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Namastey London March 30, 2007

Posted by Sai in Hindi, Movies, Reviews.


An Indian settled in England (Rishi Kapoor) brings up his daughter (Katrina Kaif) like a British kid without much influence of Indian culture (we are told that she hasn’t even been to India). The daughter grows up into a beautiful girl who does exactly what she wants without caring for anyone else’s feelings. She wants to marry a thrice-divorced Britisher who is quite rich, well-connected and is even friends with Prince Charles.

Father gets scared, takes her to India on the pretext of showing her around and forces her to get married to his friend’s son, who is more or less a villager/farmer (Akshay Kumar). The idiotic father is crazy enough to think that his spoilt daughter will accept the marriage without even considering that they are as different as chalk and cheese. I can’t imagine how anyone can fail to see that this situation is worse than Vivek Oberoi, Salman Khan and Aishwarya Rai stranded together on an island.

The girl takes advice from her Pakistani friend (Upen Patel, in a subplot that aims to please the audience from our neighboring land) and agrees to marry him but forces her parents to leave the very day. The dumb characters that they are made to be, the parents and the groom agree (it is just killing me to elaborate this juvenile premise). Now, she says that the marriage isn’t valid in England and that she will marry the Englishman. Of course, Akshay suddenly becomes a mature guy who can do many things that farmers in Punjab wouldn’t even know of and finally, she falls in love with him. Incompatibility? What are you talking about? Are you even paying attention?.

Katrina Kaif turns in an improved performance. Akshay Kumar is his usual self. Upen Patel doesn’t impress me one bit (neither the looks nor the acting). The supporting cast is alright. This film isn’t one for histrionics, so that should be enough. Himesh Reshammiya’s score has some catchy tunes. I particularly liked Main Jahan Rahoon. That concludes the list of positives (if it can be considered that).

The screenplay by Suresh Nair (who wrote/co-wrote Salaam-E-Ishq, I See You, Zinda and is also credited for the story and dialogue of Home Delivery) is filled with highly contrived sequences that I’ve seen in more than one film, in more than one language. The idea seems to have been to make a cross between films like Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge and Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam (and maybe Purab Paschim) with stuff from a ton of other flicks thrown in for good measure. There isn’t one sequence in the entire film that appealed to me. The humor isn’t great either. It only appeals intermittently. Director Vipul Shah (Aankhen, Waqt) does an unimpressive job that, quite frankly, borders on poor. He belies the promise he showed with his first film Aankhen.

The rugby sequence is badly shot in terms of the match itself while the way it is included in the film is ludicrous. While the stats/facts mouthed by Akshay Kumar are nice by themselves, there will hardly be an Englishman who will make such derogatory comments to the face of an Indian to warrant an outburst and then quietly hear him/her out. I also don’t see how Rishi Kapoor is made to wear a Union Jack chaddi. Will an Indian accept a foreigner wearing the Indian flag as underwear. When you can’t respect their country, why do you expect them to respect yours?

Of course, to expect logic and sense from this film is moronic but this one really takes the audience for granted and that is what makes it so detestable. I would accept that this film is aimed at a certain audience but that section too could do with much better work. I am sure that this film will make some money (it has already got a good initial with help from the NRI audience) but I would be disappointed if anyone tells me that this is a good film.

Watch this only if you can watch a conventional Bollywood romance that has recycled emotions and familiar scenes with nothing new to offer. If you have seen quite a few of those, I will advice you to skip this.



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