Saturday, December 10, 2005

Koi Aap Sa & Missed Call 

Koi Aap Sa

In Ekta Kapoor’s soaps, rape and illegitimate kids are a recurring plot device, almost as popular with her as accidents, loss of memory and plastic surgery to change actors.

With her latest production Koi Aap Sa, Ekta Kapoor seems to have forgotten that she was making a film and not one of her endless soaps with improbable plot twists. Like she does for her soaps, she picks up bits and pieces from other films, rounds-up actors available in the Balaji stable and slaps up a movie.

Koi Aap Sa is ostensibly about friendship and love – making it sound as though the two have to be mutually exclusive—with a plot so idiotically twisted that it barely makes sense.

Rohan (Aftab Shivdasani) and Simran (Natassha) are college friends, though they seem pretty much like an item. Rohan falls in love with Priti (Dipannita Sharma)—no time wasted on what makes the two tick. Even she starts suspecting there’s something on between Rohan and his “friend” till Simran’s fiancé Vicky (Himanshu Malik) turns up.

On prom night, Vicky’s friend rapes Simran, and very conveniently dies in an accident. As it always happens in films, Simran gets pregnant and can’t have an abortion, because, as the doctor solemnly says, “her uterus is weak.”

Everybody thinks Rohan is the father of the child, Vicky dumps Simran, and to stand by her, the “friend” admits to paternity and agrees to marry her.

Like Balaji soaps, even when there is tension all round, there have to be extravagant engagement rituals –twice in this case—when it would have made sense to get the two married quickly.

By the time the baby is ready to appear, Vicky arrives all apologetic and offers to accept Simran. If she told him to get lost, the film would have ended at a relatively sane point, instead of going on for more melodrama.

In short, Koi Aap Sa, with its supposedly youthful (proms, football and cheerleaders!) storyline, is quite an unbearable mix of Kuch Kuch Hota Hai and Kya Kehna. Natassha is okay as an actress, despite her major Kajol hangover, but she really should do something about her screechy voice. Aftab Shivdasani and Dipannita Sharma look and act listless.

Missed Call

Have to applaud Mridul Toolsidas and Vinay Subramanian courage—they made a low-budget experimental feature, Missed Call, and managed to take it right up to the release stage, when a lot of such ‘multiplex’ films languish for want of exposure.

The trouble with these little urban ‘indie’ ventures is that they are seldom appeal even to their target audiences—forget reaching the ‘masses’. How many people – even if they are cinephiles—would spend good money to see a dark, grainy, whimsical, mockumentary style film about a guy (Ankur Vikal) dying to make a film.

His spats with his father, encounter with a Bollywood producer, languid relationship with his girlfriend (Heeba Shah)—nothing is really all that ‘different’. Rebellion by itself is hardly a virtue, especially from a guy who shows no particular talent— you are just supposed to believe in his genius!

These is a little humour in the film, but it is mostly a self-indulgent whine— but still far superior to the junk that comes out of Bollywood every week. At least the young directors have something to say, and say it honestly to the best of their ability; they are not wannabe Varmas and Chopras.


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