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MehboobaMehbooba : Movie Review
11th July 2008  19.15 IST
By Aparajita Ghosh  

'Mehbooba' is a revelation - a depressing one, however. It is a film that leaves you embarrassed with the thought that Hindi cinema used to be so underdeveloped just a decade ago.

Last week we saw a love story that took us to 'the future'. This week we have Mehbooba that takes us 10 years back in time, when Manisha Koirala used to be much desirable, Ajay Devgan used to look young, and Sanjay Dutt had more hair on his head.

More than the look of the actors, it is the theme, the story and its telling by Afzal Khan that makes you aware of the time that has elapsed since love stories in Bollywood used to abound with flogged-to-death clichés. 'Mehbooba' is dressed with all of them - foreign locales, hero-heroine dancing against scenic backdrops, weepy melodrama, love, deception, and, not to forget, a marriage setting with song-and-dance involving a happy family a la Hum Aapke Hain Kaun .

In case you care to know the story, Sanjay Dutt plays a womanizer who pursues Manisha Koirala and manages to win her over with a promise of marriage. He beds her and then conveniently dumps her. Devastated completely, the girl leaves New York for Budapest, changes her name, and starts her life anew.

A few years later, Ajay Devgan meets Manisha and falls in love with her. She is the girl he has been dreaming about for years. But by a strange coincidence (that often happen in Bollywood films) Ajay turns out to be the younger brother of Sanjay.

Perhaps due to bankruptcy of any original idea, the makers of 'Mehbooba' derive inspirations from a good many hit films of the 1990s - from Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam to 'Hum Aapke Hain Kaun'.

The dialogues in 'Mehbooba' are utterly filmi and, to top it, the actors speak them as if they would get an award for over-acting. Their histrionic expressions and theatrical dialogue delivery in the film only go to prove how better they have become now.

The music and the songs are nothing to rave about. The cinematography is just about okay. And, overall, the film is tortuously long.

Honestly, if you want to play a cruel joke on someone, gift her/him tickets to this film.

Rating: 1/2*

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