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Rocky - The Rebel

The problem with ROCKY is that it doesn't even try to step out of the set rules of cinema. It's a typical masala film with loads of songs, generous doses of action scenes, a good dose of London… except an innovative plotline. In fact, the viewer can actually predict the story fifteen minutes into the film.

To sum up, watching ROCKY is like revisiting the cinema of 1970s and 1980s, which, unfortunately, is a big yawn today.

Rocky [Zayed Khan], the rebel, hates anything and everything that is wrong… the system… the people, who take things lying down without raising a finger… Rocky cannot accept the indifference towards injustice and the rebel in him revolts. This attitude creates irreconcilable differences between him and his father and their relationship is fraught with friction.

Though his father loves his son, he emphatically disagrees with Rocky's philosophy of life and advises him not to invite trouble unnecessarily by interfering in matters that doesn't concern him, as this could put his life in grave danger. But the defiant Rocky feels, the irresponsible attitude of people is destroying the social fabric of the country.

  The family manages to still laugh it off until one day Rocky gets into 'shark infested waters' -- Anthony [Rajat Bedi].

Rocky's world is shattered when his beloved [Isha Sharvani] is killed right in front of his eyes. He is blamed for everything. His parents take him to London. But the truth is, you cannot run from reality forever. And Rocky returns to avenge the death.

It's difficult to find anything novel in ROCKY. You've seen it a zillion times before. In fact, amidst the modern packaging lies an outdated script and an equally outdated execution. This is all the more surprising since director Suresh Krissna has helmed several interesting projects in Hindi and regional films.

Barring a few well executed stunts, there's nothing you carry home. Also, the music comes up at unwanted points. There's a song, whether or not the situation warrants it.

Suresh Krissna's direction is mechanical. This film, in fact, just doesn't look like the work of the accomplished director. Ditto for the script. Himesh Reshammiya's music is sounding the same these days. Barring 'Junoon Junoon' and 'Laagi Ghhute Na', the remaining tracks are plain mediocre. Action scenes are well executed at places.

  Zayed does well in stunts, although the role doesn't offer him scope to display histrionics. Isha Sharvani dances exceptionally well, but doesn't get the opportunity to go beyond the mandatory part. Minissha doesn't get scope either, but she does reasonably well. Rajat Bedi is as usual. Suresh Menon tries hard to evoke mirth. Smita Jaykar and Ashwin Kaushal are okay.

On the whole, ROCKY is an outdated concept with nothing except action to fall back upon. At the box-office, an also-ran.

Producer
 Narendra Bajaj

Director
 Suresh Krissna

Star Cast
 Zayed Khan...... Rocky
 Minissha Lamba...... Priya
 Isha Sharwani
 Smita Jaykar
 Rajat Bedi
 Ashwin Kaushal

Cassettes and CD's on
 T-Series

Singers
 Himesh Reshammiya
 Amrita Kak
 Akruti Kakkar
 Tulsi Kumar
 Vinit
 Sunidhi Chauhan

Lyricist
 Sameer

Music Director
 Himesh Reshammiya

Background Music
 Sanjoy Chowdhary

Executive / Associate / Co-Producer
 Varun Bajaj
 Chirag Bajaj

Cinematography
 K Raj Kumar

Choreography
 Remo

Action
 Allan Amin

Art
 Chokas Bharadwaj

Editor
 Sanjeev Dutta

Sound
 Hitendra Ghosh
 Navin Shah

Dialogue
 Hridaylani
 Janak

Costume
 Vikram Phadnis

PRO
 Rajendra Rao
 R R Pathak
 Shahid Khan

Processing Labs
 Adlabs Films Ltd
 Prasad Film Laboratories

Promos
 Prashant Chadha

Publicity Designs
 Glamour Design Studio

Pyaar Ke Side Effects

PYAAR KE SIDE/EFFECTS is a simple film, about two ordinary people. The 'bone of contention' here is marriage. The girl wants to marry, the guy isn't ready for a commitment. They part ways, cross each other's path at regular intervals, try to find solace in others' arms, but can't erase the memory of their beloved.

What sets PYAAR KE SIDE/EFFECTS apart from films of this genre is that debutante director Saket Chaudhary refrains from melodrama. Instead, he packs in humor to narrate the story. And that's one of the prime reasons why PYAAR KE SIDE/EFFECTS turns out to be a watchable experience.

A well-told story backed by honest performances, PYAAR KE SIDE/EFFECTS is an ideal date flick that should appeal to everyone in love or those who've drifted apart. Targeted at the multiplexes and the yuppie crowd in particular, this one's a refreshingly pleasant experience.

Sid [Rahul Bose] leads an ideal life. He's a DJ. He has a girlfriend Trisha [Mallika Sherawat]. And right in the middle of a crucial cricket match, Trisha proposes marriage. Sid panics. But Trisha wants everything -- love, marriage, a loving husband, the brats, a beautiful home. And the only way Sid can keep Trisha in his life is by committing to her.

Sid searches for answers -- his sister's advice, his mother's guidance and his room mate's constant red alert against marriage. And as a confused Sid marches over to Trisha office, he ends up asking her to marry him.

Now begins his nightmare… the search for a perfect engagement ring, furniture hunts and conversations about children. And then, to top it all, Sid meets the family -- Trisha's father, Retired General Mallick [Sharat Saxena] or 'Papa' as Trisha would have him called the 'old monster' -- who hates the very sight of Sid and constantly tries to disconnect him from Trisha.

There are more characters in this story: Trisha's ex-fiancé [Jas Arora], her best friend and Sid's constant's worry 'Dracula' [Suchitra Pillai], a hot babe Tanya [Sophie Chaudhary], Sid's pregnant and hyper sister Shalini [Taraana Raja] and her husband Kapil [Aamir Bashir] and the always insane Nanoo [Ranvir Sheorey].

