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|July 9, 1999||
Easy on the eye
Indra Kumar has done it yet again. Made another hit with his latest film Mann that is.
Mann starring Aamir Khan and Manisha Koirala is a remake of An Affair To Remember, the 1957 hit starring Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr. Remember it? Not the affair, the story?
Well, to jog your memory cells a bit, it's about these two people who meets on a cruise aboard an ocean liner. Each is to be married to someone else on reaching shore. They are quite opposite in character but manage to fall in love. At the end of the voyage they decide they can't do without each other after all and so they promise that six months down the line they will meet at the Empire State Building -- in the case of Mann, at the Gateway of India.
Here, the hero, Dev (Aamir Khan), is a debonair playboy who chases anything in a skirt other than a hovercraft. But he has a softer side to him too. He also has a grandmother (Sharmila Tagore) who lives on an island. Priya (Manisha Koirala) is a music teacher, who has won a music contest and the prize includes a cruise.
D-Day arrives and the hero arrives at the venue. And then comes a twist so sharp, it's an amputation.
Let's discuss the technical aspects of the film, which are all outstanding, the score supplements the film very well and by the end you have four tunes spinning in your head. The cinematography, the editing and the art decor are all very well done, the locations are extremely beautiful.
The story-telling is slick. Indra Kumar's trick is to give the audience a wholesome, meaty film, splitting it into half. He mastered this art with his first film, Dil. There the first half is all about the fathers trying to get the kids together. The second half, they change their mind and try to mess up the youngsters' lives. That sort of thing.
Indra Kumar takes a cue from Karan Johar and tosses in a bunch of cute oversmart kids. It works with a certain section of the audience.
The director is a master in pacing a film and knows the art of managing high drama inside out. At any given instance he simply tweaks your heartstrings and the scenes immediately gain in effectiveness. Manipulation? Maybe, but it works.
Aamir looks and acts pretty debonair though you do wish he wouldn't sneer so often or, worse, talk like a Teen Batti goon in an Armani suit. In the emotional scenes Aamir and Manisha make a good team. They have established that chemistry as long ago as Akele Hum Akele Tum which was a remake of Kramer vs Kramer.
The cruise is well shot and Indra Kumar thankfully refrains from making the ship itself larger than life, thus keeping clear of Titanic territory.
The only jarring notes are provided by the passengers -- who look, talk and behave exactly like caricature tourists are supposed to. They keep clicking snaps, mouthing stupid dialogues and laughing irritatingly. It seriously isn't funny.
The climax of the movie is among the most effective scenes in the film. And we'd leave it at that, shall we?
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