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Shaadi Se Pehle

Cast
Akshaye Khanna...... Aashish Kapoor
Mallika Sherawat...... Sania
Ayesha Takia...... Rani
Sunil Shetty...... Anna
Aftab Shivdasani
Anupam Kher...... Tauji
Gulshan Grover...... Lukaa
Rajpal Yadav...... Kanpuri
Boman Irani...... Dr Rustam
Meeta Vasisht...... Devika
Vijayendra Ghatge...... Mr Bhalla
Dinesh Hingoo...... Cemetery caretaker
Dinesh Lamba...... Lucky Local
Pankaj Titoria...... Anthony Antina
Kishori Shahane...... Mrs.Bhalla

While Mukta Arts Ltd.'s SHAADI SE PEHLE, directed by Satish Kaushik, gets it right in its choice of actors [Akshaye, Mallika mainly], it falters in the most vital department: Script. Armed with an interesting plot, you expect the film to be a laughathon, from start to finish, but the film amuses in parts.

Inspired by director Rajat Rakshit's Amol Palekar-Ranjeeta-Ashok Saraf starrer MERI BIWI KI SHAADI [1979], SHAADI SE PEHLE takes the same route as NO ENTRY, GARAM MASALA and MALAMAAL WEEKLY. Meaning, don't look for logic when you watch the film. But the makers have to ensure that the content has the meat to keep you glued for the next two hours.

Unfortunately, SHAADI SE PEHLE lacks the power and punch to keep you hooked. It's way below expectations!

Ashish [Akshaye Khanna] and Rani [Ayesha Takia] are pretty much in love with each other. But Ashish has a problem: At the slightest level of tension, Ashish needs to pop a pill to unrattle his shaken nerves. Rani's family [Vijayendra Ghatge, Kishori Shahane Vij] are strictly against the relationship. And if that is not enough for Ashish, his childhood friend, Rohit [Aftab Shivdasani], has the hots for Rani.

 When Ashish goes to visit his doctor [Boman Irani], he misunderstands the doctor's diagnosis of hypertension to cancer. Ashish's world turns upside down. Before dying, he decides to do the right thing: He wants the best for his love Rani. Along with his friend [Rajpal Yadav], Ashish embarks on a plan to make Rani hate him so that she will not have to suffer the ordeal of his death.

Ashish starts flirting with the sexy supermodel Sania [Mallika Sherawat]. Seeing Sania in Ashish's arms, Rani is dejected and dumps him. But there's a twist in the tale: Ashish realizes that he does not suffer from cancer at all. He decides to break up Rani and Rohit's engagement. But there are problems…

Will Ashish be able to convince Rani of his true feelings and clear up the mess? Will Ashish be able to convince Sania's elder goon-brother Anna [Suniel Shetty], who wants to get Sania and him married without further delay?

With an interesting concept on hand, SHAADI SE PEHLE could've, and should've, developed into an entertaining joyride, but what you get is not what you expect from a film that boasts of impressive names on and off screen.

The problem lies in the fact that SHAADI SE PEHLE tries too hard to make you laugh. At times, you do enjoy the humor, but at most times it falls flat. There are sequences that do bring the house down. For instance, the Akshaye-Rajpal Yadav sequence at the start of the film [when Akshaye confides that he's going to die] is hilarious. Even the Akshaye-Boman Irani sequence at the latter's clinic evokes mirth.

 Mallika's track is another ace. The bindaas attitude her character exudes as also the glamour quotient that comes with Mallika is eye candy for the junta.

Unfortunately, SHAADI SE PEHLE goes downhill in the second hour. The comic scenes in the post-interval portions appear superficial and that's a major slip-up. Also, there are unwanted tracks in the plot, like the Gulshan Grover sub-plot which only acts as an impediment. Ditto for Suniel Shetty's portions, which was the need of the story for sure, but how one wishes the writer would've garnished those portions imaginatively.

Even the climax, which should've been the mainstay of the enterprise, lacks conviction. Ideally, the concluding portions should leave an ever-lasting impression, but in this case, it comes across as a half-baked effort.

Director Satish Kaushik is not in form this time around. His choice of the subject is right, but the screenplay lets him down to a major extent. Sanjay Chhel's writing evokes mixed feelings. While the screenplay interests in parts [not amongst Chhel's better attempts], the dialogues penned by him are excellent. In fact, the witty one-liners are the highpoint of the enterprise.

Himesh Reshammiya's music may not be of hit variety, but it serves the purpose nevertheless. Yet, given the kind of music Mukta Arts has come up with in the past, you miss a hit score in the film. 'Ankhiyon Se Gal Kar Gayee', 'Bijuria' and 'Tere Liye' are foot-tapping nonetheless. Cinematography [Johny Lall] is enticing, especially the locales of Malaysia.

Akshaye scores yet again. The various expressions that flash on his face within a fraction of a second reiterate the fact that he's amongst the best in the business. Extremely efficient at all times! Ayesha Takia gets to play the conventional heroine, but the role appears so boring in today's times. Even otherwise, the actress enacts her part mechanically and needs to get her styling right. Mallika Sherawat is a star, not an actor, and the makers understand it well enough. There's no effort to depict Mallika as an actress, but a seductress and that's precisely why this character works.

Suniel Shetty doesn't impress. Aftab Shivdasani plays second fiddle right through. However, the long hair suits him. Rajpal Yadav excels once again. Although he tends to go over the top at times, he does make you laugh whenever he appears on screen. Anupam Kher looks disinterested. Gulshan Grover is wasted. Ditto for Vijayendra and Kishori Shahane Vij.

