Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi

I had no idea what Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi was until I watched it. Srihari had written a review which I comfortably forgot to read. I heard him comment elsewhere about HKA being a good film and hence I wanted to watch it. Turned out to be sweet.

Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi a.k.a Thousand Dreams Like These, has Che Guevara, Beatles, Bob Marley, naxal movement, sex, politics and love in widely varying proportions. All these described and experienced through three people who lived in the post-independent India during 70’s. HKA can just me defined as Sudhir Mishra’s tribute to the 70’s generation. With Subha Mudgal’s opening song and those explicit politically charged lines on screen, I was certainly suprised that it wasn’t the kind of film that I expected it to be from the DVD cover.

Delhi. St Stephen’s College. Three people who meet here as friends, with just their emotional attachment in a triangular fashion, see the extremes of life by living life they choose too. After a decade, their lives changed beyond recovery, their love undying. Delhi was intellectually charged up at 70’s. Voices in need of reformation ended up being naxal movements. Many rich class college yuppies were moved by idealistic ideas and moved to villages for reformation. Sidharth is one such. With the corrupt political cloud over Delhi, one could just talk his way-up the career. Check-out Vikram. Then we have the girl. For the 70’s she is the educated, independent but emotional Indian woman. So we have Geeta. They follow life and it’s dark corridors only to finally end up with thousand dreams like these.

Sudhir Mishra’s portrayal of India at the politically charged 70’s era is something that I couldn’t relate to. Not many movies have tried to tread this way. With the cry for true freedom, political imbalances and the times of emergency forms the canvas of HKA. Without harping too much on the political issues, Mishra takes a tight-rope walk. He wins. He wins first for his intriguing, non-boring and highly charged narattive of HKA. Then for his casting skills. Kay Kay Menon as Sidharth, Shiney Ahuja as Vikram and Chitrangada Singh as Geeta are great finds for theie respective roles. Chitrangada Singh looks and smiles like Smita Patil. The kind of dark beauty we see in Balu Mahendra’s flicks. Kay Kay has a role that needs downplay. He does that with grace. Shiney Ahuja as the vivacious Vikram out performs others. The talkative role adds up to the personality. If only Mishra would have mixed the english/hindi in proportion, it would have been a rational move. There was excessive english even after the characters live in the deepest villages of Bihar, for nearly a decade. Could have been handled better.

Yet another gem among the heap of half-baked nonsensical hindi films made these days. If you get some leisure movie-watching time, Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi is a good watch.

BTW, I also wanted to comment on Madhur Bhandrarkar PAGE 3 which was dubbed as a rare film of the year. All I wanted to say is that Page 3 is one among the heap that is mentioned in previous paragraph. It should have been directed by Shobha De. She has probably lived and written more about Page 3 people of Bollywood than anyone. What starts as good idea ends up as a pretentious movie that canont convert the original idea on-screen. The whole movie is sprinkled with skin-deep characterisation, party clips, neon lighted dance floors and low/no hip culture of the ‘happening’ bollywood. Madhur Bhandarkar’s earlier flick Chandini Bar was laudable. He should probably be highlighting Chandini Bar in his filmography. Page 3 is yet another sample of hazaaron bad films aisi.

43 thoughts on “Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi

  1. Its kinda weird, I’ve come across a dozen reviews of this movie HKA within the last 2-3 days!!! And everyone has given it a unanimous thumbs up!!

    Its on my to watch list now!:)

  2. Lazy!
    This time I am forewarned. My blog’s hit rate’s gonna rise!! like never before!
    Me too had a minor grouse on the way English was excessively used.

  3. Well.. I thought Page3 was cool. One uncool thing was the Karmic Imbalance, if you will. The morally corrupt, depraved celebrities remain scot-free in this movie,( just like how “Tiger” Pataudi will escape the buck hunting) and the good journo remains helpless.

    I also thought that Page3 satirized Shoba De.. The middle-aged big bindi lady-writer-character who apparently made money writing sex books. The similarity is striking.