  PYAAR KE SIDE/EFFECTS talks of relationships, but it's narrated in a nonconforming format. At one moment, the protagonist is talking to the viewer, the next moment he's trying to keep the relationship with his sweetheart going. All this results in a number of enjoyable and entertaining moments.

Not that the film is devoid of emotions. In fact, any love story would look fake if there's no conflict or clash of ideas. In this case, the turning point comes at the intermission, when Rahul Bose confronts Sharat Saxena, Mallika's father, and the lovers part ways. It's a master stroke!

Note another sequence: Rahul walks in unannounced at Mallika's birthday party, after they've split, and finds Mallika's ex-fiancé there. There's another striking sequence: The foursome -- Rahul-Sophie and Jas-Mallika -- going out for dinner together.

But PYAAR KE SIDE/EFFECTS is not perfect. The second hour drags and the climax could've been better, realistic to be precise. Also, there should've been a solid reason for Rahul to go back to Mallika. Ranveer's girlfriend tying the knot with another person is not too strong enough a reason.

Saket is a director to watch. Not once do you feel in those 2.20 hours that you're watching a first-timer narrate an interesting story. His choice of the subject as also the execution of the material deserves to be lauded. If the purpose was to make a film that can be identified by the urban, multiplex-going audience, it fulfills the expectations. On the flip side, the film isn't the type that would appeal to the masses. In fact, its appeal will be restricted to the metros mainly.

  Pritam's music is in sync with the mood of the film. Manoj Soni's camerawork is only getting better with every film. The usage of vibrant colors [art: Omung Kumar] accentuates the impact.

Rahul Bose plays his part with amazing ease. In fact, the actor is natural to the core, handling the most complex scenes with flourish. Mallika Sherawat does a fine job, complimenting Rahul at every step. In fact, the scenes between Rahul and Mallika are the mainstay of the enterprise. The film has a number of characters, but the ones who stand out are Aamir Bashir, Ranveer Shorey, Sharat Saxena and Suchitra Pillai. Sophie radiates oomph. Taraana Raja, Jas Arora and Sapna Bhavnani are passable.

On the whole, PYAAR KE SIDE/EFFECTS has a refreshingly different theme and is handled in an equally novel format. At the box-office, the film caters to the multiplex audience of metros mainly. Business beyond multiplexes seems doubtful.

Producer
 Pritish Nandy
 Rangita Pritish Nandy

Director
 Saket Chaudhary

Star Cast
 Rahul Bose...... Sid
 Mallika Sherawat...... Trisha
 Suchitra Pillai...... Dracula a.k.a. Anjali
 Sophie Chaudhary...... Baby girl Vol 3 aka Tanya
 Ranvir Shorey...... Nanoo
 Sapna Bhavnani...... Nina
 Taraana Raja...... Shalini
 Aamir Bashir...... Kapil
 Jas Arora...... Vivek Chaddha

Cassettes and CD's on
 T-Series

Singers
 Labh Jajua
 Rakesh Pandit
 Sophie
 Earl
 Alisha Chinoy
 Zubin
 Kunal Ganjawala
 Sunidhi Chauhan
 Suzanne D''''''''Mello
 Mika Singh

Lyricist
 Maya Puri

Music Director
 Pritam Chakraborty

Cinematography
 Manoj Soni

Choreography
 Remo

Art
 Omang Kumar

Editor
 Hemal Kothari

Dialogue
 Victor Acharya

Costume
 Ashley Rebello
 Falguni Thakore

Promos
 Binni Padda
 Ravi Padda

Publicity Stills
 Subi Samuel

Story / Writer
 Saket Chaudhary

Shiva (2006)

 Starring Mohit Ahlawat, Nisha Kothari

Directed by Ram Gopal Varma

Remember Amitabh Bachchan making long lingering strides into the villain's den in Zanjeer to reduce his adversaries to pulp?

Welcome to the world of 'pulp friction'. The stakes are high. Saving the country, no less. Each time our super-cop walks into the feverish frames the soundtrack comes alive chanting his oath for induction into the police force. Ilaiyaraja background music is flush with ominous chants and wails.

Blood-curdling? Sometimes. Mostly , just creating a specific ambience for the hero to male leonine leaps over time and space.

This police story has plenty of force, most of it generated from the way Varma cuts the old-as-the-hills material into a newly- rejuvenated shape.

The editing (Nipun Gupta & Amit Parmar) is first…rather, fist-rate. Sound of slapping cheeks and cracking bones rent the soundtrack creating a reverberating sensation of retaliatory violence meant to combat malignant violence.

The action is swiftly and smoothly vindictive. ….Shiva in the den, Shiva in the departmental store, Shiva on a construction site , Shiva in a middleclass food-joint (run by cine-buff Ninad Kamath who corny does take -offs on Sanjay Dutt, Rajnikanth and what have you) …

The one-man-show-off idea gets its definition mainly from the fist.

Interestingly you seldom see Shiva combating evil with the gun. Bare hands are used to slap his adversaries to a groveling mass of terror…that's the way it works. The quieter moments shared with the journalist-gilrfriend Sandhya (Nisha Kothari, lips full of quivering indignation) are relatively less effective.

Each time the courtship happens you wait with an indulgent smile to let the high-octane action begin.

Interestingly the encounters with the main Arun Gawle-inspired gangster-turned-politician villain Bappu (Upendra Limaye) are all done-to-bludgeoning death , re revivified by Varma's excellent command over the language of seething implosive rage (seen earlier to great advantage in his berst works Satya, Company and Sarkar).

Mohit Ahlawat speaks little, fight frequently. His forte is reticent retribution. The real heroes are the action directors (twin brothers Ram Lakman who also play climactic parts in the film). The stunts are purely 1980s , with loads of new-millennium attitude thrown in.

You won't think much of the world-weary story. But there's a kind of old-world charm about this street-smart bone-cruncher which hits you in the solar-plexus with its message of a cleansing chemical.

At the end of it, you aren't looking at Shiva bringing down the crime graph in the city. You're looking instead at Varma's clenched narrative that sweeps across the concrete jungle in overt gestures of ruthless vindication.

