Rishtey is awful
The soul of every film is the relationship it focuses on.
Take a father ready to stake it all for his son, going to the extent of kidnapping his child because he wants to protect him. To what extent would such a man fight the odds? And what happens to the mother who is deprived of her child by the man she loves? To what extent would she go to get her child back?
These questions have been explored before in some films that are sensitive, in others that are crass.
But what if all this is turned into one big gig of tasteless gags, melodrama and gore?
Rishtey, directed by Indra Kumar, plumbs the depths of creativity even by Bollywood standards.
It opens with Anil Kapoor (Suraj), a father who runs off with his new born child after a misunderstanding with wife Komal (Karisma Kapoor), setting his fiendish father-in-law (Amrish Puri) and his goons on him.
Riding a truck on a foggy morning Suraj lands in a nameless town where he struggles to bring up his child alone for seven years till his wife and evil father-in-law spot him. From there on, it is high theatrics and violence punctuated with some hip-swinging by Vyjayanti (Shilpa Shetty), a shapely fisherwoman in love with Suraj.
Rishtey is a melodrama from Indra Kumar, a director whose previous films include Dil, Beta, Raja and Mann. Dil, Beta and Raja had well-etched characterisations and some foot tapping music that glued the film together.
Kumar has slipped badly in his latest film. There are hardly any nuances to the relationships he portrays on screen -- no tender moments or hard hitting scenes either.
In Dil Kumar had Aamir Khan and Madhuri Dixit play lovers who rebel against the world and then are torn apart because of circumstances. With a tight script and powerful performances from his lead actors, Dil, despite its conventional story line, became a delight to watch.
With Beta, Kumar explored the relationship between an exploitative stepmother (Aruna Irani) and her son (Anil Kapoor). Again with a powerful cast, he played on the relationships between his characters to give the film its punch.
In Rishtey, while his cast may have performed well, they do not touch your heart.
As the father tending to his child, Anil Kapoor turns in a sensitive performance. As the hero romancing the much younger Karisma or playing a boxer for a living, he falters.
Karisma is in danger of getting typecast as the suspicious wife or the weeping mother who will fight for her child.
While she may believe these are roles of strength because she has more to do compared to the average Hindi film heroine, extra screen time does not always mean better roles. In Rishtey she is still playing the stereotypical mother crying for her child, while the hero gets all the action. The only difference between her role and that of the screen moms of the seventies is that she looks gorgeous and can cry better --- which is what she seems to be doing through most of this movie.
Brothers Sanjeev-Darshan produce a mundane score that only prolongs the agony.
Rishtey is phony, predictable fare. Give it a miss.
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