Remake of the Telugu hit PELLI CHESKUNDAM, which starred Venkatesh and Soundarya in lead roles, S.K. Film Enterprises' HAMARA DIL AAPKE PAAS HAI, directed by Satish Kaushik, is a well-made family entertainer that offers you value for money!
The film opens with a scene showing Anil Kapoor (Avinash) and Aishwarya Rai (Preeti) with two kids. The audience is led into believing that theirs is a happy and complete family but a couple of reels later, the truth is revealed. Anil and Ash are no man and wife and the little boy and girl are not their kids.
Ash is a rape victim, spurned by her family and secluded by society. Her rape (by Puru Raaj Kumar) was the result of her stand against a 'goonda' (Mukesh Rishi) ? in other words, a result of her stand on a matter of principle. Anil, who had met Ash briefly before her rape and rejection, offers her his home to live in. With nowhere else to go, Ash starts living with Anil.
The two kids are Anil's step-brother and sister. Anil had learnt of his father's (Anang Desai) extra-marital affair from the dying mother of the two innocent children and he had confronted his father to give the two kids their rightful place in society. Scared to own up his waywardness, Anil's father had point-blank denied any alliance with any woman, which had led the principled Anil to leave his home and stay separately with his step-brother and sister. It is in this home that Ash lives with the trio.
Anil slowly begins to love Ash, but the latter holds him in too high an esteem to even think of marriage with him. Enters Sonali Bendre (Khushi), who vows to bring back Anil to his parental home and woos him to win his heart. Ash starts feeling jealous of Sonali and it is then that she realises that she is in love with Anil.
But there are obstacles?
The very first sequence of the film indicates the genre this film falls into ? a social that is targeted at the families, and womenfolk mainly. Perhaps inspired by the success of his previous film HUM AAPKE DIL MEIN REHTE HAIN, director Satish Kaushik has yet again chosen a theme that is family-oriented and can be identified by the common man.
Though most family sagas seem similar to one another, this film actually scores is one important department -- it takes the viewer unaware at several places in its narration. The film does not resort to clich?one has been witnessing in the garb of family entertainers, thus making it a cut above the rest.
The story has several twists in its taut screenplay that catch you unaware:
* The very first scene gives you the impression that Anil and Ash are man and wife, which they are not;
* The relationship Anil shares with the two kids is rarely projected in Hindi films;
* Showing the leading lady as a rape victim in the initial reels itself is a bold step within commercial parameters.
* The interval point surprises the viewer yet again. And it has been executed brilliantly too.
Though the basic plot of this enterprise tends to get serious at times, the director has laced the film with moments that tickle your funny bone. The film has a line up of character artistes essaying comedy roles (Anupam Kher, Johny Lever, Jaspal Bhatti, Razzak Khan, Himani Shivpuri, Upasna Singh, Rana Jung Bahadur and a look-alike of a top star) and must say, the light moments are very funny ? a factor that would appeal to the hoi polloi.
There are several scenes in the film that prove the director's command over the medium, notable among them being:
* The outburst of Ash's father after she has been raped;
* Anil's mother, Smita Jaykar, confronting Ash in the pre-climax;
* The climax of the film, which is extremely well shot.
Sanjeev-Darshan's musical score is another asset. The film has three songs that linger in your memory even after the show has ended ? the title track, 'It's My Family' and 'Shukriya Shukriya'. The picturisation of all the songs are a visual treat, since the locations are hitherto unexplored.
The only flaw is the film's excessive length in the second half. The song picturised on Anil and Sonali can easily be deleted for it serves no purpose in moving the story ahead. Also, the comedy scenes need to be trimmed slightly for better impact.
The performances in HAMARA DIL AAPKE PAAS HAI are of a high order. Anil Kapoor essays his part with utmost conviction, giving cent percent to his role. Anil is with the character, not going overboard absolutely. Aishwarya Rai is a pleasure to watch. The actress has proven the theory that models make lousy actresses, wrong. She delivers the right expressions, her dialogue delivery is flawless and of course, she looks ravishing, a compliment she has learnt to live with.
Sonali Bendre does go overboard at times, but looks wow otherwise. Amongst the host of character artistes, Anupam Kher, Johny Lever, Himani Shivpuri and Jaspal Bhatti stand out. Puru Raaj Kumar is a welcome addition to the list of talented villains. Smita Jaykar gets just one scene to prove her mettle (in the pre-climax) and she emerges with flying colours. Mukesh Rishi is just about okay.
Javed Akhtar's lyrics deserve a special mention. Kabir Lal's camerawork is a feast to the eyes. Dialogues are excellent. Production values are rich; a lot of money has been spent and it shows on the screen.
On the whole, HAMARA DIL AAPKE PAAS HAI has all it takes to emerge a rewarding experience for its producers, distributors and everyone associated with it. A film that is targeted at the family audience, this one is a must-see!