By: Taran Adarsh, IndiaFM
Monday, April 17, 2006
Raj Kanwar has an impressive track record. A majority of his films have worked at the box-office, including his last release, Andaaz. Expectedly, the expectations from Humko Deewana Kar Gaye, his new film that teams him with Andaaz hero Akshay Kumar again, are humungous.
Also, since the head honchos of music company T-Series, Bhushan Kumar and Kishan Kumar, are in the producers' seat with Kanwar, the expectations only mount further.
Humko Deewana Kar Gaye had all the trappings that make a memorable love story: A good-looking cast, melodious music and dazzling locales of Canada. But something's missing...
For any love story to strike a chord, it ought to be embellished with moments that make you fall in love with the characters. Most importantly, the sequences should march into your heart through the eyes. Unfortunately, Humko Deewana Kar Gaye is all about great visuals, while the emotional side [that should be the hallmark] is superficial.
Simply put, Humko Deewana Kar Gaye is body beautiful, minus soul.
Inspired by director Bronwen Hughes' Ben Affleck-Sandra Bullock starrer Forces of Nature , which was remade by Mehul Kumar as Kitne Door Kitne Pass [2002; Fardeen Khan, Amrita Arora], Humko Deewana Kar Gaye is a good opportunity gone amiss.
Aditya [Akshay Kumar, an automobile engineer, is engaged to Sonia [Bipasha Basu], a fashion designer. As individuals, Aditya and Sonia are not on the same wavelength. For Sonia, career comes first. And as much as Aditya tries to overlook those facts, they keep coming in the way.
Though the marriage date is fixed, Aditya has to leave for Canada to learn about the technique of a new car model, to be launched in India; while Sonia has to leave for Paris for a fashion show.
Aditya arrives in Canada where his sister Simran [Bhagyashree] lives. He meets the family, but cannot live with them as the company has given him an apartment close to the workshop. But he makes it a point to meet the family on weekends.
He bumps into Jia [Katrina Kaif] more than once. Jia, daughter of business tycoon Yashwardhan, has come to Canada to shop for her wedding. Her marriage has been fixed with business giant Karan Oberoi [Anil Kapoor].
Jia is a simple girl with simple needs. She had everything she desired in childhood, but yearns to spend time with her ever-so-busy father. Now, the man her father has chosen for her hardly has any time for her. Aditya and Jia manage to spend time with each other and as time passes, the friendship thickens.
However, a misunderstanding with Aditya makes Jia return to India to get married to Karan. Aditya also returns to India to get married to Sonia and does not attempt to meet Jia ever again. But fate makes them meet for the last time -- at Jia's wedding!
The problems with Humko Deewana Kar Gaye are manifold - The story borrows heavily from Yash Raj's successful films, mainly D.D.L.J. Yes, the basic premise is borrowed from Forces of Nature, but the film gives you a constant feeling of dÉjÀ vu.
Take for instance Anil Kapoor's introduction [he is told Akshay is from the room service department and Anil tips him]. The entire sequence is a straight lift from the Julia Roberts-Hugh Grant-Alex Baldwin starrer Notting Hill. Even the scene when Anil reprimands Katrina is straight out of TITANIC, when an overtly possessive Billy Zane reprimands Kate Winslet.
There are too many songs in the narrative. Whether or not the situation warrants a song, there's one after every 15/20 minutes.
The story refuses to move in the first hour after the characters are established. All that the lead pair does is talk, talk and more talk. In this age of love and lust, the couple don't even own up to the fact that they've developed feelings for each other.
At the intermission point, with Anil Kapoor making a dramatic entry, you expect some movement in the story. Again, nothing happens.
The climax is the weakest link of the enterprise. Not only has it been stretched endlessly, even the culmination to the story is powerless. First Anil catches Akshay and Katrina red-handed, then Anil shows his displeasure, then the car accident, then Anil re-unites the lovers [even after Anil and Katrina have wed]... the last 25 minutes give you the impression that the writer doesn't believe in short-n-sweet endings.
Given the fact that director Raj Kanwar is saddled with a lifeless script, he tries to compensate with breath-taking visuals and gloss. But let's get one thing right: No amount of gloss and glitter can actually compensate for a sound story. The viewer yearns for a spellbinding story at the end of the day!
Editing is another area where the film falters badly. Either the editor must've fallen in love with the product and he forgot all about editing/trimming or he doesn't know his job. The film should be trimmed by 30 minutes at least.
Anu Malik's music is decent, but you remember them less for the tunes and more for the snazzy picturization. 'Fanah' and the title track do leave a mark, but it's the Himesh Reshammiya rendered/composed title track that stands out as the best piece in the enterprise.
Cinematography [Vikas Shivraman] is magnificent. The ace lensman has done complete justice to the eye-filling locales of Canada as also the lavish sets. The styling and the sets are top class. In fact, the producers need to be complimented for leaving no stone unturned when it came to giving the film a spectacular look and also for promoting the film to the optimum.
Akshay Kumar does reasonably well, although he looks too mature for these lovey-dovey characters. Katrina Kaif is a complete revelation. Taking giant strides as an actor, she is, without doubt, the star of the show. It's her magnetic presence and dependable performance that you carry home once the show has ended.
Anil Kapoor is okay, but why does the corporate tycoon sport an unshaven, untidy look all through? Bipasha has two songs and few scenes, which she carries off with panache. Bhagyashree is up to the mark. Helen is wasted. Vivek Shauq is alright. Gurpreet Guggi and Upasna Singh don't get any scope. The remaining characters [Puneet Issar-Anju Mahndroo-Delnaaz Paul, Ranjeet-Neena Kulkarni, Mahesh Thakur and Manoj Joshi] are hardly there.
On the whole, Humko Deewana Kar Gaye is body beautiful, minus soul. At the box-office, the film has some scope thanks to the fantastic promotion, but a poor script is its biggest flaw. Below expectations!