April 29, 2007

Shukriya- no thank you

Movie info:
Name: Shukriya: Till Death Do Us Apart
Year: 2004
Cast: Anupam Kher, Rati Agnihotri, Aftab Shivdesani, Shreya, Indraneel

Note: I tend to use the real names of actors in all my reviews rather than their screen names.

And now lets jump right to it: Anupam is a businessman (not just any businessman- he has a house bigger than any seen in any Karan Johar movie), living with his wife (Rati) and 2 daughters (whom we will call D1 and D2 for the length of this review, for convenience's sake- they are rather forgettable young women anyway).

D1 is married, D2 is not. The family is going nuts planning Anupam's birthday. Also in the loop is Indraneel, who works for Anupam and is secretly in love with D2. D2 is actively looking for a guy and finds Aftab, a singer.

The movie quickly begins to borrow copiously from "Meet Joe Black", and Anupam is informed by Death (basically a voice that only he can hear) that he is going to die soon- in a few hours in fact. He convinces death that he should be allowed a little more time to windup some unfinished business he has on earth before he takes off. Death (with a capital "D") grants him 4 days and also comes over to spend the time with him, in order to get a handle on what it feels like a human being.

Death takes the shape of Aftab, who has died in a road accident unbeknowest to an exceedingly grating and dumb D2. To no one's surprise, Death/Aftab quickly falls in love with Anupam's entire family, and wants to marry D2. Things come to a head when the 4 days are up- its Anupam's birthday, and Death/Aftab plans to leave with his soul when the party is done. Death/Aftab realises that he(?) cant very well marry D2, 'cos he has to get back to whatever he does wherever it is. 2 Whole teary songs and many dragged out dialogues later, its finally over.

Anupam can act way better than he does in this movie- he just doesn't appear to be trying here- hubby though he possibly foresaw where the movie was going and basically gave up. D2 can well be burned on a stake- she is an abominable actress.

Some things just don't make sense. When Aftab/Death comes to live with Anupam's family, he is unfamiliar with normal human norms- but ties a perfect tie-knot (HOW?). after the party, instead of Anupam dying and his soul leaving with Aftab/Death, the two just walk away into the darkness, witnessed by D2, who has overheard their conversation but doesn't say one word (i that was my dad Death was taking away, I am certain I'd create a heck of a ruckus). Death gives life back to Aftab, and Anupam's body is found on a garden chair by his wife.

It really wasn't as bad a movie as I had thought. Especially once the real Aftab died and Death took over his body, things become entertaining for a bit since Aftab appears to act WAY better when pretending to be Death- wooden and unfamiliar with human emotions (its true- he is cute, but a complete non actor- very believable when wooden and devoid of emotions). The trouble lay in stretched out repetitive dialogues and songs, which could well have been replaced by something more meaningful to create the requisite pathos. The movie's tag line "Till Death Do Us Apart" had me in splits well after it was over- I don't think the produces intended to inspire that in a viewer.

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