It should have been called “Will You Be My Dense Friend?”
“Mujhse Dosti Karoge” means “Will you be my friend?” in Hindi and the film is about a love triangle between three good friends. The film was released in August 2002 and starred Hrithik Roshan, Rani Mukerji and Kareena Kapoor with Kiran Kumar, Uday Chopra, Satish Shah, Smita Jaykar and Himani Shivpuri in supporting roles. The film was directed by Kunal Kohli, produced by Aditya and Yash Chopra with music by Rahul Sharma. The film is certified U (suitable for all ages) and runs for about 150 minutes.
Raj, Tina & Pooja are three best friends as children. When they’re all about 10 years old Raj’s father gets a job in the UK and the family move away from India. When they’re bidding each other farewell Raj makes Tina promise to email him regularly and she agrees. Within a very short space of time Tina gets bored of staying in touch with Raj, so Pooja decides to write to him instead but she always signs off as Tina. Over the years they maintain a strong bond except Raj in London thinks his bond is with Tina.
15 years later Raj is coming to India for a fortnight’s holiday with his parents. Pooja is excited as he said in his emails that he could recognise her in an instant when he meets her, but for some reason she persuades Tina to play along and pretend that she had been writing to him all these years. The spoilt Tina reluctantly agrees to go along with it. Sadly when Raj arrives he sees both Tina and Pooja there to greet him but goes straight to Tina barely noticing Pooja. Tina falls for him herself and Pooja watches silently as the couple get closer.
Bear with me; we’re only part of the way into the film
Raj returns to London after his 2 week holiday and Pooja arrives there shortly afterwards due to start university. Raj figures out it was actually her that had been writing to him all of these years and falls for her. Do they live happily ever after? I don’t think so A tragedy looms that throws Raj and Tina back together and their wedding date is set; this is when the heartache really starts.
Will Raj marry Tina? Will Tina ever find out her best friend loves her man? Will Pooja sacrifice her love for her best friend?
One of the things that really stood out for me during the first part of the film and continued to niggle me throughout the film was the fact that Raj & Tina agreed to communicate by email after he left for London. This film was made in 2002 and the initial scenes are set 15 years in the past which would have made it around 1987. Email was not available as commonly in the late 80s, not really till the mid 90s, so I found this a huge hole in the plot. Especially because Pooja takes over sending emails to Raj pretending to be Tina and does that for 15 years. Was Tina not aware that emails were being sent to someone from her email account and wasn’t Raj replying back to her email account. This part of the story bugged me a great deal especially as the emails were referred to as letters from after when Raj returns to India. And if they were all three such good friends, why was Raj never concerned that Pooja didn’t write to him? There was absolutely no reason that I could see for having used the email part of the storyline as it was too flawed! That’s my first rant over about the film. Another one to come shortly
Rani Mukherji was fabulous in this film. In the hit film of a few years before this film was released, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, she was the woman that the hero falls for and marries much to the disappointment of the other best friend who stood by quietly and let it happen. In this film she plays the one who is prepared to sacrifice her happiness for her best friends. Her acting was exemplary throughout the film – I can honestly say that I can’t fault her acting in any film I’ve seen her in to date and she is definitely one of Bollywood’s brightest acting talents in this day and age.
Hrithik Roshan has been Bollywood’s blue eyed boy in recent years but had a few hits and misses earlier in his career. This film wasn’t a particularly big box office hit for him but I personally found his acting quite flawless in the film; not that I accepted the behaviour of his character but he was following the script so I can’t blame him for that. He is a very good looking guy and tends to have good chemistry with his female leads. He has very deep piercing eyes and can look very sincere even when he’s not being sincere (when acting I mean).
