Dev Anand's LOVE AT TIMES SQUARE is set in the U.S. It tells the story of two young men [Shoeb Khan, Chaitanya Chaudhry] and a girl [Heenee Kaushik], all Indian, with their emotional roots in India.
One of the boys works as a computer engineer in Silicon Valley, California, and the other, who hails from a middle class family in India, has come to the States to try his luck.
The girl is doing her Mass Communication Course in an American University. She is the daughter of a billionaire Indian. Both young men fall head over heels in love with the girl. Who gets the girl eventually, forms the climax of the story.
Like his previous films, LOVE AT TIMES SQUARE focuses on Dev Anand and Dev Anand only. Of course, there's a love story, besides a track of the gangsters, plus the September 11 incident, but neither the love story, nor the gangsters' track are able to infuse life in the narrative.
LOVE AT TIMES SQUARE has a screenplay of convenience. The story jumps from one incident to another without any strong reason and the outcome is a mishmash of several incidents put together.
There's hardly any movement in the first half of the film. The Salman Khan song in the initial reels could've proved to be a major attraction, but its picturisation seems like a rushed job. Also, the set on which this number is picturised is tacky.
Even the love story ï¿½ two boys falling in love with one girl ï¿½ shows no movement in the first half. It is only towards the second half that things get moving, but too many tracks ï¿½ specially the Ashish Vidyarthi track ï¿½ looks forced and completely out of place.
What bogs the film considerably is the writing ï¿½
To cite an instance, soon after Chaitanya has been shot at and rushed to the hospital in an unconscious state, the doctors attending on him give him an injection and inform the worried family that the boy will reach another world altogether. Soon thereafter, Chaitanya breaks into a dance number with Heenee, which not only looks absurd but also ridiculous.
Even the September 11 incident has no relevance to the story and has been forced to the screenplay. The climax is also an absolute letdown.
Dev Anand's direction is below the mark. Though the idea of depicting a love story on a New Year eve is different, the execution leaves a lot to be desired.
Another sore point of the film is its music. Barring two songs ['Sote Sote Sapna Aaya', 'Ye Raaste'], the remaining numbers don't contribute in enhancing the impact. This is all the more surprising since the film boasts of four talented music directors [Lucky Ali, Aadesh Shrivastava, Adnan Sami and Rajesh Roshan].
Cinematography is functional. Although the story is set in the U.S., major portions of the film have been shot on sets, taking away the charm.
Dev Anand dominates the show but his performance holds no appeal. Chaitanya Chaudhry gives a fair account of himself, while Shoeb Khan is dull. Heenee Kaushik doesn't impress. Ashish Vidyarthi hams. Rishi Kapoor (sp. app.), playing the owner of a TV channel, is wasted.
Moon Moon Sen, as Heenee's mother, is there merely to flash a smile or two. Satish Shah and Ketki Dave fail to evoke mirth.
On the whole, LOVE AT TIMES SQUARE is too weak a fare to register any impact whatsoever. Below average.