I never knew when I become a Emraan Hashmi fan. When I saw the promos of Footpath, I said oh no not another Bollywood actor who got a chance due to nepotism. Whatever I saw of Footpath proved that I was right, but I guess the turning point for me was I found him bearable in Mohit Suri’s Zeher, and Kalyug proved that he could act in spite of an underwritten role. I so wish one day Mohit Suri’s makes a full length film on his character from Kalyug. And by the time Awarapann came I was looking forward for it’s release eagerly. Since then barring Ghanchakkar and Shanghai I have made it a point to watch his films on first day first show.
I must say I have enjoyed all Kunal Deshmukh films so far, Tum Mile being my favourite. It is one of those few Bollywood film which addresses the point that in love apart from romance many other things matter and otherwise we would all lead a life of misery. Kunal is someone who knows his job, that is to entertain the audience and he is pretty good at it.
We are introduced to Raja (Emraan Hashmi) and his mentor Raghav (Deepak Tijori) . Raja is in love with love with Zia (Humaima Malik) a bar dancer. He knows that if things have to work, he has to take care of financial aspect. In fact one aspect which is recurring in most Kunal Deshmukh films is financial stability in order to have a successful relationship. His heroes are head over heels in love, but also pragmatic. On the other hand while his hero thinks in terms of financial stability, his heroine thinks in terms of emotional stability. They do not want to marry a knight who rescues them, they are fiercely independent and ready to walk out when it needs to be done, be it Sonal’s character in Jannat or Soha’s character they move out and do not sob like Bollywood heroines.
Kunal keeps up the pace in first half and waste no times in setting the plot, we have Raja who wants to avenge the death of his mentor Raghav, and meets Yogi (Paresh Rawal) who can help him plot his revenge and Raja wants a revenge which will ensure that Vardha (Kay Kay Menon in a hideous wig) gets something more painful than death.
The problem of the film starts here, Kunal seems to be excited to show the con job, he is not interested in motivation of the character. He seems to be disinterested in showing the pain of his character, but when he does, it is brilliant. The scene where Raja comes down to Raghav’s house after his death, he does not shout or go ballistic like Hindi film Heros, tears simply roll down his eyes and the camera lingers for a moment and then moves up.
Another instance is when Zia is threatened by corrupt cops, and Raja is right in the adjacent room but he does not break doors and beat up police, he is a coward some may say. Another scene is when (Yogi) Paresh Rawal reveals to Raja as to why he has decided to help him, with another mediocre director it could have been long stretched melodrama ,but here it is just treated as casual conversation, like in real life how we speak about how someone’s death affects us and the next moment we are again sucked by monotony of our life.
The biggest letdown is in the form of how the con is executed. There are too many convenient points as we always feel that Raja and his team will have an upper hand, it would be interesting if the film had given the upper hand to the villain for a while, it does happen just once which comes during interval point, after that it is all a cakewalk for Raja.
Music wise (Yuvan Shankar Raja) this is one of the weakest score for Emraan’s films. I had a feeling that I was listening to Tamil compositions which were recycled. To make matters worse the songs act as speedbreakers and come at point when you want the story to move forward and do not take breathing space. The biggest letdown is the screenplay by Parveez Sheikh, who was responsible for Queen and Ghanchakkar.
Raja Natwarlal does not try hard, it knows it is a B Film and narrating the story of poetic justice. The problem is even the screenplay wasn’t probably taken seriously as if it was properly sketched out it could have been a good guilty pleasure film to watch.
It is interesting to see two characters- Raja and Yogi. While Paresh represents a time and place where you have to follow rules to play the game, Emraan represents someone who is willing to take risks and for him it is happiness which matters more than being part of society, eventually that is all we want to do. I guess this is why Emraan has such a huge fan following among people who are small town people, he assures us that it is ok to break rules, changes the rules of the game and be happy.
Emraan Hashmi delivers one of his best performances till date, he is inhibited in his performance, the awkwardness is long gone from his acting. He seems to enjoy what he is doing, apart from lip locking he gets to emote ,the breakdown scene after Raghav’s death is one of the best examples of how he has grown as an actor. You could catch his discomfort when the camera zoomed on his face during Zeher, but now he seems to be comfortable and also seems to be in a zone where he enjoys his work, and come on how many actors do we know who can adjust their pants on screen and gather whistles from the audience? 🙂