After dishing out insanely patriotic films such as Tiranga, Krantiveer and Kohraam, Mehul Kumar switches genres and takes a stab at romance, and kills it. The film is a remake of the Hollywood flop Forces of Nature (Ben Affleck and Sandra Bullock). Mehul gives it an Indian touch but does nothing to actually make the film worth watching. By incorporating 1000 clichés and plenty of predictable moments, he makes the original look like a Shakespearean play!
Jatin (Fardeen Khan) is on his way home after finishing off his studies in New York (funny it looks like Australia to me). Back home in India, Jatin´s parents have arranged his wedding to Jaya (Sonali Kulkarni). At the airport Jatin bumps into the hot tempered Karishma (Amrita Arora) who is catching a flight back to India for her arranged marriage to a guy named Nimesh (Ayub Khan). Jatin and Karishma instantly develop a mutual dislike for each other but are constantly running into one another. They board the flight to Delhi together and once they arrive in Delhi they find that their flight to Gujarat is cancelled. Together they manage to make it back to Gujarat (not only do they both live in Gujarat, they both live in the same city too! Wow will wonders never cease?) via taxi and bus. On their journey the two are mistaken for a married couple by an overly happy family which seems to have dropped off the sets of DDLJ or HAHK and into this mockery of romance. Jatin and Karishma even perform a Havan to keep the grandparents happy. Eventually they make it back to their hometowns and depart, but not before realizing that they have fallen in love with each other. Still they decide it´s best to listen to their parents and marry the one that has been chosen for them. After a senseless second half we´re left watching the climax in which Jaya and Jatin and Karishma and Nimesh are getting married at a venue where their altars stand across from each other. To call it a coincidence is an understatement. What happens in the end? Who cares?
Kitne Door Kitne Paas has got to be one of Mehul Kumar´s silliest films to date. With patriotic films at least he was capable of mildly entertaining the audience. In this film the audience is left wondering what the hell is wrong with our lead pair? Their parents want them to marry someone they want, yet the couple spends a good part of the movie hiding these feelings from their parents. The movie is said to be inspired by Forces of Nature, but it has generous dashes of almost all major romantic films Bollywood has made in the past decade. The plot is so predictable and the situations that the scriptwriters have conjured have already been done to death. The first half of the movie is full of light moments. It´s entertaining to an extent and fun. Mehul makes the romance between the lead pair believable. Sadly, scenes which were meant to be funny left the audience nervously chuckling because they know they had seen these situations in previous movies. The second half get´s long, boring and tedious. Mehul has done a good job of stretching a wafer thin plot and boring audiences with a film which we´ve seen at least ten times before in different forms. There is no single scene which stands out after you´ve left the theatre. Amrita´s pre-climax portions are worth a mention, but that is about it. However there are plenty of silly scenes thrown in and the best among them is the far-fetched Havan fiasco. Imtiaz Patel, Yunus Sejawal and Mehul Kumar should be embarrassed that their collective efforts on the screenplay couldn´t result in something more original. Technically the film is patchy as well. Mazhar Kamran´s cinematography is breath taking. The Gold Coast and Brisbane look stunning on the big screen, but for some reason the director tries to pass Brisbane off as New york which really doesn´t go down well with the audience. It´s an insult to our intelligence. To make matters worse the editing of the film is all off (Yusuf Sheik), the sound is misplaced and the dialogues lack emotion. While the songs are hummable, none of them make a strong impact on screen. Sanjeev Darshan have composed a decent soundtrack without being catchy.
Performance wise there is really only one person who stands out. Amrita Arora is self assured, confident and loveable on screen. She makes her presence felt and despite this being her first film. Her diction and emotions are spot on. As a dancer she is first rate and keeps up all the way. She may not be as good looking as her sister (Malaika Arora Khan) in a western getup, but she dazzles the audience in traditional outfits. Her pre-climax scene is wonderfully done and full credit goes to this newcomer for handling it with ease. Amrita is a face to look forward to in the future. Fardeen is quickly loosing his touch. What little sparks of talent he displayed in Jungle and Pyaar Tune Kya Kiya (and maybe Love Ke Liye Kuch Bhi Karega) have completely extinguished. His expressions are wooden and his acting is lackluster. If Fardeen continues on this track he´s sure to burn out very soon! Sonali Kulkarni is completely wasted as Jaya. She looks tacky and spouts unconvincing dialogue throughout her short role. Mehul Kumar has wasted her obvious talent and one wonders why she would agree to be a part of such a sad project. Ayub Khan makes no impression as Nimesh. He sleepwalks through his role and looks bored throughout the movie. Satish Shah, Tiku Talsania and Ketaki Dave try their best to infuse comedy into the film, their efforts are appreciated. Satish Shah´s scenes are bothersome and he grates on the nerves. Govind Namdev is ok as is the rest of the supporting cast.
Kitne Door Kitne Paas is a laughable effort by Mehul to make a super hit romance. While the movie has some entertaining sequences, it´s a waste of ticket money. The only good thing to come out of the movie is the debutante heroine who is sure to go places. Fardeen and Amrita´s chemistry on screen is really good. Sadly the story is one we´ve seen over and over. Boy meets girl, they hate each other, then they love each other, and they live happily ever after. Mehul thinks that by taking inspirations from HAHK, DDLJ, and countless other romantic films not to mention borrowing the basic story of Forces of Nature and throwing in a lot of traditions and light moments (to appeal to Indian audiences) he can make a good movie. Think again Mehul, the audience is a lot smarter than you think. Avoid this one at all costs.