Tuesday, August 28, 2007

2 this week 

Heyy Babyy

Sajid Khan makes his debut as director with Heyy Babyy, which is half Three Men and a Baby, and half his own concoction. In his attempt to make a buddy comedy, he has made the film quite vulgar and sexist.

His three Sydney-based ‘heroes’ Aroush (Akshay Kumar), Ali (Fardeen Khan) and Tanmay (Ritiesh Deshmukh) are the kind who sleep with numerous women, which, according to the director is ‘normal’ bachelor behaviour. Women are dumb sex objects anyway; the ones who don’t get seduced by guys are “sharif”—for them, the smooth Casanova has to make extra effort!

One day, a baby (incredibly cute, dimpled Johaina) is left at their doorstep, and the dudes, who are all well over the age of fatherhood, don’t know that there’s such a thing as baby food. The scenes of their feeding the baby and changing diapers making ‘vomity’ faces, go on forever till the viewer feels queasy.

They go on and on about which of them is the dad, when today DNA tests are available. They also dump the kid outside an orphanage, when in modern-day Australia, there would be social workers to take charge of unwanted kids. Not that Sajid Khan would be particularly bothered about realism.

When the baby almost dies (cringe-making scenes in hospital!), the ‘Boys’ suddenly go to the other extreme and decide they cannot love without Angel. Then her mother Isha (Vidya Balan) lands up and snatches the baby away. Like many film characters from 60s films, she was told by her father (Boman Irani) that her baby was dead. Why would a girl in 2007 even want to have a baby from a man (Aroush) who cruelly ditched her?

Weeping and wailing for the baby, the three men now cook up devious plans to get the baby back, with active connivance of Isha’s father. Some of the scenes—like the tribute to Chupke Chupke and Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jaayenge are funny, but in most part the comedy, as well as the melodrama, is very contrived. None of the characters is real or sympathetic, least of all Isha. In the end what Khan says is men can get away with irresponsible behaviour, as long as they turn into good nappy-changers!

As it usually happens, the actors rise above the material and all three guys do their comedy routines well. Vidya Balan looks odd and out of place in a glamorous get-up and the bimbo part doesn’t suit her.

Even if it is in jest, how can scenes of violence against kids be allowed by the censors? Not to mention the many gay gags.

Kaisay Kahein

They live and work in London. He is a banker, she is a TV journalist. After a brief courtship, they move in together without much of a to-do and seem happy enough till he proposes marriage and suddenly their careers come in the way of a smooth relationship.

At least someone thought of making a film about a contemporary issue, you think, and then slap your forehead for the thought because Mohit Hussein does not know what to do with the story, once he has set up a believable conflict.

Aditya (Rajveer Dutt—okay) and Radhika (Neha Julka—confident) are a modern couple, who live together quite happily, till the marriage question pops up. Suddenly she throws an unreasonable tantrum because he has a work meeting, and he is annoyed because she can’t get away from work to sign the papers for a new house. How come in the two years of courtship no problems arose?

Then she gets a promotion and posting to Mumbai (seems more like a come down) and throws another unreasonable tantrum because he does not stop her. All through, Hussein uses the boring device of both confiding in their best friends (Kunal Kumar and Chavi Mittal), who seem to have nothing better to do than listen to the woes of the drippy lead pair.

Because in real life there are so many instances of long-distance relationships working well and couples combining personal and professional lives without too many problems, you wonder just what Kaisay Kahein is getting at. Then it becomes increasingly hysterical, as Aditya’s boss Neha (Aditi Govitrikar) starts hitting on him and when he doesn’t respond asks, “Anything wrong with me?” Look at the portrayal of a successful careerwoman—she wears unsuitable clothes to work, is rude to her colleagues, flirts with the hero in office, asks dumb questions like, “Why are rabbits vegetarian?” and sighs about loneliness in the pursuit of success. Seems like a specimen from another era.

Eventually when Radhika’s mother (Zarina Wahab) gives her lecture on sacrificing “like Sita, who was a strong woman,” the film goes off the rails and ends on a ludicrous note. Career success equals personal failure the director seems to say, without looking at reality all around him, and blowing the chance of making a film today’s young people could relate to.


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