Anjaana Anjaani- Uninspiring, non-entertainer

Producers: Sajid Nadiadwala
Director: Siddharth Anand
Cast: Ranbir Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra, Zayed Khan

MUMBAI: Anjaana Anjaani is a love story about losers; Ranbir Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra meet on a bridge in New York, ready to take a plunge and end their lives. For the Hindi film audience who love their heroes to be larger than life, the tone set is wrong. Failing in the attempt, they join forces and help each other commit suicide; still no luck. They conclude that they probably have some incomplete tasks and this is the divine message to finish those. A 20-day deadline is set by both to jointly commit suicide from the same bridge.

Since they can’t think of any tasks they need to complete, they decide to have fun and see places. Here onwards, nobody seems to keep track of what happens and why, and after a while it does not matter to the viewer either; he just gives up, resigned to whatever is heaped onto him. Inevitably, the girl and boy do fall in love but, again, are not very sure! Finally, what has convinced a thousand screen lovers before convinces these two that they do love each other and that is a montage of flashbacks!

In Anjaana Anjaani there is nothing identifiable to an Indian moviegoer. While
the concept is hackneyed, the influence on the makers is purely their exposure to American films and music videos. Most of the film looks like it is selling the American dream (as dreamt by the makers) when it is not looking like US Tourism show reel!

The casting does not quite work. While Ranbir looks too young next to Priyanka Chopra, his character, that of an unexposed and inexperienced to the ways of the world as against Priyanka’s ‘Ms Know It All’, only makes the pairing odder. To the film’s disadvantage, the two lead characters are expected to carry all of its nearly 4,200 meter length between the two of them; sadly neither are they capable nor does the script afford them the scope.

Ranbir Kapoor has been carrying his limited expressions and ‘I am at sea’ look since his debut; he will need a lot of variety if he plans to stay around. Priyanka Chopra looks too mature for the role and gesticulating and making faces is what she does in the name of acting. Her perky, cute at times, bubbly at others is not convincing. Other actors who fleet in and out of the film are incidental and only add to the tedium.

While the cinematography is pleasant, this is about as much America as you would want to see in one film. Music falls much, much short of the kind a love story requires; what is a song like ‘Aas paas Khuda….’ doing in this film? It blends with neither the characters nor the ambience… anything at all!! Since the love story has no story, the film plods along on gags and funny moments and some of them are enjoyable.

Uninspiring as a love story or as an entertainer, Anjaana Anjaani will pass unnoticed!

Khichdi- better off on TV

Producers: J D Majethia
Director: Aatish Kapadia
Cast: Anang Desai, J D Majethia, Supriya Pathak, Rajeev Mehta, Nimisha Vakharia
Khichdi-The Movie starts off on a promising note. Satish Shah, the God incarnate, is visiting the Parekh family to offer them laddoos of wisdom. Exasperated by them he gives up and walks out. Khichdi was very popular as a television serial and to cash in on its brand equity, the makers have made its movie version.

Like in the serial, the antics of the Parekh family continue with some gags and misadventures. The race is to excel in foolishness with each member vying to out do each other. To give the film a storyline, the family is on the lookout for a bride for JD and there is an equally duh girl in the neighbouring Sikh family, where peculiarly, everyone in the family of about 40 to 50 is named Parminder. A match is fixed between JD and Parminder girl (Kirti Kulhari). However, there is a hitch: JD wants his love story to be memorable hence wants hurdles in his love for Parminder before it finds its happy ending!
The film has some interesting gags in the first half and is fun to watch. But, in the second half, it starts sagging; things get repetitive and monotonous.
In this farce, performances are more like buffoonery.

Khichdi- The Movie would have been better off being a TV serial; at least the remote control is available!

Benny And Babloo - worth a watch 

Producers: Umesh Chouhan
Director: Yunus Sajawal
Cast: Kay Kay Menon, Rajpal Yadav, Riya Sen, Shweta Tiwari Kishori Shahane,
Mukesh Rawal, Hiten Paintal, Aasif Sheikh

MUMBAI: Benny And Babloo advocates the cause of bar girls and, to give more credibility to their profession, their story is juxtaposed with that of a five star hotel neck deep in shady

Kay Kay Menon ands Rajpal Yadav are friends working for a typically old Mumbai Irani restaurant and share accommodation in a chawl room. The restaurant makes way for a pizza joint and Kay Kay and Rajpal are out looking for a job. While Kay Kay finds one as a bell boy at a five star hotel, Rajpal lands one at a dance bar. Kay Kay is struck by the glam and glitter of his hotel and its guests, is proud of his uniform and loves to be called Benny the Bellboy! Rajpal, on the other hand, is ashamed of his surroundings, the things he sees and can’t cope with the stigma his job attaches. But soon, things are not what they seem. Under the façade of glam and glitter and high society patronage, what go on at the hotel are drugs, nudity, prostitution and wife swapping. At the same time, it is not what it seems at the bars. The girls, each of them are here because of circumstances; have more
heart and concern for people around them.

Benny Aur Babloo is a sincere attempt, has a fair share of humour and handles the issue with awareness; however its depiction of five star cultures is exaggerated. Yunus Sajawal has done a fair job.

Kay Kay Menon and Rajpal Yadav both do a commendable job and make the film
a watchable fare. The supporting cast is well chosen and make the story convincing.

The films on social issues are not a preferred genre but Benny And Babloo is worth a watch.

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