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Jaana - Let's Fall in Love

Veteran writer-director Shahrukh Mirza launches son Rehan as an actor with JAANA - LET'S FALL IN LOVE. But the problem here is, JAANA - LET'S FALL IN LOVE comes across as a pale mix of ANAND and KAL HO NAA HO. It doesn't have anything novel or original to say. Also, the execution of the subject is devoid of any freshness.

Perhaps, cinema such as JAANA - LET'S FALL IN LOVE may've worked in the 1970s and 1980s, but given the fast-changing scenario, when even love stories ought to have something extra to say, its tough for a predictable fare to survive.

Rehan lives with his mother [Zeenat Aman] and sister at a hill station. He desires to make it big in life and the opportunity comes in the form of Anjana, who arrives at the hill station with her father [Rajiv Varma].

Anjana, the only daughter of a wealthy businessman, desires to go sight-seeing. Behind the bubbly and fun-loving façade lies a nervous and sad girl since Anjana is inflicted with a dreaded disease. Rehan woos her and also pretends to fall in love with her. Gradually, Rehan realizes that he actually loves Anjana.

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But fate has something else in store for the lovers. Anjana recuperates, while Rehan falls ill.

The only two redeeming aspects of JAANA - LET'S FALL IN LOVE are new-find Rehan's performance and music. Otherwise, there's not much in the screenplay that would make you jump with joy or feel elated.

The writing leaves a lot to be desired. Just when the heroine miraculously recovers from cancer, you're told that the hero is now suffering from it. And the end, quite filmy, doesn't move you one bit. You know the outcome before the outcome is unleashed.

The Rajesh Khanna-Zeenat Aman-Rajiv Varma prem kahani is another sore point. It looks weird. If the intention was to provide some light moments, it doesn't work. In fact, Rajesh's dancing on yesteryear hits and wooing Zeenat looks ridiculous.

Shahrukh-Farhan's direction is old-fashioned. Like most Mirza Bros. films, JAANA - LET'S FALL IN LOVE has a couple of melodious tracks, like 'Dheere Dheere Hawa Chal Rahi Hai', which is the best track of the enterprise. Even Rehan's introductory track ['Ola Ola'] is foot-tapping.

Rehan has the trappings of a fine actor. He dances very well, isn't conscious of the camera and delivers his lines confidently. Yes, he's raw at places, but a couple of films should smoothen the rough edges. Anjana is a decent actor and gives no reason for complaint in this film too. Rajesh Khanna looks ill at ease and his outfits are outrageous. Just doesn't suit him at all. Zeenat fails to impress. Rajiv Varma is mechanical. Razzaq Khan tries hard to make you laugh.

On the whole, JAANA - LET'S FALL IN LOVE will not find the audiences falling in love with it. At the box-office, this one's a non-starter!

Producer
Tess Mirza

Star Cast
Rajesh Khanna
Zeenat Aman
Rajeev Varma
Razzak Khan
Rehan Khan
Anjana Sukhani

Cassettes and CD's on
Saregama-HMV

Singers
Shaan
Shreya Ghosal
Naureen
Padmini
Kailash Kher

Lyricist
Shahrukh Sultan
V. K. Rawal
Moied

Music Director
Abbas Jelani
Anand Chitragupt
Milind Chitragupt
Pramod Tripathi
Guru Sharma
Rajendra Shiv

Action
Yusuf Khan

Publicity Designs
Ignite

Story / Writer
Shahrukh Sultan

Iqraar - By Chance

Does IQRAAR BY CHANCE come across as a novel experience? Unfortunately not!

IQRAAR BY CHANCE suffers because the film rests on a plot that has nothing new to say. The film abounds in been-there-seen-that kind of situations all along. Frankly, it doesn't take an Einstein to guess where this film is headed!

Raj [Amarjeet] is a D.J. by profession, but he is a compulsive liar. Rashmi [Shilpa Anand] is the spoilt daughter of a rich industrialist, who doesn't value money. She even challenges her father that she'd easily get a job worth £ 5,000 per month.

Raj's boss Talwar and his wife [Manoj Pahwa, Upasana Singh] want Raj to marry their daughter. But the daughter loves Raj's best friend Sanju [Aslam Khan]. Raj decides to help Sanju by lying to Talwar that he's already married.

Now Talwar wants to meet Raj's bride. Raj is in a fix. Meanwhile, Rashmi has joined an FM channel and has promised her boss [Tiku Talsania] that her very first assignment will be a reality show. She hatches a simple plan: Pretend to fall in love with a guy and dump him later.

Raj needs a wife, while Rashmi needs a lover and the two cross paths.

IQRAAR BY CHANCE doesn't go beyond the set parameters of conventional Hindi films. It starts off well, with a millionaire-father wanting to teach his daughter the value for money, but the twists and turns in the story are the type you've watched a zillion times in the past.

A few comic scenes do provide entertaining moments. The Manoj Pahwa-Upasana Singh track is hilarious. In fact, Upasana's faulty English pronunciations are sure to bring the house down. At the same time, the comic track of Tiku Talsania-Kurush Deboo fails to evoke mirth. Another aspect that merits a mention is Sandesh Shandilya's music, which boasts of hummable tunes. 'Saari Saari Raat Jagave' and 'Teri In Adaon Ne' are the best tracks of the enterprise.

