Rating : 8/10
Running Time : < 120 mts
Release Date : 4th April, ‘08
Director : Samar Khan ; Writer : Jaydeep Sarkar, Aparna Malhotra, Samar Khan ; Music : Adnan Sami
Starring : Rahul Bose, Kay Kay Menon, Minissha Lamba, Amrita Rao, Deepak Dobriyal
This is gripping, intense stuff, definitely not for those looking for light hearted entertainment alone. Its clearly inspired by ‘A Few Good Men’, but its better in most respects except at the end, in terms of how it brings it all together. AFGM had a more logical connect, carried the audience with it a bit better.
Javed Khan (I’m terrible with army ranks so wont even try) is accused of killing his peer officer, Rathore while on a search operation in Kashmir. He is maintaining a stoic silence, refusing to speak to anyone. There are quite a few witnesses, so it seems like an open and shut case. Since he is a Muslim, there is also the inevitable talk of him being a terrorist supporter. Also, since their unit reports in to Brig Rudra Pratap Singh, the self styled Lord, God and master of the area, who is destined for a big promotion shortly plus since Rathore was one of his favourites, the case is a very high profile one. Jaaved Jaafri and Rahul Bose are both great friends, employed in the army as legal officers. While Jaaved is about to get married, and is a more serious, stable kind of guy, Rahul’s life is all about adventure sport, dating etc. They get appointed on opposite sides of the case, with Rahul getting the unenviable job of defense. One of the people he meets in Srinagar is Minissha Lamba who is a journalist who wants to make it big. How the case fares, how the different relationships get on is the focus of most of the movie.
I don’t think I have seen a better performance than Kay Kay as Brig Pratap. He was awesome, roaring vitriol in one second, calmly discoursing on the merits of single malt in another.
Rahul Bose was very good as the defense lawyer, his role also required him have a Jekyll and Hyde personality. To be a good for nothing frivolous guy yet introspective. Be disinterested one moment, but willing to put his job on the line in another. It was refreshing to see Jaaved Jaafri doing a role of substance as well. The last couple of times I saw him he was doing a caricature in one movie (a Crocodile Dundee rip off in Salaam Namaste) and a cartoon in another (Dhamaal). Minissha Laamba was good and Amrita Rao made a positive impact in the few scenes she had. And a special mention of Deepak Dobriyal who played Javed Khan, he was almost unrecognizable from his earlier role in Omkara and was very good as well.
Where the movie was very good was Indianising the plot, making it very credible and keeping the interest going throughout the movie. They built the climax up very well, and towards the end, there was hushed silence as the audience watched the drama unfold. Also, what they managed very nicely was keeping the tension going but not letting it get too heavy with some very nice humorous touches. Where it suffered was at the editing table, where I really feel with some minor changes, the end could’ve been made even more exciting, things explained more clearly.
However, let nothing detract from the sheer watchability of the movie. It has some excellent performances, brilliant dialogue and lovely humour. And it builds up beautifully to an explosive, emotion charged climax. I really enjoyed this one, a good movie at last that is cerebral, requires you to use your brain and is very intelligently made. Samar Khan, in a very refreshing Director’s note on the official website, stated that he doesn’t care about the box office success but if only 40 people saw it, he wants 39 to say it touched them. By that criteria, on the basis of the group I saw it with, the film is a roaring success !