 The performers include Ramu's usual suspects like Zakir Husain (Corrupt Cop), and Shereveer Vakil (Ruthless Goon). Dilip Prabhavalkar lately a hit as Gandhiji in Lage Raho Munnabhai will shock you as a corrupt Home Minister. Actors often do that. They change characters.

But the real shocker is the old-fashioned narrative. You've seen the cop doing his deadly justice –act to death. That doesn't stop Ram Gopal Varma for socking it in our face one more time. With velocity.

Bas Ek Pal

In his second outing, Onir takes a look at relationships and how the lives of five people get entwined in a moment of madness. Worthy follow up by the director? Not really!

Sure, Onir has climbed the ladder as far as handling complex relationships are concerned. The story is handled with utmost sensitivity, the performances by the principal characters are proficient, the film has its share of engaging moments… So where does it falter? The screenplay, of course! Besides a flawed script, BAS EK PAL unwinds at a lethargic pace. The story takes it own sweet time to reach the finale, thereby making the moviegoer impatient at regular intervals. And that only dilutes the impact of a film that could've been a rich emotional experience.

To sum up, Onir doesn't get it right this time!

BAS EK PAL is the story of five people bound inextricably by an incident that changes their lives forever. Set in the metropolis of Mumbai, the film explores the complexities of modern urban relationships. Each character has a secret. And each uncovered secret alters the dynamics of every relationship.

During one night of partying, Anamika [Urmila Matondkar] meets Nikhil [Sanjay Suri] at Anticlock Pub… The chemistry between them is instant and obvious from the moment they meet. However, she disappears into the night without even telling him her name.

Nikhil starts visiting the pub regularly, hoping to meet her again. Many nights of waiting later, on a night when Nikhil has gone to Anticlock with Rahul [Jimmy Shergill] and Steve [Rehaan Engineer], Anamika appears with her friends. An altercation takes place, leading to a scuffle… And in the scuffle a shot is fired.

Time stands still as Nikhil realizes that he is holding a gun in his hand, the gun from which the shot has just been fired… This moment would change all their lives.

BAS EK PAL unfolds in the most interesting manner. The sequence at the pub -- when Suri and Urmila meet for the first time -- sets the ball rolling. The bonding between the friends [Suri-Jimmy] is also well handled. The narrative keeps your attention arrested right till the shot is fired. But things begin to deteriorate thereafter.

Suri's portions in the prison and his 'rape' by another convict leave a bad taste. Agreed, incidents such as these could be real, but it looks completely forced in the story. Does it have shock-value? Not anymore, since the moviegoers did witness something like this in CHANDNI BAR years ago.

Later, when Suri is out on bail, he starts stalking Urmila and you actually start wondering, is Onir revisiting DARR [SRK hounds Juhi everywhere she goes]? Suri even reaches Urmila's bedroom and wants to make love… Maza nahin aaya, Mr. Director!

Then Juhi's past unfolds and her illicit relationship with Jimmy outside her marriage comes to the fore. They love each other, yet Juhi walks away from Jimmy and goes back to her husband [Rehaan Engineer], who continues to physically abuse her. In fact, Juhi, a woman of today, keeps talking of her failed marriage and has constant showdowns with Rehaan, so why doesn't she take him to task when he abuses her? Why doesn't she walk out on him to start with?

The climax is another sore point. At this point, you're confused: Does Urmila love Suri or Jimmy? If she doesn't love Suri, why does she visit him in the middle of the night? And why does Juhi develop a soft spot for Suri? Agreed, she cites the reasons, but to play the good Samaritan looks so very bizarre.

Onir is handicapped by a faulty script. The storyteller has treated certain portions well, but the screenplay [Irene Dhar Malik and Onir] has several holes that are difficult to overlook. Add to it, the snail pacing and things only weaken. There's not much scope for music in the film, but the song in the pub ['Hai Ishq Ye Kya Ik Khata'] is well tuned. Ditto for 'Tere Bin', a melancholic track with a haunting tune. Cinematography [Sachin K. Krishn] is inconsistent. Why is the lighting so dark at times?

Sanjay Suri excels in a role that suits him well. He manages to convey the pathos and anguish beautifully. Urmila is perfect, although this one's not in league with her work in BHOOT, PINJAR or EK HASINA THI. Jimmy Shergill is first-rate, playing a difficult role with precision. Juhi is admirable too, although, as pointed out above, the flawed screenplay takes away the sheen from her role. Rehaan Engineer is okay.

On the whole, BAS EK PAL is an uninteresting fare. At the box-office, the film has precious little to offer to the multiplex audience, but nothing for the masses. Businesswise, it will face an uphill task.

Producer
Manohar Kanungo
Shailesh R Singh

Director
Onir

Star Cast
Sanjay Suri...... Nikhil Kapoor
Jimmy Shergill...... Rahul Kher
Urmila Matondkar...... Anamika Joshi
Juhi Chawla...... Ira Malhotra
Rehaan Engineer...... Steve O'Brien
Yashpal Sharma
Chetan Pandit
Purab Kohli...... Special Appearance

Cassettes and CD's on
Tips Music Films

Singers
Sunidhi Chauhan
K K
Atif
Zubeen Garg
Dominique

Lyricist
Amitabh Varma
Sayeed Qadri

Music Director
Pritam Chakraborty
Mithoon
Vivek Philip
Eric Pillai

Background Music
Vivek Philip
Prasad Sasthe

Executive / Associate / Co-Producer
Shakeel Atroli

Cinematography
Sachin Kumar

Action
Shyam Kaushal

Art
Shyam De
Aparna Raina
Rahuul Thossar

Editor
Irene Dhar Malik

Screenplay
Onir
Irene Dhar Malik

Sound
Arun Nambiar

Dialogue
Ashwini Malik

PRO
Perception Managers

Hairstylist
Dilshad Pastakia

Processing Labs
Rauko Cine Labs

Publicity Designs
Siddharth Dutta

Publicity Stills
Ankur Chaturvedi
Ronny Sequeira

Song Director
Remo
Onir

Dil Diya Hai

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.

