7 August 2006 | xpics
Apne kaan aur dimag ka darwaza bandh rakho
Ram Gopal Varma does that again. A movie from his stable that appears to be promising ends up being disappointing. Darwaza Bandh Rakho is a perfect example of a good story gone awry.
The basic movie premise is interesting. Four small time guys turn towards kidnapping for some quick money. They kidnap a millionaire's daughter and are forced to barge in a vegetarian Gujarati family's house with their hostage. Their stay in the house gets extended when they learn than the hostage's father has gone out of India and they will have to wait for the ransom till he returns. The kidnappers, in the waiting process, are forced to take more people as hostages to keep their identity and plan under wraps and save the kidnap from going kaput.
While the genre might appear to be a crime thriller, the treatment of the film is rather comic. The film starts on a gripping note and it doesn't take more than 10 minutes to get to the actual plot with the kidnappers barging in the house. The screenplay doesn't waste unnecessary reels on the background stories of the kidnappers. Their characterizations are established with a single scene background narration. The movie is more character driven. With the constant inflow of characters, the build up of the story in the first half is entertaining to an extent.
However, the dream sequence at the interval point is extremely predictable and completely avoidable. The story loses its graph in the second half when the movie starts dragging. With the same indoor house setting, repeated phone calls to the hostage's father and more inflow of characters the proceedings tend to get repetitive and monotonous.
The sound designer has perhaps intentionally used an irritating doorbell sound that rings every 10 minutes in the movie. After a point of point of time, the sound gets annoying. Amar Mohile goes overboard with the background score adding excessive music to every frame in the movie. The sound is so screechy and undesired at times that it makes you realize the importance of silence. Apne kaan ke darwaze bandh rakho!
The editing could have been much crisper. At times the scenes go on and on. Many of the jokes are long-drawn-out and fall flat. Also one wonders why a frame suddenly turns into black-and-white in between the film. Technical flaw or adding to the effect? If it was an effect, it wasn't impressive in any way.
And despite spoofing various clichés the movie resorts to many of them. For instance, why does the rich hostage chick always get happy on being kidnapped? The father of the rich chick always has to be a businessman who hardly has any time for his daughter. The hostage has to fall in love with the kidnapper because he is supposedly the hero of the film. And this hero kidnapper always has to be good-at-heart person who is indulging in crime for the first time. The romantic inclinations in the film could have been avoided. Also the abrupt emotional shades in the film were uncalled for. The climax is too loud and extended. The director opts for a convenient end thereby diluting the impact more. Darwaza Bandh Rakho continues the legacy of RGV films that start off well but end up poorly.
The performances vary from hilarious to hamming. Aftab Shivdasani does fine with such comic roles rather than the intense and unintentionally funny roles of Ankahee or Kasoor. While you expect Chunky Pandey to tickle the funny bone, he is quite overshadowed in the gang. Zakir Hussain bears a standard expression on his face throughout. Snehal Dhabi is more heard than seen. He is the narrator and also the dialogue writer of the film and does well in those departments. Isha Sharvani looks immaculately beautiful and that serves the purpose of her role. After a long time, it is pleasing to see Manisha Koirala in a non-sleazy film. Though she doesn't have much to do, she looks young and refreshing in the role as compared to her jaded works in the recent past. Lyricist Nitin Raikwar makes a funny acting debut. Tashu might be the next RGV muse. Kota Srinivasa Rao is hilarious as the vet doctor. But the real star of the film is Ishrat Ali as the head of the Gujarati house. The usually serious actor gets the funniest one-liners in the film. Though he hams outrageously in the final sequence with his stupid karate antics, he otherwise comes up with a decent act.
The director seems to be bad in mathematics. Despite proclaiming that there are 35 uninvited guests in the house, you don't encounter more than 25 characters. Apart from mathematics he also goes wrong in logic. Bus apne dimag ka darwaza bandh rakho.