Monday, May 30, 2011


Release date:
May 27, 2011
Barnali Ray Shukla 
Shifaali Shah, Rahul Bose, Sumeet Raghvan, Guest appearances by Om Puri and Neetu Chandra

I have no idea how to review this film, because I’ve no idea what it was about. First, it shouldn’t have been called Kucch Luv Jaisaa. A more appropriate name would have been Kucch Film Jaisaa because ya, somebody went out there and cobbled together a cast, must have read something resembling a script to them, shot it and edited it down to a nearly two hour ‘film’. But what are they trying to say through it? Beats me!

Kucch Luv Jaisaa stars Shifaali Shah as Madhu, a rich bored educated home-maker in Mumbai whose life is even more dull than this film. She manages the house, gets taken for granted by her kids and hubby, until one day the dam bursts when he forgets her birthday. So she goes out and blows up some serious cash, buys a car and gets herself a glamorous makeover. At a small eatery she bumps into Raghav Passport (Rahul Bose), a crook who is on the run from the police. She is looking for some excitement, mistakes him for a detective, and asks if she can go along on his next assignment. He is still hurting from the betrayal by his girlfriend who gave him away to the police, and decides that some company won’t hurt. So off they go together.

This story of an unlikely friendship could have been something. But the writing is awkward, the situations unrealistic and the stodgy acting just makes it worse. It’s laughable to see Bose trying to do a tapori speaking the Mumbaiyya tongue in his deadpan style. The usually dependable Shah – who shows some spark in the early scenes – overdoes her effort to be cutesy and comes across in her interactions with the gangster as a ditsy dimwit. “Ooh paalak! Just look at the price!” she flutters at the sight of the leafy veggie in a store. Ooh, are you on a case? Ooh, will we actually follow the suspect all the way to wherever he goes? You mean all the way? Seriously, all the way? Yes, I’m not exaggerating – that’s how her dialogues go. Mr Reliable Sumeet Raghvan is clearly struggling with the lines dumped on him as he plays Madhu’s neglectful spouse Shravan. But by the end of it all, it’s hard to tell whether Madhu has actually fallen in love with Raghav or is just feeling bad for the guy, whether Raghav has fallen for her, and whether she likes / dislikes / loves / hates her husband.

With so much that’s wrong with the film, I guess there’s no point in dwelling on such things as continuity which has been treated as a minor matter by the production team. I couldn’t help but marvel at Madhu’s driving skills though. She’s got her hands firmly on the wheel of her car, and yet in one shot her hair is clipped back, in the next it’s flowing loosely around her face, in the next it’s pulled back again, in the next it’s falling on her shoulders, and the cycle continues.

The film is produced by the leading lady’s super-successful producer-director husband Vipul Shah (Singh is Kinng, Namastey London). A product this shoddy and a change in the spelling of her name are not what an actress of her caliber needs. The only thing I enjoyed about Kucch Luv Jaisaa is the prologue that plays out during the opening credits, showing us a newly married Madhu and Shravan who at first can’t get enough of each other till babies, her home routine and his work commitments eat into their relationship. What else? Well, the introduction to Raghav Passport includes Bose’s rippling biceps in silhouette. And? And nothing else!

Rating (out of five): 1/2

CBFC Rating:                       U/A without cuts
Running time:                        110 Minutes
Language:                              Hindi

Thursday, May 26, 2011


Release date:
May 20, 2011
Prawal Raman 
Rajvvir Aroraa, Nishikant Kamat, Imaad Shah, Tisca Chopra, Satish Kaushik

Hindi films are in a mood for paranormal activity these days. After Vikram Bhatt’s Haunted (3D) and Pavan Kirpalani’s Ragini MMS, comes 404 Error Not Found. The film is directed by Prawal Raman who has earlier been associated with the horror/wacko short story compilations Darna Mana Hai and Darna Zaroori Hai. Like those two films, 404 too is a mixed bag of goods that achieves quite a bit despite its weak points.

