Sunday, February 26, 2006

Taxi & HTPH 

Taxi No. 9211

The title of this Milan Luthria film –Taxi No 9211 (nau do gyarah, meaning to flee)—gives the impression, that it is a comedy. It has a few snatches of humour, but the Changing Lanes-inspired movie is about two ill-tempered guys going ballistic, and has all the entertainment value of a street ‘tamasha’ that usually follows an accident.

The eponymous taxi does not play much of a part in the story after providing the initial crash, which triggers off the mayhem in the lives of the two lead characters. It also ‘heals’ miraculously after being bust up—in one of the film’s numerous glitches-- and reappears for a short chase sequence.

Raghav Shastri (Nana Patekar) is the kind of prickly guy who can’t keep a job, so he tells his wife (Sonali Kulkarni—impressive) that he is an insurance agent while he drives a taxi, carefully steering away from his own area. Jai Mittal (John Abraham) is an arrogant rich guy in danger of losing his millions if he can’t produce his father’s will in court.

In a scenario perfectly plausible in Mumbai, Jai gets into Raghav’s cab (having crashed his own car in a drunken haze) and forces him to drive fast. The cab crashes into a car, there’s a fight, Jai leaves Raghav to deal with the chaos and the cops. Then he realizes that the key to vault holding the precious will fell in the cab. But Raghav is angry and won’t give it back.

The two guys then get into a furious chase, first to get what they want, then to spitefully mess up the other guy’s trip and finally to make amends. In the process, they learn their lessons and become better human beings.

Taxi No. 9211 is a fast-paced entertainer, with a compact running time that leaves little room for longueurs. Problem areas: lack of requisite amount of humour, an indifferent music score, and an unremarkable leading lady (Sameera Reddy) opposite John Abraham.

Nana Pateker and John Abraham-- as different as chalk and cheese in terms of appearance and acting styles—are well cast. They complement each other, and though the characters they play are not in the least amiable, they seem like people we know.

Humko Tumse Pyaar Hai

Humko Tumse Pyaar Hai would have looked outdated a decade ago, now the boring old love triangle seems as if it came from a long-forgotten era. Directed by Bunty Soorma who passed away during its making, the film was completed by Vikram Bhatt, but the material had nothing novel about it.

A blind village girl Durga (Ameesha Patel) falls in love with a city guy (Arjun Rampal), whom she calls “Babu” and never bothers to find out his real name—silly plot contrivance.

Babu or Rohit, gets her eyes operated on by a kindly surgeon (Kanwaljeet), but before she can see, he is killed by the villain (Parmeet Sethi). The doctor adopts Durga and takes her to Switzerland, where jaded rich dude Raj (Bobby Deol) falls in love with her and ardently woos the grieving woman till she agrees to marry him.

When they come back to Jaipur to wed, it is found that Rohit, who also happens to be Raj’s best friend, is alive and has just woken up from a coma and bout of amnesia. Of course, Durga has never seen him and does not know his name, so it takes a blackout for her discover that he is Babu. But he wants to sacrifice his love for the sake of his buddy…. you know the rest….

None of the three lead stars is a good actor, the music is ordinary and the film just about bearable if you can pretend it was made in the sixties and you are watching a rerun!


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