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Bollywood movie-buffs now have ample reasons to rejoice. Karishma Kapoor, one of the finest (and popular!) heroines of the late ‘90s and the early 2000s, has finally made a comeback to the silver screen, after a prolonged hiatus. Kapoor, who regaled one and all with blockbuster flicks like ‘Raja Hindustani’ (1996) and ‘Hero No. 1’ (1997), had stayed away from films since her appearance in the dull ‘Mere Jeevan Saathi’ (2006). Fans were, quite understandably, looking forward with great anticipation for the release of ‘Dangerous Ishhq’ – Karishma Kapoor’s comeback vehicle. Directed by Vikram Bhatt (fresh from the success of ‘Haunted’), this rather uniquely titled (!) film promised to be a captivating tale of love, mystery, revenge and drama, that superseded the barrier of several births. Given Bhatt’s successful track record at directing supernatural flicks and, of course, Kapoor’s ability to captivate the audience with her performance, big things were expected out of ‘Dangerous Ishhq’. Unfortunately, while Karishma manages to prove that she has lost none of her histrionic skills, the film is nothing to write home about!
‘Dangerous Ishhq’ relates the story of the happy couple – ‘Sanjana’ (Karishma Kapoor) and ‘Rohan’ (Rajniesh Duggall). She is a top (and extremely in-demand!) supermodel, whose charms bowl over everyone coming in contact with her. He, on the other hand, is the son of an extremely famous and wealthy Indian businessman. The two share a truly strong bond of affection for each other (but of course!). Given their rather lofty positions in the society, their affair is also a highly-publicized one (not something that is essentially good!). ‘Sanjana’, in fact, can’t even think of being away from the man of her dreams for a prolonged period, and even lets go of a coveted modelling project in Paris, simply to stay with ‘Rohan’. The two, in true-blue Bollywood style, were blissfully unaware of the misfortunes that were waiting for them round the corner!
All on a sudden, ‘Rohan’ gets kidnapped by a group of unidentified assailants and a hefty ransom is also demanded for his release. The police, headed by the determined ‘ACP Singh’ (Jimmy Shergill), start their investigations on the case, but fail to discover practically any useful clue that can be helpful in leading them to the kidnappers. Just when everything seems lost (at least as far as the crestfallen ‘Sanjana’s love life is concerned), strange things start to happen. ‘Sanjana’ starts having visions of herself and ‘Rohan’ being together, but in a previous life and at unknown places. These visions puzzle ‘Sanjana’ no end and she is further distressed by the fact that the police (who are making no headway whatsoever!) are strongly against the idea of the ransom amount being paid to ‘Rohan’s captors. It dawns on ‘Sanjana’ that, if she wants to save ‘Rohan’ and solve the mystery of her visions, she has to take the initiative herself.
‘Sanjana’ makes up her mind to visit each of her previous three births (in which she had seen herself with ‘Rohan’ in her visions). As she goes hurtling backwards through time, many unexpected truths, well-kept secrets and carefully designed conspiracies start coming to light. Who had actually kidnapped ‘Rohan’? Why was ‘Sanjana’ having those repeated (and disturbing!) visions? You know where to find the answers!
‘Dangerous Ishhq’ takes up one of the oldest gags of Bollywood potboilers (the protagonist being haunted by incidents that happened in previous births!) and attempts to add some novelty to it by way of new incidents and story twists. However, director Vikram Bhatt fails to give any air of believability to the main plot of the movie (which is way too outlandish too start with!). The screenplay is weak and jerky, with the journey of ‘Sanjana’ through her earlier lives often coming across as too confusing and unreal. To be fair, there are interesting moments in the movie, but just as you might think that the narrative of ‘Dangerous Ishhq’ would finally gain some momentum, its meandering pace comes back to haunt the audience.
The movie is also held back by rather patchy performances from the members of its cast. Rajniesh Duggal, who was last seen in the disastrous ‘Phhir’, pitches in with a performance that can only be termed just about okay in ‘Dangerous Ishhq’. While Duggal does have a decent screen presence, his emoting skills and expressiveness do not show any improvement from his ‘1920’-days whatsoever. Yes, the movie has a primarily heroine-centric premise, but it would have surely helped if the main leading man of the movie delivered a better performance. Unless Duggal manages to take up his acting capabilities by several notches (and quickly at that!), he runs the risk of being reduced to the league of Bollywood also-rans soon.
