Friday, October 28, 2011

Tell Me O Kkhuda 

Mamma Mia!
Hema Malini, an enduring screen icon, who has handled her career remarkably well, was not a director when she made Dil Aashna Hai in 1992, and is not a director now, when she makes Tell Me O Kkhuda.  No matter how level headed a woman and a star may be, there’s no telling what lengths a mother would go for her daughter.
Esha Deol, tried for a spot in Bollywood, got an easy break with parents Dharmendra and Hema Malini by her side; but pedigree get a star kid only this far. She was not an actress then (in 2002 when she made her debut) and is not an actress now. Plus, she has to face constant comparisons with her ethereally beautiful mother, and come out poorly.
Hema Malini, using the girl-looking-for-parent idea from her first film, tries to add a dash of Mamma Mia, but does not have the courage to show a Meryl Streep-like character who doesn’t know who her daughter’s father is, so the girl feels the need to find out.
In Tell Me O Kkhuda, Tanya (a best-selling writer, if you please), discovers accidentally that she was adopted (by Farouque Shaikh and Deepti Naval).  The clownish hospital clerk (Johnny Lever) tells her that her father was a Rajasthani royal (Vinod Khanna), so accompanied by her boyfriend (Arjan Bajwa) and a silly spare wheel (Chandan Roy Sanyal) sets out for the palace.  Amidst family intrigues and an atmosphere of rampant female foeticide, she wins a camel race and proves that daughters are as good as sons… but turns out she is not the one.
Next stop: Turkey, where Altaf Zardari (Rishi Kapoor) looks after his mentally disturbed wife (lovely Turkish actress Meltem Cumbal).  She helps ‘cure’ the mother, but this one’s not the right gene pool either. Over then to Goa, where gangster Tony Costello (Dharmendra) and his estranged girlfriend Susan (Hema Malini) turn out to be the real item.  Dharmendra in horrendous get up and Hema Malini as a nun are so off the mark, that the film that had built up a weak little emotional structure till then just collapses in a heap of unintended comedy.
Maybe Esha Deol has sparks of talent, but this kind of heavy duty emoting is beyond her. Maybe a comedy or an actioner (she was best in Dhoom) NOT directed by her mother could work for her. She also needs a better stylist and make-up person.


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