Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Khoya Khoya Chand review

So-ha, so bad


*ing: Shiney Ahuja, Soha Ali Khan, Rajat Kapoor, Sushmita Mukherjee and Saurabh Shukla
Director: Sudhir Mishra

Given its fantastic promos, wonderful sound track and the director’s own credentials, one would have quite literally expected the moon here but sadly, Khoya Khoya Chand falls under Mishra’s least interesting films.
Compared to his highly textured and elevating Hazaaron Khwahishein Aisi, which gave us three of the most memorable characters in recent times, Khoya…is a film that is utterly lacking in complexity of both script and characterization. And if you were aiming higher and expecting some kind of subtext in this ‘tribute to the 50s cinema’, just forget about it.

Even viewed as a regular film, KKC is very jerky and inconsistent –for example, the movie starts with Vinay Pathak, an insider of the industry, doing a voice-over and you gather that hewill be the narrator for the rest of the film. But Mishra forgets all about him in the later portions.As the film progresses, you realize Mishra has pieced together some moments and made a film about an era he has a personal fondness for but there's so little depth to his plot (if you can call it one), solack-luster is the romance and so sketchy are his characters that the film never manages to take off at any point.
Also, the director with his design to recreate the 50's cinema, with its whirlpool of passions, professional insecurities, tenderness, volatile lovers, camaraderie… takes on more than he can chew and it becomes a strain to follow the different arcs being thrown at the viewer throughout the film...the characters don't just sustain their trajectories.

Without the firm grip of a director, the film never quite comes together. The film's weakest link is probably Soha Ali Khan, who proves to be a terrible revelation. With her petite frame and limited range, the actress can neither cope with the stature of her character nor can she lend it any kind of depth of expression. Self-conscious and inhibited, Soha's innate reticence is all wrong for a role that demanded certain dare-devil vivacity coupled with gentle vulnerability.
The reason Soha has never been exposed so far is because she's always played herself in most films but here, she struggles. Looking at her made me feel for the first time how difficult acting can be made to look. It doesn't help that the entire film revolves around her! And here Mishra has to take some blame for wrong casting or at least for not succeeding in extracting a decent performance out of her. By comparison, the film's second lead, Sonia Jehan is far more expressive and has a genuine old world charm about her.
Shiney Ahuja is not as bad as he's been in some recent films, though it's annoying how he tries to put in so much intensity into the simplest of scenes. He again has a very underdeveloped, sketchy part. Rajat Kapoor has a meaty role and I thought he was the best thing about the film, though that isn't saying much.
Mishra's strength as a director has always been his ability to etch out uncoventional characters and throw them into a whirlpool of complex, ironic situations through an intellegent, irreverant narrative. Here, he picks up various threads but they're held so loosely that it just doesn't make the cut.
Stars: **

3 Comments:

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