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June 26, 1999


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Young and raw

Sharmila Taliculam

A still from Pyar Main Kabhi Kabhi. Click for bigger pic!
Fresh, bubbly, irresponsible heady youth is back in fashion. Marriages, mature triangles and the rest are out for the moment. And so it is that Pyar Main Kabhi Kabhi focusses on a bunch of college kids, who are so collegian, they are like cardboard cutouts come alive -- or nearly so. There's ambition, romance, heartbreak, not to forget AIDS.

The film is about this group of wannabe actor and performers who hope to make it big, all of them studying at a place called the National Institute of Performing Arts. They have big dreams and they are very nice kids, you know. Always helping each other out, caring for each other, even dreaming together. And so it is that they organise a rock show to help a friend who has AIDS.

Sid aka Siddhant (Dino Morrea) and Bugs aka Bhargav (Sanjay Suri) are two good friends. There are others too, but they essentially provide the feel-good atmosphere, barring the scenes where they are given the opportunity to strut their stuff. Enters a rich girl called Kushi (Rinkie Khanna) and both Sid and Bugs fall for her big time though Sid doesn't realise the depth of his own emotion.

Of course, there's something about the siren about Kushi. Everybody wants to make friends with her the moment they set eyes on her. And they sing songs when she gets angry. Since she isn't easily impressed they all lay on the marmalade and honey real thick to placate her.

Click for bigger pic!
Anyway, the story, if you could call it that, continues with Kushi finally falling in love with Sid. Trouble is, he is infatuated with a model called Roxy (Tora Kashgir) who he thinks is his model for success. That gets Kushi so upset that she quits college and heads back home.

The separation thing is kept at till the audience is exhausted. Finally Sid discovers his idol isn't all that she's cracked up to be and suddenly has a longing to be back with Kushi. So he starts of on his dual quest -- to become a successful singer and get back his girl too.

This is a first-time effort by everybody connected to the film. This is a first-time effort for everybody, the actors, the director, the producers -- and it shows. Some needn't have even tried at all.

There is no real story, the narrative just running rings around this group of kids, making an effort to show that the youth of today have the fire and spunk to make it big -- the Indo-American dream.

What else could you say of the scene wherein Sid, unable to convince a music company that he's hot pop star material, get his gang together to sing on the street, drawing the crowds and the attention of the music company bigwigs.

Of course, they get the contract. Now, now, don't try that yourself. Whatever the film may suggest, music company chiefs need not have a sense of humour and the cots in jail are pretty tough on the sacroiliac.

Dino Morrea, who has donned the screen name Siddhant, is good-looking. For a first-timer, he does pretty well as the ambitious young man who tends to have this rebellious streak. He realises that his dimpled cheek would fetch him the admiration of the young crowd and he has taken full advantage of that. You can only see that side of his face throughout the film.

He has a very fresh look. Thin and tall, he towers over the short and plump Rinkie. There are some scenes where he shows signs of refreshing spontaneous. He also dances well and carries himself well, which might work to his advantage in the industry.

Rinkie Khanna is a little on the dramatic side, showing her background in theatre. She has this irritating habit of looking everywhere but the person she is talking to. And she makes some grotesque faces. Despite having trained under Satyadev Dubey, she has a long way to go.

Sanjay Suri is again a model-turned-actor. His role demands sobriety, he being depicted as the strong supportive friend. He has managed to look pretty convincing.

Click for bigger pic!
There's one pretty good scene wherein Suri, egged on by the hero, decides to play Cupid. He tells the heroine what the hero feels about her just when she's hearing a song by him on on the Walkman. So she can't hear him. Neatly done. There are some other scenes that have been handled well. Unfortunately, a few good scenes don't a masterpiece make.

Tora, as the model Sid lusts after, looks quite hideous in her black and silver make-up. She is the new Gladrags winner. By no consideration she is an actress or -- god forbid! -- star material. Thankfully, she spends most of the time as a poster in Sid's room. But when she comes on herself, she isn't worth mentioning.

Two songs worth listening to are Musu musu and Woh pehli baar jab hum mile. Both have been sung -- pretty well -- by pop singer Shaan. The rest of the songs aren't very impressive. The choreography is completely out of sync, even in a song like Musu musu.

Pyar Mein Kabhi Kabhi may have had something to it if it had a story, a strong script, and not just dabbled in sentimental tripe. But it still has tried to maintain a youthful feel throughout. But while the cast is on a feel good trip, the audience slowly stops smiling and look forward to the arrival of some maturity.


Click here for Real Audio Clip of the song Musu Musu

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