As end credits started rolling for 'Tell Me O Kkhuda', I ended up remembering the entire Hema Malini v/s Mayur Puri fiasco that had taken place a year and a half ago. For the uninitiated, Mayur Puri was the official director of the film and it was claimed that over 80% of it had already been shot before Hema Malini asked him to leave and took over the proceedings. One wonders what really transpired in last 18 months because despite a delay, the end result is hardly the kind that justifies the action. If Mayur's portions were retained as is then what really was Hema Malini's need to delay the film? And if the delay did require her to re-shoot a substantial portion of the film then was 'this' the end result that was being aimed for?
So while one expected an out and out dramatic outing in 'Tell Me O Khuda', this is hardly the case as the film just fails to grip you at all. Whether it is Esha's voiceover around 'yeh hai meri kahaani' and stuff alike or her chance encounter with the big 'raaz' soon after, the film just doesn't bring you at the edge of the seat. Yes, once Esha is allowed by her foster parents (Farooque Shaikh and Dipti Naval) to hunt for her dad, one feels that there may be some momentum here but none of that really happens.
The journey begins with Rajasthan and there is this totally avoidable Sudhanshu Pandey-Madhoo track integrated into the drama even as Vinod Khanna does his 'Raja Saheb' act reasonably well. However an averagely shot and a confusing piece of camel race later, there is a 'thanda twist' that comes along, hence opening cards for Turkey tourism to open the next door.
At Turkey arrives Rishi Kapoor and though he does what he is required to do, the impact of this entire track is hardly felt. There is an attempt to play the emotional card by bringing in a mother angle but the way it culminates only brings in unintentional laughter. Talks about laughter, there are a lot more heard (unintentional again, which is a pity) with the Dharmendra episode which is set in Goa. From his get up to his dialogues and the monologue to the eventual 'dhishoom dhishoom' culmination, one only wonders how 'Tell Me O Kkhuda' turned out to be an utterly uninspiring piece of cinema.
Between all these veterans there is Arjan Bajwa who is present in quite a few scenes and plays his part reasonably well in the background. However even as a supporting character, he doesn't quite make a valuable contribution in Esha's hunt other than barely lending her an emotional support. Esha Deol is just about okay in the film which actually gave her an opportunity to be seen in an author backed role. However patchy script coupled with average acting skills only make it further difficult for her to hold the screen. However how one wishes she could have opted for a much better film for her re-launch.
For a film belonging to this genre, better music and background score could have just elevated the proceedings. None of that happens though as it all stays on to be largely below average. Cinematography is good though, especially in scenes that are shot outdoors with requirement of a panoramic view.
There are times when one doesn't quite mind old fashioned drama in Hindi films. After all, old can indeed turn out to be gold if presented well. However when an old fashioned drama also turns out to be boring and plain drag, it is criminal to say the least. This is what turns out to be the biggest issue with 'Tell Me O Kkhuda'. The film just doesn't excite at all, whether in the beginning, middle or the end portions, hence turning out to be an affair that is best forgotten.