A good entry-level masala movie, about a father battling to retain custody of the son he kidnapped from evil in-laws, “Rishtey” has a way too over-distended second half to click beyond Bollywood aficionados. However, there’s a simple elegance to Indra Kumar’s direction, especially in the musical numbers, that’s rare in second-rung Hindi productions like this one, making it helmer’s best picture to date. Business on initial release last December was OK.
It’s only after the intermission that the full story is told of why onetime boxer Suraj (Anil Kapoor) has raised his 7-year-old son, Karan (Jibraan Khan), alone outside Mumbai. Karan has been led to believe his mom, Komal (Karisma Kapoor), is dead, but one day she spots Karan and Suraj by chance, leading to protracted custody battles, inside and outside the courtroom. Anil Kapoor is believable as the doting dad; Karisma Kapoor (no relation) makes less impression as the conflicted mother, with the distaff honors stolen by Shilpa Shetty as a brash fisher-woman who falls for Suraj. Six musical numbers are all catchy, and effectively staged, and Monty Sharma’s background score is above average.