Director: Ken Ghosh
Actors: Shahid Kapoor, Genelia D’Souza
A popular perception of Bollywood films in the West is that they’re musicals. This notion is only partly correct.
Many are left disappointed to learn that the stars of these films can’t sing. They lip-sync. Fine vocalists behind those songs rarely get their due. Few know music composers by face. Dance steps that movie-stars perform to aren’t the toughest to imitate either. The leading man of our cinema is often not even the best actor of his own film crew. He is just the better looking.
This makes the Bollywood star, hogging all the attention and money alone, the most over-rated figure of any pop-culture.
To be fair, Shahid Kapoor can dance. He can certainly move his body, even if his performances don’t move you much. This claims to be a dance film entirely. On paper, the proposition doesn’t read half as brain-dead as it appears on the big screen.
Since he was born, gauging by his looks, everyone assumed the boy in this film would be a hero one day. He began to believe in the myth.
We’re meant to follow the struggles of this wannabe, determined as he is to make it in showbiz. Even if this show-town looks anything but the grimy human factories of Lokhandwala the filmmakers know better. The Delhi, the hero considers back-home, is a mini Punjab full of Sikhs.
He rehearses dance on the giant Mumbai wooden floors Jennifer Lopez may have practiced on before. Govinda, Hrithik Roshan, Shiamak Davar, he says, are the legends of his field. His tiny apartment from the inside may well be the shanty of big-city America. When we weren’t looking, and he had hardly dough for breakfast, the hero also packed in for himself the 8-pack abs.
He does the multiple rounds of film auditions. The journey, and its conclusion, is predictably known. The music should take care of the rest. It doesn’t.
Songs don’t take the motionless picture forward. This is not a musical. The filmmaker here is merely a director of music videos, and there is one after half a dozen others: “Back straight. Attitude. Feel the music.” Sure.
Between those patchy, over-decorated music television tracks, the banal hero fails a courier boy’s job; sleeps in a car (when he could’ve moved in with his girl); joins a school to teach dance; enlists kids to win a competition; enlists himself to win a talent hunt… The show goes on, and so on, and so forth. As does the refrain: “Tu star ban sakta hai. Tu star ban gaya. Mein star banaunga….” (Whatever that means).
We may as well fear for the minor effect on li'l Gauravs and Sameers taking such silliness vaguely seriously. Seeking 'nautanki' fame is anyway turning into a bit of a national disease.