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Kidnap October 5, 2008

Posted by Sai in Hindi, Movies, Reviews.
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Kidnap has two things going for it. The first one is director Sanjay Gadhvi, whose name is now recognized post the success of the Dhoom films. The second is Imran Khan, fresh from the success of Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na. While the latter proves to be the only watchable actor in the film, the former fails to deliver.

Sonia (Minissha Lamba) is a spoilt rich kid of divorced parents (Sanjay Dutt and Vidya Malvade). She is kidnapped just before her eighteenth birthday by Kabir (Imran Khan), who has a score to settle with her father. While Kabir’s motives remain a mystery, he sets the father some tough tasks to do in order to win his daughter back. The father succeeds in his tasks but can he get his daughter back and more importantly, what does Kabir want?

When the film starts off with an imaginatively done picture story of Kabir’s past, you think it won’t be bad but as soon as the title sequence ends, Minissha comes out of nowhere singing and dancing and you know its time to re-evaluate. I couldn’t stop laughing whenever Minissha showed up in yet another sexy outfit in the kidnapper’s den. And when Dutt finally sees his daughter after eight long years, he goes “You look so..” and pauses. The audience gasped “sexy” even before he could say “grown-up”.

The film is written by Shibani Bathija (Fanaa, Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna), which means that you need to expect some overdone emotional moments that could bring unexpected laughter. With Gadhvi in place as director, you can expect a combination of babes in short clothes (one bikini sequence is a must) followed or preceded by exciting action sequences and limited logic. But there are problems here. Bikinis and cleavage don’t make anyone sexy and Lamba fails to ooze any real sensuality and her performance mars the film to an extent. An even bigger issue is watching an aged and overweight Sanjay Dutt chasing trains, climbing buildings, dancing, romancing and running in slow motion. This brings down the film further.

Imran Khan doesn’t look menacing but he is quite believable as the kidnapper and the chase sequence that he features in is the only exciting action piece. Apart from him, the casting in this film is a disaster. Malvade (Chak De) looks and performs much better than a disappointing Lamba (Bachna Ae Haseeno) but you do cringe when she has to kiss a much much older looking Dutt. Dutt better do something about his weight because it is hard to watch him in anything that requires movement. When Lamba can be seventeen and Malvade can pass off as her mother, Hrithik Roshan or Abhishek Bachchan or someone in their age group could have played the father and maybe the action sequences could have been more believable.

Kidnap isn’t trying to be much more than a masala film but it goes wrong in many ways. The plot isn’t a bad one for such a film but the casting, performances, writing, dialogue and execution leave a lot to be desired.

Jaane Tu…ya jaane na July 5, 2008

Posted by Shujath in Hindi, Movies, Reviews.
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4 comments

It’s a safe bet to define something as a “genre” when you’ve seen at least 3 films dealing with the same theme. Going by that Jaane Tu…ya jaane na very suitably falls into one I’d call the “Pyaar Dosti Hai” flick (courtesy: Karan Johar).

Call me immature if you want but I seriously cannot digest it when a guy and a girl who are “inseparable best friends” get the shock of their lives when someone suggests/suspects that they love each other. And then every few years comes a filmmaker who takes just about 180 minutes or so to make these “friends” realize that they really “love” each other and in the process (almost always) reaps rich harvest at the Box Office. For me, these really are pointless films but who cares as long as they entertain – and Jaane Tu… does a really good job at that. Abbas Tyrewala is probably the only screenwriter in recent times who many viewers actually recognize by name and he proves again why that is so. With a clever screenplay which makes use of every cliche in the book yet manoeuvring it around to deliver what undoubtedly is the smartest feel-good flick in a very long time.

Now let’s talk about Imran Khan….wasn’t all the hype around this film about him anyways! Again smart is the word to describe his debut. For someone like him, a mega-budget solo hero flick showcasing every ability he has would have definitely bombed. Imran much like Ranbir Kapoor has such a pleasing screen presence that you instantly take a liking to him. His deep voice is his biggest asset. Like every debutant, there are some raw edges but in a film and role like this they only serve to give that natural touch which is so essential.

The biggest shock I got in the movie was when Genelia utters her first lines. Since so many years, we’ve been used to seeing her regularly in Telugu flicks so getting to hear her real voice was quite unnerving at first. She does well though it comes across as a bit repetitive if you have seen her before. Among the other young cast Manjari Phadnis and Prateik Babbar are great. But on top of my list is Ratna Pathak Shah. It’s been ages since I’ve seen such a loveable on-screen mother. Also a huge round of applause for those very sportive cameos from Naseeruddin Shah, Sohail Khan and Arbaaz Khan. And we all know what A.R Rahman brings to a film…it’s redundant writing about it so I’ll skip that part except that new-find Rashid Ali is someone we’ll surely get to hear more.

For all its pointlessness and silliness Jaane Tu…ya jaane na made me leave the theatre with a big smile. Needless to mention producer Aamir Khan has another winner on his hands.