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Prince It's Showtime Review, Ratings, Box office report

Film: "Prince: It's Showtime"; Starring: Vivek Oberoi, Nandana Sen, Aruna Shields, Neeru Singh, Sanjay Kapoor and Dalip Tahil ; Directed by: Kookie Gulati; Rating: **

Look what the cool cat dragged in! It's not a bird (though he does fly across the sky). It's not a plane (though many of those in many shapes and sizes are seen hovering in the film's spectrally-shot skyline). And it's definitely not Superman. Though Mr Oberoi wouldn't mind being one.

Hey guys, it's our own Vivek Oberoi, playing hard-ball with various girls, gadgets gizmos and gimmicks.

Vivek plays Prince, a James Bond on a mission not quite impossible travelling at a speed faster than sound. Prince has no choice. He has lost all his memory which has been sucked out of him like juice gone through a sugarcane grinder.

To his credit, Oberoi carries off the ceaseless stint with the stunt with arresting aplomb. Most often because of his memory loss we see him wearing a look like he just smelt something foul in the kitchen and isn't sure if it's the milk got burnt or his mom's favourite recipe simmering in a pot.

Oh, there are no weeping moms in the potty plot. Only screeching wheels, high-octane stunts and high-octave songs shot mostly like music videos rather than as integral parts of the story. And then there are the 3 Mayas, each trying to outdo the other in the stunts and the clothes, or lack of them. They all seem to love our hero to death, an entity which lurks in every slick corner of this emotion-less but attractive package of oomph and wallops.

Where, you are not allowed to wonder, is the plot leading to? Why is Prince so hyper about his memory-loss? It will come back to him, like a blast from the past. Quite like the bolt that finally hits the film's arch villain Sarang (played by someone called Isaiah).

Oberoi's Prince goes into convulsions of self-doubt.

Be warned. Prince is more the Bourne territory than "Ghajini". The expertly-executed stunts (Allan Amin, you are the man!) frequently see our hero jumping down high-rise buildings in breathtaking leaps of fate, with the camera (Vishnu Rao) pulling back in respectful awe. Of course our Prince is essentially shock-proof and crease-free. Don't mind the bruises, scratches, bandages and, yes I forgot, the memory lapse. Prince is invincible!!!

So when was the last time you viewed a film where the heist-happy hero undertakes fifty adventures in museums and banks stealing diamonds and merchandise worth trillions?

John Abraham in "Dhoom", Hrithik Roshan in "Dhoom 2", Ajay Devgn in "Cash"?

You get the drift. Just float away in the stylish mumbo-jumbo that debutant director Kookie Gulati serves up with the swaggering flamboyance of an arms-merchant who loves his guns.

"Prince It's Showtime" wears its super-cool shirt with the slogan 'Come Watch Me' with a little bit too much aggression. But if you love popcorn crunching adventure stories watch Vivek Oberoi play the hero.

Oberoi pulls it off. Effectively.

Vivek Oberoi starrer "Prince" has proved to be a shot in the arm for the actor as the film has got above average response at the box office. The film has also elbowed out Ritesh Deshmukh-starrer "Jaane Kahan Se Aayi Hai" that fell flat courtesy its weak content.

"'Prince' has met our expectations with close to 35 percent occupancy across different properties over the weekend. While 'Jaane Kahan...' has proven to be a below average kind of movie with just around 12 percent occupancy," Deepak Taluja, senior vice president (business and operations) Fun Cinemas, told IANS.

"People are appreciating the content of 'Prince'. 'The Japanese Wife' on the other hand has done lukewarm business," he added.

Piyush Raizada, director, Delite Cinema, an upgraded two-screener in the capital, also shared similar sentiments.

"'Prince' has done very good business and the occupancy has been more than 50 percent. However 'Jaane Kahan...' has been very very poor with less than 20 percent occupancy," said Raizada.

Made at a budget of over Rs.40 crore (Rs.400 million) by producer Kumar Taurani, the two-hour-six-minute venture boasts of action sequences exceeding an hour. It released with over 1,000 prints worldwide.

Directed by debutant Kooki V. Gulati, "Prince" also stars Nandana Sen, Aruna Shields and Neeru Singh in the female lead.

Meanwhile, "Jaane Kahan..." is the directorial debut of Milap Zaveri. Made on a budget of about Rs.10 crore (Rs.100 million), the fantasy romantic comedy released worldwide with around 600 prints.

Distributed by Warner Bros Pictures India, it has been co-produced by Mukesh Talreja and Nikhil Advani. It teamed up Riteish with Jacqueline Fernandez again after "Aladdin".

"The Japanese Wife", on the other hand, released with only 32 prints in India. Directed by Aparna Sen, it stars Rahul Bose, Raima Sen, Moushumi Chatterjee and Japanese actress Chingusa Takaku.

Munish Sharma, general manager (marketing), Satyam Cineplex, had positive reports for "Prince" and "Jaane Kahan Se...".

"Both 'Prince' and 'Jaane Kahan...' did fairly well with close to 30-40 percent occupancy. Both are average movies but because there is a dearth of content these days, people are hungry for movies. 'The Japanese Wife', on the other hand, was a little lukewarm because of a niche audience value," said Sharma.

PVR cinemas, however, was disappointed with the commercial potboilers.

"Both the movies have been disappointing. The content of 'Prince' has no value and fetched no footfall. It had close to just 20 percent occupancy while 'Jaane Kahan...' didn't do any magic on the big screen with below 10 percent occupancy," said a source from PVR.

"However, 'The Japanese Wife' that released with limited prints and limited shows has got good reports with almost 40 percent occupancy," the source added.

According to a statement released by Saregama Films Monday, the producers of "The Japanese Wife", the movie has got "a very promising start off at 88 percent initial collection".

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