Producer
 Bala Patel

Director
 Aditya Datt

Star Cast
 Emraan Hashmi...... Saahil
 Ashmit Patel...... Kunaal Malik
 Mithun Chakraborty
 Geeta Basra...... Neha
 Kittu Gidwani
 Udita Goswami...... in an item number
 Paresh Ganatra
 Ranjeet
 Sandeep Mehta...... Neha's father

Cassettes and CD's on
 T-Series

Singers
 Himesh Reshammiya
 Himani Kapoor
 Tulsi Kumar
 Alisha Chinoy
 Jayesh Gandhi
 Vinit

Lyricist
 Sameer

Music Director
 Himesh Reshammiya

Cinematography
 Atarsingh Saini

Choreography
 Remo
 Shabina Khan

Naksha

That could be true!

NAKSHA belongs to the Indiana Jones variety, but Bajaj combines Indian mythology with adventure and comes up with a new recipe altogether. And the outcome is as invigorating and revitalizing as a cup of hot coffee.

Frankly, a film like NAKSHA transports you to your adolescent years, when browsing the adventure novels and comics was your favorite pastime. It’s the form of cinema that we’d forgotten in the hurly-burly world of meaningless entertainers. Dream merchants are either busy wooing the NRIs or multiplex junta. What happens to the masses then, who yearn for a desi film with loads of entertainment?

Adventure movies have been attempted in Bollywood earlier and NAKSHA is not the first of its kind in India. But NAKSHA comes at a time when adventure movies are as good as extinct in Bollywood. And that is its USP. The voyage -- in dense forests, high mountains and deep ravines -- as also the death-defying stunts compel you to pinch yourself, are you really watching a Hindi film?

Stylishly executed with loads of money spent on attaining the results, NAKSHA comes across as a thoroughly enjoyable joyride. Sure, it has its lows, but the highs are so omnipotent that you can’t help but let the kid in you get captivated by this adventure.

Most importantly, NAKSHA heralds the birth of a supremely talented storyteller Sachin Bajaj, who, aided by his two lieutenants, writers Milap Zaveri and Tushar Hiranandani, tells you a story that has ample old-world charm, but is yet modern and believable.

  To sum up, the pre-release expectations from NAKSHA may be low, but the film surprises you once the adventure begins. It’s not only high on gloss, but also entertainment.

For centuries men have been in quest of the secrets of our past. Hidden treasures, fables, myths, all have driven generations to dedicate their life in such pursuits. The greed of glory and power or the thirst of knowledge, whatever the reason may be… lives have been lost but some secrets have remained secrets!

NAKSHA starts with the search of one such man, an archeologist named Professor Kapil Malhotra [Trilok Malhotra], who prefers to die with the ancient map, rather than let it fall into the hands of evil [Jackie Shroff]. Years later, his son Vicky [Vivek Oberoi], aided by a copy of the same map that he comes across by chance, leaves on a journey to discover what it was that his father dedicated his life in searching.

The re-emergence of this quest attracts the evil forces again, as Vicky is abducted by the villain’s henchmen. Help comes in the guise of Vicky’s elder step-brother Veer [Sunny Deol], who is sent there by Vicky’s mother [Navni Parihaar] to get her son back. Vicky is grateful to be rescued, but not too happy about his brother’s mission to take him back.

Now starts a tug of war between the two brothers. Along this journey, they encounter one more ally in Ria [Sameera Reddy]. Pursued by the villain and his forces of darkness, this trio sets off on the journey to unravel the mystery behind the map.

Do they succeed in this quest? Are some secrets meant to remain hidden in the mists of time? Or do they see the light of day?

NAKSHA has bits of all the three Indiana Jones movies, but it come close to the first in the series -- RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK [Indiana Jones must retrieve the mythic Lost Ark before it gets into the hands of Adolf Hitler]. In this film, Vivek decides to unravel the mystery of the nakshabefore it falls in the villain’s hands.

  NAKSHA gathers momentum fifteen minutes after it takes off, when Vivek, unexpectedly, lays his hand on the naksha. But the film gets interesting once Sunny makes a dramatic entry in an action scene. In fact, Sunny’s introduction is a highpoint of the enterprise and the masses, especially in the North and the heartland of India, will greet it with claps and whistles.

There are highpoints galore: Sunny’s fight with the midgets, Sunny-Vivek and the jeep stunt, the raft portion, Jackie’s first encounter with Sunny-Vivek-Sameera and the jump from a cliff [awesome!] and the climax. In fact, the penultimate reels are simply breath-taking and the spectacular sets only elevate the impact.

If the action scenes are without doubt the soul of the film, the director and his team of writers balance the proceedings with several light moments that make you flex your facial muscles. The snoring sequence or Vivek’s conversation with the chief of the midgets [Lilliput] are two examples to illustrate the point. Also, the mythology aspect is beautifully woven in the script and the animation [in the post-interval portions] gives the film a different texture.

There are loose ends, but they’re trivial. The erotic song in the second hour looks completely unwarranted. Was it added to provide some relief from the drama? It stands out like a sore thumb, even though its picturization is very stylish. Also, the special effects, in the last few reels, could be better.

Sachin Bajaj handles two departments -- writing and direction -- with aplomb. The film has style, but there’s substance too. This is amongst the finest directorial debuts of 2006. NAKSHA is also writers Milap Zaveri and Tushar Hiranandani’s most accomplished work so far. Their fundas are clear: Give the audience an adventure flick and pad it up with adrenaline pumping moments.

  Allan Amin’s action sequences deserve distinction marks. The action co-ordinator comes up with stunts that truly match international standards. Pritam’s music is racy and at least two numbers deserve special mention -- ‘U & I’ and ‘Shake It’. The sets [Nitish Roy] are imaginative and visually striking. Vijay Arora’s camerawork is extra-ordinary. The aerial shots as well as the indoor work [sets] are splendid. Background score is topnotch.

