Every Story tells about Pictures Thursday, 9 April, 2009Posted by ~uh~™ in Bollywood.
Tags: Aa Dekhen Zaara, Akshay Kumar, Ayesha Takia Azmi, Bipasha, Complan, Neil Nitin Mukesh, Picture, Review, Sci-Fi, Tasveer 8x10, Thriller
This post was originally posted on PFC and cross posted here.
I watched two movies last weekend, both of which happened to be thrillers dealing with pictures. More precisely Photographs taken by a camera. This post is a twin review.
1. Tasveer 8 x 10
Director: Nagesh Kukunoor
Genre: Whodunnit Thriller
My Rating : 1/5
Jai Puri (Akshay Kumar) founder member of an organization called EPS (Environmental Protection Services or Society) whose job includes catching illegal poachers. He lives together with voluptuously innocent (or innocently voluptuous) girlfriend Sheela (Ayesha Takia Azmi), who still looks like a Complan girl, enlarged.
Jai has an unnatural talent to concentrate into any picture, quickly pass out and then witness the events that occurred immediately after the picture is shot, through the eyes of the picture taker. He can ‘enter’ the picture and reach that exact particular time in past and start witnessing the event. However, this time travel takes a toll on his health subjecting him to near-death experience. Somehow (?) he has found that his optimal stay in past can’t exceed 60 seconds, for him to return safely. Except for his mom (Sharmila Tagore) and Dad (Bengamin Gillani) no one knows about this rare gift of his.
During a yacht party rich dad falls on the cold water and dies of heart attack. A perfectionist detective named Habibullah Pasha aka Happi with an ‘i'(Javed Jafferey) arrives and tells Jai that it’s a murder and not an accident.
As the movie is a whodunit, then efforts are put to make all the characters look like a suspect. Eventually most of the people get killed. The leftover people alive (only three of them) start living happily ever after.
Mentally prepared by reading the published reviews, I was expecting a treatment different from the Director’s other movies alright. After watching it, judging by the typical Kukunoor treatment in movies like Teen Deewaryein, Iqbal, Dor or even recent Bombay to Bangkok, it is difficult to grasp that this is a work by the same Director.
It was more like an Abbas-Mastan movie. Where when you almost guessed the whodunit, the plot takes an unbelievably radical twist and then events and flashbacks are shown to justify the impossibility. There were clues are given, but I could not guess the killer.
Some of the Abbas Mastan symptoms in the movie noticed are as follows-
- Absence of a logical script. Everything happens should be believed as it is shown.
- Because Akshay Kumar is the hero he has to jump from 100 ft high cliff, shot by 4 different cameras, slow motion et al.
- Rich dad and independent son maintain a difference with each other for some unknown reasons (probably environment pollution).
- Wealth is never quantified.
- Dad decided to celebrate his will with family and shareholders (serious dudes like Girish Karnad, Anant Mahadevan) on his yacht.
- Jai Puri and big Complan girl goes out cycling through dirt tracks meandering amidst lush green meadows during normal working hours.
- Everyone lives in grand postcard look bungalows and drives Volkswagens, Chevrolets, SUVs. The weather is always brilliant and bright.
- When desi people are angry or emotional, they speak angrezi.
- A sibling is the greatest enemy.
- Good friends always backstab.
- Girlfriend lives together and ditches.
- An Indian lady soothsayer lands in Canada for no apparent reason and gets killed.
- White skinned people are just morons and they understand Hindi very well.
- Mother has an old flame who is also the lawyer of the ex-husband.
- Amazing landscape, panoramic view and exotic locales.
- There’s Bohemia rap at the end singing ‘I got the picture’, in case you don’t get the picture.
Some other serious concerns observed
- Javed Jaffrey does his best, but his character, victim of perfectionism, an obsessive compulsive disorder, is not funny if it was supposed to be. Anyway it’s not funny to kill the funny guy.
- Veterans like Sharmila Tagore and Girish Karnad doing arbitrary and insignificant roles.
- Music which used to be one of the key elements in Kukunoor’s films is a complete letdown. Other than Mohit Chauhan‘s voice, Salim Suleiman’s music couldn’t create any interest.
- How will Ayesha takia end bloating?
- The only part of the movie worth mentioning is the James Bond like title sequence at the beginning.
- All in all this movie can be easily renamed as THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN GILANI !
2. Aa Dekhen Zara
Director: Jehangir Surti (debut)
Genre: Thriller/ Sci Fi
My Rating : 2/5
Here the protagonist clicks picture on an old box camera to see the future. The movie started well with Raj (Neil Nitin Mukesh), the struggling photographer gradually discovering the power of his camera gifted by his scientist grandfather. He makes quick bucks by seeing the future lottery results and gains confidence. He then steps up winning into bigger fields like Race, Cricket betting and finally the Stock Market. Cash overflows his apartment. Meantime he impresses his bong neighbor, item-bomb DJ Simi (Bipasha Basu). He clicks a picture of his own and sees his death within 6 days. Just when things seemed to get interesting, the movie falls flat on its face once the baddies (Rahul Dev, Bobby Vatsa) are introduced. The audience is then force fed the Hindi film formulae. The story moves to Bangkok and few car chases happens, a leggy babe (Sophie Choudhury) comes in, random shootouts kill the baddies before a typical filmy end.
ADZ still had potential to become interesting but the debutant Director decides to focus more on visual gimmicks than the story itself. It’s one of those shallow good looking cinema, which doesn’t give any satisfaction to the intelligent mind. Also the stereotypical treatment to Neil’s character after his Johny Gaddar portrayal is remarkably conspicuous. He is single, stays in an apartment with a pet (a pigeon this time) and doesn’t know how to smile. Neil should join some chin exercise class and learn to show some expression other than the ‘stern look’, ‘cold look’ and ‘ stern cold look’. This is a red alert for him. One more role like this and he would definitely become the Woody Alone of Hindi film industry.
The title song is a remake from Rocky (Sanjay Dutt’s debut) is sung by Neil himself and there’s no apparent connection otherwise. The song ‘paisa hai power’ is also a remake of I got the Power by the Snap!
The end of the movie can literally be translated as ‘All’s well when it ends in a well”.
If every picture tells a story and a picture is worth million words I am jaded after digesting so many words in one weekend.