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|July 18, 1998||
Happily ever after
Kareebis a love story that looks back at the romantic era of the late 50's and early 60's with longing eyes.
That's when the film begins its slide into oblivion.
The second half is the run-of-the-mill Bollywood melodrama, with Birju trying to make up for all the trouble he has caused. He runs away from home, promising not to meet Neha until he earns money for her mother's operation.
Meanwhile, Neha meets the good doctor. Who, besides playing the good samaritan, regales Neha with his sob stories in the four scenes he has with her. He also marks each encounter by giving her a rose. For some reason, his name -- Dr Abhay (Abhay Chorpa) is revealed only in the last scene of the film.
On the other front, the seemingly angelic Uncle and Aunty turn out to be a bunch of frauds. So Briju steals Bhigelal's money, and everything comes to a head. When the end comes -- it's a predictable 'they-lived-happily-ever-after'.
The film maintains the trend of good technical values and good music set by 1942, A Love Story. Bobby Deol, for once, does not grate on the nerves and Neha makes a likeable debut.
Yet, the bright moments are there, beginning with Bobby's manic imitation of Kishore Kumar. Moushmi Chatterjee, as Neha's mother, is a pleasant change from Rakhee. While Saurabh Shukla, as Bobby's father, slips into his role with ease. Johnny Lever, as the laundry owner with the British fixation, evokes an occasional smile.
Though cinematographer Binod Pradhan maintains his usual excellent standards, his style seems repetitive -- what with every film today using the soft focus ad nauseum. Only the diyas floating in the lake, the yellow dupatta flying in the air and Anu Malik's outstanding music remain the highlights of the film.
On the whole, the film works. It's much better held together than 1942…, since there are no multi-dimensions in this story. But the scenes with Johnny Lever and the extended climax could have done with a bit of chopping at the editing table.
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