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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good, almost great
This film is so good, and it came so close to greatness!

The story is developed beautifully, showing how Nick (Saif) and Ambar (Preity) almost fall in love, almost learn to hate each other, then realize what they have nearly lost. The film is beautifully photographed, the music is first-class and the acting is wonderful.

So, why only four stars...
Published on February 25, 2006 by Amazon Customer

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars More Style Than Substance
Set amidst the picturesque cityscape of Australia, 'Salaam Namaste' is the story of two displaced Indian young people (Saif Ali Khan and Preity Zinta) who meet and suddenly decide to live together. If that premise seems like I am leaving something out, rest assured that is not the case. In typical Bollywood fashion, the two leads detest each other initially only to end...
Published on December 26, 2008 by S. R.


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars More Style Than Substance, December 26, 2008
This review is from: Salaam | Namaste (DVD)
Set amidst the picturesque cityscape of Australia, 'Salaam Namaste' is the story of two displaced Indian young people (Saif Ali Khan and Preity Zinta) who meet and suddenly decide to live together. If that premise seems like I am leaving something out, rest assured that is not the case. In typical Bollywood fashion, the two leads detest each other initially only to end up together. But instead of having them do so at the end of the film, the writers chose to have them profess their love and live together after only a couple of days of having known one another. How could that possibly go wrong? This is part of the underlying problem with the film. In trying to avoid many of the conventional Bollywood cliches, the film-makers instead set up over the top situations for the leads that lack any logic or sense. 'Salaam Namaste' also seems to try too hard to have a little bit of everything. It is filled with slapstick comedy and romance that is quickly interrupted with deep rooted conversations about abortion and the definition of life when Preity turns up pregnant. As one can imagine, this feels very awkward and out of place considering everything that surrounds it. The movie only gets increasingly nonsensical as the story unfolds. Without giving too much away for those who might want to watch this, there are situations that develop that feel as though they were lifted right out of a Three's Company episode with Jack Tripper being put in compromising situations that are then misunderstood. The finale of the film features a birthing scene that looks as though it could have been a Three Stooges short as Abhishek Bachchan plays the clueless obstetrician who apparently gets anxiety attacks while doing his job!

This leads to the film's other flaw; there is an unusual number of comedic relief characters. Not withstanding the two-dimensional best friend characters, there are several other unfunny characters ranging from the Indian landlord who thinks he's Crocodile Dundee to the radio station manager who giggles hysterically every time he speaks. While a certain amount of levity is standard in even the most dramatic of Bollywood films, 'Salaam Namaste' simply goes overboard with supporting actors that overact every time they are on screen. In fact, this film is riddled with the most shallow and superficial characters of any film I have ever seen. Saif Ali Khan and Preity Zinta are also victims of the overacting bug. Despite the writers setting up long drawn out examples of how different their characters are (she's a studious college student/ radio host and he's a carefree chef), both leads approach their roles in the same manner. They are constantly yelling at each other while trying too hard to appear as though there is love between them. Movies like this work better when one lead plays the "straight character" that keeps the situations in the movie grounded in some semblance of reality. Not so here, as both leads ham it up as much as possible only to interject moments of awkward seriousness when scenes call for it.

Visually, 'Salaam Namaste' is a stunning gem. The montage sequences that set up the back-stories of each of the characters are actually funny and well constructed. The dance numbers are nothing exceptional but some are quite memorable aesthetically. Speaking of which, this film boasts quite possibly the most absurd musical sequence ever as an 8 month pregnant Preity is seen dancing and singing! It is one of the more ridiculous moments in a film that already feels forced and subsequently further kills any type of credibility that it sorely needs. The 2-DVD set has fairly standard extras such as deleted scenes, outtakes, trailers, and a making of feature. The cast and crew obviously had a lot of fun making this film but it never quite translates well on screen. In closing, this is a very poorly constructed film that probably generated audience interest primarily because of the controversial theme of the two leads living together and becoming pregnant before marriage. For much better examples of "boy meets girl" Bollywood films, I would recommend Hum Tum and Jab We Met.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good, almost great, February 25, 2006
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This review is from: Salaam | Namaste (DVD)
This film is so good, and it came so close to greatness!

The story is developed beautifully, showing how Nick (Saif) and Ambar (Preity) almost fall in love, almost learn to hate each other, then realize what they have nearly lost. The film is beautifully photographed, the music is first-class and the acting is wonderful.

So, why only four stars? Someone decided that there should be some "comedy" in the film. I thought the silly, idiot-in-authority role was starting to disappear from the best Hindi films, but here we get not one but three (radio station manager, landlord and doctor). And the last one makes his appearance just at the time when the plot should be winding up and everyone in the theater should be wiping tears of joy from their cheeks.

We did not laugh at this, but rather got angry because we had been deceived. The climactic scene was so carefully prepared and the audience so ready, and then in comes this idiot with his slapstick routine and undoes everything the film had worked so hard to accomplish.

