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Film Review
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Producer: Milan Jhaveri
Director : Lateef Binny
*ing:
Akshaye Khanna, Sonali Bendre
Music:
Anand Milind, Aadesh Shrivastava

Released on : December 17, 1999


Reviewed by: Anjali Abrol
dilwaliji@indolink.com


out of 
Sonali, fresh from new found fame (due to the movies and NOT her acting) from Hum Saath Saath Hai and Sarfarosh, and Akshaye, from Taal, have finally managed to complete Dahek, five years and many, many hair-sheddings later (witness the progression of the movie and you will be in awe of Akshaye's lush mane). Take Bombay, replace Manisha with Sonali, Arvind with Akshaye, strip it of its decency, story, classiness, and realism, and you have Dahek. Once again, we are blessed with the Muslim girl-Hindu boy fall in love story and chaos entertains us for three longggg hours. The funniest thing, is, though, is that they figure out wayyy into the movie about one another's religions and are in utter shock. Stupid, right? Just about as stupid at the 24 hour-fall in love bakwaas from Pyaar Koi Khel Nahin.

Nilima Bakshi (the first Muslim Bakshi I have heard of) and Sameer "Prince" fall in the staring love at first sight silliness in the post office, have chance meetings, and their love blossoms as does our boredom. Nilima comes from the orthodox Muslim family, with uncle Jabbar (Danny--think Silsila Hai Pyaar Ka sort of warped thinking) doing time for killing her aunt Sabeena (also Sonali) and a guy she eloped with against family wishes (technically, he killed the brother-in-law and Sabeena killed herself, but same effect), I mean, how dare they go against his ideals and morals and all the standard bakwaas?

The other people who make up her wacked family are strict daddy Javed, a decent, samajhdaar uncle named Naseem, and a kind granny, on and on. It's the standard 'you must obey me to live..." bakwaas, hence, she is under uhhmm a lot of stress. Prince (wasn't that his dog's name in Taal? Wait, no, it was Brownie. Wasn't he Prince in Laawaris? Either way, he should be named Ganju) has a sweet grannie too (Anjana Mumtaz) and a kindly father Roshanlal (Dalip Tahil)...have you noticed how he always ends up with a sweet granny and a decent father, otherwise he's an orphan?

Well, after some singing and dancing, they figure out the other's religion, try to break it off (well, Sonali tries to out of love and protection of her majnu, on and on), they cannot do it, for the burning passion draws them to indulge in the heat of their passionate romance together, to fight the world together, for they cannot live apart, they cannot, the world gets involved to tear them apart, the newspapers announce their crimes, the crime of passionate love, the burning love! Oh what are they to do? Jabbar wants to kill Akshaye, he manages to beat him to bits, they wisk Sonali off to marry a proper Muslim guy (who is also a gold-digger), and at the engagement, Akshaye comes and takes her away, because their love can defeat all, it can, yes it can! It can also cause Akshaye to burn down Sonali's house (what a great way to start a good relationship with your future in-laws...) The families are torn apart, the country is reeking havoc, riots, anger, hate thrive, hate zindabad! But no, no, Sonali and Akshaye reaffirm their love for one another when they whisk away to Udaipur to complete their series of songs, oblivious of the entire of India killing each other over their love (love ho to aisa, sure adds to the burning effect). The love is burning, the nation is burning, people are dying, for love, for hate! The love, the hate, the philosophy, the dialogue, the swords, the blood, the LOVE, the HATE!!!

Breathless? Not really. Bored? Oh yes.

Oh, right, and did I mention that in the midst of communal riots and burning love, they are both trying to become doctors, and Akshaye gets in but Sonali is rejected? Oops, sorry, but they are also pretty brainy (obviously), which makes the comedic angle of the movie, sort of like the Dr. Sonali in Hum Saath Saath Hai. Haan, and for compromise, Sonali and Akshaye spend a day in church for her janam din (sounds cheesy, but that's a first in the movie...).

Does that stir the burning excitement within you? It should.... Akshaye did well, but I am really sick and tired of the lovesick role of his. It is too sappy and silly for him. Sonali was PATHETIC, but that is not a surprise, now, is it.

Music was fairly decent, actually. I quite liked the songs ( Dahek audio review), and the dances were average. More importantly, the movie was pathetic. Directing, producing, uhhmm what else is there...well, in sum, Dahek was a disaster, a shame to Bombay, a disgrace to Akshaye's wilting career, and how else can I express my disgust? Ah, yes, GO WATCH IT. I think you will understand, if you even doubt me for a moment. Otherwise, trust me, it's film you would rather burn (it's going to be a cold winter...).

Verdict: 0.5 for the songs, and 1.0 for the amusing hair loss (Akshaye's) as the movie progressed) =1.5

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