If the makers of Uljhan were so bent on making a movie that begins in the middle
of a story and then oscillates madly between the past, present and future, the
least they could have done is to hire Arundhati Roy, twister of the tenses, to
write the script. Even then, Uljhan would have been no Oscar-nominee, but at least
it would have been a little more coherent.
Watching Uljhan, you would think, and probably not be wrong in thinking, that
Bollywood has taken leave of its senses. It begins on a dark, rainy night. A car
swerves out of control and crashes, and the occupants land up in a hospital. Anjali
(Dipti Bhatnagar) is not badly injured, but her companion, Varun, has lost both
his face and his memory. The face is rebuilt perfectly by plastic surgery(?),
but it is the memory bit the takes the cake.
Keeping him away from his family and friends, Anjali coaches Varun (Puru Raj Kumar)
about his past, showing him photographs (wasn't everything destroyed in the wreck?)
of his family and friends. Varun dutifully learns the names and faces, never bothering
to question the validity of such treatment.
The two finally return to Varun's home to Varun's grandmother (Shashikala, in
a particularly bland and irritating performance), get married and begin to live
a normal life. But when Varun discovers photographs of Prashant (Vivek Mushran)
romancing Anjali (?), he raises hell. Here's where the story takes off on the
past, and after that we are never quite sure which dimension we are supposed to
It turns out that Anjali and Prashant, a vagabond brought up by Varun's grandma,
were in love. But of course, Varun loved Anjali too, and decided to kill Prashant.
A fight and a dead body later, Prashant and Anjali leave town, but get themselves
crashed. With Prashant's face destroyed and his memory gone, Anjali for some bizarre
reason decides to give him the dead Varun's identity. By the time you get this,
you really are beyond caring about any of the characters in the film.
Acting lessons for the entire cast before they started on the film might have
been a good idea. The performances are unconvincing (a script like that is no
excuse), the songs difficult to bear and the story completely implausible. The
hot romantic scenes which and only which appeared on the promos, are virtually
non-existent, giving the frontbenchers a lot to grumble about. In short, Uljhan
has nothing to offer to anyone, and if you want to preserve your sanity, keep
away from it.