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

January 5, 2007

Girl trouble

Filed under: Our FIlms — Rajeev @ 7:37 pm

January 05, 2007

Cast: Rekha, Mahima Chaudhary, Vasundhara Das, Kim Sharma, Ashmit Patel

Director: Amar Butala

What a way to usher in 2007! As you can see, a brand new year at the movies is kick-started by the chick-flick Kudiyon Ka Hai Zamaana. Directed by Amar Butala, the film stars Rekha, Mahima Chaudhary, Vasundhara Das and Kim Sharma as four Sex & The City-style gal pals who bond over champagne at their beauty salon and rib each other endlessly about their respective partners.

Of this foursome only Mahima Chaudhary is still single, insisting she won’t tie the knot until next year when she turns – guess what, 25!

The other three bet her she’ll be married while she’s still 24, and without her knowledge they together plot to introduce her to an eligible bachelor each, all three individually confident that theirs will be the man Mahima will choose over the others.

The lady in question however, falls for sensitive singer Ashmit Patel, even as the three men picked by her three friends attempt to woo her incessantly. Things take an ugly turn when Mahima discovers the bets her friends have placed behind her back, and when she figures Ashmit, too, may have been a set-up by one of her own darling friends.

Less than five minutes into this film and you know that it’s exactly the kind of picture that expects you to abandon your sense of logic and reason, and just submit yourself to the inane premise that it’s built on. To be quite honest, I have no problem doing that, and you shouldn’t either.

As long as the jokes make you laugh, there’s no reason to complain. So despite the fact that Mahima looks more like Ashmit’s older sister than his love interest, and despite the fact that Ashmit’s dance steps resemble a workout regime, and despite the fact that neither Vasundhara nor Kim Sharma can act out one scene convincingly, you’re still going with the flow because your expectations from this film are so low that even the marginally funny scenes uplift your spirits considerably.

Like that one in which Kim Sharma picks the most eligible guy from her husband’s workplace and gives him a make-over before he shows up to impress Mahima. Or even that one in which Mahima goes on an ill-fated date with the same bumbling bald guy.

It’s unquestionably post intermission – after you’ve returned to your seat with the samosas and popcorn that the film abruptly takes a different track. It’s like sitting in a car that’s gone from fourth gear to second gear without any warning.

The comedy is suddenly replaced by serious emotional drama, so just when you were beginning to get used to the nonsensical humour, you’re expected to wipe that silly smile off your face and shed a tear instead for the film’s supposedly sentimental portions.

And that’s where they’ve finally lost you, because there’s really nothing in the plot that works as an emotional hook. Certainly not that awful dramatic scene in the second half where Rekha breaks down before her friends and makes some startling confessions.

Now no review of Kudiyon Ka Hai Zamaana can be complete without the mention of the film’s most integral element, its costumes.

It’s very clear that Mahima Chaudhary has raided the wardrobe of a fourteen-year-old, as you watch her trying to breathe in those short skirts and bikini tops that are evidently three sizes too small.

In fact, I suspect there’s a contest going on between Mahima and Kim Sharma, both threatening to burst out of their clothes before the other. That contest, incidentally, is won hands down by Mahima Chaudhary whose abundantly sized bosom fills up the screen so many times and in such tight close-ups, that you’re convinced the film’s cameraman was way too distracted by it.

If the plot’s bad, the performances by the principal cast are equally embarrassing.

Even with her squeaky voice dubbed, Kim Sharma is quite unbearable as she giggles and titters endlessly, contorting her face every time she wants to show anger or joy or humour.

Just as incompetent but a little less annoying is Vasundhara Das who has one vacant expression on her face throughout the film.

Ashmit Patel, the male lead in this film, has got to be the most stiff actor in Bollywood. I’ve seen wooden doors that are capable of showing more expressions than he does.

Saddled with such a doomed script and an ensemble of the worst co-actors one could ever possibly find, both Rekha and Mahima Chaudhary are unable to make much of a mark. Particularly Rekha who gives the word “hamming” a whole new meaning as she goes way over the top with both her comedy and her dramatic scenes. I seriously hope she’s hiding in a corner somewhere, cringing away as she sees what she’s unleashed on screen. In Kudiyon Ka Hai Zamaana Rekha even sings a song herself although most of it sounds like heavy breathing if you ask me.

So, I guess it’s a thumbs down for Amar Butala’s Kudiyon Ka Hai Zamaana. It’s one of those films that’s so bad, it actually ends up entertaining you. In fact, I’ll recommend it to everyone who’s hooked on to those afternoon soaps on television.

Believe me Kudiyon Ka Hai Zamaana provides a similar kind of mindless, moronic entertainment.

(This review first aired on CNN-IBN)

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