404 is set in a medical college at the start of an academic year when new students are being broken in by their seniors. When fresher Abhimanyu complains to the authorities, the ragging worsens for him and his roommates. He decides to move into a separate room so that his friends are not victimised. The choice of room is pivotal to this story: No. 404 which has remained locked for three years, since its last occupant committed suicide. The college administration hands the key over to Abhimanyu reluctantly because of the rumours that had prompted them to shut it off in the first place. Abhimanyu for his part is a rationalist who is determined to prove to his fellow students that ghosts don’t exist. But the ragging takes an unprecedented turn when the seniors who he had angered decide to hypnotise him into obsessing about the dead boy.

It’s heartening to see Bollywood experimenting with such an unusual storyline. 404 blends the supernatural and the rational, psychiatry, academia, mental illness and ragging so seamlessly that in the end you are not sure whether what you are seeing is what you are seeing or a figment of a character’s imagination.

None of this would have been possible without the choice of location and Savita Singh’s cinematography which manages to build up the college campus as an eerie, vast space with unending corridors, intimidating stairwells, high-ceilinged lecture halls and enough roominess to spook anyone. Except for a couple of occasions, the background score doesn’t fall into the usual trap that most Hindi horror thrillers have found inescapable in the past decade or so: it’s not too loud and it does not feel manipulative. And wonder of wonders, IF there is a ghost in this film – and I’m not saying there is, I’m not saying there is not either – then that ‘ghost’ is not a cackling female figure in a white sari with long black hair partially falling over her glazed eyes! Yes yes, I do intend to kill you with the suspense that sentence creates. And if this were a tweet I’d place a winking emoticon right at this point!

The actors are a talented bunch. Newcomer Rajvvir Aroraa effectively underplays the traumatised fresher. Imaad Shah as the heartless senior has just the right swagger for the part. Satish Kaushik is convincing as the sympathetic college staffer who has the courage to admit that he won’t dismiss ghost stories outright. Most interesting of them all is Nishikant Kamat who Hindi film audiences have known so far as the director of Mumbai Meri Jaan. While playing Abhimanyu’s well-meaning though slightly pompous professor, he is remarkably easy before the camera; so easy, that I’m willing to forgive him for that sole mucked-up scene in which he fearfully tip-toes into a room, but ends up looking more comical than pathetic.

Unfortunately, despite all the right ingredients, 404 Error Not Found does not entirely come together. While there are portions that are frightening, some that are fascinating because of their open-endedness, there are also places where the film risks losing its grip on the viewer. One problem is the verbosity of Kamat’s professor which demands too much of an attention span from the viewer: the man just doesn’t seem to stop talking and some of his dialogues are written more like lectures than natural conversations! The too-clever-by-half title doesn’t work either. Perhaps in a bid to make the college campus as unnerving as possible, it’s presented to us with nary a human being in sight except for the main players in our story. Just as unconvincing is the fact that the college faculty – who are portrayed as a benevolent bunch – do precious little as a student appears to sink further and further into a severe mental ailment. And no, it’s not okay to bring up a bipolar patient’s “manic phase” in passing, treating it as nothing more than a missing piece of a puzzle in a mystery story: I’m not asking for a thesis on bipolar disorder, I’m just saying there is little awareness about mental illnesses in our country and it’s not acceptable to leave the audience to play guessing games on a subject as serious as this (a lady seated right behind me while I was watching this film was loudly speculating about whether the reference was to Alzheimer’s disease … I rest my case).

But as I weigh the pros and cons of 404 Error Not Found, it’s impossible to brush it aside. Because the film does raise interesting questions as it fuses multiple themes: Where does fun end and danger begin in ragging? If academic research is done at the cost of a single human life, is it acceptable to casually shrug off the sacrifice as “collateral damage” for the greater good of society? And here’s the part that puts me in the same frame of mind as when I saw the ending of Manoj Night Shyamalan’s Sixth Sense: if you do watch 404 Error Not Found, do write to me and tell  me whether you saw what you saw or what the professor saw or what Abhimanyu saw? Now if this were a tweet I’d once again place a winking emoticon right at this point.

