M.K. Pictures' KITNE DOORï¿½ KITNE PAAS, directed by Mehul Kumar, is a love story.
Fardeen Khan and Amrita Arora first meet at a shopping mall in New York where they have come to do last-minute shopping, before they fly to India, since both are supposed to get married to people they've never seen.
It's not love at first sight for Fardeen or Amrita. On the contrary, they end up having a scrap and just hate the sight of each other. But destiny has something else in storeï¿½
When they land in Delhi (they travel together from the U.S.), they learn that the flight to their hometown in Gujarat (coincidentally, both live in the same city) has been cancelled. They hire a taxi, board a bus and then a hay cart before they reach their destination, but not before several incidents bring them closer.
However, both are so tradition-bound that they hide their feelings from their parents. In fact, they are all set to tie the knot with spouses of their parents' choice.
In the climax, Fardeen is all set to take the 'saat pheras' with Sonali Kulkarni, while Ayub Khan is ready with 'sindoor' in his hand for Amrita. Both the wedding pandals are erected opposite each other. What happens eventually?
Loosely inspired by the Ben Affleck-Sandra Bullock flick FORCES OF NATURE, director Mehul Kumar makes an attempt to try his hand at an altogether new genre ï¿½ romance ï¿½ and succeeds to an extent.
The plot has its share of clich?and oft-repeated sequences that have been witnessed incalculable times earlier, but Mehul Kumar has interspersed the story with light moments (the Satish Shah track is a highlight!) and dollops of emotions with a dash of Indian customs and rituals.
The premise works because the two principal characters are genuine and their emotional problems are identifiable. You empathize with their dilemma and growing attraction to one another. Moreover, the chemistry between Fardeen Khan and Amrita Arora excites.
But the film is not without its share of flaws.
Firstly, a few comedy scenes ï¿½ notably the one when Fardeen tries to nab the robber, who, in reality, is the owner of the bungalow ï¿½ fails to evoke mirth. Prior to that, the Satish Shah fight in the 'dhaba' seems unnatural and forced in the screenplay.
Also, Fardeen and Amrita performing a 'havan' at the behest of their travel companions is taking things a bit too far.
In the post-interval portions as well, the story is stretched to such an extent that the impact gets diluted. Also, a couple of songs flit in without valid situations whatsoever. For instance, the title track comes soon after a song has ended ('Humko Mohabbat Dhund Rahi Thhee'). However, the film picks up pace again in the climax, which is well executed.
Director Mehul Kumar has handled a couple of dramatic sequences with ease. Fardeen and Amrita falling in love gradually has been justified well on screen. Even the sequence in the pre-climax, when Govind Namdev tells Amrita that she is free to marry the man of her choice (Fardeen), but she refuses, is simply brilliant.
However, Mehul Kumar shouldn't have relied too heavily on the tried-and-tested stuff, for the novelty of the plot gets lost in the process. Also, the film can do with some trimming for a better impact.
Sanjeev-Darshan's music is upbeat and easily one of the highpoints of the film. At least four numbers can easily be singled out for their rhythm and melody, which include the title track, 'Humko Mohabbat Dhund Rahi Thhee', 'Deewana Dil Hain Mera' and 'Yaar Main India Chala'.
Mazhar Kamran's cinematography is first-rate. The locations of Brisbane and Gold Coast give the film a definite sheen. Dialogues (Imtiyaz Patel, Yunus Sajawal) are commendable.
Despite being several films old, Fardeen Khan still needs to brush up his acting skills. He has tremendous screen presence, no two opinions on that, but his expressions in several vital sequences are just the same. Newcomer Amrita Arora springs a pleasant surprise with a freewheeling performance. She dances well, looks photogenic and her diction is perfect, which is quite an achievement for a newcomer.
Sonali Kulkarni is far from convincing. Even her role is half-baked. Satish Shah is superb in various avatars. But his character definitely deserved a culmination. Nasir Khan is competent. Ketaki Dave and Tiku Talsania's comedy, specially the boozing scene, will be appreciated by the hoi polloi. Govind Namdev is efficient in the concluding reels. Ayub Khan gets no scope. Beena, Ram Mohan and Shehzad Khan lend adequate support.
On the whole, KITNE DOORï¿½ KITNE PAAS is a decent entertainer that should find flavour mainly with the youth. However, trimming the film will only brighten its prospects.