I DO / 我願意 / Wǒ Yuànyì [2012 Chinese Film Review]

BY RUBY GEGE (AND HAPPY FIRST ANNIVERSARY, THREECHINGUZ!! THIS BLOG IS OFFICIALLY ONE YEAR OLD!!! JUST WISH TO SAY THAT I LOVE MY FELLOW CHINGUZ AND CO-WRITERS, THE GORGEOUS PALAH CHINGU AND MAERTAI FATMA. AND DEAR READERS, WHOEVER YOU ARE, THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH FOR READING!!)

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Only now I realize how great a joy it is to watch a romantic comedy film once in a while. For a good few hours, I get to laugh, cry, be touched and melt over the romance looming around my laptop. Ouh, such happiness!! I stumbled upon I Do in Youtube and randomly downloaded it. I have to say, I was not disappointed! Not that I’ve ever doubted the gorgeous Li Bingbing’s talent. I should really start collecting more rom-com in my hard disk since they are great stress-relievers. Life sucks. So why not use some cinematic medicines to cure that sucky-diseases? 

U4350P28T3D3560970F326DT20120222074900Set in the metropolitan Beijing, I DO revolves around Tang Weiwei (Li Bingbing), a super successful and super gorgeous and super confident sales director in her early thirties. She has been single since she was 25 years old after her boyfriend left her and had a pregnant best friend who often helped her with blind dates, which never really seemed to work out anyway. Then, she encountered Yang Nianhua (Sun Honglei), a man a few years older than her seemingly of a middle-class background. Even though Nianhua was not as successful and ‘upper’-ish as Weiwei was, they got along well, starting a friendship and courtship at the same time. 

During the courtship, Weiwei’s ex-boyfriend, Wang Yang who left her seven years ago came back to her life, now as a rich jewellery company owner. Weiwei supported Wang Yang for many years while they were dating, through thick and thin, through his unemployments and failures in life. Thus, she was still very bitter and disappointed by his decision to disappear just like that from her life. Wang Yang made his intentions clear that he wanted to resume their romance and pursued Weiwei, asking for her forgiveness.

I find it most surprising that the love-triangle in this movie is so enjoyable to watch. Truthfully, I hate all the cliches one can predict in a romance film. Yet, the three main characters here played their roles with great confidence and ease that watching them navigate their love lives around each other is fascinating. Even though there were tensions here and there, they were never over-dramatic, giving the film a very ‘adult/mature/grown-up’ feel.

Weiwei, for once, is a great character and role model for women. Even though she is independent and successful, she is a realistic person. She wants a husband, a partner in life. Even though she’s comfortable being alone and is a bit sarcastic about the idea of love, she has yet to give up in searching for someone to live her life with. She wants a partner yet she is not too extreme about it. She might be a workaholic sales director but with her love life, she prefers to take it slow and easy.

It’s not important that he has money or not. He has no money, I can earn money. Why do I need too much money? I want a man. Do you understand what a MAN is?” – Tang Weiwei, defending Nianhua when the latter was criticized by Weiwei’s rich ex-boyfriend. (Oh my God, girllll…. I totally get you!!)

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Which made Yang Nianhua the perfect man for her!! Their relationship is my favourite aspect of the film. It is the kind of relationship I want (if ever I have a romantic partner. Oh God, pleaseeeeeeee!!!!!!!) Nianhua is a simple outgoing guy who likes Weiwei for who she is. Despite the lack of interest she showed for him in the beginning of their courtship, he was always there for her. They started of as friends and confidante and slowly, he displayed great reliability and kindness with her. Who does not fall for that?!!! He is a relaxed kind of guy who brings her dinner, has a sense of humour and is very supportive. If that is not perfection, I don’t know what is.

It is also very interesting to see the contrasting dynamics Weiwei shared with her ex-boyfriend and her new romantic partner. She had had an intense long history with Wang Yang and they knew everything about each other. Yet her heart had been crushed by him leaving her without any explaination years ago. When he tried to woo her again, Weiwei was angry at him at first. Only later that she finally showed signs on why she rejected him – she no longer yearned for him. She was disinterested. She wanted nothing more from him. Their time had passed. 

With Nianhua, Weiwei felt easy. As if he had been a very familiar presence in her life. He makes her happy, supports her and sits down to talk to her. He listens to her and most importantly, is a friend to her. I think that is how Weiwei fell for Nianhua despite the presence of the ex-boyfriend (whom she truly loved years ago). 