If the writer and director had resisted this temptation, or at least left it out of the final scenes, I would have called this a truly great film. As it is, it's a good film ruined by a very bad judgement about the end.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hambar vs. Nick, June 13, 2007
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H. Bala "Me Too Can Read" (Recently moved back to Carson, California, or as I call it... the center of the universe) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Salaam | Namaste (DVD)
SALAAM NAMASTE tells the romance of Nick and Ambar, two young, independent Indians living abroad in Melbourne, Australia. And it doesn't start out well for them. Nikhil "Nick" Arora (Saif Ali Khan) is an architect and also the head chef at the restaurant Nick of Time. Ambar Malhotra (Preity Zinta) is a medical student and, to help pay her bills, she also moonlights as a radio jockey at Melbourne's local Indian radio station, Salaam Namaste (101.5FM). Nick is a chronic oversleeper and wakes up one day very late for his radio interview with Ambar. Ambar is furious and begins to put down Nick and his restaurant on air. This leads to a heated, insult-heavy phone conversation which is broadcasted on Salaam Namaste.

Later that day, at a wedding, Nick and Ambar meet in person for the very first time, but she doesn't know that he's that "Nick" and he, that she's that "Ambar." They find out soon enough, but the spark's been lit. However, they aren't sure if this spark is truly love and they want a chance to get to know each other, so, what do they do? Naturally, they end up living together.

Their cohabitation gives rise to revelations about each other. Ambar, it turns out, loves pizza, doesn't want to marry, yet loves children. Nick is a neat freak and is afraid of hospitals, doctors, and the sight of blood. And he doesn't like kids, dismissing them as "irritating bloody creatures." So imagine his reaction when Ambar gets pregnant.

This is a fun, fun romantic comedy, packed with many genuine laughs. The film follows the Bollywood formula of being breezy and slapsticky in the first half, and more somber and melodramatic after intermission, replete with many shouting matches between Nick and Ambar. But then this film does a nutty thing as it reverts back to madcap comedy in its climactic scenes. Admittedly, the final 15 minutes are a bit off putting and bizarre as we are introduced to the wacky and absent-minded obstetrician, in the form of a pratfalling, bespectacled Abhishek Bachchan. It's better to just go with the flow. It certainly wasn't enough to ruin this movie for me.

I've only seen Preity Zinta in Koi...Mil Gaya and Krrish (where she has a cameo), but she charmed me enough that, immediately after, I purchased a number of her films. I like Preity even more in SALAAM NAMASTE as her vivacious personality really has a chance to come out. She's in perfect sync with leading man and good buddy in real life, Saif Ali Khan. In fact, both leads are simply perfect as they show off their great comic timing; their playful exchanges are very much a treat to watch. Saif himself seems like a pretty cool and funny cat. Of course, their steamy scenes together heat up their chemistry even more. And I kind of enjoyed Jaaved Jaffrey's odd performance as the Indian landlord who walks around in a Crocodile Dundee outfit and tends to mangle proverbs ("Home the sweet's home" & "When in the Rome, do the Romans").

SALAAM NAMASTE is pretty edgy for Bollywood. It steps out of the normal Bollywood boundaries in that it incorporates kissing and actually shows the two leads in bed. Not to mention, there's the storyline of an unmarried couple sharing a house. This film would have had a hard time selling its premise if the story had taken place in India, with disapproving and very traditional minded Indians all over the place. The director, thinking ahead, set the film entirely in Melbourne, Australia, where the folks are drastically more liberal minded. Thus, as a bonus, we're also treated to a multitude of scenic Australian locales.

This film may have "modern values" written all over it, yet by the film's end, it's all about the power of love, family and tradition, which should make everyone happy. However, SALAAM NAMASTE does stand fast in its non-inclusion of parental figures, which I think is darn refreshing in the Bollywood universe. Did I already mention how great and funny Preity and Saif are in their roles? And their exquisite chemistry together? What about the songs? Well, there are only four of them and they're okay. I do like "What's Goin' On?", where an 8-month-pregnant Ambar moonwalks. Another fun bit is the closing credits, for which I suggest you stick around as they come with pretty funny outtakes.

What I have with me is the 2-disc dvd set of SALAAM NAMASTE and I'm glad to have it. Disc 1 has the film presentation. But don't ignore Disc 2, which features "First Impressions" - reactions of several Bollywood celebrities to the film; 12 minutes, 30 seconds worth of outtakes expanded from the closing credits bloopers; the "Making Of" segment (21 minutes, 34 seconds), which consists of Preity and Saif drinking from their coffee mugs and talking relationship and, oh yeah, about the making of the film (and their conversation is mostly in English); 6 minutes of deleted scenes; and the awesome theatrical trailer which has Saif and Preity once again showcasing their easy chemistry as they promote the film (Saif: "Like, what's so different about this one?" Preity: "Well, it's a love story." Saif: "Ooh, that's different.").

