It starts with an accident — a rich businessman (Saif Ali Khan) runs over a couple with his car, and is sentenced to take care of their children until they reach adulthood. Either that, or spend twenty years in the slammer. I don’t imagine too many judges who would think that sticking a bunch of children in the same house with the man who killed their parents is a good idea. And what is more, the kids seem to agree with me.
So God decides they need some help. I don’t mean that rhetorically — God really features in the movie and decides He needs to do something. It might bear mentioning here that, if this is how God dresses, clearly Armani is burning in hell, or worse. So anyway, he decides they need some help, and sends down an angel (Rani Mukherjee). I’m sure you can figure out the rest.
It does work in parts, depending on how much the performance manages to stay afloat despite the writing. Saif is more than adequate as a man whose own guilt is a bigger problem than the kids’ perception of him. If the script had given him something meatier to work with, it would’ve been a thing of beauty. For the most part, it is his performance that props up the movie. Rani Mukherjee is mostly just annoying. You expect sweetness and light and a little humor, but all you get is a bad costume, worse dialogue and a Punjabi accent. The kids are, how do I put it, boring. I don’t think it is their fault, though, that the writing is a by-the-numbers job by someone who either didn’t know better, or didn’t care.
The ones who really shine are Amisha Patel who plays his girlfriend and Razzak Khan who plays his butler. The latter seems to achieve with wordless comedy what he hasn’t achieved with speaking parts so far. And as for Miss Patel, this is clearly her most engaging performance in, well, ever. Since I have a peculiar fondness for coining phrases on the fly, I am going to call the reason for this The Slim Pickens Effect, after the movie Dr Strangelove where Kubrick put Pickens in a comic role but didn’t tell him, so he played it straight. I suppose you understand what I am getting at. But nastiness aside, she really does manage to play ditzy without being annoying, so credit to her.
Let me put it this way. I love the Disney Channel. I know there are card carrying members of the serious movies club who will hate me for saying this, but I actually liked High School Musical. (Although I didn’t care much for its sequel.) I’ve watched more Disney Channel movies than I care to admit.
So it is with this authority that I tell you, dear reader: Kunal Kohli has made an average Disney movie. For the average Disney viewer, that is quite enough. But if that sort of thing is not your cup of tea, you might be better off trying to find something else to watch.
ps: Amrita’s review of this movie – beautifully done!