Saturday, July 03, 2004

hum tum

Add to blender: When Harry met Sally, Before Sunrise (and just when the sequel Before Sunset was on its way to the theatres). Season generously with irritating intrusions (aka songs). Add element of filmic nostalgia that would appeal to a lot of NRIs (in addition to all the foreign locale hopping): a mother watching Shammi Kapoor dancing to tumane mujhe dekhaa from Teesri Manzil and swooning over him, Rati Agnihotri cementing her status as post-modern 80s icon (still the same bad acting, less of the flat-screech dialogue delivery and little-to-nothing of the accident-ho-gayaa jhaTak-maTaks), Rishi Kapoor reprising his affable on-screen charm and quoting mai.n shaayar to nahii.n [doing a good piano playing imitation on a Roland this time] (just to remind all those $$$-tossing oldies about the good ol' days of cinema). And just in case they still didn't get it there are two references to Bobby: Kiron Kher's character's nickname, and a back-handed reference to Dimple Kapadia by Rishi Kapoor. And now that you have failover in place, toss in the new-Gen yuppie romance. Upgrade everything on the dialogue and boldness front. Even toss in a few incongruous mouth-to-mouths. Dice up a rain dance (I mean give me a break!). Put in a twist that has newly grown old (girl marries another guy, guy dies). Get a promising actor to cameo as the ill-fated first hubby (Abhishek Bachchan, who thanks to a small denominator of time, packs in the BEST performance in the film by delivering his lines with the conviction and consistency lacking in his longer full-length film roles). More movie in-jokes: On the plane, Saif Ali Khan asks Rani aatii kyaa kha.nDaala, a reference to her role in Ghulam; as Jimmy Shergill (interesting makeup, sorry state of affairs otherwise) drives Kiron Kher and Rani from the airport, the radio begins to play anadekhii anajaanii sii from Kunal Kohli's directorial début Mujhse Dosti Karoge.

The leads turn in likeable performances and the earnestness carries the weight of this heavyweight chick flick to the door. The cartoon interludes jar after a while, and the film spans so much time it's unbelievable (the yellow/orange/black colour scheme was nice though). Kiron Kher packs in all the gusto that could have saved her face in Devdas into a role closer to home that her other great turn in Bariwali. The less said about everything the better. Jatin-Lalit's music sounds like their usual fare these days: tired, and familiar, and lifted. And will someone think of better song situations please? And quit with the slo-motion sequences with ooh-aahs in the background. And get someone who can use camera angles to better effect.

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