K. Ravi Shankar's direction is as lackluster as the script [story-screenplay: Rajeev Agrawal]. In fact, it's hard to believe that an accomplished director has helmed this enterprise since there's not one sequence that bears his stamp. He gets no help from the script whatsoever. Cinematography [Neelabh Kaul] is consistent. The portions of London are a visual delight.

Amarjeet makes a confident debut. The youngster is camera-friendly and emotes really well, belying the fact that this is his debut film. This newcomer shows promise! Shilpa, Amarjeet's love interest in the film, needs to go easy on her makeup and expressions. Arbaaz Khan leaves a mark. Rahul Dev is getting typecast in similar roles. Aslam Khan, as Amarjeet's friend, is alright.

On the whole, IQRAAR BY CHANCE rests on a predictable plot and that'll curtail its prospects largely.

Producer
Reeta J Shukla

Director
K Ravi Shankar

Star Cast
Arbaaz Khan
Rahul Dev
Kurush Deboo
Kunal Vijaykar
Aslam Khan
Deepa Bakshi
Manoj Pahwa
Tiku Talsania
Upasna Singh
Narendra Bedi (2)
Shilpa Aanand
Praveen Patil
Jagraj Ghooman
Amarjeet Shukla

Cassettes and CD's on
Saregama-HMV

Singers
Sunidhi Chauhan
Vijay Prakash
Shreya Ghosal
Kunal Ganjawala
Sonu Kakkar
Shabaab Sabri
Udit Narayan
Sonu Nigam

Lyricist
Sandesh Shandilya
Mehboob
Shabbir Ahmed

Music Director
Sandesh Shandilya
Dj Chetas

Cinematography
Neelabh Kaul

Choreography
Shabina Khan

Art
Jayant Deshmukh

Editor
Sanjay Verma

Screenplay
Rajeev Agarwal

Dialogue
Neeraj Pathak

Costume
Ashley Rebello

PRO
Picture-N-Kraft

Publicity Designs
Able & Will

Publicity Stills
Dabboo Ratnani

Mera Dil Leke Dekkho

The wife [Archana Puransingh] thinks her husband [Jackie Shroff] is a bisexual. She also thinks her son [Punit Tejwani] is gay, having an affair with his best friend [Carran Kapoor]. Punit's girlfriend [Koel Purie] also thinks he's gay for the same reason. Jackie's mistress also accuses him [Jackie] of having a relationship with his son's friend [Carran]. And wonder of wonders, Koel falls in love with a guy she thinks is straight [Premjit Singh], but is actually gay. Whew!

Something like this hasn't been witnessed on the Hindi screen before and debutante director Rohit Kaushik and writer Nandita C. Puri create situations that are funny at times, but flippant and ridiculous in parts.

Clearly targeted at the yuppie crowd, MERA DIL LEKE DEKKHO is a time pass flick with a few funny moments, but not enough to leave a lasting impression.

Archie [Koel Purie] and Rahul [Punit Tejwani] meet in London and its love at first sight for Koel. However, Rohit's intentions are clear: He wants to have a good time with her. Archie flies to Mumbai, hoping to get married to him.

Rohit hides Archie in his room, away from the prying eyes of his parents [Jackie Shroff, Archana Puransingh], who are constantly arguing and fighting with each other. Rahul's three friends [Joy: Carran Kapoor, Vinay: Neil Bhoopalam and Rocky: Premjit Singh] create a series of misunderstandings that only adds to the chaos.

MERA DIL LEKE DEKKHO is interesting in parts. There are times when you do laugh at the situations, even though most jokes are juvenile. Koel's sequences with her parents [Jaspal and Savita Bhatti] or Archana suspecting her husband and son of being gay do raise a chuckle.

But the effort to make people laugh shows at places. The pre-climax portions, when the entire cast tries to clear the misconception[s], could've been concise. Also, Koel comes across as someone who's desperate for a groom. She looks for commitment [marriage] in every man, from Punit to Carran to Neil to Premjit, even though she barely knows them.

Rohit Kaushik's direction is okay at times, but the storyteller ought to know when to end a scene. He goes on and on in several scenes. Jatin-Lalit's music is ordinary, barring the title song, also because the visuals [London] supporting the track are striking. Cinematography [Rajesh Joshi] is appealing.

MERA DIL LEKE DEKKHO doesn't demand histrionics, but over the top performances. Punit Tejwani is a fine actor, but needs to work on his physique. Koel Purie is fantastic and her Punjabi lingo sounds very cute. Jackie Shroff is quite good as a philandering husband, while Archana Puransingh steals the show with her by-now-famous expressions. The three boys [Carran Kapoor, Neil Bhoopalam and Premjit Singh] enact their parts well. Jaspal and Savita Bhatti excel.

On the whole, MERA DIL LEKE DEKKHO is targeted at the youth, but lack of face-value coupled with low-key promotion will curtail its box-office prospects.


