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Review: Kismat Konnection

Kismet Konnection is a vindaloo of Just My Luck and Two Weeks’ Notice, Ayn Rand’s classsic tome The Fountainhead and the director’s own Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman, avers Khalid Mohamed.
By Khalid Mohamed | Hindustan Times, Mumbai
UPDATED ON JUL 18, 2008 06:42 PM IST

Kismat Konnection
Cast: Shahid Kapoor, Vidya Balan, Canada
Direction: Aziz Mirza
Rating: **

Candy is dandy. But the bloke won’t accept a raspberry lollipop from a girl, because his life’s in a terrible twirl. Toes curl. And so another plot – located in Canada if you please – is about to unfurl. Over to Toronto, pronto.

Right off, it has to be admitted that director Aziz Mirza’s Kismat Konnection avoids vulgarity and viciousness. It’s about little people who are as chaste as the morning’s toothpaste. They want decent jobs, protect senior citizens in their community centre, dream about featuring on the cover of Time magazine (Newsweek won’t be pleased). And above all, they are absolute Business Shark-a-haris. No mean-`n’-meaty tactics for them.

Aah, welcome to Mirzapur. Now if certain spices are detected in this town’s vindaloo of Just My Luck and Two Weeks’ Notice, Ayn Rand’s classsic tome The Fountainhead and the director’s own Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman, that’s just too bad. Eat it or beat it guys.

Snag: it’s all too bland and boring. Also, why Toronto? Don’t our cities breed dreamers and jobless Jacks any more? Don’t Flora Fountain or Chowpatty look camera-friendly any more? Anyway, so there you are in the Canadian climes with this super-gifted, sweater-clad architect (Shahid Kapoor) and his sidekick (get a life, buddy). Lord knows how they got there, but rejoice -- they didn’t lose their baggage at the airport. Cheers!

Jeers actually. Because Boy Sweater has to multi-task maniacally. On the advice of Crystal Ball Queen Husna Bano (Juhi Chawla with a stick-fix grin), Boy must ensure that his Lucky Lady (Vidya Balan) stays close to him. Boy must also entice tycoon Om Puri (is he okay?) to greenlight the construction of a shopping mall. Heavens, forget Gabbar and Dang. Malls have become the New Age baddies. Mallgambo khush hua?

Boy Sweater, Sidekick and Lady Lucky mill around Toronto in search of a hip hop happy ending. Meanwhile, you’re introduced to Himani Shivpuri who wants to construct a duplex (really now) for her doggy, an NRI villain (French Beard) who drinks Roohafza in a swimming pool. And don’t you forget Boman Irani (hiding under a Shaving Cream Beard). Mr Irani is the heroine’s ‘waving’ friend, meaning he waves out to her, platonically, across a lake. Quake.

Frankly, this could have been riproaringly funny but that wasn’t written in your kismat. Towards the finale, the script does get down to some kind of brass tacks – our little big hero severely criticises global warming and unchecked urbanisation. By then, alas, you’re either in deep slumber or quaffing stay-awake coffee from gigantic tumblers.

Far too many redundant passages of blah blah (the scenes in Tycoon Puri’s office are particularly taxing) and the just-about serviceable technique are the speedbreakers. Binod Pradhan’s cinematography doesn’t match up to his usual high standards. Amitabh Shukla’s editing uses multiple screens and old-fashioned transition wipes needlessly. Gratifyingly, Pritam’s music score is at least bright and bouncy.

In the acting department, it’s Shahid Kapoor’s showpiece. He has that engaging, high-energy personality but don’t compare his act here to his Jab We Met performance. Not fair. Vidya Balan is striking when she speaks through her eyes and smile.. but could do well by switching to Indian ensembles. How you long to see her in a sari instead of whatever she was garbed in here.

Bottomline: Kismat Konnection has its fleeting moments but overall, it certainly won’t leave you feeling lucky.. or konnected.

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