Cast: Bobby Deol, Karishma Kapoor
Director: Indra Kumar
Music Director: Sanjeev Darshan
Nutshell: A piece of mind bogglingly horrendous dirge from Indra Kumar the creator of Dil
Indra Kumar’s last effort was “Mann“, a film that blemished his record of success after success, starting with Dil, then Beta, Raja and Ishq. He said that he had tried to do something different and that is why Mann flopped and Ashiq therefore, is a return to the original Indra Kumar school of film making.
I suppose we were expected to be excited by that fact. How I wish Mann had been a runaway success, if only to have saved us all from this insult of a film. Words escape me as to how something like this can be made in this day and age and be regarded as entertainment. Chander (Bobby Deol) helps one of his chums abscond with his girlfriend and get married only to take on the wrath of her inspector brother (Mukesh Rishi) who is determined to get even with Chander. In this escapade, he meets Pooja ( Karisma) who instantly falls in love with him. Pooja starts to telephone Chander professing to be his dreamgirl and this romance is conducted for the next 40 minutes in this fashion, and let me assure you, without an iota of charm. Finally, Chander comes face to face with his “dreamgirl” and both ashiqs fall in love.
Their time together is short lived because the inflamed inspector catches up with them and they end up at the police station. Pooja’s alcoholic father comes to collect Pooja from the station and forbids her from meeting Chander. One cannot quite fathom why because Chander seems to live in as big a house as she does, has a lawyer for the father and seems to be throwing money around much of the time. Still, we have to accept that he is not good enough for her and the parents arrange her engagement. Chander arrives and after being thrashed by Pooja’s father, attempts to hit back only to be scolded by Pooja for pushing her father. Pooja having realised her mistake of having shouted at Chander, calls him up, only to be informed that he does not want to see her anymore. But Chander’s friend Jai tells her that he will arrange the meeting. However, Jai delivers Pooja into the clutches of Baburao who engages in the flesh trade.
Oh dear, so poor Pooja is now imprisoned and kept in darkened rooms, before being sold to the highest bidder. Naturally, it has to be a Sheikh. In the meantime, Chander is accused of having kidnapped Pooja and taken into police custody from where he naturally escapes. Chander finally finds Pooja but in the process of trying to free her, is stabbed by one of Baburao’s cronies. What will become of the two?
Indra Kumar has shown his true colours with this colossal pile of dung. I mention the dung especially because of a supposedly hilarious scene in which Rocky the dog flings the inspector’s keys in cow dung from which he has to retrieve them. He then proceeds to fall, face first, straight in it. This is the kind of humour that one is dealing with. Indra Kumar managed a certain gloss with his earlier films even though they were similarly crudely made but embellished with strong music and dramatic story lines however fantastical. Ashiq could have been Dil up to a point but has none of the former’s charm or panache. It simply revamps the age ol’ story of young lovers being separated and the girl being forced onto a kotha. Who is ready to accept such outdated storylines today and that too, executed in the most crass and vulgar fashion. In fact, the film is punctuated with the most turgid and pathetic comedy, the kind of infantile and puerile stuff that the director had churned out in his superior but also dreadful Raja.
Bobby Deol has little to do except look perplexed in the first half and flex his muscles in the second. His stabbing scene, with his lapsing into unconsciousness and seeing his lady love emerge from the sea, followed by a song, is the ultimate in crass placement of songs. And as Pooja playfully punches him in the song, Chander regains consciousness, only to lapse back and the songs starts again. Karisma also has little or nothing to do and spends most of the second half beaten and in submission uttering the usual ” main tujhe maar doongi” or “Nahin nahin”. Whatever possessed her to accept such a mundane role?
Rahul Dev makes a convincing baburao but nobody else makes an impression. The music is also mundane and completely forgettable. There is not a song in the film which could not have been deleted and one would not have missed it. Utter dirge and I cannot imagine how this utter waste of time will find an audience. However, I thought Raja could never run and it was a smash hit. Perhaps Indra Kumar does know the pulse of the audience. I sure as hell hope not otherwise we shall continue to have utter rubbish like this foisted on us.