Producer
Punam Sinha

Director
Rohit Kaushik

Star Cast
Jackie Shroff
Koel Puri...... Archana Bassi
Archana Puran Singh
Carran Kapoor
Jaspal Bhatti
Puneet Tejwani...... Rahul
Gargi Nandi
Premjit Singh
Neil Bhoopalam
Pooja Mishra
Esha Deol...... special appearance

Cassettes and CD's on
Sony Music

Singers
Abhijeet
Alka Yagnik
Sunidhi Chauhan
Kunal Ganjawala
Sapna Mukherjee
Sadhana Sargam
Richa Sharma
Rahul Saxena
Javed Ali
Shakti Singh
Lalit Pandit
Babul Supriyo
Mahalakshmi Iyer

Lyricist
Sameer

Music Director
Jatin Pandit
Lalit Pandit

Background Music
Amar Mohile

Cinematography
Rajesh Joshi

Choreography
Longines Fernandes
Mehul Gadani

Editor
Steven Bernard

Screenplay
Rohit Kaushik

Dialogue
Rohit Kaushik

Costume
Anna Singh
Anita Dongre
Sonakshi Sinha

PRO
Peter Martis

Publicity Designs
Studio Link

Story / Writer
Nandita Puri
Rohit Kaushik

Zindaggi Rocks

The concept of a mother sacrificing her life for her child can be identified by every parent across the globe. It's a universal theme. But Tanuja Chandra, the director, gets minimal support from Tanuja Chandra, the writer, in narrating a moving story.

Yes, the penultimate reels of ZINDAGGI ROCKS do try to salvage the show, but the journey from start to end is not captivating enough. The cons outweigh and outnumber the pros in this case!

ZINDAGGI ROCKS revolves around Dr. Suraj [Shiney Ahuja], the shy, cynical workaholic doctor and Kria [Sushmita Sen], a pop singer.

Suraj meets Kria in the hospital. She's got a gash on her arm, which needs to be looked into immediately. Kria senses that something is amiss in Suraj's life and decides to take him on a date. Suraj agrees reluctantly!

Suraj is introduced to Kria's mad family: A stern mother and a fun-loving aunt [Moushumi Chatterjee in a dual role], cousin Joy [Kim Sharma] and Kria's adopted son Dhruv [Julian]. Kria and Suraj are drawn to each other. But there's a twist in the tale: Dhruv has a hole in his heart and needs a heart transplant.

The problem with ZINDAGGI ROCKS clearly lies in its screenplay. Although the film starts off well -- the two extremes [Sush, Shiney] getting attracted to each other -- the sequence of events thereafter don't have the power to sustain interest. Basic things like names of the characters confuse the viewer no end. Shiney is sometimes referred to as Suraj and at times, Rihan. Even the child is at places called Dhruv and in some scenes, Romi.

Okay, it's a trivial issue. But the moment the child faints during the intermission point, the viewer is told that he is a blue baby [with a hole in the heart]. The next few sequences clearly give an impression of what's cooking in Sush's mind. It doesn't take time to guess that the mother [Sush] is going to sacrifice her life to save her adopted son. But while the viewer can fathom what's happening, Shiney doesn't. Either he can't read her mind or he doesn't want to!

Also, the entire track of Shiney approaching a senior citizen [one Firoz Panthaki] for a heart transplant, who in turns informs the cops of Shiney's constant phone calls, looks slipshod. This unwanted track only adds to the length of the film. Even the track involving Kim Sharma and her boyfriend appears half-baked. The last few minutes are the best part of the enterprise, but it's too late to salvage the enterprise by then.

Emotions play a strong role in a film that talks of the mother-son bonding, but the emotions in ZINDAGGI ROCKS are superficial and at times, fake. Especially the bonding between the child and Sushmita's family. You don't feel the pain primarily because the writing lacks moments that would make you moist-eyed.

Tanuja Chandra's execution isn't faulty, but her screenplay is. Anu Malik's music is passable, with a couple of lilting tracks ['Meri Dhoop Hai Tu' and 'Humko Chhoone Paas Aayiye']. Amirr Sayed's cinematography is first-rate. Also, the film bears an upmarket look all through.

Sush tries hard to infuse life in her character. She is effective at places, but tends to get theatrical at times. Shiney does a decent job, although the screenplay gives him little scope to go beyond a set of expressions. Moushumi Chatterjee is okay as the mother, but hams as the twin-sister. The get-up also doesn't suit her age. Kim Sharma is wasted. The child artist, Julian, is wonderful. Seema Biswas, as the cop, is alright. Ravi Gosain gets no scope.

On the whole, ZINDAGGI ROCKS just doesn't rock. At the box-office, it's bound to go unnoticed.

Producer
Anuradha Prasad

Director
Tanuja Chandra

Star Cast
Sushmita Sen...... Kriya
Shiny Ahuja...... Dr. Suraj Rihan
Moushmi Chatterjee...... Kriya's mother/ Kriya's aunty (mausi)
Kim Sharma...... Joy
Seema Biswas
Ravi Gosai...... Sam
Baby Julian...... Kriya's son

Cassettes and CD's on
T-Series

Singers
Javed Ali
Tulsi Kumar
Sunidhi Chauhan
Zubeen Garg
Krishna
Anushka Manchandani

Lyricist
Sayeed Qadri
Muddassar Aziz

Music Director
Anu Malik

Cinematography
Amirr Sayed

Choreography
Bosco
Caesar
Farah Khan
Raju Khan

Art
Leela Chanda

Screenplay
Tanuja Chandra

Costume
Falguni Pea*****
Shane Pea*****
Neeta Lulla

Story / Writer
Tanuja Chandra

Jai Santoshi Maa

Percept's JAI SANTOSHI MAA revisits the classic hit of the 1970s, JAI SANTOSHI MAA, which shattered all previous records and continues to be one of the biggest hits of Indian cinema. The present-day generation would be unaware of the fact that cinema halls had transformed into temples then, what with moviegoers entering the hall barefoot, performing aartis, lighting agarbattis, breaking coconuts and performing pooja.

