1 star. Bewafaa (Unfaithful). Directed by Dharmesh Darshan. With Anil Kapoor, Akshay Kumar, Kareena Kapoor, Sushmita Sen, Manoj Bajpai, Shamita Shetty, Kabir Bedi, Nafisa Ali.

The producers of this dud, Boney and Sridevi Kapoor really are on a losing streak. This is their fifth flop in a row. To make matters worse their co-producers this time around is Sahara One, touted as one of the big players in Bollywood. I’m not sure how long they’ll be playing in the big leagues if they continue to produce films like Bewafaa.

On face value the film has potential. It features a fine cast, good music by Nadeem-Shravan and exquisite location cinematography by veteran director of photography W.B.Rao. But it’s failing is the script. The problem with many Bollywood films, acknowledged by Indian filmmakers, lies in the poor quality of the screenplays.

While I realise that most Bollywood films are steeped in fantasy and require audiences to leave their brains at the door, I do feel that they should still be credible. Bewafaa strains all levels of credibility from the first frames and the blame falls firmly at the feet of the director Dharmesh Darshan.

In the opening scene we are introduced to a husband and wife played by Kabir Bedi and Nafisa Ali. It is obvious that he is Indian, she is foreign and they have been married for a long time. But yet after their morning prayers he asks if she understands the meaning of the prayer he recited. Now if they were newlyweds, I could understand this scene, but they are not and in any case she is able to explain the prayer in detail. What’s up with this Mr. Darshan? There are many other scenes, which are as incredulous. Kareena, in her first scene, is woken from her sleep by her Mom, yet her face is fully made up and she looks like a million dollars. Perhaps she sleeps on a Sealy!

The story had potential, but the poor handling spoils it all. Anjali (Kareena) and Aarti are sisters. Aarti, the older sister, is married to Aditya (Anil), a successful businessman and stays in Delhi, India. Anjali stays with her parents in Montreal, Canada and is secretly seeing Raja (Kumar) a struggling musician. Aarti dies giving birth to twin daughters and Anjali is asked to marry Aditya and raise the children. She does this and breaks off her relationship with Raja. But despite her sacrifice, Aditya cannot forget his wife and ignores Anjali throughout the early years of their marriage. By the time he realises what he is doing, Raja is back in Anjali’s life and they have an affair. Does Anjali leave Aditya or does she stay with him for the benefit of the children? If you really must know the answer to this question, then watch Bewafaa. But you are better off avoiding it.

Darshan takes Bollywood back to the Stone Age with this offering and simultaneously does immense damage to the major stride women have made in Indian cinema. Bewafaa is an insult to the intelligence of all moviegoers.

What is sadder is that it is a big budget film shot on foreign locations with top stars, but the money has been wasted, and the box-office potential of this film looks bleak. Faithful Bollywood movie fans will certainly spurn this one, once word gets around that the makers of Bewafaa have not been faithful in their promise to offer a well made love story.

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    Mehboob Bawa is an actor, producer, writer, voice artiste and Bollywood specialist. He covers the Bollywood scene for The Cape Times, the morning daily newspaper in Cape Town, South Africa.


    July 2011