Rating (out of five): **3/4

CBFC Rating:                      U/A without cuts (the film was initially offered an A certificate, but was subsequently changed to U/A by a review committee)
Running time:                        118 Minutes
Language:                              Hindi

Photograph courtesy: (via Facebook)

Sunday, May 22, 2011


Release date:
May 20, 2011
Rituparno Ghosh 
Raima Sen, Jisshu Sengupta, Riya Sen, Dhritiman Chatterjee, Prosenjit

Kashmakash is the Hindi dubbed version of Rituparno Ghosh’s Bengali film Noukadubi. It is one of those old-world tales that makes you long for a more languorous life away from the Internet, cellphones and a packed appointment diary. It’s also a reminder of a literature from another era where grandeur did not necessarily imply epic transcontinental adventures, but could be found in the simple joys and sorrows of life.

The film is based on Rabindranath Tagore’s story Noukadubi (Boatwreck). It’s set in 1920s Bengal and brings to us Hemnalini and Ramesh, a young couple in love despite their class differences. He is a lawyer of sparse means. She is from a progressive wealthy family, a music aficionado who is blessed with a lilting singing voice and a loving, liberal father. One day Ramesh is emotionally pressured into marrying another woman. When he leaves his village after the ceremony, a storm washes his boat ashore. He recovers consciousness, to find a young bride out cold beside him. Can he ever find happiness with the new girl? How will Hemnalini salvage her life? How will they resolve the case of mistaken identity that became their undoing?

Ghosh tells this story in precisely the way his characters must have lived their lives: in a quiet, unhurried fashion. The cinematography and music are in perfect harmony with the mood of the film. There’s also a richness of detail in the settings and costumes. Hemnalini’s home is luxurious and well-appointed; Ramesh’s house is almost bare. Hem wears expensive outfits and shelters herself with delicate parasols; Kamla is the bride swathed in ornaments. The other significant character in the film, Dr Nalinaksha from Benaras lives in a palatial house; but Hem’s Calcutta home feels more lived-in, warmed by the affections of its residents for each other. These backdrops provide an ideal playing ground for Ghosh’s cast, all of whom are excellent and well chosen. Raima Sen (Hemnalini) is a fine actress with a beauty and regal bearing that fits well into an early 20th century story. Her sister Riya, whose work I haven’t liked in the past, is absolutely apt for the semi-literate Kamla. I can’t tell whether this is a result of inspired casting (where the actor’s real-life personality simply happens to match the character she’s playing) or if Ghosh has managed to bring out the actor in her, but either way, it works. The dubbing artiste’s high-pitched, breathy voice is not immediately attractive, but is effective in conveying Kamla’s girlish diffidence and insecurity. With Kashmakash, Hindi film audiences will also get to see the handsome Bengali actor Jisshu Sengupta in a leading role. Sengupta brings to Ramesh’s character a vulnerability and pathos that is heart-wrenching.

Producer Subhash Ghai has chosen well for his first foray into Bengali cinema: Rituparno Ghosh’s Kashmakash (Noukadubi) is a lovely, under-stated work of art and it’s great to see a major Mumbai producer backing a non-Hindi film. Ghai has clearly not taken this project lightly: the Hindi dubbed version even boasts of lyrics by Gulzar. I have no argument against a film being dubbed well into another language, however much some hard-core film buffs may oppose it. Personally though, I’d have preferred to watch the original Bengali film with English subtitles. Unfortunately, no such version is being released in Indian theatres: you can either catch it in Bengali without subtitles in West Bengal or in Hindi outside the state. I’m also extremely uncomfortable with the fact that Ghosh and Ghai were not able to find a meeting ground on the matter, as a result of which this Hindi version has been translated, dubbed and edited down by 30 minutes under Ghai’s guidance, without the director’s involvement at all.

