Salaam-E-Ishq —the Review

82 Comments

Salaam-e-ishq meri jaan zara kabool kar lo,
Tum mujshe pyar karne ki zara si bhool kar lo.

Bhool. Yes bhool.

If Moore’s Law states that the number of transistors on an integrated circuit for minimum component cost doubles every 24 months, then the Mohabattein Law hypothesizes that the number of love stories you can pack into one Bollywood quagmire doubles every 7 years.

Which is why Nikhil Advani’s “Love Actually”-inspired Salaam-e-Ishq (2007), an obese celluloid flab-ball that weighs in at more than three hours of vacuous vapidity, has six romantic stories—a vast improvement over Mohabattein (2000)’s three (yes I know technically Mohabattein had five love stories [the three pansies, SRK and Anupam Kher], but cut me some slack here please.)

John Abraham and Vidya Balan are a happy couple. The fact that they love each other a lot is established by Mr. Advani in a cho-chweet opening sequence where we see how John Abraham has sold his bike to buy wife Vidya Balan an anniversary gift. If only he had read “Gift of the Magi” , perhaps John Abraham could have sold his marvellous locks of hair and kept his bike. On second thoughts, I think he would prefer giving up his bike than his mane—-which I have to accept was exquisite, flowing, dark with a healthy bounce and no dandruff. Even a strongly heterosexual man like me felt some uncomfortable stirrings in my loins as he went hair-to-hair with Vidya Balan, beating the lady by a good margin.

Hair. Or the lack of it. This is the thread by which the second story is weaved in. Akshay Khanna who, in sharp contrast to John Abraham, has a scalp that looks like a Cuttack pitch on the fifth day, has a love problem. He cannot commit to his voluptous girl friend, Ayesha Takia and chews up much scenery to back out of his marriage. Very exciting.

Before you can grab your breath, Mr. Advani with great directorial adroitness swings from the hair-Sahara that is Akshay Khanna to the Amazonian rainforest of hirsuteness that is the great Anil Kapoor Mr. Kapoor is doing a “4-2-ka-1 1-2-ka-4″ extramarital dalliance behind wife Juhi Chawla’s rather substantial behind and we as an audience are supposed to care as to whom he chooses. I was betting that he goes the Boney Kapoor way of “ek se mera kya hoga” but unfortunately Mr. Advani is not for giving any kind of relief.

Which brings us to Priyanka Chopra and Salman-e-Ishq Khan and their quaint love story. With Priyanka hamming to high heavens, I was hoping that Salman as “Raul” (not Rahul) runs her over with a jeep or shoots her between the eyes but again no relief. Salman does lose his shirt of course but that is like saying Sourav Ganguly got out off the short ball. As inevitable as Uday Chopra in a Yash Chopra movie.

Bored already? Wait. There is more. Govinda, Congress Member of Parliament, a golden hearted taxi driver with a bulk like an Ambassador car (the oodles of fat giving a hint as to where his constituency-development funds ultimately landed in), is looking for his true love (in another directorial misfire, Advani does not cast Shakti Kapoor as his “cleaner”, which would have rescued the movie to an extent) when a foreign lady lands up and sweeps him off his feet (and no she is not from Italy). And newly married couple Suhail Khan (whom I am sure came free with Salman —ek lo ek muft) and Isha Koppikar are looking to consummate their marriage.

But like most Indian men, all Suhail can do is say “Hurrrrrrr” before he gets “interrupted”.

As the movie continues, strange things happen—Anil Kapoor shaves his moustache. tries to bring in the “Lamhe” look and ends up resembling a baboon’s buttock, John Abraham announces to a crowd of appreciative secular-progressive Pakistanis how he being a Hindu and his girlfriend Vidya Balan being a Muslim has caused so many problems in his native land, Govinda acts as if the ghost of Chunky Pandey has taken possession of him, dot com Paaji materializes out of somewhere and a doctor announces, right on cue, that one of the protagonists is suffering from memory loss because the flow of oxygen to her brain has been constricted.

