SRK Quest: Josh (2000)
First, a little news. I am ecstatic to have received King Uncle via interlibrary loan, which completes my "early, obscure, and hard-to-find" list. What a relief!
Now, about Josh. not knowing more than a dozen words of Hindi, I thought this was the name of one of the characters. Silly me; it means "frenzy", and it means that this loose remake of West Side Story will have action as well as romance. As Shah Rukh Khan films go, it's in the middle of the pack: worth watching more than once, but not one I need to own. At thirty-five, SRK was poised to break away from the immature roles that first made him famous and take on more grown-up, challenging work. His biggest hit from 2000, Mohabbetein, was just such a role, winning him the Filmfare Critics' Award for Best Actor. Interestingly, the same actress appears with him in both films, to very different effect, in Mohabbatein, Aishwarya Rai plays his tragic love interest; in Josh, she is his twin sister. You can probably guess which casting is more credible.
Synopsis. Max (SRK) and Prakash (Sharad Kapoor) are leaders of two rival gangs in Goa, one Christian and one Hindu. Prakash's brother Rahul, a chef from Mumbai, comes to visit and falls in love with Goa and then with Max's sister, Shirley (Rai). Their secret relationship is the romantic centerpiece of the film, with the gang conflict providing the action and drama. Max also has a love interest, Roseanne, but it seems almost an afterthought. The climax comes -- as in Romeo and Juliet, and West Side Story, from the violent outcome of the gang conflict. Because it is not completely based on either play, there are enough plot twists to keep the story fresh.
Worth watching for. The musical numbers are very entertaining, and the score was a bigger hit than the movie. Aishwarya Rai is an excellent dancer, and I always enjoy her performances.
Shah Rukh Khan does his own singing on Apun Bola, and it is very funny. The backstory is even funnier; according to him, he had so much trouble carrying a tune was recorded one or two words at the time and then spliced together.
Want to watch? There is a version on YouTube with no subtitles. I got my copy through interlibrary loan.
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