Sunday, December 04, 2005
When the going gets tough, actors change the spelling of their names. So Vivek Oberoi is now Viveik Anand Oberoi.
But that does nothing to alter the fact that Home Delivery is an absolute and complete dud of a film. With Vivek/ Viveik playing an absolute and complete dud of a character.
Sunny Chopra is a 'writer' whose claim to fame is writing an agony aunt column in 'The Times of Hindustan'. He is known as 'Gyaan Guru'. In addition Sunny is writing a script for Karan Johar. And he has a beautiful live-in girlfriend (Ayesha Takia) whose chief occupation is making coffee for him and pottering around their swanky studio apartment.
The problem is Sunny is the most fake, insincere and unlikable hero I have ever seen portrayed in Hindi films.
He lies to his boss about being ill so he can work on the script. He lies to Karan Johar because he has no script yet. He lies to his fiancee for a chance to make out with Maya - an actress he meets on a talk show who happens to be his teenage fantasy.
What is even worse is the way he cheats on ordinary matters. Like refusing to pay for the pizza he's ordered because 'if it's late, it's free'. Even when it's bang on time. A guy who wears an Omega and refuses to pay Rs 265 for pizza (shudder - this is not an official product placement, I hope!)
And oh, he also returns worn shirts and used CDs to shops. Girlfriend mildly scolds him and says 'this is not correct'. Why she wants to marry this loser is what I am trying to figure out.
At one point he drops her off at a market, says he's parking the car and instead zooms off for a rendezvous with Maya. And no, none of this is slapstick or comic like in 'No Entry' or 'Kya Cool Hain Hum'. It's high decibel irritating!
To add to the sar mein dard there are a host of peripheral characters who are supposed to be 'funny'. One mad neighbour who is a brahmachari, another who sings to produce rain and a lunatic who kills Page 3 types.
Plus there's a string of 'guest appearances' - Karan as himself, Sunil Shetty, even Abhishek Bachchan in a blink-and-you-miss-him appearance. But it's like dal hi jal gai toh usme tadka maar ke koi faayda nahin.
Far, far more was expected of director Sujoy Ghosh after Jhankaar Beats. Sadly, success probably went to his head. The script looks like it was written on a napkin by a bunch of friends who went out drinking.
Basically, someone first sat and wrote down 20 one liners and cool ideas and then decided to weave a screenplay around it. For example, you have to suffer Sunny referring to his girlfriend as 'Nani' for two hours. Just so that when he gets bonked on the head they can use the lame joke 'nani yaad aati hai'...
Eventually Boman Irani, playing a pizza delivery 'boy' enters Sunny's life and shows him the correct rasta. But not before he too is humiliated, bullied and treated like a piece of garbage - after doing a series of good deeds.
OK, so in the end Sunny apologises to pizzaboy and his girlfriend and realises what her value is but it's really unconvincing. Sunny is meant to represent the modern, metrosexual man. A guy who is afraid of making a commitment.
Fine - such people exist. But the character sketch we are given of this man is so shallow ki usme chullu bhar level ka bhi paani nahin hai. The man hangs a huge blow up of his own smiling face in the living room for Godssake!
But the worst, absolutely worst cut of all is that he dishes out advice as Gyaan Guru and practices the exact opposite in his own life. Maybe some actor could have carried it off - but not Vivek, whose every strand of hair is held in the right place, with the right amount of gel. A man whose I-love-myself-too-much look does not even look like it's taking much effort.
Vivek, the bottomline is it doesn't matter how you spell your name. None of the films you've acted in after Saathiya have given the audience a reason to like you. While watching Kaal I remember thinking it wouldn't be too bad if your character got mauled by one of those tigers.
Here's the really strange bit. Salman Khan killed innocent deer, ran over a sleeping man and beat up his girlfriend. He is not a great human being. And yet when he comes on screen, we forgive him for those couple of hours.
In film after film, Salman plays the lying and cheating cad. But he's the lovable rogue, someone you just can't dislike.
I don't know what the secret is but you sure need to find out! And please, no more wishy-washy roles as rich spoilt brats. Step out of the box, stop looking in the mirror and patting your hair in place.
When the going gets tough, show us you can act!