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by Taran Aadarsh | Posted Apr 25, 2008
Hindi movies have undergone a sea-change in terms of content. From crude, been there seen that, done to death kind of movies, to films with substance, the audience tastes have changed over the years. Even though we've have grown up on the staple diet of desi food, we've cultivated a taste for Italian, Chinese, Thai and Mexican cuisine.
The experience with TASHAN is like, you enter a posh restaurant, waiting for a sumptuous meal to be served, but what's served on your plate is vada-pau. TASHAN takes you back to the 1970s Bollywood, when illogical situations, blood and gore, for no rhyme of reason, were the main ingredients that made the junta break into taalis. Sorry, the formula doesn't work anymore!
Seriously, what was debutante director Vijay Krishna Acharya thinking when he wrote this apology of a script? It's perfectly okay to revisit the classics and pay homage to the masala films of yore, but the new interpretation has to be contemporary, you need to change with the times.
The one thing that you realize after watching TASHAN is, no amount of gloss, glam and top notch stars can ever substitute for a riveting script. Great stars, great styling, great songs and great visuals work as long as the script is great.
So what's the verdict then? If you genuinely miss the 'Kamine, main tera khoon pee jaaonga' and 'Bhagwan ke liye mujhe maaf kardo' kind of movies that dominated the 1970s, pick up a DVD of those hits instead. TASHAN is regressive cinema with a capital R.
A call centre executive Jimmy [Saif Ali Khan] is entrusted the responsibility of teaching English to a gangster, Bhaiyyaji [Anil Kapoor]. But Bhaiyyaji's key help Pooja [Kareena Kapoor] uses Jimmy to swindle Bhaiyyaji of Rs. 25 crores. Obviously, Bhaiyajji wants his money back and also Jimmy and Pooja's heads.
He settles for Bachchan Pande [Akshay Kumar] to carry out the job of tracing Pooja, once Jimmy surrenders himself to Bhaiyyaji. What happens next?
Actually, TASHAN starts off very well and the first hour unwinds at a feverish pace. Besides, there're interesting twists and turns in this hour that make you jump with joy. Akshay's entry in the movie is the turning point and the actor only takes the film to a new level.
Alas, the joy is short-lived. The writer-director goes completely off the mark and loses focus. Instead of coming to the point right away, what the writer does is makes you run in circles and circles. It's like boarding a direct flight to London, but the pilot suddenly decides on having stopovers in Ahmedabad, Dubai, Budapest, Munich, Berlin, Amsterdam, before landing at London. You're exasperated!
What ails the film? Various factors. The film goes on and on and on. Unwanted scenes, the outdated love angle, the lengthy fight sequences [people showering Akshay and Saif with bullets, but, well, nothing happens], the confrontation between good and evil in the climax... you actually pinch yourself, were you watching the same movie in the first hour? Or did the reels get changed?
Another minus factor is Vishal-Shekhar's music. Seems like the composers have run out of tunes and what they offer is best suited for the music systems in their cars only. With such impressive names on and off screen, the music directors should've ensured that they come up with tunes that remain etched in your memory… in this case, at least that could've been a redeeming aspect. But the music is awful. The picturisation of some songs is, however, quite eye-filling.
Debutante director Vijay Krishna Acharya seems to have taken the audience for granted. Cinematography is excellent. The locales are a visual treat. Dialogues are good at places.
TASHAN belongs to Akshay Kumar completely. No two opinions on that. Take Akshay out of this film and the movie is a big zero. He's the lifeline of this project and his performance will be loved by elite and masses, both. Kareena Kapoor is fantastic. She looks gorgeous, acts very well [her role is similar to the one she essayed in FIDA] and yes, she carries off the bikini with élan.
Saif Ali Khan is relegated to the backseat. What did Saif see in this role? He's hardly there in the second hour. Anil Kapoor entertains at the start, but after a point, the Hindi-English bhasha gets on your nerves. Also, it's very difficult to decipher what he's speaking most of the time.
On the whole, TASHAN is one of the weakest films to come out of the Yash Raj banner. This film has gloss aplenty, but no soul. At the box-office, the film will join the ranks of JHOOM BARABAR JHOOM, LAAGA CHUNARI MEIN DAAG and AAJA NACHLE sooner or later… Business in Overseas will also be weak despite a popular cast.