Sunday, October 19, 2008

Hello - Movie Review

You read a book. You like it. It’s a best seller – meaning a lot of people liked it. You think: Why not make a movie on it. Cool idea. In Hollywood it happens, so in Bollywood now. Isn’t this a foolproof plan? too good to fail…. Right? ..nope…wrong…. Atul Agnihotri, the handsome supporting actor of 90’s and Brother-in-law of Sallu thought of the same. What he didn’t realize is that to adopt a novel you have to create enough depth in characters and story. Now, Atul has a fascination of making movies which have miracles in them. Not a bad idea either if you can pull it off convincingly. The problem here is not with the miracle, but the overall movie. It lacks depth. It looks like the characters and situation are just made to follow a path and reach a destination without going into much depth. I have not read the book fact says since it is popular, it must have depth.

It is a story of one night. It revolves around six employees of a call centre. There is Shyam (Sharman Joshi) who is about to loose his girlfriend Priyanka (Gul Panag) to a NRI because his career is shady. Varun aka Vroom (Sohail Khan) is in love with Esha (Isha Koppikar) who is more focused on her struggling modeling career for which she even makes compromises. Radhika (Amrita Arora) whose husband is having an affair which is revealed in a Ryan’s Roses style. And last is Military Uncle (Sharat Saxena) who is longing to meet his grandson who is resident in U.S. This story is narrated by Katrina Kaif at airport to Salman Khan, with a condition that he will make film on it.

Plenty of time is wasted in introducing and establishing characters and one gets frustrated for story not moving forward. Yes, I know that it is story of only one night and that’s why has to be told over the film but come on there are interesting things one can do other then taking potshots at Americans who is 35 year old equal to 10 year old Indian, which is an old rubbish joke. Also the screenplay looks amateurish. No story is well developed and Atul has tried to be all feel good. Like Military uncle is shown as longing for his grandson because his own son does not want to keep relationship with him but in novel it is mentioned that Military uncle used to restricted his daughter-in-law from working and from partying at night. There is no mention of this at any time. Even he is not shown that he is the one who handles the clients via chatting. The manager (Dilip Tahil) is shown as typical greedy boss who has become American citizen before even putting his foot on that soil with all baseball and humming of theme of Scorsese’s Newyork, Newyork. He ranges from good to irritating.

Atul never involves audience to get connected with the story. It is all taken as feel good. The movie looks good only when Sohail Khan and to some extent Sharman is on screen. Sohail has the best one liners and keeps audience from going to sleep. The track between Sharman and Gul is somewhat engaging but confusing too sometimes. Yes relationships in real are complex but what with the last scene when Gul proposes to Sharman and Sharman after the trying to win back Gul for the whole movie rejects her and after five minutes comes back and accepts her. We are supposed to laugh at this stuff (“Yeah Dialogue sirf bolne mein achche lagte hai”). I didn’t like the scene of them making out before going for all but some may find it funny. I thought it was like somebody was poking my stomach to make me laugh. Though I like the scene of Sharman with his alter ego, at least it made you chuckle. Even call center scenes could have been funnier but there is no attempt whatsoever. I guess Atul was banking on only one scene: Call from God. He may have mistakenly thought let me just pass time until at the end I reveal the call from God. Though Call from God was a little interesting, what he advises and what followed is bizarre. If Indian BPO’s did that kind of unprofessional stuff, the BPO industry will surely sink. And what with the set of call center. It looked like they were running call center from house (if you had missed the shot of a huge building showing call center). Through most of the movie one would think that call center only had six employees plus boss and a technician. Until, there was a mention that they will lay off 1000 employees.

Katrina is hardly there and Salman Khan looks like he just woke up from sleep. Even his jean is changed in post-interval. I am still wondering of a dialogue by Katrina somewhere just after interval. She says “Aur fir ek phone aya” on inquiry by impatient audience Salman about where is the call from god. So you assume that in next scene there will be call from god. Naah, not so early. It takes nearly 30-40 minutes before we get call from god. Then, why the dialogue is placed there. They might have thought to put god’s call just after interval, but then might have thought why not make movie little longer. But they might have forgotten to take out the dialogue. Or may be they might have shot all the scenes of Salman and Katrina in one go and then never took effort to sync everything in order. Who knows?

I do not know why I keep of writing negative reviews, may be it is more to do with quality of movies churning out or may be I am fed up of pure escapist masala movies.

Hello is ok movie with some funny scenes scattered over the movie. If you have read the novel, please do not get curious to see the movie. So, people watch the movie only if you are from the following:

  • Fan of Khan Family though Salman is hardly there.

  • Working in call center and love that job.

  • Want to know, how not to make a movie from a novel.

  • Read the novel and are still curious to know how would be (at your own risk) the movie on it.

  • Want to see the movie before reading the novel.

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