Endless Night

Based on Chetan Bhagat’s bestseller One Night @ The Call Centre, Atul Agnihotri’s Hello tells the story of, well, just that. While it pours cats and pups outside, six employees of a call centre lament over their personal and professional lives inside.

By Sudha Mukerjee

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Published: Sun 12 Oct 2008, 10:39 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 3:43 PM

There’s team leader Shyam (Sharman Joshi) who’s in love with Priyanka (Gul Panag) who’s about to marry an NRI, there’s Military Uncle (Sharat Saxena) who is estranged from his son, there’s a meek housewife Radhika (Amrita Arora), and there’s the office joker Vroom (Sohail Khan) who has a soft corner for Esha (Isha Koppikar) who dreams of becoming a model. Toss in big bad boss Bakshi (Dalip Tahil) who worships Uncle Sam and all things American, and the stage is set for six lifestyles on a tumultuous night, and a call from above. That’s pretty much what the film’s tagline promises, and that’s what you get.

However,there’s little here that engrosses or entertains and it’s thanks to a ponderous screenplay, dull performances and duller songs. The characters fail to interest, and except for Shyam (Sharman Joshi), no one strikes a chord. As a result, we don’t really care about this evidently well-paid lot who take numerous coffee breaks(even stepping out to a night club for a drinking spree!) but keep moaning all night about their collective woes.

By the time things perk up (after that crucial call which, by the way, turns out to be a damp squib or perhaps it’s thanks to the edited version we get to see), there isn’t much of the movie left. Which maybe isn’t such a bad thing after all.

What was a fairly easy read from Chetan Bhagat turns into a long-winded anduneasy celluloid experience thanks to director Atul Agnihotri. The one character that looked promising (and who we would have liked to have seen a little more) was Curly Wurly (Anusha Dandekar), but sadly, Bhagat didn’t give her much space in his book.

Replete with an overdose of America-bashing and intrusive songs, narrating the story is Katrina Kaif and she’s telling the tale to muscular, popular but hardly spectacular (at least here) Salman Khan.

As usual Pappu can’t dance but his shirt comes off five minutes into the movie with a Bang, or rather, Bang Bang. Yes, that’s what that ghastly song is called. Actually, promoting the film on Salman Khan’s star value wasn’t such a smart idea. The superstar’s role is little more than a cameo, and ditto for Miss Kaif. And both, alas, have been photographed so badly that they hardly appear the good-looking couple that they are.

Amrita Arora, as the anti depressant popping dutiful wife and bahu, is covered from head to toe and quite unrecognisable. Gul Panag fails to impress, while Dalip Tahil (as the loud mouthed, conniving boss) hams to the hilt. Arbaaz Khan (as Amrita Arora’s husband) makes a brief appearance. Sohail Khan is passable as the resident buffoonwhile Isha Koppikar redeems herself in her breakdown scene. The acting honours, however, go to Sharman Joshi who is the only one with any real talent (and appealing enough) in this corny call centre scenario to merit a look.

Hello is Atul Agnihotri’s second directorial venture after Dil Ne Jise Apna Kaha and does not exactly inspire us to wait for his third. Disappointing fare.

Hello

Cast: Salman Khan, Sharman Joshi etc

Music: Sajid-Wajid

Producer: Paul Parmar, Funky Buddha Media

Director: Atul Agnihotri


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