movie review: kambakkht ishq

Director: Sabbir Khan
Main Cast: Akshay Kumar, Kareena Kapoor
Supporting Cast: Aftab Shivdasani, Amrita Arora
Music: Anu Malik
RATING: 2.5/5
MUSIC: 2/5

REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS!

The spelling of the title of this movie was definitely not the only problem I had with it. I’ve been misspelling the title all over the place but from the trailers, music and the like, it looked like this would be a pretty decent flick to catch as the monsoon season has finally come around. Sadly, I was wrong.

This movie had many bright spots, but they were overshadowed by periods of dullness or repitivity. Let me break it down into a few categorie:

Plot

The plot appeared to be somewhat different at first, but it soon boiled down to the standard two eventual lovers pretend like they hate each other, then each realize their folly separately and reconcile in the end. There was of course some drama surrounding it as well as a few laughs, but the story was essentially the same.

Viraj (Akshay Kumar) and Lucky (Aftab Shivdasani) are brothers in the same profession–body doubles for stunts, or “super stuntmen” as the posters around Mumbai scream. Simrita (Kareena Kapoor) and Kamini (Amrita Arora) are best friends and the havoc begins when Kamini decides to marry Lucky since she, gasp, loves him. Viraj objects to this marriage on principal, since he believes marriage is unmasculine, while Simrita has some unquantified hate for men, specifically stuntment, who she believes have no IQ. Of course, Kamini and Lucky don’t pay heed to their warnings and do the right thing, but all this achieves is the production of a ticking timebomb between Sim and Viraj.

Simrita is supposedly a super model who is a surgeon at the same time which seems entirely unfeasible but can be ignored for the sake of creativity. Her first solo surgery happens to be on Viraj, who she steadily despises over the course of the movie, and she ends up dropping a musical watch into his belly. This leads up to the best part of the movie, as Viraj ends up listening to this musical watch, which chants marriage mantras, on the hour every hour without understanding where it is coming from.

Sim, on the other hand, figures out from the x-rays that she has made a huge mistake and tries to coax Viraj into coming back for a “check-up” post-surgery. Viraj, of course, at this point hates Sim as she has ultimately convinced Kamini to divorce his brother. Instead of telling the truth at the expense of bruising her ego, Sim throws her medical morale out the window and tries to drug Viraj at several opportunities while spinning the classic Bollywood “pretending-to-love-you” story which our hapless lover happily falls for. Eventually succeeding right after Viraj proposes to her, Sim then reveals her motives to a heartbroken Viraj who then decides to marry Denise Richards, who apparently wants to have “golden babies” with him, in a knee-jerk reaction.

Lucky then succeeds in ‘opening the eyes’ of the stubborn Sim in one smooth scene where he reveals that Viraj had the chance to take advantage of her but didn’t. Apparently this is a most emotional moment for Sim, who then realizes she’s fallen in love with a total sleaze-bag who will probably dump her in a couple of years. Instead of paying heed to her brain, she runs after him and obviously everything ends happily after.

Acting

The acting could have been better. Amrita Arora does a good job acting as a dumb lingerie model. Aftab probably does the best of all the actors, while Akshay seems to be using this movie to show everyone that he does all his own stunts. Kareena’s acting is pretty good as she succeeds in convincing the audience that she’s a snob, although the script fails in bringing the best out of her. Sabbir Khan also uses a plethora of “guest actors” ranging from Javed Jaffery who plays a desi immigrant intent on suing everyone, to Boman Irani who features in one scene whose only purpose is to introduce the Om Mangalam song, to Sylvester Stallone who has been cast only so that he can stick his head into Bollywood and tell everyone how happy he is to be part of it.

General Negatives

There are many problems with this movie. The plot is very trippy and jumpy and the cast hasn’t been used properly. The advertising for this movie made a huge deal out of the Sylvester Stallone involvement whereas his involvement seems extremely forced. The plot doesn’t flow and it looks like the director has just taken a lot of pieces, such as big names, great shot locations and a decent background score, and mixed them together to produce something that is less than the sum of its parts. There was only about 15-20 minutes in this movie that I was actually entertained and for the rest of the time I was just waiting for it to move on. There are also glaring flaws in logic, such as why you would use a stunt double that looks nothing like the actual actor.

General Positives

A couple of the songs are catchy, the stunts are pretty good and there are some decent laughs provided by Javed Jaffery and Akshay Kumar in a couple of scenes. Amrita and Kareena look mostly gorgeous and ‘Bebo’s’ liplocks with Akshay are bound to cause some controversies in our tabloids. However, it again looks like the director just cues in “Kareena-in-bikini” without any consideration of where it fits into the plot. Not that I’m complaining…

Music

There is only really one good song in the soundtrack, Om Mangalam, which made a strong claim to be the title track but was beaten to the punch by a track titled Kambakkht Ishq. Otherwise, the music is stuff that only sounds good in movie but doesn’t have much scope outside it. The requisite remixes that feature in every Bollywood movie soundtrack release are also present on the CD for the clubs to play. As expected, the picturization of the songs has mostly completely interrupted the flow of the plot. Oh well…

Conclusion

All in all, this is a timepass movie that I wouldn’t pay a weekend price of Rs. 275 per ticket to watch. As it happened, I didn’t pay a dime and neither did my parents, because we got free tickets from HSBC courtesy of my dad’s premier card (along with free popcorn and a Coke, too). Wait for this one to come on television–there’s no point in getting the DVD and the star value means it should be coming to Indian television soon. 2.5 out of 5 for me.