Namaste London Movie Review
Cast: Akshay Kumar, Katrina Kaif, Upen Patel, Rishi Kapoor, Javed Sheikh (Pakistan), Ritesh Deshmukh; Director: Vipul Shah; Music: Himesh Reshammiya; Lyrics: Javed Akhtar; Rating: **
If the first 40 minutes were anywhere close to the last 30, the audience would have been saying, ‘Namaste Vipul’. Sadly, the film fails to hold interest. Director Vipul Shah touches on a subject on love for country and a desire to cling to the roots. In trying to set the platform for the film to take-off, Vipul shoots in the dark in his attempt to build the character of Katrina Kaif (Jasmeet Singh) who calls herself Jazz, and who refuses to marry an Indian.
Jaaz is this girl who has been born and brought up in the Queen’s land and how she thinks partying and drinking in pubs is all that there is to life. She also thinks that she has a right to do what she feels like since she is an adult, which shocks her dad Rishi Kapoor. This is the generation gap the director is trying to magnify; of how the young are lost abroad while their parents pine for a good Indian boy after feeding them the ways of the English. Not possible na?
Exactly, that’s why Dad hatches a plan to take Jazz to India to visit his homeland Punjab. Girl, under pressure, marries Akshay Kumar (Arjun) and once back in the UK surprises the marriage party saying the marriage was a sham. She also educates dad and his friend that this wedding does not stand a chance to be authenticated in UK.
Then why marry?? They ask. Well, she justifies her behaviour by saying that since her dad tricked her into marriage by taking her to India, she tricked dad into believing she was marrying and in the bargain she did not give them enough time to register the marriage back home. There you go. End of story.
Now, Akshay has to win her heart and the rest as they say is history! Of course, Akshay wins!
There are three interesting scenes that stand out. One is when Rishi takes daughter ‘groom hopping’. Two is when Akshay lets one English gentleman know, with facts and figures, that India is not just a nation of snake charmers, after this particular gentleman tells Katrina that by trying to Jazz (pun intended) up her name she wants to be accepted as one of them. “That’s what your ancestors told you,” Akshay tells the poor guy. Just for that scene alone, you want to stand up and salute the director for making you feel proud to be an Indian. It’s not that the facts are unknown, but the way the scene is handled is a joy. And finally the third scene when Upen Patel (Imran Khan) refuses to bend to his English girlfriend’s parents’ wish of a name change and a shift in religion.
Performance wise, there is nothing to shout from the rooftop. Katrina has found a good script that goes with her anglicized Hindi. Having said that, one must admit that she is gaining confidence with every role. Akshay, Rishi, Upen and Javed Shaikh as Parvez Khan (Upen’s dad) are good. The surprise pack is the performance of Riteish Deshmukh in a bit role and Upen Patel. This boy is fast proving than he can also act. Music by Himesh Reshammiya is passable.
But for the patriotic moments, the movie is a huge let down.