Saturday, June 16, 2007

Jhoom Barabar Jhoom

The director and crew were probably on ecstasy, the current recreational drug of choice of the A-list celebs, through most of the making of the movie. There is a sequence during the title song, for example, where they have different characters join a dance competition, including someone dressed as a chef, another dressed as Elvis and a third (my favourite) who was dressed as Dharam (as in Dharam-Veer, the Dharmendra / Jeetendra classic ‘kitsch’ film). They dress Amitabh up as a vagabond with a jacket that’s brighter than a rainbow and grey dreadlocks. They have Abhishek and Bobby Deol ride a motorcycle with a side-car, wearing police helmets, singing ‘Yeh Dosti’ (from Sholay) through the streets of Southall, a rather unique way of following their respective Dad’s footsteps.

However, sadly, apart from a few brief moments, the ecstasy doesn’t translate to the audience. A fairly tortuous first half drags interminably and even though it makes way for a fairly interesting second half, by then the movie is doomed, most viewers including yours truly have lost patience.

Basically its about two people meeting at a railway station, both are waiting for the same train, they start chatting, share their respective ‘love-story’s’ (as it turns out both are waiting for their fiancee’s) and then takes us through some very predictable and other slightly predictable developments. Sounds interesting ? It really could have been…

Somewhere within the storyline, there is the seed of a great film, but unfortunately the director picked style vs content, focused more on the stars vs the characters, inserted too many useless songs, too many sub-plots (the India vs Pakistan angle is one example of a completely unnecessary sub-plot) to really sustain the movie. In fact he also gave the characters too many quirks – like Abhishek’s accent / demeanour - which makes them unrealistic.

There is an effort to be fantastical, have larger than life, over the top characters but the director is not able to pull it off, make the whole film gel. And apart from the title song, none of the others help – they really pull the movie down, break even the limited interest in the story.

Abhishek and Preity still walk away with some credit for me – they do their best, show us glimpses of why they’re superstars (and Preity really should patent her dimples – unbelievably cute !). Bobby Deol and Lara Dutta are wasted, even though towards the end they get a chance to strut their stuff. Amitabh is reduced to mouthing the lines of the title song on railway platforms. Apparently the director or producer is a close friend. That, though, only partially explains it. I would have expected all of stars to have shown more discernment. I would love to hear what they truly think of the finished product.

I predict another flop as we still await the first superhit of 2007.

No comments: