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Souten - The Other Woman Review

Review by IndiaGlitz [ Wednesday, March 29, 2006 • Hindi ]
Souten - The Other Woman Review
Mahima Choudhary, Padmini Kolhapure, Shakti Kapoor, Gulshan Grover, Kiran Rathod, Vikram Kumar
Karan Razdan
Anand Chitragupt, Milind Chitragupt

Karan Razdan is at it again, going full-steam ahead with steamy stuff. This one's only unique aspect in terms of storyline is that it's based on a mother-step-daughter triangle with the same guy. The mother's relationship is the lust-driven while the daugther's is based on love. But unfortunately, there's nothing offbeat in the treatment, even though the theme is rather bold to start off, particularly in the Indian context. However, the first half is quite gripping, and keeps you engrossed. But as in Umar, this one too loses its steam in the second half. What's up Karan?

OK, first things first. Souten is the story of  a woman who's fast approaching middle age and seems desperate live life to the fullest for perhaps one last time. The woman is Mitali (Mahima Choudhary). Mitali is married to Ranbir (Gulshan Grover), a millionaire from a royal family, who, when he isn't preoccupied with amassing wealth, is hunting. Read: neglecting his wife Mitali's needs and desires.

Into their lives enters a handsome young man, Raj (Debutante Vikram Singh). Raj is the younger brother of Ranbir's partner Sumer (Shakti Kapoor). And to Mitali, Raj is everything her husband isn't - young, handsome, charming and above all, attentive to her. Before long, Mitali and Raj get involved in a relationship that's fuelled primarily by lust on her part. But Mitali's bhabhi Smita (Padmini Kolhapure) learns of the affair and tries to dissuade Mitali from the relationship with Raj. But Mitali is hellbent on Raj and will have none of Smita's interference. But Smita is made of sterner stuff, and she makes Raj see the folly of a relationship with Mitali. Raj sees reason and breaks off the fling.

Exit mother, enter daughter. Now, Ranbir's daughter Sapna (Kiran Rathod) comes into Raj's life, and before long falls in love with Raj in Goa, which incidentally happens to be convenient to shoot a song too. When Mitali learns of their affair, she is shocked. At both, being rejected for Sapna, and at the fact that the man who had been involved with her is now seeing her daughter. She is determined to rock their boat. She creates a huge misunderstanding between Raj and Sapna, and even rustles up a groom for Sapna, whom her parents emotionally badger to acquiesce to the wedding. Sapna agrees. Of course, Smita is there to accost Mitali, and before long, Ranbir too learns of the affair between Mitali and Raj, and gnashing his teeth, he reaches for his gun.

And so goes this potboiler of a masala film peppered with steamy scenes shot between the magnificent deserts of Rajasthan and the deep blue seas off Goa. Karan Razdan had picked up a sensitive story to tackle, but instead of exploiting the inner potential of the story by looking at the characters inward, he treats the story with the usual filmy formulaic style. Razdan lingers lovingly on the steaming sequences that range from  Mahima slithering on and off Vikram on the literally hot sands of Rajasthan to the wet n wild intricacies between Kiran and Vikram  in Goa. Beautifully shot, edited and set to good music by Anand Milind.

But sequences do not a film make, even though there are some strong peformances in a couple of excellent scenes between Padmini and Mahima, and especially Mahima and Kiran.  Gulshan Grover is his usual competent self, while Shakti Kapoor doesn't have too much to do. Padmini does well in her sensitive moral policing role, but overall, the film, though it starts promisingly enough, is doomed to an utterly predictable end in an utterly formulaic fashion, when the third line of the triangle is wiped off due to Mahima's sacrifice of her life.

Vikram Singh actually just has to be himself - a pleasant and charming young man with raging hormones, but he does allow the big debut against Mahim to overawe him in places. Kiran Rathore is average.

Rating: 0 / 5.0

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