Starring Amitabh Bachchan, Arjun Rampal, Akshay Kumar, Sushmita Sen, Aditya Pancholi and Paresh Rawal
special appearance Bipasha Basu, Kashmira Shah
Directed by Vipul Amritupal Sharma
Music by Aadesh Srivastav, Jatin-Lalit
So is this Bollywood's answer to Hollywood's Ocean Eleven??
Amitabh Bachchan gets a great role after AKS, and not the usual stubborn dad, mind you! This time he is joined by two other hot hunky actors - Akshay Kumar and Arjun Rampal. Put in a slice of Bipasha Basu and Sushmita Sen into it, and top it all with the cherry- the versatile Paresh Rawal and presto - we have some mindblowing star cast making this project something hot to handle indeed!
Amitabh Bachchan plays a bank manager Vijay Singh Rajput who takes great pride in his work. But he has one serious problem, he is a schizophreniac with a terrible temper.. And once when he blows his top after catching a corrupt employee red handed, the bank management fires him from the office. They find him and his temper not fit for the organisation anymore.
So Vijay Singh is a furious man and he cannot find peace until he teaches the management a lesson. So he decides to do it by robbing the bank. And for this he believes he need the services of blind men.
So he forces blind school teacher Neha (Sushmita Sen) to train a trio of blind men (Paresh Rawal, Arjun Rampal and Akshay Kumar) to rob the bank. And if she does not, Neha's kid brother held captive by Vijay will get killed.
The movie as you all know, is adapted from a successful Gujarati play, which I believe was an out and out laugh riot. And by making that into a full-fledged movie and casting Big B as the mastermind behind the robbery, the director Vipul is confused. He is not exactly sure whether he wants the film to be a comedy or a thriller.It all is so evident in the climax scene where the police arrests Amitabh. The scene plays out like a comedy, irrespective of the dangers and death that was rolled out in the scenes before it.
The movie kicks off really well, and Big B's character is well sketched out in the initial reels itself. Then the rest of the players come in and as the training period follows, things are set for a big finale. However the second half does not live up to the expectations, with the actual robbery not living up to what we expected out of it. Then the scenes after the robbery is so disappointing that it lacks any of the kind of intelligence that we witnessed earlier.
Loop holes are plenty:
But I should say, despite all the major and minor flaws in the movie, this was a bold experiment by any Bollywood standards. And kudos to the director Vipul Shah just for that. For once, the film goes on a straight track and does not deviate for unnecessary sub-plots except for that of the lady cashier.
Amitabh Bachchan is first rate. He is actually even better than what he was in Aks. Within the first few minutes of the reel itself, he was able to bring out fear in everyone - just by the way he strolled, spoke and glanced. However I was completely disappointed the way he behaved in the climax.
Of the trio - Paresh Rawal easily takes the cake. Paresh Rawal is the only reason why the film manages to end up entertaining amidst all the planning and robbery. Perfect comic timing and smart delivery of dialogues make this a performance as hillarious as the one we saw from him in Hera Pheri.
Akshay Kumar also does an impressive show as the blind man with a sixth sense. With the director being the man who played Akshay's role in the original play, Akshay did not have to do much of the homework. But Akshay delivers the role in style and the fact that he has a good on-screen chemistry with Amitabh helps.
Arjun Ramphal is all just hunky looks and does not have much scope to display his acting talents. We have seen him perform much better in his previous movies. Here he is just about okay. Ditto goes for Sushmita Sen. Her performace takeas a whole range. While in some scene she comes on top, in others she is not up to the mark. All in all, a decent show by her too.
Bipasha just pops in for a song, and Aditya Pancholi comes as a cop in the last few scenes, creating no impact at all.
Music by Aadesh Srivastav is disappointing. There is the brilliant title track and the impressive Gushtakiyan. But Phatela Jeb and Chalka Chalka are just item numbers made for front-benchers and are not exactly melodious classics. The background music could also have been much better.
One thing that really is impressive in the movie will be without a doubt the cinematography by Ashok Mehta. He has managed to give a particular style to the whole thing and enhanced the look and feel of the film.
A movie that is daringly different like this might not win appreciation from all corners in the same way. The movie is expected to do well in cities and abroad, but the same cannot be said in the interiors.
AANKHEN is a decent flick and a decent directorial debut by Vipul Shah. Agreed the writing and the screenplay could have been much better. But when pitted against the regular flicks that we get from Bollywood, I think Aankhen, with its novel storyline and great performances, is a welcome change and a worthy entertainer.
And even if nothing works, AANKHEN will still stand out from the rest, thanks to Paresh Rawal's performance.
THE PANEL ROOM
Positive: 1 Mixed: 4
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