By Taran Adarsh, IndiaFM
Packing multiple stories in one film is slowly becoming a practice. In 2007 itself, SALAAM-E-ISHQ, HONEYMOON TRAVELS PVT. LTD., HATTRICK and JUST MARRIED had assorted stories running parallel, culminating into one finale. LIFE MEIN KABHIE KABHIEE also narrates five stories and unlike some films that gave an episodic feel to the viewer, the stories here run simultaneously, leading to one climax.
LIFE MEIN KABHIE KABHIEE raises a serious issue. It mirrors a truth you can't shut your eyes to. Most youngsters today are driven by ambition, power, greed and money and can resort to all possible shortcuts in life to realize their dreams. Vikram Bhatt narrates this aspect quite convincingly. The film also drives home one pertinent truth: You can't 'buy' happiness.
There's no denying that the storyline of LIFE MEIN KABHIE KABHIEE is its USP. However, the best of stories/concepts/ideas fizzle out if the storyteller is inept. Thankfully, Bhatt treats the subject with maturity and the ride to the destination is sans roadblocks most of the times.
LIFE MEIN KABHIE KABHIEE isn't your run of the mill saga. There are sequences you identify with. There are portions you relate to. There are incidents that you know occur in reality as well. All this and more is penned and presented with conviction.
But there's a flip side too…
One, the story gets too serious after a point. Now that's a major hiccup since a majority of viewers tilt towards feel-good/light entertainers.
Two, while the first hour is captivating at most times, Bhatt should've put a leash on the second hour. Simply put, the post-interval portions tend to get lengthy and need to be trimmed for a better impact.
Besides, a film like LIFE MEIN KABHIE KABHIEE caters to the sensibilities of those frequenting the multiplexes mainly and that also limits its prospects.
To cut a long story short, LIFE MEIN KABHIE KABHIEE is an engrossing fare that should find its audience at big centres mainly. Sadly, the lack of names having box-office draw will curtail its prospects.
LIFE MEIN KABHIE KABHIEE is the story of five friends, five years, one goal -- happiness.
Manish [Aftab Shivdasani], Rajeev [Dino Morea], Jai [Sameer Dattani], Mona [Nauheed Cyrusi] and Ishita [Anjori Alagh] get drunk and have a bet that who out of them would be the happiest in life. They give themselves five years. At the end of five years, Manish would decide who was the happiest.
All of them have different ideas of happiness --
Rajeev thinks that to be the best in what you do is happiness
Mona thinks fame is happiness
Jai thinks power is happiness
Ishita thinks money is what happiness is all about.
LIFE MEIN KABHIE KABHIEE is the journey of these five friends. It talks of success and failure, triumphs and tribulations, hope and despair, happiness and sadness and of course, the final question. Who will win the bet?
Of late, a majority of Vikram Bhatt-directed films failed to deliver since the emphasis wasn't on script as much on cast/technique. But LIFE MEIN KABHIE KABHIEE stands tall in Bhatt's repertoire. Bhatt handles the complex subject with sensitivity. Despite juxtaposing five stories in the film, not once do you feel that the storyteller should've finished one story first and moved on to the next. Bhatt gets abundant support from screenplay writer Manoj Tyagi, who creates the right drama.
Amongst the five different tracks, at least three are highly absorbing [Nauheed/Anuj/Rajat Bedi, Anjori/Raj Zutshi and Dino/Mohnish Bahl/Ekta], one is plain average [Aftab/Koel] and the fifth [Samir Dattani] starts off well, but totters subsequently. The conclusion to the five stories is in fact the icing on the cake. Almost every story has a sad end [completely justified] and it's this aspect that makes it very real and identifiable, since life is not just a bed of roses. But, as mentioned at the outset, the film tends to get too serious and intense, which may be difficult for an average moviegoer to absorb.
Lalit Pandit's music is soothing. 'Hum Khushi Ki Chah Mein' is a lyrical gem [Sameer], while the title track [at the start of the film] is foot-tapping. 'Gehra Gehra' [the party track] is interesting. Cinematography [Pravin Bhatt] is striking. Dialogues [Girish Dhamija] are excellent. They're the soul of several scenes.
The performances are topnotch! Dino Morea delivers his finest performance so far. Watch him in two sequences -- one, when he wins an award and taunts his brother in his thanks-giving speech and two, when he apologizes to his brother in the end. This film is sure to earn him respect as an actor. Aftab Shivdasani is lovable. He plays the seedha-saadha guy to perfection. Sameer Dattani springs a pleasant surprise. He's slightly stiff initially, but conveys a lot through his eyes subsequently. This youngster has the potential if offered the right roles.
Anuj Sawhney is a complete natural. It's sad that people haven't utilized this talented actor. Even though he's not the focal point of the story, the actor manages to make a strong impact. Nauheed Cyrusi does a good job. From LAKEER to ANWAR to LIFE MEIN KABHIE KABHIEE, she's really evolved into a fine actor.
It takes time to take to Anjori Alagh at the start, but as the reels unfold, you realize that this debutante is indeed talented. She handles a number of dramatic scenes - difficult, since this is her first movie -- with rare maturity. Only thing, she needs to shed a few kilos. Koel Purie is highly dependable yet again.
Raj Zutshi is excellent. Nikita Anand is adequate. Ameen Haji is fair. Ashwini Kalsekar [Raj Zutshi's first wife] is exceptional in the sequence when she confronts Anjori. Rajat Bedi is competent and suits the role. Pinky Harwani and Mushtaq Khan are alright.
On the whole, LIFE MEIN KABHIE KABHIEE is a well-made film, but its serious theme and also its genre will restrict its prospects to multiplexes mainly. At the box-office, the film has the chances to grow with word of mouth.
Bollywood.com Rating: 2.5
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