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Aug 29, 2009 at 12:33am IST

Masand Verdict: Kissan embarrassingly archaic

Cast: Arbaaz Khan, Sohail Khan, Jackie Shroff

Director: Puneet Sira

Kissan starring the Brothers Khan -- Arbaaz and Sohail -- is an old-fashioned family melodrama modeled loosely on Manoj Kumar's Upkaar.

While that film, which focused on a clash of values between two brothers, one city-educated the other a rustic hand, was relevant and progressive for its times, this one is ultimately a vendetta film based on a similar premise, but with a central conflict that's embarrassingly archaic.

Sickle-happy Jigar (played by Sohail) and his city-slick brother Aman (played by Arbaaz) find themselves on opposite sides of the fence when a smarmy businessman tries to divide the family so he can succeed in convincing their father (played by Jackie Shroff) into selling his ancestral land. What follows are a series of silly misunderstandings, one too many blood-soaked fight scenes, too much unintentional humor, and eventually a convenient, all-too-familiar resolution.

With a plot that's predictable, and a screenplay as original as an Anu Malik tune, Kissan is an ordeal to sit through because it's reminiscent of those outdated '80s potboilers that you thought you'd seen the last of.

Oddly, the film comes with the muddled message that violence is the answer to violence and that education breeds unhealthy ambition.

Burning issues like farmers' suicides and oppression by corrupt zamindars are only fleetingly mentioned, never adequately addressed in Kissan which shamelessly describes itself as a tribute to the farmer, and even goes so far as to end with a Daler Mehndi-remix video of the popular Mere desh ki dharti number from Upkaar.

Because the acting is uniformly uninspired, and the direction mostly flat, and because this film doesn't even have its heart in the right place, I'm going with one out of five for director Puneet Sira's Kissan; watch it at your own risk.

Rating: 1 / 5 (Poor)

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