Cast:Karisma Kapur, Arya Babbar, Rajneesh Duggal, Divya Dutta
It was only a few weeks ago that producer Vikram Bhatt unleashed Hate Story, an erotic thriller about a woman scorned in the here and now. He’s back, this time as director, with another not-so-erotic thriller about a damsel in grave distress not just in this life but also in many others.
Grave is the operative word here for this tale spans across as many as five centuries and as many different stories involving the same star-crossed lady.
The protagonist dies many deaths, turns in her grave several times over, and then returns repeatedly for another shot at elusive ishq. It is love unrequited, violated, denied.
At the concept level, Dangerous Ishhq does have something going for it beyond the stereoscopic 3D that it has been filmed in. Hindi movie fans are accustomed to high-pitched reincarnation dramas in which characters are reborn in order to complete unfinished business a la Karan Arjun. But this one isn’t only about rebirth.
It is just as much about several deaths, loves, betrayals and slayings that go all the back to 17th century Rajasthan, to an era and place where love and longing meant much moaning and groaning under the weight of feudal excesses.
The heroine pines for her lover (played by different actors in different eras) across lifetimes only to have circumstances and inimical forces pull her apart from the object of her affection.
Yes, you’ve guessed it, Dangerous Ishhq ventures into the domain of past life regression in a rather overstuffed narrative about a supermodel who sees strange visions and must decipher them quickly in order to rescue her lover, the scion of a business family. The guy has been abducted by a foe who has been gunning for the woman for centuries.
Karisma Kapur, back on the screen after a nine-year hiatus, continues from where she left off, donning several looks, going the whole distance in justifying her return to the thick of the action, and delivering a performance that is competent, if not entirely convincing.
The screenplay is consistent in its convolutions and the further back it goes in time the less sense it seems to make.
Sanjana (Karisma) and her beau Rohan (Rajneesh Duggal) are the talk of the town. The high-flying supermodel nixes a prestigious Paris assignment because a whisper in her head tells her that something is about to go amiss. Her lover is kidnapped. Her life is thrown into turmoil. From there on, it is past forward all the way.
Part of the time travel, one must confess, is intriguing, if nothing else. But the plot is riddled with moments that stretch credulity to snapping point.
The female protagonist is subjected to hypnosis sessions in a bid to help her understand who or what is out to make her life miserable. The truth that emerges and the path that the film takes to get there is anything but hypnotic.
The fact that this is Karisma’s comeback vehicle is only of academic interest. So is the film’s toying with the theme of the past living on in the present. The two don’t quite mesh seamlessly enough on the screen to make an impact.
You could watch the film for one or the other reason. Karisma makes a fair fist of it. The plot is a problem. It is all over the place.