Mayank Shekhar's review: Always Kabhi Kabhi

By Hindustan Times

Always Kabhi Kabhi
Director: Roshan Abbas
Actors: Ali Fazal, Zoa Morani
Rating: *

Let me see if I got this right. A girl hacks into her friend’s email account. Looking over the laptop, you can tell, she’s found so
mething serious in there. You imagine what. It’s a rejection letter from the MIT (I’m assuming Massachusetts Institute of Technology, not Manipal). The boy would have read that email in any case. She passes on a hardcopy of this letter to everyone in this school, which looks like anything but. This buddy of ours can’t face his peers now, his dad would have him for dinner anyway.

The fellow stands on top of the school’s main building, starts shredding off pages from his Princeton Review SAT book. Everyone gathers around. The girl spends the rest of the film saying sorry to him. The school principal profoundly concludes, “Beta, MIT aur IIT mein ek letter ka fark hota hai (Son, one alphabet separates MIT from IIT).” Eh?

Okay, so I didn’t get it. That’s the story around boy no 1. It’s merely one among a series of miscommunications or misunderstandings the audiences are likely to face between the moviemakers’ intentions, and their eventual outcome. Clearly, they didn't set out to actually make this inexplicable flick. Nobody would.

The said girl, by the way, they call her Nandy Bulls, goes around with a boy called Toyboy (no one knows his real name). It’s her supposed act of defiance. At some point, she feels she’s been knocked up, though we’re not sure why. But then the issue of teenaged pregnancy must appear. We’re talking about teenagers after all, who usually can’t spell their words right (luv, storys etc), and speak in a mix of Hindi and English, always, kabhi kabhi.

You see. This is a youth film -- ideally spelt with a capital Y. Every production house in Mumbai rolls out one of these Excel sheet stuff every other weekend. Their precious, common insight is this: the “Youth” in shorter skirts or fitter bodies spends most of its time on cell-phones, online social networks, generally on the Internet; when they aren’t dreaming up a dream they can’t chase, or hangin’ out in the beach, or the bar, holding familiarly green bottles of Kingfisher beer. Sounds great to me. A story, one story, even a vague semblance of it, could really help.

One? Huh. There’s a couple more, if only you could try putting two and two together. Another girl’s been forced into modeling (however many of them do, in flicks like these). To be fair, the actor (Giselle Monteiro) is pretty much a mannequin herself. Cops from Delhi’s Govindpuri police station are harassing her love-interest. They were at a party the police had raided once. He was merely taking a puff from a doobie. Coppers demand bribe in installments. He steals from his parents’. Set.

None of these things have anything to do with the movie, much less, each other. Besides, that there’s a production of Romeo And Juliet, with willing participants, from among these boys and girls of Class 12 B, or not to be. Shakespearean instructor comes over. They mix his drink with lasix and calmpose. So he can poop or pee and sleep at the same time. Oh. You laugh. Or don’t.

A full-on house party is organised around the orange fizz Fanta, Coca Cola’s popular brand. Australian coffee chain Gloria Jean sponsors a mini-discussion on the etymology of Macchiato. Energy booster Cloud 9 can be found hovering in the air, and on the screen, more than once in a while. Heroine is the film’s probable financier Karim Morani’s daughter.

This is how such rubbish really get made. Or is it? Shah Rukh Khan, the picture’s producer, would know best. That is, if anyone's really interested to know.

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