I Do 我愿意  (2012)  [full length movie-english subtitles] Chinese Movie.mp4.opdownload_002254907

“If you think that I cheated on you, my mistake was that I hid my fortune. How about you? You hide your heart. Your heart is like a thick suit of armor. Needle cannot go in. Water cannot splash in. Reject everything that comes into your heart.” – Nianhua, persuading Weiwei to forgive him once she finds out that he’s actually a filthy rich businessman beneath his laid-back appearance. 

The film had a happy ending, with Nianhua proposing to Weiwei. Wang Yang finally let Weiwei go, wishing her all the happiness in the world. I have to say, though, that scene is the most touching scene in the film. 

“When something is lost, maybe it never comes back. But it makes my heart aching forever.” – Wang Tan, finally accepting that his relationship with Weiwei is over. 

I am beginning to enjoy a lot of modern films from Mainland China after being so absorbed with the films from the 90s and 80s which dealt with more serious socially-conscious elements. Modern Chinese films may seem more glossy and pretty but they also deal with problems I can and will relate to. The issue of successful career-women seems to be on the rise. It cannot be denied that even though marriage is no longer a priority for women, it does not mean that they DON’T want to get married. It’s just that they don’t want to get married to the wrong person. With success and independence, they don’t cling to the presence of men in their lives. People should start expecting to marry a person/individual instead of a wife to manage the household and be the mother of their children.  

When the search of love fails, people marry for practicality. To have a companion. To have children. To start a family. 

“When I was your age, I was afraid that men cheated on me. But now at my age, I am most afraid that I am not useful to men. Life has several stages. After I turn 50, do I still need a man? If I have a son, it’s enough.” – Weiwei’s collegue in her 40s on marriage and partnership.

One thing I kind of dislike about the film is that it has an ‘upper-class’ feel to it. Most characters are filthy rich, successful, have great jobs with impeccable wardrobes and expensive cars. But maybe that is the way it is in the city of Beijing now. I read online that there is a surge of ‘new money’ in the city for the past few years. People are getting richer, the young ones are getting more ambitious. Life is busier, more hectic and unfortunately, more materialistic. It applies to every metropolitan city in the world, including Kuala Lumpur itself. 

On the whole, I DO is an enjoyable romantic-comedy film. The acting is great (like… duhhh, look at the cast. All critically-acclaimed actors, people!) It displays romance in an appropriate dosage and proves that love does not have to be intense and passionate all the time. Love can be kind, understanding, supportive, and reliable. 

I Do 我愿意  (2012)  [full length movie-english subtitles] Chinese Movie.mp4.opdownload_004501057

Awww… these damn feels…

P/S – Ruby Gege wants to return to school so badly. She has been reading a lot in preparation for her PhD proposal. Will she get what she has been hoping for? Will she not? Will she fail? Will she succeed? Can she do what she enjoys in the future? Soon? Pleassseeee? Ruby Gege wishes she can read all day, every day. 

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Farewell My Concubine/ 霸王别姬 /Bàwáng Bié Jī – Chen Kaige’s 1993 Masterpiece and Greatest Film Ever Made in China

BY RUBY GEGE

*I am quite disgusted daily by my own over-confidence over giving myself the title of Gege. But then, what am I without my over-confidence? Haha*

farewell-my-concubine-movie-poster-1993-1020194509JUST SO YOU KNOW, THIS IS, FOR ME AND MILLIONS OF OTHERS OUT THERE, THE GREATEST CHINESE FILM OF ALL TIME

My interest in Chinese cinema sparked when I was little. I think most of Malaysians have, at least once in their lifetime, the fond memories of watching all those action kungfu films during the 1990s and early 2000s. Nevertheless, the great age of Chinese cinema was during the 1985 to 2000 period and the greatness lies not within the kungfu genre but the melodramatic/social commentary genre. 

Simply put, no one does tragic as good as the Chinese. And I’m talking about the Chinese mainland. And Farewell, My Concubine is the epitome of everything that is miserably beautiful about China. I watched this film about a year ago upon a gazillion recommendations online. If you are looking for the greatest Chinese film ever made, trust me that at least half of them would reply with Farewell My Concubine. And to discover that it is ranked No. 1 as the greatest film ever made in China by Time Out Beijingi? As a fan of this film, I’ve never been prouder!

SYNOPSIS – Adapted from a novel by Lillian Lee, the plot revolves around two top stars of the Peking Opera, the masculine Shitou who played the role of King and his best friend, the feminine Douzi, who played the female role of Concubine Yu, spanning over 50 years. The story began from their youth, where the boys, abandoned by their families, received training in an opera trouple with an extremely harsh environment. They were beaten like dogs, mercilessly pushed way beyond their limits and were forced to endure many sufferings in order to perfect their crafts. Despite their torturous childhood, Shitou and especially Douzi grew up to become famous Peking Opera stars, their hard work paid off.

