November 1, 2002 
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Tusshar Kapoor & Kareena Kapoor
What a sad six-song routine!
If Kareena, Tusshar sought to entertain, Jeena Sirf... is not it

Deepa Gumaste

If Jeena Sirf Merre Liye is what passes as entertainment these days, it is no wonder that the film industry is having a disastrous year.

I read somewhere that this apology for cinema as an art is apparently inspired by Anmol Ghadi. Now I must confess that I haven't watched Anmol Ghadi. But before heading for the cinema hall, I read some stuff to brush up my history and found that Anmol Ghadi was made by none other than Mehboob Khan, the same man who created the mother of all Hindi movies, Mother India.

I also found out that Anmol Ghadi had some wonderful melodies composed by Naushad, including Aawaz de kahan hai, Aaja meri barbaad mohabbat ke sahare and Jawan hai mohabbat, songs that sound magical more than 50 years after they were created.

My hopes rose just a bit as I thought, no matter how bad it is, if it is a remake of this classic, it must be okay.

They were dashed in the first reel as the tacky plot unspooled. Two irritating kids, Karan and Pinky, act too big for their age (although neither of them can actually act) and believe they are in love with each other. Pinky is the daughter of a stuck-up multi-millionaire (Vijayendra Ghatge) while Karan is an orphan who apparently has no one to look after him, but still looks overfed.

They are separated when Pinky's father drags her to Mumbai. The two kids exchange parting gifts just before Papa stuffs Pinky into the car. While Karan gets a pocket watch, Pinky gets a small idol.

Before long, Karan finds a readymade father (Kader Khan) who takes him to his gaudy home in Mumbai which looks like a public library building from the outside and every bit a garish film set on the inside.

Tusshar Kapoor & Kareena Kapoor Meanwhile, Pinky who, for some strange reason, grows up to be called Puja (Kareena Kapoor) is supposedly studying at Oxford University. All we find her doing is dancing on the streets of Paris. Don't ask why Paris and not Oxford.

When she is done with the singing and dancing (actually, she is not done yet, one just keeps hoping for the best), she comes back to India and sets off in search of Karan.

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Karan (Tusshar Kapoor) too is waiting for her with bated breath and staring at his beloved pocket watch in the hope that he can kill some time doing so. It also keeps his mind off an irritating, anorexic distraction called Seema (please do not ask me the name of the woman who plays this character. I don't know and don't want to know!) who is desperately trying to woo him.

Puja devices a novel way of tracking down her childhood sweetheart. She gets the story of her life printed in a popular magazine and hopes that Karan will read it and show up. Naturally, everyone and their uncles, aunts and cats, reads this bestselling story. But Karan doesn't.

Which basically means there are several more nerve-wracking songs to suffer before Karan and Puja/Pinky can unite forever and relieve us of our misery.

One has heard of how ingenious the Russians and the Chinese are in developing torture techniques. They have serious competition in the form of producer Vashu Bhagnani and director Talat Jani.

Actually, add Nadeem-Shravan to that list. It would have been better if they had remixed the original songs of Anmol Ghadi instead of trying to pass off their sorry creations as music. As for the 'situations' in which these insufferable songs keep popping up, they are as ridiculous as the compositions themselves.

Tusshar Kapoor There is no point dwelling on other aspects such as cinematography, screenplay, dialogues, direction etc. The less said the better. Ditto for the performances. Ms Anorexia is obviously in the wrong profession and should quickly figure out what she might want do next. It had better not be acting.

Tusshar Kapoor is very earnest, etc. But since when did sincerity become a substitute for talent? The man obviously lacks his father Jeetendra's inherent charm. Nor does he look comfortable while dancing or emoting before the camera. Which basically means he can either try to acquire some elementary performance skills, or then simply join his sister Ekta Kapoor's Balaji Telefilms and produce a bunch of maudlin soaps.

Kareena Kapoor is much more exuberant than her hero and definitely a lot better than sister Karisma was in her early days. But she needs to look for better films and roles if she wants to graduate beyond the six-song routine.

Finally, if anyone is wondering why this review is so blatantly rude, do watch Jeena Sirf Merre Liye. You will get the answer.

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