Saturday, January 03, 2004

Ishq Hai Tumse 

Ishq Hai Tumse

Why is it that hits from the South seldom work Hindi? Is something lost in translation? Sampangi, the Telugu original on which Ishq Hai Tumse is based, was praised for its ‘fresh’ treatment of an ordinary love story. In its Hindi version, the film just looks like a tired version of a very trite story—set in some mysterious time and space where computers co-exist with 19th century nawabs.

Ishq Hai Tumse is obviously inspired by the Hum Aapke Ke Hain Kaun variety of family melodramas (look for the references to HAHK and Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jaayange scattered throughout like lucky charms), but done without any panache.

Instead of the classy grandeur of a Nawab’s palace, you have a garish, nightmare set. Nawab Usman (Aloknath) and his family of tackily dressed females live in Lucknow (which looks suspiciously like Hyderabad). His best buddy Shankar (Vikram Gokhale) lives in Mumbai, in an even more garish bungalow, with his large, noisy family.

By the time these characters are established, you have already lost interest in the goings on, and are wondering why the women in the Shankar clan wear so many gajras in their hair even when going to bed. Also, why is that that Usman and Shankar are such close buddies, but they never visit each other! Shankar and family go to Lucknow after many years to attend Usman’s daughter’s wedding.

Shankar’s youngest son Arjun (Dino Morea) and Usman’s other daughter Khushboo (Bipasha Basu) meet as adults for the first time, and in the usual filmi way, squabble and then fall in love. Now an obstacle has to be created, because that’s the way it is in such films.

So Usman donates a kidney to save Shankar’s life, which makes Arjun freeze all of a sudden. According to his skewed logic, if he declares his love for Khushboo, the Hindu-Muslim issue may come up and break the friendship. He turns his back on Khushboo without explanation and drives everybody round the bed before the final tedious elongated bit of melodrama when the mess is sorted out. The mess that ought not to have been created in the first place if characters in films had any brains!

Terrible, terrible performances, the fathers go “Ha Ha Ho Ho” like Santas! Dino Morea and Bipasha Basu can’t act and mercifully don’t try, or the movie would have been even more unbearable … if that is possible. All those dream sequences in Europe so that Bipasha can wear skimpy clothes, otherwise, as a Lucknow Muslim girl she has to be demurely dressed. One good song, the title number, that’s all!


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