Douzi as Concubine Yu, Shitou as the King
Douzi as Concubine Yu, Shitou as the King

The most instrumental elements of the film are the eras the story were set. Douzi, the life and soul of Farewell My Concubine, lived in an era of China’s transition – the end of Qing Empire, the Warlords Era and the ensuing chaos. Despite the massive conflicts around the region, Peking Opera lived on. It must be noted that during the early days, all female opera roles (also known as Dan roles) were played by male actors. These actors who specialized in these area received trainings since they were little on how to familiarize themselves with their feminine traits. Therefore, more than often, the male actors have a soft look, polite mannerism and a gentle personality as a whole. Our Douzi (played by the legendary Leslie Cheung) is the epitome of grace.

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Leslie Cheung as Douzi, being more beautiful than 100% of the female population on earth. Yup, my friend, that is a man dressed as a woman.
Douzi in his western garb
Douzi in his western garb

Douzi, though never indicated directly, was in love with his acting partner, Shitou. Shitou, however, was clearly a straight man and regarded Douzi as a brother. But we can see from Douzi’s demeanors that he deemed Shitou as his lover (though he never got to consummate the love with him). But their relationship was strong and intense. They understand and were loyal to each other.

However, it was quite inevitable that Shitou soon found a life of his own, separate from his stage partner. Juxian, a former elegant courtesan came into their lives, becoming Shitou’s fiancee.  This naturally caused a rift between them. Amidst the chaos in China, Shitou got to have a life outside his opera work. However, Douzi couldn’t, partly due to his complex personality and unrequited love for Shitou.

Shitou and Douzi getting their make-up done
Shitou and Douzi getting their make-up done
The ever so gorgeous Gong Li as Juxian
The ever so gorgeous Gong Li as Juxian

They had a falling out as Shitou clearly preferred Juxian over Douzi. Even though he cared for him, he never loved Douzi the way Douzi loved him.

The stars of the film are Douzi and Juxian, two strong characters bonded by their feelings for Shitou, whom for me was important but less impactful compared to the two. When both knew that they could not get rid of each other, the hate-filled relationship turned into a peculiar cordiality and friendship. Douzi, the stage partner and scorned lover, soon grew fascinated by the feisty woman who managed to steal the heart of the man he loved.

Intriguing, complicated and very very tragic.

The story then proceeded to the Sino-Japanese war, then the Kuomintang administration and the Communist Party of China, leading to the formation of People’s Republic of China. And since the plot would take forever to be explained, I would just say that the three main characters had to go through heaven and hell as the future of Shitou and Douzi’s stage careers, and Peking Opera, and that of China, were at stake.

One of them would betray the other two. Sacrifices were made but not appreciated. Two of them committed suicide. All in the name of love and loyalty.

Now…

WHY DO I LOVE LOVE LOVE THIS FILM???

1 – DOUZI AND HIS LOSS OF IDENTITY

I think every fan of Farewell, My Concubine can generally agree that Leslie Cheung is everything to this film. His performance as the tormented Douzi is PHENOMENAL!! Douzi is a very difficult and complex character to play. Born of a prostitute mother, he was dumped into a harsh opera training school after her mother cruelly cut his extra finger in order to gain admittance. Growing up, he had to force to accept his feminine identity. He refused to at first and repeatedly got his line wrong.

Douzi as a boy
Douzi as a boy

“I am by nature a boy, not a girl,” said he. The correct line goes like this, “I am by nature a girl, not a boy.”

We can see from the heartbreaking scenes of where he got punished for getting it wrong as his final defence in retaining his identity as a boy. He did not want to be a girl. But he had no choice. And when the investment for their future performance was jeapordized, Shitou, out of frustration, shoved a pipe into his mouth, causing Douzi to bleed. Shocked and traumatized, Douzi finally got the line right and said… “I am by nature a girl…”

He had been lost ever since, trapped in a limbo, unable to hold on to anything.

As he grew into adulthood, he dedicated his life to his work – an opera actor specializing in female roles. Off the stage, his heart belonged to Shitou, whom we could see as the love of his life. Nevertheless, Shitou did not return such romantic feelings. We can see that Douzi spent his lifetime yearning for his love, knowing that he would never get  it. He was not a man per se, was also not a woman per se. He was admired by many fans, yet had no one to cure his loneliness. It was such a tragic character, more tragic than the Consort Yu role he had to play in the operas.

