Mehbooba poster


wogma rating: Switch channels if it's on cable (?)

quick review:

"Your thoughts on the movie", someone asked me on twitter? I didn't need to think twice before replying, "can't have too many thoughts after watching it. Mind's too numb after random lyrics, music, choreography, costumes, dialogues, story, acting, etc, etc, etc"

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Director: Afzal Khan
Running time: 170 minutes
Genres: Romance
More Movie Info

And just in case you are wondering, I am no big fan of what our film industry churned out during that period. Of course, it's over-generalization, but I'm talking of those specific movies with very loose characterizations and even looser transformation of these characters. The kind where the makers thought they are being blasphemous if they didn’t present us with a badly choreographed song, with worse writing and cookie-cutter music every 10 minutes.

Very rarely do I allow myself to judge a movie in the first few frames. But sappy, long, unwieldy words of gratitude from the director to everyone he felt thankful to, one after the other, did it for me. Now, the actual first few frames of the movie reaffirmed the cyncism. Aerial shots of a four-horse chariot running wild on brown pasture lands. This could look beautiful, but here it just doesn't.

Bouts of directorial creativity surface every once in a while, only for you to wish they didn't. Because they are in the form of a two lips touching awkwardly (not kissing!) under a...table fountain!! Or picture this - yetannuder romantic number playing. Manisha Koirala is upto some random dance, suddenly one of her palms faces camera with her lover's name written on it and a red mark on the little-finger edge of the palm. Next, the other similarly red-marked palm, with her name on it this time, joins the first palm at the red spots to form a heart!!!!!, the audience has grown up...when will you?

- meeta, a part of the audience

15 reviewers(?) - 0 yays 3 so-so 12 nays

Warning: clicking on "full review" will take you to an external website that could contain spoilers.

So-So, by Taran Adarsh, IndiaFM : ... It's dated, yes, but it has the old world charm that still works in the hinterland, in the mofussil areas, the Hindi belt.... full review

So-So, Movie Talkies : ...What really works for the film is the direction by Afzal Khan and Manisha's acting.... full review

So-So, by Hanumant Bhansali, Radio Sargam : ...Director Afzal Khan has done a competent job by incorporating a lot of Bollywoodish flavours.... full review

Thumbs down, by Aparajita Ghosh, Apun Ka Choice : ...The dialogues in ‘Mehbooba’ are utterly filmi and, to top it, the actors speak them as if they would get an award for over-acting.... full review

Thumbs down, by Baradwaj Rangan, Blogical Conclusion, The New Sunday Express : ...He appears to have made Love Story 1965... full review

Thumbs down, by Martin D'souza, : ...the camera work is brilliant... full review

Thumbs down, by Khalid Mohamed, Hindustan Times : ...Supreme sacrifices are in order. You’ll have to make some too.... full review

Thumbs down, by Rajeev Masand, IBN Live : ...Having said that one must admit that Mehbooba has scale.... full review

Thumbs down, by Gaurav Malani, indiatimes : ...The film resorts to all sorts of gimmickry from a sari-clad rain song in the studio-shower to a sleazy nautanki item number and an action packed finale.... full review

Thumbs down, by Janhvi Patel, : ...Of course this movie is dated because Kader Khan and Reema Lagoo and Asrani are not seen in movies lately... full review

Thumbs down, by Mayank Shekhar, NDTV : ...Hinterland India, I am told, has begun to miss such Bollywood movies. This is your over-budget Bhojpuri film then.... full review

Thumbs down, by Subhash K Jha, Now : ... The inconsistencies in the narration are covered up with a lot of exterior gloss.... full review

Thumbs down, by Sonia Chopra, Sify Movies : ...While nowhere close to his work in Devdas and Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, his effort is not bad and a couple of songs are reasonably good.... full review

Thumbs down, by Nikhat Kazmi, Times of India : ...Guess the time's over for these treacly tales by now. Specially when all the actors have aged and progressed to more meatier roles.... full review

Twitter reviews for this movie are not available.

