iDream Productions' BOLLYWOOD / HOLLYWOOD, directed by Deepa Mehta, is a love story that seems a mix of a Hindi film [DULHAN WAHI JO PIYA MAN BHAAYE; Rameshwari-Prem Krishen] and an English flick [PRETTY WOMAN; Julia Roberts-Richard Gere].
Rahul Seth (Rahul Khanna) is a young millionaire who believes he is ï¿½westernï¿½ enough to rebel against his mother (Moushumi Chatterjee) and grandmother (Dina Pathak). They are not too keen about his Caucasian girlfriend Kimberly (Jessica Pare), who, to make matters worse, is a pop star.
Kimberly dies in a freak accident and Rahul is devastated. Instead of allowing him to mourn in peace, Rahul's mother threatens to call off his sister's (Rishima Malik) wedding unless he finds himself a nice Indian girl.
Rahul enlists the services of Sue (Lisa Ray), who accepts the deal to pose as his Indian bride-to-be. Slowly, Sue endears herself to Rahul's family. She cracks a tough nut like his grandmother, becomes friends with his sister and younger brother and even calls the shots with his chauffeur (Ranjit Chowdhry).
It seems that everyone is falling in love with Sue. Even, perhaps, Rahul. During the course of his sister's marriage celebrations, Sue breaks through Rahul's tough exterior and helps him find his heart again.
But an incident changes things. Does Rahul accept Sue for who she is and what she represents?
With director Deepa Mehta at the helm of affairs, you definitely expect much from BOLLYWOOD / HOLLYWOOD. Fortunately, the film succeeds in arresting your attention despite a few loose ends in the script.
The screenplay is satirical with witty one-liners and what elevates it further is Mehta's deft storytelling. The outcome is a light-hearted romantic comedy that is sure to be identified by the elite in particular.
The film succeeds mainly due to the humour that's woven in the plot. The sequences between Dina Pathak, Moushumi Chatterjee and Rahul Khanna succeed in bringing a smile on the faces. Ditto for the romantic ones featuring the lead pair, which have been handled with care.
But the film suffers in the latter part, when predictability seeps in. Although the outcome of this love story seems apparent, the predictable path it takes to culminate the love story dilutes the impact to an extent. Also, the film gets too slow at this point.
Directorially, Deepa Mehta merges the east and west beautifully. Moreover, she has extracted fine performances from the entire cast. Sandeep Chowta's music is easy on the ears. 'Suni Hawa', 'Rang Rang Mere Rang Rang Mein' and 'Dil Kabootar Khana Hain' can easily be singled out. Cinematography is alright.
Rahul Khanna is extremely charming, handling his role with utmost sincerity. Lisa Ray is a complete natural, lighting the screen with her presence. Moushumi Chatterjee does well. Dina Pathak is excellent. Kulbhushan Kharbanda is in form. His breaking into a Bollywood dialogue/song is sure to be enjoyed. Ranjit Chowdhry is efficient.
On the whole, BOLLYWOOD / HOLLYWOOD comes at a time when crossover films are making inroads into the Indian market. BOLLYWOOD / HOLLYWOOD has the to-the-point narrative of the West and characters that can easily be identified by the Indian cinegoer. At the box-office, the film should find acceptance from the youth, with business prospects looking brighter at metros mainly.