BOLLYWOOD FILMS OF THE WEEK
Producer: Pooja Bhatt and Sujit Kumar Singh;
Director: Pooja Bhatt;
Music: Anu Malik; Lyrics: Sayeed Quadri;
Cast: (introducing) Udita Goswami, with John Abraham, Dr Mohan Agashe, Gulshan Grover, Denzil Smith, Master Madan Bhiku, Sandeep Mehta, Anahita Uberoi
Marking the directorial debut for Pooja on a story by her father Mahesh, this film appears to have drawn some inspiration from director Peter Weir's 'Witness' and is visually catchy. The film introduces Udita Goswami who looks stunning throughout the film but her acting needs more experience. John is generally good in a strong role but could have been better but for his use of stereotypical mannerisms. Unfortunately, there is undue attention to eroticism. Madan acts very naturally for his age. Anshuman Mahaley has shot the film beautifully. One song, 'Mann ki lagan' is catchy.
Kaaya lives alone in the middle of the vast Spiti Valley in Himachal Pradesh. Brought up under the watchful eye of her strict father and the warm Lama Noburu of the nearby Buddhist monastery, Kaaya is forbidden to dream and desire. Kaaya secretly writes love poems waiting for that special someone. Lama Noburu, the Rimpoche, sees a vision that his master's re-incarnation is a six-year old child in New Delhi. So he assigns Kaaya the task of bringing the six-year-old Llhamo from Delhi. Llhamo is apparently the reincarnation of some great monk. Unfortunately, Llhamo witnesses the murder of a senior police officer, and so Kaaya and Llhamo meet police officer Shiven. As the case turns complicated, Shiven decides to take them back to Spiti for their safety. But he gets severely injured in the process. Kaaya and the monks nurse him back to health. Fascinated by Shiven, Kaaya begins fantasising about him but she has to choose between the man she desires and the path her father has chosen for her.
Producer: Bobby Bedi;
Director-music: Vishal Bhardwaj;
Cast: Irfan Khan, Tabu, Pankaj Kapur, Naseeruddin Shah, Om Puri, Piyush Mishra, Masumi Makhija, Ajay Gehi.
Inspired to an extent by William Shakespeare's play 'Macbeth', this film takes Mumbai's underworld as its backdrop. The film goes deeper than merely showing the violence in the underworld, as it explores the passion that drives those involved in crime. The film is tightly edited and well acted. Tabu takes acting to a new high, by bringing realism to her intense role. Pankaj has played a role that perhaps was unexpected of him, but has brought a mastery to it. Irfan is good but does nothing new.
Abbaji is a debauched underworld don whose constant companion is Nimmi, who yearns for Abbaji's righthand man Miya Maqbool. Nimmi's behaviour often frightens even the hardened Abbaji. She soon entices Maqbool to get rid of Abbaji and take his place. This love is contrasted against Abbaji's innocent daughter Sameera's love for Guddu, son of Kaka who is one of Abbaji's men. Soon Maqbool feels guilty about what he has done and starts hallucinating. Corrupt policemen Inspector Purohit who first made Maqbool feel that he could take over from Abbaji, and Inspector Pandit confound the confusion. It is Maqbool's feeling of guilt which gradually takes on overtones that lead to a tragic end.
WOH TERA NAAM THA:
Producer: Vijaypat Singhania;
Director: Kuku Kohli;
Lyrics: Nida Fazli;
Music: Dilip Sen-Sameer Sen, Roopkumar Rathod and Sumeet Chopra;
Cast: (introducing) Arjan Bajwa, Kanchi Kaul, Gaurav Chanana, and Shalini Pal, with Amrish Puri, Rajeev Verma, Rajat Bedi, Prem Chopra
Produced by businessman-turned-filmmaker Vijaypat Singhania, the film has been set in 1956 at the time of the creation of the state of Madhya Pradesh. This means a lot of hard work in itself as the era has to be recreated on screen. The task appears more difficult because of the introduction of an entirely new cast. Kanchi lives up to the expectations that the director has of her, while Arjan has a strong screen presence and can go places.
Ustad Samad Khan, a maestro of Hindusthani music, lives with his beautiful daughter Reshma. Badruddin, who drives a horse carriage, has been their neighbour since childhood. He loves Reshma, but can never express his feelings to her. He is not aware that his neighbour Naseem loves him as he has eyes only for Reshma. A photo-journalist from Delhi, Akhtar, comes to the new capital of Bhopal and falls for Reshma. Badru helps Akhtar in finding accommodation and both become friends. Nawab Hyder Ali who has come to the city recently takes a liking to Reshma and wants that she should marry his son Basharat though she rejects him. Kishan, a friend of Samad Khan, attenpts to convince Samad to get Reshma married to Akhtar. But Basharat does not like this, leading to some uneasy nights for Reshma and a somewhat blood climax.