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Himanshu Malik, Mallika Sherawat, Shivaji Satam

india Updated: Jun 07, 2003 21:13 IST

Here is a film that kisses all sense goodbye from the word go. Khwahish is a love story sans passion, a tragedy that is devoid of emotional force, and a drama drained of all power by hopelessly poor acting. The wooden Himanshu Malik doesn't have much chance of ever being a model of good acting, and the depth of Mallika Sherawat's talent is inversely proportional with the cleavage she bares.

Scriptwriter-director Govind Menon filches ideas from all the films he can remember from his boyhood days. The Jai Jai Shiv Shankar routine from Aap Ki Kasam is unabashedly reprised with saffron-clad sadhus providing supposed comic relief, while Anand is recalled through a terminally ill character that smiles her way to death.

The film also provides a flash of From Here to Eternity (remember Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr in a passionate clinch on the beach). Menon caps it all with repeated references to the genius of R.D. Burman.

For all its efforts, Khwahish is no more than the equivalent of a shoddy music video of a remixed Panchamda number: it neither sounds good nor does it look palatable enough to pass for mild entertainment.

Rich Rajput boy, Amar Singh Ranawat (Himanshu Malik) meets poor ghatan girl Lekha Khorjuwekar (Mallika Sherawat) in a retail store. They bicker over a kurta-pajama and end up falling in love. The rest is pure bilge. Khwahish addresses a variety of issues - puppy love, pre-marital sex, conjugal bliss, the class divide, the works - but all it delivers are 17 kisses. But are there 17 smooches? One can't be sure for the desultory lip-locks aren't worth counting.

And when the lead pair isn't locked in a kiss, they coo sweet nothings into each other's ears. Once in a while, they even discuss sex.

Interestingly, it is the girl who comes out on top on every occasion. It is she who, after some coy initial hesitation, takes the lead in the mating game. She spouts lines like "Let's get naked" or "I want your naked body next to mine". When the hero chickens out of buying a condom from a hill station medical store, the girl musters up all the nonchalance at her command and marches up to the shopkeeper and declares: "Give me some condoms."

Does Khwahish, then, sound like a path-breaking Hindi film? Forget it. It's as mindless as they come. Its much-touted kissing scenes are not worth the reams that have been wasted on them. Don't waste a penny on it.

First Published: Jun 07, 2003 11:42 IST