Rajeev Masand – movies that matter : from bollywood, hollywood and everywhere else

September 11, 2009

Broken promises

Filed under: Our FIlms — Rajeev @ 7:48 pm

September 11, 2009

Cast: Bobby Deol, Kangana Ranaut, Dwij Yadav

Director: Samir Karnik

Vaada Raha, directed by Samir Karnik is a cheesy, emotionally manipulative, sob-saga that doesn’t even deserve a straight-to-television release.

Bobby Deol plays genius surgeon Duke Chawla, who becomes paralysed neck down in a road accident, and is subsequently dumped by his fiancée (played by Kangana Ranaut), for a reason so bizarre, you have to see it to believe it. Languishing in a hospital, angry and overcome with despair, he at first rejects the overtures of friendly kid Roshan (played by Dwij Yadav), the resident smart-alec in the place. The little tyke, however, wins our hero’s affections and motivates him to recover speedily, even as the boy succumbs to his own fatal condition eventually, which he’s always kept hidden from Duke.

Sickeningly sentimental, Vaada Raha is full of logical loopholes and is directed with a loose hand by Karnik, who gives us some of the most ridiculous scenes you can think of, including one in which Duke tries to end his life by chewing his IV tubes, and another one in which he supervises a heart surgery from his hospital bed.

The film is packed with silly stereotypes like faithful dog who won’t eat till his master does, cheery hospital staff straight out of a Sooraj Barjatya film, and happy patients who don’t seem to ever want to leave the hospital at all.

Bobby Deol is woefully out of his depth here, failing to arouse any sympathy for his character, not least because he repeats his three stock expressions in every other scene. And we thought it was his lower-body that he couldn’t move!

Child actor Dwij Yadav, who starred in Karnik’s Nanhe Jaisalmer and Heroes previously, has an engaging presence, but trapped in a one-dimensional role here, he gets annoying as the precocious brat.

The blame for this rotten film, however, must be placed squarely on the shoulders of director Samir Karnik who has no concern for even basic details like the geography of his story. The film’s opening-credits sequence in which Bobby cycles down a promenade against an azure blue sea looks like it’s been shot in the South of France; there’s a subsequent cut-away of New York’s Times Square when Bobby and his doctor buddies hit a nightclub for drinks; an exterior shot of Kangana’s home, in a scene in which he drops her off before his accident, appears to be filmed in a Mumbai shanty; and then Subhash Ghai’s Whistling Woods Film School stands in for the hospital where Bobby recovers. Call it nitpicking if you like, but attention to detail is but one of Karnik’s many shortcomings in this lousy, lousy film.

Since they were there anyway, it might have been a good idea for the filmmaker and his leading man to take refresher courses during lunch break while shooting at Whistling Woods.

I’m going with one out of five for director Samir Karnik’s Vaada Raha. Do yourself a favour. Don’t even bother with this one.

(This review first aired on CNN-IBN)

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