Abhishek Bachchan's second film - and it shows.
H. Bala | Carson - hey, we have an IKEA store! - CA USA | 05/08/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
Pooja Sinha (Kirti Reddy) is a talented but overlooked assistant director toiling away at a successful Mumbai ad agency. Needing to attend a friend's wedding in Agra, she manages to cajole three days' worth of vacation time from her gruff, hard-to-please boss Mr. Oberoi. In Agra, she meets the local videographer Kabir (Abhishek Bachchan), who's a pleasant but provincial fella. Thru several encounters which take place in the course of her friend's wedding, Pooja unwittingly leads on Kabir to the point where he falls hard in love with her. Unaware and unreciprocal of his feelings, she departs Agra, only to have Kabir chase down her train to barely hand her the photographs he had taken of her. That's all he has time to do before she is gone.
Her boss is incensed when Pooja shows up to work a day late and fires her on the spot. But her friend at work immediately lies to the boss, telling him that Pooja is engaged to be married. Her friend shows the boss one of Kabir's photos, which has Kabir and Pooja in an engagement pose. All is forgiven, Pooja retains her job. Then the lie bites her on the bum as she finally meets the man of her dreams as embodied in Raj. Raj fulfills all the requirements she has in her man of choice: he's cute, wears designer clothes, and drives a Mercedes. He's also the boss's son. But, alas, Raj believes that Pooja is engaged, so the chance for romance with him goes up in smoke. And then Kabir, desperate to declare his love to Pooja, arrives in Mumbai...
The reason I bought this dvd is because of Abhishek Bachchan, of whom I'm a fan. This is his second feature film and, unfortunately, it shows. His performance here isn't as polished as it would be in his later roles, although he still shows a charismatic presence and delivers enough sincerity in his acting effort so that you can't really say he sucked. But he definitely improves in future films. Kirti Reddy is the pretty female lead, and this is her film debut; she doesn't do too badly. Meanwhile, veterans Kader Khan (as the ponytailed Mr. Oberoi) and the amusing Paresh Rawal lend their dependable talents.
Basically, TERA JADOO CHAL GAYAA is a tolerable Bollywood film. It's supposed to be a romantic comedy. What brings it down is the lousy script, which is derivative and dull. I still expected to be somewhat entertained, even given the predictable premise. But the entertainment value is marginal. My liking for Abhishek Bachchan, the fact that Kirti Reddy is a cutie, and my enjoyment of romantic comedies made me sit thru this one. The laughable sound effects during the few jarring fight scenes (yes, there are fight scenes!) prove to be an annoying distraction. The musical numbers, sorry to say, are lackluster and uninspired pieces, the best one of which is "Mujhe Pyaar Karo."
Somewhere in the second half, TERA JADOO CHAL GAYAA lost its way. I'm not even exactly sure when it happened. Up until that moment my attention was still somewhat engaged as I had hopes that this would still end up being a good movie. Maybe it was when they wandered into the music recording story arc? I guess the most unsatisfying part of the film for me is the ending. Sure, it's happy enough, but I couldn't help but feel that the closing scenes were just flat and contrived. I can't put a finger on it exactly, but Pooja's conversion with regards to her feelings for Kabir seems too abrupt. And, sorry, but I don't buy Pooja's mom's advise to her, which is, if the sub-titles don't lie: "Don't marry someone you love. Marry someone who loves you." Plus, her weepy "Oscar moment" scene at the award show is undermined by the reaction cuts to the obviously undermanned audience. I understand about budget constraints but, jeez, couldn't they get just a few more people to sit in? That whole sequence just had a cardboard feel.
On the positive side, there are some pretty funny moments. What worked were the hilarious sequences of Kabir trying to derail the engagement (on Pooja's request) by lowering himself in the eyes of Pooja's boss but instead every misdeed only causes Mr. Oberoi to be even more indebted to him. But the best line in the film is an in-joke. When Pooja's dubious looking work friend is poring over the wedding photos, he chances upon a shot of Kabir and says, "After he grows up he'll look like Amitabh Bachchan."
Ultimately, I wasn't feeling this one. TERA JADOO CHAL GAYAA gets two and a half stars from me. Sorry about that.