1 readers - 0 yays 0 so-so 1 nays

Nay! Thumbs Down, by TimELiebe : Yes, I really have a friend who would love it - but I'm not him!

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

Plot Summary

Karan (Ajay Devgan) is in love with a girl who appears in his dreams. As fate has it, she appears in his life as Payal (Manisha Koirala) and he starts to win her over. Except that she is not in the frame of mind to be won over.

What Worked

  • Choreography and music of the prelude of the stage show dance.
  • The formations in the choreography in the mansion song.

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

  • Why is Kadar Khan, Ajay Devgan's lawyer counseling the latter on relationships, especially after saying a line like, "tumhaara vakeel hone ke naate" (because I'm your lawyer)
  • What does Karan do? Why is he in Budapest? When does Kadar Khan's character work? Where does he vanish off to in the second half?
  • Why did Varsha need a job when she was living in a mansion in New York!?
  • Why are all those people dressed in wedding gowns and tuxedos on new year's eve?
  • Manisha Koirala's diction! I couldn't get Sanjay Dutt's character's name even though she repeated it thrice in 5 minutes. Was it Sharman or Shravan or Shraman?
  • And why repeat the name so many times in the first place? Its not like it is an awe-inspiring name!
  • And what happened to Sanjay Dutt's diction? Why was he pronouncing "dil" as "deel"?
  • The finger rings on the top of the engagement cake...certainly did not work!
  • The awkward physical distances between characters in the frame compositions.
  • Sheesh...power outages timed to synchronize with Payal's 'stunning' revelation of her past and get this, power comes back when Karan accepts it!
  • Why is Anu Kapoor shown playing the piano when the background music has no piano sounds in it?!
  • Blue lit desert, looked too artificial.
  • Will men stop calling the women they love "meriwaali" (my girl, only sounds a little more derogative) as if they were some kind of property under dispute?


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 Payal tugging around empty suitcases!?
  • Why does the sardar in the train first start talking to Payal in Hindi and then ask her if she's India? Was that supposed to be a sad joke on the NRI population?
  • Why does that fruit basket have so many fruits when there are only two people in the house? Okay - these are the things that one notices when one is getting bored by everything else on screen!
  • Why do the violinists stand suddenly in the middle of their performance?
  • That is one cordless phone with a powerful range!
  • What kind of a woman wears a salwar suit in Budapest and enters Rajasthan in a trouser suit!

Ok, this is where I got bored of making these lists and let them be. Being lazy today...

Parental Guidance:

    Mild spoilers ahead...
  • Violence: Slaps between men and women and an accident.
  • Sexual content: A seductive number and a guy womanizing.
  • Concept: It’s a love story that youd find boring, so I've no clue why you'd subject your children to that.

Mehbooba - Cast, crew, links

Official Sites:
Supporting Cast:
Background Score:
Action Choreography:
Music Director:
Running time:
170 minutes

Comments (6)

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and did u read taran adarshs' review in Indiafm. Please do, I would love to see your take on that review here.puhleeez.

well said.its total bakwas.

@vimal - :) all i can say is, to each his own, to each his own

@fawaz - thanks!

@chavanni - thanks, assuming that was meant for my review :)

@Michael - i thinks chavanni's "bakwas" was meant for the film and not Taran Adarsh's review

Sorry I haven't been around lately - book deadline.

I just saw MEHBOOBA with a much-reduced version of the All-American Sunday Night Unofficial Bollywood Film Club and - wow, was the melodrama overripe, or what? Even by the standards of Nineties Bollywood, where every slap or punch splits the air louder than the Howling Mothers of Harfleur, this movie was seriously Over-the-Top.

I'm recommending it to a friend of mine on Facebook - largely because he has a weakness for crazy melodrama like Douglas Sirk's WRITTEN ON THE WIND....

@TimELiebe Your comment reminded me that I've seen the film and in fact reviewed it... that says it all. Tell us the truth, you recommended it to your friend because you are plotting some kind of a revenge, right?

@TimELiebe oh wow! Bring him :)
Ps: Thanks!

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