The director took the catch line "Some love stories... live forever!" rather too
seriously! A 3-1/2 hour long saga of numerous love stories... ouch! There are enough
stars in this movie to make 5 Bollywood biggies, enough songs to make 3 pop albums,
enough reel length to make 2 regular length movies, and just about enough senti-stuff
to give you one whopper of a headache. This is a movie that should have been presented
like The Godfather, in three different sequels. But in one single part it is too
heavy, and justice is not done to quite a few of the characters.
The audience, though, seems to be pretty satisfied with the delivery, and the clash of the big S and the big B is rather grand. The appearance of Aishwarya here and there throughout the movie is an added bonus. The three new pairs seen in the movie are okay, considering that for half of them this was a first.
The story is more like a comic book: a boys' school by name Gurukul with an imposing looking Narayan Shankar (the Big B, as big as can be!) at the helm; students who are too scared of the principal to fall in love; and three youngsters who just do it, but are too confused and don't know what to do.
Then enter Raj Aryan (who else but Shahrukh!), with a violin and a message of love. He brings Holi, ballroom dances and autumn leafs, bearing messages of love, into the morgue-like atmosphere of Gurukul. He happens to be a music teacher, and deals in miracles, too - what with him teaching a youngster to play the piano in a couple of days! He is a widower, but his wife Megha (Aishwarya as the loveliest ghost in the history of Bollywood) hangs around him, giving him the courage to battle the dictatorial reign of the spoilsport princy. The story meanders around with songs, songs, and more songs. Finally, the three couples unite, Narayan Shankar modifies his views, and the way is paved for many more unions. Love wins!
Mohabbatein is another movie from the stable of Yash Raj films with the standard
identification marks: slick sets, feel-good factor and nice music (and Shahrukh
Khan!). But this movie deviates in a number of ways, and that's why it may fail
to get in the league of the others.
The story is no great deal, but serves as a foil for the numerous characters. The songs were the typical feel-good types with good choreography, short dresses and zany sets. And as for the cast, they are all talented people who should maybe be in slicker movies.
Amitabh stands tall throughout, but his volté face in the finale is not very well justified. Shahrukh is his usual hyperactive self, speaking the language of the eyes better than ever. His message of love, though, is too intense for comfort, and seems right out of a mushy M&B novel. Aishwarya looks gorgeous and makes the other three actresses pale in comparison.
The three young couples are lovey-dovey, but the way in which they come together for every dance number is rather irritating. Be it a dance for Holi, a jig to celebrate Valentine's day or a mutual-confession-of-love dance, all three couples have to be present for the dance, with Shahrukh and Ash wafting around, looking very happy!
Anupam Kher and Amrish Puri, two talented actors who happen to be in the movie (bet you didn't know that!), look as if they are part of the sets. Not just that, they seem to be continuing where they left in their last hits, KKHH and DDLJ respectively.
Final word: If you are those sentimental types who believes that love is the be-all
and end-all of everything, go with your guy/girl, cry buckets and enjoy yourself.
But if you have a sensitive sinus, dislike mushy stories, detest clichés... in short,
if you are prone to whopping headaches, keep away!