That’s a matter for a long discussion in another space. But right now on this review blog, looking at the Hindi dubbed version as a standalone film, there is much to praise: the Hindi translations by Preeti Sagar have been done in such a manner that there is very little mismatch between the lip movements of the actors and the dialogues being delivered by the Hindi dubbing artistes. That comes as a relief almost two decades after the incongruous Hindi dubbing of Mani Ratnam’s Tamil films Roja and Bombay. The Hindi voices in Kashmakash too are a match for the actors’ personalities.

If this were a modern-day story I might have been uncomfortable with the manner in which all the loose ends get neatly tied up through a couple of highly improbable coincidences in Kashmakash. But here, the plot twists simply hark back to an earlier style of writing and to some of my favourite 18th and 19th century classics where happily-ever-afters were always rounded off. Besides, this film is not about the climax alone, but about the journey there. It’s about the interplay of two strong women and the supportive men in their lives. It’s about the curve balls that life throws at you and how sometimes, life sorts itself out. I want more where this came from.

Rating (out of five): ***1/2

CBFC Rating:                       U without cuts
Running time:                        125 Minutes
Language:                              Dubbed in Hindi from Bengali

Saturday, May 21, 2011


Release date:
May 20, 2011
Luv Ranjan 
Kartik, Raayo, Divyendu, Nushrat, Sonalli, Ishita   

I could think of various alternative titles for Pyaar ka Punchnama:

n  Boys Will Be Boys, Girls Will Be Bitches
n  If Bitches Were Girlfriends Then They’d Ride Roughshod Over Men

Sorry for the unparliamentary language but I’m afraid I’ve never before witnessed such misogyny in a film, or emerged from a theatre in such a state of shock, thinking: “Whoa, that director must be really really really hating women!”

Pyaar ka Punchnama starts out being quite entertaining. Vikrant, Nishant and Rajat are friends and flatmates. Vikrant is the hottie-about-town who plays the guitar, sings and never wears pants when he’s hanging around in his flat. Nishant a.k.a. Liquid is foul-mouthed and ill-tempered. And Rajat is boyishly charming. Their only sore point with life is that they’re single. Not long into the film though, the three hook up with pretty girls. It’s all fun and frolic to begin with, and the relationship between the boys is played out very naturally. At first it seems like we’re in for a neat male-bonding flick. When misunderstandings begin to creep into each of the three boy-girl relationships, you hope that maybe a Saathiya in triplicate is about to unfold. When bitterness starts marring their ‘romances’, you suspect that this might be Bollywood’s take on Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus. But no, it’s none of the above.

Pyaar ka Punchnama is just a pure, out-and-out woman-hating film. Full stop. The dangerous thing is that at a certain level it’s slickly made. The newcomers in the cast (especially Divyendu) are talented and well suited to their roles. As a bonus, there’s model-turned-actor Raayo playing Vikrant who looks nice with and without his trousers on. The production design is good, as is the camerawork. And the dialogue writer shows evidence of a sense of humour. But the film kills its own amusing tone and descends into meaningless nothingness as debutant director Luv Ranjan marches forward with this single-point agenda: to prove that women are bitches! There is no logic and no sense of balance here. Each of the three girls in the film is a nasty, manipulative, scheming, cheating, double-crossing, lying, controlling, unscrupulous creep, with not a single redeeming feature! There is no other type of woman out there!!!

Don’t believe me? Okay, decide for yourself. Vikrant’s girlfriend is basically an easy lay. She has told him she loves him yet she sleeps with her ex-boyfriend. She also seems to have slept with most men in her social circle. Liquid is soft on a female colleague who is aware of his feelings but makes it clear to him that she has a boyfriend. She then milks Liquid for money, dumps her office assignments on him, treats him like an errand boy, blows hot and cold depending on whether she needs him or not, and insults him before her boyfriend and the entire office when she thinks he’s no longer useful to her. Rajat’s live-in girlfriend uses sex as a weapon, screeches, nags him unrelentingly, emotionally abuses him in every imaginable way, occasionally physically attacks him and (this one is really laughable!) gets him to wax his chest.

