Bollywood and culture in an emerging India
Kal Kissne Dekha: Not really future perfect
The last Hindi film I watched in a theatre was Nagesh Kukunoor’s “Tasveer”, an improbable tale about a man who has ‘photographic visions’ and can revisit the past. Then Bollywood took a break and I hoped it would serve the industry well.
Unfortunately, Bollywood seems to have gone from bad to worse in that time — if you go by the first release since the film producers’ strike — Vivek Sharma’s “Kal Kissne Dekha”, starring debutante Jackky Bhagnani and Vaishali Desai. A jaded, disjointed and totally mediocre film about a boy who can see into the future.
Bhagnani plays Nihal Singh, who comes from Chandigarh to Mumbai for higher studies. It is another story that his college, hostel and surroundings look nothing like Mumbai. There he meets Misha (Desai), the arrogant, rich girl who hates him at first sight.
We are also introduced to Professor Varma, played by Rishi Kapoor in an ugly wig, and told that protagonist Nihal has the power to foretell the future.
Eventually, after misunderstandings, fights and a lot of meaningless song sequences, Nihal and Misha fall in love.
With that settled, director Sharma moves on to the action part of the film, introducing the “terrorist” element — a plot to plant bombs all over Mumbai.
I am not sure what this film was meant to be — a college romance, a thriller, an action film or the one genre that encompasses all three — Bollywood masala.
It ends up being nothing, thanks to the barely-there script and the director’s and producer’s obsession with showcasing Jackky Bhagnani’s talent (or non-talent).
It seems Jackky is in every possible frame, showing off his rippling muscles, dancing moves or facial expressions. Which is fine when your father is the producer of the film, but there is such a thing as overdoing it, isn’t there?
The young actor has a decent screen presence and definitely has the body, but needs to sharpen his acting and diction skills a great deal. Vaishali Desai is reduced to a stereotypical Hindi film heroine, wearing skimpy clothes, dancing in exotic locations and screaming for the hero to save her in the climax.
Riteish Deshmukh is wasted in a convoluted side track.
The locales and action sequences are good enough. But after two months of no movies, this offering makes you wish Bollywood would take another, much longer break. That is definitely not a good thing.