Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Rating : 6/10
Running Time : 139 Minutes
Release Date : 24th Oct 2008
Director & Writer : Samir Karnik; Music : Sajid & Wajid Ali
Starring : Sohail Khan, Vatsal Sheth, Salman Khan, Sunny Deol, Bobby Deol, Mithun Chakraborty, Preity Zinta, Dino Morea, Dwij Yadav

I walked in expecting disaster but it wasn’t at all that bad. It’s a bit too rah-rah, India-is-my-motherland-and-I-will-defend-it-to-my-dying-breath kind of stuff, but they’ve chosen to give a nice angle to it. Two good for nothing students (Sohail Khan and Vatsal Sheth) at the film institute, who’ve not attended any classes, are told to submit a film or they wont be passed. They choose the topic of ‘why you should not join the Indian army’ and in this connection meet a senior war journalist, who simply gives them three letters, each given to him by a person who died in the war, and asks them to deliver the letters to the respective families. Sohail and Vatsal are off, on their mobike, driving through Punjab, Himachal and Leh to deliver the letters are learn more about why soldiers are willing to die for their country.

Like, I said, it’s a bit over the top, I found the editing a bit jerky, the songs mostly terrible and the dialogue a bit forced. The opening is actually quite badly copied from ‘Friends’ and the book ‘Five-point-someone’ and the opening song is terrible with city slickers bursting inexplicably into Rajasthani folk song. Also, the Punjabi village shown is too stereotypical, with literally every cliché thrown in (the ‘oye Baljeetya’s’, the paratha’s with lots of butter etc) and I’ve never understood why the characters don’t speak proper Punjabi – its like some Punju words thrown in to give the local flavour but mixed with enough Hindi to make sure the non-Punjabi audience can follow it. Even my Punjabi is better than whats mostly shown and that says a lot

But its interesting, they paint decent enough characters through the film to keep you sufficiently gripped and the cinematography is very nice. Sohail was very good, I really like him, he has a nice smile and always manages to lend credibility to whichever role he does. Nice cameo’s by Prateeksha Lonker as Dino’s mom, Preity Zinta, who carries off her role with quiet dignity, and Dwij Yadav who manages to be cute without being syrupy. Wont reveal the other names & their roles as it may take something away from your viewing experience. Couple of nice touches in terms of Sohail’s colourful boxers, the border road signs (‘please be gentle on my curves’) and the way over the top wheel chair fighting sequence, befitting the son of Dharmendra, with almost Hulk-like special effects.

However, I felt, unlike Rang De Basanti for example, this movie was trying too hard to make us feel patriotic, to make us weep, to play on our emotions. Its also too one-sided a story, painting a very rosy picture – the contrast with Dhoop, for example, is amazing with the family of a deceased war hero struggling to get whats rightfully theirs. And it may even be the wrong timing for this film – there is a recession upon us and probably we’re at our least feel-good moment right now.

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