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Cinema Review

Clipping (50kbs) - The Times of India, 21-03-1999. By Khalid Mohamed, S. Shiva Kumar

Record Number : A0040045

Click to browse by keyword: Cinema Film exhibition Reviews: Film Literature Art


Cinema Review
Hall: Nartaki, Parimala, Lido
Direction: Lawrence D’Souza
Cast: Madhuri Dixit, Akshay Kumar, Saif All Khan
Rating: * *

Yuck, like a distressed duck a man sits atop a truck. And another man squats atop a telephone booth, wincing as if he had a bad tooth. Playing a giddy-yup game of who tu tu, both the mad men happen to be in love with the same gorgeous gal who can’t decide who’s her boom-boom beau. Such woe.

Boo hoo, then, it’s Aarzoo photographed and directed by Lawrence D’Souza who once gave you that musical hit Saajan (1991). However, this time around he comes up with some dingdong-ding that’s as hopelessly old-fashioned and archaic as posting an inland letter in the era of email. Wail. Cannibalised from Raj Kapoor’s Sangam (1964) and Devendra Goel’s Ek Phool Do Mali (1969), the story by Reema Rakeshnath has as much frisson and freshness as a pizza left to languish in a micro-oven for nearly a millennium. Ummmmm.

Short on novelty, long on implausibility, this trying triangular row-mance, underscores the point that love in the movies means having to say you’re very very sorry. In the event, absolutely nothing is hunky-dory out here for the threesome. Sniff, life for them hardly ever comes up tara rum pum pum.

Hence your heart goes dumb-adumb as a hirsute Hair-India pilot Vijay (Akshay Kumar) makes a crash landing on the streets, bumping right into the cool car of the lovely Miss Pooja (Madhuri Dixit), who incidentally has just stepped out of MacDonald’s, licking a vanilla nice cream cone. Drone.

Next: Vijay makes gooeyphooey eyes at Pooja. Unimpressed, she yells, “Jaa jaa.” But upon seeing him in his pilot’s uniform, she’s smitten in the manner of an easy-to-please kitten. Purrfect.

Mr Pilot and Miss Cone can marry right away But hey, her dad (Amrish Pun suited-booted) disapproves, since he wants his only beti to tie the hot-knot with Ritchie Rich Amar (Saif Ali Khan). Eeeee. Itchie steps back on learning that Cone loves Pilot, discarding his desires instantly, as if they were nothing more than an irritating nose cold. Begins a sneezing fit and plenty of khit -pit.

Thunder and blunder. Pilot is declared dead after an air accident. Not to worry too much, though. Itchie Richie volunteers to wed Pooja who’s pregnant with the dead man’s pyaar ki nishani.

After a platonic suhaag raat interlude and several years, Pilot parachutes back to earth. No dearth of those cobwebbed cliches, what!

To cut a loooong story short, Pilot kidnaps his own child (he doesn’t know the bittersweet truth, you see), threatens to toss the kiddo off Scotland’s Rajabyebye Tower, all the while sporting a deadly glower. Everyone including the perplexed Pooja, Itchie, Besuited Dad and a gang of grotesques (Paresh Rawal and Co.), who’ve been waiting to unleash the usual quota of villainy, assemble for a fright-to-the-finish. Ho-haw-hum. Biff-bang-pow-dhishkaaoon later, Pooja recovers her kidnapped baccha and her HairIndia pilot. Don’t even ask what happens to “other man” Itchie. Presumably, he catches a flight to make more mega-bucks in the stock market of heaven.

By the way, don’t ask where the stale shenanigoons are set. The dizzy ‘marry-go-round’ hops between Mumbai, Europe and only the lord knows where as if it were suffering from a severe case of jetlag. About the only spot Lawrence leaves out is Arabia. Incidentally, a trek to Vaishnodevi’s Ma Sherawalli temple seems to have been an afterthought in a bid to bolster the commercial prospects of the picture.

On the positive side, Anu Malik’s music is worth a listen for the soothing Tere dil me rahenge to and Kya der hai. Jerky continuity, heavy-handed dialogue and such scenes as Amrish Puri addressing Reema Lagoo as “My dear darling baby”, or some such, are unintentionally howlarious.

Of the cast, Madhuri Dixit’s is the only luminous presence. She’s bankably likable. Again don’t ask about the other captive souls in this enterprise which should have been called Zoo, not Aarzoo.

Khalid Mohamed

Hall: Kapali, Prasanna, Ullas
Direction: S. Narayan, Ravichandran
Cast: Ravichandran, Nagma, Dodanna, Hema
Rating: **

Thanks to the numerous satellite channels beaming the latest movies, the VCR is a redundant gadget. It’s used only to watch weddings. The only place where it is being overused is Gandhinagar.

S. Narayan and Ravichandran are two moderately talented film makers who’ve lost faith in their creativity. The ‘raja of rehash’ and the ‘prince of plagiarism’ have joined hands to churn out Ravi mama. The original is a Tamil potboiler En Thangachi Padichava.

The film, in industry parlance, is about ‘sister sentiment’.The hero, Ravi, is obsessed with his sister. He’s also the subservient slave of his master, the typical rural rich man out to grab the villagers’ land to build a mega city. Ravi aids him but his educated sister smells a rat. Rich man’s son cons hero’s sister, marries and deserts her. He returns only to stab his pregnant wife in a gory scene. Sister dies after giving birth. Hero is enraged, severs the baddy’s head and goes to jail.

Flashback over, hero returns after serving his sentence, and the rest is about how he takes revenge on his master and his henchmen.

The one positive aspect of Ravichandran’s films is the production value. Compared to other Kannada films, his movies are technically a cut above. A couple of dream songs are shot in Mauritius. But the director is keener on exploiting a near naked Nagma than the serene scenery.

The performances are good,especially by Dhodanna and Henma.Thyagarajan underplay and is menacing.Ravichandran and Nagma don't have much emoting to do.

It would help if the length is pruned. Ultimately,there is more bevu in Ravimama Then bella.

S Shiva Kumar







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