It’s good to see Sunny in form after a long, long time. The role doesn’t demand histrionics, but star power. His presence alone elevates a sequence to a different level, but it’s the death-defying stunts that he pulls off without much of an effort that’ll win his fans back. In fact, NAKSHA should prove to be a turning point in the actor’s career.

Vivek is decent, but he tends to go over the top in a few light scenes with Sunny. Although his performance is just right, the fact cannot be denied that Vivek is a cold proposition at the box-office and that could affect the initial prospects of the film.

Cast in a negative role, Jackie plays the part with utmost conviction. Sameera is alright. Suhasini Mulay and Navni Parihaar have little to do. Ditto for Lilliput. Mridula Chandrashekhar is okay.

On the whole, NAKSHA is a solid entertainer that comes at a time when there’s a genuine vacuum of mass-appealing films. This pulse-throbbing adventure film is aimed at the masses, who should love it for its interesting plot, gripping screenplay and excellent action. At the box-office, NAKSHA should work big time in places like Delhi, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Bihar as also in the interiors. Business will be ordinary at mutiplexes [due to the strong LAGE RAHO MUNNABHAI wave, especially at Mumbai, Delhi and other metros], but single screens should be fantastic. Go for this adventure!


Producer
 Akshay Bajaj

Director
 Sachin Bajaj

Star Cast
 Sunny Deol...... Veer
 Vivek Oberoi...... Vicky
 Sameera Reddy...... Riya
 Mridula Chandrashekhar
 Sudershan Sharda
 Suhasini Mulay
 Navni Parihar
 Lilliput
 Jackie Shroff...... Bali Bhaiyya

Cassettes and CD's on
 Saregama-HMV

Singers
 Suzanne D'Mello
 Kailash Kher
 Indi
 Abhishek Nailwal
 Sonu Nigam
 Shreya Ghosal
 Alisha Chinoy
 Pritam Chakraborty
 K K
 Labh Jajua
 Rana Mazumder

Lyricist
 Sameer

Music Director
 Pritam Chakraborty

Executive / Associate / Co-Producer
 Trilok Malhotra

Cinematography
 Vijay Arora

Choreography
 Bosco
 Caesar
 Geeta Kapoor

Action
 Allan Amin

Art
 Nitish Roy

Editor
 Sanjay Sankla

Screenplay
 Milap Zaveri
 Tushar Hiranandani

Dialogue
 Milap Zaveri

Costume
 Simple Kapadia
 Rocky S
 Anna Singh
 Manish Malhotra

Publicity Stills
 Anjay Thakur

SANDWICH

Inspired by films like GHARWALI BAHARWALI and SAAJAN CHALE SASURAL, this SANDWICH is most avoidable.

Sher Singh [Govinda] lives with his mother and sister in Punjab. He arrives in Mumbai to fulfill his dream of becoming a writer; the pen name is Shekhar. He is in love with Nisha [Raveena Tandon], but her father is dead against the marriage. Her father decides to get her married to his friend's [Kiran Kumar] son [Raj Zutshi].

Sher aka Shekhar has to return to his village after he receives a call from his mother. Shekhar gets to know that his sister's marriage has been fixed to the Collector's son. But there's a pre-condition: Shekhar will have to marry Sweety [Mahima Chaudhary], who loves him since childhood. The marriage is solemnized.

Shekhar returns to Mumbai. Meanwhile, Nisha, who is being forced to marry someone she doesn't love, tries to commit suicide. Her father pacifies her and gets her married to Shekhar. Raj Zutshi attacks Shekhar, but Nisha's father is killed and even Raj is killed subsequently. Shekhar is now entrusted with the responsibility of running the business.

The complications in Shekhar's life begin. Both Sweety and Nisha give birth to boys who look identical. A few years later, Sweety arrives in Mumbai in search of Shekhar. Sweety and Nisha bump into each other and are surprised to see that their sons look identical. Both develop a bond of friendship. They even come to know through their children that even their husbands look identical. At this juncture, a look-alike of Shekhar enters the scene and all hells break loose.

Since SANDWICH has taken a long time to hit the screens, what you watch on screen is difficult to digest. There's so much confusion and chaos all through that you impatiently wait for the movie to end. Really, nothing appeals. Anees Bazmee's direction is old-fashioned, like his script. Musically, nothing to hum about.

Govinda looks out of shape and his on-screen antics are a big yawn. Raveena and Mahima's garish makeup and outfits give the film a stale look. Satish Shah, Reema Lagoo and Kiran Kumar are passable. Raj Zutshi hams.

On the whole, SANDWICH is a poor show. With the stale look on one hand and a poor start on the other, this SANDWICH is sure to be sandwiched in the midst of biggies.

Producer
 Smita Thackeray

Director
 Anees Bazmee

Star Cast
 Govinda
 Raveena Tandon
 Mahima Choudhary
 Shweta Menon
 Kiran Kumar
 Mohnish Behl
 Johny Lever

Cassettes and CD's on
 T-Series

Executive / Associate / Co-Producer
 Prakash Pange
 Prashant Thanawala

Dialogue
 Imtiaz Patel

Publicity Designs
 Brainstorm

Story / Writer
 Anees Bazmee

Katputtli

Frankly, KATPUTTLI bears a slight resemblance to director Wolfgang Peterson's Hollywood flick SHATTERED [1991; starring Tom Berenger, Greta Scacchi, Bob Hoskins], which was attempted in Hindi as YAKEEN [2005; Arjun Rampal, Priyanka Chopra]. There's a bit of SHARMILEE [Shashi Kapoor, Raakhee] too.

Although you may walk into the theatre with zilch expectations, KATPUTTLI surprises you because it manages to keep your attention arrested intermittently. The protagonist tries to recapture the incidents [she has lost her memory] and the events that unfurl are quite appealing.

