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Khalid Mohamed reviews Baabul

Ravi Chopra uses a tame, ponderous tone for a subject which needed much more fire, writes Khalid Mohamed.

india Updated: Dec 10, 2006 14:06 IST

Cast: Amitabh Bachchan, Salman Khan, Rani Mukherji, John Abraham, Hema Malini
Direction: Ravi Chopra

Quite rude and crude, he calls her “dude.” Actually, she is the WORST painter in the universe. And although her manners are extremely terse, on seeing her he breaks into Sameer Ghalibesque verse.

If you’re feeling faint already, do go to Ravi Chopra’s Baabul with stay-awake tablets and a very watchful nurse. She may help you survive the saga of a pair of tweeting-bleating love birds. Apparently, they’ve escaped from a monastery. Seriously, this is their first encounter with the opposite gender. How incredibly tender.

Ergo you’re stuck with Painter Babli (Rani Mukherji) and a Prankster Scion (Salman Khan) of a family dealing in `jewellery’..they even got the spelling wrong.

Rani Mukherjee in a still from the film Baabul

Painterwalliand Prankster sip tea at the Gateway of India, he fibs that he’s poorer than a church mouse; when she discovers his pillows are actually stuffed with diamonds, she calls him a “louse.” Strange girl. Anyway, Prankster’s dad (Amitabh Bachchan) who believes in buddy-buddyhood, is now more khush-


than Mogambo. He organises a quickie shaadi for Prank and Paint, they sire a kid who keeps hiding under a table (understandable).

Next: tragedy strikes.A song-`n’-dance inter-cutting between Prank rushing home and his wife into a major

Derna ho jaaye

kind of twirl from Henna, ends with the intermission sign. Freeze. Prankster is dead. Sob?

Oddly, you don’t shed even half a tear through this purported weepie. Post-interval, buddy dad is hell-bent on getting his widowed daughter-in-law re-married.

Cut to a harried disco star (John Abraham) in Europe. Dad pulls disco boy’s wooden ears, brings him back to Mumbai (or is it Prague?) and coaxes him into an insta-wedding. Thus far, it seems Disco and Art gal were only friends. Platonic, ironic.

No conflict, no drama, no emotion, no nothing is perceptible – unless you count a chandelier-like wife Hema Malini hesitating for five seconds, bade bhai Om Puri snarling for five minutes, Sarika ,in white, looking more oppressed than an art movie’s lady farmer. Aman Varma and Rajpal Yadav show up as junior artists. Tsk.

First Published: Dec 09, 2006 20:01 IST