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Dhishkiyaon: Dhishki..yawn

MUMBAI: Looking at Dhishkiyaon, it is more than obvious that the writer director of this film, Sanamjit Talwar has been fed on a diet of 1970s films of Mumbai underworld. The all-time classic Deewaar set a trend that many makers have tried to emulate. Everything about Dhishkiyaon is copybook: it’s set in the Mumbai underworld of the Koliwada beaches and deals mainly with smuggling and the role of the police. And, like in many filmy underworlds, there are layers to the operatives so that the fight can continue and the main don can be taken up in the end like the favourite food item reserved till last.

Harman Baweja is a well-behaved kid being brought up by his father, having lost his mother at five. His father has little time for him but advises him to follow the Gandhian path. Harman is the victim of a school bully who beats him up and humiliates him every day. But he also has close friends in a girl and a boy. Fed up of the class bully, the child Harman decides to give supari to a local gangster, Prakash Narayanan, because he has been told that Prakash can handle anybody. Prakash takes a fancy to the kid and tells him that the only way to stop the bully is to give it back to him. Prakash and Harman are now inseparable and next thing you know, Harman has grown up and is a member of Prakash’s gang.

Prakash, as Harman learns soon, is not the ultimate don. He answers to another don, Sumit Nijhwan. And then there is another don, Rajesh Vivek, who is liquidating all his assets and clearing out of the game, though he doesn’t explain why. Harman wants to steal his computer and through that the loot from Vivek’s assets. However, his plan is hijacked by Sumit. There has been a killing in the process of stealing the computer. Vivek’s accountant as well as Harman’s mentor, Prakash, is killed. Harman is made an offer to either take a bullet or take the rap for the killings. For Harman, it is necessary to stay alive to avenge Prakash’s death.

Producers: Sunil Lulla, Shilpa Shetty.

Director: SanamjitTalwar.

Cast: Sunny Deol, Harman Baweja, Ayesha Khanna, Prashant Narayanan, Aditya Pancholi, Anand Tiwari, Rajit Kapoor, in item number Shilpa Shetty.

While in jail, Harman meets Sunny Deol, a Haryanvi. Both while away their time playing snakes and ladders, which Sunny also uses to teach his philosophies of life and survival to Harman. Once out of jail, both team up and, under the guidance of Sunny, Harman plans his revenge on Sumit. Harman impresses Sumit and gains his confidence despite opposition from Sumit’s right hand man, Anand Tiwari. He also cultivates the policeman, Aditya Panscholi. With the screen so crowded, it is time to eliminate some people. Finally, it is between Harman, Tiwari and Sumit.

The film starts with Harman narrating his life story to Sunny in first person with some flashbacks. This continues almost till interval. It is a poor use of the visual medium of film. There is no background to Sunny’s character. He is larger than life because of his public image as a toughie. Sadly, the same can’t be said of the villains who are unknown faces without any image and don’t help Harman’s character grow. The script is patchy and the scenes that inspired the writer have been thrown in piecemeal. Dialogue is good at places. Musically, one song is hummable. A little trimming would have helped.

While Sunny and Aditya stay true to their style of acting, Harman is limited by his expressions. Prakash is very good. Sumit is okay. Tiwari grossly overacts.

Dhishkiyaon is a lost cause and will find it tough to see through even the weekend.

Youngistaan: No Politics Please

Political stories either blended with family sagas or with romance, whichever way, don’t usually work in mainstream Hindi cinema except for the odd one, like the antiestablishment Inquilaab (1984) or South remake Nayak (2001), both of which barely managed to scrape through. The one which went on to become a classic is Aandhi (1975). Against this, the list of flops is long. Even rarer are political films about young people in politics. Before the recent Rajneeti (2010) the last film one remembers of a young man (Prosenjit) going into politics with an agenda was Aandhiyan (1990), with the only attraction of this film being the return of Mumtaz to Hindi cinema. While Nayak and Inquilaab with Anil Kapoor and Amitabh Bachchan, respectively, in the lead had some star power, Aandhiyan lacked on that count, a problem that Youngistaan suffers from to a great degree.

Producer: Vashu Bhagnani.

Director: Syed Ahmad Afzal.

Cast: Jackky Bhagnani, Neha Sharma, Farooq Sheikh, Boman Irani, Kayoze Irani, Meeta Vasisht.

