Planet Bollywood
Tum- A Dangerous Obsession
Producer: Venus Films Pvt. Limited
Director: Aruna Raje
Starring: Manisha Koirala, Karan Nath, Rajat Kapoor, Netanya Singh, Aman Verma
Music: Himesh Reshammiya
Lyrics: Sameer
Genre: Thriller
Recommended Audience: Adult
Film Released on: February 2004
Reviewed by: Ron Ahluwalia  - Rating: 3.0 / 10
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Public Rating Average: 5.1 / 10 (rated by 411 viewers)
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Tum? A Dangerous Obsession is saturated with "could have beens". Tum? could have been an engrossing thriller. TUM? could have been a sensitive romance. TUM? could have been the turning point of Manisha Koirala’s, Karan Nath’s–even Aman Verma’s– careers. Instead, TUM? is a lackluster fare that is shallow in substance and presentation, making the viewer fully aware of the lack of talented directors, writers, and actors in Bollywood.

Kamini (Manisha Koirala) is in Mauritius, waiting for her husband Vinod (Rajat Kapoor) to celebrate their eighteenth wedding anniversary. Vinod is stuck in New York and his flight to the island keeps getting delayed. One day, Kamini runs into a photographer named Jatin (Karan Nath). Jatin becomes infatuated with Kamini’s well-maintained beauty (The thirty-something Koirala is playing a woman who is ten years her senior!). As Vinod continues to get delayed, Kamini and Jatin decide to go sightseeing together.

On the eve of their anniversary, Vinod is still in New York, and Kamini is still alone in Mauritius. In an attempt to console the disheartened wife, Jatin takes Kamini to dinner. Kamini gets herself very drunk, and Jatin helps her back to her room. When Jatin sees Kamini sleeping, lust possesses him and he takes advantage of her vulnerable state.

When Kamini wakes up and sees Jatin next to her in bed, she is disgusted with herself. Vinod arrives in the evening and Kamini tries to tell him of the incident, but is unable to do so. She decides to forget that anything happened and tries to live her life normally. Jatin, however, is unable to forget the evening he spent with Kamini, and even traces her when he returns to India. He is so obsessed with her that he even thinks of her when he makes love to his girlfriend, Isha (Netanya Singh). Jatin’s obsession grows like a raging monster and sleeping with Kamini again becomes the ultimate goal of his life. At the zenith of his obsession, Jatin gives Kamini an ultimatum: either she gives him one more night, or he goes after Kamini’s teen daughter.

Suddenly, somebody dies. Who dies? Who kills him? Why? All these questions can only be answered by watching TUM? A Dangerous Obsession. But these questions are not so important that you would waste two hours of your life to answer them.

Of all the drawbacks (and there are many), theme, character development, and screenplay would have to be the biggest. In recent times, Bollywood has been bombarded with obsessive lover stories (Deewangee, Armaan, Aetbaar), and films that deal with oddly-aged couples (Dil Chahta Hai, Freaky Chakra, Joggers’ Park); murder mysteries have been the infamous ever since the success of Gupt in 1997! Combining all three of these genres into one movie results in a confusing influence on the viewer: what kind of movie are we exactly watching?

Furthermore, each character is amazingly fake! There is no convincing reason for Jatin’s obsession with Kamini, nor his selfish relationship with Isha. The character of Kamini’s daughter is pointlessly rebellious. It’s almost as though the director didn’t care to sculpt the dimensions of the roles, thus we are exposed to hackneyed characters. On a side note, the director should have been cautious of casting. If Manisha Koirala is to have kids who are almost adults themselves, then extra attention should have been given to making her look aged, rather than de-glamourised.

If the screenplay is passable in the first half, then it is downright disgraceful in the second! From the entrance of Yusuf Malik (Aman Verma) to the end of the film, the scenes in TUM? become more and more unbelievable! Would a police inspector really start questioning each murder suspect at the scene of the crime? Moreover, was it necessary for the director to put suspicion on each character in the movie? Watch out for one of the most unenthusiastic climaxes in Bollywood history! Essentiality, instead of increasing the suspense of the film, the audience can well-predict the murderer.

The dialogues are immensely annoying! The extensive use of English is hard on the ears because of horrific word choice and hard accents (which mar the pronunciations). Some of the English conversations induce laughter because of their utter stupidity.

Technically, TUM? is below par, and it even has a jaded look throughout. Why TUM? is a skin-fest is beyond comprehension, and the scenes are not captured with the skill that was visible in films like Jism. Such amateur cinematography just doesn’t cut it. The editing is passable, but the song between Jatin and Isha seems to have been added just give Netanya Singh more footage. Speaking of the songs, Himesh Reshammiya is quickly becoming one of the most overrated talents in Bollywood. The music to TUM? is as despicable as the movie itself.

It could be due to the substandard characterization, or just lack of interest, but each performer in TUM? is unbearable. Manisha Koirala seems as though she has given an earnest effort, but she has done a performance of a similar nature in Agni Sakshi (in which she was much better, mind you). Karan Nath had a role that he could have done wonders with, but ends up delivering a performance as basic as the entire movie. Rajat Kapoor sleepwalked through the shooting of TUM?. Netanya Singh should go back to acting school, for she destroys whatever role she did have in the movie. Aman Verma, who is a star of the small screen, proves that he has reached his potential; he overacts his character in an attempt to be domineering and intense. The artists (and I use that term loosely) who play Manisha and Rajat’s children are the worst actors to be seen in a long time. Bobby Darling hams his part.

TUM? A Dangerous Obsession is all hype and no substance! Films like this have no chance of survival because they offer nothing in terms of entertainment or insight. TUM?

is bland, predicable, foolish, and simply a waste of time, money, celluloid, and brain cells. Another one bites the dust...

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