Director: Anil Devgan
Producer: Kumar Mangat
Banner: Big Screen Entertainment
Cast: Adhyan Suman, Nakuul Mehta, Amita Pathak, Tanuja
‘Tis a season for debutantes. Happy season? Not really. The media mercury might be rising with the spate of introductions of star-sons, daughters, nieces, nephews and what-nots but does it translate in a good showcase? Sadly, till now no.
Haal-e-Dil is in a similar vein. It is a much-touted, non-delivering debut of producer Kumar Mangat’s daughter Amita Pathak, Shekhar Suman’s son Adhyayan Suman and Nakuul Mehta, who, hold-your-breath, is a descendent of the Prithviraj Chauhan family! Bollywood, you do have your ways.
Haal-e-Dil is a romantic story revolving around the lives of Sanjana Sharma (Amita) and Shekhar (Nakuul Mehta). The former is pining for her lover, Rohit (Adhyayan Suman) and the latter is trying to gain the former as his lover. In the duration of a train journey, the love of Shekhar tries to bloom a response in Sanjana’s heart while she recollects her past, at suitable intervals, for the benefit of the audience. Post the journey stands the do-or-die of winning of her love which happens with suitable fanfare and apt culminations.
The first thing that goes against the film is its story. A boy-meets-girl-and-both-fall-in-love-while-on-the-road story which not only has been done to death but also has seen numerous successes splashed all across Indian cinema. Talk DDLJ, Pyaar toh hona hi tha (The names Shekhar-Sanjana are a direct lift from here), Veer Zaara (first half), Chori Chori, Dil hai ke manta nahin, and the much-more recent blockbuster Jab We Met, to name just a few. What’s worse is, the treatment, which is as repetitive as the story and the audience has nothing much left to do but sadly, switch off.
The second thing that goes wrong is the screenplay. The recollections of Sanjana about her lover are jerky and patchy. They appear almost as fillers rather than appear fuller. It does not make for a parallel track, which it rightfully should be, but becomes a back-story of the lead character, diluting the very essence of the dilemma she faces. Sympathy refuses to build high and interest in the present love-story remains mild coz interest in the past one is so. The antics of the ‘effervescent’, ‘charming’ and ‘magical’ Shekhar look more like those of a stalker than genuine efforts to win a girl. Lost marks there again.
The third thing that goes wrong is the casting. It would be wrong to say that the actors do not deliver at par (although they don’t) because the real culprit is the mis-casting. Amita as Sanjana does not stir the heart-strings as her character is supposed to despite her adequate performance. Adhyayan has nothing much to do except play the lover-boy of the past appearing in snippets. He does not make a convincing pair with Amita and she lacks chemistry with Nakuul as well. Older guys would have been preferable for pulling this one off. Nakuul, on his part tries hard to charm but becomes irritating in his ‘cool-dude’ act making the audience empathize with Sanjana for avoiding him rather than root for him. Sad case of things indeed.
The movie has some amazing locations and breathes fresh as far as camera work is concerned. Director Anil Devgan and cinematographer Rajeev Ravi, make unexposed locales look appealing and bring mundane ones to life. But that, is the only good thing to be said about this film. With, worn-out storyline, dragging screenplay, bad music, OK acting and no screen presence (amongst other things) it stands nowhere close to appealing the youth, whom it essentially wishes to target.
Haal-e-Dil, with its overdose of newcomers, fails miserably in pleasing, surprising, endearing or even making for a passably entertaining watch. Give it a definite miss.