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Home arrow Resources arrow Bollywood arrow Bachna Ae Haseeno, Lo Ranbir Aa Gaya...
Bachna Ae Haseeno, Lo Ranbir Aa Gaya... Print E-mail

August 16, 2008
by Joyeeta Dutta Ray


Bachna ae Haseeno reviewIt’s a Yash Chopra banner. It has the rising star Ranbir Kapoor, a bevy of beauties Minisha Lamba, Bipasha Basu, Deepika Padukone, irreverent dudes such as Ranbir’s best friend Hiten Paintel, Siddharth Anand’s slick direction, excellent cinematography and Vishal Shekhar’s winning compositions. Then why does Bachna Ae Haseeno leave us groaning and not grinning?

From the outset, it seems that the film is a desperate attempt to win over the audience. It has everything that worked in the past crammed in, shades of several YashRaj banners characters from different hit films - romance rendered by Shah Rukh and Kajol (DDLJ), the independence of Preity Zinta and Saif Khan (Salaam Namaste) etc.  The attempt seems geared towards shoving the audience into nostalgia mode as a last measure to recover from their string of recent flops.

The story spans 14 years knitting together three love stories of the young Casanova Raj Sharma (Ranbir) at different points in his life. His first fling is during his high school years in 1996 on a trip to Switzerland. He meets Mahi, (Manisha Lamba), courts and dumps her in a whirl, leaving her caustic for life. The second is a tryst with ‘hot stuff’ model Radhika, (Bipasha Basu), repeating the same story with her. The third is in Australia where he meets Gayatri (Deepika Padukone), an independent minded, career driven taxi driver who does the loving and leaving thing on Raj now, making him rejected and dejected. Does he remain ejected is what the second half is all about! 

Promising enough in the beginning, but slowly the slip ups start, closing to a yawning finish.

To review in detail, the film rolls with Raj, who is on the brink of youth, all set to start on the journey of love and relationships. He akins himself to a ‘ lady - killer’, luring women into his trap, squeezing out some fun from them and moving on carelessly, resulting in a trail of broken hearts that add to his lopsided sense of success. He meets Mahi in Switzerland, a naïve, DDLJ idolizing romantic, hunting for her ideal man who is the Raj of DDLJ. She meets our man Raj (oh wow, what a co-incidence), who woos her with a scooter ride on the roads of Switzerland and a poem. But unfortunately for Mahi, her love story does not have a happy ending. She is left hardened in a way that affects her marriage in the future.

Meanwhile Raj moves on to Mumbai, blissfully unaware of the damage he has done. He bumps into ravishing Radhika, lives in and romances with her, carelessly dumps her and moves to Australia. Radhika is devasted, morphs into cynical Shreya and lives unhappily ever after.

Unperturbed, Raj meets with software success, grows up further and meets independent minded, career driven Gayatri (Deepika Padukone), a part-time taxi driver and Business Management student who impresses him with her views of the futility of marriage. Raj spots Gayatri in a red dress, falls hopeless in love (how deep can the reason be), proposes and is rejected. The harsh dumping wakes him up to his folly.

Ranbir KapoorRaj’s pain proves to be his ex girlfriends’ gain. Post interval, we see Raj determined to seek forgiveness from his dumped girlfriends. After that, the story spins into a very clichéd climax.

Through the film, Ranbir does an honest job holding the audience’s attention through the lack lustre film. He remains talked about even after you leave the theatre. Minisha is bland as a simple high school girl. Bipasha wows and woos not just Ranbir, but also the audience as both the hip Radhika and hardened Shreya. Deepika fails to outshine the way she did in Om Shanti Om. Hiten Paintal does a good job too.

But the trophy for this film surely goes to Kunal Kapur who does a special appearance as Mahi’s Sikh husband and floors us all. The ‘Khuda Jaane’ number from Vishal-Shekhar wakes up the audience from their slumber. The song is simply mind blowing.
Perhaps a twist in the end could have saved the story. It begins on a new footing for sure, could have been interesting, but the safe, expected ending spells doom. The creators go overboard trying too hard to win over both the cool dudes and city slickers through the first half, as well as the conservatives through the second half. In the process, the moral of the story remains too simplistic in today’s complex world - ‘Say sorry to end all sins’.

It is time YashRaj banner realized that not all clichéd happy endings make today’s discerning audience happy.

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