Critic's Rating: 17/5
Saturday 13 July 2002
Abhishek Bachchan, Hrishitaa Bhatt, Amrish Puri
When a film takes too long to release, it gets outdatedand jaded. And that?s exactly what?s happened withShararat, which was complete over a year ago, though released only this week. Directed by Gurudev Bhalla, the film is the story of `Ashiyana` ? an old age home.
Abhishek Bachchan (Rahul) is a spoiltbrat who lives life on his own terms. Completelyirresponsible and mischievous, he never takes anythingseriously till one day, an incident changes all that. He is forced to spend one month in an old agehome where he meets the people who change his lifecompletely. Amrish Puri (Prajapati) is the leader ofthe home and though he seems very authoritative,actually he is a very softhearted man. Other residentsof the home include Helen (Anuradha Mathur), theepitome of motherhood, A.K. Hangal (Gajanan Desai),the eldest resident of the place, Tinnu Anand(Saifuddin), the oldest inhabitant of `Ashiyana`, DaraSingh (Mr. Gujral), a strapping `old` woman- Daisy Irani(Mrs. Gujral), the bouncy and superstitious betterhalf of Mr. Gujral, K.D. Chandran (Subramaniyam), whois an impressionable and impressive self-respectingman, Shubha Khote (Shanta Deshpande), a retired anddictatorial woman, Viju Khote (Keshav Deshpande), herlittle brother and Pratap Oza (Kailash Oza), theproverbial benign `rocking chair` grandpa. Initiallyhe hates the home but soon he realizes the love thatthese people share and it changes his life. Somethinghappens that changes his life and he realizes that hewas wrong all the time, not having valued the beautyof life before. Giving him support is his loveHrishitaa Bhatt (Neha Sengupta), who knows him welldespite his brash exterior. A young aspiringjournalist who followed Rahul to the old age home todocument his transformation, she fell in love with himafter getting to know him well.
Even though the story of the film is refreshing it hasn`t been handled very well. The film fails to rise above the script. The sensitivity and emotional balance required to make it gripping is obviously missing as the director has tried to fill in all the required commercial ingredients to safeguard the movie. Technically, the film is average. Sajid-Wajid`s music is ordinary, where as the cinematography is very unimpressive. Some of thedialogues are good but the screenplay fails to have any impact. Of the cast, Abhishek Bachchan showspromise at times but needs to improve his presence tomake a better impact. Hrishitaa Bhatt has no role tospeak of, where as of the character actors, A.K.Hangal delivers the best performance. Others like Om Puri, Ashish Vidyarthi and Mohnish Behl are wasted. Over all, the film?s weakest link is the poordirection, which combined with its stale look won?ttake this prank too far!