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Monday, September 27, 2021

Aashaayein

There is a time in your life when everything is going as it should. You’ve got the girl.

Written by Shubhra Gupta | New Delhi |
August 27, 2010 4:09:34 pm

Cast:John Abraham,Anaitha Nair,Sonal Sehgal,Farida Jalal,Girish Karnad

Director: Nagesh Kukunoor

Rating: *1/2

There is a time in your life when everything is going as it should. You’ve got the girl. You’ve got the cash. And it’s time to party. Except it’s not : you fall face down amidst celebratory cheers,and you wake up in a hospital with everyone looking exceedingly glum. Nagesh Kukunoor does his own till death-do-us part movie ( secretly,every filmmaker wants to make one of these) with pallid results.

You’ve got to hand it to John Abraham who plays Rahul,the guy who’s got only a few months left ( secretly,every actor wants to do one of these),for looking his hunky self for about two thirds of the film. As soon as he finds out,he leaves his devoted girl friend ( Sehgal) to get a life,and heads off to a place where he thinks he will be left in peace.

Except it’s not. He meets with a bunch of characters stuffed with enough quirks to make a ward of terminal-ill people chortle. Kukunoor makes sure there’s,what’s the word,a motley bunch : a little boy who can ‘see’ things,a crotchety old man who’s lost his larynx (Karnad),a sweet grandmotherly type who’s got AIDS and who no one wants to mingle with till the staunch Rahul shows up,and of course,a young girl ( Nair) wearing a very obvious wig who is looking for love.

A film like this needs to have characters we fall in love with,and weep a lot at their passing,just like we did with Rajesh Khanna in ‘Anand’ ( they show the patients watching bits of the Hrishikesh Mukherjee classic as a referral point,just in case they forget what they are suffering from). But it doesn’t happen with Abraham,even though he makes an earnest attempt. It doesn’t help that the script is unimaginative,padded up by a long,literal dream sequence where our hero gets to play a ‘desi’ Indiana Jones : that’s what he always wanted,see?

There a few moments when your eyes well up,but it’s not enough in a two hour long film.

shubhra.gupta@expressindia.com

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