Sunday, January 16, 2005

What Santa Got Us! 

Aabra Ka Daabra

Dheeraj Kumar’s 3D Plus film Aabra Ka Daabra is Harry Potter meets Arabian Nights without a fraction of the entertainment value of the two.

Set in a school of magic run by the evil RB (Tiara), where the hero Shanu (Athit Naik) comes to learn magic to follow in his dead father’s footsteps, Aabra Ka Daabra is full of item numbers, a few thrills and clumsy in-film advertising.

Shanu finds out that his father is not dead, and with the help of friends like Limo (Anupam Kher), Pyara (Satish Kaushik), his teachers, two loyal classmates (Hansika Motwani, Esha Trivedi) and a cute animated elf Chuchu, he sets out to rescue him.

The décor and costumes are outlandish, and characters talk like they were in a particularly bad nautanki.

Adults would find the film as painful as a root canal, not to mention the eye strain caused by the 3D visuals —but there is every possibility that kids would enjoy it very much. Though, urban kids might compare it --unfavourably -- with the Harry Potter movies.

Ab Tumhare Hawale Watan Sathiyo

When Anil Sharma, who made two of the most rabidly anti Pakistan films in recent times (Gadar and Hero) professes to have a change of heart and make a film dedicated to Indo-Pak friendship, it sounds strange.

Then, his Ab Tumhare Hawale Watan Sathiyo starts off with Paki-bashing in a lengthy prologue set during the Bangladesh War-- rather well done battle sequences on the high seas—in which armyman Amarjeet Singh (Amitabh Bachchan) loses his son (Bobby Deol).

Years later his grandson Kunal (Deol in a double role) reluctantly joins the army, though his heart is not in it. Kunal falls in love with Shweta (Divya Khosla), a war widow, and by the time she reciprocates, her husband Rajiv (Akshay Kumar) returns, after having escaped from a hellish Pakistani prison.

This portion – inspired by Pearl Harbour—contains two tedious flashbacks (one within the other), then the writer (Shaktimaan) and director Sharma suddenly seem to remember that this is meant to be a war film and they have expended too much time on a love tangle. So it’s back to the battlefield, where Kunal tries to live up to the family’s reputation and fails. While he is going through his romantic and moral dilemmas, an evil Pakistani (Ashutosh Rana) and his cohorts are planning to bomb the Amarnath Yatra.

The film goes on forever in a painful, convoluted way, trying to fit in too many sub-plots and not getting the audience absorbed in any. There are two love triangles—there is an army doctor (Sandali Sinha) in love with Kunal too—the Amarjeet-Kunal imbroglio, and the army manouvres all tossed into the film in a haphazard way, in the vain hope that something will click.

After all the anti-Pak sentiment expressed throughout, there is an artificial about turn in the end when the very man (Danny Denzonga) who had tortured Rajiv in prison, now starts spouting pro-India sentiments.

It’s not too tough for Amitabh Bachchan to tower over Bobby Deol who can’t act at all, and the irritating shayari-spouting character Akshay Kumar plays, trying to copy Manoj Kumar. The girls are merely decorative props.

Sharma stages spectacular action sequences and the songs are extravagantly picturised too, but the film taxes the viewer’s patience to breaking point.


Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

eXTReMe Tracker