Chura Liya Hai Tumne (2003)
Cast: Zayed Khan, Esha Deol, Rakhi Sawant, Salil Ankola, Gulshan Grover
Director: Sangeeth Sivan
Music Director: Himesh Reshamiyya
Nutshell: tawdry, tacky and charmless remake of the Hepburn classic Charade
Chura Liya hai tumne comes with a sense of history attached to it. In the 70’s Sanjay Khan and Hema Malini came together in Babul ki Galiyan, and now, more than 30 years later, their respective off spring star together in this tawdry caper which is much than a little inspired by the Audrey Hepburn-Cary Grant classic “Charade”. Poor Audrey must be turning in her grave!
The film starts off with a robbery when four robbers take off with the loot in a security van. Three years later, we are introduced to Tina (Esha Deol) who lives in a hostel in India but is supported by her Uncle Tony who lives in Bangkok. Orphaned at some stage, her uncle Tony has provided her well although this mysterious uncle does not have the time to see her! With a pal from Bangkok and a brat to boot, they make off to Goa where she encounters the scrawny Vishal Kaushik (Zayed Khan) who seems to have been born with a mop on his head! The brat takesa shine to “phantom” and the boys bond, much to the irritation of the grumpy Tina. After the risible “girls are best, boys are best” ditty is over, its only a matter of time that that Grumpy and Phantom get it together and Grumpy submerges herself into Phantom’s locks, often resembling a birds nest. However, just as the first flush of love hits the couple, Tina takes off to Bangkok having been informed of her Uncle’s death. It transpires that Uncle Tony was not the wonderful uncle that Tina had imagined but one of the bank robbers who had made off with the booty and left his partners languishing in jail. Now the three partners are out for the loot.
Tina is threatened, attacked and terrorised by the threesome, one of whom who perpetually goes around in what is akin to a bra and micro minis, even to funerals. Well, good ol Vishal turns up there as well. Tina has been told by Indian Embassy official Deepak Chopra (Salil Ankola) that she should keep in touch with him and be wary of the trio after the loot. Consequently, we find that Phantom aka Vishal is in fact Prakash Yogi, the brother of one of the robbers that got shot and is actually a part of the gang of three! However, Deepak further informs Tina that Mahesh Yogi never had a brother. Confused, Tina confronts Vishal/Prakash and of course believes everything that he says…each and every time she discovers one of his lies…gullible and so blinded by love. Plain stupid actually.
Then the body count starts..one by one, the trio start getting bumped off. Who is the culprit? Who is Vishal/prakash? Where is the loot?
Charade was a comedy thriller that worked because of its kaleidoscope like plot and the charm of its performers. Skillfully put together by Stanley Donen, Sivan has been able to imbibe nothing of the treatment of the film, taking the bare bones of the plot and fleshing it out with his own cliched characters. And what a dog’s dinner he makes out of it. This is a tawdry and extremely tacky effort with a script with no imagination or flair, written by someone quite obviously in a somnambulant state. The film stumbles along from one scene to another with little mystery and much boredom.
Esha Deol is simply a gawky and charmless heroine who simply cannot seem to get it right. With a permanent scowl on her face, she simply is an awful actress and one wonders if she actually has the potential that “they” all say she has…a long way to go Ma’am. To imagine Esha Deol essaying the part played by the ethereal Audrey Hepburn is enough to give anyone a bout of sever indigestion. Zayed Khan makes a very ordinary debut. He seems confident infront of the camera but needs a complete makeover….he may have been better cast as a holocaust victim, so wiry and scrawny is he. The shirt comes off whenever it can and its meant to show off his sinewy physique…makes no impression. His performance is perfunctory if nothing else but this may be more to do with the average fare that he has decided to be his first vehicle….
Music is awful with songs like mohabbat hai mirchi and boys are best obviously meant to appeal to the youth of today but making no impression at all. Come on guys, this is really so bad it makes Khushi almost palatable!