‘Karzzz’ a kitschy homage to a far superior film (IANS Hindi Film Review - Rating: *1/2)

October 18th, 2008 - 3:29 pm ICT by IANS  

Film: “Karzzz”; Cast: Himesh Reshammiya, Urmila Matondkar, Danny Denzongpa, Gulshan Grover, Shweta Kumar, Dino Morea; Director: Satish Kaushik; Rating: * ½This is Indiana Jones and The Temple Of Dhoom. Creating dhoom in motions of staged frenzy is Himesh Reshammiya without his trademark cap but with so much hair you wonder if it’s there to tear after you go through two-and-a-half hours of drama and hysteria in “Karzzz”.

Our Indiana Jones is Urmila Matondkar reprising Simi Garewal’s villainous gold-digger’s act with a vengeance. She not only creates dhoom, she also crashes into a temple of doom (literally) before being declared dead by the script. RIP.

Yup, now we know what the blurbs meant by “Vengeance is back”.

Many of Urmila’s chic gowns capture her in backless splendour. Whether matching steps with the rock star or pulling out all stops to mow her reborn lover-boy (Dino Morea turns into Himesh after the first 15 minutes) down with her zooming airplane (it was just a car in the original for poor Simi). Urmila is mean and seductive, in kill-kill measures.

But we don’t see much chemistry off the dance floor between Himeshbhai and sexy Urmila.

Is anyone really bothered with the telling of the story? And honestly, was the original “Karz” anything but a kitschy compendium of montages motivated by the theme of reincarnation?

If Rishi Kapoor did Monty, Himesh does full Monty. Between the two Montys is a molehill masquerading as a big pot-boiler.

This reincarnation of the blockbuster on reincarnation is a bit of a contradiction in terms. On one hand it’s high on production values, generating what one would call a cinematic adrenaline that takes audiences into the an exotic embrace. Every stage performance by the rock star is accompanied by a bevy of international backup dancers(mostly female) who prop up Himesh’s set pieces and complement his energy level.

On the other hand, the drama is distilled by an absence of inner-drawn energy. As an actor Himesh has his limitations which come bubbling to the surface in the long monologues about “punar janam”, present tense and past mostly imperfect.

Rishi, where art thou?

To his credit, Himesh takes you beyond the performance. He has a disarming simplicity bordering on naivete to back up his claims to stardom. The actor is honest. But he connects with his audience. And the man playing the character is aware he isn’t trying to achieve an award-winning level in his performance.

Having got that in place, Himesh just has a ball. His enjoyment in the songs and dances is sometimes contagious, sometime amusing, never dull, never exasperating.

As for the narrative, it doesn’t seem to believe in an updated progress report. Like a recalling of a past life Satish Kaushik’s seems frozen in the 1970s. The contemporised props and locations hardly help wipe out the feeling of watching a film that belongs to another time zone, far beyond the theme of reincarnation.

The big confrontation sequence where Kamini (Urmila) breaks down and confesses to having killed Monty the rock star is staged in a sprawling set representing the outer flank of a mansion.

What lies beyond the exterior? Who cares?

If you treat “Karzzz” as an ongoing “Chitrahaar” of Himesh’s songs strung together by a bristling bead of sweaty players you just might end up enjoying this kitschy homage to a potboiler that boasted of great songs and a wonderful central performance.

Himesh Reshammiya aims for the same. No harm in being ambitious.

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