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|January 19, 2001||
I hope you will forgive the familiarity of this address. But after seeing Kuch Khatti Kuch Meethi, I have to register my protest.
I may not be slotted as the typical film fan, but I do have a soft spot for one actor. I won't go into eulogies. Suffice to say if you are in a film, I don't have to be convinced twice about a trip to the theatre.
This week, my faith in you has received severe drubbing. It began with Raju Chacha. The film was, to put it mildly, disappointing. My friend, whom I had conned into watching the film with me, stayed put because I had made him promise to. I stayed put because I was sure, somewhere, somehow, you would rescue the film.
You didn't. Worse, you were just a glamorous prop.
But then, I thought, there was Kuch Khatti Kuch Meethi to look forward to: Promising promos. More important, an outside production. There was no compulsion for you accept the role if it did not appeal to you.
Which left me wondering: Why did you?
Was it out of a sense of loyalty towards Rahul Rawail, because he directed your debut film, Bekhudi (another flop, but it did make people sit up and notice you)? If it was, what happened to your responsibility towards your viewers, towards people like me, who associate you with deliverability, a certain standard of entertainment?
It's easy to trash a film. I don't like doing it, since everyone involved must have worked hard at making it. But I want to ask you one question -- did you actually read the script before you signed the film? Was there a script or did you just accept the director's word that is this was to be a hilarious remake of The Parent Trap?
The sad part is, I watched The Parent Trap yesterday. I loved it.
In contrast, Kuch Khatti Kuch Meethi can only be described as a case of missed opportunities. There is so much scope for humour -- all of it wasted. Instead, you have lewd situations and gags that can best be described as stale.
How does that make for entertainment?
Take the gag about Viagra ('whygra', as it was called) at the end of that crude Pooja Batra song: Bandh kamre mein pyaar karenge. What was that about?
Or upending a bowl of curd over Mita Vashisht's head? I mean, it is as old as the hills. And the pathetic picturisation only makes it worse.
Let pick another scene. When the both of you come face to face for the first time. Now that is the kind of scene where an artiste of your calibre could have excelled at. And what do you do? Choose a mirror sequence that has been acted and reacted on screen (the classic instances being Dilip Kumar and Amitabh Bachchan. Let's discount Rajendra Kumar. I thought his attempt was pretty sad).
Still, it would have been interesting to see you do it. Instead, except for a fleeting couple of seconds, the viewers are left wondering whether they are actually watching a reflection in a mirror.
Most films have their moments. This one, sadly, doesn't. Everything is forced. There is not one moment in the film that I could call funny, or touching. Or anything. The twins meeting each other for the first time -- thanda. The parent-child reunion scenes -- thanda.
Where is the empathy in the relationships? It is as if a group of strangers were forced into a small room and told that the only way out was to play Pretend. Pretend we are a family. Pretend we are related. So obvious, the discomfort.
Also, are men such losers as they have been portrayed? Must a man become an alcoholic because his wife leaves him? So irresponsible that he does not consider that he has a child to raise? So spineless that he cannot protect his own child? More important, why would that child love him? Choose to stay with him, instead of going with her mother?
Why, also, is it that a slap denotes possessiveness? Raj Khanna (Rishi Kapoor) slaps his wife, Archana (Rati Agnihotri), at the end of the film saying he will not allow her to leave... And she sobbingly acquiesces? With lines to the effect of Agar tumne yeh haque pehle jataaya hota, main bayees saal pehle apna ghar chodke nahin jaati. That reaction is totally out of character.
Did you realise, at some point, that this film was not working? Did you lose interest? Is that why your performance was so uninspired? Because even you could not lift this film for me. Worse what do you say about a film in which you are upstaged by Sunil Shetty, who does not even have half your footage?
This was of of those rare times that I would have left the theatre, if not for the fact that I had to review the film. That was the only reason I sat through it.
The narrative was awful; the make-up, bad; the clothes, worse...
Most aggravating -- I was taken for granted. By you. The director. The producers. The scriptwriter. The make-up artists. The costume designer. The cinematographer. The music director. The editor. By just about everyone associated with this film.
In fact, I think all of you owe me Rs 150. That's how much I paid for the ticket. In black.
One last question: Did you eventually see the final product? What did you think of it?
Savera R Someshwar
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