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Planet Bollywood
Film Review

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Producer: Anil Sharma
Director:
P. Vasu
*ing
:
Ajay Devgan, Neha, Arshad Warsi, Mayuri
Music: Anand Milind

Released on : May 7, 1999


Reviewed by: Anjali Abrol
dilwaliji@indolink.com


out of 
Hogi Pyar Ki Jeet, starring the person who knows love best, newlywed Ajay Devgan. In addition, this is Neha’s second film after Kareeb (a flop)…unfortunately, she also left her clothes there…shedding the ‘image’ doesn’t always include the clothes, you know. Mayuri Kango and Arshad Warsi, two superstars in their own little fantasy world, complete the cast. High expectations? Nah, not really, though the music is quite nice…

The basic purane zamane ki story is all but original and exciting. The setup is as follows: the big bad thakur, Gajendra Singh (Mohan Joshi), murders both an imaandaar village man, Surjit (Anil Dhawan), and his wife, and seizes Surjit’s property. In his akhri sanse, Surjit makes his sister, Shanti behen or whatever (Ketki Dave), vow to avenge their murders by making Surjit’s two chote chote pyare pyare mune marry Gajendra’s daughters when they grow up, so that the thakur comes begging to Ketki for her two nephews’ hand in marriage. In the midst of all the ruckus during the murders, Raju (baby Ajay Devgan) escapes after hitting Gajendra in the head with a rock, and is brought up by a kind village man to pursue his dream career as a milkman. Raju’s younger bhai, Kishen (Arshad Warsi…the bhai bhai resemblance is uncanny), lives with his aunt (Ketki) and becomes a city-slicker/woman chaser.

On the other hand, so conveniently do Neha and Mayuri grow up to be the two girls, the thakur’s niece and daughter, respectively. Mayuri attends Kishen’s college…if that is a college, that is…all they do is prance around, pout and complain, and wear ridiculous clothes. Much to our surprise, Raju and Neha fall in love, as do Mayuri and Kishen. Unfortunately for the two pairs of lovers, Gajendra isn’t exactly going to do Bhangra upon discovering their feelings, hence, a plan must be devised.

*INTERMISSION*

Sochna parega…ah HA! Got it! Let’s just pick up a solution already used in a thousand other movies! Why start being original now? Enter Manthriji Raza Murad, with his extremely attractive and well-kept two sons, DumDum and DigaDiga… they are as interestingly ‘unique’ and ‘soft’ as their names. They are slated to marry the two heroines, and the moment they arrive to the gaon is when the asli movie begins. Comedy takes over, as the two heroes join the little brains and a lot of wit that they have to formulate a plan full of laughter, silliness, songs, comedy, and action to marry their loves and fulfill their father’s wish (and aunt’s vow) as well as finish off the thakur.

Acting: Very little effort was put in by all actors to actually act…the lack of character in each was blatantly evident by the lackluster performances. Ajay is the better of the lot. Arshad lacks in actual acting skills but excelled in his attempts of humor…it fits his shakal. Neha is okay, though she needs a lot more work on her acting…I liked her much more in Kareeb. Mayuri is unbearable...doesn’t she realize by now that she is supposed to be an actress, not a pouter? Even that, she has yet to master. Na shakal na akal…aisi jhalli ko Mithun ki films mein hona chahiye. In addition, the casting for Raju and Kishen’s aunt, Ketki Dave, was terrible. She was highly unconvincing and her perfect stringy gray streaks were ridiculous. Any other typical aunt, e.g. Aroona Irani, would have been better fit for the role. Overall, the cast looked bored, and hence, bored the audience.

Dancing: The songs were excellent. Every song had its own charm and the dances were fairly well with each song—nothing detrimental. Ajay was his usual--decent. Arshad, on the other hand, really shined as he moved…his strength is his ability to dance and he is one of the best in Bollywood. His solo (I believe it was Dil Deewana Kehta Hai) was superb and had shades of Salman Khan’s big college performance in PKTDK’s O O Jaane Jana. Nevertheless, his dances are worth watching. Neha was extremely awkward and very uncomfortable…I would rather her sit and lip-sync than get up and make a complete fool out of herself. Mayuri…well, let’s not go there. She can’t dance to save her life, and is about as seductive as Kunal Goswami (Don’t know who he is? Exactly…see what I mean?).

Makeup/Clothes: Neha looked beautiful, and Mayuri has a long way to go (let’s start with laying off the bruised purple lips). Mayuri’s little side clips made her look all but cute. What’s the deal with Bollywood’s fascination with kiddie braids? The clothing, was, well…horrible. Neha looked horrendous in ‘seductive’ western clothing, and the whole wet water look was silly and unnecessary. She looked much more comfortable and attractive in Indian clothing. Mayuri wore western clothing that were three sizes too small, never changed out of her black t-shirt--I mean black dress, and wore fashions (or lackthereof) that were extremely unflattering and hazardous to the naked eye. Sex appeal? Hardly. More like flake-alert.

The story really picked up after the introduction of DumDuma and DigaDiga. The first half was boring, passable, blah, and frankly, very unconvincing and melodramatic. I rerally began to enjoy the movie once the comedy picked in and wished that they would have thought to introduce a little humor from the beginning and picked up from there, since the first and second half do not go together very well. The humor was good and made up a bit for the lack of originality (same rohna dohna dishum dishum kahani) and horrific acting.

*Not a bad film overall, if you can stand the same old kahani once again.*

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