Friday, March 30, 2007
Bobby. Ek Duuje Ke Liye. Love Story. Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak. Four love stories that spoke about a young, hopelessly-in-love couple facing parental opposition. Mukta and Zee's Khanna&Iyer borrows from all these films, but after a fairly good start, the speeding car runs out of fuel.
Debutante director Hemant Hegde had so many references on hand, but the problem with Khanna&Iyer is that the storyteller tries to cram too many tracks in those 14 reels, resulting in Khanna&Iyer neither catering to the palette of the Punjabis, nor proving an appetizing South Indian delicacy.
Sure, there are engrossing moments. In fact, a couple of sequences between the lovers are cute, while the banter between constantly-at-loggerheads fathers [Manoj Pahwa - Khanna; Mushtaq Khan - Iyer] is enjoyable. But how one wishes this simple love story would've had a simplistic, uncluttered and uncomplicated second hour.
As the captain of the ship, Hemant Hegde knows the technicalities right, but why did he succumb to predictability in the latter reels? Why so many tracks? Why relegate the love story to the background?
To sum up, Khanna&Iyer tries to be different, but ends being the same kahani moviegoers have witnessed a zillion times.
Faced with parental opposition, Aryan Khanna [Sarwar Ahuja] and Nandini Iyer [Aditi Sharma] run away from home. While on the run, a series of unforeseen circumstances unfold and unknown to them, a CD containing proof of relationship between a known politician [Aroon Bakshi] and terrorist Donga [Yashpal Sharma] lands up in their bag.
Chased by their parents, cops and terrorists in the jungles, what ensues is a series of adventures and misadventures.
For any love story to leave a mark, it ought to be embellished with [a] An adorable screen pair, [b] Interesting romantic/dramatic moments and [c] Melodious music. While the lead pair does rise to the occasion [more on that later], the writing falls prey to mediocrity in the second hour. The music isn't bad. In fact, the tunes are catchy, but fade into oblivion once you're out of the auditorium.
Khanna&Iyer begins on a dramatic note. You're told that the lovers have eloped and the warring parents hate each other's sight. The first hour packs in a lot of entertaining moments, but after a reasonably delicious main course, when you're about to go for a second helping, you're told that the food is over. In this case, the story just stagnates in the second hour. Also, too many tracks [an old woman looking like a ghost lands up from nowhere and robs the lovers... a Gabbar Singh resembling dacoit... the minister and the CD track] and also an unwanted song [filmed on the two fathers] make a complete mess of the situation.
Tabun Sutradhar's music is fair. Laxman Utekar's cinematography is up to the mark. Although there's not much scope for visuals, the output is nevertheless striking.
The performances are commendable. Sarwar Ahuja does very well. He has the trappings of a fine actor and given the right roles, the youngster has the ability to go far. Aditi Sharma is equally confident and comes across as a bundle of talent. It's a perfect performance! Manoj Pahwa is a live wire and in terrific form, while Mushtaq Khan gets a meaty role after a long time. He is excellent.
Prateeksha Lonkar [Mrs. Iyer] and Neelu Kohli [Mr. Khanna] are first-rate. Kohli especially compliments Pahwa effortlessly. Yashpal Sharma [Donga] is okay. Asha Sharma is fair. Aroon Bakshi does well, but his role lacks meat.
On the whole, Khanna&Iyer is an ordinary fare that doesn't have much to salvage it. The low-key promotion coupled with lack of face-value as also a weak script will make the effort go unnoticed.