Fri, 17 Oct 2008 20:29:13 GMT

'Karzzzz': ZZZZ!!

'Karzzzz' is made bearable only by the memory of the original.

Karzzzz Review

Review by Deepa Gahlot

The credit titles say 'Karzzz' is 'A Film By Satish Kaushik' – but it isn't... it is a film by Subhash Ghai. The director was at his peak in 1980, had picked 'The Reincarnation of Peter Proud' and given it the total Bollywood masala treatment, a fabulous Laxmikant-Pyarelal score and amazing song picturisations—think of the huge rotating record of the "Om Shanti Om" number, or the innocent magic of "Darde-dil" and the full-blown drama of "Ek Hasina Thi", before the thunderous climax.

Apart from the change of cast and new songs, all Kaushik has contributed is South African locations, an airplane, some half-dressed multi-racial back-up dancers and the weird 'zzzz' in the title. Why bother to remake a film if a director cannot put his own stamp on it? Ghai did, and 'Karz' hardly resembled the Hollywood film.

Never mind what the box-office reports say -- success is no yardstick of quality -- this 'Karzzzz' is made bearable only by the memory of the original. If it weren't so frowningly  serious, it might have been taken as a parody of late 70s-80s filmmaking; as it provides plenty of unintentional laughs.

Those who don't know anything about the old 'Karz', it had a reincarnation and revenge theme. Himesh Reshammiya plays Monty (Rishi Kapoor in the original), who is a Hindi rock star in South Africa. Plagued by visions of places and incidents he has no clue about, he goes to Kenya to recuperate and meet up with Tina (Shweta Kumar—doing the Tina Munim role), the girl he has just fallen in love with. She is the ward of a Princess (?) Kamini (Urmila Matondkar as Simi Garewal), the vamp who had killed her husband (Dino Morea as Raj Kiran) and usurped his wealth for her employer Sir Judah (in the Premnath role, Gushan Grover, with an electronic speaking arm—hilarious!).

Monty remembers the past birth, and plots with the help of Tina's uncle Kabira (Danny Denzongpa in the Pran role) to make Kamini pay for her sins, by pretending to be in love with her, and then pulling the rug from under her feet. While at it, he is reunited with his mother (Rohini Hattangady as Durga Khote) and sister (Smita Bansal as Abha Dhulia).

'Karzzzz' is a down-market version of 'Karz'-- though a lot more money has been spent on it—with the emotions flattened out, and Kamini's cool, reptilian sophistication replaced by a badly dressed woman with garish make-up and permanent pout.

Himesh Reshammiya is this generation's Jeetendra, can't act, wears bizarre clothes, but somehow appeals to the tapori class, as well as to the inverse snobbery of people who normally ought to have better sense.  His success cannot be analyzed or explained, he possibly has such a following of young men, because he is their wish-fulfillment fantasy-- an outsider without a star father, without Hrithik Roshan's deadly looks, Shah Rukh Khan's talent, Aamir Khan's intelligence or Salman Khan's body—if he can make it, anyone can.

As the cash registers ring, that guitar Monty plays, probably gently weeps…

Source: India Syndicate

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