|Shahid Kapoor, Vidya Balan, Juhi Chawla, Om Puri, Vishal Malhotra|
|Kumar S Taurani, Ramesh S Taurani|
The characters are relatable, their problems are the type that we've either heard of or experienced ourselves, the love story and the conflict also comes across as real. Like Mirza's previous films, Kismat Konnection is also not heavy on your senses. It's simple, feel-good fare that charms its way into your heart.
Since Mirza has only worked with the Numero Uno star Shah Rukh Khan in the past, the first question that crosses your mind is, does he get it right with Shahid? And the second question is, is the chemistry between the lead pair interesting? Thankfully, the answers to both questions are in the affirmative.
But there's just one hitch. Kismat Konnection takes its own sweet time to reach the finale (yes, it's lengthy in the second hour). Besides, it gets slow-paced as well. Yet, all said and done, it is a film that makes you smile and that is its biggest triumph.
Raj (Shahid Kapur) was numero uno—in academics, sports, dramatics. But four years after winning the best-student-of-the-year trophy from his architectural college, he's wondering why a brilliant architect like him, with designs to set the Canadian landscape on fire, is still struggling to find that one big chance to showcase his mettle.
It's almost as though some negative kismat is following him around because whenever something good is about to happen, it seems doomed to fail.
Desperate to get rid of the bad phase in his life, Raj meets a quirky oracle, Hasina Bano Jaan (Juhi Chawla). She tells him that soon his stars will change and make everything work in his favour. But for this to happen, Raj has first to find his lucky charm and never let go of it. She tells him no more, leaving Raj mystified, trying to figure out what this charm could be.
Suddenly, his life seems to be on the right track. He's managed to impress top builder Sanjeev Gill (Om Puri) into giving him a prestigious project.
The he meets Priya (Vidya Balan), a tough-talking, tough-decision taking girl with a heart of gold. She is an idealist who is intent on making the world a better, more humane place and is quite willing to fight a lone battle for it.
Raj succeeds in persuading Priya that he's the Messiah who can save her beloved Community Centre from destruction. He also opens her eyes to her philandering fiancé (Amit Verma). Raj even manages to thwart the evil designs of old-college-foe-turned-deadly-professional-enemy Dave (Manoj Bohra). Does this mean that Raj has unwittingly discovered his lucky charm?
Recall Mirza's movies. In practically all his films, the protagonist is aspiring to make it big in life. There's a constant struggle on both levels, personal and professional. Kismat Konnection is no different. Sure, Kismat Konnection isn't entirely original. It bears an uncanny resemblance to Just My Luck (2006: Lindsay Lohan, Chris Pine), but it has been adapted quite well in the Indian milieu. What also sets it apart is that Mirza's films have a subtle message and Kismat Konnection is no exception.
Kismat Konnection is primarily a love story that viewers may have visited several times in the past, but let's not forget, romance can never ever go out of fashion. Mirza and co-director Haroun Mirza succeed in presenting the highs and lows in a relationship with maturity. The situations are simple, there's no place for melodrama here. But Mirza should've taken care in maintaining its pace and length in the second hour. The film could've easily done away with a number of scenes.
Pritam's music is pleasing. Aai Paapi and Bakhuda Tumhi Ho are haunting compositions, while Ahmed Khan's choreography in the former takes your breath away. Binod Pradhan's cinematography is top notch and the icing on the cake is the breath-taking locales of Canada.
Shahid is a complete natural, very likable, very believable. Post Jab We Met, the actor has attained that rare confidence which shows in his performances. Watch him get the emotional moments right and you know that he has only matured with time. You may have pre-conceived notions vis-à-vis his pairing with Vidya, but let's tell you that they look perfect. The trimmed hair and minimal makeup make Vidya look pretty. Acting-wise, too, she pitches in a fine performance.
Juhi tends to go over the top, but that's the demand of the role. Om Puri is first-rate. Himani Shivpuri is fantastic and her Punjabi accent will bring the house down. Vishal Malhotra is efficient. Manoj Bohra acts very well.
On the whole, Kismat Konnection is a simple film that has its own charm. It's no path-breaking cinema, but it works. At the box-office, its kismat should be strong at multiplexes and the wide release, coupled with no opposition, will help its distributors reap a benefit. Business in Overseas, where it has been given an extensive release, should also be good.
Rating: Three stars out of five