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FarciKAAL and ComiKaal
Apr 29, 2005 07:42 PM 7033 Views
(Updated May 01, 2005 11:32 AM)





''Without knowing it, we utilize hundreds of products each day that owe their origin to wild animals and plants. Indeed our welfare is intimately tied up with the welfare of wildlife. Well may conservationists proclaim that by saving the lives of wild species, we may be saving our own.''

- Norman Myers, Wealth of Wild Species, 1983

''After all, we cannot expect nature's forgiveness forever''.

- Monte Hummel, World Wildlife Fund Canada

Whether it is the latest controversy over disappearance of Tigers in Sariska sanctuary or the mayhem created by man-eating tigers in the suburbs of Mumbai, or destruction of trees in jungles, smuggling of sandalwood tress, or poaching of animals, the jungle culture has been in news of late. And these recent incidents has brought to fore the issue of forest and wild life conservation. Forests and animals are as necessary as urban jungles to maintain the ecological balance. This interesting issue was waiting to be captured on big screen. The last movie made on the subject of wildlife/forest conservation was the well-made “Kartavya” starring Dharmendra way back in the late 70s. While Kartavya dealt with this subject in a social/action format, Kaal deals with the subject in Horror/thriller format. But has Karan Johar’s deviation from his mushy movies succeeded?


Wild life expert Krish Thapar (John Abraham) along with his photographer wife Riya (Esha Deol) enter Jim Corbett National Park as part of the assignment given by National Geographic to probe the mysterious extinction of human lives by the man-eating tigers in the Park. Dev (Vivek Oberoi), Lara Dutta (Ishika), and their friends are on their way to a farmhouse when their car breaks down. A shady character Bagga (Sunit Verma) gives them lift and incites them to a take trip to the jungle. There they meet Krish and Riya whose car had also broken down. They form a group and stay together. Soon creepy things start to unfold and panic sets in as one by one a member gets disappearing mysteriously. They become paranoids and start doubting about the existence of some ghostly elements in the jungle and even get suspicious of each other. These traumatic crusaders then seek help of Kali Pratap Singh (Ajay Devgan) who is well acquainted with the forest. What follow are attempts by the trapped souls to escape the jungle and avoid KAAL – the time of death. Who escape, who doesn’t? Who is the predator – Animal or a man in animal’s disguise? I am not telling.


Sorry, I could not find any.


It is difficult to believe that there is no kind of communication or interaction between the National Geographic channel and the jungle authorities when someone is sent on an assignment. John does not know any jungle rules either. The Channel should know that in rainy season no one is allowed in the jungle but still they send John Abraham. Esha is a photographer but she is seldom seen with her camera (a handycam!) throughout the movie. They are not shown doing any kind of work that their mission entailed.

John Abraham's entry scene where he is fights with the Python is meant to be thrillling but unintentionally it turned out to be hilarious.

John Abraham is shown suspecting Vivek Oberoi to be the killer but under frivolous reasons.

When the lead characters encounter the tigers for the first time, there is no kind of tension as it should be. While John Abraham strike poses and does nothing (He is a tiger expert in the movie!), Vivek Oberoi shoots in the air instead of shooting the tigers.

When the tigers appear for the first time they don't attack the lead characters but only walk the ramp (like in circus) and go away without killing anyone.

After their first encounter with the tigers, the group is seen roaming in the jungles without fear.

Not a single scene where someone gets killed is shown properly to have the scary/chilling effect.

The wildlife/forest conservation message is given through preachy dialogues instead of conveying it through some scenes.

In the anti-climax scene (the “well” scene), Esha gets carried away by a small bucket of water. How dumb a director can get.

The suspense is very weak. The killer can be guessed easily.

The worst thing about the movie is the climax scene.

The movie is about Tigers. And there was too much hype over the training of tigers etc. But the tigers are shown in only one scene and there no tiger fights either.

The Killer let go the three protagonists very easily considering that…………. I am not telling


Ajay Devgan is okay but he is beginning to act same in all his movies now with those same deadpan expressions.

John Abraham is a non-actor and it shows in this movie. He should not equate style with acting. And his dialogue delivery needs big improvement.

Vivek Oberoi tries to infuse life into his character and succeeds to an extent.

Lara Dutta & Esha Deol scream, change clothes constantly in the jungle and are shown dumb. They can’t act.


Director Soham is clearly influenced by RGV’s style of filmmaking and since he has assisted RGV in the making of Bhoot the effect shows as he has given importance to ensemble horror and creepy scenes rather than exploring the story. But then the director’s intention was to scare the audience but has not at all succeeded. There is a kind of deja vu while watching those thrilling/horror scenes. Soham is the worst RGV assistant I have seen.

Story and Screenplay: The story and screenplay does not have either the power to grip the audience nor the impact to do justice to the subject of wildlife/forest conservation. He has collaged some horror scenes in the name of screenplay. In a suspense/horror movie the kind of tension needed to be shown is just not there.

Music: Salim Sulaiman’s background music is too noisy. His composition Kaal is good.

Choreographer Farah Khan could not create the same magic of Chaiyya Chaiyya with Kaal Dhamaal. The song tauba tauba is okay, that appears after the climax.

Cinematography by Santosh Thundiyl is disappointing. Overuse of ground shots and his inability to capture the action sequences, traumatized faces, tensed situations that can create an impact, is a big let down.

Editing by Sanjay Sankla is crisp as it should be in a movie of this genre.

Action by Allan Amin is very bad. Watch the River bridge scene and the scene where their car hits a wooden plank and you will know why.

Verdict: I give you three options.

Watch National Geographic. Or Discovery. Or Animal Planet.

In other words, stay home.

KAAL kare so aaj kar, aaj kare so abhi. So leave your comments now :)


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