Oops, I’m two days late on Ameesha. Oh well, she keeps changing the spelling of her name, I can’t be expected to keep track of her.
This is such a ripoff of Kaho Na Pyaar Hai that it can be hard to remember which film is which. But I think I like this movie better? Different director, Vikram Bhatt, so he took the same story but made it grittier. Less singing and dancing, more shirtless screaming fight scenes. Plus the romance is cuter, I think, with Hrithik being far more active in his courtship. And many more cute passionate love scenes, instead of the kind of kindergarten level stuff Hrithik and Amisha were doing in KNPH. Oh, and the soundtrack is surprisingly catchy, and the dances are really really good!
Amisha gets way more to do in this film than in KNPH. The most important thing to know about her performance, is that her character is supposed to have asthma. So there is this built in fragility and care around her, and when she gets upset she has this alarming wheezing reaction. But the director forgot to include the line making it clear, so everyone just sees it as a terrible performance. It’s not! It’s a good performance of someone who has asthma, not a bad performance of an actress who goes to extremes when performing “my character is upset”.
Really, there is a lot in this movie! Questions of middle-class versus wealth, the insidiousness of a violent life style, what “safety” really means, and Amisha’s amazing hair. Plus the fight scenes are decent, and the songs are decent, and the love scenes are decent. How often do we get all three in one movie?
(If this song makes you smile, you will like this movie. If it makes you roll your eyes, you will not.)
I also really love this movie because it is a love story with no misunderstandings and no take backs. They are in love straight through, they never break up temporarily or think their love isn’t true or take a while to understand their emotions, it’s just BAM. LOVE. And yes, it’s a narrative trope to use “love at first sight”, but if you are going to use it, commit! Make it completely impractical and magical instead of trying to mix together “love at first sight” with “and then they dated for a while and broke up and got back together”.
Overall it is the kind of ridiculous romantic plot that is rare these days, and was only slightly less rare back when this film came out. True love, a princess in danger, a noble commoner to save her, true lovers calling each other from the brink of death, and all kinds of juicy over the top romance tropes. If you like that kind of thing, watch it! If you hate the kind of thing, really really don’t.
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I love this plot so much! So over the top! Amisha is the fragile doted on daughter of a powerful crime family. Her mother is dead and she has asthma, so her father loves her extra a lot, and keeps her essentially locked up in the house in order to protect her. She dreams of maybe some day falling in love but only confesses her dreams to her sympathetic sister-in-law.
One day, while being driven surrounded by guards through the street, her car is attacked! Oh no! There is a big shoot out between her guards and the attackers, she is confused and scared, and suddenly Hrithik appears! A nice average engineering student who was passing and saw her in distress. In fact, he saw her through the window of the car even before the gunfight started and fell in love. He saves her, grabs her hand and drags her to safety while she is having an asthma attack and can’t move on her own. So romantic!
Hrithik is now in love, 100%, committed and determined. Which would be stalker-y, except our heroine is waiting for a Prince to save her so she wants someone irrationally committed. Luckily, Hrithik’s connections get his college band hired for Navratri, the one celebration when Amisha’s family home is opened to outsiders and she can sing and dance like a normal person. Again, very fairy tale-y, the magical 9 days when the princess descends from her tower.
I love the 9 days love story. Hrithik flirts with her on the dance floor, gets her to meet him secretly behind the house, and finally takes her on his motorcycle in the middle of the night to go to his family’s nice middle-class home and meet his parents. It’s romantic and dramatic and sweet all at once. Plus, 9 different Hrithik garbas!
That tone continues with Amisha running away from home with Hrithik to hide out…in the boys’ hostel! It’s cute, all these engineering boys turning into knights errant for her sake, and Amisha being sweet and nice to them all. And picks up on the theme of Amisha being wealthy and protected but miserable, and just wanting to be part of normal life and normal things. Hrithik doesn’t take her away to somewhere magical and perfect, just a boys’ hostel, but it’s magical to her. Just as his happy normal middle-class parents and their home was magical to her and all she wanted from life.
Of course, this is a romance, we can’t end things with happy-happy, we need Big Drama. And I do love the Big Drama in this film, especially since it has a happy ending. The two lovers are ripped apart, Amisha goes back to her family in order to protect Hrithik and his friends from being killed. But then Hrithik is killed by her family anyway (stupid Amisha! Why did you trust them?). He’s shot, beaten, and his body thrown in an alley. He’s dead-dead, not just resting in the middle of a fight, completely donezo.
Amisha learns of this and then has a GREAT death speech to her father saying “whenever a daughter doesn’t get something she wants from her father, she goes to her mother and asks for it. You have loved me so well that I never felt the want for anything. But today I want something you will not give me and so I must go to my mother.” Meaning, “my mother IN HEAVEN.” And then she overdoses on asthma medication (again, why was the asthma cut from the script????) and dramatically dies, complete with coughing up blood.
But I promised a happy ending, right? See, since Amisha is dying and in danger, Hrithik has a vision of her. And he suddenly gets the strength to return FROM DEATH and rise up from the alley where his body was dumped and fight off a bunch of people to get to her. Amisha also returns FROM DEATH and is fine. Wakes up in the hospital, her family around her, hotsy-totsy. Only to learn that Hrithik is still in a Movie Coma, because I guess recovery from death through true love only works for a limited time. Amisha rushes to his side, naturally her tears bring him back, and he is totally cured except for a little bitty bandage that serves to accent his cheekbones.
And Amisha’s family? The ones who were all “I’ll Kill You!” like five minutes ago? Total change of heart! Give their blessing, Amisha and Hrithik are all set to be married, life is perfect. HAPPY ENDING.
Oh wow I love this movie. The thing is, when you are doing a movie, you can either do a completely real romance, no magic at all. Or you can do total magic fantasy, no realism. It’s those in-betweeny movies that I hate. Why have the falling in love at first sight if you are just going to follow it with boring dating and fights and break-ups? And why have the dating and fights and break-ups if you are throwing in some silly True Love thing as well?
This movie is 100% fantasy. Love at first sight, coming back from the dead, great feats of devotion, etc. etc. If you are not a fantasy person, skip it, it is totally illogical. If you are a fantasy person, check it out! So much to love!