Showing that face

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By The Telegraph Online
  • Published 9.09.05

Showing that face


Director: Kanika Verma Cast: Kay Kay Menon, Sonali Kulkarni, Aditya Srivastava


Kanika Verma’s debut film begins at the night before the signing of the peace accord in 1986, between the Mizo National Front (MNF) and Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, after 30 years of raging battle between the Indian Army and the MNF guerrillas.

A night that ought to have been one of celebration, but turns out to be one of traumatic coming to terms for the three main characters, Kay Kay Menon, an MNF spokesman and minister designate in the new government, his wife Sonali, an MNF guerrilla fighter, ruthlessly and repeatedly raped by the Army during the insurgency, and Aditya, a doctor who walks into their home that night little realising what’s in store for him.

The fine performances give a human face to the photographs we have seen of naked women splashed in papers carrying placards "Indian Army Rape Us". Kanika Verma's take on the 1990s film by Roman Polanski, Death and the Maiden", is commendable for showing us that face.

Deepali Singh

Meandering, stale

aashiq banaya aapne

Director: Aaditya Datt Cast: Emraan Hashmi, Tanushree Dutta, Sonu Sood, Zabyn Khan, Navin Nishchol


The treatment of this multiplex-oriented film is fresh, but the storyline is staler than last week’s bread. Guy A is the bohemian sort and Guy B the strong silent type. Both are in love with the Girl. In between it appears that the good guy is a bad guy and vice versa, but in the end it turns out that he’s much misunderstood and his rival is the real rotter.

Aaditya Datt’s meandering plot holds few surprises except when the heroine announces to her male friends that she “needs a leak”, presumably to project how modern she is. Debutante Tanushree Dutta presents a banquet for the eyes, besides displaying some histrionic promise. Emraan Hashmi gets better with each kiss, in kissing, that is. Sonu Sood is all wood in trying to look strong and steady. The music by Himesh Reshammiya is indifferent except for the song, Gham hua, hosh hai.

Sudip Mallik

Where, where?

Pyaar Mein twist

Director: Hriday Shetty Cast: Rishi Kapoor, Dimple Kapadia, Soha Ali Khan, Delnaaz Paul, Vikas Bhalla, Farida Jalal, Satish Shah, Deepshikha, Sammir Dattani


Director Hriday Shetty’s heart’s in the right place. His light-hearted film throws light on contemporary urban Indian dilemma. Where middleaged single mom (Dimple) and dad (Rishi), battling midlife crisis, fall in love. But utter disapproval of their grown-up children (Soha, Delnaaz and Vikas) compel unconventional couple to run away and get a life outside their sole roles as dutiful, sacrificing parents. Morality issue ensues, widening gap between Gen-X youth and ex-youth gen.

Wish the treatment wasn’t so wishy-washy, though. With flat narrative graph, indolent situations and comedy that’s bland and forced like inane, intro-encounter scene with Rishi walking his dog and Dimple driving her car. This is their comeback vehicle? Come on, people, these two are coming together after two decades! Where’s the masala moment?

What clearly makes the film watch-able is the sheer chemistry between a mature lead pair that shares a 30-year history of screen-sharing. And if the director counted totally on this nostalgia value for his film’s USP, he wasn’t off the mark. Their comfort level’s reassuring. It’s as though they’ve actually traversed a long-standing relationship. Travelling from teenage puppy love in Bobby to full-grown passion in Saagar ? and now settling into mellowed new-age companionship in PMT.

But this landmark reunion’s not memorable like their previous two films, which still qualify the handsome twosome as one of Hindi cinema’s all-time popular romantic duos. Pyaar Mein Twist sounds intriguing. But our endearing, time-enduring Bollywood jodi’s love kahaani mein twist kahaan?

Mandira Mitra