By: Taran Adarsh, IndiaFM
Friday, September 08, 2006
It's courageous to take an unconventional plot, but it's imperative to do justice to it. Most of the times, an interesting concept runs out of gas due to inept and shoddy handling.
Director Aaditya Datt's second outing Dil Diya Hai also boasts of a rarely-seen-earlier plot. But, thankfully, Datt handles the theme with competence, making you realize that he's climbed the ladder as a storyteller.
In his directorial debut Aashiq Banaya Aapne, Datt showed that he was proficient technically, but the rough edges in the writing showed their ugly head occasionally. However, Datt seems to have overcome the deficiencies in his new film. For, it's the drama in the post-interval portions as well as the stylish execution that makes Dil Diya Hai a notch above the ordinary.
Not that Dil Diya Hai is foolproof in terms of writing, but the poignant moments in the plotline more than camouflage the deficiencies. Another reason why Dil Diya Hai works is because the performances by the four vital characters -- Emraan, Ashmit, new-find Geeta Basra and Mithun -- are commendable.
Overall, Dil Diya Hai is no masterpiece, but it's without doubt a watchable fare. Give it a try, you won't be disappointed!
Saahil [Emraan Hashmi] runs a travel agency with a friend [Paresh Ganatra] in U.K., which undertakes traveling and sight-seeing in and around U.K. The duo con their clients to make some extra money. Reason: Saahil needs to make money for his mother's treatment, who lies on her death-bed in a hospital.
Enter Neha [Geeta Basra], who is on a holiday tour with her family. They book Saahil's travel agency to guide them in and around U.K. Saahil takes them on trips around London. When Neha and her family are about to leave for Scotland, she misses the train. She is left all alone with Saahil in London, but she asks him to take her to Scotland by road.
Saahil refuses initially, but relents subsequently. During the course of this journey, Neha realizes that she's in love with Saahil. On reaching Scotland, Saahil gets to know that his mother's condition has deteriorated. He tries gambling for quick money, but is unable to see any way out of this situation, except one option. An indecent option...
Saahil was once asked by a stranger to sell girls to him, for which he will be paid heavily. However, he had resented the proposal then. But that's the only option left for Saahil now. In a spate of madness, Saahil makes a deal of handing over Neha to the stranger for the money required to save his mother. The stranger works for Kunaal [Ashmit Patel].
Kunaal owns 'Erotica', the biggest brothel and sex centre in U.K. Kunaal is the brains behind all kinds of illegal business, right from drugs, mafia, contract killing etc. He is a cold-hearted, ruthless man. When Neha retaliates to Kunaal's objective of making her a part of this business, he cannot but help get influenced by her innocence. He begins to discover love that Neha evokes in him.
Meanwhile, Saahil returns to London with the money and saves his mother, but he also realizes that he is unable to erase Neha from his memory and is in love with her. He also realizes the magnitude of his sin and decides to bring Neha back into his life. But there's a problem: Kunaal.
The initial portions may give an impression that Dil Diya Hai is one of those monotonous love stories that have been beaten to death on the Hindi screen. Girl loves boy, boy doesn't reciprocate, he has his mother's illness on mind... haven't we had an overdose of such themes?
Just when you're about to burst into a big yawn, the twist in the tale makes you jump on your seat. The protagonist sells his lady love to a brothel. Whew! In essence, the portion bears a striking resemblance to the Korean film BAD GUY, but the plot moves in a serpentine fashion as it unfolds, catching you unawares at vital points.
The post-interval portions begin at the brothel and the story actually takes off at this point. A number of sequences hold your attention in this part, like Emraan and Ashmit's first meeting [Emraan wants to take Geeta back, but Ashmit hits back] is power-packed. Another noteworthy sequence is in the pre-climax, when Ranjeet [Ashmit's father] instructs Ashmit to hand over Geeta to Emraan/Mithun and Ashmit revolts. The conflict, right till the climax, keeps you glued to the screen.
But there are minor hiccups in an otherwise absorbing screenplay. How does Ashmit develop feelings for Geeta so suddenly? There should've been a scene or two to justify the one-sided feelings. Also, Emraan escaping with Geeta from the brothel and taking on an army of Ashmit's sidekicks single-handedly is difficult to absorb.
Moreover, Mithun breaking into a song at a crucial juncture is another flaw. Firstly, it's really odd to see Mithun break into a song and two, a song at this juncture reminds you of Bollywood of 1980s, when actors broke into songs, whether or not the situation demanded.
Aaditya Datt shows a vast improvement as a storyteller. Save for minor hiccups in the screenplay, Datt handles the complex subject with supreme confidence, belying the fact that this is his second film. A number of dramatic sequences are well executed and elevate the film to the watchable status.
Himesh Reshammiya's music is not at par with the hit score of Aashiq Banaya Aapne, but a couple of tracks stand out nonetheless. 'Dil Diya' is the best track; both the versions [Ashmit-Geeta and the remix version at the end titles] are notable. 'Mile Ho Tum To' is another tuneful composition and the orchestration is striking. Cinematography [Attar Singh Saini] is of standard. The outdoor camerawork is more appealing.
Dil Diya Hai is embellished with superior performances, with Emraan topping the list. Emraan has been consistently good, but Dil Diya Hai gives him scope to play a serious guy all through, which he handles with effortless ease. This easily ranks amongst his finest works. Ashmit is a revelation. Cast in a negative role, the actor evokes terror and hatred due to his effective portrayal.
Newcomer Geeta Basra not only looks alluring, but also acts with confidence. She handles her part like a seasoned performer. Only thing, she should go easy on her makeup. Mithun is likable this time. The veteran is restrained and that works to the advantage.
Kitu Gidwani is wasted. Paresh Ganatra [seen in No Entry last] hams. Ranjeet, Sandeep Mehta [Geeta's father] as well as the woman playing Geeta's sister are adequate. Udita Goswami [sp. app.] sizzles in the opening track of the film.
On the whole, Dil Diya Hai has decent merits and an offbeat storyline that should appeal to the youth mainly. At the box-office, the merits as well as the reasonable pricing should ensure a safe and smooth ride for the film.
By: Taran Adarsh, IndiaFM