Hello poster


wogma rating: Watch if you have nothing better to do (?)

quick review:

One wonders if books should really be converted to films. It doesn't always work out better.

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Director: Atul Agnihotri
Running time: 115 minutes
Genres: Comedy
More Movie Info

Hello - Preview

NOT A REVIEW - Just wondering if another youth-oriented movie can be well made?

Director Atul Agnihotri says that he was inspired to make a movie out of Chetan Bhagat's book, One night @ the call center after his 7 year old daughter recommended it to him.

The book is about people who are atleast triple her age, their problems and about deglamorizing jobs at call centers. That a 7 year old even read it shows how easy to read it is. And easy on the gray cells is what Salman Khan starrers are known to be any way.

But, anyone who has read the book can tell you that Salman and Katrina Kaif are only going to play narrators. It's more about the 6 people who work at the call center representing the youth of the country. Chetan has no qualms about keeping his language simple in order to connect to more people -

The language used in a book ought to be to communicate ideas. It is easy to impress someone by using multi-syllable words. It is much more difficult to write simply. Just because you don't need a dictionary to understand my book, it does not mean it cannot have emotions. Flowery language kills humour. Anyway, it is not my cup of tea.


My first goal is to make my readers happy. This can come from the enjoyment they get while reading the book, or a positive influence the book can become in their lives. My second goal is a personal agenda to do whatever I can to make India a developed country as soon as possible.

Atul echoes this last sentiment -

The story gripped me... ... ... It was fun and relatable. Most important, it was inspiring enough that it could change the course of young Indians' lives.

While it sounds like a lofty aim, like it or not, the book was about talking to your conscience. And when well-made a movie about the youth has connected with its audience. Dil Chahta Hai, Jaane tu... and Rock On!! have surely proven that. And the cast of Hello has enough talent to bring it across.

So, will we be compelled to answer that inner call while we are having fun?

This article is by guest author Aditya Kuber. Aditya is a movie fan who lives in Pune. When not watching movies, he loves photography, sports and books. He can often be spotted in a bookstore if not a movie theatre. Whenever he has the time, he also writes for a living. Aditya Kuber also blogs at http://scribbler.in/.

Books being converted to movies are always a risky thing to do. Not always does it work out. Even in the case of something as epic as ‘The Godfather’, there is a split on which is better – the book or the movie. I belong to the side that votes for the book. And in the case of ‘Hello’, I feel the makers should not have attempted to bring it to the big screen at all.

It is not so much about the fact that the plot is wafer thin or that the makers have chosen to ignore basic characterization in favor of dramatization. In any case, the backdrop of a call centre is incidental to the story and how it unfolds. Therefore the focus on this aspect seems unnecessary. Since this was always an adaptation of the book, the filmmakers could well have rewritten the backdrop to make it more believable on screen.

The story is a simple one of six call-centre employees working on the same shift and how their lives seem to be intertwined. And then there’s the night when things go awry. The physical setting of the call center (from the outside) looks genuine enough, but inside, it looks nothing short of a resort. Having seen a few call centres, I find it hard to believe that there are only six people working in a ‘bay’ at a time when headquarters (i.e. the US) is looking to cut costs. The very basic one would have expected from an IIM graduate writer when doing the screenplay is to pay more attention to such detail and make better use of the space.

The story begins by appealing to the frontbenchers and Salman Khan doing an item number (rather tackily picturised with plastic water bottles, graphics that don’t belong anywhere and a song that has no meaning). Hereafter he retires to the lounge of his helicopter charter service since he is stuck for over two hours on account of his chopper being repaired. And this is where Katrina Kaif finds him and the story begins.

Shyam/Agent Sam (Sharman Joshi), Varun/Vroom (Sohail Khan), Radhika (Amrita Arora), Eesha (Eesha Koppikar), Priyanka (Gul Panag) and Military Uncle/VP Chauhan (Sharat Saxena) are colleagues and have been it would seem for almost four years. That none of them have a good enough accent when answering calls is a matter for their employer to worry about, not us! But this group is stuck at work on a stormy night when most systems are down and their lives are unraveling. Their evil (and conniving, yet stupid) boss Mr Bakshi (Dalip Tahil) is the common object of hate in the group.

All the actors try their very best to look and be the part of call centre employees. One could argue that director Atul Agnihotri did not want to have a typical teenybopper look to the movie since they all do get identified as a bunch in the age-group of 20-25. Why I think Agnihotri didn’t want to typecast is because none of them look like they fit this age group. Especially Gul Panag and Sohail Khan.

As the night progresses, so does the childish nature of the entire narrative. While most of the sequences in the book itself were hard to digest, the movie makes it even worse. (There are typical references to gays and how Mr Bakshi is ok with it since this is an American company).

