When was the last time that Vikram Bhatt was relevant? Before Love Games, there was the unfathomable Mr. X. Before Mr. X there were two forgettable films in Creature 3D and Raaz 3D. At this point though Bhatt exclusively deals with D’s of other kinds in his films. But to continue on our quest, we go all the way to 2008 for the last relevant, somewhat inventive film in 1920. If we keep going, we get Ankahee in 2006 that really had nothing as a film but carried a great soundtrack from Pritam. A couple of wonderful melodies from Shreya Ghoshal, Babul Supriyo and Kunal Ganjawala. So for a somewhat relevant Bhatt era, we have to dial back to an era of relevance for Babul Supriyo and Kunal Ganjawala. But this is 2016 and Vikram Bhatt is still making films. This one is called Love Games.
Love Games is apparently a famous a book in the Page 3 world of Vikram Bhatt’s characters. It’s a story about an attractive couple in an open relationship whose choice of sport is to individually set honey traps on happily married couples and see who wins the booty first. So Ramona (Patralekha) and Sameer (Gaurav Arora, who looks and behaves like a very young Shah Rukh Khan but this I believe stems more from imitation than any natural talent) begin their Nightly Premier League with various Page 3 parties as their field of dreams. Now one wonders if they barge into these parties uninvited or they go to parties where people hardly recognize them. Or at least their premise is built on the fact that others aren’t aware that Sameer and Ramona know each other. In that high flying world where Ramona’s husband just committed suicide and she’s surely on the front pages? This is some game.
But if there is sex, there has to be love too? That’s not the rhyme. That one goes ‘Roses are Red, Violets are Blue, Sex can be messy, Love can be too’. That’s the first line of the script. Repeated several times for effect. Enter love: Alisha Asthana (Tara Alisha Berry), a surgeon trapped in a bad marriage and ripe for a game of Ramona-Sameer. If Sameer suffers from self-harm, Alisha suffers physical abuse at the hands of her husband. Sparks are supposed to fly and there is more sex. Love game becomes love life for one of them. Did you see it coming? Thought as much. Here is when Vikram Bhatt morphs into Abbas-Mustan. There are more twists and turns than a Formula 1 circuit.
We should also probably talk about the last word of the script. It is “Ok”. No, really. In Ramona’s voice (I think), we get the rhyme – again – followed by just “OK”. You may expect something more – not sure what. Maybe something on the lines of Ok Baby or something similarly tacky like the rest of the script. But zilch. No explanation given. Maybe they are saying, we hope you felt this film was Ok. We hope this film would do an Ok business. We hope you are still Ok. We hope Vikram Bhatt is Ok. But here’s a suggestion:
Roses are Red,
Violets are Blue,
Bhatts can be iffy,
Vikram is your cue.
(An edited version of this was published in The New Indian Express)