ALSO SHOWING; out of Reach: Karl Lagerfeld Remains an Enigma in Rodolphe Marconi's Hagiography

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Byline: derek malcolm

No Smoking Cert 12a, 123 mins **

HINDI FILM-makers attempting to refresh Bollywood generally do so at theirperil. The old tried-and-tested formulas still work best. Sympathy, then, forwriter-director Anurag Kashyap whose fantasy thriller has John Abraham as achain-smoking, self-regarding husband whose wife (Ayesha Takia) leaves him andwho then resolves to give up the ciggies.

The only way to do it involves a mysterious guru who makes him sign a contractwhich virtually means first the removal of a finger and then worse if hetouches the weed again. The film swirls about frantically in the effort toentertain, has a terrible Bob Fosse-like dance sequence and generally overstaysits welcome. But Abraham is solidly impressive, the production values are goodand at least Kashyap tries to eschew the usual Bollywood cliches..

Lagerfeld Confidential Cert 12a, 87 mins **

"PISSING everywhere isn't very Chanel," reads a notice above Karl Lagerfeld'stoilet. But, though it proves that the man has a sense of humour, nowhere inthe film does it seem likely that the fashionistas would do any such thing.They seem far too self-regarding, especially the male models that Lagerfeld,invariably dressed in those high, stiff collars that hardly allow him to movehis head, photographs so avidly.

Rodolphe Marconi, who made this film about this "unparalleled interpreter ofthe mood of the moment" took more than 200 hours of footage but seldom getsbeyond first base. You learn only as much as Lagerfeld wants you to, whichisn't very much at all. Hardly anything about his methods, or his private life,if he has any, but the fashion world in general is sketched with admiringbrushstrokes, horrendous as it looks peering in from the real world outside. …