Jan12DVDAnd yes, guys, he ended up dead. Of course he would. Tragic characters never survive in films. That’s why they’re so tragic.

2 – THE TRANSITIONAL IDENTITY OF CHINA

Peking Opera, for me, was used symbolically in the story to represent the history of ancient China, the version of kings, queens, nobility and everything feudal about the 4,000 years old civilization. However, as China moved forward to the modern world, it adopted the identity of a communist state – everybody is equal before the law, no monarchy, no upper class, the most valuable assets to the country are the working class and the peasants.

Peking Opera was somehow deemed incompatible with the birth of new China. During the Cultural Revolution – where Mao Zedong encouraged the end of all cultural arts deemed in contrary to the communist system – the opera was under attack. Was China ready to let go of its cultural treasure whilst holding onto its new communist identity?

The Opera Actors pushed around by Communist supporters
The Opera Actors pushed around by Communist supporters

What were the justifications presented by the communist characters in the film? As Douzi was summoned to train these hopeful youths in the art of opera, he complained about how boring their costumes were. Peking Opera needed colours, extravagant accessories and beautiful make-ups. Then, the youths revolted – the Opera presented stories only about the royalties, the rich and the privileged. They ignored the struggle of the mass, the poverty of the citizens and the suffering of the peasants. Which is true, in a way.

Nevertheless, people should be able to differentiate cultural arts and national policies. Cultural arts are a form of heritage, thus should be maintained in their true organic form. Cultural arts tell the stories of the past that can never be repeated. The youths wanted to erase the horrible years their ancestors experienced during feudal China. Still, they could never erase the fact that feudal China did happen and it was a great China indeed.

*Suddenly, I am feeling so deep as I’m writing this! Hahahaha*

CONCLUSION

The film is great as it is able to take the audience on a journey to the transition of China through the eyes of the characters, mainly Douzi. The trapped identity between two sides are of the main theme. Douzi was trapped between being a man and a woman, a lover and a giver. Peking Opera was trapped between the world of Old China and the new China. The country itself was trapped between the power-hungry military leaders who sought control over the country’s population.

Let me just reiterate – I love love love this film. It is unlike any other films I have seen before, and even perhaps in the future. It is life in itself – symbolic of many bigger things that it tried to portray. Beneath the huge dismemberment of society and community during that era, lived three tormented souls, their feelings, emotions and fate unraveling in one complex web. No matter how great things may seem from the surface, take a little look inside and you may just notice the intense loneliness covered up by all that greatness.

The Vicious Cycle of Racism – Are We The Inheritors?

BY RUBY GEGE

Life is but a cycle. Events which occurred yesterday would inevitably lead to consequences to be felt today or tomorrow. Mistakes and wrongdoings would bring about repercussions, same goes to good deeds and kindness. It is somehow similar to the concept of karma. What goes around, comes around.

Malaysia is a beautiful country. I love it so much. I am somehow disappointed at times of how my country seems to be lacking in a national identity but perhaps that is what is great about the country. Why impose on yourself a national identity when you can be a proud Malaysian yet are allowed to define who you want to be? In Malaysia, I am a woman, a feminist, a daughter, a sister, a crazy friend, a student, an aspiring writer, a novice activist, a Malay, a Kelantanese, an agressive driver and a caffeine addict. I am many things. I aspire to be many great things in the future. And I am constantly thankful that I am able to assert myself in whatever form that I choose.

But yes, there’s this thing that has been bothering me for quite some time now. This issue of racism. I have yet to go through a critical study course in the matter to fully understand the theoretical and practical nature of racism. But based on my limited reading, I can sense that in Malaysia, racism has and will always be a big thing. Wherever I go…. people will claim that they are being discriminated upon. When I go to Venue X, I will meet people who claims that the Y people are discriminating against them. When I go to Venue Y, I will meet people who claims that the X people are discriminating against them. Even worse, when I go to Venue Z – really, the ones who have been marginalized and oppressed for years – they have been discriminated against by the X people and the Y people as well.

So many discrimination. So many racism. People X control this sector. That’s why it’s important for People Y to control this sector. People Y discriminate against People X, that is why People X must be supreme in this sector. That is why People X must not be too kind to People Y. People Y did this, People X did that…

And one day, I woke up only to find that I, along with other people of my generations, are inheriting this sort of situation. This form of life. We are the inheritors to this cycle. This form of violence against each other. We have no choice. For we are born either amongst the Y people or the X people or the Z people. Whether we like it or not, we belong to a certain alphabet. Defending our alphabet is deemed a must. For we are part of the community since we were born. The cycle turns… and to survive it is to play the game and play it well. Protect and be protected. Defend and be defended.

