Okay, so we all know what Subhash Ghai's KARZ is all about, don't we? After all, it's a film worth recollecting and recalling even after three decades of its first release. Ghai Indianised THE REINCARNATION OF PETER PROUD beautifully, packing just about every ingredient that makes a complete masala film. Satish Kaushik's interpretation of KARZ remains loyal to its predecessor.
Comparisons between the old and the new are inevitable. In fact, every aspect of KARZZZZ will be under a scanner, right from Rishi-Simi/Himesh-Urmila, the winning musical score by L.P./Himesh, the dramatic moments, et al. So let's come to the point right away, to the answer you've been waiting for. Is KARZZZZ worth the hype?
Let's get one thing straight. And this is very, very important and one shouldn't overlook this fact. This is a masala film; the makers never ever promised new-age cinema. Given the fact that KARZZZZ talks of punar janam, plus there's a dash of mythology, as also everything that goes into the making of an entertainer, just don't expect anything path-breaking from KARZZZZ. Also, don't expect KARZZZZ to pander to the tastes of the multiplex junta.
KARZZZZ is a hardcore masala film and if you relish the masala entertainers of yore, go ahead, you would relish Satish Kaushik's interpretation of KARZ as well.
KARZZZZ has the soul of KARZ, but there's a twist in the tale. You can say that writer Shiraz Ahmed hasn't picked up the script in entirety. He has added a new twist to the tale [the KARZ loyalists might call it tampering], which may find its share of advocates and adversaries.
Another reason why KARZZZZ works is the kind of energy and confidence Himesh radiates. In AAP KAA SURROOR, he played himself, Himesh Reshammiya. In KARZZZZ, he's Monty. He has to look the character, but most importantly, he has to act. And surprise, surprise, surprise, Himesh gets the demanding role right.
Himesh may not have the charisma of SRK, he may not be talented like Aamir, he may not be dashing and debonair as Salman and Akshay, but you can't turn your eyes away from the fact that he has oodles of confidence and that makes the job easier. Also, comparisons with Rishi Kapoor are inevitable. Well, Rishi Kapoor was matchless and KARZ continues to remain a shining medal to this date, but even the harshest of critics would agree that Himesh is here to stay.
Any shortcomings? Oh yes! The twist in the second hour may not work with those who swear by the original. Besides, a few characters, like Sir Juda and the one enacted by Raj Babbar have been royally ignored.
Yet, all said and done, KARZZZZ has the potential to strike gold, winning the hearts of the aam junta -- its target audience. Watch it as a homage to the cinema of 1980s and there're bright chances that you would root for the new Monty as well. Simply put, go for it!
Monty [Himesh Reshammiya] is an extremely successful Rock Star based in South Africa. During one of the many parties he attends, he meets Tina [Shweta Kumar]. For Monty, it's love at first sight. Later, during one of his shows, Monty starts playing a tune and suddenly goes into a trance, with intense visual flashes -- a mansion, a temple, a beautiful girl... Monty collapses.
On further probe, he finds out that the mansion belonged to a certain Ravi Verma [Dino Morea], who died in a tragic accident. Another flash reveals that Monty was Ravi Verma in his previous life, married to a beautiful girl called Kamini. From here starts Monty's new journey...
Satish Kaushik is a veteran when it comes to remakes. And Satish's expertise shows at several valid points. The sequence between Dino and Urmila at the very start makes you tighten your seat belts. Thereafter, the love story between Himesh and Shweta charters the predictable path, but you sit up once Urmila makes a re-appearance.
Post interval, the sequences between Himesh and Urmila are worthy of note. Ditto for a few more sequences -- Himesh re-uniting with his mother; it brings tears to your eyes. Again, the penultimate 25 minutes [starting with the song 'Ek Hasina Thi'] are excellent. Director Satish Kaushik walks on a tight rope and manages to pull it off. Shiraz Ahmed has updated the script well. Dialogues, especially those between Himesh and Urmila, are well worded. Manoj Soni's cinematography is striking. Also, the DOP does justice to the lush locales of South Africa and Kenya.
It's a Himesh show all the way. His music caters to the popular tastes. In fact, the songs are already a rage and the tracks are a visual treat as well. As an actor, Himesh strives to look the part and succeeds. He has lost weight, his styling [Roopa Chadha] is perfect and as an actor, he takes giant strides. Urmila is top notch. In two scenes mainly. One, at the very outset. Two, towards the end, when she confronts Himesh.
Shweta Kumar is a pretty face, but there's not much meat in her character since the story primarily revolves around Monty and Kaamini. Dino Morea leaves a mark. Danny Denzongpa is ideal for the part. Gulshan Grover is wasted. Ditto for Raj Babbar. Rohini Hattangadi and the actress enacting the role of the sister are good. Bakthiyaar Irani acts well. Asrani provides some light moments. Himani Shivpuri is alright.
On the whole, KARZZZZ is rich in entertainment. Himesh's tremendous popularity amongst masses, its chartbusting musical score and the fact that it's a remake of a much-loved film will only lure masses in hordes. Besides, it's an open ground for KARZZZZ at the ticket window, what with the euphoria of all past releases having dried up. At the box-office, the film should fetch a thunderous start and in due course, should be amongst the biggest achievers of the year in terms of business. Reincarnation themes have a super-successful track record, right from KARZ to KARAN ARJUN to OM SHANTI OM. Now add KARZZZZ to this list. Damn the pseudo critics who even rubbished KARZ three decades ago. Go by your instinct and have a blast!