Star cast: Manisha Koirala, Jackie Shroff, Nikita Anand, Roza Catalano, Muammar Rana, Suniel Singh.

Plot: Manisha feels she is unlucky because she lets her life be ruled by Destiny. One day, she decides to challenge Destiny. The film then narrates the stories of the two Manishas – one who surrenders before Destiny, and the other who challenges Destiny to change her life.

What’s Good: Only some philosophical dialogues.

What’s Bad: The screenplay, the drama, the comedy, the emotions… in short, almost everything.

Verdict: Ek Second …Jo Zindagi Badal De… just might change your life by sending you into a depression. A disaster.

Loo break: Whenever you please and as many times you please! You will miss precious little.

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SarojEntertainment Pvt. Ltd.’s Ek Second …Jo Zindagi Badal De… (UA) is an unusual story about how destiny charts the course our lives take and what happens when a person tries to challenge destiny.

Shantanu Roy (Muammar Rana) is a popular novelist, and Salman Mirza (Suniel Singh), his publisher and close friend. Shantanu has a live-in relationship with Rashee (Manisha Koirala) who invariably gets late for everything in life. One day, Rashee’s boss fires her from her job as creative head in his advertising agency because she is late for an important meeting. Dejected, she is on her way home when she misses the train by a second. That is when Rashee remembers the words of her boss, that a second can change one’s life. Rashee decides to challenge her destiny.

From hereon, the film moves on two parallel tracks – one of Rashee surrendering herself to her destiny, and the other in which she challenges her destiny. The defiant Rashee boards the train which in reality she had missed. She reaches home early because of which she catches her boyfriend red-handed in bed with his ex-girlfriend, Tamanna (Nikita Anand). Rashee walks out on Shantanu. Yuvraj Singh (Jackie Shroff) enters this Rashee’s life. Fond of her, he encourages her to start her own advertising agency which she does – and which takes off very well. On the other hand, the submissive (to destiny) Rashee, now employed in a call centre, hangs on with Shantanu, unaware of his love affair with Tamanna. Meanwhile, Shantanu keeps two-timing Rashee as he is continuously blackmailed by Tamanna who can’t bear to see him with Rashee.

Both the Rashees get pregnant but the would-be fathers (Yuvraj Singh and Shantanu Roy) are not aware of the pregnancies. Along the way, the defiant Rashee learns that Yuvraj Singh, whom she loves, is married to Roza (Roza Catalano). The submissive Rashee is shocked to learn of Shantanu’s affair with Tamanna. Both the Rashees meet with accidents. What happens thereafter is revealed in the climax after which the drama stretches with sermons by Salman Mirza.

Amit Khan’s story may be quite novel but that’s about all. The screenplay has no merits. The story doesn’t make much sense to the viewers as it is only make-believe. As the stories of the two Rashees unfold simultaneously, they often confuse the audience in spite of a running voice-over at many places.

Another drawback is that the film has very little entertainment value as the drama for both the Rashees is more depressing than anything else. The point of cheating boyfriends will not gladden any hearts. Even otherwise, the screenplay is so kiddish that it hardly involves the viewers. The writer is not sure about what he wants to convey – whether surrendering to destiny or challenging it is the right thing to do. Resultantly, the audience doesn’t feel a sense of fulfillment after watching the film.

Although Amit Khan’s story and screenplay lack fire, his dialogues are philosophical and meaningful at several places, especially those mouthed by publisher Salman Mirza. However, Salman Mirza’s sermonising in the end is not just boring but it also seems endless.

Manisha Koirala does a fair job but her heart doesn’t seem to be consistently in the film. Also, she looks old and tired. Jackie Shroff hardly looks like a hero what with his paunch, puffed-up face and lack of charisma. His acting is alright. Muammar Rana is wooden and quite expressionless. Nikita Anand is good in a vampish role and shows sincerity. Roza Catalano is ill at ease with her Hindi dialogues. Her dance in the ‘Roza’ song is sexy. Suniel Singh makes an average debut. Although his acting is nothing to shout about, he is quite free in front of the camera. Others lend ordinary support.

Partho Ghosh’s direction, limited as it is by the lacklustre script, is ordinary. With no comedy, hardly any romance and absolutely nil emotions, Amit Khan’s drama and Ghosh’s narration completely fail to involve the audience. Music is, by and large, routine and a couple of songs look forced and out of place. The ‘Roza’ number and a romantic song are the better of the lot. Song picturisations are quite rich. Camerawork (Damodar Naidu) and other technical values are okay. Foreign locations (of Malaysia) are appealing. Production values are quite nice.

On the whole, Ek Second …Jo Zindagi Badal De… will meet with a disastrous fate at the box-office.

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