Mayank Shekhar | Last Modified - Mar 01, 2013, 03:58 PM IST
“Who's the best, who's the best, Ishan is the best, woof woof,” says the bloke here, pretty much throughout the movie, mostly as he moves his wrists like a boxer before the mirror. “I love me,” he hits back, when his girl gently professes her love to him and they’re naked in bed. “Mein hoon hi itna accha (I am that good),” he says when his girlfriend says she loves him once more – this time fully clothed. It’s difficult to gauge if this fellow is clinically imbecile or just acting like some low IQ duffer with a major inferiority complex.
Either way, since psychology suggests that our basic personalities get formed by the time we’re age 7, the first shot of the film shows the li’l boy Ishan next to his mom who drills into his head that he is really the best (whatever the hell that means). Essentially the mother must be slightly moronic then, at any rate, she’s the villain.
To be fair, the son hasn’t done quite badly for himself professionally. Though again I’m not quite sure what he does for a living, besides throw attitude at his female boss (Raima Sen). He’s apparently a music label executive. He claims to scout untested singing talents, gives them a chance to cut albums as their faces begin to decorate the city’s billboards and their posters appear at every music store. This film is set in India, whose true singing stars are either Bollywood playback artistes or much more than that the lip-synching heroes and heroines who dance to phillum songs in films and stadiums. It’s hard to understand this hero’s career graph, though much harder to observe the character’s own graph in the film itself. But let’s not digress here.
This is a romantic comedy. Okay, I couldn’t quite spot a funny bone anywhere, so let’s just say this is a romantic film about a guy and two girls. I’m actually into romantic films, especially good romantic comedies. To borrow a phrase from one of the lead actors here, there is nothing to get all “mard man” about matters of simple tastes. Rom-coms seem as easy to enjoy as they must be difficult to pull off. They almost entirely depend on the luminous actors on the screen first, who bounce off so much light and energy. Audiences call this chemistry. You fall for these actors much before they eventually fall for each other in the film. In Hindi rom-coms, a lilting background score just adds to the magic. The one here seems a terrible attempt at Rahman’s 'Kahin Toh Hogi Woh' (from Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na). That apart, take any of your favourite rom-coms – DDLJ, Jerry McGuire, Holiday, just any – the hero could be insufferably cocky. But you genuinely like him, because he’s fallibly human and generally interesting to begin with.
The boxing champion before us seems an intense bore. John Abraham plays the arrestingly charming dude's role. In a film industry with more saleable faces, he would ideally restrict himself to action flicks or ensemble comedies as his predecessor Sunil Shetty once did. Chitrangada Singh, perennially in a state of pout, plays the hero’s girlfriend. Prachi Desai, lifeless, pale, irritatingly saccharine is the other girl, for lack of a better description. In this coy threesome, you genuinely don’t give a flying fig about who feels what and for whom and why. Surely a lot must have gone on in the screenwriter or filmmaker’s head – that cozy moment when the couple finds love practicing piano in a hotel lobby, or the sweet thought of the mother warming up to the boy’s hot neighbour.... It doesn’t really play out that way.
It appears as if this movie was already a disaster from the moment the principal cast probably signed on the dotted line. I’m glad they were at least paid a bomb. The other gob-smacking, earth-shattering idea here is that the body-builder hero’s girlfriend is pregnant while they’ve already broken up. Accha. Oh God, I suddenly care now.