CAST & CREW
No this is not an English movie as the name might at first glance suggest, but regarding sheer quality, and acting skills it should surpass all expectations. Yes, this is a thriller from a debutant director from the Mahesh and Pooja Bhatt School, but it is definitely not one of those runs of the mill thrillers that have almost got stereotyped now in Bollywood. This is refreshingly different though at times brutal in description and hard in execution.
Plot: The story of the film runs on two parallel plots. The first involves Bank Manager John Day (portrayed by the remarkable Naseeruddin Shah), whose only daughter has perished in a tragic forest fire accident just recently, and is soon embroiled in another tragedy where his wife Maria (enacted by veteran Shernaz Patel), is viciously beaten up by kidnappers and has to be admitted in a state of coma after suffering severe brain damage. All this has happened in the course of a planned heist in the bank where the kidnappers decamp with the cash after gagging John.
The second plot involves the scheming cop Gautam (unforgettably portrayed by Randeep Hooda) who also gets sucked into the bank robbery but for a quite different personal agenda, where he uses his girl friend Tabassum (featuring Elena Kazan the German-Russian import to Bollywood). She is rushed to the bank to collect a very important document from the Bank’s locker. The anxiety and apparent panicky manner that she comes to collect the documents raises the suspicion of John, who now seems hell bent to settle scores with those responsible for his present desperate condition. From here the parallel plots start to overlap and unravel not only the identity of the persons behind the bank heist but also the mystery behind the forest fire in which John had lost his only daughter. Revealing the rest would be unfair, and would be best enjoyed while viewing this gripping and superbly crafted film.
The hallmark of the film seems to be the simultaneous presence of two superbly enacted roles by the veteran Naseeruddin Shah and the equally brilliant Randeep Hooda, no less impressive than his real life role model. For both Naseer and Randeep, these are types of roles they have played in the past, but the confluence of the two has done wonders to the overall histrionic value of the film. The other characters, to the extent of their own roles in the film, have lived up to the demands of their roles quite adroitly, and in keeping with the overall tempo of the film. Director Ahishor Solomon and Editor Arindam Ghatak have worked in tandem to keep up the gripping pace at which the events unfold, and the main characters get to interact. Another notable feature of the film for which Solomon should be complimented is his decision not to fall into the temptation of introducing songs in a film of this nature. On the other hand, the background music of Sandeep Chowta is noticeably appropriate, and Prakash Kutty’s camera work is brilliant especially in the night shots, of which there are many.
Verdict: A must see film for all who love to see good acting – a rare bonus here with two superlative performances backed by a taut screenplay and some innovative handling of a differently plotted story line.
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