Sunday, August 21, 2005

MWM & Barsaat 

My Wife’s Murder

Everybody almost stands up and applauds. The scruffy film editor has lowered the neighbourhood noise pollution levels, by bumping off his screechy wife.

Chauvinistic, senseless and totally one-dimensional, this Jijy Philip debut film is quite unworthy of the Ram Gopal Varma factory. The film could literally be summed up in one line – a man accidentally kills his wife and runs. No layers, no thought, no plot, no…. nothing.

Ravi Patwardhan (Anil Kapoor), is an expressionless robot who edits films and then goes home to a wife (Suchitra Krishnamoorthy—made to look like a monster from hell), who does nothing but nag. Bachpan se jhagdalu thi, we are told by way of explanation for why Sheila starts shrieking like a wind-up doll the minute she sets her eyes on her husband—and the incessant gripe is over his pretty assistant Reena (Nandana Sen). Ravi and Sheila seem to have no other conversation, which is very strange considering they have two kids.

One day when the fight ends in fisticuffs, Sheila ends up dead. Instead of calling a doctor or the cops, Ravi calmly bundles her body into a carton and dumps it in a lake.

When the body is found, and the cops, led by the gluttonous Tejpal Randhawa (Boman Irani) start investigating, Ravi wears the same deadpan expression—whether he is identifying the body, confessing to Reena or taking his kids and running away. There was just a hint of irony in the tiny track of the cop’s nagging wife, but it is left unexplored.

In the end, Ravi seems to win the sympathy of everyone from Reena and his in-laws, to the cops and his kids—as if to say, it’s okay to go around chucking dead women into lakes, and pretending nothing happened.

Why should anyone want to see this film—it claims go into the head of a married man on the run, but, heck the man doesn’t seem to have a head. Anil Kapoor is co-producer of the movie, so he gets the biggest part, but this is certainly not a film he should be proud of as an actor. In fact, there’s not one likeable performance in the whole film – the best part of which is its short running time.


They start young—a little boy demands a “kissie” from a willing little girl, and next thing you know, they are betrothed. If the cast did not include the current lot of stars, you’d think Suneel Darshan’s Barsaat belonged to a bygone era, or emerged from one of those regressive TV serials that are on air these days.

Still, for all its talk of traditional values, Barsaat (making a mess of Sweet Home Alabama) happily uses the skin of its two leading ladies to attract audiences. All the more reason for people to wonder, why two sexy gals would spend all their time and energy chasing a totally unworthy, vacillating fool of a leading man.

Arav (Bobby Deol) is forced to marry childhood sweetheart Kajal (Priyanka Chopra), before he goes to the US to pursue his ambition to be a car designer. There he is avidly pursued by Anna (Bipasha Basu) the granddaughter of the “Chairman of BMW” (Shakti Kapoor). Haha, BMW should sue for defamation!

Engaged to her, he rushes back to India to get a divorce from Kajal, who first stands up with all her Bhartiya Nari huffiness and refuses; then caves in and leaves. When Arav—guiltfree so far—discovers that the girl he left behind is a thriving entrepreneur, he starts leaning towards her again. Then Anna lands up to get married and he tilts back towards her.

In keeping track of his chronic instability, the audience has to suffer endless songs (Nadeem-Shrawan’s music would put you to sleep), the obligatory karwa-chauth, and enough weeping and sighing to sink several ships.

Neither of the two girls can act, though they do manage to look good despite Manish Malhotra’s surprisingly tacky costumes. If Bobby Deol looks bewildered throughout, it could be blamed as much on the lousy role, as on his lack of acting skills.


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