Cut the crap about the Big B - SRK rivalry being the focal point of Suneel Darshan's SHAKALAKA BOOM BOOM. It's Milos Forman's masterpiece AMADEUS that SHAKALAKA BOOM BOOM borrows from.
After attempting desi movies in the past, Darshan Sr. goes videshi with SHAKALAKA BOOM BOOM. It's a modern-day story set in the U.S. [filmed in South Africa], but it packs in varied emotions like envy, jealousy, insecurity, anxiety, manipulation and anger in those 2 + hours.
Darshan Sr. hops on to a new lane and tries to explore a genre that's a contrast from what he has been associated with in the past. Sure, the glossy look and stunning locales catch your eye, but Darshan's take on AMADEUS is captivating at several points, especially the second hour.
Wait, there are loose ends as well. The writing could've been tighter. Also, since it revolves around the music industry, there're songs and more songs. The film reaches its crescendo in the pre-climax, but the finale could've been better thought of. Yet, despite the oddities, the plusses outnumber the minuses here.
In a nutshell, SHAKALAKA BOOM BOOM successfully peeps into the minds of the overtly ambitious youngsters who'd stoop to any level to attain their dreams and desires. Watch it, you'd enjoy it!
Set against a backdrop of the international music industry, SHAKALAKA BOOM BOOM delves into the complex relationship of two dramatically different men who have but one thing in common -- their passion for music. If ruthless, manipulative, cut-throat... is considered synonymous with the music industry, these terms certainly do not apply to AJ [Bobby Deol], the most loved, the most popular singer/composer New York has seen.
If prodigious talent, passion, attitude... is considered synonymous with the music industry, then Reggie [Upen Patel] fits the bill. Young and hugely talented, he hungers for what AJ has; he craves to be where AJ is -- on the top. Into the lives of these two men enter two beautiful women -- aspiring singer Ruhi and ambitious PR professional Sheena.
On the professional front, Ruhi [Kangana Ranaut] admires and looks up to AJ. On the personal level, she has been wooed and won over by Reggie. On the professional front, Sheena [Celina Jaitley] has done a lot for Reggie. On the personal level, she holds a huge grudge because he has spurned her.
As ambition, manipulation and desperation take centre stage, Ruhi and Sheena become pawns in a ruthless game.
Director Suneel Darshan takes the tried and tested path to introduce his characters. In fact, the story movies lazily in the initial portions, but smells coffee and wakes up with Upen's arrival. The sequences between Bobby and Kangana are least interesting, but every time Bobby and Upen come face to face, you like the intensity.
It's the twist in the tale at the intermission point -- Bobby's indecent proposal to Kangana -- that saves the film from mediocrity. The mind-games Bobby adopts to destroy Upen from the music scene takes the film to its peak. In fact, Bobby's manipulative moves -- being goody-goody on face but backstabbing at the slightest opportunity -- keeps you charged.
Rajesh Pandey's screenplay has its loose ends. The interaction between Bobby and his guru [Govind Namdev] gets monotonous after a point. Even the end could've been impactful. Yet, in all fairness, the writing in the second half is shades better than the first hour.
Suneel Darshan's execution of the subject material is up to the mark. The undercurrent of tension whenever Bobby and Upen come face to face and also Bobby's manipulations are well filmed by the storyteller. But Darshan can easily trim the film by about 10 minutes. The Bobby - Govind Namdev track can be reduced, while a song or two can easily be chopped off.
Himesh Reshammiya's music is ear-pleasing and the choreography, eye-catching. A couple of tunes stand out, including the title track, 'Thade Vaste' and 'Namumkin' [filmed on an exotic, breath-taking locale]. The choreography [Bosco-Caesar] is fantastic. In fact, the choreography only uplifts the songs further. Dialogues [Anurag Kashyap] are alright, but a few lines [especially Anupam's advice to Upen at the airport] are really well-worded.
Both Bobby and Upen get fabulous roles and the two actors make the most of it. Bobby is one of the most under-rated actors around. His work has been consistent all through, but one tends to overlook this talented actor's abilities all the while. Watch him go negative in SHAKALAKA BOOM BOOM and you'd agree that he's amongst the best in the business today. His outburst in the end is remarkable.
Upen gets a complex role so early in his career and though there're a few rough edges [expected], the youngster is confidence personified. Watch him take on Bobby with his 'I am the best' attitude and you know this guy knows his job well. Upen is not just a show-stopper when it comes to looks, but has the potential to climb the ladder as an actor. SHAKALAKA BOOM BOOM proves it.
Celina is slightly awkward initially, but enacts the role with grey shades very well. Kangana is likeable. She looks stunning and matches it up with a fine performance. Anupam Kher has a small role, which he portrays like a seasoned actor. Dalip Tahil, Seema Rahmani, Govind Namdev, Viveck Vaswani and Asrani are adequate.
On the whole, SHAKALAKA BOOM BOOM is a well-crafted entertainer and lives up to the expectations of its target audience -- the youth. At the box-office, its business at the multiplexes will help it generate good revenue, making it a profitable proposition for its investors.