Kambakkht Ishq (2009)

After a long tedious week, what one desperately needs is mindless entertainment. And this is precisely what Kambakkht Ishq promises and delivers: Bollywood masala coated in glam, tossed with idiotic humour, garnished with scantily clad women, spiced with a brigade of Hollywood superstars, and of course that special condiment a super sexy Kareena Kapoor igniting the screen in an acerbic verbal tennis with Akshay Kumar.

But let’s face it, what is drawing audiences (read hot blooded males with raging hormones) to the cinemas is clearly an alluring and stunning Kareena aka Bebo – who now even has a highly unpalatable song to her name courtesy this film (and if this wasn’t worse enough a David Dhawan film due this season also has a track with the same chorus).

Kambakkht Ishq hardly has a mentionable plot. It simply revolves around the super model Bebo and the bane of her existence, the super Hollywood stuntman Viraj, the notorious womaniser played by Akshay Kumar – a role he’s done so often in films such as Garam Masala, it’s become second skin really. However his last attempt, the infamous Chandni Chowk to China fell flat, and this latest venture seems exactly what he needs to pump up his ratings. True to form though, the value in the film comes from the ludicrous situational comedy and the natural flow of humour that surges through Akshay’s perfectly delivered rebuttals, although Javed Jaffrey and Boman Irani are also included and added sparsely for flavour. Jaffrey plays the role that he has been stereotyped in after playing a ‘desi Aussie’ in Salaam Namaste, with his over exaggerated puns on the US penchant for legal action: spinning off the word ‘sue’ in a myriad of farcical ways. Jaffrey has a totally unnecessary character that has no link to the rest of the story, as does Irani, though his subdued humour makes sure that he delivers a respectable performance each time. Meanwhile it is Akshay and Kareena’s tiffs as they try and sabotage each other as they get their heads around their best friends getting married, that this film really revolves around.

Interesting additions to the cast are Aftab Shivdasani and Amrita Arora, both of whom have been absent from the scene for quite a while, and whose careers have certainly gradually sunk into the backwaters of Indian cinema. They both needed this film for a much needed boost, which it certainly has done. Although they have very minor roles, Amrita stands out with a body to kill for. Her new fully toned, highly stylized persona is testimony that she has finally joined the ranks with sister Malaika Arora Khan and best bud Kareena, who actually, despite her super sexy role, manages to look haggard compared to Arora. Kirron Kher also does her customary two bit as the aunt cum surrogate mother; a cameo of the worst and forgettable kind, and is also fairly stereotyped, particularly after Dostana.

But as mentioned before, Kambakkht Ishq is a glamorized masala film that is complete brainless entertainment so it requires nothing from the actors but the ability to deliver their pithy and coarsely humorous dialogues in a particular time sequence. The rest of the laughs the situations manage to elicit themselves naturally. The film should be a roaring success akin to that of Singh is Kinng.

However, the musical score eaves much to be desired. The only noteworthy track is RDB’s ‘Om Mangalam’ which was used in the film’s trailers. The song ‘Bebo Mein Bebo’ makes one cringe in utter disbelief that Kareena now has a song to further pump up her already pompous self. While the video of the song has strong remnants of the mutilated classic ‘Yeh Mera Dil’ from Don, only this time a slimmer Kareena is adorning a slinky baby pink sequined mini dress instead of the gold one that she wore in the former.

Nonetheless, despite these significant upsets, the film is sure to be a crowd puller for the star value and manifests in full form how far the Indian film industry has reached to be able to garner cameos such as Denise Richards and Sylvester Stallone – an icon himself of the coveted and fascinating Hollywood. Kareena as always is a delectable treat to watch, but one can’t help but feel that any actress with a body to pull off her urbane wardrobe could have easily done this role. But these days whatever Bebo touches turns to gold.

At the end of the day, Kambakkht Ishq is total paisa vasool entertainment. Leave your cognitive capacities at home to indulge in the uproarious and ribald, although at times raunchy humour, while Bebo and Akshay set the screen ablaze in more than one ways – they’ve made out ten times in the film – strange trivia to reveal but with masala comes mirch. Enjoy this scintillating summer special! – Hani Taha Salim (Rating – 3 OUT OF 5)

Cast and Production Credits

Year – 2009, Genre – Comedy, Country – India, Language – Hindi, Producer – Sajid Nadiadwala, Director – Sabir Khan, Music Director – Anu Malik, Rdb, Sulaiman Merchant, Cast – Akshay Kumar, Kareena Kapoor, Aftab Shivdasani, Amrita Arora, Vindoo Dara Singh, Ashwin Mushran

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