  4. I disagree about the “excessive English”. The characters mainly thought in English – Siddharth is from a mixed Muslim-Bengla parentage and confesses to not being able to speak either Urdu or Bengali. He even speaks in Eng with his father. Geeta is Telegu speaking and educated abroad, hence wouldn’t necessarily dive into Hindi. Vikram talks in Hindi mainly with his minions and the character played by Yashpal Yadav (IIRC). And seeing the nature of their college portrayed, it seemed very natural for them to converse in urban English.

    I don’t think living in a village for a long time would necessarily make these characters lose the language that they thought in – in fact when Geeta launches into her tirade against the policeman, she finds it hard to keep the Hindi going. I thought that was by design and in keeping with the characterisation.

    Yeah, nice film πŸ™‚

  5. I agree that Page 3 is a horrendous movie from the 30 minutes that we watched of it. We walked out of the theater after that. I still cannot fathom why it is being rated so highly. Maybe I should have watched the entire movie. Cliffhanger finish ?

  6. Ramanand,
    I, for one, would say English dialogues were used, more than once, as a common language of understanding for the audience, rather than the language the characters would be speaking in that situation. Nothing wrong in it!
    I definitely believe the student revolutionaries of the past were all not like Siddharth (his inability in both his mother and father tongues) and most of them must be most comfortable in Hindi (and more importantly feel the urge for desi language). Still, all the friends converse always in English. It is a very uncommon thing that all of them were speaking hip English and with such a fluency and a complete lack of accent. When, all other non-student characters were rendering the dialogues with some dialect that suits them, it was glaringly missing in the student junta. And, for Vikram to talk in English only to very few characters, though for the kind of job he is in, he must have gotten used to speaking in Hindi more than anything. All this coz he must be very comfortable in Hindi. And Geeta’s mother tongue not being Hindi makes the goings-on appear plausible a la “Mr and Mrs Iyer”. Just my thoughts.
    I definitely would not say “English was excessively used”. I had only a minor grouse (as I have said in my review and that too in want of a softer word :)) and when Lazy echoed the same, I wanted to say “hey! same pinch!” and ended up using the same words as him in my last comment). But it was not fitting perfect in quite some scenes of the movie.

  7. Page 3 was merely holding a mirror to high society Mumbai. In that sense, its superficialty was essential. It had to have a sense of nonchalance about its incidents which it did. I do not think it is a bad film nor is it exceptional. I would call it a niche film that seeks to highlight one aspect of society and up-market culture in India and succeeds to a large extent in doing just that. It never was meant to be a sensitive delving into several of the issues it touched upon(Hi-Society Hypocricy, Homosexuality, Child abuse etc.)

  8. Ramanand, The reason for calling’ excessive english’ was that it was so glaring during the scene that you mentioned.

    When Geeta shouts at the police, she shouts in english and it made me think what the heck would that guy understand. There was no sign of she being unable to talk in hindi and switching to english or i probably missed that expression.

    Kaps, Thanks for the pointer.

    Velavan, the reason you give for the film being superficial is acceptable yet I don’t think you canmake a film with that only idea. the movie also ends up being suprficial to that idea. We all by various means know the culture of the ‘special class’ and I don’t think so just by showing ladies wandering around a party hall with a tequila shot would help prove the party class. I think the story by itself ended as some three friends story finally.

  9. why dont u write a review abt arindhum ariyamalum and maayavi..i felt these were decent films..yet nobody seems to give these films their due..btw have u seen these films..i presume u wud have!! btw your site rocks..been following it for quite a long time..just lemme know whn u have yet another chennai blogger meet.

