Sunday, March 25, 2007

Namaste London:East meets West

-By Swetha Amit
What happens when a hard core Punjabi lad meets a British brat?

Namaste London takes you through the journey from east to west. Right from the green fields of Punjab to the foreign soil of Britain.

The film starts with a breathtaking view of London city. Akshay Kumar and Katrina Kaif get out of a luxurious car and walk hand in hand up the altar leaving her to marry a foreigner. As he walks away, the movie takes a trip down the memory lane tracing back to the events occurred few months ago.

Jasmeet aka Jazz (Katrina Kaif) is a typical London born and bred. She loves the westernized lifestyle which prompts her to party out with her Pakistani friend Imran (Upen Patel) and his girlfriend Suzanne till wee hours. His live in relationship generates shock waves within his father Parvez Khan (Javed Sheikh). Jazz’s night club adventures with strange whites ring an alarm bell for her anxious Punjabi parents who naturally want her to settle down with a good Indian boy.

On the pretext of a family holiday brings Jazz to the land of five rivers for the first time where she is introduced to Arjun (Akshay Kumar), a tough farmer in the Punjab village. Arjun is bowled over by Jazz at first sight as her father Manmohan (Rishi Kapoor) fixes her marriage with him. Jazz protests as she is unable to find a common ground with her prospective life partner, which falls on deaf ears of her dad. She goes through the wedding rather unwillingly.

Accompanying her to London, makes Arjun go in despair to see his beloved wife not acknowledging their marriage. On the other hand she is romancing her English boyfriend Charlie Brown whom she wants to marry. A dignified Arjun tolerates with the hope of his feelings being reciprocated one day.

How he earns his love and brings about the realization of ones cultural roots to Imran and Jazz forms rest of the story.

The film portrays some interesting scenes such as the Rugby match between the Indians and the British. Another, where Akshay reintroduces India in answer to the put down of the snooty British is remarkable.

Akshay stands out in his brilliant performance of a Punjabi guy with his comic timing and emotional scenes. Katrina Kaif does a great job as she fits the bill of the typical brat of London to perfection. Upen Patel contributes in his own way and Rishi Kapoor does well. The music is average and Vipul Shah has done an incredible job in portraying the stark contrast between the two cultures.

This movie makes one realize no matter where we Indians are settled doesn’t discount the fact of who we are. Our traditions and roots cannot be ignored. Our mistaken identities of trying hard to fit in the west will leave us fooling no one but ourselves. It makes one feel that our pride for our nation is never lost. India is certainly a country to be proud of. It is no longer the land of snake charmers as mocked by the foreigners. It has come a long way as a flourishing booming economy with its vast diversity in several aspects.

This film is a wholesome entertainer and can be watched by youngsters and families. After viewing it, one is indeed bound to fold their hands and say ‘Namaste’.
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