Thursday, January 28, 2010


Rating : 6/10
Release Date : 29th Jan, 2010
Time : ~120 minutes
Director : Ramgopal Varma; Writer : Rohit G Banawlikar; Music : Amar Mohile, Bapi-Tutul, Sanjeev Kohli, Jayesh Gandhi
Starring : Amitabh Bachchan, Riteish Deshmukh, Paresh Rawal, Sudeep, Rajat Kapoor, Neetu Chandra, Mohnish Bahl, Gul Panag, Suchitra Krishnamoorthy, Rajpal Yadav

For once, I thought the content was good, the message noble, the performances credible and noteworthy but the packaging was gimmicky, the camera angles too wanna-be and almost nausea / headache inducing and the soundtrack loud and irritating. Both the camera work and music actually detracting from the film.

Amitabh Bachchan plays one of the most respected news presenters, a man of integrity, who lives by his principles and runs his now declining news channel by the same. His son, Sudeep, just back from USA is hungry for success, is nervous, twitchy, short-tempered and also game for some shortcuts. Rajat Kapoor, his brother in law, is an industrialist who dreams big and has aligned himself with a politician, Paresh Rawal, who also dreams big, is tired of being in the opposition. Suchitra Krishnamoorthy works for Amitabh’s channel, Mohnish Bahl used to but now has his own channel, which is the number one channel in TRP terms. Enter Riteish Deshmukh, who idolises & is inspired by Amitabh, to join the world of news….

All the dilemma’s presented are real, tangible and identifiable. We all face them in our own ways. To go for the inconvenient truth or the happier compromise…where no one but the faceless public gets shortchanged ? Everytime we break a queue, bribe an official, shut our eyes at an injustice around us, we’re falling into the same trap…the trap of a thousand cuts. And, God help us, but what if there is this fundamental value misalignment amongst members of a family ? What if the son-in-law, the son and the father seem to believe in different things, have different objectives ? We can then easily understand how someone like Amitabh feels as the edifice he’s built around him begins to show cracks. And what someone like Riteish feels as he see’s truth being sacrificed at the altar of the highest bidder.

All performances were credible, Riteish (very believable), Paresh, Rajat, Sudeep (slightly over-strung) but Amitabh Bachchan for me continues to mesmerize…there is a dignity, a believability that shines through in his every expression.

Now to the disappointing bits. Its almost as if the film makers felt the subject alone wasn’t good enough and so decided to go for cutting edge camera angles and really loud background soundtrack to mask the film, heighten the tension. It actually was not needed, the subject matter and performances were good enough, they didn’t need gimmicks like this or the abandoned national anthem. There were some obvious flaws. You would probably keep your helmet visor down if you were trying to follow someone incognito nor follow so closely. And maybe you would put your phone on silent when in the vicinity of someone you’re trying to ‘sting’ ? Also, I felt the women characters were sadly shown as mere puppets throughout the film…inconsequential pawns in the hands of the men who controlled their destiny. Surely more could’ve been made of the combined acting talents of Simone, Neetu Chandra, Gul Panag and Suchitra ?

Its definitely worth a watch, Amitabh’s performance alone worth the price of a ticket. And there is food for thought…now if only the damned music wasn’t cluttering up the mind….

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