  10. Hi.. Just stumbled onto your blog. It made me lose precious work hours! But i digress..
    One statement caught my attention and I say this with no motives of starting a debate. I was wondering why is that when it comes to hindi movies you very easily branded them as a heap of half baked non sensical movies while I was surprised to read that you had this to say about Chandramukhi in a different article -” if only you could be open, Chandramukhi is a paisa vasool”. Aren’t most of the “Indian” ( regional and hindi included) or for that matter many Hollywood movies typical of what you had to say about Chandramukhi?
    Please note that its not my intention of causing a debate as to which movies are better, nor do I wish to engage in a language debate. My point is that there are bad movies and good movies from every language!

  11. Page 3 started with a promise but along the way it itself became the social satire that it was supposed to expose.

  12. Shireesh,

    I had said it Chandramukhi was a paisa vasool
    for the audience. They got the entertainment for the money they paid for. And it has crossed 50 days in 250 theatres creating paisa vasool for the producers too.

    India today estimated the loss of hindi film industry was 150 crores last year. And shows how many film people threw into trash. some good films were also thrown into trash which is a diff issue.

    The point here is there are trash films every where. please read anbe sivam review in this blog to see how mediocre tamil films were also bashed.

    since page 3 was a trash film, i commented that about hindi films. not that i hate hindi films. if you think, please read the black review. good films are like musical notes. no language barriers πŸ˜‰

  13. Hello Lazygeek,

    I agree with Shireesh.

    But the amount of good films made in hindi films are far exceeding than tamil films.

    Tamil films seems to be totally smitten by ‘kuthu paatu’ and meaningless punch dialogues and hero worship.

    Except for Manirathnam u cannot name a decent director in tamil whereas i can give u a long list of great directors in Hindi and they are contemporary film makers who are doing films now.
    Here is the list:

    1.Vidhu vinod chopra
    2.Raj kumar santhoshi
    3.Ashuthosh gowraiker
    4.Sanjay leela Bhansali
    5.Ram Gopal Verma
    6.Farhan Akthar
    7.Aditya Chopra
    8.Govind Nihalani
    9.Karan Johar
    10.Mansoor Khan

    Right now Bollywood has abundant talent.Eventhough i am a tamilian i am completly bowled by films like ‘Black’ ‘Lagaan’ ‘DilChahta hai’ and i cannot say the same about tamil films.
    Not a single film including Mani’s Yuva and hassan’s virumaandi can be termed as great cinema, they are just ok and better lot than the rest of tamil cinema.

    I hope u will agree with me in this regard.

  14. balaji,

    unnakkul nadhamaadhum mirugam ennakkul thoongindhuirrukku! adhu thatti yezhuppadhe!! unnakkum nalladhu illai, ennakkum nalladhu illai! πŸ˜‰

    cleanly bowled over by bollywood! wah wah! why the disclaimer that ure a tamilian btw? why cant u say that u prefer hindi movies to tamil ones period? or is the disclaimer for:

    a) to show that you, a tamilian, someone whose mother tongue is not hindi is praising hindi movies thereby elevating the status of the same hindi movies?

    b) to show that you, a tamilian are ashamed of tamil movies thereby indicating that tamil movies are truly sub-par for someone whose mother tongue is tamil is saying so?

    as for your list of “great directors” :

    1.Vidhu vinod chopra – a director who seems to have lost his touch since 1942 love story!

    2.Raj kumar santhoshi – a director who has yet to make a decent movie since his ghayal days. even ghayal was tolerable, his damini was purely a cinematic cliche!

    3.Ashuthosh gowraiker – good 2 movies, but 2 movies dont make a great director!

    4.Sanjay leela Bhansali – khamoshi was good, hddcs was over the top, so was devdas! black was good but then again, 2 movies dont make a great director!

    5.Ram Gopal Verma – some good movies, a lot of failed attempts. most of his movies lack soul and are more technically proficient than anything else.

    6.Farhan Akthar – 2 movies again. 1 was a hit, the other was a flop. let the man make somemore movies.

    7.Aditya Chopra – PUHLEEEEEEEEEEEEEZE!!!! he doesnt make great movies. he makes good masala movies. ddlj was good masala, mohabbattein was unbearable! he still has a long way to go before you can claim he is a good director.

