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Review: Aasma fails to reach that high

Review: Aasma fails to reach that high

Source: Sify

By: Sonia Chopra

Critic's Rating: 17/5

Tuesday 27 January 2009

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Movie Title

Aasma

Director

Rohit Nayyar

Star Cast

Subhashish, Hrishita Bhatt, Nauheed Cyrusi

With a title like that, you?re certain a song talking about `touching the sky? or some such will insinuate itself into the film. Sure enough, that happens not too long into the film. And that?s not the only aspect predictable about Aasma.

The topic of a young, exuberant person dealing with the impossible--sounding news that they are HIV positive has been dealt with ? expertly ? in My Brother Nikhil. There is no more scope for comparison, for while MBN made you feel deeply for Nikhil and his struggle, you can barely stand the characters in Aasma, so bland is the characterization.

So, you have a teeny-bopper gang addressing each other as `dude dude? through the film. At a play, they lie to a man that the play is actually their own production. The gullible man (Mushtaq Khan) believes them and gives them a cheque to make a play for him. Protagonist Bharat (Shubh) tells his friend Kartik to come clean and tell the man the truth; however Kartik is of the opinion that such opportunities don?t walk in every day. Over conversations at Mantu?s Caf?, Bharat is convinced and they decide to produce a play after all. Auditions are held and we are shown bad video tests of aspirants; that?s till college cutie Ria (Nauheed Cyrusi) walks in and bags the role. They arrange for the light man from friend Sumi?s (Hrishita Bhatt) locality. A talented ex- writer (Raghuveer Yadav), now a compulsive drunk, is sought out and their team is complete.

Soon enough, we see their play on stage that has you in titters ? the group, dressed in white dhoti-kurtas and Nehru caps is sloganeering Inqalab Zindabad?curtains down?resounding claps. Next: this incompetent group is suddenly famous with their pictures plastered all over the papers. An NRI, MBA-type, Sumi?s boyfriend, joins the group and creates wedges. More trouble: the producer?s boss (yep, he was only an employee; but bizarrely, siphoned money without permission) played by Sachin Khedekar thunders and demands why the group is named Aasma and not after him, since he has paid for the productions.

The group is enraged at this suggestion and decides to fund plays on their own by winning a competition that?ll get them a sponsor for two years. Meanwhile, Bharat is diagnosed as being HIV positive. The film then trails the reactions of people around him ? super-supportive to downright nasty ? no middle ground here.

The treatment of the already-staid story is plain boring. The arguments and discussions between characters go on and on. The central non-charismatic actors keep hamming it relentlessly. The film takes a preachy turn, and the film then, becomes unbearable. Talented actors like Seema Biswas, Raghuveer Yadav and Sachin Khedekar are wasted in this simplistic film.

The finale, approaching the competition, is approached with an unsubtle soundtrack blaring the words choo le aasma till you want to say Ria?s pet dialogue ? `relax, relax?! About the only positive thing in the film are the songs (Afsar-Sajid). But honestly, you?re too beat to enjoy them. Avoid.

Verdict: ? star