Monday, May 19, 2008

Jannat


Rating : 5/10
Running Time : 140 Minutes
Release Date : 16th May ‘08
Director : Kunal Deshmukh ; Writer : Vishesh Bhatt ; Music : Pritam
Starring : Emraan Hashmi, Sonal Chauhan, Javed Sheikh,Vishal Malhotra, Samir Kochhar


I’m probably being over-generous here but after some of the turkeys I’ve seen in recent times (U Me aur Hum, Mr Black Mr White , Tashan, and even Bhootnath), this was actually a bit of a relief. An unpretentious film, very natural dialogue (at times quite funny) and decent performances overcome the lack of depth and the melodramatic, predictable ending.

The movie follows the rise and rise of a small time gambler (teen patti player, the Indian equivalent of poker) who, based purely upon his intuition, starts to bet on cricket matches and then cannot stop winning. Soon he becomes a bookie and then is hired by a big underworld don from South Africa to become his match fixer. All this is interwoven with his relentless and extremely expensive pursuit of his queen of hearts – a girl he spots in a mall one day and of course, its love at first sight (is there any other kind in Hindi movies ?).

She, with a little egging from his father (a good, honest, poor man), tries to find out whats the secret behind his sudden wealth but he makes a ‘love means never asking questions’ kind of pact (‘don’t ask and I wont lie’ were his exact words). However, she obviously does find out one day, co-incidentally around intermission time, and what happens next is the focus of the second half. I was able to think of at least a couple of good, interesting endings but unfortunately the makers of this one chose to play it straight, though I liked the little touch they gave in the very last scene.

I’ve actually avoided Emraan Hashmi movies, thinking of him as quite a one-dimensional actor, frankly puzzled by his success. But based on this one, I’ve done him a disservice – he was quite nice, likeable, doing justice to a character who speaks little but knows what he wants. Sonal was ok, nice to look at, with time may improve as an actress. Javed Sheikh provided the necessary gravitas to the role of mafia don while Vishal Malhotra and Samir Kochhar were good as Emraan’s best friend and the cop who’s on Emraan’s trail, respectively (ever noticed how, after Dhoom, the sartorial sense of cops has improved dramatically ?). Also, special mention of a nice cameo played by a character named Patel Bhai, I couldn’t find his name anywhere on the net.

Don’t go looking for any depth in this one and you wont be disappointed – it’s a film where one song is all it takes for the courtship, another for the obligatory under-the-covers scene and a final one for the lover’s tiff and that’s pretty much that as far as the love affair goes. If you can look beyond that, the title song is pretty nice and some of the dialogues will keep you entertained, may even make you laugh.

2 comments:

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Anonymous said...

Hey, Wondering is this the plight of someone who looks for heaven on earth..Well back to the movie I guess this was Emraan's best performance, the Chota Don has been criticized by everyone not positively though..The sameer guy is good but wondering why COPS keep munching (on food) all the time these days, if I remember it right it started off with Anil Kapoor in race with fruits :) Overall just an OK movie. Thanks, Bee