The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Chemistry clicks

pyaar ke side effects

Director: Saket Chaudhary Cast: Rahul Bose, Mallika Sherawat, Ranvir Sheorey, Sophie Chaudhary, Jas Arora 5/10

Director Saket Chaudhary’s interesting idea in Pyaar Ke Side Effects was to bring together Rahul Bose and Mallika Sherawat. Something just clicks perfectly between the two from the time they first meet and progress to drinks and dates and a lot more, but not to that which Mallika wants. That’s because Rahul is not ready to tie the knot. This confusion about love and commitment and ‘should I should I not’, has been gone through before in the seen it, loved it Dil Chahta Hai and seen it, snored through the more recent Salaam Namaste.

Though here Chaudhary doesn’t feel the need to plant Rahul and Mallika in faraway Australia or New York, thankfully. The next-door look works great with both Rahul and Mallika. But while they show restraint in their act, that’s not a word Chaudhary probably likes. There are moments he tries too hard, like the coffee jokes.

Wonder if Karan (Johar) would like to change the title of his show after this.

Deepali Singh

Hauteur and couture

The devil wears prada

Director: David Frankel Cast: Meryl Streep, Anne Hathaway 7/10

“Everybody wants to be like us,” declares Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep), the frosty editrix of Runway fashion magazine. Dripping hauteur and couture in equal measure, she is the ultimate bitch goddess of the billion dollar world of high fashion — one who can make or break a career with a mere wave of her hand or a flick of her head. And oh, yes, she is also the boss from hell who keeps her underlings permanently terrified, permanently on the hop.

Based on a bestselling novel by Lauren Weisberger, director David Frankel’s The Devil Wears Prada takes a pretty funny look at the world of fashion and some of the deeply unfunny stuff that underlies it. When Andrea Sachs (Anne Hathaway) lands a job as Miranda’s assistant, she is thrown into this high gloss fishbowl where even fashion journos are expected to be stick thin, flaunt a Chanel or an Armani, and strut on dagger-like heels.

Bullied relentlessly by her boss, Andrea must learn to survive, and fast. Only, just when she seems to be doing swimmingly, she realises that she’s in danger of becoming another Miranda Priestly. Anne Hathaway looks scrumptious and she can act, too. But this movie belongs to Meryl Streep as surely as a Manolo Blahnik belongs to a supermodel. Meryl is brilliant as the cold, ruthless career woman who’ll do anything to stay on top — and chomp a few miserable subordinates while she’s at it. A caricature' Not quite. Remember Weisberger based her story on her experience of working for Vogue’s famous editor, Anna Wintour. She-devils rule!

Shuma Raha

The right questions, at least

bas ek pal

Director: Onir Cast: Urmila Matondkar, Juhi Chawla, Sanjay Suri, Jimmy Shergill, Rehaan Engineer 6.5/10

Onir has shifted to the other extreme. Bas Ek Pal is as remarkable for its complexity as My Brother Nikhil... was for its simplicity. The story starts with an upwardly mobile, pub-hopping young professional group. We get a Boston-returned MBA (Sanjay), a busy architect (Urmila), a young businessman and his wife (Rehaan and Juhi) and the quiet sympathetic friend (Jimmy). A brawl happens in a ‘happening’ nightclub and a trigger is pulled. From there to the brutal prison reality the story seems to take an almost effortless leap. The complexities follow one after the other, relationships change, and stories merge and separate again. However, the ease with which the director handles delicate issues like male rape, an abused wife’s fear of leaving her husband, a full-bodied woman’s genuine passion for a paralysed man “who can’t even make love to her” comes slightly unstuck towards the end. The strain begins to show.

Sanjay is definitely becoming somebody to look out for and Jimmy is infinitely more mature. Rehaan plays the lovingly abusive husband (the type glorified so much by Tere Naam, etc) with conviction and skill. But Urmila is slightly repetitive when compared to the superb montage that Juhi displays.

The characters in spite of above-average performances in most parts become slightly unconvincing at the end. It seems the director halfway through got a bit confused with his own complex questions. Bas Ek Pal fails at a psychological level exactly where Rang De Basanti failed at an idealistic level. But never mind if we are not getting the answers, Onir deserves a lot of credit for at least asking the right questions.

Sunayani Ganguly

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