Which was exactly what Salaam-e-Ishq had done to me by that time—killing off my brain cells by cutting off all nourishment. I must confess the rest of the movie slowly became a blur of pain as I slipped off into a diabetic coma with the blood in my veins being replaced by starchy rose-water. I do not remember what happened to whom, or who anyone was any more or why those who were there were there or why I should even care.

All I could hear, like a persistent drone in my head was “Hurrrrrrrrrrr” and the echoes of days gone by when even three love stories seemed a few too much.

Bhool. Bhool. A gigantic woolly mammoth of a bhool.

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82 thoughts on “Salaam-E-Ishq —the Review

  1. If Moore’s Law states that the number of transistors on an integrated circuit for minimum component cost doubles every 24 months, then the Mohabattein Law hypothesizes that the number of love stories you can pack into one Bollywood quagmire doubles every 7 years.
    :D

  2. I wish that when these guys rip off western films, in this case Love Actually, they would at least rip it off frame by frame and not try and let their own ideas interfere. Love Actually in Hindi would have been quite good. It was a rather endearing movie in English anyhow.

    An example of a frame by frame remake that worked because of the tightness of the original English script was Murder (Unfaithful). Similarly Raaz worked because it was a faithful copy of What Lies Beneath. Among the older films, Karz worked because it was a good remake of The Reincarnation of Peter Proud.

    But no, our newer breed of directors have no shame in copying themes, but their ego makes them feel they can actually improve on the films by adding their own “ideas” to that. The end result – unmitigated disasters!

    Most of them can’t handle one simple story in a film. How on earth do they think they can handle six?

    Luckily the public seems to know better and brings these overambitious directors down to earth… :)

  3. Hey GB,
    Good one! I am almost tempted to watch the movie and then re-read this priceless review one more time. I am sure I would appreciate it more:-). Should I dare? How many saridons should I keep handy? Please advise.

  4. GB at his best again. Now completely believe that Karan Johar directed Kal Ho Na Ho and Advani was just an onlooker at that time. Now when Advani did direct on his own, his original skills came out into light. Very good review GB. If one asks me which sentence i liked the most, i will have to paste the whole review here. Really very good work. GB, a small doubt. Are u a South Indian ?

  5. @ Kishor- “GB, a small doubt. Are u a South Indian”. What an interesting idea. He might be. I have a theory and you will like it. Well, WB shares border with Orissa and Orissa shares border with Andhra. Voila! GB is South Indian once removed…does that work?

  6. @Kishor: Arnab is actually a South Indian and got swapped at birth at the hospital – So he’s actually a GreatTam, and not GreatBong.

    Nothing else makes any sense otherwise.

    Um, well, GreatTam, GreatMallu, GreatKannadiga, GreatTelugu – no, from the sound of it I prefer GreatTam – what say you, Arnab?

    @Arnab: Thanks – you saved me the price of a ticket, and a lot of running around to get one. PVR Saket is going house-full on this one.

  7. @GB: You are back! Yes, this review was worth the price of the internet connection! You are verily, in terms of talent, the Ranadeb Bose of blogging (Amit Varma being the ubiquitous Agarkar).

    @Kishor: Fabulous. I, for one, am your fan. And I await your comments eagerly. You make me think…. And this is what i thought — As the doctor treating Reagan, after he was shot by Hinckley, said to him, “We are all Republicans today, Mr. President”, I say, “We are all South indians today, Kishor”. Because, as Ronita said, yes, we are South Indians once removed, and to Nepalis, Himachalis, Kashmiris, etc., etc we are South Indians too. Keep writing!

  8. What exactly was Nikhil Advani thinking when he made this movie!! I wanted to throw my chappals at Nikhil Advani for making this movie.. and at one point, when Govinda breaks into the dance on the title track.. I started wishing I could go shoot him!

    And yes, Priyanka Chopra at her hamming best! I am known to have a voracious appetite for tolerating hammingness. (I have seen Dev Anand starrer Mr. Prime Minister in theatre and that should be a proof enough) But Priyanka really got on my nerves, and so did Salman Khan! Argh!

    //With Priyanka hamming to high heavens, I was hoping that Salman as “Raul” (not Rahul) runs her over with a jeep or shoots her between the eyes

    Exactly my thoughts! :D

  9. If you can manage to get hold of episodes “Comedy show ha ha ha” on Star One (you can try youtube), you should give it a shot. They had done nice spoof on “Salaam-e-ishq”.

