Producer: Vijay Tolani
Director : Sanjay Gupta
Sanjay Dutt, Manisha Koirala, Suresh Oberoi, Mukesh Khanna
Anu Malik, Sajid-Wajid

Released on : March 03, 2000

Reviewed by: Anjali Abrol

out of 
Khauff is one movie that people have been waiting for...and not because of the story, cast, songs or such...but because it just wouldn't release! For example, many of the websites reported the release of Khauff every next Friday, and come Friday, no release, and the sites would update it by putting the next Friday as the release date..and the next...and the next. Stories flew about Sanjay Gupta threatening to walk out, the producer getting impatient, Manisha throwing typical heroine fits, on and on and on...and frankly, the behind-the-screens action seemed to outdo anything Sanjay Dutt could do on-screen. And considering how excited we are to see the return of Daler Mehndi again to sing and "dance" like the "Bollywood Bhangra" star he is, well, maybe the wait isn't so bad....

Khauff (Fear) is what surrounds the heroine in the movie, and with good reason. Neha (Manisha) lives with her younger sister and grandfather in a homely little town. She, like most heroes and heroines, leaves her little town for the big city of fast-paced Mumbai for job opportunities and such, and becomes an air hostess. She, unfortunately, also sees the murder of a police officer (Mukesh Khanna) while returning home from her friend Ritu's mangni to Sharad (Kapoor), another policewala (late night parties can get out of hand sometimes). Mukesh Khanna was, of course, conducting an investigation on Suresh Oberoi, the big King of gundas, and must be eliminated. ("John, usko khatam kardo, immigently [immediately]"). The murderer is Samrat Singhania, played by Parmeet Sethi (of DDLJ fame...basically a new-age generic villian--what happened to the good ol' baddies like Gulshan Grover and Shakti Kapoor?). And the villian's father (Suresh Oberoi), who is ten times worse and yes, of course he is in politics!

Sanjay Dutt (Babu) enters to kill the villian and flex his muscles at Manya so she will dance among the flowers for him and they will live happily ever after...right?

Not exactly...enter the third major villian, Babu (what a vicious-sounding name), who is hired to chase Neha, but not around trees....but out of the courtroom. Why? She has given her statement about the crime, and he is out to politely persuade her to change her statement and not to testify against Samrat. But it wasn't like she wanted to go all out and spill the latest news, but you know, when you are fleeing a crime scene, you just always manage to drop your I.D. card, and that's when you KNOW you wouldn't make a very good gunda.

Oh right, and remember that she is an air hostess, INTERNATIONAL airline hostess, that is...and what could that mean? That the chase is on...and while she's flying around, serving Tuttie Frutties to the passengers, Babu the killer (ooooh that name sends shivers down my spine) is lurking among them (I wouldn't say 'hiding'...imagine the huge Dutt trying to hide on an airplane...right). Ah and yes, while is he pretending to be in love with her so his 'love' can get her to not testify, he really does fall in love with her. A stupid villian, at that. Khoobsurat, anyone? Oh right, but Babu isn't exactly a dashing name, so he becomes classy Vicky (sounds like a villian's stupid son), and woos her with food (which I am sure she enjoyed, noting her slimness) and fine wining and dining. And not to forget the sardar in the movie (no, not Daler), the standard nowadays, and no it isn't a generic sardar (e.g. Johnny Lever)'s the real thing...Jaspal Bhatti...times two.

So what about the much hyped Nach Baby Nach Kudi? Yes, the lyrics are really veering towards the ridiculous side of songs....but hey, it's Daler, and he can get away with anything. (Ever wonder what Tunak Tunak was supposed to be about??) Well, frankly, I am sick of Daler trying to strut what he just doesn't have for Bollywood screens....first Mrityudaata...then Arjun Pandit (which was just BADLY done, considering how he sticks his face smack in front of the camera and hams worse in 4 minutes than Shahrukh has done in his entire career), and now this (forgive me for leaving out any other nightmares). And Raveena? That's good she was limited to a guest appearance. O Gori Tu Chali Kahan was nice, though. The rest were mediocre.

General commentary....suspense was pretty good, with a decent mix of the old (read: typical Bollywood stuff) and new (enough to keep the movie from being too predictable). Sanjay Dutt did well, and it is nice to see him go upwards in his career and go beyond just the action toy role (though this was among his dishum dishum roles). Manisha could really use a hit, though, but I don't think this is going to really help her non-existent career (she is almost to the Raveena, Shilpa Shetty Pooja Batra first I thought it was just Akki's bad luck rubbing off on all of them...and then I realized that they were just BAD actresses). Make-up and hair-wise, Manya could still use the help...a lot of help. The 1942: A Love Story natural beauty was created by a lot of makeup, not by lack of it (e.g. her actual beauty). The clothing was pretty ridiculous, but again, Sanjay still hasn't given up on his Haseena Maan Jaayegi attire (the Govinda influence). What was the deal with the yellow clothing? In a few scenes, Manya looked very much like Urmila...scary, huh.

The movie is watchable, a pretty good timepass. I would just watch it for the sole reason of it actually getting released, if for no other reason.