Kucch To Hai (2003) was released on 24th January, 2003 and I watched it with my family (wife and little daughter) in the Aakash Cinema of Kota on 26th January, 2003, that is, on the Republic Day of India. The promos of this movie were declaring – ‘This winter a chill will run down your spine’ and it appeared from them that it was a suspense movie (and not purely a horror movie which I don’t like at all). Hence I decided to watch it. The movie did not live up to my expectations but I did not find it quite bad either. Overall, it proved a nice timepass for me. Agatha Christie’s classic work – ‘And Then There Were None’ provided the idea of a story containing multiple murders at some secluded place, totally cut off from the rest of the world and in which the murderer is likely to be hidden in the group of victims itself. Several novels and movies (in various languages) have come up during the past three quarters of a century by seeking inspiration from this immortal novel of the mystery queen which was first published in 1939. Kucch To Hai is one of them. However the inspiration from And Then There Were None is for the post-interval session of the movie. The pre-interval session is based on a Hollywood movie – I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997). Thus Kucch To Hai is a cocktail of I Know What You Did Last Summer and And Then There Were None. Well, it’s not a very delicious and intoxicating cocktail but does not give bad taste either. The consumer (that is, the spectator) only wishes it were better.Kuchh To Hai (something is there for sure) starts in Shimla with the college life of the principal characters of the story who consist of Karan (Tusshar), Taanya (Esha Deol), Taashu (Natassha), Yash (Yash Tonk) and many of their other friends. There is a professor in the college who appears to be somewhat psychic and therefore, scary to the students. This strange professor is – Professor Bakshi (Rishi Kapoor). The college life is studded with the pranks, teases and romances of the young male-female students. One day a college-mate of these youngsters is found hanged from the roof and everybody thinks that he has committed suicide due to the pressure of studies and exams. But the reality is something else.
There is a love triangle here involving three principal characters of the movie – Karan, Taanya and Taashu whose name is actually Nataasha but she is fondly called Taashu. Karan and Taanya are in love but Taashu also loves Karan. Taashu is an orphan who has been fostered by Karan’s father (Jeetendra) only. Yash (who appears to be a flirt) tries to impress Taashu from his side but fails. Now comes the principal twist in the tale.
Professor Bakshi snatches Taanya’s answer-book during an examination and now she is under threat to lose one year of education. Karan alongwith Yash and others sneaks into Professor Bakshi’s house at night in order to change Taanya’s answer-book. To their horror, they find a dead body in the house which is supposed to be that of Professor Bakshi’s wife. While running away from there, they happen to accidentally kill Professor Bakshi. Under the mental stress of whatever has happened, Taanya leaves the college and the city and very shortly, the group of friends gets dispersed with different ones going in different directions.Three years later, two of this group – Khush (Akshay Chitre) and Dolly (Kusumit Sana) decide to get married to each other and the ceremony is kept at Shimla only in a hotel. Quite naturally, the complete group of friends re-assemble for the occasion. Meantime, Karan has got engaged to Taashu and their marriage is also to take place shortly. On the railway station, a member of this group – Pat (Vrajesh Hirjee) feels that he has seen Professor Bakshi there. Firstly, the other friends don’t trust him but when chilling incidents start taking place with many members, Pat gets killed when trying to flee away from that place, Yash endures a lethal attack on him and the newly wedded couple of Dolly and Khush gets murdered, they have to trust that Professor Bakshi is not dead and he is there to seek revenge from them all. Whether this is truth, half-truth or completely an illusion becomes clear in the climax.As said earlier, the movie is not that bad but the strict producer Ekta Kapoor did not allow it to become a quality movie in the true sense of it. Ekta Kapoor is said to furnish basic story ideas to the script-writers of her movies and TV serials and it might have been her idea to blend I Know What You Did Last Summer with And Then There Were None but perhaps she could not allow a free hand to the writers and the directors. Director Anurag Basu (renamed as Anurag Bose) who later directed movies like Murder (2004) and Gangster (2006), was kicked out when the making of this movie was midway and the remaining part was directed by Anil Vishwakarma Kumar. Perhaps due to the presentation of the visions of two different directors, this movie does not contain a definite mood throughout its duration and shifts from a rom-com to a love-triangle to a horror movie to a murder mystery. This has not gone in its favour.
Since the chill-factor was advertised too much at the time of the release of the movie and it was a highlight of its promos, several spine-chilling scenes have been kept in the movie but some of them appear to be forced into the narrative just to scare the audience. Since we watched this movie in theatre, we also felt the chill when sitting in the hall. However that chill may not be felt by those who watch the movie on the small screen in their homes.The first half of the movie is damn interesting and other than the main twist in the story (which has been lifted from I Know What You Did Last Summer), the frolic, pranks, teases and romance of the college-mates amuse the audience very much. This part has a youth appeal and must have been liked by the college-goers (though the movie was a flop). Mainly it’s the second half which is a letdown. It’s not a cakewalk to follow the path of the great authoress Agatha Christie. Ekta Kapoor could not understand that a suspense thriller could not be a hit just by hiding the identity of the killer behind a mask. A suspense thriller should contain a well-knitted script with all the events and characters logically interwoven in that.
Music by Anu Malik is good. Tere Ishq Ki Deewaangi Sar Pe Chadh Ke Bole (sung by KK and Sunidhi Chauhan) was a chartbuster at the time of the release of this movie. Kya Pyar Karoge Mujhse (sung by Sonu Nigam and Alka Yagnik) is a slow but heart-soothing emotional song. Other songs are according to the mood of the movie as present in the relevant sequences.
Cinematography and art direction are good. The snowy locations are just eye-candy. I have been to Shimla many times but yet to find this much snow there. It is found at Rohtang or Marhi but not in Shimla proper. Also a hotel at such a deserted location which is virtually cut off from the world during snowfall may be found in Shimla by Ekta Kapoor only, not by us.
Performances are average. If I have to choose the best performer, it’s Yash Tonk. Other than Ekta’s younger brother Tusshar, her father Jeetendra, Rishi Kapoor, Esha Deol and Johnny Lever, the cast consists of the actors working in various TV serials made by Ekta Kapoor. The second lead of the movie has been given the filmy name of Natassha but her real name is Anita Hassnandaani. This is the last movie of Jeetendra. Sadly most of the performers could not deliver their best. That’s the weakness of the direction.
Well, we know what you did that winter (January 2003) Ekta Kapoor. You spoiled a brilliant story idea through your undue interference in the creative department of the movie. Still I recommend this movie as a decent one time watch to both the mystery fans and the audience liking college life romance and frolic.
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