Review: Stop! is just about average

Review: Stop! is just about average

Source: AssociatedPress

By: Sonia Chopra

Critic's Rating: 3/5

Friday 22 May 2009

Movie Title

Review: Stop! is just about average


Ajai Sinha

Star Cast

Rocky Bhatia, Dia Mirza, Tejaswini Kolhapure, Gauri Karnik, Ishita Arun, Anupam Kher, Harsh Chhaya and Om Puri

If you`re wondering reasons for naming a film Stop! here are two. The film is an acronym for its four characters. Plus the dialogue constantly references the title into the conversation. So when this foursome group of `friends`, is having arguments one of them invariably screams, Stop!. Chuckle, how clever.

We delve into the lives of these people - roommates and best buds - pursuing their dreams in Dubai. Tejaswini Kolhapure plays theater actor Tina who is harassed by her constantly drunk and greedy father (Om Puri). Tina, who has terrible memories of her father mistreating her mother, is in a dilemma whether to shut the door on him or give in to his demands for money. Puja (Gauri Karnik, Sur, The Melody of Life) is a small-town girl who arrives in Dubai driven by ambitions. A successful RJ, she has to decide how to deal with her lecherous boss looking for a `give-and-take` equation. Then there`s Sonia played by Ishita Arun, a fashion designer who owns a boutique. She`s falling in the love trap with womanizer Rohit, and is in no mood to heed to advice. Then there`s Om (Rocky Bhatia), the only male roomie, who`s unable to forget his ex-flame Shama (Dia Mirza). The situation takes a twist when he bumps into her and discovers she`s mom to a cherubic girl and her marriage is on the rocks.

So what happens, you say? This is pretty much it. We learn of the angelic friendship between these four and we`re rooting for them. We are involved in their little rituals: taking turns to cook, being there for each other, spending New Year`s together. We like that little episode of Om`s birthday where the girls arrive late assuming the birthday boy has huffed and left, only to realize that the pretending-to-sulk, Om hadn`t make it to the restaurant either. Then on another day, they watch him get ready for work, and then laugh that it`s a holiday. They then go to a mall, shop a lot and sing a nice song. Ali Asgar does a funny cameo playing Rahul, who Puja`s parents are considering as prospective groom. Only thing is Rahul falls for Tina, who was only trying to help Puja.

All this is fun. Trouble brews when the viewer gets restless waiting for these episodic incidents to end, and the story to begin. But, nothing really `happens`; you are expected to be content watching these hurdles as they appear one-by-one in the characters` lives, and how each is overcome.

Some situations do make you feel for the characters. When Om bumps into his ex-flame and goes all gooey-eyed and doesn`t care that she`s a mom; when Puja is confused at her boss seducing her with a brand new show offer; when Tina gives in to her father`s emotional extortion. But the film just falls apart in an instant when the group starts having problems with each other.

Of the cast, Gauri Karnik shines as the most natural actor. Om Puri is fabulous in a short but very effective role. Songs (Vishal-Shekhar) are spunky. With some immersing moments and some incomprehensible ones, the film is an about average watch.

Verdict: Two stars

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