Chaahat Ek Nasha

(2005)

Dir: Jai Prakash, Surya Prakash

Cast: Aryan Vaid, Manisha Koirala, Pretti Jhangiana, Sharad S. Kapoor, Sayaji Sinde, Snehal Dabi.

Rashmi (Preeti Jhangiani) loves to sing and dance. Her best friends all insist that she could become the next superstar.

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However, her father, Dr. Sanjeev, will have none of that as he wishes to send his daughter off to medical school in the states. How boring. Eventually, (and quite easily, I might add) he gives in to Laxmi’s request to try her luck in show business, but with the condition that she has to have become successful as an entertainer within 1 year, or off to university she goes.

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Rashmi’s first stop on her way to becoming the idol of billions is the swank office of R. K. Music producer Rahul (Aryan Vaid), where she is immediately blown off. You see Rahul is already very busy trying to keep the organization’s main pop sensation Mallika (Manisha Koirala) on the top of the charts.

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And he color coordinates very nicely, too.

Mallika, besides being the Hindustani Madonna….

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….she is also Rahul’s girlfriend. Poor, handsome-hottie Rahul is wanting to make her his wife, if she will have him, but alas, Mallika has no interest in marriage, wrongly (or not) believing that marriage ruins everything.

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… and when he proposes to her she tells him that she would prefer to just stay friends, with “benefits.” She obviously believes in the old adage of “why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free.”

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But I digress

Because Mallika is such a famous star she has a bodyguard, named Jaidev (Sharad S. Kapoor), a big, brooding sort who is secretly in love with her, has a very bad temper, and has even beaten to a pulp a couple of guys who got fresh with Ms. M.

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In his case, decidedly so.

Back to Rashmi, she finally manages to get a cd of her work slipped into Rahul’s hands and, fade to next scene…his agency has decided to produce her first album. Take that Dr. Dad!

Just in time too, as Mallika’s star has begun to fade (almost overnight, it would seem, since she was like # 1 on the charts at the start of the movie), and the agency is really in need of someone new and fresh.

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Incidentally Rashmi is a huge fan(atic) of Mallika and over the years has spent a considerable sum not only buying all of  her records and cassettes but sending her fave adoring notes and flowers.

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So sweet!

Before you start thinking this will turn into a Hindi All About Eve, let me just dash those hopes by mentioning that this plot point is barely played upon, and has no purpose other then to show that Rashmi respects the elder that she is unknowingly about to shove out of the spotlight. No, this movie decides not to go there (too bad), although I am certain there must be several Bollywood films that already have remade the Bette Davis classic. 

With her first album a smash, Rashmi is the shining light of R. K Music. Rahul, still feeling the sting of a broken heart over Mallika’s refusal to marry him, suddenly takes notice of Rashmi, and realizes that she might make a darn good life partner. There is a musical number to prove it.

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He and Rashmi do indeed make a love connection and Mallika is sent off to the “we can still be best friends, can’t we?” camp. Not that Mallika minds all that much at first, after all it was her idea not to get serious, but when Rahul delivers the news personally that he and Rashmi are to wed, she doesn’t take it well, what with both her career and now her love life in the dumpster. Next thing you know Mallika is boozing it up and smoking like a chimney, neither of which are helping her out of the deep depression she has fallen into.

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After the love birds’ engagement party, in which Mallka was a special guest, there is some speculation by the press about Rahul and Mallika’s current “friendship.” When Mallika is later misquoted by a journalist, it spreads the seed of illegitimate relations all over the tabloids, and Rashmi’s dad informs his daughter that this marriage will not take place.

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In a fury, Rashmi, believing the rumors, confronts Rahul and throws her engagement ring at him. Rahul, in turn, confronts Mallika and insults her in public.

Now, more depressed and drunk then ever, Mallika suggests to Jaidev, who of course has been doing his slimy best to comfort her during this ordeal, that Rahul does not deserve to live and she instructs the all too willing servant to make it so.

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Soon Jaidev is on a search and destroy mission heading into town to find his target. The next day Mallika realizes her bibulous mistake, phones Jaidev and tells him to please ignore her inebriated rants from the previous evening. Jaidev refuses to hear her plea, and besides he has already abducted Rashmi in order to lure Rahul to his death.

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Will Rahul and Rashmi survive and enjoy wedded bliss together?

Will Mallika make a comeback and find love again?

Will Jaidev learn to just chill?

See CHAAHAT EK NASHA to find out!

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CHAAHAT EK NASHA is a B movie, plain and simple. The stars are all of secondary status and the plot is very old-school, albeit with a dash of modern skin show. In fact the script gives lead actor Aryan Vaid ample opportunity to reveal his muscly torso ( but then, gratuitous male beefcake-ness is generally a part of any Aryan Vaid movie… not that that’s a bad thing!).

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 The songs are nothing to write home about, but they are all pleasent enough and nicely picturized.  I particularly liked Yeh Chehra Yeh Aankhen.

Actor Aryan Vaid is a veteran of this type of celluloid time-pass. Although he has a supporting role in the big budget film  APNE (2007), his major work on the silver screen has been starring in low-budget skin shows like MARKET, MEN NOT ALLOWED, MR 100%: THE REAL PLAYER and FUN: CAN BE DANGEROUS SOMETIMES, horror films such as GUTAN and NAAM GUM JAAYEGA and potboilers like DANAV and FILM STAR. Vaid is a very handsome (see above) and a seemingly competent actor, and he has quickly become a Pedro favorite. It is a mystery to me why he hasn’t made the big time. Perhaps his experiences with the male casting couch, or rather lack thereof, has been detrimental to his career. Here is an interesting interview he recently gave regarding the subject: http://www.theindianstar.com/index.php?udn=2008-01-21&uan=1622

Manisha Koirala did have a decent career in the early 90s, but in more recent years has slipped into making second tier films. She is very effective as the entertainer who is on the top of the world one day, and practically forgotten the next, and I kind of like her. I might have to dig around for more of her films, particularly 1942: A LOVE STORY, which I have heard many good things about, and the soundtrack of which is one of my favorites.

Despite the film’s lack of prestige  it manages to be a fairly good entertainer (at least it was for me, but then I am easy to please), especially if all you are looking for is simple, mindless fun on a rainy day (which is often the case for me).

And of course there is a lot of prettiness to look at!

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