  10. Haha, interesting review. I guess you have butchered the movie completely here.
    Actually, in my opinion movie isn’t that bad. It’s a nice feel good movie.
    Although, It is quite long and predictable but overall its an entertainer and watchable. Certainly, it doesnt deserve such a bad bashing :D

  11. Rocking review!!! I was feeling really duped about having watched the movie but remembering with your review in perspective gave me the best laugh I’ve had in a long time..

  12. this is guessable(yeah, i make my own words) from the promos…
    I am eagerly waiting for Honeymoon Express though. The promos look quite promising.

  13. ha ha hee hee ho ho! This is classy stuff! So good! You know how highly I regard your Asambhav review as the best! This is in the same league, if not better! Chaliye jao Guru! :)

  14. “..cuttack pitch on fifth day”. ha ha; agree.

    I haven’t seen Salaam-e-ishq, don’t intend to.. hair or no hair, I think Akshay Khanna is good at humor.

  15. @ kishor
    Indian ocean washes the extreme tip of South India and one side of Antarctica.
    So, the following have asked to be included in your list of South Indianship.
    1) The leopard seals
    2) The penguins– all twelve or twenty varieties
    3) The albatrosses
    4) The whales
    5) The Americans at the McMurdo Base Camp on the Ross iceshelf
    6) The krills also applied but I immediately rejected their application as they do not add to the taste of rasam or sambar. On being asked to spell ‘idli’ they could only squirm in embarressment.

    Infact, both Dan Quayle and our Dubya failed the ‘idli’ test. D could not even pronounce the word. Nor could he find India, let alone South India on a map.

    I LOVE eating at The-Madras-and Punjab-Tiffin-House in Barrackpore.
    I hope it qualifies me to be on this list of yours.

  16. Don’t mock at us Swati. When we south indians take over the India, we make all other Indians watch Sunil Shetty movies continuously in concentration camps.

  17. GreatBog,

    Commiserations on the untimely demise of your one time ex gf ,Playboy model and of course a pure unadulterated South Indian (where else is Texas?)- Anna Nicole Smith. :)

  18. don’t be disappointed jhingalala, GB is not giving me any chances. Actually I grinded a lot of axes and kept them ready for Guru review as it was Maniratnam’s film, but GB gave it a very positive review. Now he heavily criticized salam-e-ishq, and his review is very much indisputable. Okay, but don’t get disappointed, i will back in full form whenever there is even a slight chance for dispute.

  19. Thank you very much Ranjan Chakravarty. I need all the like-minded people support for making our south indian flag fly high with rajnikant’s face printed on one side and chiranjeevi’s on the other.

  20. @kishor – I’m an Indian. North South East or West…who the eff cares ? And btw, no one gives you chances. If you want to grind something, masticate your grey cells.

  21. So do you watch these movies just so that you can write a review:)

    I have not seen the movie (and since Salman Khan is in the cast it it is unlikely I will ever watch this masterpiece….) but I do like one of the songs – the one sung by Adnan Sami.

  22. @GB .. @GB ! tell, tell .. !

    Arent you the one pretending to be “Kishor”, so that you can make us all laugh ? Is this your “demented” sense of humor ?

  23. @kishor
    What’s wrong with Sunil/Suniel Shetty or Shilpa Shetty?
    I might even learn Tulu.

    If that gb takes over, he is going to force us to watch Eisenstein bouncing down the Odessa steps, or Se7en or -horror of horrors- Apu going pad pad pad through the paddy fields.

    Give me the handsome Shetty or the Shetty who robbed Bihar and UP.
    Maybe even the gas chambers will feel like a whiff of Chanel.no.5

  24. Sigh. Didn’t Kal No Haa Ho not warn you about this cataclysmic event hehe! The moment I saw Nikhil Advani as the man in charge, I knew the movie was on a higher stratosphere than me.

    Nice review!!

    S

  25. @Kishor: Aaarey bhai, don’t underestimate Swati’s power to withstand Suniel Shetty movies – this sister of mine survived studying History of Marxism for six long years in Baku. After that, the permanent pout of hamara Bunt-bhai is as swit as Himeshbhai’s voice.

