Critic's Rating: 3/5
Thursday 17 April 2003
Bobby Deol, Akshaye Khanna, Amisha Patel
The first thing that strikes about Humraaz is the slick and cool look. The look and colour play is in full glory in the first half of the film. The film, which is a one-upmanship plot between three characters, Karan, Priya and Raj Singhania brings to mind the Hollywood flick, The Perfect Murder.
Karan (Akshaye Khanna), a dancer by profession, is very ambitious. He wants to be the richest man on earth, with Priya (Amisha Patel) his girlfriend as his wife. And he wants to realize his dreams very quickly, applying the shortest route possible. Kill if he must, cheat if he must, he`ll do anything to realize his dreams. His target is to lure Raj Singhania (Bobby Deol), the most eligible shipping magnate in town. Karan schemes and includes Priya in it. Raj is smitten the moment he spots Priya, thus quickening the pace of Karan`s plot. Raj and Priya get married, and then begins the bride`s turmoil. She tries to play the balancing act between her husband and her lover, but begins to feel the heat when she realizes the full impact of Karan`s plans. She now refuses to go along with Karan`s plans, and realizes that Raj is the one she loves. Karan does not let go off her so easily. Abbas-Mustan`s film is a decent thriller, and good-looking in every department - songs, sets, locations as well as the three lead stars. Except that having watched a lot of Hitchcockian plots, one feels let down at the way our filmmakers end a good plot. Gradually, a battle-of-wits boils down to fisticuffs. The Perfect Murder influence comes into full play towards the climax. The most notable aspect of the film is that it makes good use of modern technology. Whether it`s the cell-phones, answering machines, dictaphone, video recording a la tehelka, web-cam, tape-recorders, every aspect has been exploited to the hilt. Humraaz seems to be a tribute to technology. That aside the film moves only after the interval. Music by Himesh Reshammiya goes with the plot, while cinematography by Ravi Yadav is commendable.
The film`s attractions are the three lead stars - Bobby, Akshaye and Amisha. Bobby looks very good and does justice to his role. Akshaye is supported by a better characterization. He gets to display variations as well as the lines. His is a wily character, and one can actually feel Akshaye playing around with the nuances and enjoying every bit of it. Amisha looks delicious, but her performance is quite inconsistent. When she`s not conscious of her angles, she does a fine job. Otherwise she lapses into her asthmatic act like she did in Aap Mujhe Achche Lagne Lage. Fortunately for us, Abbas-Mustan have controlled her very well and that`s why she still comes across in favourable light. Overall Humraaz is a good break from the insipid fare lately.
Sufiyum Sujatayum has a few good moments but gives the feeling that with so much potential, this one could have been a better watch
Bajpayee essays a near-silent role, for Bhonsle is a man of few words. The subject of Bhonsle has been attempted in Hindi cinema, but no one has dared directly mention ethnic identities