Posted: 07 April 2007 at 9:52pm
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Masand's Verdict: Shakalaka Boom Boom
Cast: Bobby Deol, Upen Patel, Kangana Ranaut, Celina Jaitley
Direction: Suneel Darshan
I can safely say you've never seen a film like this before, I'm talking about this week's new Bollywood release, director Suneel Darshan's Shakalaka Boom Boom in which Bobby Deol plays an insecure pop-star who refuses to come to terms with the fact that there's a new kid on the block who's all set to steal his thunder.
Not only does Bobby find himself professionally threatened by up-and-comer Upen Patel, he also loses his dreamgirl Kangana Ranaut to the rising star.
Determined not to give up his top spot, Bobby befriends Upen instead, volunteers to produce his album, then sabotages it when it hits the market.
As yet unaware of Bobby's act of treachery, Upen once again accepts Bobby's helping hand in producing his next album.
Hot-headed and immature, Upen refuses to pay heed to his father's advice, warning him against the perils of over-ambition, and he also dismisses his girlfriend Kangana's caution against Bobby.
It's an ambition-meets-ambition drama, which director Suneel Darshan delivers with his over-the-top sensibilities and his trademark 80s-style storytelling.
Now it's clear Shakalaka Boom Boom is inspired generously from Milos Forman's classic film Amadeus, in which envious court composer Antonio Salieri becomes obsessed with defeating Mozart.
But director Suneel Darshan's film is unique because it doesn't seem to think that a script requires logic, reason or common sense.
How else do you explain the two-dozen or so holes in the plot? Let's just tackle a few - Why shoot in South Africa but pretend that the film is set in New York?
Why does Upen need archrival Bobby to produce his album if he's such a talented newcomer?
When Bobby sabotages Upen's album, is the owner of the music company sleeping through it all? Why does Bobby set his music room on fire after stealing Upen's original compositions?
None of these questions are answered in the film, and what's more these aren't the only problems with the writing.
The film's dialogue, credited to Anurag Kashyap, is so clunky, you're surprised the actors don't burst out laughing while they're delivering such idiotic lines, because you sure do when you hear them.
After a passionate romp in the back seat of a car, Celina Jaitley tells Upen, €œAaj toh tumne kamaal kar diya€ to which Upen replies with a mischevious smile, "I know", to which Celina once again responds, this time coyly, "Main toh tumhaare club ke performance ki baat kar rahi thi."
As if that's not bad enough, the filmmaker constructs such sloppy scenes, even a student at film-school could have come up with better.
Like that scene in which Bobby's managers spike his drink with an aphrodisiac before his date with Kangana - will someone please tell me why?
Or that scene in which Kangana inadvertently bumps into Upen and drops his ice-cream.
He goes on and on complaining that it was his favourite ice-cream - it's so irritating, you want to slap his face and throw him a few bucks so he can shut up and get himself another cone.
In all honesty, Shakalaka Boom Boom is not the only Bollywood film held together by such a fractured script - few films in fact can boast of good writing these days.
But problem is, the script isn't the only thing that lets down Darshan's film.
Himesh Reshammiya's soundtrack is a recipe for disaster - barring two hummable tracks, the rest of the numbers are similar-sounding, repetitive and entirely unnecessary to the plot.
Both Bobby and Upen's costumes look like they've been sourced from a bargain basement sale at Pimps-For-Less.
As for the acting, honestly the less said the better. Celina Jaitley playing high-power publicist cum ever-willing bedmate to our pop-star protagonists is as lifeless as a corpse. She shows more skin than she does any acting prowess.
Kangana Ranaut fails to leave an impression, she simpers and whimpers in and out of scenes, evidently uncomfortable in a role that expects nothing out of her.
But it's the boys who really take the cake. Bobby Deol hams it up as the insecure musician, and he's looking so haggard, he resembles something they dug up in an archaeological excavation. Those bags under his eyes are large enough to fit my books in.
As for Upen Patel, he's got one single expression and he uses it for all occasions - when he's happy, when he's sad, when he's angry, when he's just finished making out, and when he's been told his father's dead.
In fact, Upen gives the word 'stiffness' a whole new meaning - you want to pinch him just to make sure he's human and not a wax statue out of Madame Tussauds.
I'm tempted to say Shakalaka Boom Boom is one of the worst films directed by Suneel Darshan but then memories of his previous films Barsaat and Dosti continue to haunt me.
Perhaps I'll just say it's one of his most unintentionally entertaining films, because rarely have I laughed as hard as I did while watching Shakalaka Boom Boom- and it's not even a comedy.
The climax of this film is so bizarre, it involves a disco ball falling on the head of one of the protagonists.
You know, I seriously suspect a similar accident may have befallen the director or the writers while they were working on this film - how else could any sane mind have come up with such a ridiculous piece of work?
I'm going to go with one out of five for director Suneel Darshan's Shakalaka Boom Boom, the one star is because this film has one merit that separates it from others - you've never seen anything like it before. This Shakalaka seems headed for Doom Doom.