Transforming one art into another form of art is not an easy task. I agree that good books could transform into good cinema, but can all books be good cinema? While many readers have scrupulously enjoyed the drama in Chetan Bhagat’s book ‘One Night @ A Call Center’, it’s time to determine how successful its cinematic adaptation Hello is in entertaining moviegoers.
Hello is Atul Agnihotri’s second directorial venture after the 2004 box office dud “Dil Ne Jise Apna Kahaa” (starring Salman Khan and Preity Zinta). The movie stars Sohail Khan, Sharman Joshi, Isha Koppikar, Amrita Arora, Gul Panag and Sharat Saxena in key roles with Salman Khan, Arbaaz Khan and Katrina Kaif in special appearances. Can Atul make an interesting watch out of an interesting read? Can the writer of the bestseller draft the screenplay of a movie with dexterity? Let find out..
Hello revolves around six call center agents; Shyam (Sharman Joshi), Priyanka (Gul Panag), Esha (Isha Koppikar), Varun aka Vroom (Sohail Khan), Radhika (Amrita Arora) and Military Uncle (Sharat Saxena). There are two things common among these agent friends, one is that they work for the same call center and the other is, all their lives are clobbered in its own respective ways. The movie is about these six agents and an event that changes their perspective of life and their life as a whole.. Overnight!
Atul Agnihotri and Chetan Bhagat, credited together for the screenplay and dialogues of Hello, fail to do justice. Atul needs to work on his craftsmanship and do some good amount of homework before he gets down to direct a film. Chetan Bhagat is not so much of a screenplay writer as a novelist that he is.
Hello requires another proof reading. Its story has worked magic as a book, but not so much as a movie. The problem with the adaptation is, its not been penned well and the sloppy direction adds to the misery of the viewer. The plot line is too thin for a movie. Defining each character over pages and pages sounds good for a novel, but using the entire first half to do so, in a movie is absurd and quite tedious to sit through. Although the characters are very common, someone who you have seen or heard off in your daily lives, they hardly connect. Also, the call from God scene lacks impact to be a life changing moment.
Except for a few moments, the movie doesn’t manage to hold your attention throughout. Songs just add to the run-time, nothing worth mentioning here. Personally, Salman Khan’s ‘Bang-Bang’ song was the worst of the lot. Dialogues by Chetan Bhagat are fine. May be a crispier, precise and adept presentation would have worked wonders for Hello.
Coming to performances, Sohail Khan with his witty one-liners is a delight. He is competent and puts up a wonderful act. Sharman Joshi is excellent and perfectly fits into the role of a looser striving hard to climb the ladders of success. Amrita Arora looks pretty. Isha Koppikar is bad and what’s with her weird costume? Gul Panag is too stiff and hard on her expressions. Again, bad costumes! Sharat Saxena is okay.
Salman Khan is good in his cameo role except for his opening music number. Katrina Kaif like always look pretty.
Overall, Hello is an impulsive approach. The hype is clearly lacking, but with no other releases this week, the movie could manage a decent opening.