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Tashan movie review by a glamsham fan

April 25, 2008 11:33:21 AM IST
Charlie Henniker, Bollywood Trade News Network
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TASHAN does exactly what it says on the poster: it is all style and no substance. After an inventive underwater start and some musical fun with Bollywood vs. Hollywood, the film follows the fate of the flash red car driven by Akshay Kumar - it swerves off the road and plunges into deep (yet stylishly blue) water.

This is another big banner production from Yash Raj that fails to deliver, and the best thing about TASHAN is its star cast: Kareena Kapoor and Saif Ali Khan flirt and romance with each other convincingly, Akshay Kumar has fun pumping bullets and re-writing the Ramayana in Kanpur, while Anil Kapoor goes through more animal-print waistcoats than a safari park owner. The script lacks punch, and the direction lacks... well, direction. The fabulous four are doing their best, but they have little to do it with. A striking example of this is the lengthy speech in Hinglish that Anil Kapoor's character is saddled with. It adds nothing to proceedings, at an early stage in the film, and triggers the first in a series of lame references to Hindi film titles, songs and heroes. If I told you that Akshay Kumar's character in the film is called Bachchan, and that he ends up involved in a misunderstanding on a film set, I might have spoiled the most elaborate of these gags.

Put simply, TASHAN concerns Bhaiyyaji (Anil Kapoor) and his desire to learn English. His PA - or so we think - Pooja (Kareena Kapoor) ropes in Jimmy (Saif Ali Khan) who works in a call centre, yet has time to teach English to cute girls, to work on Bhaiyyaji's elocution. When Pooja scarpers with a suitcase full of cash, Bhaiyyaji gets angry and lays the blame on Jimmy. He calls on Bachchan (Akshay Kumar), a goonda from the Ganges-banks, to retrieve Pooja and the money, and keep an eye on Jimmy. Cue all kinds of high-jinks from Haridwar (or Greece) to Ladakh, Bombay to Kanpur. A lot of money has been thrown at this film, as the locations, effects, costumes and stunts testify. In spite of all this, there is not a single memorable character or line to be had, with the slight exception of Jimmy calling Pooja "an evil little doll" in a fit of anger.

The music in TASHAN is fairly good, but the songs appear from nowhere and have little to do with anything else in the film. The same thing happens with the endless action sequences, which are high on action and low on sequence. Kareena Kapoor looks very thin, and in many of the songs is trying to ape Rani Mukherjee, with blonde wigs and mirror work skirts that feel very BUNTY AUR BABLI. Overall, TASHAN will provide bang for your buck, but not the promised ishtyle or goodluck.

(Charlie Henniker is a writer based in London, where he studies Hindi Cinema at the School of Oriental and African Studies.)


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