    But I must tell you – as a Chemistry guy, I just love South Indians. In Pilani we discovered that when we were out of buffer tabs to calibrate our pH meters, Curd rice, Sambar and Rasam were excellent as a three point calibration. Hardly ever went wrong. They did a great deal for research work – the food in the mess did indeed!

    Don’t kill vulturo – the jokes in Pilani were worse…

  26. Huh! It’s not the right time for gentlemen to comment on blogs. I read this blog and if I comment by the name Kishore I will be creating chaos here. So I am being forced to comment with Kishore-1. I don’t want to associate myself with any part of India.

    Is Kishore a new form of Arnab-da? Please reveal.

    BTW kickass fun man. Esp Cuttack pitch and Baboon’s buttock was awesome. (no pun intended)

  27. Great review GB! I almost died of laughter.

    @ Sayon: I knew it !! I don’t know why but I always had this strange inkling that you and Swati were probably siblings but never got around asking the question. :)

  28. Seems its Salaam a Shit !

    Why these guys are in creative field ( movie making) if all they want to do is copy.

    Real shame! Also the stars acting in these movies, why don’t they demand something original.

    What assumes me the most is, why bollywood is so popular all over the world ( among non desis as well )

    I read somewhere Mahesh Bhat said “Originality is over exaggerated” …………….

  29. @GB

    Pardon me for the copy-paste but MAN!! this review was awesome. I am in splits. Thanks for a good laugh and preventing me from committing a gigantic BHOOL :)

    Sometimes I wait for reviews like this from you and I had feeling Salaam-e-ishq had it coming..

    [.........If Moore’s Law states that the number of transistors on an integrated circuit for minimum component cost doubles every 24 months, then the Mohabattein Law hypothesizes that the number of love stories you can pack into one Bollywood quagmire doubles every 7 years.....]

    [....has a scalp that looks like a Cuttack pitch on the fifth day,...]

    [.......Mr. Kapoor is doing a “4-2-ka-1 1-2-ka-4″ extramarital dalliance behind wife Juhi Chawla’s rather substantial behind and we as an audience are supposed to care as to whom he chooses........]

    [.........Salman does lose his shirt of course but that is like saying Sourav Ganguly got out off the short ball....]

    [...ends up resembling a baboon’s buttock, ...]

    [....Bhool. Bhool. A gigantic woolly mammoth of a bhool.....]

  30. haven’t seen the movie yet, but every single person who’s seen it and every review i’ve read uptil now complain that the movie was too long, and not worth it.. just better to wait for the dvd. btw, in a recent nikhil advani interview he mentioned that he has even MORE extra footage which he couldn’t put in the movie, so he’s decided to add it to the dvd instead! hmmmm…
    anyways, he wasted such a good chance of making a great movie. it’s not easy to get such a big star cast in a single film, and it’s not like they were b or c-grade actors not worth a look. this was huge! with amazing music, it was not like oh ok you have one or two hit songs etc etc.. each song in my opinion was/is fantastic. but again he wasted this golden opportunity.
    very sad.

  31. Baboon’s buttock! Cuttack pitch! Too funny.

    When John Abraham sold his bike, I too thought of “The Gift of Magi” and was expecting Vidya ‘Belan’ to sell something to get atleast a new sticker for John’s bike. But the damn stingy woman didn’t even exchange some old clothes for some new bartans(utensils). Sigh! how I long for the old times of selfless love. Ghor Kaljug!

  32. @All: Please. I am not Kishor. Leave aside the moral ethical inherent in pretending to be someone else on my own blog, I do not think I can straddle the fine line between “Is this man serious” and “This man is totally whacked” with such acute adroitness. :-)

    Thanks otherwise to everyone who appreciated the review.

  33. @Rima: Mea culpa.

    @Arnab: Ended up seeing the movie today (The Delhi rain got me bored to tears, and no other ticket was available). Um, your review was only too accurate. Sigh! I guess I’ve become a gyan-papi.

    @Kishore -1: No need for the 1-tag. You can be Kishore (with an E), or E-Kishor, if you want. Best time to register your monicker in cyber space.