If there is one thing that holds together the muddled script and narrative of ‘Dangerous Ishhq’, that has to be the excellent performance of the comeback lady, Karishma Kapoor. The lady gets enough scope to display a whole gamut of emotions in the film and her turn as the determined (and increasingly desperate!) woman trying to get to the bottom of her life’s mysteries, is sincere and deserves rich praise. Cast in the challenging (albeit author-backed) role of ‘Sanjana’, Karishma excels in several sequences and brings a rare maturity to her act in the film. The actress can still give any of the present crop of (much younger!) Bollywood heroines a proper run for their money, as far as sheer acting excellence and glamour are concerned. It is, in fact, rather sad to see the performance of Karishma Kapoor (on her much-awaited comeback too!) being marred by the mundane nature of the script of the movie.
Jimmy Shergill, as ‘ACP Singh’, is steady (if somewhat unremarkable!) in ‘Dangerous Ishhq’. Thanks to a continuous wrong choice of films, Shergill has definitely lost his ‘Mohabbatein’-freshness and while his act in this movie does not leave much cause for complaint, it does nothing to add to attractions of ‘Dangerous Ishhq’ either. Divya Dutta is charming in a small role. Gracy Singh (yes, that long-lost ‘Lagaan’ girl!) is pretty good too. Arya Babbar and Samir Kochhar (the latter in particular) do a fair job in the film. Ruslaan Mumtaz (who had starred in the forgettable ‘Mera Pehla Pehla Pyar’) is not up to the mark. The others do not have any role of significance in the movie.
‘Dangerous Ishhq’ is a classic case of the makers trying to bank more on the star power of an actor (Karishma Kapoor, in this case) than on a solid script, to score at the box-office. While the movie has Kapoor in practically each of its frames (which is not necessarily a bad thing though!), director Vikram Bhatt could easily have been more careful to ensure that the movie, in its entirety, remained captivating. The movie starts off well but goes rapidly downhill after the first 40-45 minutes (rather surprisingly, for the portion showcasing ‘Sanjana’s journey across her previous births had the potential of being really exciting!). ‘Dangerous Ishhq’ moves along at a slow, tedious pace and the screenplay has considerable scopes for improvement too. Kuldip K. Mehan’s editing is also not at all as crisp as it should have been for a film of this genre.
Apart from Karishma Kapoor, the only other thing that stands out in ‘Dangerous Ishhq’ is Praveen Bhatt’s cinematography. The sets and the locales are shot in an imaginative manner in the film, lending a somewhat authentic feel to the movie. Dialogues, penned by Girish Dhamija, are rather trite. The action sequences, conceived by Abbas Ali Mogul, are pretty slick and stylish. The climax of ‘Dangerous Ishhq’ is gripping, but the generally boring nature of the second half of the film tends to wane the curiosity levels of the viewers. Catch this flick only if you wish to witness the return of Karishma Kapoor on the silver screen in all her former glory (that, probably, is the only factor that makes ‘Dangerous Ishhq’ worth a watch!).
The wretched run of music director Himesh Reshammiya continues with ‘Dangerous Ishhq’. Reshammiya, who, at one time, used to belt out hit numbers with amazing regularity, does not manage to come up with a single hummable song in ‘Dangerous Ishhq’ (with the probable exception ‘Tu Hi Rab Tu Hi Dua’). The pedestrian lyrics make the songs all the more dreary. Background score, by Raju Singh, is, thankfully, in keeping with the overall mood of the film.
Vikram Bhatt wins brownie points for bringing back the acting powerhouse called Karishma Kapoor on the big screen, via ‘Dangerous Ishhq’. However, the director also stands guilty of assuming that the actress would be able to rise above the glitch-filled storyline of the movie. No star can be bigger than the movie that (s)he features in (remember Hrithik Roshan in ‘Fiza’?) and ‘Dangerous Ishhq’ stands out as a prime (and unfortunate!) example of that fact. With slack performances from the other actors, a sketchy narrative, poor editing and a series of weird (not in a good way!) onscreen happenings, ‘Dangerous Ishhq’ certainly does not do proper justice to Karishma Kapoor’s acting talents.
In 2007, the immensely hyped comeback film of Madhuri Dixit, ‘Aaja Nachle’, turned out to be a damp squib. With all its shortcomings, ‘Dangerous Ishhq’ is not likely to fare much better at the theatres either!
Source: Press Release
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