Perhaps Indian directors and producers canâ€™t be blamed for lifting Hollywood plots, especially if â€śoriginalâ€ť work like Khwahish is the only alternative. Govinda Menonâ€™s Khwahish features what is likely one of the most contrived and incoherent screenplays ever written. It wouldnâ€™t be surprising if it was discovered that the writers concocted this monstrous screenplay on the fly, thinking themselves extremely clever for creating a screenplay as unpredictable as â€śreal life.â€ť
The film is unpredictable, no doubt, but not because of creativity on the part of the writers; Khwahishâ€™s surprises come from random events, problems, and issues being brought up and dropped every fifteen minutes of the film. So often does the film abruptly switch tracks, that viewers are compelled to constantly ask themselves not questions about the events on screen, but whether or not itâ€™s even worth sitting through any more of the film. Itâ€™s not.
Khwahishâ€™s â€śmatureâ€ť and â€śrealisticâ€ť depiction of life and love involves a clichĂ©d farmerâ€™s daughter (newcomer Mallika Sherawat) falling in love with the token businessmanâ€™s son (Himanshu Malik, Tum Bin). Unlike traditional Hindi film characters, however, these two are unusually forthcoming about their sexuality and even get married for the sole purpose of consummating their relationship. Soon however, the rich boy begins to take the farmerâ€™s daughter for granted. The couple decides that a baby may be the cure for their marital woes, but the girl is then pronounced infertile by one of the most conspicuously phony hospitals ever presented in a Hindi film. There is no real central problem to be resolved in the film, but the events following the fertility revelation can, if absolutely necessary, be classified as a climax. Then the film ends, on a wholly unsatisfying note, about two hours too late.
Not only does the film begin on a conventional note, the events following the introduction lack the kind of energy and innovation needed to make things interesting. For a romantic pair that is constantly undressing, kissing, and fondling, there seem to be far too few genuine emotions involved. And the fact that the plot is rampantly disjointed and does not allow for any one of its many storylines to advance beyond a handful of scenes doesnâ€™t help. By the time the half-way mark is reached, it becomes overwhelmingly obvious that there is no need to invest any real interest in the outcome of the film.
The director seems to have paid far more attention to Sherawatâ€™s revealing outfits, risquĂ© romantic scenes, and sex appeal than anything else. Sherawat is undoubtedly stunning, with an abundance of appeal enough to give her contemporaries a run for their money, but the film wouldâ€™ve proved a more slightly more rewarding experience if Mallika had been allowed to perform as much as she was flaunt her figure.
The rest of the cast performs with insulting incompetence. Himanshu may never be offered a role again based on his awful work in this film, and the character artistes filling supporting roles are only marginally more effective than Mr. Malik.
There are few films as banal, lethargic, and uninvolved as this one and there are few tasks as arduous as trying to keep up with it. Sherawat is impressive on nearly all accounts, but the amount of time one must invest in the picture to discover this is not nearly worth it.