Friday, September 03, 2004


The Gift was hardly a masterpiece, still if someone was loony enough to plagiarise it, at least they could have done a better job.

Mahesh Manjrekar packs Rakht with stars and then sells it in the media on the strength of its two item numbers. In one, the leading lady and her friend look at a photo album and she goes into flashback to the times when she was an aspiring singer, cut to item song in Singapore. The second time, a man whose daughter has gone missing gets a phone call saying some Jennifer is having a show, cut to Yana Gupta heaving and writhing; then Amrita Arora wearing almost nothing does a cabaret in her own house, in front of doting dad, to launch her music album!

What kind of hick town in India has women wandering around itsy-bitsy costumes and men killing to be mayor! Oh yeah, Rakht is that kind of brainless film, with director Manjrekar probably dozing in front of the video assist monitor!

Drishti (Bipasha Basu) is a clairvoyant who makes an enemy of a wifebeater, Sunny (Dino Morea) when she counsels his wife (Neha Dhupia). The sluttish daughter (Amrita Arora) of the town mayor goes missing, and turns up dead in Sunny’s pond. Drishti’s visions helped trace the body and sent Sunny to jail, but now she gets more visions, that indicate that he may not have been the killer.

After being humiliated in court by the defence lawyer (Sachin Khedekar sneering till his face almost split!), Drishti is in a dilemma.

Other characters include the dead girl’s fiancé (Sanjay Dutt) who is in love with Drishti; a mentally disturbed motor mechanic (Sunil Shetty), also in love with Drishti and the ‘item boy’ Abhishek Bachchan, also in love with Drishti. And she still trying to get over her dead husband, whose accident she foresaw but could not prevent. There’s Himanshu Malik too, as the public prosecutor, not in love with Drishti, mercifully!

Rakht has all the thriller elements, special effects, loud sound effects, large spooky house and a glut of characters who look and act insane—so much so that the audience treats it as a comedy. At one point Sunny, who must be dyslexic, scrawls “Bhut” (sic) all over Drishti’s house.

Bipasha Basu should try to act, Sunil Shetty should not try so hard to act, Sanjay Dutt should try not to sleepwalk through bad parts; as for the others, they are beyond help!


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