October 11, 2002 
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A still from the film Yeh Kya Ho Raha Hai
Are you ready to eat some pie?
Yeh Kya Ho Raha Hai is light-hearted, fun

Ronjita Kulkarni

In a recent interview, Hansal Mehta had stated that his latest film, Yeh Kya Ho Raha Hai was 'American Pie without the pie,' referring to the Hollywood sex comedy.

Which is true. With a film that is obviously an Indianised remake, you could be forgiven for drawing comparisons between the two. Four college boys --- Ranjit, Rahul, Bunty and Johnny --- want girlfriends. The lack of girlfriends is made more acute at a New Year's Eve do.

They pledge to themselves that they will spread the word that they are not virgins. Apparently, that is the only way to get girls. Of course, American Pie would involve sex.

There is a lot of masala in the Hindi film. Like the mandatory villain. The college stud (Tarun Anand) bets with his hot girlfriend Esha (Payal Rohatgi) to lure and break Ranjit's heart, which is a piece of cake for her. He always tries to snub the foursome, the reason for which is not explained.

Each of the boys has his own story. Ranjit (Prashant Chianani), the volleyball team captain, falls in love with Esha, though he knows she is not as sincere as she pretends to be. While he tries to sort his feelings for her, he does not realise that his friend Anu (Samita Bangargi) is in love with him.

Rahul (Aamir Ali Malik), the only one in the group with a girlfriend Preety (Deepti Daryanani) cannot enjoy his dates with her, courtesy two goons. Preety, who comes from a very orthodox family, cannot think beyond marriage, while he cannot think beyond sex.

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Bunty (Vaibhav) knows the difference between love and lust only too well. While he is allergic to the first, he makes a dash for the second. Unfortunately, his only hope is the red light area.

Ranjit, Rahul, Bunty, Johnny in Yeh Kya Ho Raha Hai Johnny (Yash Raj) is the serious type, who falls in love with his teacher, Stella (Punanarva Mehta). Unfortunately, she has still not got over her dead fiance. When she rejects his advances, he drowns his sorrows in his guitar.

The one thing that is common between all of them is sex. Since open mention is considered taboo in India, Hansal Mehta resorts to hinting at it. The only time he is explicit about it is in a dream sequence, when he portrays the sexual cravings of college boys.

That makes YKHRH different from other college films like Style, Dil Chahta Hai, or even Mohabbatein.

Since imitation is sometimes flattery, YKHRH lifts a few scenes from American Pie. Like the time when Esha asks Ranjit to tell her the three magic words. He flatly refuses, as he wants to say them to the girl he wants to marry. Just the same situation between Kevin (Thomas Ian Nicholas) and his girlfriend Vicky (Tara Reid).

In another scene, Bunty's father (very similar to Jim's father in American Pie), gives him a stack of magazines, including Playboy, after catching him starring at a model in a magazine. Next, he tries to explain that 'reading' such magazines is very natural for a boy at his age.

Substitute the magazine with a condom, which is what Jim was fiddling with when his father catches him, and you have American Pie.

Preety, Anu, Esha, Stella in Yeh Kya Ho Raha Hai The newcomers are natural. It is refreshing to see new faces in college roles, instead of wizened Bollywood stars. The girls in the film are strictly one-dimensional and of window-dressing value.

It is to Mehta's credit that the film is fast-paced and focused. A word about the music: Shankar, Ehsaan and Loy bring in some zest and pep to the songs in the film. It fits right in with the mood of the film.

If you don't mind a light-hearted laugh, this film is worth a watch.

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