  34. @kishor

    man, u are either blind, incomprehensive, or have a brain that is a pea. Alternatively (since english words are wasted on you as you are a pseudo southie),you are a plain patti. (go look up that word with nebody whose a south indian).

    it is amazing that for the amount of time you spend on this blog enlightening us with your home loans and kala nazar, you seemed to have missed the title. if you still cant find it, it is on the address bar you type in.

    Amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  35. Hi Neeladri, i know what patti is, but i found that u r my relative. Patti is a dog. Anyway, by indulging in such obscene language, u ultimtely prove what u are. I never used any obscene language and i always suggest people from using words like f**k and shit and etc. Those kind of words show only frustration, not wisdom.

  36. More over, ur English grammar is very poor Niladri. Read this sentence again: u are either blind, incomprehensive, or have a brain that is a pea. U know “either/or” combination is used only when there are 2 objects. No need of that combo here. Also, nobody spelling is wrong. So, rather than calling me incomprehensive, u first better ur English and come back and comment on me.

  37. @Kishor: Still problems with your kala nazar, I see. In addition, my dear friend, how is it that you begin a sentence chastising Master Neeladri for his incorrect grammer with ‘More over’? Isn’t that rank bad grammer, as well?

    Anyway, carry on entertaining us, my dear sir!

    I hereby declare myself to be your fan.

  38. Ok, I can’t quite decide which one funnier; Arnab’s review or Kishor’s…erm…baloney! :-)

    And Swati, please send me your “charanamrito”…Mr. Prime Minister in theater…wow!!

  39. Good Stuff bud.
    I had the misfortune of seeing this, and could’nt agree more. “Love Actually” was 100 times better than this manure.
    Way to go with the Cuttack Pitch, and the baboon’s buttcheek similes. Hilarious! We have long thought Anil Kapoor to resemble a “Gadhe ki gaand”, so u’re pretty close with your assessment. Vintage stuff!

  40. Hi Sayon, I am very much interested to know how u calibrate pH meters with rasam, samabar, etc. Seems even our South Indian home products are becoming scientific.

  41. @Sayon, All: If you have the time on hands to watch this movie then you sure have the time to make history. Himess is at 267. 272 is the world record. Need I Say more? And speaking on behalf of all Rokestars and Sleckers, may I say that the Dedy would be honoured if you all are edding comments on that thread only. Himess 300!

  42. @Kishor: Thenk you, Kishorbhai! It hes bin emply proved thet without the support of South India, Himeshbhai is under threat to be en also-ren. Now with even a fraction of support from Chiranjeevi and Rajnikant diverted the Himeshbhai way, we will surely cross 272, even 300! Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan, Jai Vigyan, Jai Himesh! How swit! :)

  43. Hi
    GB your review is much exciting than Salam-e-Ishq. It should be called as Salam-e-Risk. Watch at your own risk.

    It seems that Kishor has joined Left Group or Bajrang Dal whose only work is to oppose everything :).

  44. @ Nautilus
    undeserved praise.
    It was Basanti who endured the Prime Minister in a movie hall.
    That makes her one of the 16 people who watched this movie in a hall.

    Me, I watch movies in my local Atindra where the ladies balcony section costs only Rs 10/-.

    YES!

    All people who frequent posh, swanky, money guzzling movieplexes can go verdegrese with sheer rank ENVY.

  45. Hey guys, just watched the movie & to b honest its a nice entertaining movie, at least a lot better than karan johar’s KANK, yes its a bit longer, but still its a good movie to watch, and if u r willing to spend 2:45 minutes on a movie, u can easily survive 45 more minutes :) ……and yes the guy who wrote this review must had a fight with his wife before he wrote this ;) or he might not like happy endings.

    Cheers

  46. Thanks for saving my 9$… The best was Anil Kapoor with his shaved moustache resemble Baboon’s B******… :D …keep it up…

  47. @ Ranjan Chakravarty “A thought just struck me: What would you get if you ombined Salam-E-Ishq and KANK? SKANK!”

    Ranjan, don’t even d-r-eam of trying to play ‘punk’ music in the background.

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