So no, this is not a his-version-versus-her-version film like He Said She Said, that’s fun to watch despite the male-female stereotyping. This is not about male buddies or how their relationships with women help and/or hamper their friendship (Dil Chahta Hai, Rock On). Pyaar ka Punchnama starts with the promise of being a satire on love before it becomes a frighteningly acidic story about how all women are evil creatures that men must avoid like the plague. In case you didn’t get the point from the one-dimensional characterisation of the women, the director throws in doggie sounds in the background each time the boys succumb to feminine wiles. And as if that’s not enough, there’s even a song about the boys being “kuttas”.

It’s possible that the writer of this film has personally met women like Pyaar ka Punchnama’s Riya, Charu and Neha. I’m not denying that such individuals exist. But to bring all these awful creatures together in one story is as ridiculously biased as it would be to make a women-centric film in which three girlfriends who are flatmates hook up with three guys, and all three men turn out to be the epitome of evil: one is a rapist, the other is a girlfriend beater and the third is a paedophile who doesn’t spare even his own child. Would a film like that be believable to you? If not, then nor will Pyaar ka Punchnama.

Rating (out of five): *1/2

CBFC Rating:                       U/A with four cuts. The film was initially offered an A certificate, but was finally awarded a U/A after the Censors got the director to: (1) reduce the duration of a brief scene in which a couple peck each other on the lips; (2) reduce shots of a woman’s cleavage when she bends to sweep the floor; (3) reduce one shot of one of the heroes in briefs; (4) remove a shot where a character is shown throwing a ball at another boy’s crotch. The Censor Board also got the director to beep out the words “bitch”, “ass” and “boobs”.
Running time:                        149 Minutes
Language:                              Hindi


Release date:
May 13, 2011
Tigmanshu Dhulia 
Nana Patekar, Mohit Ahlawat, Rimi Sen, Zakir Hussain

If Shagird had been released about 15 years back, it might have had a stronger impact. This story of a corrupt policeman who gets caught up in the circle of violence and corruption that he cashes in on, has enough meat to sustain itself through its two-hours-plus running time. The problem is that in the past decade-and-a-half, we’ve seen so many gritty thrillers about the nexus between criminals, cops and politicians that it would take something earth-shatteringly different for a film to grab our attention and stay with it. Shagird doesn’t break too much new ground and is terribly unrealistic in parts. But it does give us Nana Patekar playing one of the quirkiest Hindi film policemen that I’ve seen in a while. His character is what makes this film worth watching.

Hanumant Singh (Patekar) is an openly corrupt officer in the Delhi Police’s Crime Branch. He thinks nothing of gunning down a room full of drug dealers and their buyers who walk in shortly afterwards, so that he can walk away with both the prized narcotics and the money that would have paid for it. When Mohit Kumar (Mohit Ahlawat) enters the force, he is shocked to witness this brazen loot taking place in the name of policing. Hanumant, incidentally, is a flunkie of senior neta Rajmani Singh (Zakir Hussain) who is on the verge of becoming the Union External Affairs Minister. Mohit happens to be in love with TV journalist Varsha Mathur (Rimi Sen) who is tracking Hanumant. The action heats up when Rajmani’s associate Bunty Bhaiyya (Anurag Kashyap) is imprisoned and three journalists are abducted by unknown elements demanding the release of a couple of notorious terrorists and Bunty in exchange for them. Who are these mysterious kidnappers? Is there anyone Rajmani will not sacrifice to achieve his goals? Will Hanumant stop at nothing to increase his bank balance? And is Mohit a worthy disciple to Hanumant? The answers to these questions are what Shagird is all about.

