Mann (1999)


Mann (1999)
Cast: Aamir Khan, Manisha Koirala, Sharmila Tagore
Director: Indra Kumar
Nutshell: Misguided attempt at a lightweight, sensitive love story…..a dud.


Mann comes after Indra Kumar has had four massive hits….Dil, Beta, Raja and Ishq. Neither of the four films were renowned for their subtlety or their superior quality but still managed to rake in the millions at the box office.

Mann was to be Indra Kumar’s attempt at wooing the critics by making a “sensitive love story”. Well, something went wrong very badly in his efforts and obviously, not having the conviction of being able to pull it off, he makes Mann into a hotch potch and ultimately into a complete dud.

Supposedly based on “Love Affair”, it really should have been easy to adapt that film and Indianise it. But instead, we have hoards of cheap comedy, emotions which are as subtle as having a sledgehammer come down on your head, endless melodrama and a plot which simply plods on and on and on.

We have playboy Aamir khan ending up on a cruise to see his grandmother in some remote part of the world, probably in the middle of the ocean somewhere! On the ship, he meets and falls in love with Manisha, a simple girl who had won some crass competition in Singapore. They arrive to see good ol Daadi maa and daadi maa informs Manisha that he is actually not a bad boy after all, in case Manisha had any doubts.

The cruise comes to an end and although they both have respective partners, the deal is that he will make something of his life and they will only then meet up at an appointed place at an appointed time. Life is kind to Aamir and he soon becomes a painter of some repute. As the day approaches, both parties are keenly anticipating their union and even though Manisha’s benefactor is none other than the utterly devoted Anil Kapoor, he lets her go to pursue her life with Aamir. But tragedy befalls them when she has an accident and is not able to show up at the right place at the right time.

The film then plods along misunderstanding after misunderstanding and finally comes to a thudding halt rather abruptly…although for the viewer, it is a more than welcome end. What a tragic affair. The film is not as dreadful as I seem to say it is…I myself am an Aamir fan and expect the product to be worthy if he is attached to it. But he is only an actor and he is wasted in the film. He is not always believable as the rakish playboy and all the scenes between Manisha and him are mishandled to the extreme. Where a sensitive hand was required, we have the pathetic falling onto each other routine or stumbling on the other in a towel etc cheap trick.

There is absoluetly no charm whatsoever in their romance. Aamir is much more effective when he becomes a little bit more serious..or when he begins to realise Manisha’s feelings for him. Manisha on the other hand is shrill and not very effective at all.

Sharmila Tagore, in the role of the daadi maa, is hideously miscast and this bit of the film needs to be edited. Daadi maa has a song to herself and even makes a laughable dream appearance in another song… I feel sad at the collosal loss that this film throws up…the absolute potential that was there and which was wasted by an inept director, completely at odds with his material.

The music of the film is a definite plus…the title song is popular but dreadfully picturised. The stand out songs are Nasha ye pyar ka nasha hai, Kehna hai and Tinak din taana. Sanjeev-Dharshan have done a very good job of their first film although some of their tunes are “inspired” from foreign tunes.