Saturday, August 26, 2006

2 Duds 

Aap Ki Khatir

Perhaps because he is accused of always making heavy-duty melodramas, Dharmesh Darshan attempts a comedy this time. Too bad that Aap Ki Khatir is an even bigger headache-inducer than Mela and Bewafaa.

Copying from Hollywood movie The Wedding Date, which wasn’t all that great to begin with, Darshan compounds the error by mixing it with stale formulaic elements from the Hum Aapke Hain Kaun era. Overcrowding the film with dozens of weird ‘relatives’ to add to the already insipid bunch of lead actors is no way to entertain the audience.

Anu (Priyanka Chopra), supposedly a wealthy working woman, but appearing as a pea-brained bimbo, takes along a hired escort Aman (Akshaye Khanna) to London, to her step-sister Shirani’s (Amisha Patel) wedding, to make her former boyfriend Danny (Dino Morea) jealous.
For a long time, the characters just dress up, sing, dance, play cricket; Anu bickers endlessly with Aman, and there’s some very idiotic humour. After some time, more people arrive to join the circus. You alleviate the boredom by wondering what all those over-dressed people are doing there. Why is some vague cousin hanging around? Who are all those foreigners? Why are Anu’s parents (Anupam Kher-Lillete Dubey) acting like horny teenagers? Why does Shirani’s groom (Suniel Shetty) have so many odd relatives—including two single aunts everybody makes fun of.

If the comedy is clunky and the drama flat, the romance is totally without fizz. Shirani looks glum and behaves like she was marrying just because she can’t back out with all those house guests around. Anu falls out of love with Danny and in love with Aman, just because her father tells her so. No slow realization, or love catching people unawares.

Comedy doesn’t come naturally to Akshaye Khanna, but at least he tries. Not like the girls, who have spent all their effort on their wardrobes. And if anyone does not get the innumerable Lokhandwala and ring-tone jokes, please ask Dharmesh Darshan to explain.


This Anees Bazmee film has obviously been in the making for very long, so both in look and content, there is a staleness to it.

When Govinda was at his peak as a comic actor some years ago, Sandwich may have found an audience, now it is almost awkward to see the actor go through the motions in a mechanical way, and in a voice that sounds like someone doing a bad imitation of Dharmendra.

Through circumstances beyond his control, Sher Singh (Govinda) finds himself married to two women (Mahima Chaudhary-Raveena Tandon). For a few years he manages to get by without them finding out, but then his two identical- looking sons meet at school, the wives befriend each other and he is in trouble.

Then a lookalike turns up and the film moves into crime-thriller mode. The chauvinism cannot be avoided, as Sher Singh expects to be pardoned for bigamy, but can’t bear the thought of the duplicate living with one of his wives.

Govinda has Sajaan Chale Sasural on a similar theme before, and there’s also Gharwali Baharwali about a man and two wives—everything about Sandwich is dated and old-fashioned. There are continuity problems galore as the actors’ size and hairstyle keeps changing from scene to scene. The climax with all the actors converging at one place to have a comic fight sequence is so out of the eighties. No reason for an audience to waste money on this one.


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