Planet Bollywood
Producer: Dr. Wijahal Kareem
Director: Sushen Bhatnagar
Starring: Sanjay Kapoor, Raveena Tandon, Arbaaz Khan, Danny Dezgonzapa, Aditi Gowatriker
Music: Jatin-Lalit
Lyrics: Sameer
Genre: Suspense
Recommended Audience: Parental Guidance
Approximate Running Time: 3 hrs
Film Released on: 23 August 2002
Reviewed by: Rakesh Budhu  - Rating: 5.5 / 10
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Public Rating Average: 5.11 / 10 (rated by 410 viewers)
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Welcome to Bollywood Aditi Gowatriker! Surprisingly enough, it is more common for films like Soch to be a red mat revelation for directors, like its own debutante

Sushen Bhatnagar. However, Soch is far from such. The film places on a pedestal another model come actress, but for once has one in a role, which truly strays from the norm and gives the actress a scope for performance. Aditi Gowatriker takes the limelight from an overall confused film.

Soch, which had promised a good psychological thriller, had few chances to fall short of this. An intelligent production team, which had freshness in it favors disappointingly, delivers an overall stale product. The delays, and overflow of budget may have contributed to its obvious down fall at the box office, but the film itself is quite patchy. Barring the loose screenplay too many un-needed things are thrown in. No taut thriller is this!

Raj Mathew (Sanjay Kapoor) is married to one hit actress Madhulika (Aditi Gowatriker). After their marriage Madhulika stopped doing films and concentrated on living a lavish life while hit superstar Raj worked diligently with director Preeti (Raveena Tandon). Madhulika is dangerously afraid that Raj is having an affair with Preeti and she doesn’t fail to point it out. She constantly accuses him of it and at times displays a slight insanity in proving that he is. The constant jealousy develops the film into its main conflict, the death of Madhulika. Raj is primarily accused as the media has played upon his relationship with director/actress Preeti. But it is the other character, untitled, who plays the pivotal role in the occurrences that follow.

What more could we ask for but a tightly knit film. Pointless sequences of comedy are truly annoying proving true hindrances in the film. While the dialogues seem like they are providing a parody insight to the story the tracks fail to knit together the film. Additionally, Sushen Bhatnagar fails as a writer. For a thrilling debut the film has too many typical sub plots and the main cause for Arbaaz’s character seems way too desi for such a film, which attempts to stray from a typical Bollywood theme. The film is dosed with a ton of Bollywood typical shots and typical questions like the car accident in the rain with the police (coming out of nowhere) popping up. How is the audience supposed to stomach that when the rest of the film is filled with suave technical work, which attempts to imitate films of Alfred Hitchcock nature?

The film does not leave the viewer in suspense or in mystery. There is not much to wonder about and where the much-needed angle of curiosity is to be placed, the answers pop up. The suspense is truly non-existent and for whatever tracks there may be room for mystery, Bhatnagar continuously takes a great deal of time to tell the story out. This not only removes suspense, but also gives us an idea of what a poor script he is working with.

Undoubtedly barring the poor script and the dense unneeded sequences, Bhatnagar does show talent in certain scenes. His first applaud is in taking a risk in making the film. At least he has tried something new. But he has only done it half way; hopefully he will give us a complete thriller the next time.

His other flaws are his character sketches, which are very weak. He spends way too much time giving us reasons for Om (Arbaaz Khan)’s insanity and not enough to his father (Danny Dezgonzapa), and doesn’t give more life to Madhulika’s jealousy. In addition Raj Matthew’s character and Sanjay Kapoor’s portrayal is way too typical. The role is completely author backed and Sanjay does nothing to make it stand out. However, he hasn’t been given many roles as of late. At least he can carry one of these as such. But he looks lost as a film star in the film. Raveena Tandon is good in a few scenes but regular in others. It’s her character, which makes her performance suffer.

Aditi Gowatriker comes out the real winner. Yes, her performance is far from flawless. In fact she’s barely in the film for an hour or so. Perhaps her short role has allowed us to miss her flaws, but Aditi shines as the sexy crazed wife. Barring some glitches in dialogue delivery, Aditi looks great and acts well too. A lot of the credit does end up with Arbaaz whose psycho role is played up to the tee by Mr. Khan. Danny Dezgonzapa is believable in his typical role but does have an idiotic look on his face in some of the other portions.

The picturizations for “Tohe Leke” is also mild changing paces with poor choreography. The one song that shines is “Hasata Hai”. The song itself is picturized like a music video and the tunes compliment it well. Raveena looks extremely sassy and Jatin-Lalit have done a good job in composing the right tunes for the right sequences. “Ae Mere Sanam” is completely misplaced and pointless. The scenario looks oddly fake as if Sanjay Kapoor and Raveena are walking in front of a screen. Aside from the first two, the other songs pop out of nowhere and look bad. Though the placements are audaciously bad, it is more disappointing since this is arguably one of Jatin-Lalit’s best scores in recent times.

The film is technically a mixed bag as well. Effort is evident in the slick sequences, but there aren’t many. The background score by Sanjoy Chowdhury does stand out as appropriate in the right sequences. The rest of the sets aren’t glossed and leave us pondering how the film went so over budget.

At portions, Soch is inane and at others it seems like a right direction. But none of the right things seem to have been taken into consideration when making the film. The film lacks the gloss, slick and classy treatment for a thriller and its story, well, that doesn’t make the situation any better. Thus, as Soch starts off with a great first half, some intriguing portions and a distinct characteristic early on, it ends up being a disappointingly typical Bollywood masaledar film despite promising something so different.

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