First let’s talk about Patekar. It has to be said that the man has been repeating himself unrelentingly for years now – every dialogue spoken in the same casual undertone, his real-life personality suiting the roles he’s been cast in much more than the actor moulding himself to any character. This marriage of actor and role is what made him ideal for a film like Taxi No. 9211. Then in a crazy, OTT film like Welcome, he explored new territory, discovered a funny bone and surprised us all. In Shagird, he sinks his teeth into a role after a long time, lends little touches to the character that make him delightful (Hanumant washes his hands with mineral water after peeing on the roadside) and seems to be having a jolly good time while he’s at it. The casualness with which Hanumant commits his crimes is now old hat for Hindi film goers (most recently, we had the incredible Mr Irrfan Khan taking crime to a whole new level of cool in Yeh Saali Zindagi). What’s amusing and entertaining about Hanumant though is the manner in which every misdeed is played out against the backdrop of his passion for food and his obsession with old Hindi film music. At one point, he has just bumped off a colleague who had been assigned to shoot him. By the time the dead man’s puppeteer phones a few minutes later, Hanumant is calmly stuffing himself with gol guppas not many metres away from where the body lies. In another scene, as he waits to swoop down on a bunch of goons, he notes with interest that they’re  watching a Nutan-Dev Anand classic on TV; when they switch channels to Emraan Hashmi mouthing Himesh Reshammiya’s Jhalak dikhla ja, Hanumant’s temper flares and he mows them down. Towards the end, that wry sense of humour does get stretched a bit, but not so much as to kill the experience of the preceding two hours for us.

Patekar gets a mixed bag of actors to work with in Shagird. Ram Gopal Varma’s discovery Mohit Ahlawat is still a tad too beefy and expressionless to be convincing. Zakir Hussain is as real as he usually is. Anurag Kashyap seems to be enjoying himself while testing his acting chops in the middle of a flourishing career as a writer-director – he lent a creepy air to the paedophile stepdad he played in Onir’s I Am just recently, and is effectively cocky and despairing by turns in Shagird. Rimi Sen is a natural actress but has done shockingly little research for this role. No Ms Sen, female political/daily news journalists in India do not usually wear strapped and halter-necked tops on their reporting assignments!

The beauty of director Tigmanshu Dhulia’s unheralded debut film Haasil (2003) was that in the middle of a wave of underworld flicks from Bollywood, he took a gangster story and transported it to Allahabad University to give us a unique and extremely realistic crime-on-campus caper. In the past 15 years or so, for dedicated film followers brought up on Ram Gopal Varma’s classics Satya and Company, Sudhir Mishra’s Iss Raat ki Subah Nahin, Ramu’s Sarkar and Sarkar Raj, and Once Upon A Time in Mumbaii, Shagird does not have that much that’s new to offer, in spite of Patekar’s eccentric crookish cop act. So let’s chalk out a balance sheet here. Assets: Patekar’s Hanumant Singh and the fun of catching snatches of Tere ghar ke saamne, Waqt ne kiya kya haseen sitam and other old film songs playing in the background throughout the film. Liabilities: the lack of novelty, some unconvincing twists in the end (why exactly did Mohit lie about his girlfriend?) and the stretch of imagination that requires us to believe, among so many other things, that a potential Exernal Affairs Minister would shoot a known crook in Central Delhi in the daytime in his own car and keep the body there while he drives to Parliament.

So I guess what I’m saying is that if you are in an undemanding, unquestioning mood, you could give Shagird a shot … for Hanumant Singh alone.