But what if I say I don’t want to be People Y or People X or People Z? What if I just want to be me and make friends with whoever I meet? So long as they are kind, cool and laugh at my jokes, I am a happy enough woman. People might say I’m Z or X or Y. People can be wrong. Maybe, based on my personality, I am more of an R. Maybe, I don’t want to inherit the cycle of racism. Can I be an R? Can I be a person I am not supposed to be? Can I not do what is expected of me? Can I, instead of assisting in turning the cycle, chose to take the bus instead with my friends?

Maybe I don’t want to live in fear and paranoia. Maybe I want to evaluate people not based on their race or religion but their personalities and kindness. Maybe I don’t want to discriminate against them just because their elders discriminated against my elders. Even if they chose to discriminate me, should I follow their example and judge people based on their races as well? If I discriminate against them today, tomorrow their children will discriminate against my children and the cycle goes on and on.

When will the cycle stop, then? Who will start to work on stopping the cycle? Or are the future generations damned to inherit a far vicious cycle we are in now?

Do I want my children to live like that? Certainly not. I want my children to live freely, with respect to other people who respect them. I want them to see people through the optimistic lens – that all human shall be judged by their actions, not who their parents are or where they come from.

Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe I’m stupid of being too optimistic. But then, maybe I’d rather die a stupid optimistic person in harmony with my own conviction than a smart intelligent powerful paranoid person. Death in the category of the former seems more appealing to me anyway. I may not know the truth or whatever is true out there. But I think for every person, there is their own truth – the meaning of their existence and the way they want to live their lives. Even if I may betray other people’s truth, the least I can do in my life is to be loyal to my own truth.

Hello people. My name is Ruby and I love all sorts of people, may they be a Y, X or Z or any other.

Now, let’s end this very serious opinion piece on a goofy note… Presenting to you a very unappealing image of myself…

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Now off to watch the latest episode of Castle!

The Patience Stone (2012) : Foreign Film Review

By The Gorgeous Palah Chingu

“Those who do not know how to make love, make war”.

Those who are close to me always knew that i have a very deep connection with Afghanistan. I dont know what intrigued me to love that country but i did love it. I watched its films, I read about them regardless what its all about. It can be about war, taliban, women oppression, life-changing moment and so many more. I even planning to go there one day, i dont know when but god willing, i will one day. I found ‘The Patience Stone’ by accident when i searching of Asghar Farhadi. Well, if you didnt know him, he is one of the top Iranian Film Maker. I watched his last film during 2011 and kind of wondering whether he’s already released his new film. That’s when i stumbled upon ‘The Patience Stone’. It was a bit disappointed seeing wikipedia didnt tell much about this film especially the synopsis and plot of the story. i, then followed my gut and downloaded this film.

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My Rating: 4/5

The story begins with the young woman, who are nameless talking to her husband whom twice his age at his side. She kept babbling but her husband didnt respond to any of it. It turns out that her husband is an ex afghan Jihadi militia. He has been shot at the back of his neck. He survived the injury but he is in a vegetative state. The war still continued at that time and the young woman does not have enough money to support his medicine and other necessaries at that time. She then run across the city searching for her aunt only to find that her aunt is already gone. She tried to find her mother in law and brother in law but it turn out they already fled the city together. She was left behind because she still has a husband and it is not their responsibility to take care of her. She was devastated. She was desperate at that time. The bombing is worsen day by day and she knew she could not stay at her house any longer.

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Golshifteh Farahani as ‘The Young Woman’

She took both her daughters out of their house right after the tragedy happened to her neighboir. Her neighbor going crazy because she found the body of her family hang in the tree infront of their house. Her husband and children had been slaughtered by another group of militant in the cross fire last night. Due to safety of her daughters, she left her vegetative husband behind and promised that she would come back once she found a safe place for them. She kept searching for her aunt until she found her at the brothel house. She seeks help and protection for her daughters from her aunt. Her aunt welcomed her family with an open heart. Every morning, she will go to her home to replace her husband’s medicine fluid, clothes and while she’s doing that, she will talk to him.

She talked to her husband continuously although she didnt get any respond from him.
She talked to her husband continuously although she didnt get any respond from him.

