Friday, August 13, 2004

Kaun Hai Jo Sapno Mein Aaya 

Does the Purab-Paschim divide still exist in such a rigid form? Is it essential for Indian families who settle in the West to become uncaring, corrupt and debauched? According to our filmmakers why are all Westerners ‘bad’ people?

In the UK of Rajesh Bhatt’s Kaun Hai Jo Sapno Mein Aaya lives the Khanna family, in which nobody cares for each other. Since the grandmother (Vinita Mallik) and father (Kader Khan) seem quite nice and ‘Indian’, why has the family turned so dysfunctional? No explanations!

The only one who is decent is the youngest Khanna son, Sunny (Rakesh Bapat), who runs a flop theatre company. Into the home comes salwar-kameez clad, simpering Mahek (Richa Pallod), who feeds them aloo parathas, lectures them all on Indian culture and makes the lazy wives observe the ‘karva chauth’ fast. This is what Indian culture eventually boils down to.

Mahek also rescues Sunny’s theatre company from ruin by making him do a Hare Rama Hare Krishna musical, and he falls in love with her.

For reasons you have to see (gawdhelp!) the film to find out, Mahek cannot return Sunny’s love and the film degenerates into such heavy-duty fifties melodrama, that you wonder what the UK-based producers were thinking when they greenlighted this project!

The characters are all ancient stereotypes that portray a bad Hindi film’s idea of Westernisation – kitty party attending mother, booze-swilling daughter-in-law and her womanizing husband, their mini-skirted boyfriend-hopping daughter, and so on.

The lead pair is okay, the rest of the cast is terrible. Tedious to the extreme, Kaun Hai Jo… is a right royal nightmare!


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