Bichhoo (2000)


Bichhoo (2000)
Cast: Bobby Deol, Rani Mukherji
Director: Guddu Dhanoa
Music: Anand Raaj Anand
Nutshell: Yet another crime thriller set in Bombay, more violence and mayhem


I have never known of a film which had less to do with its title and its caption than Bichhoo… sadly, the bichhoo has no role in the film at all although it makes its fleeting appearance on occasion but with no relevance whatsoever.

And there is no one else who is either called or resembles Bichhoo. But perhaps one is treating Guddu Dhanoa’s effort with too much lightness. Perhaps Bichhoo is meant to be the lead role, that played by Bobby Deol, a strong and silent killer.Could it be that he is the real Bichhoo…who stalks its prey and then stings it as its final act…just as the assassin pumps bullets into his victim. Well, if that is the analogy, then it is a pretty far fetched one and I have probably given Mr Dhanoa much more credence than he is worth.

The film opens with Jeeva (Bobby Deol), an assassin who is given the job of killing a corrupt builder or the like and this he carries out efficiently. He is clad in black, black dark glasses and a figure who stands out within a crowd rather than getting lost in it. He returns home to his flat, on the staircase bumping into another inhabitant of the building Kiran (Rani Mukherjee). Kiran has a very unhappy life and lives with her father and his mistress and the mistress’s daughter. She seems somewhat moronic although perhaps that was not the impression the director wanted to give. Jeeva says a few words to her and its a somewhat interestingly executed scene.

Up till this point, the film is chugging along quite nicely. Jeeva returns to his flat on the same floor as Kiran’s. His flat is sparse, the fridge empty. He seems not to sleep…and if he does, he does so in his chair. We are then introduced to his past by way of a flashback, the director’s way of justifying the protagonist of the film being a cold blooded murderer.

Its not even worth going into because it is so ridiculous but suffice to say that he loses his mother and two sisters because he had fallen in love with a rich girl and her father was disapproving. So he kills that father and you are then back into the present. Within this framework is introduced the story of an ACP in the Narcotics squad (Ashish Vidyarti) who has been fleeced by Kiran’s corrupt father. Having given him one day to return the drugs, the ACP and his cronies return on the following day to settle scores. The whole family is murdered except for Kiran who is in Jeeva’s flat at the time and witnesses the murders. She then informs the police who in turn inform the ACP who then sends his goons to kill her.Jeeva realising this sets the house on fire and escapes with Kiran in tow.

Does some of this sound familiar? Well, its the French film Leon which was a huge hit in America and the world over some years ago. Bichhoo borrows from it very heavily but does not borrow well.

Bichhoo sadly is a mess, a complete mess. After intermission, we have a spate of three songs probably to offset the overload of action that one is going to be subjected to in the later reels. It’s all very fantastical and over the top. To balance this, we have some form of relationship developing between Kiran and Jeeva but its development is tedious and unconvincing.

The problem lies with having to copy the original film which deals with an assassin and a 14 year old child. In Bichhoo, Rani Mukherjee is playing what is no more than an overgrown and moronic child…so the basis of their relationship is blurred. We are told that it is love but she is so utterly infantile in her reactions and her behaviour that the viewer cannot take the relationship as romantic or adult in any sense of the word.

Bobby Deol has done well, looks great and for once is in control and not wooden. I would rate this as his most competent performance after Dillagi. I think he is now finding his feet and shows a marked improvement in all departments. Rani Mukherjee is a huge let down. Perhaps her role has been perceived the way that it is and she played it in the manner that the director wanted her to but she is not able to exude and innocence or charm, something which comes to her naturally. She looks terrible as well throughout the film and one is thankful that she has shed all those extra kilos which are so evident in this film.

Ashish Vidyarti is completely over the top but neither menacing nor effective. And one must mention Malaika Arora’s foray into the bollywood scene by advising her to stay clear. She also looks terrible and cannot act to save her life.

The film boasts of a hit soundtrack with “tote tote ho gaya” “Ek Baar tak le” and “jeevan main jaane jaana” but how long will any of these songs remain in memory. The background score was however excellent.

Guddu Dhanoa struck gold with Ziddi starring Sunny Deol, a violent but slickly made film which belied expectations and became a big hit. He tried the same pairing in his next film Salaakhen but was unable to repeat his earlier success. In this film, he does achieve a degree of slickness but all he really has to do is to lift scenes from Leon which can hardly be classified as his own achievement.

It should take a fair initial because of its star cast and its hit score but with its Adult rating and the content of the film, I don’t think its going to last very long. Rumour has it that it is reasonably priced… it needed to be!

This Bichhoo has no sting.