20 July 2008 | Chrysanthepop
Too Many 'Mehbooba'
It's quite known that 'Mehbooba' was supposed to release almost a decade ago but for some reason it got delayed and finally sees the light of day. It's pretty much the same old love triangle that was frequent in the 90s, with two guys falling in love with one girl, an extended family, lots of travelling abroad etc. It has lavish sets (the interiors of the houses are stunning), lots of expensive traditional costumes and some spectacular shots of Budapest (but suspiciously some of the places bear a striking resemblance to Prague), Rajasthan and New York. Clearly Afzal Khan has spent a lot of money on this. Though I believe his intentions were noble, had the film released on time, it could have been a success.
Some of the comedic dialogues are funny but the lines spoken in the dramatic sequences are very old and too familiar. At some points, the film really drags especially in the last hour. another thing is that the word 'Mehbooba' which is irritatingly repeated in every single song and even in the dialogues. We get that it's the title, no need to remind the viewer every single time.
Ashok Mehta's cinematography works quite well. The songs are okay but they are nowhere close to Ismail Darbar's best works. They are filmed in the typical style set in picturesque locations and expensive clothes. Ajay Devgan and Sanjay Dutt are laughably bad at dancing.
The actors themselves look younger. This film was very likely made during the time when Ajay Devgan was still interested in movies because he doesn't have that I-could-care-less look that he has in most of his recent films. It's not an exceptional performance but he's vivacious and likable. Perhaps this is due to his chemistry with Manisha Koirala as she's one of the few actresses with whom Devgan can hit it off on screen. Sanjay Dutt looks a bit too old for the role, yes, even in those times. He does a decent job. However, it is Manisha Koirala's film. Firstly, it's great to see her back in a commercial film. She looks incredibly beautiful and I think if 'Mehbooba' released during the right time, it may have been better for her career. Her performance is great too and she proves that she can carry a commercial film. Of the supporting cast, only Kader Khan stands out. It's good to see this guy again after a long time.
'Mehbooba' is bad but it wasn't so abysmal that I felt like walking out. It had some good moments but the story is too old to be retold, that too in the old fashioned way. It's still much more bearable than many of the Hindi films releasing today. For me, the best things about this film were the exotic locations and Ms. Koirala (both looks and performance).