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Planet Bollywood
Film Review

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Producer : Yogesh Anand
Director:
T. Rama Rao
*ing
:
Anil Kapoor, Rekha, Raveena Tandon, Rajnikant, Shakti Kapoor, Aruna Irani
Music: Viju Shah

Released on : January 07, 2000


Reviewed by: Anjali Abrol
diwaliji@indolink.com


out of 
With two much-awaited and potential blockbusters, Mela and Bulandi, releasing on the same day, one would think that at least one of the two would manage to live up to the crowd's expectations. Unfortunately, the humor in both was crass, the songs were either bad from the beginning or were shot down by horrific 'choreography', both have been in the making since the century when Mithun was 'in', and both, well, have put Shahrukh's Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani on a mantle, even before release. I wonder what all the fuss was about when the release dates of the three 'blockbusters' were being discussed?! One would think that two superb and dedicated actors heading the flicks, Aamir and Anil, would think twice before getting themselves into films better left to the less-fortunate actors. I think they forgot to think....

Flash back to Virasat and strip it of its quality. Dada Thakur a.k.a. Zamindar Dharmaraj (Anil Kapoor) is the head of a village and represents the Supreme law of the land (make that village with no outside contact, basically). Rekha plays his wife (if you can't be it in real life, well, nothing beats reel life!), Anil Kapoor 2 (a.k.a. Arjun) plays chhota bhai (not to forget reject Harish as Nakul), and the rebellious and smart 'sher ki ladki' Meena (Raveena), Arjun's wife. Of all the village, only Raveena rebels due to her upbringing (those disobedient culture-less city girls!), yet reforms when she sees her father bowing to Dada. Oh, and yes, the villain must also disagree with Dada, and the villain is not Raveena....so enter Shakti Kapoor as Jagat Singh, who (equipped with family) has been isolated from society due to punishment ordered by the Dada of all Dadas, Rajnikant (g.a.). Revenge is in store, and it is all a part of the suspense to see if the villian is successful!

Oh, wait, this is a Hindi flick.... A 'sexy' chick is sent by Jagat to seduce Arjun and ends up dead, and Arjun is obviously blamed and kicked out of the village. Tsk tsk. Anil's Hai Hai Mirchi moves are not to be messed with.

There were a few problems with the flick...about 2.5 hours worth of problems. First, Aruna Irani's (she plays Shakti Kapoor's mother) wig kept slipping. Rekha and Raveena's makeup was horrific and did not make them look any younger than their 70 and 30 years, respectively. Raveena looked chubby (the Rani syndrome) and Rekha looks better in magazine pics (you know, the editing techniques in India are amazing!). Rajnikant looked good in his commanding role, and Anil looked awkward in both of his roles....a little too old in one and a little too young in the other. Acting was nothing amazing, though effort was evident. Songs were ruined by terrible choreography, though Teri Meri Ik Zind was barely saved. True, Raveena and Rekha had the Akshay rift, but please, don't try to outdo each other on-screen, disgusting dance moves, bad acting, or cake makeup. Choreography was badly lifted from Dil Se (sigh). Humor was crass, especially with Paresh Rawal playing the role of a son who does not know who his mother is and goes around asking every woman, only for his dad to tell him that that she's actually his sister. Cheap cheap cheap!

This movie, though, gave Anil the opportunity to act in a role older than his actual age, and Rekha, the role of a lifetime--to act the role of a woman YOUNGER than her actual age.

Bottom line? The movie could have been better, a whole lot better...better humor, songs, choreography, acting, casting (e.g. Rekha and Ravs), SCRIPT, etc....but Mela is hardly competition.

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