There are movies which are supposed to be enjoyed, and promptly forgotten about – save for the beautiful locations, amazing clothes and how good the actors looked. Bachna Ae Haseeno is one such movie where the actors do deliver in performance and in looks, while the locations could not have been better.
The movie essentially revolves around a flirtatious boy, Raj Sharma (Ranbir Kapoor). He goes through the ages of 18 to about 30 breaking the hearts of two women, Mahi (Minnissa Lamba) and Radhika (Bipasha Basu) with the greatest of ease till his own heart is broken by a girl with a phobia of commitment similar to his – Gayatri (Deepika Padukone). The plot seems overdone and unappealing. I can vouch to have seen stories like this before. That renders it a wafer-thin like quality which does not go down too well with the audience.
Nevertheless, it must be said that Siddharth Anand is a fine director. He has Salaam Namaste (2005), a hit to his credit, and Tara Rum Pum (2007), which failed at the box office, though it was an average movie at best. He has talent and that comes across in the way he has handled the actors but he is let down by the script and the story. The problem lies in the fact that Yash Raj Productions is such a big magnate in Bollywood, that no actor wishes to refuse their offers no matter how good or bad the script is. This goes in equal attendance for established stars and new entrants together.
The music of the film delivers on few instances. ‘Khuda Jaane’ is by far the best song of the movie. Ably sung by K.K. and Shilpa Rao, it is melodious and romantic. The song has been presented beautifully with all the pomp and show that Bollywood can afford. From Greek islands to the gondolas of Venice, everything seemed romantic through the song. The first song ‘Bachna Ae Haseeno’ was thumping – the remix version certainly delivered. The other songs, although the movie could have done without some, were good.
Ranbir Kapoor does a reasonable job as Raj Sharma. The name is so overused that it leaves the character handicapped with the natural comparison to Shah Rukh Khan. The movie does not give him any extraordinary scope to perform and he breezes through the movie without anything special to offer. His chemistry with Deepika Padukone is good and remains honest to their off-screen relationship.
This movie is also Minnissa Lamba’s first tryst with the big league and she does not disappoint. From the chirpy 18 year old to the very silent and hurt housewife, she does herself and her talent some justice. She stands out in the second half where she virtually steals the scenes from under Ranbir Kapoor’s feet with her natural charisma. Though it would be wrong to compare – but the new Preity Zinta is here and here to stay!
Deepika Padukone looks beautiful in her simple yet steady avatar. Her depiction of a strong MBA student working her way through the day to pay for her education is appealing. Her opening scene does wonders but what disappoint are her eyes, which remain still and expressionless. Though her voice modulation is good, her eyes don’t seem to play to the voice’s tunes.
Finally, Bipasha Basu looks and acts with panache. She brings a new meaning and definition to the word ‘sexiness’, which is dignity and character. While she glides through the first half as the chirpy, well meaning and adjusting girl friend, she comes into her own in the second half. She looks ultra glamorous and her acting matches her character’s amazing spirit. Her engaging transformation to the powerful, demanding and successful model with a susceptible side, fenced well for others not to pry, has been brought with a superb composure.
Kunal Kapoor does a wonderful cameo. His turn as the Sardar is quite convincing and is a delight to watch.
The movie is a good ride, but one should not expect anything path breaking. Sometimes these movies are what we need to get away from our demanding lives.
Try it; it is a healthy escape!
Sayan S Das