Friday, January 20, 2017

I, Me aur Main (2013) - Foreign Film Friday

Number Rolled: 19
Movie Name/Year: I, Me aur Main (2013)
Tagline: None
Genre: Bollywood, Comedy
Length: 98 minutes
Rating: TV-PG
Production Companies: Only Distribution companies listed
Producer: Goldie Behl, Shrishti Behl, Sada Bhuvad, Niraj Kothari, Sanjeev Lamba, Anup Poddar
Director: Kapil Sharma
Writer: Devika Bhagat
Actors: John Abraham, Chitrangda Singh, Prachi Desai, Mini Mathur, Zarina Wahab, Sheena Shahabadi, Mukul Chadda, Raima Sen, Krish Chatterji, Arlette Evita Grao, Deepti Gujral, Sai Gundewar, Micky Makhija, Errol Peter Marks, Prianca Sharma, Amar Talwar
Stunt Doubles: N/A

Speech Available: Hindi
Subtitles Available: English, Spanish

Blurb from Netflix: A narcissistic music producer who has been indulged by the women in his life must finally grow up and take responsibility for his ne’er-do-well ways.

Selina’s Point of View:
In foreign films the biggest hurdle is usually the cultural differences. Happy endings in one country are not necessarily happy endings for others. Morality and ethics differ from culture to culture. Some value love highest while others value responsibility highest.

That being said, I was actually incredibly surprised that there was really a complete lack of cultural difference between a romantic comedy that would be made here and I, Me aur Main. In fact, it followed a recipe that I was almost certain only applied to American cinema. I’ve seen foreign romantic comedies before and they usually have much different recipes they follow.

There was so little cultural difference here that parts of the film were actually in English.

I’ll be honest, I wasn’t fond of the language swapping. I’d be reading the subtitles, then start listening to the English being spoken, then not return to the subtitles quickly enough to see what the next Hindi line meant. It was a little on the annoying side. I did get used to it after a bit and managed to just stick to the subtitles, but still.

I did find it incredibly amusing that whenever they said “shit” in the film the subtitles actually said “darn.” What was up with that?

As far as a recipe film goes, this one was fine. There was nothing overly spectacular about it, but it did make the plot its own.

The main actor was charming enough to keep his character’s narcissistic tendencies just the correct side of unbearable. John Abraham (Shootout at Wadala, Rocky Handsome, New York) managed to keep Ishaan relatable enough for the audience to sympathize with him instead of taking joy in his failures. I was also completely enamored by Prachi Desai (Azhar, Life Partner, Once Upon a Time in Mumbai). Her portrayal of Gauri was absolutely adorable and fun to watch. The chemistry between her and Abraham was off the charts.

I haven’t seen much in the way of Bollywood films. I heard that they were all really over the top, so I was pleasantly surprised to find that this was easy to follow.

It was a perfectly adequate film. I’d actually sit through it again. Even without the subtitles I’m pretty sure I’d be able to keep up.

Cat’s Point of View:
I’m going to be honest – when we rolled this movie for Foreign Film Friday, I inwardly groaned. The description made it sound like some sort of romantic drama. Of course, I try not to ‘pre-game’ by looking up movies on IMDb before watching, if I haven’t seen them before. So when the comedic and musical elements came into play it was a surprise.

This movie had to be nearly the complete opposite of the last film we watched hailing from this region of the world. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing. My reaction to the film was pleasantly unexpected.

So I mentioned last time about feeling like I missed something because there was no translation available for the background music. That is not a problem in this movie. I will admit that keeping track of the subtitles between the musical score, the speaking, and watching the story unfold visually was sometimes a challenge.

I have one beef with the subtitles, though. It’s a big one. I absolutely can’t stand when someone translating takes liberties with what they’re conveying. Now, in this case – the most noticeable of the discrepancies occurred with profanity. They said ‘shit.’ The subtitles did not. So is this some sort of censoring going on? Did that happen to maintain the “TV-PG” rating that Netflix proclaims? The language of the characters is sprinkled with English, so it’s not like I heard the Hindi word and knew it was misrepresented. It was English plain as day. That wasn’t the only instance.

I guess that’s a risk you take with subtitles.

Bollywood movies are fun and engaging as the song and dance numbers work their way into the plot. The movements are so intricate and high energy. This movie didn’t go 100% into that genre as it’s usually represented. My primary reference for such is the movie Bride and Prejudice (2004). I absolutely love that movie. I digress. I’ve been told it’s a good example. Given that the main character is a music producer, I think they incorporated those elements in a savvy way.

I enjoyed the strong female characters portrayed and the story was pretty good. Sure, it was a bit predictable and I wouldn’t put it up for award contention – but is that really why we watch movies like this?

Adorable dimples. That’s why. No, wait. Fun. The message in the movie didn’t take away from its enjoy-ability, and it was entertaining. I wouldn’t mind watching this one again – and can’t wait to see what the dice gives us next week.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – None
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 13%

Netflix’s Prediction for Selina – 2/5
Selina’s Trust-the-Dice Score3/5

Netflix’s Prediction for Cat – 3/5
Cat’s Trust-the-Dice Score3.5/5

P.S. There is a music video during the credits.

Movie Trailer:

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