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 Chori Chori
Director :
Music :
Lyrics :
Starring :
 Milan Luthria
 Anand Bakshi
 Ajay Devgan, Rani Mukerji

By Kshama Rao

Director Milan Luthria''s second offering, the much-delayed Chori Chori is a definite cure for insomniacs. The Ajay Devgan-Rani Mukerji starrer is sure to put them into a deep slumber, especially the second half of the film which is so long-drawn and a drag that you want to scream.

Khushi (Rani) is an orphan, who works in a banquet hall, has a beggar couple (Sadashiv Amrapurkar and Shashikala) as her chacha and chachi and Jonathan, a stuffed monkey toy for company. She is a good liar and after some silly attempts at holding on to her job is sacked one day by her employer. Nowhere to go, she lands in a half-built house in Simla (don''t even bother to know how she reaches there), which is a dream house of an architect, Ranbir (Ajay Devgan). Ranbir had built the house for his childhood sweetheart Pooja (Sonali Bendre looking delicious) who he proposes marriage to but is turned down by her. Reason: tumhare pair zameen par tikte nahin, tum sapnon mein rehte ho (in fact, ''sapna'', ''sapnon ki duniya'' and ''sach'' are words that keep popping up in all dialogues), what she means is he''s not a practical guy and so she can''t trust him. Ranbir inadvertently talks about Pooja to Khushi who he had earlier met at an office party (remember she''s a banquet hostess).

Now Khushi even manages to con her way into Ranbir's life and family (with some extended relatives like a Biji, a Chachaji and assorted cousins) and even ends up telling Pooja that she's the girl Ranbir has now chosen to marry. In a bid to make Pooja regret her decision, Ranbir and Khushi decide to play a game in which they would behave like lovers till the day of marriage. On the D-day however Khushi will tell everyone that she still suspects Ranbir having a soft corner for Pooja and would then back out from it. And so that would re-unite Ranbir and Pooja again. However, Ranbir and Khushi actually fall in love with each other and you by now should know what happens in the end.

Downright silly, the script is flawed from scene one. Add to that the snail-like pace punctuated in the first half by Rani's sprightly antics and those long boring 'family values' dialogues. While Rani is exuberant, Ajay looks indifferent. The film having hit the theatres after three years naturally looks jaded. Stay away from this one!

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Chori Chori is a direct copy of the Steve Martin/Goldie Hawn comedy made a few years ago. I think ''Housesitter'' was the name of the movie. When a western comedy is adapted into an Inidan setting with romance and family values, what can you expect but a resounding flop?
- Latha Kumar