Bollywood and culture in an emerging India
Karzzz: A remake that shouldn’t have been attempted
Midway through what seemed like the umpteenth time Himesh Reshammiya
had burst into an extra-nasal, nonsensical song, the couple sitting next to me in the theatre got up and walked out. And it wasn’t even interval yet.
I wanted to follow, but professional duties beckoned and I sank back resignedly in my chair, reconciled to the fact I would have to wait till the end credits of ‘Karzzz’ rolled.
My thoughts turned to the original film — one that had great performances, memorable tunes and quite a bit of suspense. This one has nothing. I repeat, nothing.
The story is the same, with some peripheral changes (even these don’t work). Urmila Matondkar plays Kamini, a woman who kills her husband two days after their marriage and hands over his property to his arch rival Juda, played by Gulshan Grover — a mindless character who doesn’t speak but punches his words on a computerised gadget that also acts as his arm (I am not making this up).
Fast forward 25 years and we are introduced to our hero — Monty, a hugely popular singer, who nurses a lot of pain within. He meets Tina, a catering student from Kenya at a party and falls in love with her and follows her home to Kenya.
Once there, he realises that Tina’s local guardian’s house is very familiar to him. Monty starts experiencing flashes of his past life and it all comes rushing back to him halfway through the film. He realises that he is the reincarnation of Ravi Varma, Kamini’s husband. By this time, we are treated to as many as four Himesh songs, all inserted seemingly for no reason but for Himeshbhai to fine tune his nasal chords.
The second half is devoted entirely to the revenge angle, with of course more mindless songs, including one that goes ‘Ta Ta Ta tandoori nights’, thrown in for good measure.
Monty first wins over Kamini with some romance (so contrived it made me want to puke), tells her the whole reincarnation saga and convinces her they should get married.
He then rescues his poor mother and sister (old Bollywood formula) from the penury they have been living in ever since evil Kamini kicked them out. Then, he sets out to avenge his death.
We all know how the film ends, so I won’t go into details, except to say I haven’t seen a more hackneyed and badly shot climax in a long time.
Like I said at the beginning, there is nothing in this film. I can’t think of a single thing I want to praise and believe me, I tried to look for positives.
Himesh Reshammiya can straighten his hair all he wants, tone up his body, put tons of glycerine in his eyes and even attempt mid-air kicks (with unintentionally hilarious results) but he never matches Rishi Kapoor’s charm in the original ‘Karz’.
His utter lack of charisma on screen made it extremely difficult for me to visualise him as a rock star who has girls swooning over him.
Debutante Sweta Kumar, who plays Tina, only smiles endlessly and appears as a convenient appendage to Himesh when a song is inserted in the film.
Urmila Matondkar looks old and tries too hard. Danny Denzongpa, Rohini Hattangadi, Raj Babbar and the rest of the cast ham like there is no tomorrow.
The direction by Satish Kaushik is insipid — there is no control over the way the script wavers, the characters look utterly unbelievable and I didn’t empathise with any of them.
It must take some guts to mess up something that was already good in the first place.