Movie Review: Dil Diya Hai ...

By Subhash K. Jha, Indo-Asian News Service

imageFilm: "Dil Diya Hai"; Cast: Emraan Hashmi, Ashmit Patel, Geeta Basra, Mithun Chakraborty and Kittu Gidwani; Director Aaditya Datt; Rating: * 1/2

In Aaditya Datt's latest venture, the pimp is supposed to look at his intended prey with a mixture of lust and passion. Since, he is played by Ashmit Patel all he can manage is a look of aloof disdain.

And all "Dil Diya Hai" can manage is a warning to parents who take their daughters on European sojourns. Beware of the Londonwalla "Raja Hindustani" tourist guide. He'll first take your daughter into confidence and then sell her to the nearest brothelwalla, who will promptly fall in love with the intended flesh-seller and battle it out with Raja Englishtani for the kidnapped girl's hand.

At the end of a bloodied shootout, the girl opts for the tourist guide. But can a girl ever trust a man who sells her to a bar brothel?

This is a question that could haunt you after watching this mediocre and yet brave film about a man who needs money and a girl who needs to be spanked right here right now.

Geeta Basra as the headstrong, fun-loving and giggly tourist lets her nose-ring and war paint do all acting. The girl focuses all her attention on trying to look pained and bewildered after she's kidnapped - an easy task considering what embarrassing situations the plot creates for the debutante.

Still she looks more sinned against than sinned.

Somewhere in this road movie that takes "Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge" to the pit of a psychedelic hell, Mithun Chakbraborty and the lovely Kittu Gidwani appear as a kind of aging Laila-Majnu in the wilderness.

Mithun strums the gentle guitar and wields a mean gun to protect the young lovers from ruining their love.

But who protects poor Datt from making a hash albeit a well-intended hash in this Aditya Chopra-meets-Sanjay Gupta concoction?

Hashmi, in an author-backed role (he's there in almost frame), is required to go through a gamut of expressions -- from grimace to turmoil. He passes muster.

But please don't expect him to pull off a story of guilt and redemption, a la Dilip Kumar in "Devdas" or even Rajesh Khanna in "Aap Ki Kasam".

Yes, London and its surroundings still look fetching more so than the actors, who sometimes look like they are pretexts for the luscious locations.

As for the debutant leading lady, could she go easy on her makeup?

Hearts won't melt at her predicament. But the war paint threatens to melt under the weight of overstatement. Rating: 1.5