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

March 27, 2009

Picture imperfect

Filed under: Our FIlms — Rajeev @ 5:30 pm

March 27, 2009

Cast: Neil Nitin Mukesh, Bipasha Basu

Director: Jehangir Surti

In Aa Dekhen Zara, Neil Nitin Mukesh plays a photographer whose deceased grandpa leaves him a camera that can take photographs of future events. At least someone associated with this film should have had the good sense to use this camera to foresee how this film was shaping up. Had they done that, they might have saved this movie from turning into the complete train-wreck that it is!

Like pretty much anyone in his place would have done, Neil uses the camera to make a killing at lotteries, the races and the stock exchange. His girlfriend’s role is played by Bipasha Basu wearing a permanent scowl – perhaps she did use the camera to determine the film’s fate after all. Anyway, when everyone from a dishonest cop to a greedy thug discovers the secret of the camera and wants to get a hold of it, Neil and Bipasha must flee the scene, landing up in Bangkok where they find the time to break into an item song at a Thai watering hole in between dodging bullets from their nemeses. The catch in this situation is thus – they may outrun their pursuers but can they overcome the fate that the camera has predicted for them?

Loosely scripted and full of inconsistencies, Aa Dekhen Zara may have an interesting premise as its starting point, but the film’s writers fail to flesh out a foolproof screenplay, and don’t even stay true to the film’s own absurd logic. At the start we’re told the camera only takes pictures 24 hours into the future, then suddenly it’s taking photographs of events five days away! A photo warns Neil he will be stalked by his enemy on a flight, and yet a day later when that actually happens, Neil seems entirely unprepared. By the way these are just two instances that come immediately to mind.

Just when you thought the film couldn’t get any worse, Sophie Chaudhary shows up with too much pancake, a plunging neckline and dialogues that could have only been written by a fourth-grader. Turns out she isn’t who she’s meant to be, and when you learn who she really is, you realize the writers have pretty much exhausted all their ideas.

For a thriller, Aa Dekhen Zara is awfully snail-paced, and every moment in that dark-room waiting for photographs to develop feels like real time. Neil Nitin Mukesh is stiff for the most part and fails to leave much of an impression. Bipasha Basu, saddled with a thankless role, can’t do much to help either.

First-time director Jehangir Surti fails to inject that edge-of-the-seat excitement into this thriller, making it a long, tedious affair. I’ll go with one out of five for Aa Dekhen Zara; believe me the future has never looked so bleak.

(This review first aired on CNN-IBN)

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