Jackky Bhagnani is a young easygoing guy enjoying life with his steady girlfriend, Neha Sharma. His life is all about fun and games, parties and romance. That he is the son of the powerful PM of India, Boman Irani, hardly touches his life as he is gallivanting in far away Japan. That is until, one day suddenly, Boman is no more and Jackky is called upon to fill in his father’s shoes until the elections, which are due soon. At 28, he is the youngest PM of a vast country, straight from a life of luxury to no-frills political showmanship, from denims to kurtas.

Now instead of his friends, he is surrounded by his political ‘friends’ of whom he is never sure. There is no life or privacy with his lady love anymore. In fact, his love life with a live-in girlfriend is out of sync with the political traditions; they are not supposed to do these things openly! He also has another problem. His partner, Neha, is not in favour of him taking up politics, least of all his father’s responsibilities. And there is, of course, the game of wits with other politicians.

Inspired from the Telugu film Leader, Youngistan could have been a subject worth trying in a regional language but not in Hindi where, in politics, even those in 40s are considered young! Also, it is not as simple as taking over a kingdom. This makes the theme seem implausible and farfetched. Also, there is too much of real politics happening in the electronic media nowadays what with general elections around the corner. Direction is fair. Musically, the film has a couple of good numbers. Jackky manages a passable act. Neha is okay. The one worth watching the film for is Farooq Sheikh, this being the great artiste’s last film.

Youngistan has had a poor opening with no audience-no show at many cinemas.

O Teri: No Teri

Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro is a cult classic meant to be enjoyed again and again, not to be blatantly copied; never. O Teri is just that, an attempt to present, what the makers think, is a contemporary version of the Kundan Shah classic. In the bargain, the producers also waste the goodwill earned with their last production, Bodyguard. It could have been better utilized.

Pulkit Samrat and Bilal Amrohi are greenhorn TV news reporters working as a team as well as living under same roof in Delhi. They have no sense of newsworthiness and their boss, Sarah-Jane Dias, is exasperated with the duo. She wanted scams and other such big news. Finally, she sacks them. What is worse, Pulkit is besotted by Sarah. The film’s tempo is set with the murder of a police detective who has managed to expose a scandal by Anupam Kher and was about to go public with it. He has been shot and then run over by a speeding car. Strings are pulled to have it declared an accidental death. The killers, however, fail to dispose the cop’s corpse safely and dump it in Pulkit’s Fiat car.

Producers: Alvira Agnihotri, Atul Agnihotri.

Director: Umesh Bist.

Cast: Pulkit Samrat, Bilal Amrohi, Sarah-Jane Dias, Anupam Kher, Mandira Bedi, Vijay Raaz, Manoj Pahwa and Salman Khan in a cameo.

Excited, the duo informs Sarah, who asks them to bring the body to her studio. (That is the kind of film this is where a news editor expects a corpse ferried around town and delivered at her doorstep.) However, when Sarah comes along to the car park to see the body, it is missing. The duo gets an earful. As both argue over a foot over bridge, the bridge, newly built, starts coming apart. The scandal is at hand and happening with the duo being right in the middle of the happenings. Bilal puts his Handycam to use. But, these are blundering boys and never get anything right. When they go to Sarah to show her the live coverage of the collapsing bridge, the disc is corrupted!

While the CD may not have copied the whole shoot, it does manage to shoot the stolen corpse of the cop buried under the bridge debris. The boys are back in action. The charade goes on ad nauseam as just about everybody is on the villains’ side and gangs up against the two. However, the makers’ don’t let up on the greed for a happy ending.

There are good films at times and there are bad films most of the time but, O Teri vies for the slot of a very, very bad film. It has no script, no coherence, no logic and no appeal of any kind. The presence of any director is suspect. Songs are forced in to take the film to an acceptable length which adds to the viewers’ tedium. Dialogue is banal. As for its two lead men, while Pulkit fails, making an effort, Bilal can’t act to save his life. Sarah lacks presence. Vijay Raaz is getting more irritable with every film he does. Anupam Kher is a caricature while Manoj Pahwa is okay in an undefined role. Salman Khan’s cameo song in the end titles may see few if any still around in the hall to watch it.

For a film with thanks to Salim Khan and Salman Khan among others in its credit titles, O Teri is an example of gross waste of resources, financial as well as personal relations.

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