Friday, February 25, 2005

Chehraa & Jurm 


Even if Bipasha Basu had the supreme talent to pull off Chehraa, in which she appears in almost every scene, it would have been pretty tough to sit through this dud. But since the leading lady neither looks nor acts her best, this film can best be as painful.

A crazily contrived plot, ham-handed direction and terrible performances—you’d have to look really hard to come up with redeeming features in this one. You might, at a pinch come up with the usually dependable Irrfan Khan, and be disappointed a minute later.

Megha (Bipasha Basu) is an aggressive student of psychiatry, prone to bouts of violence. Still, fellow student Akash (Dino Morea) falls in love with her and discovers her disturbed past – violent father and mentally ill mother.

Akash’s father does not want his son to marry a “mad” girl and manages to break them up. Megha kills her father, yet surfaces some years later as the wife of a rich and famous man Chandranath (Irrfan Khan). She claims someone is trying to kill her, and in the entire city the only doctor the cops find to treat her is Akash.

Now Megha acts crazy, screams, rants, insists that she is not mad and keeps both Akash and her husband on tenterhooks with her hysterics. After a point, Megha’s tricks get tiresome, and you wonder why anyone-leave aside two sane men and one sane women (Akash’s current girlfriend-- Preeti Jhangiani) seem to do nothing else but act as Megha’s nursemaids. Everyone shuttles between Mumbai and Dubai—sometimes the action shifts mid-scene and back, throwing continuity to the winds.

All this leads to a climax that stretches the already bored viewer’s credulity to the limit. God knows where writer Shukla picked up this story from, but he made a right royal hash of it. If this is Bipasha Basu’s idea of a ‘heroine oriented role’, she ought to do a long, hard rethink.


This one’s clearly carelessly made potboiler –nobody involved with it looks like they really had their heart in Jurm. Everything from the story, screenplay, direction, music smacks of indifference. If anything, a couple of performances seem sincere.

A bit of Fugitive, a bit of Fida, and chunks of lots of uninspiring movies, Vikram Bhatt’s Jurm has rich guy Avinash (Bobby Deol) accused or murdering his wife Sanjana (Lara Dutta). His lawyer buddy Rohit (Milind Soman) helps him escape from jail and then shoots him.

As it always happens in films, there is an adoring female around to help the hero. Sonia (Gul Panag), whom Avinash has callously dumped for Sanjana, saves Avinash’s life, and paves the way for his revenge. Rohit not just stole his fortune, he also engineered the fake murder plot to whisk away Sanjana to Malaysia. Naturally, Avinash gnashes his teeth and in Fida style goes about terrorisingthe baddies.

If the film had not been so long and so ‘been-there-seen-that’, it might have had moments of interest. But all the needless twists and facile script conveniences, plus the exasperating length subtract from the few positives the film has.

Watching Bobby Deol trying to so some heavy-duty acting makes one merely feel sorry for him, but Milind Soman’s smooth villainy and Lara Dutta looking prettily petrified and helpless, makes at least a few scenes watchable. Howver, it needs a good mood, crisp popcorn and marathon stamina to endure the bad bits.


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