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.”