Review: Thoda Pyaar Thoda Magic

This purported mad-in-India fantasy has as much subtlety and grace as a carpenter’s hathoda, avers Khalid Mohamed.
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Updated on Jun 28, 2008 10:51 AM IST
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Hindustan Times | ByKhalid Mohamed, Mumbai

Thoda Pyaar Thoda Magic
Cast: Rishi Kapoor, Saif Ali Khan, Rani Mukherji, Lots of Clouds
Direction: Kunal Kohli
Rating: **

Woof. A wonder dog refuses to eat non-veg on Tuesdays. Oof. Amidst fluffy clouds, angel girls toss their beauty parlour curls. And in a mega-museum, a geeky guard flies across the stratosphere on a broom. Zoom barabar zoom.

That’s director Kunal Kohli’s Thoda Pyaar Thoda Magic or Thodi Mary Thodi Poppins. Indeed, this purported mad-in-India fantasy has as much subtlety and grace as a carpenter’s hathoda. Plus, it makes you wonder for whom this was produced and why-why-why. Kids have access to far more sophisticated special effects fun flicks and the adults.. well.. what are they taken for? Nitwits?

Indeed, the 16-reeler incites you to email a petition to God – depicted here as a jolly-ho Rishi Kapoor garbed in vanilla white. He even breaks into an aao-twist-karenjigaloo. You want to address 10 questions to the supreme power in white:

One: Sir, why did you select Rani ‘Angel’ Mukherji to solve the dilemma of an ultra-wealthy man (Saif Ali Khan)? Surely, the suited-booted-necktied man could have handled four orphaned kids himself -- with the help of his ditzy girlfriend (Ameesha Patel, ewww).. whose clothes looked spray-painted on her. Surely the poor, the inflation-hit and the ailing needed the services of Angel Rani much more urgently.

Two: Lord, how did you ever create a judge like Sharat Saxena and give him such extra-constitutional powers?
Milord Sharat decrees that Suited-Booted must look after the orphans since he mowed down their parents in a car accident.. and then just glared, glared, glared. This ‘punishment’ lets Suited off the hook. He’s even back on the phone to strike a deal in Los Angeles. Come, come, now.

Three: Why did the tempo drag so much that you nearly fell asleep on the shoulder of a stranger in the next seat?

Four: Why were none of the kids adorable?
When children ham, haw-haw and make those we’re-so-cute-faces before the camera, talk like mini-Amartya-Sens, your murderous instincts are aroused. Not done.

Five: Whatever happened to that fine actress called Rani Mukherji?
After Black, she’s been belting out black-out-from-the-memory performances. As a Geeta Poppins, she’s one-dimensional, either darting full blast smiles or tetchy scowls. Her costumes, too, are uneasy-on-the-eyes.

Six: Whatever happened to that likeable actor called Saif Ali Khan?
Sure, he’s supposed to play a humourless guy but he’s as stiff as starch.

Seven: Lord, why allow a weird tribute to old Chalti ka Naam Gaadi type of songs?
The car song medley’s a clever concept, but botched up. Also, Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy seem to be into a bad tune day. Prasoon Joshi’s lyric referring to a “chand” kept in a “tiffin”, indicates a Gulzarish moon obsession. One moon man is enough.

Eight: Sire, why doesn’t the direction keep one engrossed at all?
The Forrrest Gump-style morphing and animated interludes aren’t exactly fresh. The LA scene with an irate American businessman is a riot.

Nine: Lord, whatever made the legendary Razzak Khan, portraying a valet, look at a rose and then say, “Shakespeare!” Very unusual that but much too bard, very bard.

Ten: Would you, lord, impel viewers to see Thoda L Thoda M?
If you do, I’ll lose faith in you.

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