If you can envisage that human beings, too, can be 'shudh' like milk or ghee, you might be able to comprehend Rajshri Production's movie Isi Life Mein's raison d'etre. The makers might have thrown in a peppy campus life, and made the chaste heroine don a skimpy number and shake her booty in a disco, but all efforts to dress their old tale of uncompromising virtuousness in uber cool garb fall flat due to the plot's contrivedness and predictability.
Then there are ghosts of DDLJ
that haunt you in almost every scene after the interval, and you will find yourself rueing that Mohnish Behl is no Amrish Puri, and Akshay Oberoi (the hero) is no Shahrukh Khan.
Rajnandini Khandelwal (Swagata Dhar) is a small-town girl whose father (Mohnish Behl) has a phobia of the new generation kids who lose their "shuddhata" when they leave their home towns for big cities to pursue higher education. He judges Gen Y on the basis of the news of the pervasive crimes that youngsters commit in big cities, and doesn't want his daughter to ever set her foot in that murky world.
But Rajnandini becomes a state topper in her high school finals, and her mother cannot see her daughter bury all her dreams and become a housewife. So, she sends her to Mumbai to her sister's place on the pretext of picking up cooking skills, and secretly enrols her in a college.
The daughter, after this point, is shown doing anything but studying. She becomes the member of a dramatics society where she meets Vivaan (Akshay Oberoi) and discovers that she has a flair for acting and choreography. The two are drawn to each other, and after a silly adaptation of The Taming Of The Shrew and a bit of meddling by Mohnish Behl, the lovers are finally united.
Isi Life Mein could have been a clever commentary on the issues that small-town girls face when they migrate to larger cities, but instead of dwelling on any real issue, the film takes the age-old path of the girl meeting a charming prince and living happily ever after.
The director Vidhi Kasliwal introduces the actors well, and the picturisation of the songs, the college scenes and the play are visually delightful, but the monochromatic characters and the unimaginative story fail to arrest your attention span for more than a few minutes.
It's not only Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, but also the Kuch Kuch Hota Hai
and the Pyaar Kiya To Darna Kya ghosts that saturate your feeling of deja vu to a point where you are left totally uninterested, staring longingly at the 'Exit' signs glowing red in the dark.
The only time that you are shaken out of your reverie and realise that there are other people too around you is during the brief appearance of Salman Khan in a phone conversation, that draws catcalls and claps from the audience.
Rajshri's new find, Swagata, is impressive in her debut, and does the ultra-traditional and chic sides of her role both well. Akshay's expressions seem laboured, and he fails to bring the charisma that his character is supposedly endowed with.
Mohnish Behl tries to do an Amrish Puri by popping his eyeballs and looking daggers at his daughter's modern friends, but the lack of context makes the act ridiculous. Prachi Shah as Swagata's mother does well, and Shagufta Ali does not disappoint.
The songs, which once used to be Rajshri Productions' highlights, are no different from the regular run-of-the-mill tunes that are churned out everyday.
Isi Life Mein is a boring film, and there is no reason that you should shell out money and watch this movie in a theatre. Catch a rerun of DDLJ on TV instead.