Watching Jhootha Hi Sahi is an ordeal

Director: Abbas Tyrewala
Producer: Madhu Mantena
Cast: John Abraham, Pakhi, Raghu Ram, Alishka Varde, Manasi Scott, Anaitha Nair, George Young, R Madhvan

MUMBAI: Jhootha Hi Sahi is one more film about losers: so called youth with low threshold willing to fall in love in the morning and ready to commit suicide by sunset. So in the era of ‘ phone sex’ here is a phone romance.

A suicide helpline people are so dumb they print John Abraham’ s phone number on their handbill (how can one trust them to save lives is anybody’ s guess!). The gentle soul in John agrees to join the volunteers taking calls of suicidal callers and talk them out of the desperate act.

Soon enough, he gets a call from Pakhi, a girl who is about to pop pills as she is miserable about her mother’ s suicide and boyfriend’ s absence. It is a matter of few calls before some weird love triangle takes shape; she still loves her boyfriend, Madhavan, is also attracted to her counsel on the phone while being wooed by a clumsy lad, again Johan Abraham, who sells books and pickles with his two buddies. If one is trying to figure out what is going on, no sense doing so; the ones on the screen as well those behind the scene seem to have no clue either.

While the love or rather who loves whom, is doing its merry go round, the feel good factor comes through this bunch of desis, Indian and Pakistani and again there is no sense trying to figure out whose house is which or who lives with whom! If they are having fun, you are not invited because their jokes are purely personal and you feel like having gate-crashed into old boys’ reunion.

Performance-wise, John Abraham is ordinary. Pakhi looks too mature to be playing a suicidal young girl; her story for the film is bad enough not to add by acting it out too. Of the rest, Manasi Scott and Anaitha Nair are good while Raghu Ram and George Young are passable.

Why is the film based in London? Isn’ t anybody sure of his/her own mind before wanting to know another’ s feelings? The dialogue is corny; the one gem that beats all: the suicidal girl telling her counsel “ If I can’ t lessen my pain, at least I can end it” or something to that effect!!

With poor story and screenplay, direction is poor too. Music has no appeal.

To sum it up, watching Jhootha Hi Sahi is an ordeal.

Rakht Charitra fits no sensible genre in film entertainment


Director: Ramgopal Varma
Producer: Sheetal Vinod Talwar, Madhu Mantena
Cast: Vivek Oberoi, Shatrughan Sinha, Zarina Wahab, Sushant Singh, Ashsi Vidyarti,
Rakht Charitra, as the title suggests, , is a violent trail of gore and blood somewhere in the inner lands of South India - Andhra to be specific. It is about grabbing power, about low cast vs high caste and, mainly, about vengeance. The film suggests that politics and power go hand in hand and violence and suppression are the only means to achieve them.
Rajendra Gupta, a low caste loyalist of the local high caste politician, is the eyesore of the politician’ s other aides. And he pays the price for his close proximity to the politician with his life. He guarantees the low caste vote bank for his mentor. But his mentor’ s mind is soon poisoned and Rajendra Gupta is killed, making his elder son, Sushant Singh, and followers take to arms and go on a killing spree.

Both sides compete to outdo each other for body count till Sushant Singh is killed by corrupt policeman. Enter younger kin, Vivek Oberoi: His killing spree starts right at the police station killing the corrupt policeman who killed Sushant on the rivals’ behest.

A couple of more killings later, one does not care who is killing whom or if the same junior artiste is being killed twice, thrice or as many times as he can be killed during single shooting shift! There are some more unnecessary angles like bringing in a lady cop, a conversation with Intelligence officer and such, which bear no relevance to the story.

As the film progresses, it changes its theme from under privileged to vengeance to politics to biographical to idolization of Vivek Oberoi and, in doing so, it becomes ridiculous; Vivek Oberoi sending lunch invitations to all dreaded goons of the city at home with his wife and mother cooking and serving, no less and ‘ orders’ them to stop illegal activities!! They just bow their heads!!

As one nears the end, director Ram Gopal Varma loses whatever little grip he had; the revenge on the most sinister of villains is delegated to a no face actor. Then again, the film or story is not really ending; Ramgopal Verma spends last 10 minutes threatening you with a sequel!

The film has an Andhra village backdrop about local politics and low cast. The subject generates no interest in Hindi moviegoers, however much it may be dressed up with blood and violence. What is more, the subject being dry, instead of making a compact fast moving film, Ramgopal Varma attempts to turn it into some sort of an epic.

Sadly, most of the film seems to have been directed by action master who lacks imagination and is repetitive; what Varma has directed is bad and he depends heavily on oral narration (in a guttural, loud voice) to further the story. For music, the film provides some chorus chants. Visually, it is mostly gross.

Performance by Vivek Oberoi is good in parts till he is shown as a normal, self- respecting man, not able to handle the larger than life persona that the latter parts try to make out of his character. While all the actors from Telugu film are typically that: heavily accented and loud, Shatrughan Sinha, Zarina Wahab, Ashish Vidyarthi, Sushant Singh, Sushmita Mukherjee etc are also moulded like them.

Rakht Charitra fits no sensible genre in film entertainment and waits to be rejected.

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