I call it infamous because it remains my most-quoted review, the one people most frequently drudge up to exemplify cruelty. I think it’s harshness is kinda overrated. Honest. Heh.
Picture Shahid mooning wistfully on a verandah. Amrita, ghoonghat covering her head, pops up behind him with a brass tumbler full of water, and mousily asks him if he’d like some “jal.” That’s right, these folk are inadvertently mean caricatures of the heartland, talking like absolutely nobody does. He sniffles, takes the glass and reaches for some ice when she cuts in. ‘People with a cold,’ she smiles at his sneakers, ‘shouldn’t ice their drinks.’ Amrita smiles ‘coyly’ and scoots off, even as Shahid skips the ice and stands wondering how she realised he had a cold. While this rough translation from the unbelievable Vivah tongue might not have quite the same impact, it exemplifies the horror this film is packed with.
The only good thing that one can say about Shahid Kapoor is that he isn’t awful. He isn’t offensively bad, doesn’t ham it up like crazy, or speak in a weird accent. Having said that, he isn’t an actor at all, standing around working on his boyish grin, simply chewing up the scenery. No screen presence at all.
Amrita Rao plays a cow. Docile to a fault, the pretty girl ponders around the film, constantly getting in the way of the story. Her character is not just conservative but excessively given to world-pleasing. She sobs, she smiles, she scampers — she does anything anyone wants her to do, making you wish someone tried asked her to be subtle. Her painful performance coupled with the horrible lines she’s given singles her out as the film’s weakest point — so her having the maximum screentime isn’t a positive.
Damn, how this film makes us miss Salman Khan and Madhuri Dixit.
The full Review at Rediff. November 10, 2006.