...Love doesn't come the classic way.... full review

Thumbs down, Upper Stall : ...indi cinema should rejoice it has found a brilliant young new star who proves a worthy addition to artists from the Kapoor Khandaan... full review

Twitter reviews for this movie are not available.

3 readers - 2 yays 1 so-so 0 nays

Yay! Thumbs Up, by Bollywood Songs : 67

Yay! Thumbs Up, by Carty : 78

So-So, by Consumer Goods

This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.

Plot Summary

Raj (Ranbir Kapoor) doesn't want to commit himself in a relationship and is on the lookout for a girl whose needs match his.

What Worked

  • The joy ride in the snow was very well shot.
  • Loved the way a guy who is so comfortable forming his relationships finds himself so vulnerable and lost when its time to break-up.
  • Minissha Lamba's husband's character.

What did not

Note: This section simply lists the things that I did not like in this movie. This is not the overall impression about this movie. Please read the full review here

  • How does someone who hasn't even heard of Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge teach a whole band of musicians its theme music within a matter of minutes? Just because it’s a Yash Raj film!?
  • Deepika Padukone's straight look into the camera in her first few scenes.
  • The standard white guy who shows up whenever Yash Raj Films needs a white guy be it British or Australian, who has the weirdest dialogue delivery.

Nitty-Gritty

This section lists things that I think are not important to the overall impact of the movie. In most cases, it could be explained away by something like, "we noticed the glitch after the scene was shot and there were schedule/budget issues and thus we could not re-shoot it". I like giving the makers the benefit of doubt, but I am amused nevertheless. Hopefully, they will tickle you too.

  • Ranbir was playing the sax with one hand in the opening song. Can you really do that?
  • Men wearing lipstick that matches their shirts! Yuck!!
  • The first time 'khuda jaane' plays - when Deepika is wearing a blue gown, her right earring is missing!

Parental Guidance:

  • Violence: None
  • Sexual content: A couple of item number type songs, and a scene with a bachelor party.
  • Concept: The movie is about adult relationships. It's also about accepting mistakes. Not something they cannot or should not understand. Just depends on the interest level of the child - whether such a thing would interest him/her.
  • General Look and Feel: Generally a very bright and peppy ambience throughout the movie.

Bachna Ae Haseeno - Cast, crew, links

Producer:
Screenplay:
Cinematography:
Choreography:
Costume Designer:
Art Direction:
Running time:
160 minutes
Reviewer:
Language:
Country:
Genres:

Comments (12)

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Bachna Ae Haseeno...

It's a reasonably mature look at relationships and gives women actual, believable roles to play. But alas, the finer points lack polish and the wimpy, predictable end completely disappoints...

Just yesterday a friend visiting London from Bangalore mentioned this film to me - not the name, just that it features Rishi Kapoor's son.

I wonder why film-titles are now bits of old, popular Hindi songs. This one of course is named after a song filmed on Rishi Kapoor in Hum Kisi Se Kam Nahin (I think) .

[...] get me wrong. The movie is entertaining and I would say totally paisa vasool unlike what some others have to say. I won’t delve into the story details or the technical handling of the [...]

review written in hindi by ajay brahmatmaj...
http://chavannichap.blogspot.com/2008/08/blog-post_16.html

[...] then Meetu, whose succinct quick review says it all: It’s a reasonably mature look at relationships and gives women actual, believable [...]

Meetu, thanks for linking my review. I think you are making a commendable effort with this website. I am so sick of the movie critics, who mostly write rubbish reviews and tell the whole story! I never do, because just like you, I think there is no fun if you tell the story. I think movie critics nowadays don't know how to write reviews so they tell the story which even a fifth grader can do!

My pleasure, Nita. The aim is to make this section of wogma as representative of the audience reaction as possible.

I think I'm almost fanatic about the 'giving away the story' bit. I started writing my own reviews because I hated reading the story, and in the hope that there are more people like me out there. Turns out there are! :) welcome to wogma!!

Thanks, Mansi and rakesh...there's unbiased review readers! :)

Imran & Samera - o-kay!

Thank you, Ashok, Raj and jacky for your wonderful support!!

Yeah, Shefaly, and the sad thing is the posters, promos on air and the name have very little to do with the tone of the movie.

Rash - Yeah, I liked the contemporary story too. I found the same insight missing in the details of the story.

Srishankar, Arijit - Glad you enjoyed the movie.

Absolutely, Sanjeev, that's one part that came across very well.

[...] get me wrong. The movie is entertaining and I would say totally paisa vasool unlike what some others have to say. I won’t delve into the story details or the technical handling of the [...]

SSSSUUUPPPEEERRRBBB!!!!!!!

Yeah kind of movie watchable once if u have nothing else to do.
Bips Rocks ..

[...] 01-1-2009 I was thinking today about this magazine ad... Saved by bwatwood on Wed 31-12-2008 Bachna Ae Haseeno - Review Saved by warier on Mon 22-12-2008 Cosmological Inconstant Saved by LaZeEe on Sun 21-12-2008 DVD [...]

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