After delivering two duds (a line one canÂ´t escape for beginning this review considering the fact that this director gave several highly entertaining films previously), director Indra Kumar is back in a film which he claims will catapult him back to the limelight. Taking none other than his favorite star Anil Kapoor (Mohabbat, Kasam and Beta), Rishtey was touted by he and perhaps several others, to be an end year dark horse. ItÂ´s not surprising that it doesnÂ´t succeed completely, but it is appreciable that it holds its warrants for attention.Â
The film revolves around a hardworking father Sooraj (Anil Kapoor) who lives only for his son Karan (Master Jibran Khan) Sooraj brings up Karan leading him to believe that his mother Komal (Karishma Kapoor) is dead when in fact Komal is alive and waiting for the day when she can finally meet her son.
In the village Sooraj meets Vaijanthi (Shilpa Shetty), a happy go lucky fisherwoman who falls in love with Sooraj. Unfortunately, Sooraj doesnÂ´t reciprocate the feelings since his heart still belongs to Komal.
We find out via a flashback that Komal and Sooraj were happily married and in love. KomalÂ´s father (Amrish Puri) is a billionaire who never accepted his daughter marrying a lowly street fighter. He plays all the dirtiest tricks in the book and separates the two lovebirds. The couple are separated after Komal gives birth to Karan. KomalÂ´s father tries to kill Karan the night he is born but an infuriated Sooraj manages to run away with the child and takes him away to a far away place hoping to never face the past again.
Seven years pass and Komal one day spots Sooraj again with their child. Thus ensues a battle of sorts as Komal wants her child back at any cost and Sooraj is willing to fight any battle, whether it is a court battle or a fist battle, to keep him. Rishtey revolves around this complex situations and what follows, but the outcome doesnÂ´t escape the obvious.Â
Script writers Rajeev Kaun-Praful Parekh have borrowed heavily for past movies hoping to recreate some sort of magic but sadly enough they fail. While the initial father son sequences have been borrowed from Kunwara Baap, the latter Karishma-Anil-Amrish scenes have been used from Raja Hindustani and the climax has been lifted from Akele Hum Akele Tum and Boxer.Â
A strong story has rarely been Indra KumarÂ´s selling point. After all his previous hits werenÂ´t exactly creative or astounding. On the contrary, as a director Rishtey is much better than his previous film Aashiq which was utterly repulsive. Here has has gotten back to basics with a simple story that is well told. He manages to extract superb performances from his cast and grip the viewerÂ´s attention in certain scenes bringing back the spark from Dil, Beta and Ishq.
Most specifically entertaining are the scenes between Sooraj and his son along with those between the husband-wife-father in law trio. Each of them have been well shot. The comic sequences between Shilpa and Anil also manage to hit the right note. But what fails him is a weak script, unwanted scenes with no relation to the story and some tedious melodrama. Take for example the scene at the start with Master Jibran and his leg problem at the race, though well canned this scene did not have any relation to the story at all. Additionally, some of the later scenes with Karishma Kapoor crying did not have much of an impact and bored the viewers, especially since she already has a tendency to cry her heart out in all of her films.
Acting wise the honors belong to Anil Kapoor who gives a volatile powerhouse performance. He looks about as young as he did in Tezaab and it is great to see him in a gritty role once again. As Sooraj the street fighter who later becomes a caring father, he plays his role to a hilt. Whether it is dramatic scenes, confrontations, romance, comedy or action Anil provides the full brigade of talent. Though it isnÂ´t one of his best performances, in comparison to something like Pukar and Virasat, it definitely is something he can be proud of and add in his kitty of worthy performances alongside his underrated Om Jai Jagadish. A special mention must go to Mr. Kapoor in the action scene, those who thought Anil Kapoor was too old for hardcore action scenes should think again.
Karishma Kapoor does not impress at all in her role. She displays the same variety of emotions as shown in Haan Maine Bhi Pyaar Kiya, Raja Hindustani, Shakti and Fiza. Her over the top crying and shouting is not appealing at all anymore and neither is her teary eyed look. Miss Kapoor has had finer moments though she does look as gorgeous as ever.
Shilpa Shetty on the other hand is a scene stealer in a performance straight from the pages of old school Sridevi. This is definitely essential since the actress has another release this weekend itself in Harry BawejaÂ´s Karz- The Burden of Truth. Without a doubt her performance is highly inspired by Sridevi be it her dialogue delivery or facial expression but nevertheless she does a excellent job. She is slowly proving herself to be a worthy contender after some decent performance in Hathyar and Dhadkan as well. Her comic timing is just impeccable and she looks astonishingly beautiful.
Amrish Puri has done roles like this time and time again in the past and this is no variation. Age is taking
a toll on Amrish-saab, yet his quality of work has not deteriorated, it is becoming repetitive. Master Jibran Khan doesnÂ´t overact as a lot of child actors do and holds a large appeal after playing the spoiled brat in Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham.Â
Sanjeev DarshanÂ´s soundtrack works in favor of the movie. Although some songs in the movie can be chopped, overall the music is a plus point. "Har Taraf" has a mesmerizing effect on the viewer and the violin strings are hypnotic. Similarly so, "Rishta Tera, Rishta Mera" is picturized delightfully at the beginning of the film. The background score by Monty Sharma is well done.
Allan AminÂ´s action is far above par, especially for a film which focuses less on action.Â Each and every punch in the movie looks like it has actually been thrown and the entire fight sequence in the climax will
leave the viewer gripped in their seat. Baba AzmiÂ´s camerawork and Bijon Das GuptaÂ´s sets are great making the technical department a major factor in the film.Â
Granted that it is all based on commercial film making, there were full reasons to believe that Rishtey had the potential to be something great. But Indra Kumar has placed a little too much focus once again on the wrong thing over looking the essential aspects of the screenplay and story. What results is a watch able film viable for viewing perhaps twice but at least once.