Cupid meets Kandahar
I have reached a conclusion: Director Kuku Kohli was very confused when he made Yeh Dil Aashiqanaa. Should he make a love story? Or a patriotic film?
Maybe he started off wanting to make a love story. But then he saw the resounding success that Gadar, Lagaan and Indian. And he decided to incorporate the two. Therefore he made a hash of both.
It's quite another matter that had he stuck to the original love story, he wouldn't have any story on his hands.
Karan [Karan Nath] is a happy-going college boy. He bumps into Pooja [Jividha Sharma] (in typical Hindi film-style) and falls in love. They sing and dance and vow to live happily ever after.
That should have been the end of the film. But Kohli introduces Pooja's terrorist brother Vijay [Rajat Bedi]. Pooja is unaware her brother is a terrorist. As Pooja coos blissfully in Karan's arms, Vijay plots with Agmaash (Aditya Pancholi) to hijack an airplane. In return for the passengers, they want the release of Ashraf Ul Malik (newcomer Vishal), a dangerous terrorist captured by Indian authorities.
As Kohli would have it, Pooja happens to be in the hijacked plane. One also wonders here why a terrorist attack would involve hijacking a Mumbai-Pune flight, which would, typically be airborne for less than 20 minutes.
To move on. The terrorists want the plane refuelled. His damsel is in distress and so Karan disguises himself as a worker and boards the aircraft. He fights the terrorists single-handedly and rescues Pooja.
The story doesn't end here. There's more. Karan becomes the national hero. And heads the hit list of Agmaash. So when Karan's mother (Aroona Irani) comes to Pooja's house with a marriage proposal. Vijay turns them down -- he does not want Pooja to become a widow.
That's when the gravity of the situation dawns on Karan -- marry Pooja and risk her life or stay away from her and save her.
So what does he choose? Watch the film, if you must know.
What does Yeh Dil Aashiqanaa offer? Well, apart from the usual masala and drama, nothing out of the ordinary. The music is jarring and too many. Though the action sequences are well executed and quite enjoyable.
Karan Nath delivers a sincere performance. His debut film, Paagalpan bombed at the box office. It would help if he worked on his emotional scenes.
Debutante Jividha has done a good job, though she appears hysterical at times.
Johny Lever is such a waste in the film you wonder why he ever signed on for this role. Comedy for him in this film means loud speeches and making faces. Though Rajat Bedi is quite convincing, Aditya Pancholi looks totally fake with his wig and false French beard. And Aroona Irani has a totally been-there-done-that role -- as a mother who cries at the drop of a hat.
Incidentally, Yeh Dil Aashiqanaa is the first Hindi film to be officially released in Afghanistan. One hopes it does well there. There is not much likelihood of that happening in India.