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Review of the week - Mumbai Se Aaya Mera Dost
Punch Line: TV ko laaya mera dost
Click here for more reviews - By Jeevi

Jeevi Rating: 2/5
Cast: Abhishek Bachchan, Lara Dutta, Yashpal Sharma, Aditya Lakhia, Subrov Bhattacharya, Dayashankar Pandey, Ajay Khamosh, Akhilendra Mishra, Snehal Lakhia, Chunky Pandey, Rageshwari & Rajendra Gupta
Banner: Rubberband Films
Director of Photography: Gururaj RJ
Music Composer: Anu Malik
Lyrics: Sameer
Choreography: Vaibhavi Merchant
Action: Shahid Ali
Editor: Steven Bernard
Costumes Designer: Theia, Pooja, Kannari Pannikar
Production Designer: Meera Lakhia
PR Consultants: Buzz
Publicity Designers: Marching Ants
Music on: Sony
Line Producer: Laxmi Singh
Executive Producer: Deepesh Nihlani, Chirag Nihlani
Writer - Director: Apoorva Lakhia
Producer: Vishal Nihlani
Theatrical release date: 22nd August 2003

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Kanji (Abhishek Bachchan) - a servant working in a rich house at Mumbai - returns to his home village - which recently got the facility of electricity - in Rajasthan for one-month vacation. His liberal master (Chunkey Pandey) allows Kanji to take a brand new 29 inch BPL color TV along with antenna and gift it to his grandfather (Snehal Lakhia).

Those villagemen do not know what cinema or TV. Kanji's TV becomes the new exciting entertainment device for the entire village. The village men stop going to work and temple. They always spend their time watching TV and fantasizing about the things happening on TV to such an extent that a villageman (Dayashankar Pandey) imitates the cowboy culture by riding on donkeys. Another guy (Subrov Bhattacharya) is so much fascinated with the hero moving in slow motion in films that he starts moving in slow-motion for the rest of his life.

At the juncture, Kanji meets KC (Lara Dutta) - a beautiful belle. Both of them fall in love. There is a Thakur (Yashpal Sharma) in the village who holds the reigns of the entire villageman. He is alarmed by the new TV entertainment and feels that the villagemen might become clever after watching TV and fears that they might get away from his hold. He has another J (Jealous) factor burning his heart that the TV in his house is a small black and white one which relays the same old Chitrahaar songs occasionally!

Later on it is revealed that KC is none but the only sister of the dread some Thakur. The rest of the story is all about how Kanji fights the Thakur.

Artists Performance

Abhishek Bachchan: Abhishek Bachchan has done a fabulous job with his balanced and controlled performance. His dialogue modulation is impeccable. He sports a very intense look in action episodes. He has got every thing going right for him except for a much needed commercial break in the form of a good box office hit.

Lara Dutta: She made the best use of what she is good at. There is so much of exposing in terms of showing cleavage through her deep necked cholis. She did not have any scope to perform in the entire film except for the climax where she got a mouthful of lengthy dialogues.

Others: Yashpal Sharma as Thakur is excellent. He makes a perfect villain. Aditya Lakhia (who did the role of Kachra in Lagaan) played a sacrificing pal to the hero. Akhilendra Mishra as the wily priest of the Temple is effective. Chunky Pandey and Rageshwari does not impress in their cameo roles. Subrov Bhattacharya and Dayashankar Pandey have been given more footage than the necessary. They did well, though!

Technical deprtments

Story: The basic storyline resembles us of the film 'Gods Must Be Crazy' where the film starts with an aviator throwing the emptied bottle of coke from a flying airplane and it lands up in an uncivilized territory. The writer/director Apoorva Lakhia used a similar kind of theme where somebody gets a Television with multiple channels being aired to a village where they hardly knew/experienced what electricity is. The director then added the typical formula of bollywood (rich heroine and poor hero) to make it a Hindi potboiler.

Screenplay - Direction: Though the basic concept is creative enough to make us await the release of the film, what director failed at is in creating a balance. In order to make a loud humor out of the side effects generated by watching TV, the director has given less importance to the romance track between the hero and heroine. The episodes depicting the love developed between the lead pair are not good enough. The director tried to make the villagemen oppose the atrocities created by the Thakur only during the climax of the film. The hero becomes the messiah of the masses only during the climax of the film, as he enjoys the people getting addicted to TV and guys developing psychological obsessions derived by TV watching for the rest of the film. The screenplay of the film runs at snails pace (just like the slow-motion acting done by the Abdul character in this film). The narration is good in parts. Looks like the director's experience in assisting Hollywood projects like Ice storm, Diehard III and Flawless is of no help when it comes to making a 3-hour Hindi film. The only similarities we can find between Lagaan and MSAMD are the village atmosphere, the tint of the film, costumes, huts etc. But the soul is missing in this film.

Dialogues: Dialogues in the film are crisp and they do sometime evoke good humor. However the writer should have avoided making reference to gay culture in hero's masters house in Mumbai.

Music: Music by Anu Malik is melodious. The background score is effective. The picturization of 'Saiyya' song that introduces heroine is impressive.

Photography: Gururaj RJ's photography is worth an appreciation. The lighting scheme is uniform and it suits the mood of the film.

Action: The action episodes by Shahid Ali are OK. But one fail to understand why all the villagemen remained as spectators when hero is fighting with villain in the climax. And the funniest part is police coming to arrest the villain once fight is over (probably the police must have visited that place for the first time).

Analysis: This film is made with a wafer-thin storyline. The 3-hour duration appears too long because of the slow narration and dragged screenplay. The movie would have been effective if it were made for 1 and half hour duration. The director has taken a creative theme but failed in the execution part because he tried to mix that novel point with typical Bollywood elements by making this film a half-baked product. Over all it's a boring film!

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