Andaaz (2003)


Andaaz (2003)
Cast: Akshay Kumar, Lara Dutta, Priyanka Chopra
Director: Raj Kanwar
Music Director: Nadeem Shravan
Synopsis: Pandering to the lowest common denominator this is mere formula fodder


There are basically three main elements lacking in this film…a rape scene, the nasty in laws and the obligatory final speech with the trickle of blood from the mouth signifying the bottleful of poison, consumed to be able to make the sacrifice easier. Oh but wait a second, we aren’t in the 60s are we? Dressed up as a modern film with the likes of Miss Universe 2000 and Miss World 2000, Andaaz adopts every cliché in the book and conjures up a palatable if somewhat dull fare.

We are introduced to Raj and Kajal as kids. Raj walks around in braces because of an accident with his knee, which has made him lose his confidence. Kajal is a tomboy who plays football with the boys and stares up at planes whenever she sees one, probably in the hope of becoming an air-hostess one day. Raj also likes to fly his remote control planes. Having found a common interest, the two bond and become best friends with Kajal inspiring Raj to break free of his “braces” and regain his confidence. Ten years later, Raj (Akshay Kumar) is a college kid and Kajal (Lara Dutta), his best friend. There follows the usual predictable banter between the two and three songs later, Raj goes away to train as a pilot in the air force. We now know that he is in love with Kajal but has not told her this. So off Raj goes returning 18 months later only to be told by Kajal that she has met her knight in shining armour (Aman Verma) but she need’s Raj’s consent, being her best friend. Raj immediately consents and hides his tears, which come to the fore when he croons some dreadful Kumar Sanu ditty at their wedding. What Kajal saw in the hideously insipid Hubby to be is anyone’s guess but its more likely his fleet of planes rather than his sartorial elegance which leaves a lot to be desired. Kajal comes to know after the saat pheras that Raj is hopelessly in love with her. She leaves, beckoning him to be happy and not hurt her because if he is unhappy, then she will also be unhappy.

We now moved into second part of the film where Raj comes across a drunken Jiya (Priyanka Chopra) who loses her heart to Raj almost instantaneously…It’s the usual claptrap, this time sort of lifted from Dilwale Dulhaniya and countless other movies…Jiya wakes in the morning, having fallen into a pond in her drunbken state and finds that she has been changed into Raj’s kurta…breakfast has been prepared…its enough to make her fall hook line and sinker for the sullen and rude Raj. I shan’t bother with relaying the clichéd details of their encounters but she, appearing to be without a care in the world, or the script, eventually makes her way into his household in India. But love does not come easily to Raj…in fact, it does not appear to come at all despite the fact that he asks her to marry him for some unfathomable reason. This actually emanates from the fact that he had thrown her pooja ki thaali unknowing that she had kept a “vrat” for him for “karwa Chauth”. The guilt of that forces him into the proposal of matrimony! However, the real drama unfolds when we discover that Jiya’s is the recently widowed Kajal’s sister in law.

Raj Kanwar has made the odd potboiler in the past which has been great fun like Laadla but Andaaz is a melee of films all pieced together without a moment of sincerity or depth. The film is almost truncated into two love stories….that of Kajal and Raj in the first half and then Raj and Jiya in the second half with some drama thrown in to tie the two stories up towards the end. The script has gaping holes in it and one is simply expected to go along with them. How in the world does Jiyaa just show up and ingratiate herself into Raj’s household? It’s all fairly unbelievable and the audience is meant to simply take much of this tripe in its stride. There are scenes which are obviously inspired by Dil to pagal hai but without any intensity or feeling, all prefabricated and intended to tug at the heart strings…which it fails to do at all.

Akshay Kumar is somewhat miscast as a college going kid…Shahrukh managed it in Kuch Kuch Hota hai but Akshay doesn’t remotely look like a college student. Otherwise, he is Ok and makes no great impression, more so because the director infuses his character with no depth at all. Its your cardboard character of a man in love, dejected and unable to move on. Lara Dutta has the best role and it is a credit to both the leading ladies that they bring a freshness to the project. Lara dutta is natural and is quite impressive. By the same count, in a shorter role, Priyanka Chopra does quite well too despite her rather annoying opening scene. The actors cannot be blamed for the risible lines that they are asked to sprout, nor the clichéd situations that they find themselves in.

Nadeem Shravan’s music is risible….Kumar Sanu is now such an “earsore” that the moment you hear him on screen , you want to cringe with horror. Where music should be a pleasure, it becomes an ordeal with sanu’s sitties. Not that any of the tunes manage to pass muster…not a single song is memorable.

Andaaz is watchable but it does drag in the second half and eventually, the predictability of the whole proceedings leading to annoyance and ultimately, tedium and a lack of interest.