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Sunday, June 8, 2008

Movie Review : Aamir

Aamir (thriller)
Cast: Rajeev Khandelwal
Direction: Raj Kumar Gupta

THIS one's a surprise package with its thrilling pace, it's smart direction and its meaningful script. And yes, Rajeev Khandelwal makes a riveting switch from the small screen to the big screen with this film.

More importantly, the film covers new ground in terms of its story which throws light on the trauma of the secular Muslim who literally finds the ground shrinking beneath his feet. If his name makes him vulnerable to racial profiling, then his secular credentials become a bugbear for the fundamentalists within his community. That's the vortex that sucks our protagonist Aamir, a young doctor who returns to India from London, only to find a death trap awaiting him. A faceless voice leads him on through the hardcore Muslim-dominated areas of Mumbai and threatens to kill his family if he doesn't deliver a red briefcase to its destination. The doctor tries his best to run away, but suddenly the whole city of Mumbai seems to be brimming over with misguided soldiers of God who want him to join their ill-gotten crusade. Of course, when the moment of reckoning comes, it is the tormented man's individual choice which will determine his future ideology.

The film moves like a relentless thriller, even as the camera captures the underbelly of Mumbai with all its squalour and grime. Even the characters of the film - the drifters, the mercenaries, the thugs, the prostitute -- seem to be drawn from real life and give a slice-of-life texture to the film. Finally, it is the voice of sanity which rises above the wreckage and reaffirms your belief in a new kind of cinema that is throbbing amidst the bylanes of Bollywood. Truly, a smart debut film.

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