11. A movie that changed your opinion about something
I think there are three ways in which my liking of an actor can go. The first one is that I like them right off the bat, which usually happens with favourites - the first impression is so good they've made a fan out of me. The second one is that I give stars another bite at that apple, I keep watching them in films, hoping something will click and I'll begin to really enjoy their work. The third option is that the first impression is so negative I'm unlikely to give them another fair chance, unless by complete accident.
With Akshay Kumar, it was the second option. I never disliked the guy, I just never got what made him so popular - he seemed to do shlocky films and contribute mediocre performances to them. Then I watched Hera Pheri, the popular 2000 comedy that's not amazing, but is on the right side of silly, and can be incredibly funny. And I suddenly understood Akshay. His coming timing was great here, and his looks suddenly became appealing, and from thereon I understood his acting appeal and charm. From Hera Pheri onwards I was also more willing to watch films with him.
12. A movie that you hate
Hate is such a strong word, but okay. There are films that bug me because the plots have really questionable morals praised as the height of morality, or stupid people being stupid, or self-congratulatory directors doing pretentious crap and then saying whoever dislikes it just doesn't get it. There are a ton of annoying films like that, and briefly I considered saying Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna, because it combines a bit of all of the aforementioned characteristics, but to be honest, I don't hate KANK that much, and it probably doesn't deserve half the vitriol it gets.
Then there are films that are just colossal waste of an opportunity, and then there are really, really bad films. Tu Chor Main Sipahi is both at once. It's a painfully terrible film that could have been redeemed by the chemistry between its two leads (Saif Ali Khan & Akshay Kumar) but it chooses to have them act out the most painful dialogues, play the most insipid characters. Did I mention the film has Tabu in it? What a waste. It's also boring, so doesn't even tickle that "so bad it's good" bone.
It's almost just sad, really.
13. A movie that is a guilty pleasure
I tend to be pretty open and unashamed of what I like. I mean, when one of my legitimate favourites is Main Khiladi Tu Anari, I can hardly call other favourites, no matter how crappy, a guilty pleasure. Besides, there are as many tastes as there are people - a uniformly condemned movie still has its passionate fans, and a loved film its share of haters.
But perhaps what makes Namastey London a guilty pleasure is not that it's not good, just that it's not as good as it probably should be to be such a favourite. I never expected this spry little romcom to be such an infinitely rewatchable film as it turned out to be. For one, I still don't think this is Katrina Kaif's best performance, even though her chemistry with Akshay is very good here. Secondly, I think logically I should have tons of tiny feminist niggles about the plot, yet somehow I don't. Third, the film has the sheer void of talent that is Upen Patel, and the soundtrack is horrific Himesh Reshmiyya and his nasal vocals. And all that before I've even mentioned the annoying "white people are all horrible evil racists" scenes.. And yet, I still really like this film, and I've rewatched it a ton of times and it never fails to cheer me up.