Yeh Dil Aap Ka Hua

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Yeh Dil Aap Ka Hua (2003)
Cast: Moammar Rana, Sana, Salim Shaikh, Javed Shaikh, Babar Ali, Shafqat Ch.
Director: Javed Shaikh
Music Director: Zain
Nutshell: Lush Swiss and Spanish locales lend gloss to this otherwise drab effort

 

It really does speak volumes for the state of affairs in Pakistan when a film of such monumental mediocrity as Yeh Dil Aap ka Hua manages to obliterate all sorts of box office records on its victorious theatrical run. One has to feel for the poor audiences who have been fed such a fodder of unadulterated garbage for the last couple of decades that they now recognize a film of utter mediocrity as being a work of art.

Javed Shaikh’s hugely hyped film arrived in July 2002, bombastically claiming itself as having simultaneous releases all over Western Europe and North America. This turned out to be pure hogwash as the film was nowhere to be found on any screen anywhere in the Western Hemisphere and its glorious worldwide opening was actually just confined to the dozen or so rat infested local cinemas that it finally made its much-delayed appearance in. The film managed to become a runaway success and has staked a claim as being one of the biggest successes in local film history.

So, what is so special about this film that has elevated it from the rubbish heap and made it the film to emulate in Lollywood? The answer requires a moment or two of reflection. First up the plot of the film is as old as the hills involving two buddies who would evidently die for one another who end up falling in love with the same girl – ho hum, we’ve seen that all before, countless times. In this scenario, we have Falak (Moammar Rana), an ageing rich brat who hangs out with his buddy Chand (Saleem Shaikh) in the latter’s sprawling villa in sunny Marbella, Spain. Chand, it seems is a superstar bullfighter….no doubt the first ever Pakistani to achieve such a dubious honor! The two of them bum around checking out the local scenery and racing each other in their Ferrari’s. Two overgrown, rather imbecilic morons – 13-year old stuck in the bodies of 30-year-old men!

Falak’s elder brother Javed Shaikh is a super powerful business tycoon who jets in and out of international airports in his private jet and is picked up by a chauffeur driven limo as he descends from the aircraft. He zips about the globe buying up banks and businesses at a whim but unfortunately he has got himself a rather crazed and headstrong adversary in the form of a man called Zar Gul (Babar Ali) who is bent on prizing away one of Mr. Shaikh’s banks at any cost. Zar Gul starts resorting to threats and strong arm tactics and there is tremendous animosity between the two business adversaries even though Shaikh never resorts to the underhand tactics that Zar Gul thrives on.

While on his trip to Switzerland Falak has a fit when he catches sight of Sana walking down the street. Enraptured he attempts to follow her but loses her and then an obsessive search for the woman of his dreams begins. He manages to find her and a hesitant romance is set in motion. Once again Falak manages to lose Sitara (Sana) and finds that she has returned to Pakistan where she lives. He jumps on the next plane to find her and after a series of painfully unfunny incidents manages to reunite with his loved one.

Alas major complications arise when it turns out that Sitara is the super-slimy Zar Gul’s sister and he chucks out both Falak and elder brother Javed Shaikh when they attempt to pursue Sitara for Falak. Then there is a second twist when Zar Gul quickly arranges his sisters’ marriage to – shock, horror – Falak’s best buddy Chand! Now it remains to be seen if Falak, Chand and Sitara will be able to find their respective positions in the galaxy! There are some rip-roaring dialogues in the climax scenes about how the Moon and the Stars must always go together and how the Stars can never be detached from their glitter and so on. Such dramatic and totally over the top dialogues are in keeping with the extremely cheesy, typically convoluted and banal plot that the film has to offer. So, what’s the big deal that made this film such a huge success?

Well, firstly the film is several cuts above what the poor public have come to expect from local productions. Lately Lollywood productions have fallen to such a shoddy level that the public is ready to lap up anything that looks well-presented even if the contents within are the same old stale formulaic hotchpotch. This film looks good which is probably its biggest selling point. It looks like a fairly polished, expensive product and part of the reason is that the film is set in plush Marbella with a few scenes in pristine Geneva too. The films “look” is crisp and fresh which is rare with Lollywood films where they have mastered the art of somehow shooting and processing films so horribly that even new films look 35 years old.

Javed Shaikh’s film has a glossiness that local films lack and the songs are well presented in a typically 80’s Madhuri Dixit Bollywood style. As it happens the films songs stormed the local satellite TV airwaves and because there was a ban on Indian songs on TV, these songs gained maximum exposure and captured the middle-class audiences which were essential to the films theatrical success. Normally these days Lollywood films are seen in cinemas by the uneducated laborer’s and the films usually cater to their perceived demands. Yeh Dil Aap Ka Hua with its soft pastel colours and its whimsical fairytale storyline managed to bring in an audience who have basically given up on local films…but are still willing to give something “special” a chance.
The tuneful songs supposedly composed by Nadeem Shravan definitely have their trademark sound to them and Kumar Sanu or Zain whoever it is trying like mad to ape Kishore Kumar’s voice and style is very difficult to listen to with that shaky voice making one cringe with every extended wave – ugh! But, despite the ghastly male vocalist, it has to be said that the songs are tuneful and well composed and are without doubt a huge factor when one tries to analyze the success of this otherwise tawdry film.

The acting on display is patchy at best with Moammar Rana proving that he has the worst voice this side of Sachin Tendulkar as well as the most embarrassing histrionics while Babar Ali hisses his dialogues with chilling pauses in such a stylized manner that his performance ends up being vintage cheese. Sana tries hard to leave her Punjabi Patakha image behind but doesn’t somehow convince and her acting even in her very limited role is ropey at best.

Only Saleem Shaikh, despite his farcical Bullfighting scene comes off ok while everyone else overplays to the hilt. Veena Malik’s dance is ludicrous and despite Javed Shaikh’s attempts at producing a classy product, he couldn’t help having a few bum shots to broaden his films appeal. If this is the best of modern Pakistani cinema – these are clearly lamentable times. Watch this film sweep every single award there is at the various award ceremonies. The mind boggles!