Kaun Chukaaye Karzzzz!!!
Once upon a time, there was a Kishore Kumar…
For almost a decade Kishore Da confined his singing for films he starred in (with an exception of Dev Anand). A few others (e.g. Shailendra Singh) have tried to model their career by being exclusive, but ended up being on the wrong side. Himesh Da is the last so far, to join the culture.
So here we have a winning script, already converted to a jubilee hit a quarter century ago. Job is easy. The hero, music director and playback singer is the same person. Job is much easier. What remains is filling up the remaining roles of a sweet sixteen current girlfriend, the then twenty now forty-five vamp wi-fi, the evergreen Kabira and the rest not so significant characters. Since “Don-2” retained / re-used two of the original “Don” songs and one added twist, it’s necessary as well as sufficient to retain / re-use one original “Karz” song (no need to give credit to Laxmikant Pyarelal in the titles, just in line with what Don-2 did to Kalyanji-Anandji) and pump-in an unnecessary twist (which actually further screws up the climax).
Himesh takes over Rishi Kapoor, Kishore Kumar, Md Rafi, Laxmikant and Pyarelal (remember all-in-one, one-in-all from “Indrajeet”), Shweta /Tina Munim, Danny/Pran, Raj Babbar/Pinchoo Kapoor, Gulshan Grover/Premnath, Rohini Hattangadi/Durga Khote, Smita Bansal/Abha Dhulia and Dino/Raj Kiran. Urmila and Danny are the only two who could deliver a certain percentage of what was expected from their roles. Rest all are way below the mark. The story base is conveniently moved to South Africa and Kenya from India making it more bizarre.
Monty is rocking superstar and music maestro based in SA. The “goris” gush and faint at his rocking performance on a Hindi song (wow!!!) “Sisak Sisak Ke, Tadap Tadap Ke etc etc” (and because the base of the film is foreign, the local-ites are expected to be present in all his concerts / performances and keep smiling and dancing on Pandey Ji’s lyrics). Next, Monty goes to a party, sees a student trainee unknown girl, and breaks into another high octave “Maasha Allah, Subhan Allah”. The girl vanishes. Her search begins. One more concert; another high octave “Hari Om Hari Om”. Towards the end of this song, he somehow strums a haunting tune on his guitar and faints. The miraculous Dr Shastri, declares Monty has some case related to his previous birth. Monty goes to Kenya on vacation, meets Tina and his filmy freak uncle Kabira, breaks into some more HO numbers, passes through a haunted villa, and finally meets Tina’s local guardian cum sponsor Kamini. Monty now remembers everything…Rest is how he takes his revenge.
Performances: Simi’s mesmerizing performance in the original is tough to be reproduced at-par. Urmila does an alright job here (she might get a strong nomination in the film awards in the villain category). Danny also delivers an okay performance. The original Kabira (impeccable Pran Sahab) used to say “Dohaas” in Sant Kabir’s style. The modern Kabira is a film-buff (with two side-kicks Shakaal and Mogambo). Kabira utters a filmy dialogue or a song and later he and his sidekicks announce the film name, it’s year of release, hero’s name and box office result. Almost every time they falter on the year of release (Mera Gaon Mera Desh – told 1976 for 1971, Ek Phool Do Maali – told 1968 for 1969, Milan – told 1962 for 1967). Bad debut for Shweta Kumar (I was debating who got better launch – Shweta or Amita Pathak; Amita won finally). Gulshan Grover and Dino perform badly in their cameos. Rohini Hattangadi is too healthy and fit for the mother-in-distress role; Smita Bansal doesn’t age at all (TV soap effect). Himesh performs confidently in the songs (as he has already done lots of music videos now), does alright in some comic scenes with Shweta / Urmila and a couple of confrontation scenes with Urmila, but fails in emotional scenes and while delivering intense dialogues. Putting one English word in most of his lines also diminish the impact of the dialogue delivery. Asrani and Raj Babbar have got apology of roles.
Satish Kaushik has mostly delivered loud emotional films in his career; and in-fact “Hum Aapke Dil Mein Rehte Hain”, “Hamara Dil Aapke Paas Hai”, “Mujhe Kuchh Kehna Hai” and “Tere Naam” were shot well (plus all being remakes). But here, he leaves a lot to be desired. Barring a few Urmila sequences, Shiraz Ahmed’s writing is loose. Camerawork and editing are alright.
Music: Overall a monotonous album. Unlike the original masterpiece, the songs are sore on ears. “Lut Jaaoon” track stands out in terms of its rhythm. “Tandoori Nights” looks good on screen because of Urmila’s presence. Rest of the songs disappoint. The evergreen haunting original “Ek Haseena Thi” still gives Goosebumps and is such a delight to hear. But Himesh has butchered this wonderful song in its re-created (or to be more apt, re-present) version.