Kambakht Ishq Movie Review
I watched this movie despite dire warnings from reviewers. This is not a movie that I have reviewed for one my clients, I watched it for myself. No one forced me to see this movie, in fact I had to persuade someone to go with me. I saw it because of the bad reviews. I wanted to see to what depths a Bollywood movie can sink to. So did I find a new benchmark with which to measure comic trash?
Not really. Chandni Chowk to China came closer. Kambakht Ishq, directed by Sabir Khan, does actually cater to a certain kind of audience. CCTC didn’t cater to anybody, not even the masses. KI has stuff for the salivating male. Lots of flesh and anatomy jokes for one thing. The hero Viraj (Akshay Kumar) is a misogynist (woman hater), the heroine Bebo (Kareena Kapoor) is a misandrist (man hater). If he thinks women are either bitches or brainless toys, she thinks men are dogs or sex obsessed pigs.
It is amusing to see the two clash. Their close encounters are violent and quite absurd. The way he sticks his face close to hers and throws her around and the way she keeps spitting venom and hatred. Sure, this Bollywood hero is shown blatantly eve-teasing and harassing the heroine and this is not shown to be “good” behavior. But later one gets the disturbing idea that perhaps Bebo is attracted to some sort of violent and sadistic behavior in men. One doesn’t quite understand as to why she forgives Viraj for his crass and disgusting behavior. One can hazard a guess that it is because she is desperate to get married (besides unconsciously wanting to marry a horrible man and destroy herself). It could also be true that the director is sending a message that women who say no actually mean yes, or perhaps the director is saying that all women are stupid bimbos (even the educated ones) who think with their crotch. Or perhaps the director is saying that a man who harrasses women is actually a good guy at heart. Whichever it is, I think the director’s vision is a pathetic one for this day and age and I don’t think making this a comedy excuses him. Bebo is also shown to be an incompetent and careless doctor, while Viraj is shown to be superb at his work, so much so that he gets an international award. All the other women in the women are simpering idiots. Including Denise Richards. I am surprised that she has dared to play herself.
Akshay’s character Viraj does reveal later that his bark is worse than his bite and this could be one reason why Bebo changes her mind about him. Viraj however is shown true to his character and falls for Bebo only when he sees her soft side.
Javed Jaffrey is good. He plays a small comic role as a bystander who cons people into thinking that they have done him harm just so that he can sue them. I found his expressions very funny, even though his role is an absurd one. Akshay Kumar looks tired in many of the shots but Kareena looks fresh. They sizzle on screen, although their so-called romantic scenes seem absurd and artificial. Sylvester Stallone, Denise Richards and Brandon Routh are there for nothing. A total waste. Amrita Arora looks attractive. Aftab Shivdasani gives an average performance.
That the movie is shot in Hollywood, with clips from Kodak theatre and bit parts played by a few Hollywood stars left me cold. In fact it is quite absurd taking this story to Hollywood. One could do it right here, it would have had the right ambiance.
I am using the word absurd too much. Well, I feel like using it about fifty times more because that is what the movie is, an absurd fantasy fulfilling every sexist’s dream. This film is not to be taken seriously, and perhaps that is why I didn’t hate it. I actually smiled in some parts, despite myself.