2007-11-12 12:21
What it's about:

Marigold (Ali Larter) has a seriously bad attitude. But when the actress who's only starred in movie sequels is stranded in Goa after her low-budget Hollywood movie falls apart, she has to find a way to make money to get back home. Quite unexpectedly Marigold finds herself cast in a Bollywood movie that's been in production for two years and has undergone several rewrites. Now the unfamous diva has to learn to dance, lip synch, make friends, and not fall in love with her choreographer who has been promised to a beautiful Indian girl.

What we thought of it:

Hollywood has finally decided to root itself in Bollywood. But instead of a refreshing bloom, director and screenwriter Willard Carroll has nurtured a thorny weed.

Bad camera work and shoddy editing are bad enough, but when they're mixed with a predictable plot and a sloppy script, it becomes, well, Marigold.

It's interesting to see how Hollywood perceives Bollywood, with the culture clash mercilessly reflected in scenes where the script undergoes spur-of-the-moment rewrites and particularly the scene where Marigold asks director Manoj (Rakesh Bedi) for her character's direction and motivation, only to be answered by sniggering.

In a movie that should've been vibrant, most characters are one-dimensional and lifeless. Suchitra Pillai's character (who is the first to befriend Marigold) lacks depth and sincerity, while the characters played by Nandana Sen and Ian Bohem (the unfortunate significant others) appear dull. No wonder their intendeds don't want them.

Salman Khan must have been sucking mints through the entire movie as his lines are barely audible. What's worse is he can't reel off an entire line without pausing after at least seven words. It's like he's reciting a two-hour-long free verse. And what's with the accent? The British sailed out of India 60 years ago buddy!

Larter attempts to make the most of the script, but her sudden shift from snooty B-list actress to compassionate lovebird is too abrupt. And then there's the "choreographed movements"… Let's just say Larter should stick to punching holes in walls and leave the "dancing" to the rhythmically talented.

If Marigold is a whiff of what's to come, Hollywood should just leave well enough alone and stick to the formula they know best. Bollywood doesn't need their "creative guidance".

- Megan Kakora
Hollywood does Bollywood in a romantic comedy about transformation in the most unexpected places.

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