But the problem with most thrillers is that once the secret is out, you either clap with glee or have a frown on your face. With KATPUTTLI, it's the latter. Just when you thought that the director had finally got it right, the climax acts like one spoilsport.

Another factor that goes against the film -- this is strictly from the business point of view -- is that the film has had an unsung release. Released with as good as nil promotion and zero hype, KATPUTTLI faces no chances of survival. Sad, since the subject had some potential!

Lisa [Mink] is walking on the roads of Mumbai and forgets who she is. All she has is a dress full of blood and a whole lot of cash in her trench coat.

  Lisa had everything she could ream of -- a loving husband, a successful marriage, a beautiful house and apparently is the owner of one of the biggest and finest hospitals in the city. Lisa's husband Arjun [Milind Soman], a well reputed surgeon, makes every effort to get her memory back.

But there are questions… What happened that night? Why did she lose her memory if her life was a fairytale? Why is she haunted by repeated flashes of blood and money? Arjun doesn't seem to know much and neither does Anju [Yukta Mookhey], the sweet neighbour, who somehow is always around to make sure that Lisa is comfortable. Or was it Arjun who kept her in close quarters? Like Celina [Shikha Shekhar], the sensuous nurse he hired for Lisa's help.

Dev [Sameer Dharmadhikari], a Naval officer, Anju's husband, Lisa's friend since college, makes an entry. On his return after a gap, he finds his best friend's life twisted beyond belief. Dev decides that he isn't going to sit idle and wait for Lisa's memory to come back to find answers…

Even though KATPUTTLI has been produced by an actor [Mink], who enacts the central role in the film, the narrative focuses on several characters, right from the husband to the neighbour to the nurse [hello, what is she wearing?] to the Naval officer. In fact, the needle of suspicion keeps gyrating from one character to another and that's why the film holds your attention.

  But not everything goes right! The sequence of events unfolds at a lethargic pace in the initial reels. In fact, you expect incidents to unravel rapidly and take the story forward, but the writing is quite loose, devoting too much time to individual sequences. Besides, you actually question the abilities of the writer who shows the protagonist as a millionaire, but makes her live in a palatial mansion without one domestic help. This cinematic liberty is difficult to absorb. Also, after reaching the crescendo, you expect the climax to come as a shocker, but it doesn't. In fact, the end is quite tame and, frankly, you can guess the culmination beforehand.

Sanjay Khanna's direction is better than his previous attempts. There's not much scope for music [Bapi-Tutul, Punnu Brar, Ishq Bector] in the film and the songs that flow in seem unwarranted. Cinematography [Najeeb Khan] is functional.

KATPUTTLI belongs to Mink, who leaves an impact. The actress never got the due in her earlier films, but gets a role that displays her talent this time. She's good. Milind Soman is effective. Sameer Dharmadhikari is natural. Yukta Mookhey is pleasant. Seema Biswas is efficient. Shifa Shekhar looks apt for the vampish part. Aseem Merchant is alright. Ashmit Patel is fair. Ruby Bhatia and Sudesh Berry are able.

On the whole, KATPUTTLI has had an unsung release. With no hype or promotion to support it, its fate at the ticket window is anybody's guess.


Producer
 Mink
 Punnu Brar

Director
 Sanjay Khanna

Star Cast
 Mink
 Milind Soman
 Yukta Mookhey
 Sameer Dharmadhikari
 Seema Biswas
 Sudhanshu Pandey
 Mukul Dev
 Vikas Kalantri
 Asseem Merchant
 Shifa Shekhar

Cassettes and CD's on
 Universal

Singers
 Sunidhi Chauhan
 Shweta Pandit
 Runa
 Punnu Brar

Lyricist
 Praveen Bhardwaj
 Sandeep Nath
 Punnu Brar
 Karamjeet Kadhowala
 Ishq

Music Director
 Bapi
 Tutul

Background Music
 Bapi
 Tutul

Cinematography
 Najeeb Khan

Choreography
 Longines Fernandes

Action
 Rashid Mehta

Art
 Sunil Jaiswal

Editor
 M Rafique

Screenplay
 Anuradha Tiwari
 Punnu Brar

Sound
 Naeem Sheikh

Dialogue
 Sameer Arora

PRO
 Parag Desai

Story / Writer
 Punnu Brar

Lage Raho Munnabhai


Producer Vidhu Vinod Chopra and director Rajkumar Hirani have a tough job on hand and a major responsibility on shoulders. But there's good news… Like its predecessor, LAGE RAHO MUNNABHAI is a sparkling example of qualitative cinema. LAGE RAHO MUNNABHAI not only entertains, it also enlightens. LAGE RAHO MUNNABHAI is forward-thinking, but also makes you recall your roots. It promises lots of laughs and also a heartwarming message.

Director Rajkumar Hirani strikes a fine balance between humor and emotions. The comic portions are executed with panache, the drama is attention-grabbing and the emotional quotient is strong enough to turn you moist-eyed. The marriage of humor and emotions as also technique and content is what drives LAGE RAHO MUNNABHAI to the winning post.

There are movies aplenty, but very few remain etched in your memory and possess recall value. LAGE RAHO MUNNABHAI is one of those films. Indisputably and undeniably, this Munna-Circuit outing is worth the price of the ticket and more.

All you want to tell Chopra and Hirani is, Lage raho with the Munna-Circuit series!

  Munna [Sanjay Dutt] is in love with the voice of popular Radio Jockey Jhanvi [Vidya Balan]. Her effervescent greeting of 'Good Morrrrning Mumbai' on her daily radio show makes Munna's heart skip a beat each time he listens to her.

Life is beautiful for Munna. His 'dadagiri' business is flourishing and he listens besottedly to the radio for hours every day, he dreams of marrying Jhanvi. There is just one minor problem: Jhanvi thinks Munna is a 'Professor of History'.

And in all her innocence, Jhanvi even invites Munna to give a history lecture to her family. Poor Munna! What should he do?

