I commend myself for not walking into Dil Maange More with heaps of expectations. All I was expecting was another dashing performance by Shahid Kapoor and Tulip Joshi. All the speculation surrounding Soha Ali Khan had me interested and
Ayesha Takia was just the girl from Taarzan: The Wonder Car. Was I disappointed? Yes and No. Would I ever watch this movie again? Maybe if it was on TV.
Dil Maange More has a simple story, but not much can be revealed without spoiling it. The movie is about Shahid KapoorÂ´s character, Nikhil, who falls in and out of love with three girls: Neha (Soha Ali Khan), Sara (Tulip Joshi), and Shagun (Ayesha Thakia). How Nikhil falls in love with each girl, how each girl falls in love with him, and who gets the guy in the end are what Dil Maange More is all about.
The concept is original and interesting, but its execution isnâ€™t, thanks to a faulty screenplay (Javed Siddiqi) and weak direction. The love between Nikhil and Neha is well established, but the events that lead to Nikhil falling in love with Sara and Shagun and the events that lead to the girls falling in love with Nikhil, appear forced into the screenplay as random proceedings and almost unbelievable. Shahidâ€™s character shows no inclination of having feelings for Sara and Shagun yet is all of a sudden in love with them. The script relies heavily on the clichĂ© of a person being told that they are in love, rather than feeling it for themselves. More time should have been devoted to the development of Shahidâ€™s love for Tulip and Ayesha.
But Ananth Narayan Mahadevan is not completely incompetent. His direction is not outright predictable-you know what is going to happen, you just donâ€™t know how. His best work can be seen in the scenes between Shahid Kapoor and Ayesha Takia.
The art direction of Dil Maange More is something to boast about; the film is shot in parts of Europe and the Middle East that have previously been unseen on Bollywood celluloid and makes for some excellent eye candy. The set designs for Shahidâ€™s mandatory dance sequences are also praiseworthy. The editing is passĂ©. Himesh Reshammiya, who usually produces mundane and repetitive music, actually does well for himself, for the most part. His songs are catchy and overcome some of the stupidity of lyrics like â€śKubakuâ€ť and the English chorus in â€śWhy Does It Happen in Love?â€ť. Nonetheless, his work is nothing extra special.
Amongst three girls competing for screen time, itâ€™s Ayesha Takia who springs a surprise with the best performance. Her role is the most emotional and she does full justice to it. She not only holds her own against the girls, but also makes her presence felt in her scenes with Shahid Kapoor. I think itâ€™s safe to say that thereâ€™s more to Ayesha Takia than what we saw in her debut Taarzan: The Wonder Car. I canâ€™t wait to see her in Socha Na Tha.
Tulip Joshi is unarguably one of the best newcomers Bollywood has to offer, which we saw in Mere Yaar Ki Shaadi Hai and
Matrubhoomi, but she doesnâ€™t please in Dil Maange More. Her role is the smallest and more like a special appearance. She should pay more attention to her figure and her choice of clothes.
Soha Ali Khan is officially the second biggest disappointment in modern Bollywood history (after Esha Deol, of course). She has probably never heard of a facial expression other than a bland smile, she is totally ignorant of dialogue delivery, and she can barely move in dance scenes. The story gives Ayesha Takiaâ€™s character the most attention, but an idiotic and cautious attempt has been made by Mahadevan to give Soha Ali Khan more screen time. She has not inherited an ounce of her motherâ€™s talent. As far as comparisons with her brother Saif Ali Khan go, Saif was better in Parampara than Soha in this flick. Soha, do the world a favour: go back to whatever it was you were doing before movies-and stay there.
As usual, Shahid Kapoor is first rate. Dil Maange More is more along the lines of his first film,
Ishq Vishk, and demanded less talent than Fida (Shahid was brilliant in that movie, too). Comedy is one of Shahidâ€™s fortes and he is the sole reason that the audience can sit through the entire movie. He has an awesome screen presence, heâ€™s a great actor, and his dances are out of this world. He takes a vague character and flies with it. Contrary to what some critics say, Shahid is NOT a copy of Shahrukh Khan. In fact, we need to see more of Shahid Kapoor.
Amongst the supporting cast Zarina Wahab is very natural, Gulshan Grover and Kanwaljeet are over-the-top, and Smita Jaykar is royally wasted.
In the end, the audienceâ€™s dil nahin maange more. This movie is time pass material and ends 2004 the same way it started: pathetically. Watch it for Shahid and Ayesha ONLY, but thereâ€™s a lot more to be looking forward to in 2005.