(Published in The Sunday Guardian on 13 May 2012, retrieved from http://www.sunday-guardian.com/masala-art/time-travel-gone-wrong)
Cast: Karishma Kapoor, Rajneish Duggal, Jimmy Shergill, Divya Dutta
Director: Vikram Bhatt
Rating: 1 star
The string of expletives in my head is slightly lengthier than the painfully long Dangerous Ishhq, which follows a love triangle through six centuries of unconsummated pining. The good news is, there can be no sequel because the random witch’s curse that spawned this travesty of romance is broken at the end.
Karishma Kapoor is back, complete with prepubescent voice, shaggy eyebrows and pre-pregnancy figure. We meet her as Sanjana Saxena, Manish Malhotra’s showstopper. Sanjana happens to be dating Rohan (Rajneish Duggal), whose foppish disapproval of a female doctor wearing rubber chappals to a fashion show might lead us to think he drives on the other side of the road, nudge-nudge. Trouble brews in paradise when Sanjana wins a modelling contract with French brand Global Fusion (I know!!!) that’ll take her to Paris for a year.
She changes her mind when she sees a statue of Krishna on her way to the airport. Instinct tells her she’ll never see Rohan again if she leaves for Paris, so she comes running back. Wrong. Some folks in Taliban costume kidnap him anyway, but leave her to her devices. Lest you think this is Hindutva propaganda, let me assure you Krishna and Allah team up to beat the bad boys. Well, actually one bad boy, through several rebirths.
See, we’re used to seeing the likes of Nirupa Roy lose their memories when they bang their skulls, courtesy the villain, and regain their memories when they rebang their skulls, courtesy the villain’s son. But when Sanjana Saxena bangs her head, she remembers her past lives. Get out. And her enabler is BFF Neetu (Divya Dutta), a doctor whose circle of friends includes a shrink who dresses like she’s attending an art gala in Delhi and is into hypnosis, and a surgeon who has a penchant for roleplay.
You’ll know how bad this film is when you hear this exchange: “What’s wrong with you?” “I can read Urdu!” Facepalm. To his credit, Jimmy Shergill seems pretty embarrassed to be playing a cop who drags along two hysterical chicks to his stakeouts, and passes evidence to forensics after fingering it himself. And we are dragged into 1947 Pakistan, 1658 Daulatabad, and 1535 Chittaurgarh, where Mirabai makes a guest appearance. Oh, and Ravi Kishen pops in too, as a sexually frustrated senapati.
The Verdict: This orgy of bad graphics and corny dialogue only serves to remind us that the greatest service Karishma did cinema was to keep away from it for over a decade.