One of the very few things Bewafaa does well is expose the movie-going world to the slick Indian subway train system by setting a potentially confrontational scene on New Delhi's spiffy new Metro.
Kareena Kapoor plays Anjali, a high society Delhi wife taking her virginal train ride to avoid the Republic Day traffic. She's on her way to meet the lover, when suddenly affectionate husband, Aditya (Anil Kapoor), ambushes her. The slick shining train, its stations, the London-like turnstiles and ticketing, receive quite a convenient endorsement. Ladies and gents, that is Bewafaa's highest point.
Remember Hum Aapke Hain Koun...? Of course you do, that film where the older sis passes tragically away and the younger plans to sacrifice her love and marry didi's husband. Until, of course, the pooch, riding Lassie-stically to the rescue, thwarts this martyr melodrama.
Well, evidently less canine-friendly director Dharmesh Darshan and producer Sridevi have created an alternate tangent to that tale -- what if the dog didn't interfere, and the marriage actually took place. How badly would the younger sister -- insert maniacal laugh -- suffer?
The audience now has to bear this pathetic excuse for a plot, as the film drudges on.
We open in Canada, with a Hindi-loving foreigner, played by an uncharacteristically irritating Nafisa Ali and Kabir Bedi, her gruff, vanilla husband. Their daughter is Kareena, who sneaks out at every possible occasion to rendezvous with her struggling musician lover, Akshay Kumar, who goes by the wince-inducing moniker of 'Indian Raja'.
Pregnant sister Sushmita comes home, meets the boyfriend, and advises the couple to wait for the right opportunity to break it to the folks. She assures them not to worry, and then promptly dies during the delivery -- leaving twins behind. The folks are heartbroken, as is staid Aditya, newly widowed.
The entire first half jiggles around this premise, with amateurishly acted scenes only pausing to give way to seemingly unending songs.
It's Barjatya minus the sincerity, a pile of sad saccharine only provoking the question 'why?', and making us feel sorry for the cast. They seem to hate every minute of the film, and we more than empathise.
Anjali is a spineless girl, and doesn't tell her lover anything, just vanishes. Constantly an escapist, her character runs towards her new life, just that the disconsolate husband isn't all too excited.
Anil Kapoor in surly mode isn't a pretty picture, and he doesn't care about the new wife, spending most of his time at work. Whatever it is he does -- one of those ambiguous 'businessman' personas Bollywood is so full of -- essentially involves him dressing in a pinstripe suit and walking with left hand tucked firmly into trouser pocket, a position he ridiculously tries to maintain even when walking up stairs.
The uptight and his new wife have a dismal married life, which includes trips to the Taj Mahal with Anjali staring longingly at Aditya and Aditya staring disconcertingly into nothing -- which is where he envisions his lost wife.
It takes a car accident -- understandable, when a Lamborghini driving girl in Canada is shafted into a lowly Mercedes onto Delhi roads -- to shake up Aditya, and he goes off to Germany vowing that he'll give his wife quality time after he returns. Unmissable dialogues at this juncture include a sheepish Kareena saying 'accident jaan boojh ke to nahin hua,' giving her full marks for dictionary value.
At the airport, he leaves and she looks up, and is soap-operatically startled. Coming down the escalator, with a great entourage of people carrying guitar-cases, is none other than Indian Raja, who looks dishier than ever since he's spent the last three years evidently sharpening his sideburns and shaving off his goatee. Now successful, he's in Delhi for a fusion music performance. Ta-da! Without much reluctance, Anjali jumps headlong into an affair, yet remaining morose and torn throughout.
Thrown into the mix also is an imbecilic Manoj Bajpai, playing an obnoxious friend to Aditya. Shamita Shetty plays his tightly-choli'd wife, discovering the affair and being a 'tease' about it. Not inaccurate here is the impossible statement that in their scenes together, she's better than Kareena.
Anil Kapoor aside (big brother made the film), it's hard to imagine why any of the characters involved would work in this nothing movie.
Dharmesh Darshan might have a good box-office record, but he has never been a decent director. Here, however, he's made some pure tripe.
The end almost promises a twist, as Akshay Kumar announces a position of hard defiance as he growls through the title track, the only decent song in this maudlin soundtrack. Sadly, this lasts but a couple of moments before he too tamely relents.
The crux of the film is Kareena, but the script doesn't give her a chance. Anjali's character is written with cryptic cruelty. She doesn't love Aditya, but won't leave him. She loves Indian Raja, but doesn't really care how he feels, or what he goes through. In the end, to justify her position, she sobs out a 'mother can't leave her kids' finale, calculated to have the 'masses' in throes of applause.
The masses groaned. They seem tired of bull.