As Munna tries to sort out this minor entanglement in his otherwise perfect life, Circuit [Arshad Warsi] comes up with a bright solution. And then, the most unusual thing occurs in Munna's life. He comes face to face with Mahatma Gandhi.

LAGE RAHO MUNNABHAI is one of the best-constructed, funniest and most clever comedies to grace motion picture screens in recent years. It's pretty evident that Hirani and his team of writers [screenplay-dialogues: Hirani and Abhijat Joshi, screenplay associate: Vidhu Vinod Chopra] have invested ample time on this script. LAGE RAHO MUNNABHAI doesn't bear any similarity to any released film [Hindi or Hollywood] and that's such a welcome relief. In fact, the USP of the film are portions between Mahatma Gandhi and Munna, which is a brilliant stroke from the writing as well as execution point of view.

But there are minor aberrations in this otherwise smooth journey. Munna's transition to a radio jockey and playing the role of a counselor seems a little far-fetched. However, one must add that despite this oddity, the sequences between Sanju and Jimmy-Parikshit Sahni and also with Dia Mirza subsequently keep you glued to the screen, not as much for the writing, but due to Hirani's master execution.

  Similarly, the focus in the post-interval portions suddenly shifts to the love story between Munna and Jhanvi and you sorely miss the maddening conversation between Munna and Circuit. Again, the romantic portions are well executed, so you don't really mind this glitch.

Hirani's command over humor, drama and emotions is exemplary. Note the sequence when Munna slaps Circuit and tenders an apology after Mahatma Gandhi tells him to; it brings tears to your eyes instantly. The sequences between Munna and Circuit are, of course, the mainstay of the enterprise. Some of the sequences -- Munna readying to participate in the radio-quiz, Munna-Jhanvi's meet in the college campus or Munna-Circuit landing up behind bars -- are hilarious. Moreover, the entire track between the Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi and Munna is exceptional. To his credit, Hirani treats the second installment of the Munnabhai series with as much flourish as he treated the first.

Shantanu Moitra's music is soothing. 'Samjho Ho Hi Gaya' and 'Bole To Bole Kaisi Hogi Hai… Lage Raho Munna Bhai' are the best tracks, but what elevates the tunes is their picturization. Both the numbers are full of vibrant colors and imaginatively filmed. 'Pal Pal Har Pal' also comes at the right place and even its filming is eye-catching. Cinematography [Muraleedharan C.K.] is first-rate. Dialogues are wonderful and those between Munna-Circuit abound in wit and hilarity.

The characters populating LAGE RAHO MUNNABHAI are strongly written and effectively portrayed. Sanjay Dutt lives the character of Munna. He gets the best of lines and delivers them with relish. His is a wonderful, larger-than-life performance and he knows just how to present Munna best. Watching Sanju's tour de force is one of LAGE RAHO MUNNABHAI's chief pleasures.

  Arshad Warsi is superb. There are very few actors who have an unmatched timing for comic scenes and Arshad ranks prominently in the list. Even a smirk or an exclamation makes you flex your facial muscles. There's no denying that Arshad matches up to Sanju at every level, in every sequence.

Boman Irani proves yet again that he's an actor with an infinite range. He's at crossroads with Munna in the second installment as well; this time he plays the conniving person who wants to usurp a mansion. He's excellent.

Vidya Balan is only getting better with every release. If she was confident in her debut film PARINEETA, she acts like a complete pro in her second outing. Also, she looks extremely photogenic in a glam role. Jimmy Shergill has a brief part and he does it well. Ditto for Dia Mirza; she's perfect. Abhishek Bachchan, in a cameo, adds to the star quotient.

Dilip Prabhavalkar [in the role of Mahatma Gandhi] is up to the mark. However, the makeup could've been better. The six senior citizens are lovable, especially the actor enacting the role of a Parsi gentleman. Kulbhushan Kharbanda, Parikshit Sahni and Saurabh Shukla are appropriate.

On the whole, LAGE RAHO MUNNABHAI is a sparkling follow up to MUNNABHAI M.B.B.S. Its strength lies not just in Munna and Circuit's chemistry, but also reliving the teachings of the Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi. Qualitatively, it's a worthy sequel and not to be missed and even at the box-office, LAGE RAHO MUNNABHAI will march towards the winning post in the next few days.



Producer
 Vidhu Vinod Chopra

Director
 Raju Hirani

Star Cast
 Sanjay Dutt...... Murli Prasad Sharma - Munna Bhai
 Arshad Warsi...... Circuit
 Dilip Prabhawalkar...... Mahatma Gandhi
 Boman Irani...... Lucky Singh
 Vidya Balan...... RJ Jahnvi
 Jimmy Shergill...... Victor D'Souza
 Dia Mirza...... Simran
 Saurabh Shukla
 Parikshit Sahani
 Kulbhushan Kharbanda
 Abhishek Bachchan...... Simran's husband

Singers
 Vinod Rathod
 Sanjay Dutt
 Arshad Warsi
 N C Karunya
 Sonu Nigam
 Shreya Ghosal
 Pranab Biswas
 Shaan

Lyricist
 Swanand Kirkire
 Farhad
 Sajid
 Vidhu Vinod Chopra

Music Director
 Shantanu Moitra

Executive / Associate / Co-Producer
 Anil Davda

Cinematography
 C.K. Muraleedharan

Art
 Nitin Desai

Editor
 Raju Hirani

Screenplay
 Raju Hirani
 Abhijit Joshi

Dialogue
 Raju Hirani
 Abhijit Joshi

Costume
 Subarna Rai Chaudhuri
 Violet Monis

Story / Writer
 Vidhu Vinod Chopra
 Raju Hirani

Aap Ki Khatir

Now, in his new outing AAP KI KHATIR, Dhamesh changes gears. He attempts a light entertainer this time. For those who're unaware, the ace director takes the inspiration from director Clare Kilner's Hollywood film THE WEDDING DATE [2005; Debra Messing, Dermot Mulroney]. Wait… Besides THE WEDDING DATE, AAP KI KHATIR bears an uncanny resemblance to HUM AAPKE HAIN KOUN as well as MONSOON WEDDING.

