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Jun 25, 2004 07:14 PM 4335 Views
(Updated Jun 25, 2004 07:14 PM)





Well, after having watched the superb Lakshya, I went to watch this movie with a lot of expectations, afterall, it had Amithabh Bachchan! And the promos had looked so good that OI had promised myself that I would be amongst the first to not only see this movie but also to review it!

So I have seen the movie and the verdict? Well, it is ok, so-so. Initially, during the first 30-45 minutes into the film, I felt that Gaurang had a super hit at hand. But alas as the movie progressed, I wished I had waited to read the reviews of the movie and gone and watched it. The movie is good but not pulsating or nail biting as it should have been. It is pacy in parts and goes slack in other parts. The movie is nice in bits and parts.

It is about Prisoners of War (PoW). Indian defence guys in pakistan as prisoners. This is indeed a new one. We have a spate of war movies but this is new in the sense that it is about PoWs. So Amitabh and his group of around 30 men are held in Pakistan. The mvie shows the indomitable spirit of the Indians and how they make attempts after attempts to escape though they fail, only to be beaten for having tried to escape. the dialogues are especially good and do envince a round of clap and whistling.

Amitabh and his men are forgotten or taken for dead by the Indian Govt though Amitabh's wife, Tanuja and son, Akshaye Khanna, believe that he is alive and being held as PoW. Akshaye and his mother try to convice the army chief that Major (Amitabh) is alive but to no avail. In one of the many escape bids of Amitabh, one of the prisoners manages to escape and manages to get the letter delivered to an Indian Hindu, named Jabbar,worshipping Lord ganesha in Karachi's Hindu Colony about the state of major and his men.

So now mother and son are convinced that major is alive and Akshaye being the hero that he is, goes to Pakistan, all alone, unarmed, to bring his father back home. talk about one man army!! The much required reprieve is provided by Sanjay Dutt.

Strangely, he is not a PoW nor a militant, a very undefined identity but an Indian Khan and he is placed along with the PoWs. This I found strange as it is not usually done that PoWs are imprisoned along with other prisoners, more so when it is in an isolated place. Anyway, so Sanjay Dutt comes along and makes the movie a bit light.

Amrita Arora is a waste, she is Jabbar's daughter and the love story between her and Akshaye is meaningless. The song, '' Piya Bawari'' was not required at all and it infact breaks the entire spell of the movie. I feel, the whole love story angle was unrequired and Gaurang could have achieved the status of making a movie with no heroine at all.

The second half of the movie deals with the escape and clearly the director has sen a lot of Hollywood movies and got ''inspired'' from them. The Great Escape and Bridge on the River Kwai come to mind immediately. But then those are classics, case studies about how to make a perfect film. In comparison, (actually there is no comparison), Deewar fails.

There are too many jarring glitches in the movie which make u wonder what happened to the movie which had begum so well, and where did it all get lost. The scenes of stealing the maps, Akshaye's dress sense sticking out like a sore thumb in pakistan while trying to look indescript, an emotional father and son scene when the Pakistan army men are behind and time is running out actually drew guffaws from the audience.

The last scenes of gun fight where no bullet, miraculously, hits Amitabh and Akshaye, looks silly. Then there is the scene where Tanuja and Akshaye are fully drenched, soaked to the skin in the rain but when they come home, they are bone dry. It may not be a big deal but when one goes to see such movies, it is expected that such silly glarring glitches are the least which the director could have avoided.

The biggest glitch in the plot - KayKay, the Pakistani in charge of the prison, knows that they are planning a big escape by digging a tunnel through Zutshi who infiltrates the Indian camp, a pakistani, posing as an Indian captain. So when kay kay knew all along the escape route , how come he did not do anything to nab them at their exit routes? Well, the movie is goodin bits and parts.

While watching lakshya one cannot help but feel patriotic and eyes do well up when the flag goes up in the end but here, somehow, the director has been unable to raise any patriotic fervour.

To give credit where it is due, the director has shot the movie well, it looks great and makes u feel good that Indian film industry has indeed grown by leaps and bounds technically. The movie, like the promos, looks very sleek.

Its a must see for all Amitabh fans. Once again he is proved his mettle and he is brilliant. Sanjay Dutt is also great and so is Raghubir Yadav who has a very small role as one of the PoWs. I think Yadav is one actor whose potential has never been fully explioted and he has been relegated to doing two-bit roles. Akshaye Khanna is also very good, convincing. Amrita Rao is best forgotten.

I suggest, one should have a dekho but do not go expecting to see a remake of Great Escape. Go for Amitabh!!

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