The real story began here when she poured her heart out to her husband almost every day. She knew her husband listened to her. She talked how she was so frustrated with their marriage, their dull sex life, their platonic relationship that involved almost no romance at all, her pressure of having to get pregnant and so many more. She enjoyed her talk with her husband because he didnt listen to her before. If she were to talk or to tell him what to do, she will get slapped or beaten or much worse. When she got this rare opportunity, she mentioned everything that she buried as a secret before. (THIS IS SPOILER) She revealed that both of their daughter are not from his seed because he’s the sterile one not her. However, She’s afraid that he might getting another wife, she seeks her auntie’s help to get pregnant.

Her aunt is the saviour for the young woman.
The young woman and her aunt.

She faced some danger while traveling back and forth to see her husband at home and attend to her daughter’s need at the brothel house. She was left no choice. She had to do it. On one day, she came across two militia man that barged into her home looking for protection due to cross fire they faced that day. The older man asked her what she was doing alone in that house. The young woman afraid of being raped by both of them, she lied to them by saying that she is a prostitute. She was cursed by that old man and get spitted because of her sin in doing that kind of job. Her aunt told her that what she did was a right action as “man didnt want to rape a hole that has been used for a thousand times”.

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The Young Woman and Her Vegetative Husband.

She returned to her house the next day to continue her routine as usual. The young man from the Militia that she met yesterday came to meet her. He then raped her and left alot of money to her. She was heartbroken and traumatized by the event. However, on the bright side, she could use the money to buy the medicine, to replenish the food and to pay the water bearer to fill the water in her house. The young man kept coming back to her asking for sex and in return, she was paid for it. She laid beside her vegetative husband and told him the experience of being with the young man. She enjoyed every moment with the young man as he is a gentle lover according to the young woman. He did what she told her to and didnt even get angry compared to her husband. The ending approached when the Young Woman confessed that their childrens does not belong to him. The old husband awake at that moment and try to strangle her wife but she managed to stab him first. While he was drawing his last breath, the young woman laid beside him with the eyes filled with tears and regret.

The story is adapted from this book.
The story is adapted from this book.

After watching this film, i swear if i find the book, i will buy it right away. I wanted to know what is the feeling of the young woman to young militia man. Is it love, is it empathy, or is it because of money? The is one particular scene that i really love in the movie is when the young man running to the young woman’s house and asked from her only one minute to talk to her. The young woman taught that he wanted sex and asked him to come back later but the young man insisted it right away. When they both entered the room, the young woman take off the young man’s clothes. She then understood that the young man came to tell her about his plight. He was abused by the older militia man and has been forced of being his dancing boy for so long. The young woman saw the burned mark at the chest and the back of young militia man. She then cried while telling her husband about the difficulty faced by the young man. She said with tears in her eyes ‘That bastard spitted on me when i said i am a whore but look what he’s done to the poor orphan, in the morning he is a militia man, in the evening, he wears bell at his feet’.

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When She discovered that he was abused and being used as a dancing boy, she hugged him tightly.
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Their ‘Forbidden’ Relationship
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Massi Mrowat as The Young Militia Man

This story is not for a weak heart obviously. In the War torn country, she survived the life of being a woman who is a voiceless and seen as a piece of meat by the opposite gender. She did whatever it takes to survive and to ensure that she could go on with her life and her daughters. The question of betrayal in marriage, forbidden love and belief is no longer relevant when you are in her shoes. This is one of amazing film that within it hides a various emotions and feelings when you are watching it. The title of the film which is the patience stone referred to the old tale of persian that the stone listened to all your secrets and you can tell the stone everything without being scared of being judged or mocked. In this film, we can see that the young woman treated her vegetative husband like a patience stone.

Hasee Toh Phasee (2014) : Bollywood Film Review

By The Gorgeous Palah Chingu

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Parineeti Chopra

Parineeti Chopra might not look like a typical Bollywood heroine but dude, she can act and she is brilliant in delivering her emotion on screen. I have been her Number 1 fan since I watched Ishaaqzade. Parineeti’s Portrayal as a Muslim girl named Zoya in that film is powerful and she did receive a special mention in the National Film Award of India. It is a kind of big deal in India to receive such award. For someone who don’t even go to acting school and graduated with triple Honours Degree (in Business, Finance and Economics) that’s not slightly related to performance act, you got to give her a big respect. She drew people’s attention in Ladies vs Ricky Bahl’s Film. Although that film didn’t went crazy in Box Office India, people did remember her as one of the ladies. One of the film critics said that Parineeti managed to engage with her audience causing the other ladies in the film seems so forgettable. She did win several awards as a newcomer in Bollywood for her role in the film. After ladies vs Ricky Bahl and Ishaaqzade, Parineeti then continue experimenting with her role by acting as a modern, independent and liberal girl in the film of ‘Shuddh Desi Romance’. She was amazing in that film. As someone who kind of not really give a shit about marriage and thought sex as one of the necessity things to have, her role reflected more or less of whom I really wanted to be.

