Wednesday, May 21, 2008



A diamond ring plays such an important role in Jannat, it should have been listed in the credits!

Kunal Deshmukh’s debut film has a somewhat unusual plot (probably inspired by sources as disparate as the play Three Men on a Horse and films The Gambler and Two for the Money). Emraan Hashmi plays Arjun, the reckless son of an honest bookseller (told not shown), who hated his poverty stricken childhood with no toys and no scented soap. So he becomes a gambler-- the kind of guy who can look anyone in the eye and lie, as his father (Vipin Sharma) says.

Even when he is being threatened by creditors, he can coolly pick up and apple and chew while making false promises. Hardly the kind of guy who would let his life be dictated by an almost unhealthy obsession for a quite ordinary girl, Zoya (Sonal Chauhan-- vapid), but the writer-director makes him so, and gives his film a fatal flaw.

Every conflict and twist in the tale has to do with his relationship with Zoya—it’s as if the otherwise bright and ambitions Arjun has no will of his own and is in a tug-of-war game between Zoya and a powerful crime boss Abu Ibrahim (Javed Sheikh). One offers him a middle class life of hard work and deprivation, the other offers wealth and jannat. Not an even match-- seems as fake and fixed as the cricket matches in the movie.

Arjun has the magical ability to make correct predictions about cricket, which lead him to Abu’s domain in South Africa, where he makes unimaginable amounts of money as a match fixer. Zoya lives with him and is dumb enough to believe that so much cash came from “import and export” of sporting goods. At least it she were a greedy, grasping bitch, her character would be realistic, but she is just a shrieking, sanctimonious bore who enjoys Arjun’s money, but also gets him arrested because she loves him (odd!) and then works as a pole dancer to make a living! Films never seem to explain what happens all the money a character has already made in the past; when he hits a rough spot, it’s straight to skid row!

There’s a cop from India (Samir Kocchar) who eats non-stop and parks himself in South Africa for months on end to arrest not the kingpin, but the henchman Arjun—since when does the Mumbai Police has such generous resources?

Cricket is just a device to bring a bit of contemporary realism into the film—like the Bob Woolmer murder—but otherwise it could be anything that encourages gambling. The story is about Arjun’s greed, arrogance and downfall, with too many plot holes to make it likable or convincing. Emraan Hashmi is left to do all the acting for the whole cast of pine trees! Not fair to him. Some of the double meaning dialogue is cringe-worthy; on the plus side is Pritam’s excellent music, though the songs are not well-picturised.


Post a Comment

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

eXTReMe Tracker