Friday, December 23, 2005


Dosti: Friends Forever

Suneel Darshan’s films may have a small audience in the North, where people perhaps like old fashioned melodramas, and don’t find it queer when the two male leads weep like leaking faucets and hug each other more than they do the females! But in a city multiplex, audiences hooted with laughter every time the guys uttered emotional ‘dosti’ lines; one group of teens played a game of completing dialogues begun by characters and had a 90% hit rate. A lot more guffawing and high-fives ensued. To be able to use Bollywood clichés well is an art that very few of today’s directors have mastered

As far as this film is concerned, Darshan, is still a wannabe Raj Kapoor (Aah), Hrishikesh Mukherjee (Anand), Karan Johar (Kal Ho Naa Ho), and copying the overdone Punjabi look, that the Chopras have now abandoned.

Rich kid Karan has no friends, so adopts a poor orphan Raj. Having created this very artificial world, where Karan is neglected by family and all alone (how come? No neighbours? No friends at school?), Darshan makes the two boys swear undying love to each other, and when they grow up, Karan (Bobby Deol) and Raj (Akshay Kumar) are even more inseparable—singing duets, and claiming not be able to live without each other.

No wonder, very little time is spent over the wooing and dumping of girlfriends—Kareena Kapoor (in frumpy salwars) and Lara Dutta (supposedly a student of bio-genetics!).

Raj turns out to have an incurable illness, so before he dies, he sets about getting Karan a life, so the poor chap doesn’t drink himself to death. Only Amitabh Bachchan could do the drunken quarrel with God scene well, when Bobby Deol does it, he makes it ludicrous.

As for Akshay Kumar, his Dilip Kumar-Rajesh Khanna act of sentimental dying man evokes cruel sniggers. Even the song picturisations are so unimaginative. Not a movie one would recommend to a friend!

Vaah Life Ho To Aisi

Dead Man Talking

At: Fame and other cinemas
Directed by Mahesh Manjrekar
With: Shahid Kapoor, Sanjay Dutt, Amrita Rao and others
Rating: Two stars

Maybe for his own satisfaction Mahesh Manjrekar is trying out different genres—sitting with a pile of Hollywood DVDs to decide what to do next. Everything he did this year failed, so he picks on a film that would perhaps appeal to kids—that is if kids today are still amused by objects flying and men being hit by unseen fists.

Adi (Shahid Kapoor) looks after a huge brood of relatives, including a grandmother and a dizzying number of children. The huge house they live in is coveted by an evil builder (Sharat Saxena) – can’t get more hackneyed than that!

To get his sister married, Adi has to borrow a lot of money, and just when he is about to make a fortune by selling the patent to a solar powered car, he is killed in an accident. Yamraj, who comes to fetch him in a flying Chevy looks like a dandy gangster (Sanjay Dutt) with a soft heart. So he allows Adi and a sidekick kid to return to earth and save the mourning family.

A ‘medium’ (Arshad Warsi) gets Hauman to grant them “power” so that Adi and the kid can set the builder and his thugs right.

Till Sanjay Dutt comes on to the scene, the film is boring as hell, with too many kids creating mayhem. It sputters to life in fits and starts whenever Dutt descends – he plays the role with a funny air of self-parody, often breaking into a Jeevesian English butler accent. The other actor who adds a little spark is Warsi, with his ‘Circuit’ (from Munnabhai) number.

The romance between Adi and the kids’ teacher (Amrita Rao—over made-up) is thanda. There are two many songs and except for Teri Yaad Yaad none is hummable.

The special effects (Prime Focus) are quite well done, but Manjrekar’s mix of Brahmachari, Mr India and Ghost has no spark.


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