Mehbooba - Movie Review

Friday, May 11, 2018 - 14:00
Mehbooba (2018)
Cast & Crew: 

Film: Mehbooba
Cast: Akash Puri, Neha Shetty, Vishu Reddy, Murali Sharma, Shayaji Shinde, and others
Music: Sandeep Chowta
Fights: Real Satish
Cinematography: Vishnu Sharma
Editor: Junaid Siddique
Art: Johnny Shaik
Produced by: Puri Connects
Story, dialogues, screenplay and Directed by: Puri Jagannadh
Release date: May 11, 2018
CBFC Rating: UA

What’s it about!
In Hyderabad (in India, there is one is Pak as well), Roshan (Akash Puri) gets dreams of getting killed from childhood. In Pakistan, a girl named Afreen (Neha Shetty) suffers from similar dreams. Afreen gets engaged to Nadir (Vishu Reddy) but she doesn’t want to get married to him and comes to Hyderabad to study in Engineering as part of exchange program. In Hyderabad, the paths of both Roshan and Afreen cross. He saves her in an incident. Meanwhile, Roshan gets selected as captain in Indian army and before joining the job, he wants to go for trekking to Himalayas with his friends. At the same time, Afreen gets a call from her mother to come Pakistan immediately. An incident in Himalayas makes Roshan realize that Afreen is none other than his lover in his previous birth and both of them are reborn to unite in this birth. How will Roshan go to Pakistan to bring his Dulhan?
The theme of reincarnation is favourite for many filmmakers, it is also paying formula at the box-office. Many films were made with this theme in the past but ‘Magadheera’ comes to our memory as it was released in the last decade.

Director Puri Jagannadh has not added any new angle to this beaten-death plot line except one difference. The boy who was Pakistani Muslim has now become an Indian Hindu and the girl who was Indian Hindu girl in previous birth is now Pakistan Muslim girl. Other than this, he has added regular tropes that we have seen in this genre. In these kind of movies, both hero and heroine get that ‘I know you before’ feelings, they get vibes whenever they cross paths, some song, or place or story keeps haunting them from their previous birth. 
In Puri’s film, Lata Mangeshkar’s famous song ‘Lag Jaa Gale Ke Phir’ from 'Woh Kaun Thi?' is the trope that is used. This song reunites them in this birth. Other trope is that a villain tries to ruin their love story in both the births and borders play spoilsport to their love theme in both the births.
Puri tries to stress the point that lovers are not only reborn to get united, they can also break borders between the countries to achieve it. Well, it all seems good on paper but the lofty idea has not translated effectively on the screen. 

For a love story to click or engage audiences, first and foremost the love episodes should be terrific. In both the births, the lovers don’t actually indulge in “romance”. In one janma, she likes him because he saved her from a Pakistan soldier trying to take her modesty, in the current janma she likes him because he saved her from eve teasers. This ‘liking’ part is okay but for audiences to feel their love there has to be some good romantic sequences. That is totally missing.
Added to this, the songs are quite old-ish, no contemporary feel.
Even though Puri Jagannadh has used patriotic sequences and has extensively used high-end graphics for sequences, the film suffers from lack of good romance for a love story.
Fortunately, throughout the movie, we get to see the good and confident performance from Akash Puri. In his debut movie as lead actor, Akash Puri is so assertive of talent. He has it in him to become a star. Neha Shetty is okay. Murali Sharma as Neha Shetty's Pakistan father is effective. Villain Vishnu Reddy irritates with loud acting. Shayaji Shinde should stop doing such overt act. 

The film has flashes of good writing (dialogues) but his screenplay and direction is so clichéd. There is also no entertainment, and the narration is slow-paced. 

Cinematography and making values are terrific. It needed engaging narration than the lavish scale of visuals. 
Bottom-line: Puri Jagannadh's son Akash Puri shines in debut movie "Mehbooba". The script and narration lacks depth and doesn’t impress. Despite grand production values and glittering visuals, this reincarnation love story is as clichéd as the theme doesn't appeal at all. 

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