They say truth is stranger than fiction. It is also more cruel.
Take this story inspired by real events. A mother admits her 8-year-old child to the hospital for a stomach ache. It's a simple appendicitis operation that the hospital's top surgeon will perform.
The husband has abandoned them so the mother (Tisca Chopra, brilliant) has to manage everything on her own and is helped by her supportive boss.
Between discussing black-tie dinners over the phone, the high-profile Dr Asthana (Kay Kay Menon) finishes the surgery and informs the mother that everything is fine.
But the doctor forgets an important procedure which causes the child to slip into a coma and die.
That evening, we watch the doctor play badminton as the mother mourns the loss of her only child.
She is given a lame excuse for his death, and the story takes off when she discovers that the hospital lied and it was a case of medical negligence.
We watch the guilty trying to cover-up evidence like seasoned criminals.
The story gets even more sordid and involving as this case goes to court. You have dubious lawyers, witnesses turning hostile, and moves thrown by either side.
'This is going to get ugly' warns the hospital's lawyer. And it does.
The film holds your interest and engages you with its emotional touch throughout.
There is an attempt at showing the surgeon's perspective also, who thinks of this as just a mistake-- a mess-up! And he certainly does not think of himself as a negligent doctor since he claims to have saved many lives as well.
The case creates a divide between a doctor couple who have to take sides. Romesh (Arjun Mathur) sacrifices his budding medical career to side with justice. Of course in doing so, we are made to endure preachy dialogues about sach and jhoot!
Director Suhail Tatari (Summer 2007) extracts top-notch performances. The background score works. The editing is taut. And the writing is crisp.
I definitely recommend the film. It's an issue that affects all of us. And it's a wholesome, riveting drama if you can forgive the muddled finale. Worth a watch!
Rating: Three stars
Runtime: 129 min