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Nothing worthy of gasp or gape

Rog

Director: Himanshu Brahmbhatt Cast: Irrfan, Ilene Hamann, Himanshu Malik, Munish Makhija, Suhel Seth, Shyamoli Varma

3.5/10

Part Agatha Christie, part Barbara Cartland, Rog is an unsure, schizophrenic flick that aspires to be a love story wrapped in a murder mystery. And ends up being a neither-here-nor-there yarn.

When a pumping, panting woman with a bare, glistening back is shot dead as she answers to a coitus interruptus doorbell, insomniac and loveless cop Irrfan gets to investigate the case. And, in a bizarre twist, falls in love with the murdered woman, er, her stunning black-and-white photograph. More twists in the tale follow. But nothing worthy of a gasp or a gape.

Despite great songs and neat looks, little elevates this Bhatt stable flick from its fundamentally flawed storyline. If ever a first-rate performance was wasted in an indifferent movie, it is Irrfan's in Rog.

Forget the Naseers and the Oms. On current form, he is Bollywood's best. Others ' Munish Makhija's buddy Jat cop being a pleasant exception ' are sub-par. Allegedly the film's USP, South African model Ilene Hamann emotes best in the photograph. Suhel Seth plays a pompous and loud journalist with natural ease. And ex-model Shyamoli Varma could have been a suitable replacement for Shabana Azmi in Makdee.

Caution: Don't catch this Rog.

Avijit Ghosh

Poofff! It's gone

Dil Maange more!!!

Director: Ananth Narayan Mahadevan Cast: Shahid Kapur, Ayesha Takia, Tulip Joshi, Soha Ali Khan, Zarina Wahab, Kanwaljit Singh, Smita Jayakar,Gulshan Grover, A.K. Hangal, Hiten Paintal

3.5/10

How much fluff can the youth take' We'll repeat that question. How much fluff can fluff take' Dumb down or perish, is the market mantra gone berserk. So, director Ananth Narayan Mahadevan sets up a fluff factory so light that even a thought could lift it. Come to think of it, he even titles it appropriately, so frothy that even the cola company who gave currency to the tagline didn't give it a thought for the whole year the film was in the making with that title. It fizzed only after the fluff floated down and got grounded first Friday itself.

Here's some more: Mahadevan then lifts a fluffy Shah Rukh clone ' and makes him mimic Shammi Kapoor instead, complete with the Yahoo man's song playing in the background. Continuing to pay tribute to nostalgia, there is Mohd Rafi and Shashi Kapoor and Dev Anand's Teen Deviyan. So, he gives Shahid Kapur more than one heroine, and what could have been some hilariously fluffy moments. But what they forgot to give him and the three heroines are some genuinely funny lines. Here, too, it's the older back-up cast that gives a little shoulder to the fluff. Though Kanwaljit is stilted and Jaya-clone Zarina, now looks and acts like a Jaya gone old, Smita plays it charmingly straight and Gulshan is typically populist.

Among the heroines, Soha Ali Khan in her Hindi film debut, is as we all know by now, a Sharmila clone, but is much too diffident. We could say more, but. Tulip Joshi, screen-named Sanjana earlier (Mere Yaar Ki Shaadi Hai), would make Salman rub his eyes to check if he was seeing Katrina. It's Ayesha who shows she has something more in her, never mind if you are left rubbing your eyes to check if you were seeing Shilpa Shetty, nose and navel included.

The film' The fluff' Poofff! And it's gone. What more do you want to know'

Anil Grover

Unthrilling thriller

Vaada

Director: Satish Kaushik Cast: Arjun Rampal, Amisha Patel, Zayed Khan, Rakesh Bedi, Rajesh Vivek

3/10

'Nothing is what it seems' (sic) ' so, no grouse that already beleaguered by a January that doesn't chill, we now have to contend with a thriller that doesn't thrill. If a purported 'romantic thriller' demands a screenplay taut--nimble like an athlete's muscles, that of Vaada is as flaccid as a Sumo wrestler's. And as full of holes as a fishnet.

While an excess of seedy masala stuff dilutes the film's suspense, a knuckle-headed sleuth (Rajesh Vivek) fooling around tends to make it a parody of genre. The daft plot lands people in other people's bedrooms as smoothly as Saurav Ganguly executes a cover drive.

Then there is that battle of wits between Amisha's husband (Arjun Rampal) and her ex-lover (Zayed Khan), one of whom is supposed to be her killer which actually boils down to a contest of stupidity (and gullibility, too), with each playing easily into the other's hands. The court trial is a study in naivete.

A howling Zayed with uncertain body language makes Arjun's task of sustaining interest that much more difficult. And poor Amisha! She appears only in flashback. Let's hope a few more of such roles won't make the Kaho Naa...Pyar Hai debutante view her film career only in flashback.

Arnab Bhattacharya

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