    8.Govind Nihalani – he works well in a particular genre. take him out of it and make him do a commercial movie like takshak and he fails to deliver the goods. but undoubtedly, he is a good director.

    9.Karan Johar – PUHLLLLLLLLLLLLEZZZE!!! for an ignorant movie watcher, no difference will be discerned if u interchage aditya chopra and karan johar for their movies are purely masala propelled by sheer star power. nothing new, nothing innovative, nothing great. they are just good entertainers.

    10.Mansoor Khan – guy made 2.5 good movies in the past. he is no longer a contemporary movie maker. he has yet to make a movie for a long time.

    here’s more than 10 tamil directors who can match your list and even overtake them:

    a) kamal haasan
    b) mani rathnam
    c) balu mahendra
    d) shankar
    e) gautham menon
    f) bala
    g) ks ravikumar
    h) ameer
    i) dharani
    j) rajiv menon
    k) cheran πŸ˜‰
    l) selvaraghavan
    m) janaki viswanath
    n) k v anand
    o) jeeva
    p) pc sreeram
    q) linguswamy
    r) azhaguperumal
    s) m. raja
    t) balaji sakthivel

    ps- generalizing tamil movies as obsessed with kuthu paatu and punch dialogues is like saying all hindi movies are obsessed with group wedding songs and switzerland and mohabbat! and all movies have hero worship be it hindi or tamil, be it “punch dialogue” rajini or “i’m cool” sharukh!

    ps 2 – a lot more tamil movies get remade in hindi as opposed to hindi movies being remade in tamil!!

    ps 3 – cinema has no barriers. rejoice in good cinema, trash the bad ones, whatever the language may be.

    ps 4 – FIRST DEFINE WHAT IS GOOD CINEMA BEFORE YOU EVEN TRASH ANY MOVIE!!!

    katz

  15. Another pointless reply that simply lists every damn director he knows!
    Its a pity that when someone says that he prefers the hindi movies, someone has to jump up and attack the person like he has committed the biggest crime! Get a life! Different people like different cinema! He has just expressed his preference! In fact he “hopes” you will agree…doesnt jump up and down insisting u agree!

    Secondly, you say “FIRST DEFINE WHAT IS GOOD CINEMA BEFORE YOU EVEN TRASH ANY MOVIE!!! ”

    And every second line u write XXX has made only 1 good movie/2 good movies etc… so now shankar’s movie is good, not masala while aditya chopra’s is masala but not good….nice!

  16. Senthil, that was a good post. lots of info.

    Balaji, I am not here to compare hindi/tamil films. so i am not in this debate. plus, you have listed all the directors, a few of them are not in my wish list. There are good films everywhere. infact, more than the money spinning bolly/tolly/kolly wood’s there is malluwood/banglawood which makes much better movies.

    but i have to say, the most movies in hindi are just trying to please the multiplexes and there are forgetting good cinema. i said most movies and not all of them. f you want to discuss the same about tamil cinema, it’s a diff topic. but comparison brings wars of flame πŸ˜‰

    balaji sir keep watching european flicks. namakku ethukku indha vambu thumbu !!

  17. Katz!
    me too remembering that piece of debate :). The usage in HKA was gelling with the characters well and not inappropriate as in the “movie with a recurring name” πŸ™‚

    good films are like musical notes. no language barriers
    Lazy, very well said!! I am put off with the way this comments section has turned out, yet again.

  18. Hi Katz,

    Who is m. raja in ur list of tamil directors, i have not heard of him :-).Let me know abt him.

    s) m. raja

    I am just curious to know, who is this director in ur elite list:-).

