Planet Bollywood
Aap Kaa Surroor
 
Producer: Vijay Taneja
Director: Prashant Chadha
Starring: Himesh Reshammiya, Hansika Motwani, and Mallika Sherawat
Music: Himesh Reshammiya
Lyrics: Sameer
Genre: Suspense
Recommended Audience: Parental Guidance
Approximate Running Time: 2 hr. 30 mins.
Film Released on: 29 June 2007
Reviewed by: Samir Dave  - Rating: 2.0 / 10
 
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Public Rating Average: 5.17 / 10 (rated by 400 viewers)
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Though I had a lot of pre-conceived notions against this movie, I tried to keep an open mind while watching it. Himesh Reshammiya has become something of a cultural icon. He’s able to put out mind numbingly repetitive music (with a few sprinkles of creativity here and there) and the public seems to be eating it all up. Aap Kaa Surroor had the biggest opening of any other film of 2007. The marketing machine of the production company has been in full swing, and curiosity regarding the film is at an all time high.

I give you fair warning though, about the only way you will enjoy this movie is if you are totally crazy about all things Himesh and are a Reshammaniac. Otherwise, your best bet is to play what I call the H.R. Shot Game. Every time H.R. changes caps in the movie, down a tequila shot. The movie will then get progressively better as it goes along. If you watch this sober, then you are in for a torturous experience.

The movie is a blatant attempt to capitalize and make money on H.R.’s popularity. He’s gone on record to say that if the movie succeeds he will continue acting. A sequel to this movie is already in the scripting stage and hopefully a better product is churned out next time. Even H.R. himself said, “Leave your brain at home and just enjoy the movie”.

H.R.’s friend Prashant Chadha directs the movie in a sloppy and lackluster way. The movie’s locale is Germany wherein the police speak perfect British English. H.R. is India’s premiere rock star, who is performing a concert for his many German fans. Unfortunately, Nadia Merchant (a reporter), is killed seemingly by the capped one himself. This starts the long in the tooth mystery as to who really killed the reporter and framed H.R. Is it the obviously stated bald villain (Darshan Jariwala’s acting is so bad, that he makes us long for the days when we could see our favorite bald villain Amrish Puri.) who hates H.R. for turning down his world tour offer? Is it Mallika Sherawat who feels scorned by H.R. and holds an unrequited love for him in her heart? Is it the woefully cast Raj Babbar who spends most of his time crying in front of the T.V. set with revenge in his eyes for the murder of his daughter? Is it…..ahhh…..who cares! Does it matter? (Hint: It’s the bald guy….Khurana).

Lest, I forget, there’s also a love story wrapped within the murder mystery. Sixteen-year-old actress Hansika Motwani plays Riaa in a totally passionless manner. She shows some potential, but unnervingly looks like a kid at times, because she is just a kid. The screenplay writers decide that the best way to show the undying passion between the two lovebirds is by playing the Gayatri Mantra over and over again in the background.


Mallika Sherawat does what she does best. She reveals her body and plays the part of vamp very well. As a side note, the much-publicized song, “Mehbooba, Mehbooba” is tacked on at the end of the movie, almost as an afterthought and has nothing to do with the plot.

There are inside jokes that make fun of H.R.’s nasal twang, but for the most part the lead character is portrayed as a sober and bit of a grumpy man. By the time the German police come to arrest H.R. and he yells, that “it’s a mistake”, I began to think the same thing about the movie.

Now, H.R. has to escape jail and get back to Riaa before her father marries her off to another man to keep her away from the murderous H.R. This entails a whole set of cap changes (by this time, the people at home playing the H.R. Shot Game should be enjoying the movie).

Special mention must be made of apna Rickshaw drivers that appear out of thin air (In GERMANY!) to distract the cops so that their bhai H.R. can escape. Their performance is arguably the highlight of the movie.

The songs are picturized in a boring way that literally saps away one’s interest in them. Cinematography and choreography are just ok. The movie could have been something better, but descends into a mish mash of tired clichés. To cover all the clichéd angles the writers even throw in an innocent child with a fatal heart defect to win the audience over with her sweet scenes! See H.R. at his most emotionally vulnerable moments! See how he almost (if you squint) has a tear in his eyes when he hugs the girl! You must feel something!!


Now, on to the best or worst part of the movie, which would be H.R.’s acting. It’s wooden, and unfeeling. He seems to have one constipated expression throughout the movie. There is no depth in his action and his dialogue delivery needs much improvement. The two leads share virtually no chemistry together, and never once does the viewer feel any intensity of emotion.

Still, I know what you are really waiting to hear. What lurks under H.R.’s hat!? Is he bald or not!? Well, he takes off his hat for a few scenes in the movie, but do you really want me to spoil the surprise for our hirsute music director?

All in all, a totally forgettable experience that brings to mind Sonu Nigam’s failed attempt at turning a singing career into an acting career. While I realize that H.R. wanted to capitalize on his popularity, both he, the directors, and screen play writers should have given some more thought on a better vehicle for this larger than life commercial character. Let’s be honest here, H.R. has turned into a commercial commodity and now it’s sad to see the man himself run his popularity into the ground.

By the end of the movie, we are onto our twenty-third shot, and the movie is great! What’s that you say? You are totally sober? Then the movie is not so good.

The film has all sorts of flaws, such as Riaa’s father watching T.V. during his daughter’s wedding to find out that H.R. is <> innocent. The killing off of Nadia Merchant, a character that the viewer has no vested interest in and who is only shown for a few minutes as a plot device also lacks any impact. Did I mention the English speaking German police or the Hindi translator who translates for them during the film’s climax? How about the annoyance of seeing the lead character always with his hat on? (Surprisingly and I am sure to the disappointment of teen female girls all over the world, there is no shower cap scene)

But wait! All is not lost, stay for the ending and you will find a little animated music video that has a better story than the entire movie combined (starring the aptly named H.R.2 as the lead character). There has to be some redeeming factor! Unless you are a rabid Reshammaniac, do yourself a favor and stay away from this turkey of a movie. Or you could play the H.R. Shot game and have a great time!

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