Rating (out of five): **1/2

CBFC Rating:                       A without cuts
Running time:                        128 Minutes
Language:                              Hindi

Sunday, May 15, 2011


Release date:
May 13, 2011
S. Manasvi
Amrita Rao, Tusshar Kapoor, Ram Kapoor, Prem Chopra, Madhoo, Kiran Kumar, Yatin Karyekar

Of course controlling fathers do exist in our country! Of course many rich parents do throw obstacles in the way of their kids when they hook up with poor folk! But what would you say if I were to tell you that in Rajshri Productions’ Love U … Mr Kalakaar, when the daughter of a millionaire businessman falls in love with a struggling artist, Daddy says to the boy: here’s a challenge - if you love my girl, take over as the managing director of my Rs 500 crore auto-spare-parts manufacturing company for three months, and keep it profitable; if you pass the test, you can marry her; if you fail, you’re out of her life? I kid you not! That’s precisely what Deshraj Diwan (Ram Kapoor) does when his only child Ritu (Amrita Rao) falls for Sahil Rastogi (Tusshar Kapoor). Not only does Sahil accept this absurd proposition, Ritu barely lets out a whimper of protest at being treated as the prize in this ‘test’ long past the era when Draupadi was gambled away by her husband!

It’s the ridiculousness of the ‘test’ that I’m protesting against, NOT the conservatism of this family set-up. Rajshri’s films are known for being placed in ultra-traditional social milieus, but – like it or not – they are a reality in our country. So yes, there are warring fathers who would stand in the way of their children’s love (Maine Pyaar Kiya); yes there are young girls who get emotionally blackmailed into marrying their dead sister’s widower so that the grandchild gets a replacement mother (Hum Aapke Hain Koun!); and yes, there are millions of Indian couples for whom an arranged marriage means meeting each other just once before saying yes (Vivah). But at their best, films from this iconic production house have woven reasonably believable plots, charismatic stars and memorable melodies through these conservative settings to tell us entertaining stories.

Love U … Mr Kalakaar has none of these elements. Tusshar Kapoor’s usual deadpan style – utilised effectively by directors Krishna DK and Raj Nidimoru just recently in Shor in the City – is a downer here. Amrita Rao is a pretty girl who isn’t too bad as a performer but is yet to develop an arresting screen presence. Ram Kapoor playing her father is the most appealing of the cast. Madhoo as the aunt is charming and looks as fit in this film as she did back when she made her Bollywood debut opposite Ajay Devgn in Phool aur Kaante. And veteran Prem Chopra as the wise granddad is at least saved the embarrassment of mouthing lets-play-office-office lines peppered with management jargon that’s clearly meant to sound clever, but has as much believability as Kangna Ranaut and Abhishek Bachchan trying to do a C.S.I. in Game.

No doubt this is a film with good intentions and the trademark Rajshri quaintness. In a scenario where Hindi film heroes and heroines are bedding each other at the drop of a hat, there’s some charm in hearing Tusshar’s Sahil tell the girl: “Mujhe laga ki next step yahi (read: marriage) haiBeech mein kya hota hai, mujhe iska koi andaaza nahi hai.” This could have been a film that warmed the heart with its story about an artist entering a big-bucks business and humanising it, seeing employees as people and not just resources. But the direction and script are too bland. Even the songs are forgettable, which is a crying shame considering that music has always been Rajshri’s strength. As for logic … please notice that I’m not even getting into what the board of directors were doing while the chairman of Diwan Enterprises appointed a rookie as the MD; I’m not even asking whether we are expected to believe that this is a Rs 500 crore sole proprietorship; because of course we as Hindi film viewers are not meant to care about details!

Don’t get me wrong: I’m not dismissing this film simply because it’s set in a world that’s alien to me. C’mon, I’m the sort of emotional sod who cried while watching Vivah starring Rao with Shahid Kapoor, even though every cell in my being rebelled against the traditionalism of the lead pair’s families! Take it from a cry baby like me: Love U … Mr Kalakaar is a bore. The only thing I remember about it is that Amrita Rao has an enviably tiny waist!

Rating (out of five):

CBFC Rating:                       U without cuts
Running time:                        154 Minutes
Language:                              Hindi

Photograph courtesy: