I am not against remaking classics. I have indeed liked Don and Agneepath. Yet, remaking a Hrishikesh Mukherjee film never sounds like a good idea. The simplicity of his films is hard to recreate in this age. Yet, my expectations from Khoobsurat were reasonable considering I have good faith in the director Shashank Ghosh. This man has made two of the most quirky films I have seen in the last decade - Waise Bhi Hota Hai Part 2 and Quickgun Murugun. The later of course is a cult in its own ways. May be I should have kept them lower.
Hrishikesh Mukherjee's classic was about two families coming together. It was about acceptance and lot of warmth. This remake is not quite as much about families as much it is about the love story of two people. And yet, it looks more like it is simply about the clothes that Sonam Kapoor wears. So much that I actually overheard a couple of girls sitting in the row behind me comment: "Looks like Sonam had bought some bad clothes which she could have not worn otherwise and hence they made this film just so that she could put those costumes to use". Bad or good, she does wear some horrifyingly colorful dresses that almost distract you from the rest of the screen. So loud are the colours that they nearly beat Sonam's loud acting, as she takes on a role that Rekha masterfully rendered in the classic.
So we have a talkative, clumsy and devoid of table manners physiotherapist called Mili who lands in the royal palace of Sambalgarh to treat the paraplegic king Shekhar Rathore. Mili is apparently pretty good at her. Or so they want us to believe. At least they would like us to believe she is amusing. Unfortunately she turns more annoying. Well at least she is a misfit. The 'royal misfit' as the promos claim!
The screenplay then unfolds through some forceful scenes that build the romance between Mili and young prince Vikramaditya Rathore (Fawad Khan). Thankfully, once the romance is established the chemistry between the two is what works for the film. Sonam's decibels are calmed by the restrained and suave Fawad. A number scenes between them is well done. Especially one after they kiss. Also well established is the contrast between Mili and Nirmala [Ratna Pathak Shah]. The later is a delight as she portrays a character her mother Dina Pathak had so beautifully played. She particularly livens up the climax scene. These are scenes where you see Shashank Ghosh taking a grip.
As the story flows the misfit makes space for herself in the hearts of the family members, winning them over one after other. The ever-so-successful theme of 'love conquers' is appealing. Would have worked better though had the screenplay not faltered on forced equations.
Among the others in the cast Kirron Kher does what she has done plenty in the past. A Punjabi mother. Nothing extraordinary but yet she would make you smile.
Khoobsurat is not a bad film. You could enjoy it if you have nothing better to do. The happily-ever-after endings usually make for a pleasant watch. Also, you really can't expect something completely out of the box from a remake of a classic. Do not go expecting something completely unseen. Khoobsurat is contemporised for today's generation and it has a chick-flick written all over it.
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