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

December 4, 2020

Awarapan review

Filed under: Our FIlms,Their Films — Rajeev @ 4:14 pm

June 29, 2007

Cast: Emraan Hashmi, Ashutosh Rana, Shriya, Mrinalini Sharma

Director: Mohit Suri

Plagarism isn’t about to go out of fashion anytime soon, although our desi directors are looking in different directions for inspiration these days.

The plot of Mohit Suri’s Awarapan which also opens at the cinemas this week is generously borrowed from the Korean film A Bittersweet Life. In Suri’s version, Emraan Hashmi stars as a hotel manager and a faithful employee of gangster boss Ashutosh Rana whose Hong Kong hotel he’s in charge of.

The boss one day asks Emraan to keep an eye on his mistress, a pretty young Pakistani girl whom the boss has bought in the flesh market. Having confirmed the boss’ suspicions that the girl does indeed have a boyfriend whom she’s planning to run away with, Emraan is now instructed to kill the girl and her lover.

Reminded of a tragic incident from his own life, Emraan has a change of heart and decides instead to unite the young lovers. Naturally the boss isn’t pleased by this decision of his and proceeds to punish Emraan for disobeying his orders.

What follows is an ugly bloodbath, but Emraan’s clearly on a mission which he hopes will help him find redemption.

In many, many ways, Awarapan like its original source material, unfolds like a Shakespearan tragedy. The story’s got love, pain, pathos, redemption, salvation and death. And yet, Mohit Suri’s script botches up in the most important place.

It fails to dramatically build up the reason why Emraan suddenly feels compassion towards the young couple. It fails also in building up the extent of loss Emraan feels when he loses his own love.

In those respects, Awarapan only skims the surface, it doesn’t get to the emotional core of the characters and that’s why we’re often unable to empathise with them.

And in this regard, Mohit Suri’s own last film Woh Lamhe was a far more mature take on complexed relationships. But in all honesty, apart from these odd hiccups, “Awarapan” is actually quite engaging. What strikes you about the film from the moment the lights go out is the stylishness with which its been shot.

Whether it’s the Hong Kong skyline or even the slick action scenes, you have to admit its all done very dramatically and as a result, the film itself bears a distinctly international look.

Like most films, Awarapan too has its share of flaws, but you must admit the film’s director does a good job of taking your attention away from the flaws and keeping you engrossed in the narrative instead.

The film’s pace is clearly too slow for its own good, especially in the first half when the screenplay drags its feet endlessly. But really I’m nitpicking here. Because judge it purely as an action film, and there’s little not to like about it. What’s truly impressive about this film I think is the clever manner in which the director uses his actors.

Emraan Hashmi, never the most eloquent speaker, is given minimal lines, his feelings conveyed mostly through his expressions and long silences. Purab Kohli, meanwhile, who plays a coke-sniffing gangster, is excellent as he brings to his character that slightly eccentric touch which makes him stand out in the ensemble.

Also fantastic is Ashutosh Rana who uses body language and dialogue delivery to construct such a memorable bad-guy character. I can’t say much about newcomer Mrinalini Sharma, but I will put in a word for Tamil star Shriya who plays Emraan’s love interest and whom we saw recently in Sivaji — she’s absolutely lovely to look at and I’m looking forward to seeing more of her in the months ahead.

Coming back to Awarapan, I’d say it’s an immensely watchable film because the elements all fall into place. It’s got a splendid music score and the carnage scenes have a strange beauty to them which is hard to describe.

I’m going to go with three out of five for director Mohit Suri’s Awarapan, it’s a boys’ film with guns and gore, but it’s also more than that. A little over two hours long, it’s not a bad way to spend your evening.

(This review first aired on CNN-IBN)

No Comments »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment

Powered by WordPress