Har Dil Jo Pyar Karega (2000)
Cast: Salman Khan, Rani Mukherjee, Preity Zinta
Director: Raj Kanwer
Music Director: Annu Malik
Nutshell: insufferable dose of comedy and convoluted drama……….pretty horrid stuff
Reviewed by: Faiz Khan
DJPK carries great prospects. The promos have been on air for some time and both girls look amazing and the songs have been shot well. It has flavour of the month Preity Zinta in it together with the equally bubbly Rani Mukherjee not to mention the bare torsoed Salman Khan. Add to that some peppy music and a director who usually hits the right spot and you have a cocktail heady enough to put your head in a spin.
You certainly come out spinning at the end of the film but not for the reasons that you would have liked. The film opens literally with a cup of tea and a splash of fluorescent colours. In the centre stands the perfect body, sometimes in fluorescent pink, sometimes with a skimpy sarong, swaying hips, the ultimate sex symbol. Except that its not some leggy beauty with long flowing hair with the perfect figure but Salman Khan, tight lycra bicycle shorts, bare chested gyrating to the sounds of some godawful Annu Malik sung song.
Raj (Salman Khan) always dreamed of making it as a pop singer and goes to Bombay to realise his dream. What follows is 55 minutes of inane comedy, the director trying to show Raju’s attempts at making it as a pop star and failing!
One insufferable dose of comedy after the other. All this while, you wonder when and if either of the heroines will make a bow or not. After exactly 55 minutes into the film, the first sign of one of the heroines manifests itself in the form of a car bursting through a billboard and crashing onto a rail track. A bangled arm falls out of the car and Raj moves swiftly to save the stricken girl, supposedly dressed in all her bridal finery before the train comes and crashes into the car. Raj rushes the girl to the hospital and there the girl is recognised as Pooja (Rani Mukherjee).
She is in a coma…shades of the Bill Pullman Sandra Bullock film “While you were Sleeping”. To cut a very long story short, her family believe Raj to be Romi, the man Pooja had wanted to marry against her family’s wishes. Raj takes advantage of this simply so that he can cut an album with one of his “father in law’s” friends. However, one member of the family (Paresh Rawal) finds out the truth but pleads with Raj to continue being Romi lest Pooja’s father dies of a heart attack. Pooja has a best friend, Jhanvi (Preity Zinta) who is more like a sister to her. On her return from America, she meets “Romi” for the first time who within a flash falls in love with her. She later finds out that he is Raj and not Romi and reciprocates his love. By this time, 2 hours of the film have passed and Pooja still remains in a coma, not having uttered a single word or shown much life although apparently, she can hear and see.
The lovers traipse off to some mandir where they pray for the quick recovery of Pooja and on their return find that she has regained consciousness. Raj is afraid that she will expose him but she wakes to call him Romi. Of course, its because she has been hearing and seeing him all this time.!!!
No surprises that she has fallen madly in love with him as well and therefore we now come to the crux of the film…pooja loves Raj who loves jhanvi who loves Raj but also loves Pooja…The film is now in its last lap…last 20 minutes…
No prizes for who gets the boy in the end! What a colossal waste of time and energy especially with the amount of expectation that the film has generated. It has two of the most “happening” girls in town in the film and certainly, the film is at its very best when the two interact. You can almost feel a sense of energy that runs through both girls, best seen perhaps in the Piya Piya song, which must be the highlight of the film. Both Rani and Preity have never looked better and they vibe very well together. But apart from Piya piya, we do not see Rani do anything except lie in a coma for the first two hours of the film…so interaction between the two girls is restricted.
So there is a sense of tremendous disappointment that more was not achieved by pairing these two together. Preity has the bigger role and carries it off with her usual chirpy charm and absolute naturalness. She should go very far for the simple reason that she feels so very real as a person. Rani Mukherjee is sadly shortchanged and it is to the film’s detriment. Still, she has never looked more beautiful and one wishes that there had been more of her.
Salman Khan is a complete disaster in this…quite insufferable and unfortunately, the role is not written well enough for him to make a deliberate mockery of himself (Chal mere bhai) and therefore, he ends up looking like a complete idiot.
The music is not bad although not great. The title song is well shot as is piya piya. You could almost delete the first 50 minutes of the film or condense it into 10 minutes and still convey what you had to. Instead, the director tries a couple of MTV like songs, cheap comedy and pathetic attempts by Salman to evoke laughter…and the tiring and completely redundant Shakti Kapoor…it was an exercise in patience to have to endure the first hour of this film. There is a glimmer of hope that the film would begin to pick up after the car crash but actually carries on in its semi comic vein until its conclusion.
Raj Kanwar is usually extremely adept in making taut films, regardless of subject…Judaai was well made, so was Laadla, both family dramas. Badal, although no great shakes managed a well knit narrative. In this, he flounders so badly that one wonders if he was “sleeping” when the film was made. This could have been cleverly structured around the “While you were Sleeping” idea with the right mix of light comedy and emotion but has ended up being a fluffy, pointless and pathetic waste of time.
What a huge disappointment. I think that film will open well because of its stars and because a couple of the songs are popular. But I cannot see it becoming the smash hit that everyone thought it might be. I shall just wait for the piya piya song to be showed on TV as its about the only thing worth a second look