("Love Stories") is, as the title suggests, thoroughly concerned with love and romance; it's a hugely popular Bollywood blockbuster about three young men at an exclusive boarding school who fall in love with three local young women. Opposition comes from the head of the school (Amitabh Bachan) and support from the violin teacher, who introduces an element of Dead Poets Society
into a story which references both Grease
(1978) and West Side Story
(1961). Actually this is Aditya Chopra's follow-up to Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge
(1995), which also starred Shahrukh Khan. The rest of the featured players are almost all new, and inject a vitality into every scene so that even at three-and-a-half hours Mohabbatein
rarely drags. The soundtrack sweeps all before it in the seven big production numbers, which add a Western pop-video gloss to the complex, exhilarating musical arrangements. Likewise the choreography fuses traditional Indian elements with contemporary Western dance, and while the men are handsome and charming, the girls are stunningly beautiful, breathtakingly sensual, and scantily clad in a thoroughly modern fashion. Mohabbatein
is a colourful, humorous though haunting romantic drama, which even those unfamiliar with Indian cinema should find highly enjoyable.
On the DVD: The feature is in Hindi with subtitle options for English, French, Spanish, Arabic and Malay. The Dolby Digital 5.1 sound is often atmospheric, though only really comes into its own in the dynamic musical numbers. The anamorphically enhanced presentation of the original 2.35:1 cinema image is NTSC; while colours are excellent and the detail level well above VHS there is a slight lack of sharpness compared to the best PAL transfers. The second disc contains 64 minutes of English language interviews, 11 TV trailers and an anamorphic theatrical trailer, a scored stills gallery, 18 minutes of deleted scenes, including one musical number, with optional English language director's commentary, plus a 44-minute "making-of" documentary. The attractive packaging puts all but the most lavish US releases to shame. --Gary S Dalkin
FULLY BOXED AND SEALED SPECIAL EDITION 2 DISC SET FROM YASH RAJ WITH ENGLISH/ ARABIC SUBTITLES AND SPECIAL FEATURES. DUAL LAYER DVD
DISC -1 - THE FILM.
DISC -2 - SPECIAL FEATURES.
1. EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEWS WITH AMITABH BACHAN, SHARUKH KHAN, AND AISHWAIRA RAI AND YASH CHOPRA.
2. DELETED SCENCES WITH OPTIONAL DIRECTORS COMMENTRY.
3. THE MAKING.
4. TV PROMOS.
5. THEATRICAL TRAILER.
COLLECTERS EDITION NOT TO BE MISSED 2 DISC EDITION FROM YASH RAJ SEALED AND BOXED