  19. nomad,

    the point in the pointless reply as you claim is not that balaji is not entitled to like hindi movies, but the fact that he does not have to put down tamil movies to say he likes hindi movies. which is exactly what he did by saying here is a list of 10 directors who are good ones, and in comparison tamil movies have 1 such director. why start that argument at all?? why not just say, in my opinion hindi movies are better than all the rest. PERIOD!

    i never said shankar’s movie was not masala. all i said was here are some directors who can match balaji’s list of directors and more. when i called aditya chopra an entertainer, he is more than matched by shankar who is also one too.

    and lastly, i still stand by my statement of the need to define good cinema. for me a ddlj is acceptable quality fare as is a mahanadhi. that is because my tolerance for good cinema encompasses movies that can either entertain me or amaze me. it is not constrained by language, by commercial masala etc. but i don’t put down a certain section of movies in order to elevate the status of another. that was the whole point of my reply.

    katz

  20. srihari,

    no comments until i see the movie and compare. but from what i gleaned from the review here was that they speak a lot more in english than saying freeze alone!;-)

    katz

  21. What is the movie with the recurring name?
    (badhil therindum sollalaina, thalai sukku noora veidchudum πŸ™‚

  22. Katz!
    A guy (who is perhaps at his best in English) speaking in articulate English to another guy who understands English as much as his mother tongue is very much acceptable.
    Compared to a person* who says “Freeze!”** to an unsuspecting stranger/person whose English might utmost be limited to his kindergarten education and won’t get to the slightest level what this guy is intending to mean. Real funny to think of it!

    * – if I say what/who he is, this secret discussion of ours might become understandable to the likes of Rag without some digging into this blog’s archives πŸ˜€
    ** – since you already revealed that part! πŸ˜‰

  23. srihari,

    it is also not unlikely that a person who is fluent in english could probably say “freeze” to anybody in a tight situation as opposed to trying to determine what is the most appropriate tamil equivalent for that. the use of the dialogue does not depend on who is at the receiving end, it only depends on who is saying it and whether based on that person’s background, it is plausible for him to say it. what we need to check into is whether only “freeze” was uttered or a tamil translation indicated what they want that person to do, probably said by his friends in that scene. did someone follow up on the freeze by saying, “asainjaa sutturuven” or something like that.

    katz

  24. Katz!
    I knew sooo much that your reply will be this, that I wanted to add this in my prev comment –
    “You would tell the person is so much used to English that he cannot convey the same instinctively (I agree, it has to be instinctive) to the other person though he knows very well that the other one might not understand. But, you see, for the character he is, he ought to know Tamil at least as much as his hip English vocabulory. He could have at least said ‘Dont move’ if he is fricking bad in Tamil. But that wouldn’t have appeared as stylised as the god-forsaken ‘freeze!'”

    Forget it!

  25. srihari,

    what difference does don’t move make as opposed to freeze when the argument was use of english? because don’t move is less stylish? but don’t move is more cumbersome and will stick out as a sore thumb than freeze. try saying don’t move in a such a situation. it may even come out as dum(b) move! for someone like me, who has grown up watching hollywood cop movies, freeze or i’ll blow ya head off is what i remember any time a cop approaches a goon. don’t move is not part of that lingo at all.

    and it is not hard to imagine AC (sorry rag, its tempting to let you keep guessing) growing up watching those movies for he seems sohpisticated otherwise.

    katz

  26. Xactly, thats what I am saying. Gautham (like you) has watched one too many hollywood cop movies and forgot (or never knew) the lingo of the local policemen. And, I suppose you do understand that I am not supporting the usage of “Don’t move” among cops, sitting here. Don’t you? πŸ˜‰

  27. srihari,

    again we are back to square one. agreed, one cannot expect freeze to be a part of the common lingo of all policemen, but the use of the word by a character called anbu chelvan does not seem implausible. i am not talking abt gautham. i am talking about the character called anbu chelvan. as portrayed on screen, anbu chelvan does not come across as someone who does not know english or how to speak it well. within that perceived framework, it is not that big a stretch to imagine him being capable of using a word like freeze. and what is the lingo of the policemen? i am sure based on the different ranks within the department, the lingo will vary just as student lingo varies from enna machi to watzup dude!! generalization does not help in such cases. you got to look at it as a stand alone case only.

    katz

  28. LG,
    thanxs

    Shireesh,balaji,nomad
    You guys are right bollywood is taking more good movies compared to tamil.The reason is cause it is a bigger market and all the regional directors who made it big in there states , venture into bollywood to reach a wider audience, that includes maniratnam,ram gopal verma,priyadarshan and the hordes of the brilliant bengalis.

