ACTION/ DRAMA/ POLITICAL
Starring Anil Kapoor, Rani Mukherjee, Amrish Puri, Johny Lever, Paresh Rawal, Pooja Batra
Directed by Shankar
Music by A.R. Rahman
Director Shankar makes his big Bollywood debut with NAYAK after having his earlier tamil movies all dubbed into Hindi - HUMSEHAI MUQABLA, INDIAN, JEANS. His GENTLEMAN got remade but Mahesh Bhatt made a mess out of it. And now Shankar remakes his own mega hit MUDHALVAN into Hindi.
For a tamil movie, MUDHALVAN does deserve the credit and its box office success speak for itself. And the moment I saw the movie, I frankly thought to myself- this is a good subject to be made into a Hindi one.
And Shankar too thought the same and he went full steam ahead with Anil Kapoor replacing Arjun from the original while Rani Mukherjee takes over the role played by Manisha Koirala.
The story deals with Anil's character who happens to be a television reporter. And one of his tasks was to interview the Chief Minister in an exclusive interview. However Anil gets carried away and puts forward several questions criticizing the works of the CM and his ministry.
Suddenly finding himself in danger, the CM gets uncomfortable and furious by the reporter challenges Anil to do better as a CM. Though Anil shrugs it off, the CM isn't willing to let it go. He puts forward a proposal to make the reporter a Chief Minister for 24 hours and then see what this guy can do about the corrupt system.
Ultimately, left with no choice Anil takes up the proposal and he becomes a CM for 24 ours. However, he manages to do a lot more than one can expect that he instantly becomes so popular with the general public. His honest yet daring actions catches the fancy of the common man. And after the day, he quietly decides to go back to the girl he loves and his middle class family.
However, the humiliated politician decides to teach this young man a lesson and soon tries to destroy his life one by one.
This movie, I should say is ultimate fantasy in filmi style. For we have a larger than life hero who does everything in style like a real hero should.
And that certainly seems to be the problem with most of the critics. The lead character is larger than life. Oh, give me a break! Hindi movies have been generating some of the biggest larger-than-life heroes and over-the-top sequences films have ever known.
So the problem that seems to be over here??
The CM who bangs up goons in the middle of the streets, making him no better than the thugs themselves.
The CM trying to romance his love in the fields when he is supposed to be serving his state...
and all such things that you expect a normal film hero to do, but not the CM of a state.
The big plus factors are that Anil Kapoor seems to be the perfect guy to take over the lead role. Though personally, I had Shahrukh in mind for the role. But then Anil is the man for remakes, anytime. Then a brilliant performance from Paresh Rawal.
Rani Mukherjee just has to be herself, act silly, run and dance around. Amrish Puri does not have the kind of screen presence that Raghuvaran had in the original. Pooja Batra chips in with a decent job.
The camerawork is excellent, and the strongest factor has to be the dialogues that comes with the punches when it has to.
Now the flip side that is going to work against the movie.
Shankar dreamt big and spend unnecessary money here and there when he could have done a better job at a lesser cost.
Then he did not try to make it more appealing for the North Indian crowds. The same songs and picturisation that seemed to be the crowd puller down south turns out to be the biggest disappointment in its Hindi version. Shankar did not bother sitting and trying to make the necessary changes in the music.
And to make things even worse, the songs have some of the most terrible lyrics in recent history.
Even many of the loud scenes and the comedy tracks that Tamil movie is notoriously famous for, has not been changed. And when converted to Hindi, they just stand out as obscene and in bad taste. That is exactly what Johnny Lever and his lines stand as.
The second half deviates from the main theme in a big way. I thought Shankar would work on it, but sadly, no!
And then it is not gonna be the movie that is going to pull in the teenagers, nor the family audiences. Sorry!
So it is just a matter of how the crowds take it!
If they like the theme, and does not mind the over-glorified hero- the movie will work.
On the other hand, if people begin to look into logic and sensibility, they will not find it here. But even the biggest hit of the year GADAR did not have anything logical going for its hero. So what's the problem, eh?
F I N A L V E R D I C T
But the bottom line, the subject of the movie is still very much appealing and that is the strength of the movie. A common man who turns the corrupt system over its head in a day. What every man would love to dream about. It is a dream situation.
NAYAK is a pure masala fare that is to be taken more as a fantasy rather than a real-hard hitting depiction of modern India.