Ek Haseena Thi Ek Deewana Tha movie director: Suneel Darshan
Ek Haseena Thi Ek Deewana Tha movie cast: Natasha Fernandez, Upen Patel, Shiv Darshan
Ek Haseena Thi Ek Deewana Tha movie: Zero star
Once upon the late 80s, there were the Darshan Brothers (Suneel and Dharmesh) who made big-budget musical dramas fronted by big stars and catchy music. Between the two, they produced and directed a bunch of blockbusters— Lootere, Raja Hindustani, Dhadkan, Andaaz, Barsaat, Jaanwar, busily churning out one film after the other till about 2004-5. The Suneel-Dhamesh films were very much a part of the cinema of its time (foreign locations for the song-and-dance, and full-on melodrama for the rest of it ) and such stars as Sunny Deol, Akshay Kumar, Karisma Kapoor and Juhi Chawla benefited enormously from their popularity.
Both Aamir Khan and Karisma Kapoor went to the top of the heap with the 1996 Raja Hindustani — Karisma got a lasting makeover, and Aamir a lover-boy part which the audience of the day loved; the two shared a long, passionate kiss of the sort which would have given another filmmaker of the time, now CBFC chief Pahlaj Nihalani, a major coronary.
Why am I recounting details of time long gone by instead of telling you about Suneel Darshan’s new film introducing his son Shiv Darshan in the lead? Because there is nothing to say. Ek Haseena Thi Ek Deewana Tha makes you recall, almost fondly, the schlocky, kitschy film-making of the 80s and 90s which was nevertheless full of colour and music: Suneel, who clearly hasn’t kept up with the times, comes up with a hopelessly outdated series of reels, reeking strongly of mothballs and terrible acting all round.
If you must know, it’s about a pair of lovers and a ghost, and a villain of the piece, each as screamingly awful as the other. In the two hours I spent in the theatre, I was forced into asking why a once savvy filmmaker would do such a thing. Was it strictly about filial duty?
While you think up an answer, and do let me know if you come up with something, I will leave you with a couple of dialogues: ‘glue ka kaam hai chipakna, chipakte hain’ (gulp) ; ‘bed time story toh bahut sunaai hai, ab bad time story suno’. Bad time is right. And this last one, which pretty much sums up this so-called film, and my ‘mann ki baat’: ‘oh god yeh sab kya ho raha hai’.