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Scare factor: Maybe. Cheese factor: Plenty
Shilpa Bharatan Iyer |
April 16, 2004 09:15 IST
So this is the dope on Ektaa Kapoor's latest offering, Krishna Cottage:
The film begins with Professor Das (Raj Zutshi) launching his book Kahi Ankahi Batein and presenting a copy to the college.
Cut to one year later. The Prinicipal locks up the book in the art room-turned-store room and warns the peon never to open the door.
Current college stars -- Manav (Sohail Khan) and Shanti (Natassha) -- are introduced in the extremely popular Bindaas item number on the beach. Cut to next scene with Manav, Shanti and friends (Tully, Kabir, Nupur and Armaan) in college. Thereafter Disha (Ishaa Koppikar) makes her debut on the college scene. Girl chaser Tully is besotted with her and wants to date her. But she has eyes only for Manav.
Manav and Shanti invite Disha to their engagement that very evening. Shortly after Disha arrives, a chandelier falls off the ceiling. Only Manav can hear the iron links snap and dives to save Disha from its impact.
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After the engagement, a shaken Disha is escorted home by the others. When exiting a tunnel, they crash into a wall of ice. Circumstances force them to spend the night at a nearby deserted house, where strange things begin to happen.
Now, Disha admits to having a boyfriend -- Amar Khanna -- who is dead and is haunting her.
Gradually, Manav is drawn to Disha, making Shanti insecure. Their friends add fuel and instigate Shanti further. She sees Manav and Disha talking in the college library and gets furious. When both Disha and Manav leave the library, Tully hurries in and gets hold of the book written by Professor Das.
He hands it over to Nupur who loves to read. Even as Nupur finishes reading the book, she realises a secret about Amar Khanna. Before she can tell Tully, the phone line and electricity get disrupted and she is murdered.
Tully overhears Professor Das and the Principal discussing the book. Tully reaches Nupur's place, finds the book and enlists Kabir's help in reaching home. In his rush to reach the sanctuary of his home, Tully leaves his bag, with the book and his mobile phone in Kabir's car. Later, he manages to call Kabir and warns him not to read the book, but Kabir does not listen to him.
What powers does the book have? And who is Disha? Will Manav and Shanti ever find peace together?
I am not quite sure you want to know.
The first half of the film is well executed with a tight rein on the drama. The special effects are good. But the second half descends to a normal Bollywood horror movie.
Bollywood has had better reincarnation stories -- from Madhumati to Karz.
Characters from Balaji Telefilms' soaps make appearances all along the movie -- Armaan (Pratham, from Kutumb) and Manav's mother (Pratham's mother from the same serial).
The movie has several illogical factors. Manav holds and hugs Disha, who is a ghost! All the characters live alone in their respective houses, which are really well appointed. They are not PG digs or college hostel accommodations.
Shanti runs into a wild forest -- one which has conveniently placed exit signs -- after finding Kabir's dead body, rather than into the college where help is likely to be at hand.
The college has 262 girls -- the number comes from one of the dialogues in the movie. We are even counting the boys here -- but the college seems to be deserted all the while, with only these seven having the run of the place.
Teachers, of course, are non-existent. Ditto with families. Apart from a small appearance in the engagement scene, Manav's mother is unaware he is getting married or never bothers to attend the function.
Sohail Khan, Natassha and Ishaa Koppikar have done reasonable jobs with the script they have been given. Anu Malik's music is good. Though the rest of the music has not been well publicised, there are a few humable numbers.
All in all a movie worth watching once -- if cheesy spook shows are your thing.
Cast: Sohail Khan, Natassha, Ishaa Koppikar, Divya Pallat, Hitten Tejwani, Vrajesh Hirjee
Director: Santram Verma
Producer: Shobha Kapoor, Ekta Kapoor
Music: Anu Malik