Paap

Team behind last year's hit, "Jism," goes for a second serving with "Paap," a sultry saga set in the Himalayan foothills mixing erotic fantasies, Buddhist reincarnation and nasty gangsters. Stunning locales in Himachal Pradesh partly compensate for a weak storyline and pretty-but-bland leads in this first helming stint by Pooja Bhatt, daughter of vet producer Mahesh Bhatt, who shows a sharper visual eye than dramatic grasp.

With:
With: John Abraham, Udita Goswani, Mohan Agashe, Gulshan Grover, Sandeep Mehta, Denzil Smith, Anahita Uberoi, Madan Bhiku.

Basic team behind last year’s high-tease hit, “Jism,” goes for a second, less successful serving with “Paap,” a sultry saga set in the Himalayan foothills mixing erotic fantasies, Buddhist reincarnation and nasty gangsters. Stunning locales in Himachal Pradesh partly compensate for a weak storyline and pretty-but-bland leads in this first helming stint by Pooja Bhatt, daughter of vet producer Mahesh Bhatt, who shows a sharper visual eye than dramatic grasp. B.O. for January release was below average.

Simple plot centers on celibate Kaaya (breathless newcomer Udita Goswani), first seen swimming in her scanties in a lake. Daughter of a strict Buddhist (Mohan Agashe), she’s sent to Delhi to find a tyke, Llahmo (Madan Bhiku), purportedly a reincarnation of a grand master. But when the kid witnesses a gangland killing, the two are pursued back to the mountains, along with hunky cop Shiven (John Abraham, from “Jism”), who sets Kaaya’s pulse racing. “Witness”-like story is an excuse for loadsa heavy breathing, three modestly staged but attractive musical numbers, and copious shots of bare-chested Abraham. Pic is first Bollywood production to preem in Pakistan (at last December’s Karachi fest). Title means “Sin.”

Paap

Market / India

Production: A Worldwide Entertainment Group release of a Shreya Creations presentation of a Fish Eye Network production. (International sales: WEG, Mumbai.) Produced by Sujit Kumar Singh, Pooja Bhatt. Executive producer, Sheel Kumar. Directed by Pooja Bhatt. Associate director, Rishi Tyagi. Screenplay, Mahesh Bhatt, Niranjan Iyengar, J.P. Dixit.

Crew: Camera (color, widescreen), Anshuman Mahaley; editor, Akiv Ali; background music, Music Mushrooms; song music, Anu Malik, Shahi, Ali Azmat; lyrics, Sayeed Quadri, Sabir Zafar, Azmat, Amjad Islam Amjad; production designer, Pooja Bhatt. Reviewed on videodisc, London, March 21, 2004. Hindi dialogue. Running time: 121 MIN.

With: With: John Abraham, Udita Goswani, Mohan Agashe, Gulshan Grover, Sandeep Mehta, Denzil Smith, Anahita Uberoi, Madan Bhiku.

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