My Rating: 4/5
My Rating: 4/5

Hasee Toh Phasee is a film that I really look forward to watch in 2014 (aside from Gulaab Gang, Roy and Kil Dil). Parineeti said in her interview that this film offered a very challenging role to her. She did face difficulty doing the role, she admitted that. Of course, if you have seen her work before, you will not plant any doubt about her. She’s going to do it flawlessly. I am right, by the way. She nailed her role successfully. A critical reception over that film is totally leaned on the Parineeti’s performance as Meeta Solanki. I always love the fact that Parineeti can easily blend her chemistry with any co-actors that she ever worked with and she don’t let them over shine her. She let her acting flow and keeps the audience’s eyes fixated on her. In other words, you may remember who the hero was in the films, but you will end up telling people how amazing the heroine in that film. Her previous co-actors like Arjun Kapoor, Sushant Singh Rajput and Sidharth Malhotra is really blessed to have a charismatic personality and strong presence. Otherwise, we may end up not remembering any of Parineeti’s co actors at all. *exaggerated much, Palah?

Meeta and Nikhil first meeting 7 years ago
Meeta and Nikhil first meeting 7 years ago

How difference is Hasee Toh Pahsee with other contemporary romance Bollywood is? Gosh, I don’t even know how to begin. First, the portrayal of Parineeti Chopra as Meeta Solanki is a top notch act. Meeta Solanki is a smart girl with a vision. She ran away from home right after she stole one of her sister’s Dowries for the wedding. Upon that event, her father had a heart attack on that day. Since then, nobody even said her name, her absent as one of the daughters in Solanki family goes unnoticed and she is forever shunned by her family. She earned her PhD in Chemical Engineering after living in abroad for almost 7 years and currently in need of fund to complete her project. In this story, Meeta Solanki is shown to always has a special spot in her father’s heart. The story begins with how the young Meeta always experimented with many things and ended up seen as troublesome kid by the mess she created. She always being scolded by her uncle but her father embraced her playfulness and curiosity over things. He didn’t get angry and always approve of her youngest daughter brightness. Meeta grew up in the conservative culture (though she did has a father who is willing to bend any rule for her). She constantly is being told by her uncle that she didn’t behave like a girl her age and does not even look like a girl at all. Adding to the pressure on Meeta that she has other sisters who look like a normal and ordinary Indian girl. Meeta return to India after 7 years abroad and ask his sister, Karishma Solanki to help her reconcile with her father. She wanted to apologize to her father.

Karisma Solanki (portrayed by Adah Sharma)
Karisma Solanki (portrayed by Adah Sharma)

Karishma Solanki is portrayed by Adah Sharma as one of Meeta’s sisters. She does not want to handle Meeta at all as she already is in so much pressure for her upcoming wedding. She will get married to Nikhil Bhardwaj (by Sidharth Malhotra) in a few days and Meeta is seen as someone who could not get a better time to return. She couldn’t take a risk that Meeta might have other scheme to steal in the wedding as she already done it before. She called her fiancée, Nikhil to solve this matter by himself. She didn’t even tell who meeta is for her. She just wanted Nikhil to do whatever he could to make Meeta didn’t come to her house before and during the wedding. Karishma portrayal by Adah Sharma is pretty much okay. I have nothing to like or hate about her. She is a bombshell girl that guys could go crazy over. Her relationship with Nikhil started as love (I am quite confident that it’s a lust actually) at the first sight. After 7 years, they still are together. I am pretty sure that they are not in love. They just love the 7 years relationship and how much they complete each other. If you are pretty like Karishma, you don’t really say no if a guy like Nikhil chase you, right? You would just say okay and see how far the relationship will take you. When this happened, it causes so much misery in their relationship. They fought almost every day and then, they make up. The same routine repeats itself each day. Both are afraid to break up because they may not have chance to find a perfect companion again. Perfect here meant ‘good looking, rich and came from a good family’.

