Critic's Rating: 19/5
Friday 10 August 2001
EVERYTIME Mansoor Khan makes a film, one hopes that he will repeat the competence of his first film Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak.
Each time, in varying degrees, he disappoints. In his latest Josh, the disappointment creeps in after the third reel and then stays till the end.
Shah Rukh Khan and Aishwarya Rai are twins who are extremely close. They live in Vasco, Goa. Ash goes to college while Shah Rukh spends his time hanging around with his Eagle gang.
Like all boys that age they are the dadas of the area and he is their leader. They have a running feud goingwith the other gang, the Bichhu gang which is led by Sharad Kapoor.
Sharad?s brother Chandrachur Singh comes to Goa from Bombay where he has just finished a course in Hotel management. He sets up a caf? in Vasco, takes one look at Ash and falls heavily for her. Meanwhile, Shah Rukh is busy wooing a stuck ? up girl Priya Gill. Both the romancesflourish. Having shown this, what next?
The slip up
This is where the writer and director Mansoor Khan gets bogged down. The next hour consists of oneconfrontation after the other between the two gangs where they face one another only to have to back off as either the police arrives or Shah Rukh gets pulled up by the Parish priest.
In the absence of a real fight both sides resort to posturing which takes the form of putting up thecollar of their shirts, taking it off entirely, glaring and mouthing oaths. When really in a rage they rev up their mo-bikes.
In other words, nothing happens. Just before interval, the two get into a really violent fight and though that is some relief from the tedium, it also means that having hadthe two pit fists with each other the climax is going to have to be something else.
It is a court case, which concentrates completely on Chandrachur Singh, who as we all know cannot hold the audiences attention. Though a lot of care has been taken to keep the atmosphere Goan, which includes having the brother-sister duo occasionally speak in Kokani, thefilm slips up quite often.
Like when there are emotional scenes betweenthe two, they suddenly speak perfect Hindi. Also, it is never explained what exactly the rival gangs are fighting over and how Ash goes over to the other gang?s area when she is as much a part of Shah Rukh?s gang as any of the boys.
A cut above the rest
Despite its shortcomings Josh stands a cut above the usual film for the degree of performance by the lead actors. Both Shah Rukh and Aishwarya are very good, though one must add that their on screen chemistry is notthat of siblings.
Shah Rukh?s unbound energy keeps the film movingdespite the slow pace of the screenplay. Editing about twenty minutes of the film would definitely improve its chances at the box office.
Sharad Kapoor matches Shah Rukh glare for glare and shove for shove. The only problem is that his minuscule box office appeal makes him an uneven match.
Chandrachur Singh, who has the lion?s share of the film,is just not able to cope with the demands made on him. As for Priya Gill, we are lucky that there is so little of her. She neither looks good nor performs well. Other actors like Sharat Saxena, Viveck Vaswani and Nadira have small roles but with all that Josh on display, theyhardly matter.
In and out of control
Mansoor Khan does a fluctuating job sometimes displaying a keen hold on the film and at other times letting it meander without purpose. Though Josh is better than his last film Akele Hum Akele Tum it is nowhere near the completeness of his first two films, QSQT and Jo Jeeta Wahi Sikander.
Maybe the fact that this film got bogged down in date hassles and took a long time to make has something to do with it. The time factor has also affected both the cinematography and the editing, both of which are erratic.
But for those that thought he could only makefilms with his cousin Aami