Yet another movie I was sure I had reviewed! But I hadn’t. Oh well. Time to do it now!!!!
I wish this movie was better. It’s awfully fun and awfully entertaining, but the actual plot is kind of a mess with a very weird rushed ending. If you take it for the bits and pieces, it is a delight. But if you try to take it as a whole, it makes no sense at all. Not in a way you can ignore and just go along for the ride, but in a way that will irritate your brain with all the dangling threads and broken pieces.
On the other hand, SO SEXY!!!! I argue that this is the sexiest Juhi-Shahrukh movie. It’s also their last movie as a real romantic couple (so far, I still have hope!). They were sweet and cute as young people, but they aged into being sexy in a different way and being characters in a different way and this movie, as a showcase of somewhat mature romance, is perfection. As a cop drama (which is what it is supposed to be), not so much.
Speaking of sexy, also Jackie Shroff! Who is only present for the first hour or so but is so great that you miss him for the rest of the movie. You also miss his character and poor Shahrukh, our hero, just keeps falling a hair short of his standard.
Biggest problem really is the plot. I have tried to graph it out so many times, and it simply does not work! It’s possible to have excellent film noirs with plots that don’t work, but this isn’t quite a noir, it’s not about mystery darkness and the confusion of the human condition. It’s supposed to be a mystery, one of those things with a nice tidy solution. But it doesn’t! It has no answer at all! I have no idea what happened or how it happened!
I guess what I am saying is, this movie is a Must Watch for any true SRK fan just for the SRK-Juhi and SRK-Jackie scenes. But it will be frustrating for anyone looking for logic.
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This plot should be clear, but somehow isn’t. Jackie and Shahrukh are best friends and cop partners. Shahrukh is single and lives in a messy apartment, Jackie lives in a big old house with his kids as a loving single father. Jackie is tragically killed in a shootout, Shahrukh becomes guardian of his kids. He is helped by young Juhi Chawla who worked as an informant for Jackie and feels a responsibility to his kids. Juhi flirts outrageously with Shahrukh, he pretends to not like her but flirts back a bit. Shahrukh struggles to connect with the kids, and is also determined to find the killer of Jackie. Shahrukh finds a nightclub singer close to the gang that killed Jackie who looks exactly like Juhi, but is convinced she is a different person. In order to take care of the kids, Shahrukh steals money from the gang and is witnessed by Singer-Juhi. And then brought up before a police committee on Juhi’s evidence, she reveals that she is an undercover police officer, and there was really only one of her, singer-Juhi was her undercover. Shahrukh is suspended and angry with Juhi, then the kids are kidnapped, Juhi and Shahrukh rescue them and defeat the gangsters in a big shoot-out.
So we start out strong, Shahrukh struggling to be a father, falling in love, and also having the police case. Then they add in the complication of Juhi having a double, fine, that opens up some possibilities. But then they put in the Shahrukh stealing the money? And Juhi magically being in two places at once? And then Shahrukh stealing money is just dropped as a plot for the big shootout?
It’s really the Juhi bit that ruins it for me. She’s the co-lead of the film, we see her with Jackie separate from Shahrukh, we watch her fall in love with Shahrukh, all of this stuff. And we learn not just that she had a secret life, but that everything was a lie? I could have handled a reveal that she was also undercover as a nightclub singer. But making her this well-spoken trained professional woman, after having a whole movie of her as a over the top slangy street woman, that just ruined it for me. Suddenly one of our point of view characters is false? So, who’s point of view are we seeing? Does anything in the film matter, in the end?
It’s not just that, by far the strongest and most interesting part of the film is seeing Juhi and Shahrukh’s unusual (for mainstream Hindi films) romance. Juhi is the aggressor from the start, that’s different. But the way they flirt with each other delicately back and forth, each equally sophisticated and aware of what is happening, that is REALLY different. And finally the way they come together as a mature couple, people who talk about houses and food and money and boring stuff like that in a caring way, who share deep personal worries not just “I love you so much”, that is very different. And then all thrown away! All that mature honesty, disappeared for a simple twist.
The plot/themes certainly doesn’t matter at the end either! We never learn exactly what Juhi found out by being undercover or any of the police clues fully coming together. The romance has no real conclusion. Even the “learning to be a father” has no real conclusion, instead of having a nice scene of them saying they love him or something, we just get him rescuing them from danger and stuff.
I guess that’s the real problem with the film, the conclusion is totally inconclusive in every way. But the beginning is good (Jackie!), and the middle is excellent (sexy!). Just, don’t watch to the end if you can help it.