So, naturally, the new version of JAI SANTOSHI MAA carries a real heavy baggage!

Fortunately, Percept's JAI SANTOSHI MAA, directed by Ahmed Siddiqui, doesn't disappoint. Yes, the songs by Anu Malik aren't as captivating as 'Majdhaar Mein Main Atki Beda Paar Kardo Maa', 'Main To Aarti Utaru Re Santoshi Mata Ki', 'Yahan Wahan' or 'Madad Karo Santoshi Mata' of the 1975 hit, which are chanted to this day, but the fact cannot be denied that the new version is an equally honest attempt, made with correct intentions.

Director Ahmed Siddiqui remains faithful to the original classic, which was a simple film, but had the power to mesmerize viewers of all ages. The only changes that you see in the new JAI SANTOSHI MAA are a rich canvas and of course, new set of actors. A commendable effort nonetheless!

JAI SANTOSHI MAA is about how Maa supports her devotees. It's a story about how undying faith in Santoshi Maa can redeem one's life. And how the divine intervention of the Goddess can change one's life entirely.

JAI SANTOSHI MAA is the story of Mahima [Nushrat Bharucha], an ardent devotee of Santoshi Maa and Anuraag [Rakesh Bapat], a musician by heart. It's a saga of all the hardships they face, with no complaints or regrets, and how they overcome these hardships with Santoshi Maa'a blessings.

Mahima's father is a music teacher and her mother a devotee of Maa. She is married to Anuraag, a young man whose passion is music. Since this marriage is against the will of Anuraag's family, only hardships come their way. Fed up with humiliation, Anuraag decides to try his luck elsewhere, where no one knows him. But Mahima decides to stay back and serve her in-laws. But what does she get in return? Misery, pain and distress from each and every member of the family.

With no shoulder to lean on, Mahima starts worshipping Santoshi Maa. She starts her 'solah shukrawar vrats' and follows them religiously. She withstands everything that comes her way with a smile on her face and faith in her heart. Finally, Maa is pleased. The Goddess not only makes all her wishes come true, but also blesses her husband with all the success he ever wished for.

If you've watched the original, chances are that you'd like the new version as well. It's very Indian at heart. The film has two stories rolled into one: Besides the religious angle, the film is also about relationships. Of course, you'd argue that saas-bahu dramas and paarivaarik themes have been beaten to death on the big screen as well as on tube. Yet, you cannot deny that the Indian moviegoers still love dramas with a mythological touch.

Ahmed Siddiqui combines the old and new with conviction. Yes, a few sequences aren't as powerful as the original, but the director's eye for details is evident all through. He has handled the dramatic scenes with flourish, even though you know the story at the back of your mind. Only thing, he could've placed the songs judiciously.

JAI SANTOSHI MAA retains two songs from the original ['Main To Aarti Utaru Re Santoshi Mata Ki' and 'Yahan Wahan'], otherwise Anu Malik's music is pleasant, but definitely not as rhythmic as the original. The song in the climax, however, is nice. Here, the choreography [Jojo Khan] deserves to be highlighted; the songs are well choreographed though.

Nushrat Bharucha is flawless. She enacts the harried daughter-in-law with conviction. Rakesh Bapat is surprisingly not as convincing. He's a fine actor, but looks ill at ease here. There are a plethora of actors in supporting roles and each does well.

On the whole, JAI SANTOSHI MAA is a simple film made with correct intentions. Targeted at the family audiences, the film might work in the heartland of India, while its business at multiplexes will be poor. Also, given the poor start, it will have to rely on a miracle to stay afloat, despite being well-made.


Director
Ahmed Siddiqui

Star Cast
Nushrat Bharucha...... Mahima
Rakesh Bapat...... Anuraag
Lalit Tiwari...... Pratap
Sanjay Swaraj...... Shripal
Shashi Sharma...... Anuraag's mother
Raj Khan...... Sukhpal
Parakh Madan...... Neha
Shameem Ali...... Shobha
Anisha Hinduja...... Suman
Virendra Singh
Abhijeet Lehiri...... Gautam
Garima Kapoor
Nishikant Dixit
Purva Parag
Fahim Khan
Farida Dadi
Kanwar Jagdish

Cassettes and CD's on
Sony Music

Singers
Sonu Nigam
Alka Yagnik
Vijay Prasad
Usha Mangeshkar
Suresh Wadkar
Lata Mangeshkar
Hari Om Sharan
N C Karunya
Shaunak Abhisekhi

Lyricist
Swanand Kirkire
Kavi Pradeep

Music Director
Anu Malik

Choreography
Jojo

Action
Parvez Khan

Art
Sukant Panigrahy

Editor
Ajoy Varma

Screenplay
Sulekha Bajpai
Sushmaa

Sound
Nadir Suratwala

Dialogue
Sushmaa

Publicity Stills
Avinash Gowariker

Story / Writer
Sulekha Bajpai

Krishna

While the content of KRISHNA is interesting, it's not backed by high quality animation. The animation here is average, not at par with HANUMAN. Also, while several unknown facts of Hanuman were unraveled in HANUMAN, that's not the case in KRISHNA. Some aspects in the story should've been a revelation.

