Faulty screenplay overshadows a brilliant Salman
Critic's Rating: 18/5
Friday 15 August 2003
Satish Kaushik's latest offering Tere Naam is the remake of the South hit Sethu and is an ?unfortunate love story? of an obsessed guy and a simple girl. Radhemohan (Salman Khan) is an ex-college student who still hangs around at the college premises with his group of friends. He stands up for the right and does not spare anyone who dares to break his path and rules. He is wild, obsessed and fights, but is a gem at heart. People all over the college, respect and as well as fear him.
Radhe encounters Nirjara (Bhumika), who is a fresher and daughter of village Pujari. Nirjara is an innocent girl who believes in the basic values of life, she has not been influenced by the western culture. Radhe falls for her, but she refuses his love for her as she considers Radhe nothing more than a roadside Romeo. Unfortunately for Radhe, she always sees him doing all the wrong things.
One day, Radhe saves the life of a girl who happens to be Nirjara's sister. But he makes enemies out of some dreaded people. On the other hand, Nirjara's would-be fianc?e Rameshwar (Ravi Kissen) informs Nirjara why Radhe is the ideal choice for her. Slowly, but surely even Nirjara realises that she is in love with Radhe; she even confesses that to him when destiny strikes a fatal chord. The same guys from where he had saved Nirjara's sister attack Radhe.
They leave him unconscious and with a major injury on his brain which makes him lose his mental imbalance. What happens hereafter forms the crux of Tere Naam. The film is a real love story told in a very convincing manner of a college backdrop. Thankfully, Salman is not shown as a college student but an ex-student. The first half is lighter and characters are established through narrative and incidents.
Although all of them are well established, the pace is very slow and drags at certain levels. Also there are many songs in the first half, which again hamper the pace. There are many sub-plots, which could have been easily avoided and have nothing to do with the film. The pace actually gains momentum in the second half and the story moves ahead. The last 30 minutes of the film are nothing short of amazing. The character of Salman takes a unique turn and his portrayal of a man turned vegetable is just brilliant. The audiences? hearts go out to him when he tries to convey that he has actually recovered.
A couple of sequences are mind blowing, like the sequence where he tries to escape, the scene where Bhumika comes to meet him and from thereon, right till the climax, the goings-on keep the interest alive. The climax, which is the highlight of the film has also been executed perfectly. On the other hand, Tere Naam falls on one front and that is the basic emotions. A cinegoer never actually identifies with the character of Salman and just does not feel that he should get the girl till the second half. It is only in the second half that the character actually manages to get the sympathy. The most important sequence where Salman kidnaps Bhumika to express his love does not have the desired impact. The film starts off very well, but the story stagnates once Salman's romantic track starts off. The songs that follow in rapid succession are sure to test the patience of the viewer.
The music is a mixed bag, while some of the songs, like Accha lagta hai, Odhni and the title track, are very good. But they are misplaced and a majority come in dream sequences. The rest of the songs are just about average. The film is also just about average technically, while the cinematography varies from good to bad, the editing leaves much to be desired. The story is novel but the screenplay in the first half disappoints. The dialogues lack the punch and just about go with the flow of the film, but there is nothing extraordinary.
Without doubt, the film has its share of well-penned sequences and they do crop up at regular intervals, but the outcome after the first half leaves you with a been-there-done-that kind of a feeling.
Salman Khan is just brilliant in the film, although he seems very uncomfortable with his new haircut. Watch him in the second half where he not only emotes with his eyes, he justifies his character and comes up with a commendable performance. Bhumika Chawla is a pleasure to watch. She lives her character and in spite of not many variations, shows signs of brilliance.
Sarfaraz Khan and Sachin Khedekar are other two positive fronts in the film. The rest of the cast pass muster. Mahima Chowdhary in an item track fails to impress. Satish Kaushik proves that he is brilliant in remakes. But this time around, he deals with a completely different subject. No doubt, he has done a fair job is making the subject universal but somewhere he falls to being unsuccessful. Except the last 30-40 minutes, the film fails to impress. While Satish Kaushik needs to be complimented for picking a climax that defies the stereotype and which has rarely been attempted by Hindi film-makers, it is still doubtful that the climax will have a universal acceptance.
At the Box-Office, the film will work on a limited level largely as it is a film of Salman after a long time. Secondly, it has Salman in an action role, which will appeal to the masses. The film is a fair entertainer with an ordinary first half and an engaging second. But business will be different from circuit to circuit.