How would you feel if you go out to a restaurant where a speciality dish is presented to you in the most eye-pleasing fashion, except that the item tastes bad? Debutant Director Bobby Khan's Ek Paheli Leela, a Sunny Leone vehicle, is unfortunately like that dish. Ace choreographer Ahmed Khan has given us cow dung like Lakeer (2004), Fool N Final (2007) and Paathshaala (2010). In 2015, he comes back to us with his brother, Bobby, who is possibly another leaf out of the same book. So just like that dish in the restaurant, Ek Paheli Leela begins with a stinky taste, bores you by the time you are half done, and while the second half tries to redeem itself as you get used to the dish, it would be too late to not judge the restaurant's service by then.
The trailer of Ek Paheli Leela doled out a bunch of unintentional laughs, as we saw a flimsy barrage of bad acting and the movie does not disappoint us either in that respect. However, the songs became a quick success, and then there was Sunny Leone. Producers T-Series and Ahmed Khan campaigned hard with Leone as their centerpiece. Fair enough. No doubt the film looked gorgeous and money seemed to be oozing out of each frame, but then how much good can you do with a film which has a bunch of actors who never made it on their own. In Ek Paheli Leela, Mohit Ahlawat, Jas Arora, Rahul Dev, Rajneesh Duggal and T-Series new candy boy, Jay Bhanushali come together to ride the 'Sunny' boat to revive their careers or make new ones. Quick trivia, how many of the above actors can you place in your head without googling them? Believe you me, Jay is great for small screen but he just looks out of place on the big one. As for the others, there must be a reason why they failed miserably when they were launched, right? Truly, Leone is the biggest star here and she does look the part too. With limited acting chops and unlimited skin, she is in complete control of the film. She looks stunningly beautiful in each scene, and you can almost forget that she also has to say her lines after that. Howmuchsoever the industry and audience may diss her for her past, she has the charisma to hold a film together, if not the talent.
To cut some slack to Ek Paheli Leela, the film does have a good twist in the end and it would have worked better if Jojo Khan's screenplay had used that from the build up. In its present form, it looks forced and contrived for shock value. Someone like a Farah Khan could have made this film so much better but Bobby Khan's amateur hands leave it cringe worthy. Seriously, Farah's Om Shanti Om would have been a greater film with the plot of Leela. Karan (Bhanushali), a musician, has disturbing dreams of a past life after he has moved in to a new house. He consults a baba instead of a doctor who refers him to another guruji who knows an ancient art which can tell him about his past life. Meera (Leone) is a supermodel from Milan who cannot travel in airplanes due to claustrophobia, but has somehow managed to show up in London, amongst a bunch of over familiar people, for a dance performance? Next, she is inebriated and taken to India for a shoot where she falls for Prince Ranveer (Ahlawat) of Rajasthan and marries him, almost forgetting that she was a model before? Now apparently, Meera is the reincarnation of Leela from 300 years ago, who has an unrequited love story with Shravan (Duggal). Karan does not know the end of the story as he sees the death of Shravan and sets out to re-unite with Meera or Leela. Befuddled much? Wait, till you see Jas Arora play Ranveer's brother Vikram, in the film and you will wonder why you bought that ticket.
If I have to sum up, it was not the screenplay that bored me but the despicable acting by one and all. I was almost ready to give up any hope for logic or semblance of sense when I walked in so when random babas used stupid tricks to go back 300 years or when Karan is able to remind Meera of her previous life just by singing a song, I was not even appalled. The frames looked good, but Bashalal Syed's cinematography does not capture the beauty well at all. Music by Meet Bros Anjaan, Amaal Malik, Dr Zeus and Tony Kakkar does not hold up to the expectations as they have to use rehashed versions of yesteryear's classics to attract your earbuds. Nitin FCP's Editing leaves a lot to desire as it comes across as very hurried. Bunty Rathore's dialogues cannot do much when spoken by terrible actors.
On the whole, Ek Paheli Leela is a bad film, yet not a terrible one. With better actors and experienced director, this one could have been a likable masala fare, but what remains is an excruciating journey till you reach the exit door. The first day collections are not as high as the producers might have fathomed, and the Box Office ahead will rest on Sunny Leone's shoulders, or wherever it works for her. But no offence to her, she atleast gives her best to the film, even if cheapsters like Ahmed and Bobby Khan make her go intimate with almost all male actors in the film. Go for Ek Paheli Leela if you are bored of everything else in your life.
Rating - 1.5/5
Originally published for MadAboutMoviez here
Originally published for MadAboutMoviez here