Saturday, December 30, 2006

I See You 

A movie about a guy who sees a girl’s spirit in his apartment? You don’t have to look far, Vivek Agrawal is ripped off from Reese Witherspoon-Mark Ruffalo romantic comedy Just Like Heaven. Now if they had just copied it as it is, I See You would have been a mildly entertaining film, but in trying to add original touches, Agrawal has churned out a film that’s neither funny, thrilling, nor mushily romantic and there was potential built in for all of the above.

The depressed architect of the original is changed to Raj (Arjun Rampal, incapable of looking or acting sleazy!), a womanizing, commitment phobic TV show host in London. Just when he has a hot date with his co-host and potential rival Dilnaz (Sophie Chowdry), he sees a girl in his apartment. Shivani (Vipasha) claims she is a doctor, lying in a coma in hospital, her spirit is hovering around and only Raj can see and hear her, probably because he has moved into her apartment. (This doesn’t ring true in the Indian situation, she would have been living with her mother, who also lives alone).

Raj is at first scared, then confused, then accepts the situation. He tries to use her to help him pick up girls and win at cards, but she is not that helpful. Then, in an abrupt turnaround, he decides to be friendly and dance in the streets of London with her, inviting curious glances from passersby. Because Rampal’s comic timing is so off, and he always looks so sober, he is not able to exploit the funny moments at all. In the original film the two quarrel a lot, here the interactions are flat and devoid of any emotion.

When an evil-looking doctor tries to kill Shivani in hospital, Raj and his buddy (Chunky Pandey) swing into action and steal her body from the hospital. Which brings to their doorstep UK’s only Hindi-speaking British cop (Michael Maloney)—who is given a needlessly log back story to explain how he learnt Hindi. This part should have had the pace and feel of a thriller, but the same flat treatment mars it. And before a truly satisfying finale, the film is over.

London is shot in all its glory by Ashok Mehta, and the most watchable bits of the film are the two songs in which Arjun Rampal with his model-like elegance strides through the streets of London. At least he is easy on the eye, which is more than can be said of the blank-looking leading lady. Or the rest of the cast (Boman Irani, Kirron Kher, Sonali Kulkarni) in stamp-sized roles.


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