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Dil ka rishta

First starring role by Bollywood superbabe Aishwarya Rai since last summer's "Devdas," masala meller "Dil ka rishta" is less than the event it should have been. Tale of a misfooted love affair between a businessman and a teacher is holed by a weak script by Vrinda Rai and only OK direction by onetime editor Naresh Malhotra.

With:
With: Aishwarya Rai, Arjun Rampal, Raakhee, Priyanshu Chatterjee, Isha Koppikar, Paresh Rawal, Tiku Talsania.

First starring role by Bollywood superbabe Aishwarya Rai since last summer’s “Devdas,” masala meller “Dil ka rishta” is less than the event it should have been. Tale of a misfooted love affair between a businessman and a teacher is holed by a weak script by Vrinda Rai (Aishwarya’s mom) and only OK direction by onetime editor Naresh Malhotra. However, thesp’s utterly fresh playing and dancing will amply reward Rai’s fans.

On a visit to Mumbai from South Africa, Jai (Arjun Rampal, fine) falls for Tia (Rai), who teaches impaired children. When he discovers she already has a b.f., Raj (Priyanshu Chatterjee, in a likable perf), Jai hits the bottle, causing a tragic auto accident. Post-intermission, Tia recovers, but with amnesia — which gives Jai a chance to cart Tia and her young son back to Cape Town, pretending the kid is his. Corny plot is redeemed by d.p. Ashok Mehta’s crisp South African lensing (better than in the Mumbai scenes) and Rai’s spirited perf, carried over into the okay musical numbers. Production values are mid-range; background score is needlessly bombastic. Hindi title means “Heart of Gold.”

Dil ka rishta

India

Production: A Tips Films presentation of a Target Films production. (International sales: Tips, Mumbai.) Produced by Shabbir Boxwala, Aditya Rai. Co-producer, Suresh Bhandary. Directed by Naresh Malhotra. Screenplay, Vrinda Rai, Naeem Shah, Leena Rao; story, Shabbir Boxwala.

Crew: Camera (Fujicolor, widescreen), Ashok Mehta; editor, Malhotra; background music, Viju Shah; song music, Nadeem-Shravan; lyrics, Sameer; art director, Pramod Gurija; choreographer, Raju Khan. Reviewed at Odeon Wimbledon 1, Surrey, U.K., Jan. 18, 2003. Hindi dialogue. Running time: 149 min. (I: 69 min.; II: 80 min.).

With: With: Aishwarya Rai, Arjun Rampal, Raakhee, Priyanshu Chatterjee, Isha Koppikar, Paresh Rawal, Tiku Talsania.

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