By Subhash K. Jha, Indo-Asian News Service
Film: "Humko Deewana Kar Gaye"; Starring Akshay Kumar, Katrina Kaif,
Bipasha Basu, Anil Kapoor; Directed by Raj Kanwar; Rating **
Akshay Kumar's films are becoming classier by the month. There's a
certain restraint in his presence here. The way he conveys the pain and
hurt of an impossible love is quite surprising for an actor who until
recently was counted among the wooden.
Director Raj Kanwar's recent efforts to polish up his act have
yielded tepid results. "Dhai Akshar Prem Ke" and the box office hit
"Andaz" were louder than the lyrical aspirations of their creator.
Kanwar gets it more right this time. The theme of 'love versus
obligation' is nothing new to our cinema. Then redemptive hope lies in
the treatment. And we aren't let down completely in the way the
jukebox-symphony moves forward.
There's a certain elegance in the movement of the mix 'n' match love
story. Aditya (Akshay) and Jiya (Katrina), engaged to marry the wrong
life partners, must move towards that inevitable mutual embrace at the
end when the scrambled game of musical chairs finally ends.
In between there are several musical pieces choreographed with an
eye-catching élan. One of them filmed in a commodious banquet even has
yesteryear cabaret queen Helen breaking into a sassy jig.
Such moments are well-knitted into the tale of star-crossed love.
Though the film suffers for Kanwar's trademark loud Punjabi characters
grooving garishly to Bhangra-pop beats, crude gay jokes between Akshay
and Mohan Joshi, coincidences peeking out of an otherwise smooth
narrative, there's a touch of self-conscious suaveness in the
storytelling that goes a long way in keeping the central romance from
collapsing under the weight of self-importance.
The initial encounters between Aditya and Jia are deftly visualised.
Vikas Shivraman's camera frames the good-looking pair with arresting
The dialogues, you feel, could've gone easy on the rhetoric. Often
you feel that the lovers, fighting off their respective engagements to
court true love, are reading their lines out of an invisible
But Akshay-Katrina look terrific together. Akshay's controlled
performance spotlights the character's virtuosity in the midst of
luscious temptation. Watch him in that almost wordless moment when his
screen-friend Vivek Shouq (in a hideous hairstyle) confesses he was
behind the lovers' break-up...Akshay gives a clenched interpretation to
a role that doesn't allow him to 'do' much on screen.
Katrina is passably competent in a tailor-made role, giving a mild
emotional spin to a couple of scenes. But her inadequacies surface when
pitched against Shernaz Patel (in a minuscule part) or even against
Bipasha Basu who, in the brief role of Akshay's ambitious fiancée,
brings a fleeting finesse to her under-written part.
But pray, what's Anil Kapoor doing playing Katrina's arrogant
self-important fiancé? From the start you know this couple is
Don't look for surprises in this smooth-and-shiny romance...Or
originality. Bits and pieces from various Hindi and Hollywood creations
surface intermittently. But the queasy limit is the climax where
Katrina is stuck upside down in a hit-and-run car. The whole sequence
is lifted from this year's Oscar winner "Crash".
That's some quick thinking!
Bollywood.com Rating: 2.5