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by Karan Anshuman (Filmmaker/movie critic)|Posted on Feb 25th 2012| Rating
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Karan Anshuman (Filmmaker/movie critic), 

Karan Anshuman is a film critic for Mumbai Mirror. He's worked on a bunch of movie projects, none of which you've ever seen...yet! He's a history, photography, squash, web 2.0, food, and gaming enthusiast who would trade his soul to travel the world.


JODI BREAKERS: Jo-disheartening

Director:
Ashwini Choudhary; Cast: R Madhavan, Bipasha Basu, Omi Vaidya, Dipannita Sharma, Mrinalini Sharma, Milind Soman and Helen

Rated U/A; Runtime: 2 hours 11 minutes


2 stars


Madhavan and Bipasha Basu make for an unconventional couple in this conventional film. Though broadly Jodi Breakers (JB) may qualify as a romcom, it goes from absurd, screwball comedy in the first act to an unearned intensity in the third.

The story has scope in Jodi Breakers because it hinges on mistaken identity, a subtle romantic graph, and its basic concept--two people partnering in the business of breaking up marriages--is strong. But far too many convenient coincidences and cheats mar the narrative. A couple of slapstick comic set pieces early on will make you smile, especially if you like the unchanging brand of Omi Vaidya’s humor and (in JB) his perverse sexcapades. However, no sooner have you come to terms with Madhavan’s bizarro beard and checked shirts that the film goes to Greece, turns serious, and becomes a muddle where sudden gusts of emotion are forced upon you when you’re nowhere near primed for them.

But who are these protagonists? We practically have no backstory on them and neither, it seems, do they about each other. How and why do Sid (Madhavan) and Sonali (Basu) become friends, business partners, and lovers so easily remains a question unanswered. Sonali takes the lead here and it’s just not convincing that’d she’d want to bed a brat like Sid so soon. Or is it soon? The root of this issue lies in the incoherent passage of time. Even if it was written into the script, we have no idea when the Jodi Breakers went from forming a business to their 112th case.

When the two get involved in breaking up a couple--Mark (Milind Soman) and Maggie (Dipannita Sharma)--the humor is booted out from the film quicker than you can say “Ha!”. Almost every time it makes an appearance again, it is unintentional. Even as the action shifts to Goa, to ‘Granny’ Helen’s house, the build up towards the entirely predictable climax is increasingly arbitrary. Perhaps the only character who stays true and consistent is Maggie. And Sharma does her job with conviction. One wishes that the others too had been written equally well. 

Technically the film is patchy. The songs are fancy (and entirely redundant) but tacky production values affect the rest of the film. Overall, the cohesiveness of all departments working towards a common vision is absent.

Director Ashwini Chaudhary (who debuted with the unmissable and relevant Dhoop) seems a little constrained in this venture. One gets the feeling that we was weighed down by the commercial requirements of this film: shooting multiple songs set in clubs, shooting overseas, shooting with stars on a tight budgets, scenes and dialogue pandering to the masses. The result is a compromised film when in reality, with its concept, Jodi Breakers could’ve been significantly more compelling.



TERE NAAL LOVE HO GAYA: Tere Naal Joke Ho Gaya

Director:
Mandeep Kumar; Cast: Riteish Deshmukh and Genelia D'Souza

Rated U/A; Runtime: 2 hours 57 minutes


2 stars


I am not saying this is what happened in the case of Tere Naal Love Ho Gaya, but as they warn us in the movies, "All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental."

This is what you call a "conference room film”.

Imagine this scene in a studio’s corporate office: faceless suits sitting around a projected PowerPoint presentation and hearing out a producer as he walks them through his project.

Suit 1: What is the genre of your product?

Producer: Love story. (PPT shows an image of stick figures inside a big heart)

Suit 1: Check. Safe zone.

Producer: We’ll have 5 songs. One sad, one happy, one half-happy half-sad, one item, one for TV promotion. (Various item girl options on screen. Neck down only.)

Suit 2: Item is in club or a village?

Producer: Village, village.

Suit 2: Check.

Producer: So the story is about a rich man’s daughter who gets herself kidnapped by a rickshaw-wala and obviously… (Image of stick figures in a heart again. This time, the heart is inside a rickshaw.)

Suit 3: Sounds unconvincing.

Producer: Arre sir, obviously there is a twist. Big twist at interval. This is a very different film. (The word DIFFERENT is on screen now. Glowing in neon.)

Suit 3: And what’s the twist?

Producer: We’re working on it.

Suit 3: Okay, make sure you do it by the time we start shooting, haan. Check.

Producer: So we’re shooting this film in...

Suit 4: Wait, wait, wait. What’s the budget?

Producer: (mumbles something apologetically)

Suit 4: Who’re the actors?

Producer: Riteish and Genelia. (Generic wedding pictures are up.)

Suit 4: Good, good. She’s the bubbliest. We’ll release it around their wedding. Solid synergistic publicity. Check. What were you saying? Shooting it where?

Producer: South. (frantically clicks. A map of Chennai overlaid on an image of the Charminar shows up.)

Suit 1: No, no, no. Too many films there recently. First we take their rights, then we take their locations also? Toh bacha kya hai? Besides, it will be too hot. Let’s do it in the North.

Producer: No problem. Punjab, Harayana, or Himachal?

Suit 1: Punjab, Harayana, aur Himachal is fine. You can take Om Puri also then. He can be a Thakur or whatever. He probably already knows his lines.

Producer: Yes, yes, wonderful. If it’s okay I’d like to use one South Indian stereotype character. Don’t worry, he’d have grown up in Rohtak and is a politician who promotes wrestlers.

Suit 2: Yes, good. Oh look, it’s almost lunch.

Producer: Sir, cheque?

Suit 2: Yes, yes. I meant ‘check’. Genre OK, Songs OK, Actors OK, Locations OK, Comedy OK. Done.

Producer: No sir, cheque, cheQUE.

Suit 3: Ah. No problem. Here is the signing amount. Let’s start whenever they have dates.

Producer holds up his cheque beaming, oblivious.

Suit 3: But do you have a director?

Producer: No. First script has to be written, no? Then we’ll see about the director.

Suit 4: No problem.


Read more reviews by Karan Anshuman here


-Pictures courtesy jodibreakersfilm.com-

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