On the whole, SHAADI SE PEHLE has its share of fun-filled moments, but the film doesn't make much of an impact in totality, thanks to a weak second half. At the box-office, the 4-day weekend and the onset of summer vacations may help to an extent, but it lacks the power to sustain after the euphoria settles.

Saawan - The Love Season

CAST
Salman Khan
Kapil Jhaveri...... Raj
Saloni Aswani...... Kajal
Prem Chopra
Ranjeet
Bobby Darling
Kiran Rathod
Johny Lever

An exciting concept, isn't it? Sure, on paper, the concept does sound fascinating, but on film, the concept goes for a toss.

Actually, the film rests on a thin plot. It starts off as a love story, continues to have the hero and heroine romancing in Sun City for the first 40 minutes, till the desi Nostradamus enters the frame, minutes before the interval.

Again, after the intermission, the hero and heroine break into songs in Dubai, till our Nostradamus drops a bomb: He tells the heroine she'd die two days later, on Friday. Obviously, the lady is shattered, but instead of going into a depression [who'd like to rejoice after you've known of your impending death?], the hero and heroine break into two songs and make merry.

All this while, the heroine keeps hammering 'Friday' into the hero's head. On the fateful day, the lady is mistakenly shot by the cops outside a shopping mall and dies. The hero blames Nostradamus for it, breaks into his house, bashes him black and blue and Nostradamus dies.

 When Nostradamus dies, the heroine, who is already pronounced dead, wakes up. She's alive now…

Hindi movies have often tackled issues such as reincarnation, ghosts and astrology and the moviegoer has embraced those themes if they're handled convincingly. Unfortunately, in SAAWAN - THE LOVE SEASON, the screenplay is amateurish and by the time the story reaches the finale, you've already lost interest in the goings-on.

To sum up, SAAWAN - THE LOVE SEASON is a good concept gone awry!

Raj [Kapil Jhaveri] and Kajal [Saloni Aswani], both from Mumbai, meet in Cape Town. It's love at first sight for Raj, but Kajal doesn't reciprocate. But Raj wins her over and all's well.

Raj confides to his father [Ranjeet] about Kajal, while Kajal tells her father [Prem Chopra] about Raj. The two fathers meet and realize that they're actually childhood friends. The engagement date is fixed -- on Kajal's birthday -- but Kajal bumps into an unexpected man [Salman Khan] in the day, who not only saves her from an accident, but forewarns her that her father would die at 9 p.m. that same night.

The father actually dies at 9 p.m. Kajal starts believing in the unexpected man and wants to know her future. That's when the man tells her that she would die on Friday, two days later. The remainder is about the girl wanting to live life fullest in those two days, before her demise.

 The film has two plots running parallel -- the love story and the Nostradamus aspect. While the love story is like any other love story, the portions involving Salman are slightly watchable, although there was scope to make them far more interesting.

The comedy track -- involving Johny Lever and Bobby Darling -- is crude and appears forced in the narrative. It doesn't even raise a chuckle, forget a laugh.

Saawan Kumar isn't in form this time. The veteran has tackled drama amazingly in the past [SAAJAN BINA SUHAGAN, SOUTEN, SANAM BEWAFA], but even the dramatic portions in SAAWAN - THE LOVE SEASON lack the by-now-famous punch. Music is another sore point. Aadesh Shrivastava's music is uninspiring and barring the title track, the remaining tracks are plain monotonous. Cinematography [Rajendra Prasad] is eye-filling, especially the locales of Sun City and Dubai.

Salman Khan's role and performance are both strictly average. Kapil doesn't get any scope to display histrionics, but he does the conventional hero's part with ease. Saloni gets more footage and she does leave an impression. Prem Chopra and Ranjeet have miniscule roles. Johny Lever doesn't entertain. Ditto for Bobby Darling.

On the whole, SAAWAN – THE LOVE SEASON is a weak fare, which has some scope at the single screens and in the Hindi belt primarily due to Salman’s star presence. That’s it!

Pyare Mohan

Cast: Fardeen Khan, Vivek Oberoi, Esha Deol, Amrita Rao, Boman Irani
Producer: Ashok Thakeria, Inder Kumar
Director: Inder Kumar 

It is a story of two friends - one is blind while the other is deaf.

How this duo takes on the world and proves that to love and to be loved you dont need eyes and ears but a heart of gold, is what Pyare Mohan is all about.

Fardeen Khan as the blind -Pyare and Vivek Oberoi as the deaf -Mohan will leave you spell-bound.

Esha Deol and Amrita Rao are their leading ladies.

Amrita is playing a journalist. Boman Irani is also playing a very important role.

Anu Malik has recorded all the songs and the lyrics are from Sameer.

Chup Chup Ke

Cast: Shahid Kapur, Kareena Kapoor, Isha Sharvani, Neha Dhupia, Sunil Shetty, Paresh Rawal, Om Puri, Rajpal Yadav
Director: Priyadarshan

 The situation gets out of hand when Pooja's father suggests Jeetu should kill himself to solve his family's problem.

 So a dejected Jeetu feels that he is not good enough for Pooja and now wants her to find someone else who will make her happy.

Being deeply in love with Jeetu, Pooja refuses to let him go.In order to solve his financial problem, Jeetu comes up with a brilliant idea - he decides to fake his death so that his family can claim his life insurance.

But when push comes to shove, a mistake occurs which gets him entangled in some fishing nets. What's more, the fishermen mistake him for a millionaire businessman.

 So they decide to use him to make some easy money resulting in some hilarious and confusing situations full of fun and thrills.

Directed by Priyadarshan this laugh riot stars Kareena Kapoor and Shahid Kapoor. The film is due for a Spring release.

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