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Oops! What a letdown!

Oops! is set to be a landmark film for Bollywood. Or it almost would have been if it had stuck to its proclaimed theme of exploring the life of male strippers.

india Updated: Jul 25, 2003 14:18 IST

If there was ever a competition to select the most misleading promo for a film, then Oops will definitely have a good chance to win that prize.

Yes, there are two male strippers in the film. And yes, there are a few scenes in the bedroom. But the focus of the film is something so entirely different that perhaps one will have to in future ask filmmakers to base their promos on the main subject of the film.

Which is this case lay somewhere between the desire of the younger generation to earn the fast buck and wants of women neglected by their male family members. All very fine, and legitimate subjects to make films on, but not if you have been led to think that this film is going to be on male stripping and related issues.

That apart, the film offers mixed fare. Dancer Jahaan is motivated by the desire to get rich asap, and a way that offers itself is through dancing at a male strip joint. Though dissuaded by his friend Akash, also a dancer, he goes ahead. And persuades Akash to join in too. After being pawed and whistled at by a huge number of rich women, the adulation is heady and excites Jahaan for more.

A complication arises when he a rich older woman makes an offer for a sexual partnership, and he accepts. Life is going full blast for Jahaan when lighting strikes…

The film is an unusual mix of moral homilies and sexual peccadilloes. Those interested in just the latter can safely leave during interval, as the first half has all there is on offer on the matter.

The film then takes a high moral stand thereafter - what do rich society women left alone by their family members do? The film suggests that as they have little emotional support at home, a way of filling the void is to go to a place where their sexual urges at least, if not other needs, can be fulfilled. A lot of ambiguity however remains, the husband has not paid any attention all these years, but is willing to forgive his wife, the sons makes it sound like she has a disease, and the film's overall tone seems to suggest that she deserves a better deal, her relatives are responsible for her present state.

And in places the pitfalls of friendship are also dealt with, only with sugary-syrupy treatment.

The performances are average, even Mita Vashisht fails to induce any conviction to confusedly written role. Newcomers Kiran Janjani and Vikas Sethi as main stars, or strippers, are hampered by the uni-dimensionality of their roles. Other aspects of the film is just acceptable and nothing really out of the way.

Tacky and amateur in many places, the director still needs to be commended for the subject apparently chosen. One hopes that someday he will actually make a film on it.

First Published: Jul 25, 2003 11:50 IST