Monday, March 19, 2007

Just Married+Hattrick 

Just Married

An arranged marriage, a newly wed couple almost total strangers, a honeymoon to get them started on a new life together. A lovely idea for a gentle, Basu Chatterjee-esque comedy, but Meghna Gulzar’s Just Married is anything but….what she has come up with is a plodding, pontificating, utterly dreary film.

Abhay (Fardeen Khan) and Ritika (Esha Deol) are not the typical candidates for an arranged marriage, the kind where the couple don’t even exchange a few words before tying the knot. They are both urban, educated, working youngsters, and would not go in for a match like that -- their parents don’t even think it is necessary for them to meet before the wedding and sole encounter is hijacked by a garrulous aunt! Unlikely scenario to begin with.

Anyway, wedding done, they embark on their honeymoon to Ooty and stay in a lodge where other young (and one old) couples are also staying. The group honeymoon idea was done just recently in the comparatively superior Honeymoon Travels Pvt Ltd.

Now comes the most unbelievable part—instead of articulating her thoughts to her husband, Ritika behaves like an illiterate cow from the 19th century and refuses to let her husband touch her. Apparently she is uncomfortable with intimacy so soon—fine, that’s understandable, but why should an educated city girl not be able to explain her point of view? Abhay is extraordinarily understanding, but even his patience snaps when she bristles at an affectionate caress and accuses him of molesting her!

While this is happening the other couples are introduced—including the clichéd older pair (Satish Shah-Kirron Kher), where the husband almost routinely denigrates his wife in public—that is his way of showing love. Strange that we are expected to find this funny. The other three young couples are there just as cardboard illustrations for various facets of matrimony, and people tend to drop nuggets of wisdom on life and relationships at the drop of a hat.

The film makes marriage seem like such a chore that is could serve as a manual for staying single. Still, Fardeen Khan and Esha Deol are very likeable and manage to convey shyness and simplicity without looking fake.


If a film has been designed to co-incide with the World Cup, it should have at least a fraction of the drama and excitement. Milan Luthria’s Hatrrick is a loose compendium of three stories that have a very forced cricket connection.

One is about surly Dr Satyajit Chavan (Nana Patekar) who hates cricket and anything that he considers frivolous, including a polite conversation with his wife. Then he gets former cricketing star David (Danny Denzogpa) as his patient, who thinks only of cricket even as he lies there dying. The patient spreads cheer and minor rebellion in the hospital, while the doctor grits his teeth in exasperation.

Story two has newly married couple Saby (Kunal Kapoor) and Kashmira (Rimi), whose quarrel is over cricket—he loves it, she can’t stand it. Then a friend advises her to look at the cricketers instead of following the game, and she gets obsessed with Dhoni. Now the husband gets so angry he demands a divorce.

Over in London, Hemu Patel (Paresh Rawal), a janitor at the airport dreams of a UK citizenship after years of being an illegal alien. It’s hardly as if getting a piece of paper would turn a janitor into a nuclear scientist, but he believes it is a ticket out of misery—the biggest irritant being his daughter dating a stolid black man.

All the stories are ridiculous—and like a stuck record, the film moves in the same little circle, conveying the same information over and over again till it’s time for each of the three stories to get its own very predictable climax.

After a peppy start Hattrick gets progressively silly and tedious, so the end comes as a relief. Still, a few likeable moments are because of the actors—even though Nana Patekar, Paresh Rawal and Rimi play to type, they all get some good lines to go with. Danny Denzongpa and Kunal Kapoor coast along on charm. Can be skipped without guilt.


Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

eXTReMe Tracker