Tuesday, March 30, 2004

thakshak: bitten by the snake of mainstream cinema

This is Govind Nihalani's much-maligned plunge into mainstream cinema. Despite the mythological origins of the title, GN was clear that he chose it merely for its sound. Should that give us an inkling of how bad things could get? Perhaps. Ajay Devgan had expressed his interest in working with GN, and turns in an honest performance. Diction and dialogue delivery are some of the minuses in the film. Tabu turns in another performance that makes you wonder if she has been overrated. And ARR's strong soundtrack does not fit in with the film at all. Besides, Tabu can't dance. And the film wastes a lot of footage on (a) visuals of Tabu as a muse that will release AD from his contract of servility (b) Nethra Raghuraman (was her contract explicit on the songs?). A K Hangal appears to play his standard irate freedom fighter and vanishes shortly afterwards. Rahul Bose's performance has some unfortunate uncomfortable moments, but I still can't see someone else doing as much as he has for a role that deserved more careful writing. The angle of exploring some of the seedy underbelly in the construction business and the corporate struggle for power among builders is admirable, as is Bose's reinterpretation of Nehru's freedom speech on a construction site. Bose's character presents interesting possibilities too. And, as in his previous works like Ardh Satya and Droh kaal, GN explores themes of violence and betrayal. The final product is flawed, but still watchable, if only for not being a complete mainstream sellout. Triviamongers will recall that Amrish Puri had played AD's father in AD's launch vehicle Phool Aur Kaante (BTW, that was a spoiler!).

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