Movie review: Tell Me O Kkhuda

Nothing really to tell here!

Hema Malini is still called ‘Dream Girl’, but it ain’t a tag her daughter Esha – however great her shape may be – can inherit easily. The fond mum insists her daughter can act; audiences have not yet seen much evidence of that, though there was a hint in the rather offbeat Just Married and perhaps some promise in her debut, Koi Mere Dil Se Poochhe. Esha is a far better classical dancer than an actor, but it is perhaps her lineage that will not allow her to give up trying to make it on the big screen.

This time, in Tell Me O Kkhuda, everything lets her down, from the story to the direction, even though it is in fact a dream team at work. Esha’s mother Hema Malini has directed the film, while her father, Dharmendra, plays a pivotal role. The story is reminiscent of Hema’s first film as a director, Dil Aashna Hai, which had Divya Bharati and Shahrukh Khan playing the young leads. This time, Esha is a novelist who finds out that she is adopted and starts a search for her biological parents, with her friends (Chandan Roy Sanyal and Arjan Bajwa) as support system-cohorts in an adventure that seems to be an endless sightseeing trip around the world.

The quest hinges on a hospital birth tag that our heroine has kept for 24 years and is kept going by a municipality clerk (Johny Lever) who is not just the comic element, but a kind of sutradhar with a tired and overdone act. The three possible fathers are Vinod Khanna, as a member of a royal family from Rajasthan, a Turkish hotel owner played by Rishi Kapoor and Dharmendra doing a hammy version of a don from Goa. Hema Malini is – surprise! – the mother of the heroine… or so we discover after much song and dance.

Nobody seems to have a strong enough grip on this one, not even the lead actor Esha, for whom it has been made. We, frankly, even with our strong liking for Dharmendra, Hema Malini, Rishi Kapoor and Chandan Roy Sanyal, were not impressed by anything about the film. Except perhaps the fact that all these people came together willingly to be part of it.