Planet Bollywood
Producer: Pritesh Nandy Communications
Director: Vikram Bhatt
Starring: Aftab Shivdasani, Amisha Patel, Esha Deol, Hrishita Bhatt, and Amin Hajee
Music: Pritam
Lyrics: Sameer
Genre: Drama
Recommended Audience: Parental Guidance
Film Released on: 19 May 2006
Reviewed by: Shruti Bhasin  - Rating: 6.5 / 10
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Public Rating Average: 5.12 / 10 (rated by 411 viewers)
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Its important to state, before I continue this review, I have never been a fan of the main star cast or Hollywood copycat Vikram Bhatt. Alas, I must admit I found Ankahee to be quite interesting at times. I will not say that it is an autobiography of Vikram Bhatt because the only part inspired is his affair with Miss World and relationship with his family.

The story is simple, yet complex. It begins with a daughter (Hrishita Bhatt) meeting her estranged and dying father. She loathes him, yet still takes the time to read a personal diary he wrote about events in his life that changed their relationship. Dr. Shekhar (Aftab Shivdasani) had the perfect life, a devoted wife Nandita, a cute daughter named Sheena, a house, a great job, nice friends, etc. There is nothing missing…until one day he encountered Miss. World Kaavya (Esha Deol). She’s attempted suicide and he saves her life in ways we cannot understand; she is instantly attracted to the doctor.

In the initial reels, you see the life that Nandita and Shekhar have together: they communicate, they go to parties, they have a healthy physical relationship, and yet, the good doctor cannot stop fantasizing about the beauty queen. Why? Because she is vulnerable, alone, depressed, and of course, a fatal beauty who has began haunting his thoughts. We know Kaavya craves attention and Shekhar cannot help but be attracted to this pathetic, yet enchanting woman. So he caves and begins a torrid affair with her.

*Sigh* poor Nandita has to hear from her friend that her husband, who she worships, has betrayed her. She is willing to forgive, but Shekhar walks out on his family to be with Kaavya. This is the point of the film where the real story unfolds and one cannot digest why a man with the perfect family would walk out and not look back. The climax tends to get long and ends abruptly.

Ankahee works because Vikram Bhatt brings a lot of emotional impact to certain scenes such as: when Shekhar screams at his wife about why she loves him (right after he’s slept with Kaavya); Nandita finding out about the affair; Sheena asking her father to come home; and Kaavya’s insecurity once she has Shekhar. There are many more, but these scenes show that Vikram Bhatt has thought about the authentic reaction of these characters.

Performances are surprisingly decent. Aftab Shivdasani portrays Shekhar as a very weak man and succeeds. Amisha Patel is in form after a very long time and does not overdo it. Esha Deol is the surprise packet, who (finally) showed a bit of family talent. Special mention to Amin Hajee as Shekhar’s friend, who advises him not to get into an affair.

Technically, the film is average, but the screenplay and dialogues really stand out due to the realistic nature of the theme. Vikram Bhatt, along with his writers, created a manic-depressive beauty queen, a weak husband, and perfect wife to blend an emotional drama worth watching at least once. Also, it was even more surprising that the music soundtrack by Pritam is very strong with winners like ‘Ek Pal Ke Liye’, ‘Tumse Yoon Milenge’, and ‘Lamha’.

It does not surprise me that the movie failed at the box office because it’s promotions were next to none and went unnoticed quickly; furthermore, the cast is not popular. Vikram Bhatt makes a real effort for this film, compared to other attempts in the past, but the story similarities to the Mahesh Bhatt’s Arth will have viewers going to the original classic and ignore Ankahee.

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