KRISHNA tells the story of Lord Krishna's birth, his childhood in Vrindavan and his slaying of Kansa, the evil ruler. The film features various adventures of his childhood, including his clashes with demons, and many more. This animated feature also brings to life Lord Krishna's naughty aspects like stealing butter and playing the flute and attracting the gopis.

Lord Krishna's story has inspired generations. In this animation movie, a number of sequences are deftly handled, especially in the second hour. The music is also tuneful and the simple wordings are easy to grasp. However, the background score could've been more effective. The voiceovers are in sync.

On the whole, KRISHNA is an average animation film that should've been released during the vacations, not during the examination period.

Woh Lamhe

While Bhatt maintains that the story is based on factual incidents, you take it on face-value for the simple reason because what transpired between two individuals behind closed doors is something only they know. At the same time, if Bhatt claims that WOH LAMHE… is a true account from start to end, no work of fiction, then there are certain sequences that do raise your doubts vis-à-vis Bhatt's claims.

As a cinematic experience, WOH LAMHE… is an intense love story, a bit complicated, but deftly executed nonetheless by talented Mohit Suri. Mohit's strength lies in the fact that he narrates the troubled side of a popular star with rare understanding, handling the character with kid gloves and making it come alive on screen.

Watch WOH LAMHE… not for any other reason but to carry home a sad segment of a popular star's life, a glamour queen who called the shots in the 1970s and early 1980s. It's a lump in the throat experience!

In the glitzy entertainment capital of Mumbai as dusk descends, famous actress Sana Azim [Kangana] slashes her wrists in a hotel room, in an attempt to kill herself. When this news reaches film-maker Aditya Garewal [Shiny Ahuja], he is devastated. Aditya has been searching for Sana, who was intensely involved with Aditya and who had mysteriously disappeared from his life without any explanation, three years ago, only to surface now in what could be the last moments of her life.

As Aditya waits outside the ICU in a death watch situation, praying to be reunited with her, he is hurled back into the perfumed days and champagne nights of his memory, wherein Sana played the role of both, lover and mentor to a struggling Aditya.

  Everything was perfect, except for an enemy which lurked in the shadows, waiting to destroy their love. When Aditya realizes that the only way he can save Sana from total devastation is to take her away from Bollywood and the vested interests that threaten to destroy her completely, he runs away with Sana putting his career on the line. Those moments lived in the sanctuary of their love are like an oasis in the desert.

Until one day, suddenly, she disappears, leaving him with unanswered questions. Why did she leave at the very acme of their love, when there seemed to be hope? What pushed her to attempt suicide? Will Aditya finally be able to piece together the puzzle that has been haunting him and almost destroyed him? And most important of all, will he be reunited with his love?

A film like WOH LAMHE… is very difficult to make. It's not one of those love stories where lovers meet, separate and reunite in the end. This one's far more complicated and that's a major responsibility on Mohit Suri's young shoulders. It would've been easier for Bhatt to open pages of his life's diary and narrate the story himself since WOH LAMHE… happens to be a chapter from his life after all. But it's tough for someone who didn't go through the pain or was not even remotely connected to present the turbulent phase in a relationship. That's precisely why WOH LAMHE… works because Mohit Suri narrates the story in the most convincing manner.

While WOH LAMHE… works in entirety, a few poignant moments do make you sit up. Take the sequence at the party [when Kangana throws her undergarment at Shiny] and her rape by Shaad thereafter. It's a spine chilling moment. The conflict between Kangana's mother and Shiny at the hospital [discussing alternate therapy: shock treatment] is another powerful sequence. The birthday sequence in the second hour is the ideal way to lead to the culmination, where Kangana realizes that she needs help and walks out.

  Any blemishes? Not really, except that the slow pacing at times does irritate you. Also, one doesn't know what really happens to Kangana after she runs away from Goa. Some info on that front, even verbose, would've only made the concluding reels stronger.

Mohit Suri takes giant strides as a storyteller. If ZEHER and KALYUG reiterated the fact that Mohit knows his job well, he climbs the ladder with WOH LAMHE…, which is undoubtedly his finest effort so far. Mohit gets abundant support from Shagufta Rafique's script. The chronology of events never gives you time to blink an eyelid. Dialogues too are wonderful and when required, pithy.

Pritam's music is soft and easy on your ear drums. 'Kya Mujhe Pyaar Hai' is already a rage, but there are morel harmonious compositions as well. Cinematography [Bobby Singh] is excellent. The D.O.P. lends the right colors to the story.

WOH LAMHE… rests on two power-packed performances: Kangana and Shiny. Kangana gets the role of a lifetime in her second film itself and the actor sinks her teeth into it and delivers an astounding performance. If you've ever interacted with Parveen Babi, even briefly, you'd see a replica of the glamorous star in Kangana. Her styling is also excellent.

If you think there's not much space for any other actor since WOH LAMHE… is primarily a Kangana film, watch Shiny's performance here. Yes, he impressed us in H.K.A. and GANGSTER, but this one's the most difficult part he's got so far and his performance only accentuates the proceedings.

