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   Movie Review : Hello

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Music :
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Starring :
 Atul Agnihotri
 Jalees Sherwani
 Sohail Khan, Sharman Joshi, Eesha Koppikar, Gul Panag and Salman Khan & Katrina Kaif (special appearance)

Hello Movie Review

October 10, 2008 12:11:33 PM IST
By Martin D'Souza, Bollywood Trade News Network
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One Night @ Call Centre by Chetan Bhagat is an interesting read with every character well defined by the author. It begins with the author meeting a co-passenger in his train compartment, builds up with the six main characters in the call centre and dwells well on Bakshi, the man in charge of Connexions, the Call Centre the six are working in. It then moves on to the all-important call from God and His conversation with them especially regarding Bakshi, which makes them sit up and take notice and turn things around in their favour.

It's extremely difficult for someone who has read a book and then to see a movie made on it to relate to it. Every time, as a viewer, you will be trying to picture in your mind's eye what you interpreted of the novel. In that respect, it's not always going to be 'up there'. However, where justice can be made, it has to. Like for instance, the character of Bakshi is half baked. This when you have a tight script in your hand is not acceptable. I mean, when you read the novel you want to wring Bakshi's neck with your bare hands. That's the same feeling that goes through Shyam and Vroom's mind in the book. But Bakshi's shortcoming, coupled with his 'diplomatic' bullying tactics, especially towards Shyam, who is never able to say no, is missing. The whole concept of showing Shyam as a 'soft man' never able to stand up to his bad boss is lost.

Also, the way they are all placed at the Call Centre with their desks is debatable. And there are many instances when the scene just takes off. Like when Radhika says she misses her husband, Vroom dials her husband's mobile number. Wherein, in the book, it's brilliantly built up where Vroom asks Radhika if she wants to play "Radio Jockey". In the book, Vroom explains what he means: "I call Anuj and pretend I am calling from a radio show. Then I tell him he has won a prize, a large bouquet of roses and a box of Swiss chocolates that he can send to anyone he loves, anywhere in India, with a loving message. So then, we all get to hear what romantic lines he says to you." A chance of a good scene is washed out here. As a reader, you are kicked in the gut when Anuj says he wants to send the flowers to his girlfriend Payal!

Also, there could have been some more fire in the lovemaking scene between Priyanka and Shyam. It comes off rather tame. The passion is missing. Then there is this scene when their car is hanging precariously on rods at a construction site and the call from God comes. There is this whole conversation that dwells on Bakshi, which explains their actions when they come back. But not in the movie. A viewer who has not read the book will wonder why they are getting even with Bakshi. Finally, there is this trick in MS Word with which they spread panic among the Americans to increase their call volumes. They tell the Americans that there is a virus in the computer and they need to spread the word around and keep calling at the Call Centre. According to Vroom (in the book) all you have to do is open a word file and type =rand (200,99) and press enter. As soon as that is done, you have hundred pages of text, which reads like this... The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog...

Director Atul Agnihotri has taken a few cinematic liberties, which is acceptable, but overall he falls short of rekindling the same sort of emotion that one goes through while reading the book.

To come back to the story, it's about one night in a Call Centre and what happens to the six friends who work there. There's Shyam (Sharman Joshi), Priyanka (Gul Panag), Vroom (Sohail Khan), Esha (Isha Koppikar), Radhika (Amrita Arora) and Milatary Uncle (Sharat Saxena). Then there's the big bad boss Bakshi (Dalip Tahil).

There's also Salman Khan to whom the story is being told to by Katrina Kaif.

All six actors do justice to their characters but it is only Gul who actually speaks in an Americanised accent that a Call Centre employee is supposed to speak in.

Katrina Kaif looks tired, sleepy and bored. Salman in the first part looks every bit the rock star he is portrayed.

I would say a decent attempt but could have been better considering the director had at his disposal a very good story and the services of the author himself.

Ratings : 2/5

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