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Abhishek on a roll

In Sooraj Barjatya's Mein Prem Ki Deewani Hoon Abhishek Bachchan turned out to be the surprise package.

india Updated: Jul 01, 2003 20:30 IST

Sooraj Barjatya's Mein Prem Ki Deewani Hoon (MPKDH) hit the wide screens across the country on Friday, and the surprise package turned out to be none other than Abhishek Bachchan. Most would have entered the theatres on Friday hoping to see everyone (except Bachchan Jr. that is) give it their best shot. But the Bachchan scion left them all - including the rather delectable Hrithik Roshan, brat Kareena Kapoor, the film's story, and the director himself - way behind.

In fact, Abhishek's intensity as the young, quiet, brooding tycoon of a business empire, in love with a woman clearly not in love with him with expressions to match, simply took one's breath away. In a film, which was sagging under the collective giggly weight of Roshan and Kapoor (along with her gaggle of five gigglier friends - so called politely) and an over-the-top Himani Shivpuri, Bachchan's suave, controlled act was a welcome relief.

While Roshan (as Prem) was supposed to be bright, chirpy and over enthusiastic soul with all the joié de vivre in the world, Bachchan (as Prem II) had to portray a sensitive soul with love for poetry and the finer things of life. And as both came to life onscreen, Roshan appeared to be making too much of an effort to keep that cup of life overflowing while Bachchan sailed through his performance without a hitch.

What helped his case was fewer dialogues sans naanch-gaana around trees and rolling hills. Jr. has been cast right for the first time since J P Dutta's Refugee. In all the other roles that he has attempted - especially so the rather feeble ones like Bas Itna Sa Khwaab Hai, Om Jai Jagadish, Shararat and Tera Jadoo Chal Gaya where he played the flamboyant, care-a-damn kind of guy, at ease with inane stuff, Abhishek failed to make a mark because he just didn't relate to those characters.

And unlike his father, Amitabh, who evolved from being a serious actor and went to playing even the buffoon with ease, Abhishek's range is limited and he'd do well to hone his skill set accordingly. He has definitely shown promise trying to get out of his father's mould though there are scenes in the film - especially when he makes his entry or is observing the girl quietly, where he reminds one of his father.

So, for all its other minus points Sooraj Barjatya's MPKDH has done just that - given him an opportunity to prove himself once more. Chances are he'll manage too.

First Published: Jul 01, 2003 12:18 IST