Planet Bollywood

Producer: Vashu Bhagnani
Director: Ashu Trikha
Starring: Arjun Rampal, Diya Mirza, Vinod Khanna, Om Puri and Smita Jaykar
Music: Aadesh Shrivastava
Lyrics: Sameer
Recommended Audience: Parental Guidance
Film Released on: 16 November 2001
Reviewed by: Narbir Gosal  - Rating: 5.0 / 10
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Public Rating Average: 5.11 / 10 (rated by 410 viewers)
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Remember the days when Diwali meant the release of brainless but wholesome family enetertainers (HAHK, DDLJ, HSSH) or even those sugary sweet bubble gum romances (KKHH, DTPH, Mohabbatein). Well kiss those days goodbye, because this Diwali a new trend emerges. Brainless, cliched, masala films such as Deewanapan are all we have to look forward to. Ok so maybe I┬┤m jumping the gun, but of the four films that have released this Diwali, trade pundits were putting their money on this one. If this film manages to become a hit then we can expect more of these to follow. Deewanapan has one thing going for it; it has been aptly named, it┬┤s a crazy movie that should be avoided at all costs until the DVD or video release.

This film is Vashu Bhagnani┬┤s third production to release this year. After the success of Mujhe Kucch Kehna Hai and the washout Rehna Hai Tere Dil Mein, you would expect the man with the midas touch (well he┬┤s loosing it now) to take a break and make another hit film after carefully planning it. Ashu Trikha who has directed and scripted the film seems to have done it in a rush (now we realize why the film was completed so fast after it┬┤s announcement). Poor Diya Mirza seems to be digging a grave for her career even before allowing it to start. This is the second of her three productions for Bhagnani (Om Jai Jagadish being the last of her ┬┤hatrick┬┤). The film offers us nothing to write home about, but lets take a look at this ┬┤original and compelling story┬┤ first before we rip it apart.

Meet our dashing hero Sooraj Saxena (Arjun Rampal) who lives in New Zealand...oops I meant Dalhousie with his parents (Om Puri and Smita Jaykar). Our small town hunk from a middle class family falls for a rich, big city girl named Kiran Choudhary (Diya Mirza) who is visiting Dalhousie for an outing. So rich girl meets poor boy (originality anyone?) and love blossoms. But then our lovely lady has to head back and the fun and frolic ends. Sooraj is a little distraught, I mean this is love at first sight folks, but luckily in an original twist in the plot line his dad is transfered to Mumbai. In another unique twist Sooraj ends up meeting Kiran there as well and love blossoms again. Unfortunatley for our hero, Mr. Ranvir Choudhary (Vinod Khanna) who is Kiran┬┤s dad decides that a middle class boy won┬┤t do. He has big dreams for his daughter and no poor boy is going to get in the way (can you feel the suspense?). So what does daddy dearest do? Well since he is such a powerful person he invites Sooraj over to a gathering at his estate and then embarasses him in front of the creme de la creme of Mumbai. Not only does he embarass him but he also threatens him. Leave the city or else! However Sooraj is crazy (hence the title) for Kiran and he decides he is going to stay and fight for his love. Ranvir saab is not to pleased so he does what any rich man would do, he throws Sooraj┬┤s dad into prison, because money can permit you to do that kind of stuff. When Kiran intervenes, Mr. Choudhary goes a little mental and decides that it is better to kill our hero. Kiran gets in the way again (ungrateful daughter that she is). Does our hero gets his love?. By the time the question is answered, the audience (or what was left of it) has either fallen asleep or gone ┬┤Deewana┬┤ from the insane movie they just sat through.

The main fault lies in the cliche ridden script. Ashu Trikha should have written something a little more original to keep the audience going. His direction is not bad, but he cannot rise above the mediocrity of the plot. A work of advice, next time write something original and entertaining. The first half of the film is pure gloss; romance, comedy and songs. However after Vinod Khanna┬┤s entrance the film picks up a little but gets all the more predictable. The wafer thin plot could have been told in an hour but is unneccesarily streched on for too long. After walking out of the movie two scenes manage to stay in your mind; the confrontation between Sooraj and Ranvir Choudhary pre-interval and the jail scene post- interval. Another major flaw is song placement. They seem to pop up every five minutes and all together they take up more screen time than the actual plot does. The songs themselves are nothing special but the picturisations help a little. The title song and the Punjabi number stand out. A third major flaw is the abundance of violence in the movie. Sooraj fights a goon like every few minutes, and the scenes just get repetitive. Abbas Ali┬┤s action is crowdpleasing but overdone. Dialouges are very poor and too corny at times. Suhas Gujrathi does a great job with the cinematography. New Zealand looks great on camera, but why not just go to Dalhousie and shoot there? It is just as scenic and it would have cut down on expenses as well.

Performances are all over the board in this one. Arjun Rampal shows a flair for action after his romantic debut in PIAM. He also gets to show whatever little versatility his limited character sketch will allow in his emotional sequences and the light moments as well. He is a good actor and hopefully his next release, Moksha (which has been released illegally on pirate DVD) will give him something to write home about. It is sad to see such a talent wasted in such silly films. However word of advice to Mr. Rampal; cut your hair or else you are going to start looking like cousin It, and keep that shirt on buddy. The world knows you have a great physique but don┬┤t go the Salman Khan way in ripping it off every time you have to fight a goonda! Diya Mirza shows vast improvement from her debut a month ago in RHTDM. She is not as wooden and shows a great screen presence. However her role required little more than dancing around trees, so maybe it┬┤s too early to judge. One thing is for sure however, she is one stunning lady. Credit has to be given when due, Suhas Gujrathi has captured this lovely lady very well on screen. Diya and Rampal make a very good looking onscreen couple as well. Vinod Khanna┬┤s much hyped comeback is a let down. His character is typical and he is wasted in the film which is insulting for an actor of his calibre. He fits the role and tries to do well with whatever little he gets from the script, but it is not enough. Om Puri, as always, is good, there is never any dissapointment from this man no matter how small the character. He always manages to make a mark and it┬┤s no surprise. Smita Jaykar also does a good job with her limited role.

All things said and done this film is a complete no-no unless you are a hardcore action fanatic and the story line (or lack of) isn┬┤t a concern. One really wishes that a family enetertainer like Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham had released this Diwali so we could have at least watched a big cast on the screen with some nice songs. Wait for video if you must watch this movie, otherwise you might go as crazy as the cast and crew who made this film with such false conviction!

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