  Debutante Shaad Randhawa springs a pleasant surprise in a negative role. The length of his character may not be substantial enough, but his performance more than makes up for it. Another talent from Vishesh Films to watch out for!

Masumeh as Rani, Kangana's 'hallucination', is first-rate. Her look and her dark makeup ignite the screen every time she appears. Purab Kohli is competent. The actresses enacting the role of Kangana's mother and also Shiny's friend [Salomi] are tremendous too. Sandeep Sikand as Hamida, Kangana's makeup man, is good.

On the whole, WOH LAMHE… is a well-made emotional film that lingers in your memory even after it's over. There are many lamhe in WOH LAMHE… that you carry in your heart and that's why the film works for the moviegoer. At the box-office, this one has the power to go from strength to strength, show-wise and day-wise. Business at multiplexes should be bountiful.



Producer
 Mukesh Bhatt

Director
 Mohit Suri

Star Cast
 Shaad Randhawa
 Kangna Ranaut...... Sana Azim
 Shiny Ahuja...... Aditya Garewal
 Masumi Makhija
 Purab Kohli
 Anita Wahi
 Ram Prakash
 Preeti Kopikar
 Abbas

Cassettes and CD's on
 T-Series

Singers
 K K
 James
 Glenn John
 Shreya Ghosal
 Kunal Ganjawala
 Jawad Ahmad

Lyricist
 Nilesh Mishra
 Sayeed Qadri

Music Director
 Pritam Chakraborty
 Roop Kumar Rathod

Executive / Associate / Co-Producer
 Kumkum Saigal
 Vishesh Bhatt

Cinematography
 Bobby Singh
 Akshay Singh

Choreography
 Raju Khan

Art
 Rajat Poddar

Editor
 Akiv Ali

Screenplay
 Pearl Sahi

Sound
 Adil Ali
 Nilesh Ojha

Costume
 Aashish Anthony Dwyner
 Nandu

Processing Labs
 Adlabs Films Ltd

Promos
 Jay Shewarakramani
 Kreative Heights

Publicity Designs
 Studio Link

Story / Writer
 Mahesh Bhatt

Khosla Ka Ghosla

KHOSLA KA GHOSLA is one such film.

The prime reason why KHOSLA KA GHOSLA works is because you come across characters depicted in the film in everyday life. The setting [middle class family] makes it a slice of life episode, the plotline [land grabbing] is identifiable and the characters, believable. KHOSLA KA GHOSLA reiterates the fact that a simple story, well told, has the power to keep you focused to the screen for the next two hours.

KHOSLA KA GHOSLA gets filmy in the latter half, you do feel that writer Jaideep Sahni and director Dibakar Banerjee could've stuck to realism. In fact, the film loses the sparkle towards the middle of the second hour. But you don't grudge it simply because you can't get hardcore realistic in the cinematic format while trying to find a solution for land usurping cases.

All said, KHOSLA KA GHOSLA is eminently watchable for various reasons. An honest effort, this one's an ideal tribute to the Hrishikesh Mukherjee cinema that has got eclipsed behind all the glitz and glamour of multi-crore budgets.

The dream of every middle class man is to own a house. K.K. Khosla [Anupam Kher] is no different. On retirement, he invests his entire life's earnings into a plot of land to build his dream house. Only to be cheated by a corrupt, greedy Khurana [Boman Irani], who usurps the land that belongs to Khosla.

Khosla's family joins hands to pull off a scam on the biggest goon in the property business.

The first thing that catches your eye in KHOSLA KA GHOSLA is the assorted characters. If the head of the family nurses an ambition to make a kothi with his hard-earned earnings, the elder son is looking at a career in the U.S., while the younger is still aimless. On the other side of the fence is a land shark, who encroaches on others' land. Then there are the estate agents who are hand-in-glove with such crooks. Really, there's not one unbelievable character in the entire film.

Besides the life-like characters, the humor injected at regular intervals keeps the interest alive. The dilemma of a middle class family and the deteriorating human values are depicted with utmost honesty. The helplessness of the common man is highlighted most effectively at three levels -- first, when he realizes that his plot has been encroached upon, then, wonder of wonders, the lawful owner is put behind bars for trying to use force against the encroachers and later, when he's asked for a ransom by the land shark.

But the narrative dips when the middle class family takes the help of stage actors to free the land. The modus operandi of planting an actor as a Dubai-based entrepreneur holds your attention at the start [Navin Nischol's first scene with Boman Irani is remarkable], but isn't believable in latter portions. In fact, the film gets formulaic in the latter reels as the middle class family successfully cons the scamster.

The best of ideas evaporate into thin air if entrusted to inept people. Fortunately, debutante director Dibakar Banerjee knows what he's talking about. In fact, it's hard to believe that KHOSLA KA GHOSLA has been helmed by a first-timer. The drama keeps you engrossed and the performances by each and every member of the cast are sparkling.

Jaideep Sahni's script is almost flawless. You may tend to disagree with the route Khosla's family adopts to get the land back, but you can't deny that the overall material is powerful. There's no scope for music in the film, but the promotional video ['Chak De Phattey'] has already caught on in a big way and will only add to the popularity of the film.

