Critic's Rating: 19/5
Friday 10 August 2001
IF KYA KEHNA had been made a half century ago during the innocent 50s it may have been relevant. In the new millennium it is ridiculously out of sync with everything, society, women`s attitudes and dramatic situations.
Preity Zinta belongs to one of those families which are always falling over each other to prove how much they love one another and you can`t help but think that this cosiness cannot last.
Sure enough it doesn`t. All the love that she gets from her three brothers, her father Anupam Kher and her mother Farida Jalal to say nothing of the silent love of her best friend and neighbour Chandrachur Singh is not enough. So she falls for the college Casanova Saif Ali Khan whose favourite pastime is to leap over one cliff to another on his mobike. In other words a guy who lives dangerously.
She goes out on a date with him and in the process of singing a song they go all the way. When her parents are livid with her (for going out mind you not for going all the way which they don`t know about yet) she asks him to come over and speak to her parents. At this point you know the film is regressive. Which 16-year-old girl in her first year in college is thinking marriage?
Turns out she should have thought of marriage before going out because the next thing you know she has fainted, as clear a sign of pregnancy in Hindi films as puking is. Her father and elder brother go to Saif`s house to beg him to marry her but his haughty mother (Navneet Nishan) sends them packing. In the meanwhile she has spoken to the kid within her and decided that abortion is out of the question so in a fit of anger her father throws her out.
This is followed by reel upon reel of the family`s anguish till they decide to stand together and face all who are aghast at this unmarried girl getting pregnant. Surprisingly, this includes her college friends too. One would have thought that at least her peer group would stand by her.
What is revolting is that she is made out to be some sort of martyr as if she had had an immaculate conception. Eventually Chandrachur sheds his silence and declares that he wants to marry her. Saif also has a change of heart and Preity showing some sense of discernment for the first time chooses the right groom.
It is a shock, and a rather sad one, to see what a brilliant maker like Kundan Shah (Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron, Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa) has to do to remain commercially viable. Preity Zinta, around whom the whole film revolves is not competent enough though she does have her peppy moments. In both Chandrachur`s and Saif`s look the passage of time is obvious.
The music of the film is hummable but the excess number of songs makes them tedious. If the film is at all watchable it is because of the lush locations which are soothing to the eyes. But there is nothing in the film to make you exclaim "kya kehna".