The most controversial film has eventually released! Does it meet the high adrenaline expectations? Does it satiate the appetite of the cinegoer? Will it infuse life in the veins of this drought-stricken industry?
The answer to all the above questions is, Yes!
Emaar Films International's CHORI CHORI CHUPKE CHUPKE, directed by Abbas-Mustan, is a love triangle. A look at the character sketches of the principal players:-
? Raj Malhotra (Salman Khan) is the scion of a rich industrialist family, who is adored by all his near and dear ones.
? Priya (Rani Mukherji) comes from an extremely rich family; she is sweet natured and adjusting. For Priya, her family comes first and their happiness means everything.
? Madhoo (Preity Zinta) is the third angle of this triangle.
? Kailashnath Malhotra (Amrish Puri) is Raj's grandfather. He adores his grandson, while Raj simply worships the old man.
? Ranjit Malhotra (Dalip Tahil) is Raj's father, but behaves more like his friend. Totally involved in his business, for him work is worship.
? Asha Malhotra (Farida Jalal) is Raj's loving mother.
? Dr. Balraj Chopra (Prem Chopra), the most trusted friend and adviser of the Malhotra clan, also happens to be their family doctor.
? Pappu Bhai (Johny Lever) is brought up like a son of the family. He has friends in high places and is great at making things work with just one phone call.
The initial portions of CHORI CHORI CHUPKE CHUPKE is a good mix of DOOSRI DULHAN (Victor Banerjee, Sharmila Tagore, Shabana Azmi) and PRETTY WOMAN (Richard Gere, Julia Roberts). And the portions with the family remind you of HUM AAPKE HAIN KOUN.
But first the negative points!
To start with, the first half of the film is plain mediocre. The love story is hunky-dory till Rani has a miscarriage and the doctor tells Salman, Rani's husband, that she would never be able to conceive again.
With Preity's arrival, things start looking up. However, Preity's initial scenes with Salman aren't in sync with the mood of this family entertainer. A bar girl resorting to cheap stuff, using filthy language, is implausible in an enterprise like this.
But the interval point brings the story on the right path. It is sequences in the second half that make all the difference. Sequences that stand out are:
? Rani and Preity meeting each other, for the first time, at the airport;
? The intimate scene between Salman and Preity in the night, while Rani excuses herself and stays at the church;
? Salman bashing up Adi Irani, who lands up at midnight to molest Preity;
? The 'goad-bharai' sequence just before the climax;
? The end of the film that is sensitively handled.
In a country where the concept of a surrogate mother is unimaginable, directors Abbas-Mustan have tackled the theme with care by padding the narrative with loads of emotions and family values.
The post-interval portions of the film change the graph of the story altogether. Preity falling in love with Salman gradually and in the end, doing a somersault by refusing to give the child to Salman-Rani make the proceedings immensely watchable. The drama is convincing and does not hurt the sensibilities of an average Indian viewer.
Anu Malik's music is another asset. The songs are well woven in the script and have been picturised beautifully. The pick of the lot are the title track, 'Dekhne Walon Ne', 'Diwana Hai Ye Man', 'Punjabi' and 'Mehandi'. The introductory song of Preity, however, is run of the mill.
Thomas Xavier's cinematography is eye-catching and the Swiss locales are a visual treat. Javed Siddiqui's dialogues are excellent. Shyam Goel's screenplay maintains the grip right till the end.
This is one performance fans of Salman Khan will love him in. He is controlled, classy and mature, unlike the oft-repeated roles that exhibit his physique more than talent. This role has substance and the actor handles it with utmost sensitivity.
Between Rani and Preity, it is difficult to choose who's the better performer. Both have been given equal footage (length-wise) and importance. Both are incredibly competent in the respective roles, although Preity does go overboard in the initial portions. Amrish Puri plays the lovable grandpa to the hilt. Prem Chopra is nice. Johny Lever's comedy will appeal to the hoipolloi.
? On the whole, CHORI CHORI CHUPKE CHUPKE has generated a lot of heat before its release. But the film lives up to the towering expectations thanks to the solid drama. Coupled with a hit musical score and an excellent opening, CHORI CHORI CHUPKE CHUPKE should emerge the first hit of 2001 and pump oxygen in the lungs of the film industry. Class 'A