Sunday, April 22, 2007

2 This Week 

Kya Love Story Hai

If a director gets a star friend (Kareena Kapoor) to do an item number, and inserts it right at the start as the dream sequence of a sidekick, you can tell right away the film won’t amount to anything, because he lacks imagination.

Apparently Lovely Singh was an assistant on Mujhe Kuch Kehna Hai, so he picked up the idea of the film added his own two-bit and made a film so boring and unwatchable, that you could walk out in 10 minutes and not miss a thing.

The film is set in South Africa (where, of course, everybody speaks or understands Hindi) and it is really offensive to see black characters as caricatures—including a black dwarf. To top the racism are the truly odious gags involving two of the hero’s skirt-chasing friends—and Lovely Singh gives these characters almost as much footage as the lead actors.

Arjun (Tusshar) is a rich idler who falls in love with Kajal (Ayesha Takia) but is unable to tell her. And girls in films are so dumb, they can never guess even when the guy turns all puppy-eyed at the sight of her. Kajal reads a letter meant for her and is so dense she asks who it is for. She also tells Arjun that no girl would respect him because he has no identity.

So while Arjun rushes to Bombay in search of said identity, Kajal meets Ranveer (Karan Hukku) who is rich and supposedly has an identity – for which he has a phone sticking out his ear and is constantly talking of deals. He could be a drug runner for all you know, he certainly dresses like one. He is also a mamma’s boy who dates Kajal because Mummy likes her.

Having found his identity and fortune (a 600 million deal!) Arjun returns right when Kajal is getting engaged to Ranveer –outside her house for some reason.

Now everyone (including odious sidekicks and black dwarf) goes to attend the wedding of Kajal’s friend, and over seven days, the contrast between Ranveer and Arjun becomes clear to Kajal, and guess who she settles for? Does anyone even care anymore for stories so stale they could have fungus growing on them!

Tusshar is okay as the shy hero—he has had enough practice. An overweight Ayesha Takia does the nose-wrinkling cute smile so often, it underlines the vacuousness of the character. Newcomer Karan Hukku comes out of ‘model’ mould and is as expressionless as the rest of them.

Panga Naa Lo

Rajen Kothari’s Panga Naa Lo is dedicated to Hrishikesh Mukherjee and solemnly attempts a family comedy on the lines of the master’s films. It falls miles short, but at least it tries. The story owes its origin to the old chestnut The Fantasticks, which itself was based on an Edmund Rostand play.

Kartar Singh (Om Puri) and Karsanbhai Shah Karsan (Satish Shah) are neighbours and best buddies. They wish their kids Bhura (Kunal Roy Kapoor) and Vera (Priyanka Yadav) would get married, but the excessively shy boy is unable to express his feelings.

The fathers get frustrated at the romantic stalemate, and on the advice of their bartender friend (Viju Khote), cook up loony schemes to get the two together. Getting a film stunt director (Razzak Khan) to stage a scene of goondas attacking the couple, so that Bhura can play hero, is really amusing.

Because Om Puri and Satish Shah are so comfortable with comedy, they manage to pull off even some badly written scenes, but when the two are not on screen, the film loses its fizz too, because the two newcomers have no screen presence and even less chemistry. Supriya Pathak and Navni Parihar as the wives have little to do.

Anyway, after quite a while, there’s comedy about ordinary people and no songs shot on glossy foreign locations—which is actually a drawback these days, because audiences want glamour. But Hrishda would never have allowed an item number in his film; also his songs and their picturisations would have been much, much better!


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