Although every performance in the film is faultless, KHOSLA KA GHOSLA actually belongs to two impeccable performers -- Anupam Kher and Boman Irani. Anupam is tremendous and portrays the victim with flourish. This performance is in league with SAARANSH, DADDY and MAINE GANDHI KO NAHIN MAARA. Boman is fantastic. Right from his appearance to mannerisms to dialect, Boman is wonderful. In fact, after MUNNABHAI M.B.B.S., this is another performance Boman will be best remembered for.

Parvin Dabas stands out in a role that suits him well. Tara Sharma does justice to her character. Ranveer Shorey is brilliant. He is sure to win accolades for this role. Kiran Juneja is able. Navin Nischol is adequate. Vinay Pathak is first-rate. The actor enacting the role of an estate agent is equally good.

On the whole, KHOSLA KA GHOSLA is a well scripted and executed film that is sure to stand out in the crowd. At the box-office, the film should fare very well at multiplexes of big centres mainly.

Producer
 Ronnie Screwvala (Rohinton Screwvala)
 Savita Raj H

Director
 Dibakar Banerjee

Star Cast
 Anupam Kher...... Kamal Kishore Khosla
 Boman Irani...... Kishen Khurana
 Parvin Dabbas...... Chiraunjilal Khosla / Cherry / Chirag Khosla
 Tara Sharma...... Meghna
 Ranvir Shorey...... Balwant Khosla / Bunty
 Vinay Pathak...... Asif Iqbal
 Naveen Nischol...... Bapu
 Kiran Juneja...... Mrs Khosla
 Rajendra Sethi...... estate agent
 Vinod Nagpal...... Khosla's friend

Cassettes and CD's on
 Music Today

Singers
 Kailash Kher
 Kunal Ganjawala
 Sowmya Roah
 Adnan Sami
 Qadar Niazi Qawwal
 Anupam Kher
 Boman Irani
 Tara Sharma
 Vinod Nagpal
 Ranvir Shorey

Lyricist
 Jaideep Sahni

Music Director
 Bapi
 Tutul
 Dhruv

Screenplay
 Jaideep Sahni

Dialogue
 Jaideep Sahni

Story / Writer
 Jaideep Sahni

Dor


If IQBAL, his last effort, looked at the sport and the politics that came with it as also the story of an underdog who aspires to play cricket on the national level, Kukunoor changes tracks in DOR. Sensitively handled with bravura performances from the entire cast, this one's a triumph for everyone associated with it.

More than anything else, Kukunoor ought to be complimented for having the courage to make his kind of cinema. A number of scenes in DOR leave you spellbound and the locales of Rajasthan only give DOR a distinct flavor.

But there' a flipside to DOR as well…

DOR caters to a niche audience. It seems, Kukunoor has targeted his film for an audience that's not in the majority. Although handled with utmost sensitivity, you cannot close your eyes to the fact that the execution of the material would appeal to a tiny segment of viewers. And also the Festival circuit.

Awards and glowing critical acclaim, yes, DOR has the power to win it. But box-office rewards and a mandate from the aam junta will elude it. The lethargic pacing will also go against it.

DOR tells the story of love, loss, friendship, hope and ultimately, redemption. It is a tale of two women from two different worlds.

In ways that neither Zeenat nor Meera can perceive, their worlds are about to collide. A life-changing piece of news reaches both women at the same instance and sets into motion a series of events that will change their lives forever.

Zeenat [Gul Panag] is compelled to make the long journey from the hills of Himachal Pradesh to Rajasthan's deserts, in search of Meera [Ayesha Takia]. Along the way she encounters a Behroopiya [Shreyas Talpade], whose uncanny instincts and good humor help to make the difficult journey easier.

As different as they are, Zeenat and Meera form an uncommon bond of friendship and respect when they meet. But can it endure the uneasy truth that Zeenat hides? One of these women will hold the power of life and death in her hands. One will be helpless at the hands of fate.

DOR is an intense/serious subject that has been handled with utmost sincerity. In fact, it's difficult to single out any one sequence in particular since DOR has a consistency that's visible from start to end. Yet, it must be noted that you can't ignore the remarkable executed sequences between the two women. Kukunoor also pads the proceedings with light moments in the form of Shreyas, whose mimicry of various actors is quite enjoyable.

Kukunoor's choice of the subject is laudable and otherwise too, you cannot find technical faults vis-à-vis the way story unfolds. The culmination to the story is also justified and instead of beating around or taking its own sweet time to come to the point, the end is just right. But DOR tends to get dry and heavy at regular intervals and even the slow pacing tests the patience of the viewer.

The music is traditional and although it's in sync with the genre of the film, it has its limitations. The background score [Salim-Sulaiman] is effective in parts. The camerawork does justice to the scenic beauty of Rajasthan. The ambience [art: Muneesh Sappal] deserves special mention. His work in PINJAR, PAHELI and DOR proves that there's a lot of detailing involved.

DOR is embellished with noteworthy performances. Gul Panag dominates the first hour and Ayesha Takia the second. Gul is tremendous in a role that offers her ample scope to showcase her talent. Ayesha is only emerging into a powerhouse performer with every film. Also, she has the courage to swim against the tide by accepting a non-glamorous role, which most actors don't do at the start of their career.