Of the cast, Sharman Joshi shines through the cast as the confused team leader who has recently broken up with Priyanka. Eesha Koppikar hams her way through what could have been a better written role while Amrita Arora spends most of the time looking like a dolled up bahu dissatisfied with life. Sharat Saxena is honest to his role, but he doesn’t have much to do and once again, the characterization leaves much to be desired.

Gul Panag in her role as Priyanka is bound to catch everyone’s eye. For she has spent a lot of time showing off her newfound cleavage. It is shocking to see how badly suited she is to the role. She tries to dress up like a 25-year-old, but just can’t pull it off. In the bargain, all she manages is to look like a tramp (and she seriously needs help with make-up to align two mismatched eyebrows!).

When the author of the book himself is doing the screenplay and dialogues, it is expected that he won’t stray too far from the original work. Unfortunately, when the book itself has been written like a screenplay, it is tough to adapt it further to the big screen.

One of the biggest negatives of the movie is the intentional name calling towards ‘goras’. As a one-off, this could have fit into the movie. But repeated insistences like “the mental ability of a 35-year-old American is as much as a 10-year-old Indian” and “Gore to fattu hote hai” aren’t exactly in the best taste.

The entire movie is based on a ‘call from God’ that takes up about 5 minutes at best. Whatever they hear on the call is promptly put into action by the group with ridiculous ease.

Nonetheless, the movie does have its moments when Sohail Khan and Sharman Joshi are on screen and but for their comic timing, the movie would have been nothing short of torturous. With them, it’s up a notch at just unbearable!

This article is by guest author Aditya Kuber. Aditya is a movie fan who lives in Pune. When not watching movies, he loves photography, sports and books. He can often be spotted in a bookstore if not a movie theatre. Whenever he has the time, he also writes for a living. Aditya Kuber also blogs at http://scribbler.in/.

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2 readers - 1 yays 1 so-so 0 nays

Yay! Thumbs Up, by komal

So-So, by Freeman

This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.

Warning: this section has some details that could distort your experience while watching the movie. I strongly recommend reading this only after you have seen the movie or if you have decided not to see it.

Plot Summary

Six call centre employees' lives are somewhat intertwined and they ask for a second chance from God with death staring them in the face.

What Worked

  • Sharman's comic timing and chemistry with Sohail Khan (not Gul Panag!).

What did not

Note: This section simply lists the things that I did not like in this movie. This is not the overall impression about this movie. Please read the full review here

  • Sohail Khan tries, but just can’t pass off as a 25-year-old
  • Gul Panag is going the Sushmita Sen way. Desperately needs to work on dialogue delivery and make-up!
  • Eesha Koppikar needs acting lessons
  • Nitty-Gritty

    This section lists things that I think are not important to the overall impact of the movie. In most cases, it could be explained away by something like, "we noticed the glitch after the scene was shot and there were schedule/budget issues and thus we could not re-shoot it". I like giving the makers the benefit of doubt, but I am amused nevertheless. Hopefully, they will tickle you too.

    • Why is only this group in a Tavera (their taxi) that is with a white number plate?
    • So call centre employees can take company cars at will for a ride?
    • Where in Mumbai are you served liquor at 2.30am with a cabaret?

Parental Guidance:

  • Violence: Not much; just some chair smashing and shoving.
  • Nudity and Sexual content: Lots of cleavage and a pretty detailed sex scene.
  • Concept: Six co-workers trapped at work on a stormy night get a call from God to set their life straight.

Hello - Cast, crew, links

Official Sites:
Supporting Cast:
Background Score:
Music Director:
Art Direction:
Running time:
115 minutes

Comments (6)

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I was planning to go and watch the movie only for Gul Panag, but I am in total surprise now and in a state for not watching the movie. I am complete agree to the movies being converted to books. Godfather is the best example, the other is Gone with the Wind.

@Moksh: Yes... don't go if you want to save money!
@Pankaj: Hope you like it... do share what you feel.
@Arjit: Yes, every movie has its flaws, but my complaint is against poor adaptation.

@Pankaj: I think thers a plan of making a movie out of Five Point Someone. And I think The three mistakes of my life has a typically filmy story so you can xpect a movie out of it too.... :)

neways thnx for ur take on the movie.... i m w8ing to see it... just for curiosity ;)


read this one in hindi...


Yes, "five point someone" will be directed by RajKumar Hirani. Its gonna be called "Three Idiots". Heres the first image: http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/movies/fstills/13910/index.html

Hirani's film stars Aamir Khan along with Sharman Joshi, R. Madhavan and Kareena Kapoor and went on floors recently.

With Hirani and Aamir khan coming together we can expect a polished product. Unlike Hello.

Havent read the novel, so wondering if the films title will work in its favour.

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