‘Ek Rishta’

The title “Ek Rishta” is a bit of a misnomer for this Suneel Darshan directed film. For instead of one rishta the film has rather a multitude of rishtas that form the complex cobweb of relations between the various characters in the film as they go about loving and feuding, regretting and forgiving.

Suneel Darshan had all the ingredients to make a blockbuster—a celluloid virtuoso like Big B, a bevy of willowy beauties Karisma, Juhi and Simone Singh and, last but not the least, the khiladi Akshay Kumar. But despite such an impressive ensemble “Ek Rishta” turns out to be quite a disappointing fare.

The film lacks singular flow, the screenplay is void of much continuity and editing is dappled with jerks. The story doesn’t have any fluidity and often hops from one scene to another without congruity. And Nadeem-Shravan’s music score is simply corny but somehow bearable.

The director convincingly draws the picture of the Kapoor family at the center of which is the stern and patriarchal head Vijay Kapoor (Amitabh Bachchan) a successful businessman who made his wealth from a scratch with hardwork and dedication. Amitabh Bachchan steals the thunder with his emphatic presence throughout the film. How he stares, wears the haughty mien of a proud father and over confident businessman is just laudable and surprisingly Akshay Kumar has reciprocated his intensity in equal measure.

Rakhee in the role of Pratima, Vijay Kapoor’s loving wife, his intrinsic strength, looks too pallid and wan. And Karisma is wasted as the “just-for-the-heck-of-it” Akshay’s lovergirl, the day dreaming bahu of the Kapoors. It’s totally odd that Nisha is lost in her reverie, gamboling around the beaches singing “Dil Lagaane Ki Saza” with Ajay while the Kapoor’s are hit by a spate of adversities.

Suneel Darshan had a good idea and a good plot on his mind. He started fine delineating the life in Kapoors’ household, their three daughters Priti (Juhi Chawla), Priya (Simone Singh) and Rani (Kanika Kohli) and their only son Ajay who joins the family business after studying abroad for a degree in IT and Management. The only two outsiders so-to speak are Nisha (Karishma), Ajay’s wife, and Rajesh Purohit, who plays the Kapoor’s son-in-law.

Where the director failed is he made the whole affair too schmaltzy and thought it necessary to bring friction in every relation.

It’s a bit awkward that Vijay Kapoor puts all his trust in his son-in-law Rajesh Purohit (Mohnish Behl) but he doesn’t approve of his own son’s business tactics. When the temperamental Ajay beats up the trade union leader who calls for a strike in their factory Vijay Kapoor makes his son apologize. Through this incident Darshan marks the beginning of the wedge between the father–son duo until their big egos drive them apart and Ajay chooses to live separately. Ajay even marries Nisha without his parents’ consent and presence.

On the other hand the once-ideal Kapoor family begins to fall like a house of cards. Kapoors are unaware that Rajesh is embezzling their wealth in the garb of a well wisher. Soon there are hordes of creditors knocking at Vijay Kapoor’s door and complaining of the bouncing cheques et al while the incredulous Vijay Kapoor sits aghast with just one name on his lips—Rajesh.

And when it comes to the limit of auctioning the Kapoor’s house the prodigal son returns home to safeguard his ghar-ki-izzat. But it takes some time and a few incidents before the father-son duo join hands once again to restore their honor. But the story is not over yet. Trouble now comes from Nisha’s front. She doesn’t approve of her hubby returning to his parents’ house and files for divorce. A rift between Ajay and his wife?

What’s more, Ajay’s sister leaves her cheating hubby Rajesh and reunites with her family. There just seems to be no end to this cobweb of relations gone sour. Suneel Darshan seems to have overdone it.