So, does this fusion turn out to be a delectable affair? Armed with a different theme this time around, you expect AAP KI KHATIR to be a refreshing change from the overdose of melodrama that dominates Dharmesh's films. The best thing about AAP KI KHATIR is, the light moments [in abundance in the first hour] work. But the sad part is, the drama in the second hour doesn't.

AAP KI KHATIR rests on a thin plot. Fine, that can be overlooked. But the director should camouflage the deficiency with an arresting screenplay. The sequence of events should have the power to keep you focused to the screen for the next two hours. Dharmesh establishes the plot well. The 'deal' between Priyanka and Akshaye brings a smile on your face and keeps you in good spirits all through the first half.

Just when you thought that Dharmesh had got it right this time, he throws up in the subsequent reels. In the pre-climax and climax specifically. The last 20 minutes of the enterprise act as a complete spoilsport. The culmination to the story takes the film to its nadir. The writing [Sunil Munshi] is clearly the culprit here.

  To sum up, AAP KI KHATIR could've been an invigorating experience. Instead, it turns out to be a half-hearted effort that lacks the stamp of an accomplished storyteller.

Anu [Priyanka Chopra], a London-based Indian, lives in Mumbai after her break-up with Danny [Dino Morea]. But she has to return to London. Reason: Her stepsister Shirani [Amisha Patel] is getting married to New York-based Gujarati businessman Kunal [Suniel Shetty]. As luck would have it, Danny is Kunal's best friend and also happens to be on the guest-list.

Anu hatches a plan to get back at Danny and make him jealous. She hires an escort, Aman [Akshaye Khanna], to accompany her to the wedding as her new beau. The plan works gradually. But the skeletons tumble out of the cupboard: Shirani was involved with Danny after he broke off with Anu.

Meanwhile, there's a twist in the tale. Aman realizes that he's in love with Anu. But Anu is keen on Danny.

AAP KI KHATIR can be compartmentalized in two sections. The first hour focuses on light moments [refreshing; there's not one serious moment all through this hour], while the post-interval portions try to highlight the misunderstandings that encircle the characters.

The film has a couple of lively [and likable] moments. The light banter between Akshaye and Priyanka and her attempts to make Dino jealous keep you entertained. The sequences between the parents [Anupam Kher, Lilette Dubey] and Akshaye as also between the sisters [Priyanka-Amisha] are expertly handled. But all this happens in the first hour. The second half is plain monotonous and moves about in the most predictable fashion.

  Also, there are inherent flaws from the writing point of view. Like, for instance, the writer doesn't bother to develop the relationship between Akshaye and Priyanka. It sort of materializes out of thin air. One moment, they are client and employee, discussing the terms of their arrangement, and the next, they're in love. It's a mystery how this transition occurs. There had to be a solid ground for them to develop strong feelings for one another.

The climax is a complete downer. The confrontation between Suniel and Dino looks fake primarily because Suniel comes across a narrow-minded individual. Agreed, his wife-to-be had a past and when she confides into him, he decides to act in the most irrational manner by creating a ruckus. Hello, should someone who was brought up in NY behave so fickle-mindedly? And why does Priyanka go back to Akshaye? Is it on a rebound since Dino doesn't love her, but loves her sister Amisha? And why does Dino broach the topic with Amisha a day before her marriage? Not happening, Mr. Writer!

Dharmesh Darshan's direction is just not in league with his earlier works, LOOTERE, RAJA HINDUSTANI and DHADKAN. The emotions don't strike a chord because Dharmesh is handicapped by a sloppy screenplay [second half]. Himesh Reshammiya's music is first-rate. The title track [during the beginning titles and also when Akshaye-Priyanka land in London] as also 'Tu Hai Kamaal' are pleasant-sounding. The latter is well filmed in a nightclub.

Surprisingly, W.B. Rao's cinematography is not at par with his accomplished works. In fact, the frames aren't as striking as one would've expected them to be. Dialogues are wonderful.

  Akshaye is the soul of AAP KI KHATIR. The competent actor ignites the screen with a fascinating performance that's sure to win accolades by one and all. Priyanka goes over the top initially, but is controlled in the penultimate portions. Dino is perfectly cast; he looks suave and carries the role with effortless ease. Amisha does a decent job, although her role doesn't call for histrionics. Suniel Shetty is completely miscast. Bhumicka Singh is fair. Anupam Kher is alright. But it's Lilette Dubey who excels as the mother. Tiku Talsania, Kamini Khanna and the jing-bang [Suniel's family] try hard to make you laugh.

On the whole, AAP KI KHATIR is too mediocre a product that has some lively moments, but a weak second half [and climax] throws a wet blanket. At the box-office, the only advantage is its solo release, but the sustaining power is remote.

Producer
 Ganesh Jain
 Ratan Jain

Director
 Dharmesh Darshan

Star Cast
 Akshaye Khanna...... Aman
 Priyanka Chopra...... Anu
 Amisha Patel...... Shirani
 Dino Morea...... Danny
 Sunil Shetty...... Karan
 Bhumicka Singh...... Nikki
 Anupam Kher...... Arjun Khanna
 Lilette Dubey...... Betty Khanna
 Tiku Talsania

Singers
 Himesh Reshammiya
 Alisha Chinoy
 K K
 Sunidhi Chauhan
 Kailash Kher
 Jaspinder Narula
 Kunal Ganjawala
 Shaan
 Himani Kapoor
 Akshaye Khanna

Lyricist
 Sameer

Music Director
 Himesh Reshammiya

Background Music
 Raju Singh

Cinematography
 W B Rao

Choreography
 Bosco
 Caesar
 Raju Khan

Art
 Jeena Shetty

Editor
 Raj Sinha

Screenplay
 Sunil Munshi

Sound
 Rakesh Ranjan

Dialogue
 Sunil Munshi

Costume
 Falguni Pea*****
 Shane Pea*****
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