Rajeev Masand – movies that matter : from bollywood, hollywood and everywhere else

March 9, 2007

Dead boring

Filed under: Our FIlms — Rajeev @ 6:43 pm

March 09, 2007

Cast: Aftab Shivdasani, Celina Jaitley, Amrita Arora

Director: Vikram Bhatt

Some films should never be made and Vikram Bhatt’s Red is exactly that kind of film. Disguised as a thriller, Red is the most predictable film you’ve possibly seen, even a four-year-old can correctly guess where it’s all leading up to. What’s worse, you can make that guess 10 minutes into the film.

The sorry excuse for a plot centres around Aftab Shivdasani who’s saved from imminent death by a heart transplant. The heart in question belonged to a man who just died in a car accident. This man happens to be Celina Jaitley’s husband and less than 10 minutes since he’s discharged from hospital Aftab starts stalking Celina. Before you know it, the two of them are chewing each others lips off and making out like a pair of rabbits. As the affair continues, Aftab learns from Celina that her husband had been having an affair with her best friend Amrita Arora, who’s responsible for her husband’s death. When Celina complains she’s being harrassed by the person who killed her husband on Amrita’s instructions, Aftab kills the guy to protect his lady. But it all becomes an ugly mess when the police discover enough clues that are traced back to Aftab.

It doesn’t take an expert to point out the root cause for why this film doesn’t work – it’s got a plot that’s as flimsy as Celina Jaitley’s nightgown. Believe me, I’ve read class five essays that are better written. What amazes me is the fact that nobody who worked on this film realised that something as basic as common sense was so badly missing in the script. As a result, every minute of this film is sheer torture to endure.

When you don’t have a story to tell, why make a film at all? That’s the question I’d like to ask the producer, the director and the writer of Red who have wasted both money and time in bringing this nonsense to screen.

Vikram Bhatt once made some half-way decent Hollywood rip-offs, remember Kasoor and Raaz? – they weren’t too bad. Red as far as I can see, is not a direct copy of a Hollywood film – which makes perfect sense because even Hollywood wouldn’t be so stupid to make such a rubbish film.

I must add here that throwing in a generous dollop of love-making can’t salvage a film as lame as this. So, all the heaving and sighing, all the grunting and moaning, all the bumping and grinding between Aftab and Celina, does nothing for Red.

Of the principal cast, it’s a miracle Amrita Arora manages to show what a lousy actress she is in barely five minutes of screentime. Celina Jaitley, for her part, has close to two hours to display her incompetence. Doused in make-up, even while doing a wet, shower scene, she simpers and whimpers and plays the damsel in distress so unconvincingly, you’re willing to pay her admission fee to a good acting class. By virtue of the fact that the other two perform so badly, Aftab Shivdasani comes off looking just marginally better, although this is hardly the kind of work to be proud of.

There are very few films that have no merits at all, usually you’ll like at least something in every film. But Red is a picture that’s devoid of any artistic credibility at all. And that’s why I’m left with no choice but to go with a zero out of five for Vikram Bhatt’s Red.

I still don’t know what’s the significance of the title. Did they call it Red because they anticipated the colour of anger that you’ll be consumed with after seeing the film? Or is it because Red rhymes with “dead” which is how you feel when you leave the cinema?

(This review first aired on CNN-IBN)

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