Cast: Akshay Kumar, Bobby Deol, Kareena Kapoor, Bipasha Basu
Director: Abbas Mustan
Music Director: Anu Malik
Nutshell: Bollywood reworking of Consenting Adults…Wife swapping – Shock! Horror!
Abbas Mustan, the self-proclaimed kings of thrillers, return with a reworking of the Hollywood flick “Consenting Adults“. Well, the directors are well versed in “adaptations” with Baazigar being a straight lift of “A kiss before dying“, “daraar” being “sleeping with the enemy” and obviously, their first effort Khiladi was also “an adaptation” although I simply cannot remember what it was lifted from. Does it matter so long as it gives you a bit of a thrill? And how many of us would have seen the Kevin Kline- Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio flick in any event. Well, I have and was intrigued how our desi directors would “adapt” the wife swapping tale as Ajnabee!!!
Not very much can be said of the film as it would give the plot away which means that this must really stick to the basics? Is this any good? Three chance meetings, in mandir Masjid and church inevitably leads to our lead pair Priya and Raj (Bobby and kareena) tying the know and off they go to “Swizzerland“, not to honeymoon but because Raj is take part in some polo match or the like!!! Zooming along in his car, he nearly knocks down a dusky dame (Bipasha Basu) who cycles right in his path. The following day, on leaving the house, the strains of a piano with flying curtains beckon Raj to peek inside the house only to find the dusky dame, now clad in a blue cut dress, not only playing the piano, quite miraculously with one hand whilst bouncing on the sofa, slithering on the top of the piano and generally dancing with herself. What looks utterly laughable to the viewer seems to entrance our dopey Raj, who then bumps into the dusky dame’s hubby Vicky (Akshay Kumar). So we now have a merry foursome of neighbours…not to forget another foursome of desis living nearby for comic relief!!!
At this point, the film you hope will take a more interesting turn as by now, we have had about four songs and precious little happen. After a fraudulent stunt pulled by the obviously loaded Vicky, the foursome go off to Mauritius. Here the dusky dame Sonia makes a play for Raj who thwarts her advances, only to have her jump into the water, all three foot of it and feign drowning. If only Raj could have administered the kiss of life, things may have been different but Vicky and Priya arrive back from their parasailing and Vicky takes his stricken wife back to the hotel where soon, she is seen well enough to be gyrating to yet another song. I have of course left out that on one occasion, Raj, who seems to like sneaking into people’s homes, has a good dekko at our dusky dame, with little on, so we have an idea that there may be some attraction there. Or is it just that ALL men will want to LOOK!!!
The stage is now set and in a moment of bonding, Vicky suggests to Raj that they should swap wives for the night. The fists fly, the friends break up and Priya and Raj return to Switzerland, followed by the other couple. All mope. However, Vicky manages to worm his way back into his friend’s good books and on the night of his birthday, whilst the guys are boozing, he makes his indecent proposal once again. Whack, another fist flies and then Raj walks into Vicky’s house. Next scene, we have him waking at his home with naked dame sleeping next to him. He dashes back to find that his wife is showered and happily sprouting dialogues with double entendres, sending her husband into a jealous rage. Returning to Vicky’s house, we are told that Sonia has been murdered. Now this is where all the fun should start.
But it doesn’t and proceedings from there on are pedestrian. The suspense is not there as the identity of the murderer is revealed fairly early on in the proceedings which leave the mechanics of how it was done as being the only point of interest. Unfortunately, even this is quite predictable for reasons which will become apparent when you see the film.
Abbas Mustan have flunked in this one, as they did to some extent in Daraar. Their heavy doses of comedy also slow down proceedings although in this one, it is not too unbearable with a couple of amusing scenes. The subject matter of this film is not one which would be easily digested in our part of the world and this leaves a huge credibility problem for the film. Also, it is not really pieced together in a slick, edge of the seat fashion leaving the viewer, marginally interested but not enthralled. I didn’t much care for the flick but others considered it an undemanding and moderately interesting film.
Bobby Deol looks doped through out the film and perhaps this may have been since he and Kareena were on a definite war footing. Kareena is OK, plays her rather dumb role quite amusingly. Akshay is much better than Bobby and hats off for him doing this role. Bipasha Basu, in her first outing, is better than one expected despite her pawing the piano. The music has caught on with the Adnan Sami song “Mehbooba” being a big hit…but the film has too many songs.
All in all, Ajnabee is disappointment from the house of Abbas Mustan.