Thursday, February 05, 2004

shaayad Gaalib kaa hai ... {the welcome moments of Chupke Se ...}

This was the Vishal soundtrack I couldn't bring myself to like the first time I heard it. Since that time things have changed (thankfully!). And the film wasn't as bad as most people (make that "ALMOST EVERYONE") made it out to be. Masumi (directorial débutante Shona Urvashi's sister) is appropriately gawky and ill-at-ease. The climactic beauty paegent is more organised than in the B-movies (ref: Miss India). The first three-quarters of the film makes for fairly pleasant viewing (although being a Vishal fan, I sat through the occasionally clichéd song sequences). Zulfikar Syed does a pleasant turn as the youngest millionaire in town (and the most eligible bachelor around). Peeya Rai Choudhuri (TRIVIA: played Juliet in Alyque Padamsee's recreation of Shakespeare's tragedy in 2002 Bombay. all set to be in Gurinder Chadha's Bride and Prejudice) deserves plaudits for her spunky Sheetal. There's Raman Lamba as "heart me.n bullet" Rizwan. There's Reema Lagoo as the girl's mother. The ever-dependable and long-missed Jayant Kriplani as the boy's father. The always inept and marginally bearable Rati Agnihotri as the evil Almira Kochar. Tinnu Anand as her hen-pecked inept husband. And save the applause and whistles for the winners of the pack: Dilip Prabhawalkar as Timgire, the girl's father, an income tax collector (sheer stroke of genius that!), and Om Puri as Qasim Khan Qayamat, the don that no one has heard of and who spouts the worst shaayarii on the planet (and topping it off by crediting Gaalib). Sure there are flaws: by the time we get to the fifth song, a number for the aged romantics, what with the voices of Yucky Ali and aging Ashabai, we're running out of patience; and why they . But there are so many right ingredients: the dialogue has lots of funny and interesting moments for one. The heart's in the right place. And there's probably a reason for this piece of clean entertainment (NOTE: when Om Puri screams " ... kii maa.N kii aa.Nkh", why mute out the "maa.N"?? Didn't Rajnikant make a collection by uttering that phrase throughout Chaalbaaz??). Shona Urvashi is the granddaughter of P L Anand (hence PLA productions) and the niece of Gul Anand (last film seen: Chashme Baddoor), whom the Big B loaned many a special appearance. A sure box-office failure. Sigh. Clean entertainment loses again.

The rediff review notes a similarity in Drop Dead Gorgeous. Haven't seen that one, but from the looks of it, it ain't a farthing as bad as the lifts in the Bhatt family.

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