He is a knight in shining armor - scion of a richie-rich business, this MBA can
bash up any baddie and has a strong socially-aware conscience. The right prince
to save a damsel in distress, right? Yes, that's Avinash (Anil Kapoor) for you.
And he stays in a swanky colony that represents the entire gamut of all the social
and moral flaws of our country.
Right at the crossroads of this colony, a powerful local lord almost murders
a teacher who questions the landshark's misappropriation of the land meant for
a school. A brave girl Preeti (Aishwarya Rai) gives evidence against the miscreants.
As usual, the baddies manage to get out of prison before you can say "free". And
their first target is the girl who got them in there. The younger brother of the
unusually well-connected baddie rapes her, and thus starts a nightmare in her
Ostracized by her family and taunted by almost everybody, she is easily targeted
until she meets Avinash who gives her all sorts of support, emotional and financial.
In her company, he can extend parenthood to the unsupported children that his
father's hapless mistress of a secretary mothered. Life is all friendship and
good times, when the loose talk in his office makes him realize that he loves
her, but she is not ready to further burden him with her responsibility.
In walks Khushi (Sonali Bendre), his childhood buddy whom everybody wants him
to marry. What happens next? How does Preeti realize what her heart really wants?
Why does Avinash's mother plead with Preeti to leave her son alone? To know the
answers, watch this Boney Kapoor production.
The film, a remake of Pellichesukundaam Raa starring Venkatesh, is a sensitive
enough depiction of the pain and the humiliation that a violated woman faces in
a hypocritical society that is moreover governed by muscle and money power. What
dilutes it, however, is the not so funny, and at times downright insufferable,
farce (especially impossible is Anupam Kher as a lascivious Tamilian) that the
neighborhood provides. Moreover, the film, which deals with such a sensitive issue,
should have avoided the typical filmi predictability, which twists the plot into
an easily recognizable pattern.
Nevertheless, it is worth a watch because the cast has put in pretty creditable
performances. Anil Kapoor brings to his idealistic role a realism that makes it
acceptable. Aishwarya Rai, with her stunning beauty, manages to make the audience
empathize with the predicament of the heroine. The surprise package of the film,
however, is Sonali Bendre, whose cameo role as a girlie buddy with a heart of
gold shows that the kudos that have been coming her way are really worth it. Neither
the lyrics, nor the music, nor the cinematography are much to write home about.
The film really shows up the rot that is eating at the roots of our honor-ruled
country. And this malaise has both a political and an ethical identity. The film,
however, never provides any really honorable proposals to tackle such issues.
How many Prince Charmings can really come forward to re-locate the life of an
innocent girl who suffers for her conscientiousness? Especially in a country where
machismo often dons a rapist's mask, a fact which is further complicated because
of the selfish social workers and the irresponsible media as the film itself shows?
True, nobody expects a verbose and melodramatic bhashan, but the film would have
been less escapist if more easily accessible proposals to better the lot of a
traumatized girl were put forth.