    But in recent years things have really changed in bollywood.There is a scilent new cinema wave happening.Bollywood is taking the usual “pyar” series movies and soft porns but apart from it.it is coming out with historical movies(Th Raising,taj mahal, Bose), novel adaptations(parineeta,paheli),movies like HKA, black etc which are nothing like the movies that we have seen before.And off course the parallel movies are still there and the encouraging thing is that they are getting released in mainstream.

  29. Thx Senthil.

    I fully agree with ur message.
    Katz also knows the truth, but he dont want to accept that.His list of directors made me think tat katz must be having a great sense of humour.

    Hi Lazy,

    Please see ‘The Motor Cycle Diaries’ and write ur review.It is one of the most inspiring movies of last year abt the cuban revolutist ‘Che gu vera’.(spelling might be wrong).I never seen a film like this in my entire life.This film is from Spain if i am not wrong and belongs to road film genre.

    Very important film for film lovers all over the world.

    And ‘Sideways’ from US which Sujatha recommended in katradum petradum’ is another gem.

  30. Hi Senthil,

    Visited ur site and read ur review for ‘The Motorcycle Diaries’ and liked it.Its good to know that people do watch such films and reveiw it.Good effort.What amazed me abt the movie was the way the director unfolded the chain of incidents that turned che gu vera into a revolutionist which he beame later.Any movie u know which depicts his later part of life, i mean after Che became revolutionist?.This kind of films dont take away ur time, infact they make ur time valuable.

  31. I felt that Hotel Rwanda is worthy of being added in the same list as Motorcycle Diaries and Sideways and hence this comment… Hotel Rwanda lent a new meaning to the word “philanthropic”… what a guy… and to think that he is still alive.

  32. And to address the ‘freeze’ argument… why would all of you have to blame the director? And who in anybodies name thought policemen dont watch old Chuck Norris movies with oneliners like “You dont have the right”… and ourman says “Yes I do.. and here is the left”….

    Even gyms those days played great movies such as “Missing in action 1,2,3.. (wonder how many wars he had been in…)” and any movie title with the word “Vengeance” in it.

    – “Bloodfeather… I watched it 63 times..” or so spoke a 1970s movie producer.

  33. To talk about the quality of Hindi movies in comparison to Tamil movies is being very unfair. The target audience is different. The production values are different. How can you compare the two?

    ‘Murder’ in Chennai would be labelled softporn and will star Shakeela. Seriously.. there are Mallu movies with better storylines but much worse production values.

    Bose would be labelled ‘Art’ and would star some nondescript stage actor and the movie will sleep with the fishes…. pretty much like how ‘kamaraj’ was treated.

    Conversely, movies like ‘Arul’ and ‘Giri’ would have *deols as heros and heroines and will run to packed houses till taran Adarsh trashes them.

    Movie such as ‘Autograph’ and ‘Ammu’ and ‘Malli’ will have actors who are not even recognized in the North and will be treatd that way even in discussion threads. (imagine if Malli had ben made with Rani… I am sure it would have made a better movie than Black.) Ayesha came into popularity because of her cleavage shot for the initial promos for the ALW musical.

  34. If there is any grouse I have then it is with the English that you have used in this post. You really need a Wren and Martin gifted to you. Your views on movies, well, I would rather not talk about it.

  35. Well..with so many diff views..watching the next hindi movie will have to wait for a toss..:).First time here..have heard lots abt your blog, now I know why I have..:).Can I link ya?

  36. Hazaaron Khwaishen Aisi is a must watch. Apart from the political stand point, the movie is worth watching just for the love angle of it.

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