Lastly, just what is that cute, tiny red car that Nick drives? I mean, I don't care, but this girl I know is curious (but, really, I don't care).
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tries to look at dilemmas over marriage and some of the realities of relationships, January 4, 2009
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This review is from: Salaam | Namaste (DVD)
This isn't the best Bollywood I've seen. Both lead actors do well as they usually do- though a little less 'cute' from Preity would have improved this more.
It is an often serious attempt to look at issues of commitment in a way you don't usually see in Bollywood. There is living together, the shadow of an abortion question etc - even some 'almost bedroom scenes' when the protagonists aren't married. There are the usual unlikely Bollywood elements that I'm happy to live with. I agree with other reviewers who felt the comedy could have been omitted. There is an uncomfortable discordancy in the 2 comic foci - a 'Crocodile Dundee wanna-be Indian' and Abhishek in a cameo role playing over the top slapstick (which he does well but this wasn't the movie to do it in).
The music wasn't that memorable nor the minimal dance scenes. This is more a movie focused on the leads and their dilemmas and their solid acting saves it from mediocrity.
I live in Melbourne, where it was filmed. and appreciate the cinematography that bought a lot of beauty out of the city and its nearby coast and forecasts.
This movie didn't quite hit the high spots for me but they did a reasonable job short of that.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Worth Watching, February 10, 2010
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This review is from: Salaam Namaste (DVD)
Nick (Saif Ali Khan) and Ambar (Preity Zinta)--hip, young Indians living in Melbourne, Australia--do everything out of the usual order. First, they move in together. Then, they fall into bed together. Then, they fall in love. Next thing, Ambar's pregnant. But marriage doesn't automatically follow.

It certainly isn't the best way to go about romance--bypassing all the fun of courtship and plunging right into the difficult adjustments and compromises that come with living together. But they dig each other all the same. And how could they not? They're an engaging couple--and so, the atypical trajectory of their relationship is engaging, too.

Ambar is a bubbly med student moonlighting as a host for a morning radio show called "Salaam Namaste" (which means "hello" in Urdu and Hindi). Before moving Down Under, she rejected all the suitors her parents picked out for her because her sister's harried married life scared her out of wanting to wed. Nick came to Australia to study architecture, per his father's wishes, but ended up pursuing his love of cooking and is now the head chef at a trendy restaurant. Nick is supposed to be interviewed on Ambar's show, but he oversleeps and never arrives, so she slams him and his restaurant on the air. They meet later at a beach wedding--she's a bridesmaid and he's the caterer--and they bond over their mutual distaste for marriage and their bewilderment over the spur-of-the-moment wedding of their friends, Ron and Cathy (Arshad Warsi and Tania Zaetta). They get over their initial friction and he goes after her ardently. But she doesn't have time for a relationship, and she points out, neither does he. So he proposes they move in together--strictly as roommates with separate bedrooms--so they can get to know each and see if it's worth pursuing. It's a crazy idea, but he makes a convincing argument--plus, he promises to do all the cooking (what woman would turn down that offer?). Two blissful months later, she's expecting a baby. He vehemently doesn't want it, and she decides she does, which changes her feelings about marriage, too. The impasse puts an end to their romance, and they have to figure out how to do the very first thing they skipped over--be friends.

This is the third time Khan and Zinta have been paired in a film, and it shows in their easy rapport. Aside from some excessive silliness, especially involving the minor characters, the film is well-written, and the crisp dialogue between the leads is well-delivered. The film's biggest flaw is too much effort is expended to make everyone look cool--and it ends up having an opposite, cheesy effect.

- The Bollywood Ticket: The American guide to Indian movies (Subscribe: The Bollywood Ticket)
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SAAAAAAAAAALAM NAMASTE EVERYONE, January 3, 2006
A Kid's Review
This review is from: Salaam | Namaste (DVD)
EK DIN EK PAL...EK JANIYA...

These are the first lines of the world famous song SAALAM NAMASTE...this movie is one of the BEST of 2005. It is fit for everyone in the teenage and who ever is a young adult. This story is so nice...the music is so cool....u will be watching this movie many times....it is truly worth it...trust me, SAALAM NAMASTE RULES!!!!!!!!!

SAAAAAAAAAAALAM NAMASTE!!!!!!!!!!
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Bollywood!!, December 15, 2007
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This review is from: Salaam | Namaste (DVD)
This is a fun movie! The cast is superb! It shows Melbourne beautifully with it's special fun-loving, relaxed culture. The story is romantic and cute, and even though this leans towards being a chick flick it's a film that the guys can enjoy too. Watch it! You'll enjoy the laughter, the music, the dancing, the dramas and the bodies!
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cool Film, February 17, 2008
By 
Findlay Osborn (Bunbury, Western Australia.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Salaam | Namaste (DVD)
Salaam Namaste was the first Bollywood movie I really looked at and stayed with and I'm glad as it's roller-coaster ride of happy-angst-happy was a lot of fun. Well worth seeing the movie through to it's conclusion as the audience is well rewarded with a good dose of happy.
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Salaam Namaste (Hindi Movie / Bollywood Film / Indian Cinema)
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