Kareena Kapoor did nothing to impress me in this film. I find that she overacts a great deal and her whiny voice pretty much grates on me every time I hear it. She plays a real spoilt brat of a character (which she seems to do often in films) and I don’t understand remotely why Pooja is her best friend or why Raj is so crazy about her. From a young age Tina is arrogant, pampered and selfish. Why would a sweet person like Pooja hang around such a person for 15 years and stay best friends with her? She makes it clear from within a few days of Raj leaving for London that she can’t be bothered to keep in touch with him and through later conversations we discover that Pooja has always done Tina’s homework too when Tina was otherwise enjoying herself. What sort of best friend goes along with a plan as silly as to pretend to a guy she didn’t care enough about as a child to continue writing to him for 15 years and then suddenly she accepts Pooja’s request to meet him and pretend she had, in fact, been writing to him? Also I would question my best friend’s motives if they made a request of me like this and she doesn’t even once think to ask how Pooja really feels about Raj or even see that her best friend is in love with Raj which is really evident from the way she behaves from the minute they all meet up on his first return to India. Even the fact that Tina starts calling Raj Mr America from when he first arrives, much to his confusion, he tells her he’s been in London all these years and she asks “What’s the difference?” then proceeds to call him the same name throughout the rest of the film whilst he then starts to call her “Miss Universe”. How dense does one have to be to think London and America are the same place? The mistake Tina initially makes is carried on throughout the film and I think the writers thought it would be cute. Personally I found it very annoying (that was another rant, in case you didn’t notice).
As for Pooja accepting that the guy she’s been crazy about all these years arrives back in India and straight away goes for her best friend from her looks – one wonders if she has any self esteem whatsoever. I would write a guy off as pretty fickle if he did that to me! To stand by and watch your best friend take credit for writing love letters to the man you love and watch him come over after 15 years and walk straight past you to someone else just because she’s (supposedly) prettier and more vivacious. Did he not think to ask why she never bothered keeping in touch with him? Well I guess if I had my way, the film wouldn’t have been the same and it would have ended there in the first half hour!
Uday Chopra enters the film some time after the halfway point. I’m not a fan of his generally and seeing him in this film didn’t change my opinion one iota. His character is Raj’s best friend and he is introduced into the film to bring another angle to the love triangle as he quickly falls for Pooja. As relationships develop, one has to wonder how both Rohan and Tina can be so totally blind as to their best friends’ true feelings. I’m so very glad I personally don’t have close friends who know me so little
I guess I’ve done with tearing apart the storyline now. It’s an enjoyable enough film really – Rani Mukherji and Hrithik Roshan are superb throughout the film. I found they had good chemistry and he really has that smouldering furious look down pat when she tells him that he must marry her best friend or she’ll fall apart. He can portray those angry young man expressions really well and can be compared to Bollywood legend Amitabh Bachchan in that respect I think!
There are a handful of songs in the film which are fairly well placed. Nothing that would make me go out and buy the music album for the film but nothing that was unpleasant either. I enjoyed the title song “Mujhse Dosti Karoge” and the first song in the film too where the 3 leads sing about meeting after 15 years was rather nice too. The playback singers for the film include: Udit Narayan, Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhosle, Alka Yagnik and Alisha Chinai. Lata’s voice sounds quite old in the few songs that she sang and if you consider she’s been singing in Hindi films since the 1940s, maybe it’s time she gave it a rest and let younger singers take the helm – she is still capable but her voice did sound somewhat strained to me. Her sister, on the other hand, Asha Bhosle, although not much younger that Lata, can still carry a tune quite well and fans of hers won’t be disappointed too much by the songs she sings in the film. Interestingly enough (well maybe not that interesting) in the last song of the film, they use a medley of hit songs from other Bollywood films sung by a mixture of artists which was very pleasant to listen to as all were big hits in the films that they were originally from, such as “Le Jayenge Le Jayenge”, “Yeh Gaaliyaan Yeh Chaubara”, “Bachna Ae Haseeno” and “Aap Yahan Aae Kis Liye”.
I did enjoy the film but there were too many things that grated on me including the email in the 80s issue and best friends not really being aware of what best friends should be issue. Because of those reasons mainly I’m giving the film just 6 out of 10. The email issue need not have been there as the emails are referred to as letters from not long after our leading man returns to India and I felt it was a needless plot hole to have! Fun film to watch which is also a bit of a tearjerker, nice to look at leads but there are loads more Bollywood films out there more deserving of your time.