How is Aishwarya Rai doing in real life

Criticism from the FILMSTARTS editorial team
By Daniela Leistikow
Top in real life, flop in film. That seems to apply to actor couples who suddenly get hot on the screen. Tom Cruise (Minority Report) and Nicole Kidman (In love with a witch) have in Eyes Wide Shut shown how not to do it. Aishwarya Rai ("Mohabbatein - Because my love is immortal") and Vivek Oberoi ("Kaal - The secret of the jungle"), the center of the romantic entanglements in the Bollywood romance "Kyun! Ho Gaya Na “(Eng. Look! What happens now), are in no way inferior to these two. Apart from the lack of chemistry, Aishwarya Rai and Vivek Oberoi have something in common with Kidman and Cruise: They are no longer a couple in real life either. In “Kyun! Ho Gaya Na “, as is typical for the genre, it takes so long until couples are formed that there is no more room for separation scenarios - even if you wanted to show them:

The lousy youngster Arjun (Vivek Oberoi) only has one thing on his mind: having fun. Whether childish pranks, extreme sports or a boisterous party - no price is too high for Arjun to get his way and prove to his fellow men as often as possible what a daring guy, witty jester and radiant winner he is. Does it hurt the feelings of those around him? He doesn't think about that until it's too late. Then it's time to make good weather. Such behavior must be sanctioned accordingly: Arjun jokes that he loves her to Diya (Aishwarya Rai), with whom he recently became friends. Then he pretends that this confession comes from his best friend Vinay (Gaurav Gera). Diya then tearfully tells Arjun that she actually loves him. He realizes he made a terrible mistake. But will he also realize in time that Diya is actually his dream woman?

A story about love, family and friendship - this is how you can sum up most of the Bollywood films that are shown on German television. "Kyun! Ho Gaya Na ”is no exception. After all, the Bollywood musical is noticeably more modern than classics such as "In good as in difficult days - Sometimes Happy, Sometimes Sad", in which tradition is still in the foreground. For Bollywood newbies, it is better to watch one of the classics on TV first and then decide whether you really like the epic length, the slow narrative and the unrealistic romance of kitsch novels. According to the motto “Never change a winning team”, “Kyun! Ho Gaya Na “the usual Bollywood soup cooked up: a large cup of dance, two hands full of heartbreak, plenty of brisk dance routines and ten kilos of kitsch. If you let out wistful sighs at this recipe, you won't go wrong with the purchase of this DVD either. Beautiful pictures, beautiful costumes and great songs that are influenced by hip-hop and rock are among the strengths of “Kyun! Ho Gaya Na “. Unfortunately, the story is poor and the actors don't convince in every scene.

The plot is on "Kyun! Ho Gaya Na “incidental. Whenever it comes to a standstill, director Samir Karnik's first work takes refuge in unimportant episodes. Sometimes Oberoi and Rai pose in front of the soccer goal, like in a bad parody of Kick It Like Beckham. Then the main characters play a game called “pirate hunt” with the children from the orphanage of Diya's uncle Raj Chauhan (Amitabh Bachchan, Veer & Zaara, Black). Instead of old ships, little boys and girls are rigged up here, so that Peter Pan would be a real delight. Does that add anything to the story? Unfortunately no, most of the episodes are completely irrelevant. The subplots wobble like sticky spaghetti. And instead of untangling them and giving the chaos some meaning, director Karnik does what seems appropriate for a bowl of spaghetti: roll it up quickly and loop it down.

The ultimate spectacle moment of every love movie (when do they finally kiss?) Is delayed again and again: Every time we are shown by slow motion and plate-sized, staring eyes that it could be the moment, something comes up . A music video, an episode of the children's pranks, it doesn't matter. You almost get the feeling that Arjun is only playing with Diya's feelings, which doesn't really fit the figure of the simple-minded rascal. This is partly due to the rather average acting performance of Vivek Oberoi: Arjun's motifs remain completely in the dark most of the time. Why did he delete “words like love and losing” from his vocabulary? This sentence is repeated like a prayer wheel. You look for meaning in vain. Wasn't that in the script? We will never know…

Aishwarya Rai delivers a solid performance as a Diya. If the camera loves you so unconditionally, you can hardly go wrong: porcelain doll complexion, always half-opened lips and indestructible lip gloss - which man does not melt at this sight? Director Karnik knows how to capture the visual potential of Miss World 1994 in beautiful pictures. A national icon like Amitabh Bachchan as a child-loving "uncle" is without a doubt a big plus for any Bollywood film. He's been drawing the masses to the cinemas since the mid-seventies. No matter what quality his films are. In a BBC online poll in 1999 for the “Superstar of the Millennium”, Amitabh Bachchan even took first place ahead of Marlon Brando and Alec Guiness. Apart from Arjun's parents (Rati Agnihotri and Om Puri), the supporting characters remain under-illuminated.

"Kyun! Ho Gaya Na “inspires mainly through music and dance interludes. The traditional Indian elements are retained and spiced up with elements from rock and hip-hop, as well as more modern costumes. Especially "No, No!" - a song that supposedly came about spontaneously during filming - stands out here. More Beyoncè than Bollywood, the dancers move here almost lasciviously in a gloomy disco atmosphere to hot beats. The obligatory Super-Schnulze must not be missing: “Aao Na” is used as the theme for the scenes between Arjun and Diya. A bit annoying at first, the song creeps into your ears almost unnoticed, until you almost have to hold back during the grand finale not to hum along. “Dheere Dheere” is also rather greasy. Almost like Robbie Williams in the Back for Good video, Vivek Oberoi turns melancholy in the pouring rain - because in slow motion.

This rolling out of moments is particularly annoying in the music video-like song clips, but it also occurs regularly in the "plot". Big gestures by Vivek Oberoi are painfully reminiscent of Ricky Martin videos: How he wring his hands. Fall on your knees. You almost want to count: Un, dos, tres! Even the polyester shirt and the health-threatening tight pants fit perfectly into this picture. The music sequences are still a feast for the eyes: Many different costumes and sets, perfect light on green meadows and on steep cliffs - wonderful to look at. Only the inflationary use of wind machines disturbs the enjoyment of the optical opulence a little.

Even outside of the music videos, the beautiful appearance is not neglected: women like from a thousand and one nights, chic speedsters, magnificent villas - only the “rich and beautiful” facade of India is shown here. Embarrassing: A music sequence with the two main actors and a silver New Beetle. While the beautiful is in the car, Vivek Oberoi hoses the car down. At least less obvious than the POLO-Sport product placement of “Sometimes Happy, Sometimes Sad”.

Conclusion: “Kyun! Ho Gaya Na “is an ode to romance. Beautiful people with angelic voices (by the way: the actors don't sing themselves) and good characters go through the ups and downs of love and occasionally get caught up in the episodic narrative structure. So: kiss and that's it? Rather not. A kiss between Arjun and Diya is shown in a dream sequence, uncharacteristically Bollywood. But in the end you leave it at a chaste hug. Why? You have to find out for yourself ...
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