Monday, December 10, 2007

Khoya Khoya Chand

Rating : 5/10
Running Time : 132 Minutes (I think its longer in India, but can’t be sure)
Release Date : 7th Dec ‘07
Director & Writer : Sudhir Mishra ; Music : Shantanu Moitra
Starring : Soha Ali Khan, Shiney Ahuja, Vinay Pathak, Rajat Kapoor, Sonia Jehaan

It’s a period movie, set in the 50’s and relates the story of the off and on romance between a budding writer Zafar (Shiney) and an upcoming actress Nikhat (Soha). Both rise in their respective professions with more than a little help from the superstar of that era Prem Kumar (Rajat). Prem is also sleeping with Nikhat in return, and professes to love her. However, when his marriage is announced, Nikhat and Zafar stop being secret lovers and Prem’s finds out. What happens next is the subject of the second half of the movie.

The start is really nice, keeps you engrossed, as the ornate Urdu dialogues of the films being shot of that era are mingled with the crude Punjabi jokes of one of the characters, a producer named Khosla (well acted by Saurabh Shukla). However, the movie soon begins to lose steam when we stop understanding the motivations behind the actions of the lead actors – the movie then just moves from one situation to another without us being able to fathom the internal demons which are driving Nikhat and Zafar to do what they do. So the second half really drags, the movie seems like it will never end.

There are some very interesting moments through the film – some interesting threads of thought which aren’t really probed fully – one such was the ‘main itna haramzada kyun hoon ?’ (why am I such a bastard ?) train of thought by Prem Kumar, in one of his rare honest moments. Another is ‘umeed hai yeh karke tumne kuch haasil kiya?’ (I assume by doing this you’ve achieved something ?) by Nikhat to Zafar, when his love for her begins to waver. However, the movie doesn’t really go deep, but just satisfies itself with a rose-tinted sepia look at the industry of that era.

The movie though, is rescued by a very exuberant title track and some very good performances. I thought Soha was outstanding in the film, she combines the old-world, regal charm of her mother with the impishness and freshness of today’s youth. She acts very well in a very natural way, without seeming to try too hard. Vinay Pathak, in yet another character role as Shyamol, an assistant, still seems to bring a certain fresh enthusiasm to his role, as he does to all the myriad roles he performs. Sonia Jehan was great, she looked and behaved every inch the part of another actress of that era. And Rajat Kapoor, in his own understated way, brings the smooth-talking, dishonest, power hungry superstar Prem Kumar to life. Shiney – I thought he overacted but maybe it was the role which needed such a performance. I think there will be a split verdict on him.

I enjoyed it, in a very perverse kind of way, but I can assure you its not everyone’s cup of tea. I enjoyed being transported to that era, to witness the power plays, the casting couch, the sheer irresistible magnetism that the film world casts on all those who enter it. Like a moth to the light, all the people remain in this world even though they know it will ultimately consume them. As they say, some things never change...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The producer's name is KHOSA not KHOSLA. Pls check.