Planet Bollywood
Koi Mere Dil Se Poochhe
Producer: Boney Kapoor
Director: Vinay Shukla
Starring: Introducing Esha Deol, Sanjay Kapoor, Aftab, Jaya Bachchan
Music: Rajesh Roshan
Lyrics: Suryabhanu Gupt, Ibrahim Ashk, and Dev Kohli
Genre: Thriller
Recommended Audience: General
Approximate Running Time: 2 hrs 45 mins
Film Released on: 11 January 2002
Reviewed by: Rakesh Budhu  - Rating: 7.0 / 10
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Public Rating Average: 5.11 / 10 (rated by 412 viewers)
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If you parallel the debut of the number of dream girl’s daughters, Hema Malini’s would prove plain old mediocre. Koi Mere Dil Se Poochhe is a mediocre film under the Boney Kapoor banner that proves one thing; Boney Kapoor knows how to make a potentially enjoyable film. Witness Judaai, Prem, Hamara Dil Aap Ke Paas Hai and even the more serious Pukar, but while this one is enjoyable, given the weight on its shoulders, enjoyable simply doesn’t fit the bill.

Perhaps the biggest mistake is the “deep dark” yet “obvious and light” secret Aisha Singh (Esha Deol) has hanging over her head. One certainly expected much more creativity and intensity from the man who gave us an intelligent film like Godmother.

Aman Puri (Aftab)’s persistent trials at acquiring Aisha seem to happen in the flash of an eye, so much so that all of the protagonists, Aisha, Mansi Devi (Jaya Bachchan) have little scope to show their discomfort in the immediate approval of Aman as a husband for Aisha. Especially when it is convoluted with the usual song and dance sequence (specifically, the Valentine’s Day presentation with “Deewana Tera Hai”). Perhaps some were looking for some true depiction of feelings and struggle, both from Aisha and Aman. After all, a man can easily relate, can easily understand, the journey at acquiring a young lady’s heart and a woman can easily understand how hard it may be to make a man understand her heart’s true desires.

Unfortunately for us, this is not a saga of real emotions, but a dose of masala, a mix of mediocre songs, and more importantly an inaccurate handling of the debut of a daughter of a dream girl.

The dialogues of the film lack any type of metaphors or more specifically any type of meaningful arguments between Aman and Aisha in their struggle to understand each other. They aren’t a complete downfall, as one scene between Aisha and Aman does stand out, and is the only point in the film where Esha Deol has shown a spark of brilliance.

Esha in fact, is probably the only reason, aside from Jaya Bachchan, that one would run to the theatres to watch this film (the first time). Aftab is not really a big box office pull nor will the hype of Sanjay Kapoor’s newfound talent attract masses. Yet, walking out of the cinema, as most of the audience concurred, she hasn’t left an impression as an actress. Be founded by her beauty but disappointed by her acting, that describes nine out of ten of the models entering Bollywood now a days.

She isn’t horrible, but given the hype, the demands and of course, comparisons, she surely isn’t up to the mark. Never the less she has a lot of time to show her talent, but then, her best friend Kareena Kapoor, did it all in one film. (Her following endeavors are a different story). Kareena’s role demanded a lot and she lived up to the mark, but despite Refugee’s flaws, the film enhanced her talents. Koi Mere Dil Se Poochhe is just plain old mediocre in such a way that you end up noticing the flaws in Esha’s performance more. Her facial expressions need work, her attitude is beautiful (on and off the screen I suppose) but she seems too stern when it is not required. Of course, she is nowhere close to being a washout and if you are her fan you can appreciate the other aspects of her performances without completely losing faith in her future projects.

Aftab is appreciable. You can’t hate his character, or his performance. His looks are on par, his dialogue delivery, enhanced, even more so than his awesome performance in Kasoor. It’s clear he is going places; Koi Mere Dil Se Poochhe will not prove an obstacle in his place.

The only better character definition, and that isn’t saying much, is Dushyant (Sanjay Kapoor). The etching on his three dimensional character is nothing spectacular, but Sanjay surely makes it seem that way. I am in no way a Sanjay fan (which many others probably aren’t either), but this new hair cut (a la Aamir, Akshaye and Saif in Dil Chahta Hai), this new attitude and performances [like these] will surely get him places.

Jaya Bachchan’s “back to back” release (at least here in New York), is pretty much good. Fiza demanded more in a much more serious environment, here, her character seems much more laid back and her performance doesn’t demand an out of the way portrayal. This makes three mother roles now, a tie with Amitabh’s three father roles. I think I would be supported when I say we should see a little more Rekha styled characters from Jaya in the future before we get sick of these mata-ji repetitions.

Rajesh Roshan’s music is attractive and entertaining for those that won’t mind the obvious Kaho Na Pyaar Hai hangover. The only smart move was choosing Pamela Jain’s vocals for the songs; they indeed match the tone of her voice well. The presentation on the other hand is beautiful. The title track is presented on a spring like landscape that certainly takes your mind away from this simulation of a winter wonderland we are in right now.

The Mohabbatein parody with Jaspal Bhatti gets beaten up and is mis-handled. I’m sure the fans of the industry would without a doubt love to see a comedy made out of the Chopra’s endless romances, but toning it down as a comedy sidetrack in the film provides for some un-needed poor entertainment. I don’t hate comedies, but I think Priyadarshan or David Dhawan could have done a heck of a better job better than Shukla did.

Boney Kapoor has been pretty successful in the past with a fare of decent films. You’ll remember them irrespective of their box office success. However, with Judaai, there was a moral, with Hamara Dil Aap Ke Paas Hai, there was a drama, with Koi Mere Dil Se Poochhe, there is a little bit of both, but just a little. You can enjoy it, but it probably won´t meet your expectations. Did I forget to speak of the story of the film? Here is the secret: you already know most of it.

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