Nikhil Bhardwaj (Portrayed by Sidharth Malhotra)
Nikhil Bhardwaj (Portrayed by Sidharth Malhotra)

Nikhil met Meeta for the first time in a café somewhere around the town where he lived. Karishma told Nikhil to handle it however he likes. She didn’t even introduce Meeta as her sister to Nikhil and keep referring her as a guest. Nikhil suddenly remembered that he met Meeta 7 years ago at the wedding where he and Karishma hit on each other for the first time. They met when Meeta try to elope and her shirt is hooked on the coil wire. Nikhil then help Meeta escaped from it and asked Meeta where she’s running off. Meeta told Nikhil the location and he helped her carried her baggages until some taxi stopped to send her to airport. That’s how they met 7 years before. Nikhil met Meeta first before Karishma. However, Meeta’s appearance and facial expression recently is really weird and it freaks Nikhil out. It turns out later that Meeta have a tendency to swallow many anti depressant pills to keep her stable, well functions and to avoid from facing any complicated emotion naturally. Later, Nikhil found out that Meeta is Karishma youngest sister. He could not bear the fact that Meeta is treated that way and brought her to his home. Meeta is introduced as one of friends from Nikhil’s best buddy. Nikhil learned so many things about Meeta and the truth behind why she steals from the wedding 7 years ago. The more time they spend time with each other, the more they realized that they did fall in love with each other. Meeta confessed her love to Nikhil and asking him to elope with her because she assured that Nikhil will be miserable in life by marrying to her sister. However, Nikhil couldn’t do it as it will be a betrayal to Karishma and they did spend 7 years try to maintain the relationship.

Meeta 2.0 by Parineeti Chopra
Meeta 2.0 by Parineeti Chopra

This film seriously began with how hilarious parineeti’s face when she made her ‘Meeta 2.0’ as Nikhil would call it. Meeta 2.0 will appear right after the normal Meeta swallow a dozen of her anti depressant pills. You will laugh your ass off. When it reaches to the scene when Meeta bumped into her relatives, that’s when you realize there’s tears streaming down your cheek. When Meeta was insulted by her sister and uncle for coming home just to rob them again, you can sense her helplessness. She could not explain why she did it and even she wanted to, nobody would fucking listen. When her uncle slapped infront of her relatives that is when her father appeared. Her father cried and asked why her daughter is being hit. The scene of how Meeta’s father defended her infront of her entire family is so touching. He didn’t care about the money that Meeta stole from him as he claimed it did belong to her at some point. Meeta is his daughter. This particular scene really breaks my heart. It showed how a father didn’t care at all about the money and just glad that his daughter returns to home. The wedding event proceeds as usual even Meeta begged Nikhil not to do it. Meeta then said goodbye to her father on Karishma’s wedding day and planning to return to China to complete her project. Karishma found out about the two of them and confronted Nikhil about it. She told Nikhil that marriage would not be the same as the relationship. There is no on and off relationship. When Karishma called off the marriage, Nikhil run from the altar only to find that Meeta already waited for him at the back gate where they first met before.

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Suprise Event for Karishma Solanki went wrong!
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Their Chemistry is really good actually!! ;D
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Last but not least, topless scene by Sidharth Malhotra. Woot2.

Actually, Meeta did return to India to get more funds for her project from her father. For Meeta, she had one principle only. She will steal but only from her father. She knew her father will forgive her unconditionally. She then regrets it when she knew that the day she stole from her father, her father’s having a heart attack. That’s why she asked Nikhil assistance in the first place. They are spending so much time together on planning how to get more funds. In that few days, they realized that they loves each other. There is one scene that I found very sweet is when Nikhil disturbed Meeta’s father in the middle of the night. It’s later revealed that Meeta’s really missing her father and wanted to see him even from afar. That’s when Nikhil wake Meeta’s father up and asking him to go on the rooftop with him. Nikhil acted as he was concerned about the wedding and the groom procession. Meeta did catch a glimpse of her father on rooftop with Nikhil’s help. I actually like Sidharth more in this film compare to student of the year film. Sidharth in this film is more mature and revealing his other side of being an actor. He’s insecure, depress in the sense of wanting to make more money, coward in voicing his opinion (even when he’s right) and he’s afraid to follow his own path. All his life, he always is being told to do this and that. Parineeti may contributes ¾ for this film but Sidharth completed it with ¼ from his role. Their chemistry as Meeta and Nikhil really touch the core of my heart.

Overall, this could be my new favorite romantic film all the time after Barfi. It got all the right flavors in some romantic film could not offer. The soundtrack of the film is just awesome. I really like modern beat hindi songs. I like all songs in this film (from Manchala (which is freaking sad song) to a very sassy and feisty sound like ‘Shake it like shammi’, ‘Punjabi Wedding Song’ and ‘Drama Queen’).