Shreyas springs a pleasant surprise. To stand out in a women-dominated theme is indeed tough and the young actor manages to register a strong impact. Girish Karnad is flawless yet again. Nagesh Kukunoor is perfect.

On the whole, DOR is a well-made film that caters to those with an appetite for qualitative cinema. While the film will win glowing reviews and praise from the gentry, its appeal will be restricted to the elite at select multiplexes. Awards yes, box-office rewards no!

Director
 Nagesh Kukunoor

Star Cast
 Shreyas Talpade...... Beharoopiya
 Ayesha Takia...... Ganga
 Gul Panag...... Razia
 Girish Karnad
 Prateeksha Lonkar
 Rushad Rana
 Uttara Bavkar
 Veena Sajnani
 Nagesh Kukunoor
 Vipin Bhati
 Abhay Bhargava
 Vishal Malhotra...... Raj
 Anirudh Jatkar
 Shivani Joshi
 Pavan Singh
 Banwarilal Taneja
 Iklaq Khan
 Vibhu Kashyup
 Dhruv Jagasia
 Gururaj Manepalli
 Chirjot Singh Kohli
 Kush Chaddha
 Navneet K Chander

Cassettes and CD's on
 Universal

Singers
 Shafqat Amanat Ali
 Salim Merchant
 Sunidhi Chauhan
 Shreya Ghosal
 Karsan Sargathia
 Rakesh Chaurasiya
 Pratichee
 Trilok Gurtu

Lyricist
 Mir Ali Husain

Music Director
 Salim Merchant
 Sulaiman Merchant

Executive / Associate / Co-Producer
 Elahe Hiptoola

Cinematography
 Sudeep Chatterjee

Action
 Mahendra Varma

Art
 Muneesh Sappal

Editor
 Sanjeev Dutta

Screenplay
 Nagesh Kukunoor

Sound
 Vipin Bhati

Costume
 Komal Shahani
 M P Karthik

Promos
 Anthony D'Souza
 Alexy Jacob
 Bandbox Productions

Publicity Designs
 P9 Integrated Pvt Ltd

Publicity Stills
 Ashima Mehra

Story / Writer
 Nagesh Kukunoor

Manoranjan

MANORANJAN - THE ENTERTAINMENT also tells the story of aspiring actors, star struck producers, manipulative business managers, the casting couch, the underworld nexus… but it's done in the most amateurish manner. Director Karaan Choudhary tries to pack in too much in those two hours, but the execution of the subject leaves a lot to be desired.

MANORANJAN - THE ENTERTAINMENT starts off with Subbu [Vijay Raaz] telling his story to a journalist. He happens to be the business manager to a top star Maya [Aditi Govitrikar]. Enter Rahul [Aryan Vaid] and Vicky [Sudhanshu Pande], who belong to Subbu's native place.

Rahul wants to make it big in the industry, while Vicky aspires to become rich overnight. Rahul starts working as a spot boy, while Vicky becomes a chauffeur to Maya. There's Priya [Kavita], an orphan, who aspires to be an actress.

Subbu starts a film with Rahul and Kavita, but faces a lot of obstacles on the way. Meanwhile, Vicky becomes a gangster, who part-finances Subbu's movie. The film is released, declared a success and Rahul and Kavita become stars overnight. In the end, Rahul and Priya return to their native place, while Vicky is shot dead.

  MANORANJAN - THE ENTERTAINMENT tries to mirror the behind-the-makeup lives of actors as well as give an insider's view on Bollywood. But an interesting idea runs out of steam as it unfolds. What emerges is a not-too-complimentary picture of Bollywood.

Karaan Choudhary's direction is handicapped by his own writing. Even the music [Nayab-Raja] is dull. Amongst actors, Vijay Raaz, as the sutradhaar, is alright. Aryan Vaid and Sudhanshu Pande try hard. Sameer Dharmadhikari as a casanova-actor is strictly okay. Aditi Govitrikar doesn't work. New-find Kavita needs to polish her acting skills. Vishwajeet Pradhan and Makrand Deshpande overact. Ehsaan Khan is getting typecast in gangster roles.

On the whole, MANORANJAN - THE ENTERTAINMENT is a weak fare with dim chances.


Director
 Karan Choudhary

Star Cast
 Aryan Vaid...... Rahul
 Sudhanshu Pandey
 Sameer Dharmadhikari...... Saral Kumar / Adbhut Kumar
 Aditi Govitrikar...... Maya
 Vijay Raaz
 Vishwajeet Pradhan...... Pappu Choudhary
 Rajesh Puri
 Ehsaan Khan
 Kavita Varma...... Priya
 Makrand Deshpande...... Karu Pandey
 Snehal Dhabi
 Ganesh Yadav

Cassettes and CD's on
 Das Music

Singers
 Richa Sharma
 Sunidhi Chauhan
 Kumar Sanu
 Alka Yagnik
 Shreya Ghosal
 Kalpana

Lyricist
 Zahir Anwar
 Sajanharharpuri
 Aslam Sani

Music Director
 Nayab
 Raja

Action
 Baboo Khanna

Art
 Suresh Pillai

Editor
 Aseem Sinha

Screenplay
 Karan Choudhary

Sound
 Satish Sawant

Dialogue
 Karan Choudhary

PRO
 R R Pathak

Publicity Designs
 Endeavour

Story / Writer
 Karan Choudhary
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