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Hatya: The Murder

Source : COLUMNS
Last Updated: Mon, Oct 18, 2004 09:48 hrs

Starring : Akshay Kumar, Varsha Usgaonkar, Raza Murad, Johnny Lever, Rajendra Gupta.

Directed by :Kader Kashmiri

Rating: ha ha ha

The makers of this, ha ha ha, movie have played a rather savage joke on Akshay Kumar. Hatya is murder for every aesthetic value in cinema. It’s a miracle that the mothballed film has survived to make it to the theatres. Though why it should’ve been made in the first place is a question with no readymade answer.

What’s Hatya about? Akshay Kumar plays a snake ….yes! A snake. They kill his father (Navin Nishchol), rape his sister and try to finish off our hero as well. But hold your horses. Our man is made of a stronger fabric. When the villains trap his legs in a car’s steering wheel he breaks the damned thing and uses it is a flying saucer against the baddies.

The stunt director should immediately join politics. Akshay survives, thanks to the kind intervention of the neighbourhood cobra whom Akshay’s Daddy pampered in his backyard. Moral: A snake and son can join fangs to become one.

Akshay’s fang club gets a hand up. ‘Hiss’ Highness now has the power to vanquish the dozen dirty villains, all of whom are given one extra-mean trait to stand out in the crowd. Pankaj Berry (looking 20 years younger than he does nowadays) adopts a Mumbaiyya tone. Oldtime crook Sudhir dresses and speaks like a Goan sailor. And the arch -villain Rajendra Gupta is fond of mumbling, “In this world only two things matter zameen (land) and kameen (evil).” How mean.

A third scummy raison d’etre can be added to Gupta’s lewd list of earthly compulsions. How about rancid worm-infested films like Hatya which should be straightaway relegated to the trash can along with the `zameen` of the `kameen`?

In one priceless sequence Johnny Lever is brought in for a few chuckles as a professional mourner crying over the death of a villain. “We’re incapable of sorrow. So we might as well get professional help,” reasons one of the bad guys.

One feels sorry for Akshay Kumar who shoulders the burden of this dead carcass. Though his looks undergo at least three major phases–from very early callow Akshay, to middle-phase Akshay to the groomed and poised here-and-now Akshay–he dubs his banal lines with consistent enthusiasm, even ones as knock-kneed as, “Maa (that’s Reema Lagoo, voice dubbed by a very clumsy imitator) tumhari bahu kaisi hai? Main London se aate hi ussey ghar laoonga.”

The ‘bahu’ in question is Varsha Usgaonkar whose career in Hindi films ended a decade ago. No one bothered to inform the makers of this canned garbage. Ms Usgaonkar not only plays Akshay’s love interest, at some indeterminate juncture in the demented plot we’re told she’s a snake researcher.

Off we go to a tacky set representing a village of snake charmers where Usgaonkar does a frantic ‘snake dance’ to the tune of a discordant ‘been’ music. Talk about has -beens!

Dunno about the snakes, but we’re certainly not charmed by this movie that does a disservice to its on-the-upswing leading man.

Why not have a law stopping the release of any film that has been in the making for more than five years? Unless it’s Mughal-e-Azam.


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