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Let's chalk it up to our collective amnesia. But it wasn't very long ago that one Himesh Reshammiya seemed to have the Midas touch when it came to music. It seemed like he could do no wrong, every song he had sung turning into an instant hit, with or without nasal twang. Everyone's aware of Himesh's fall from grace following a truly disastrous foray into acting. But it's a look at the depth of his fall, that Himesh seems to have lost his musical marbles as well, now. Songs like Mango and Umrao Jaan have set a new low with their completely inane lyrics and insipid melodies, turning into cultural touchstones for bad music. Indeed, Himesh's primary symptom of the acting bug's bite is apparently a chronic loss of the musical ear.
It is inexplicable then, why Himesh Reshammiya insists on continuing with an untenable acting career so. His latest release is titled Damadamm, and features both of the earlier mentioned songs. And as bad as those songs are, the film is quite a testing watch too.
There isn't much of a story to go by, with Himesh cast as Sameer, a regular Joe type, who's being weighed down by a nagging girlfriend, Shikha, played by the superb Purbi Joshi. When Shikha leaves for her hometown for a family function, Sameer has the taste of azaadi for the first time in years. He quickly capitalises on this freedom by wooing his boss' pretty sister Sanjana, as played by Sonal Sehgal. Thereafter, the film follows a predictable path, as the story devolves into a Betty-Veronica catfight between the two girls, over Sameer.
Himesh takes the story credit here, on Swapna Waghmare Joshi's direction. The biggest misstep of the film comes with Reshammiya choosing to cast himself in the film's pivotal, central role. One needs to be honest and admit that the film's premise is not a bad one, and the two leading ladies, here, also do a good job. But the weakest link proves to be Himesh himself, who is simply incapable of carrying forward the film's narrative with his limited histrionic skills. Indeed, there are moments in the film, especially the more emotional scenes, where Himesh is an actual pain to watch. Given that Reshammiya is the producer of the film as well, under his HR Musik banner, one would have expected better judgement from him, since he's known to be a shrewd business mind as well.
Take Himesh out of the equation, and the film lights up considerably. From her body of work on television, Purbi Joshi makes the leap onto the big screen here, and the girl's a right talent. Though she's made her mark in comedy on the small screen, she carries off the more serious scenes quite admirably too, here, and one hopes to see her in films more often. Sonal Sehgal, as Sanjana, gets her act on in quite a few scenes too, and this pretty girl could shine with bit more polish.
The fact that she extracts laudable performances from two out of three actors speaks of director Swapna's vision. The tele regular manages a fairly commendable job, though she's dragged down by an unmentionable dead weight. The way she tackles the story shows she has the right vision, and with a free hand, one supposes she could turn out something rather interesting.
To his credit, it must be said that Himesh seems to carry no delusions about his acting range, as he plays up his Sameer to his limited strengths. However, his primary mistake is in thinking that he is capable of playing this role at all. There is something innately jarring about the man trying to cast himself in such a youthful, even Casanova-ish role, which is at odds with the man's campy image. Since Reshammiya has been going to town comparing his release to the stories of Basu Chatterjee and Hrushikesh Mukherjee, here's a comparison; how tenable would be for Amol Palekar back in the day, try and play Amitabh's role in Don or Sharabi?
Ultimately, Damadamm is a story that unravels over the bad choices of its producer and leading 'star'. Himesh has just come off a successful score for Salman's superhit Bodyguard, so clearly, the man's musical talents are actually intact. However, it seems like there's something about his urge to act that clouds all his better judgement in all spheres; the Mango song being primary proof here. Take our advice, Himesh; you have great thing going with the music alone; stick to it. Leave the acting to the pros.