March 29, 2020
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Haan Maine Bhi Pyaar Kiya

A lesson in how to make a bad film -- an effort is so trite and predictable that you wonder at the incredible gall of the makers.

Haan Maine Bhi Pyaar Kiya
Haan Maine Bhi Pyaar Kiya
Starring: Karishma Kapoor, Abhishek Bachchan, Akshay Kumar
Director: Dharmesh Darshan
Rating: *

It is a lesson in how to make a bad film. The first half is wasted in building and destroying one love angle, then the second is used to create 'interest' in another. Dharmesh Darshan's effort is so trite and predictable that you wonder at the incredible gall of the makers—who boast of a creditable list of good films like Lootere, Raja Hindustani and Dhadkan—come up with something devoid even of a decent look?

The story begins with the usual boy meets/gets into a fight with the girl syndrome. Abhishek Bachchan is the supposedly unemployed youth conned into giving up a job interview by Karishma. The latter poses as the boss' daughter to rob the dude of a shot at the executive manager's post. Obviously, Abhishek doesn't take the insult lying down—after getting the general manager's job, he calls Karishma to his room and gives her the scolding of her life: Mujhse shaadi karogee?

Well, Hindi cinema has had its fair share of the ridiculous, but films like these extend the tradition to an alarming height. At a time when Bollywood is passing through a quality test, where there is pressure to create some good work, hmbpk takes us back to the pathetic despair of the '80s.

The mood is dead and listless, even as the plot flits from Abhishek's broken marriage with Karishma—he has this irritating habit of 'spending a night' with every woman he meets (the title ought to have been Haan Maine Raat Bitayee)—to Akshay Kumar's introduction. An exceptionally 'good' human being, and a film star to boot, Akshay makes the leading lady forget the disappointments. She is about to move on with her life when lo! The man returns with an unshaven look.

Haan Maine Bhi Pyaar Kiya, at one level, sums up all that was silly in the ddlj-hahk genre. It pays an absurd homage to the '90s mush—the emotions are facile to the point of making Archies cards sound intellectual, while characterisation turns actors into total cardboard cutouts. Abhishek Bachchan gets the nastiest treatment of his career: not only is he presented as a wooden flag pole, he is made to look shabby in camera angles which do not suit his face. How could he allow this? Karishma is made to emote in the cliched, standard procedure way: eyes rolled up like a frightened doe. At this rate, audiences will start wishing a return of the pre-Zubeida days when she actually sizzled.

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