Saturday, December 11, 2004
Apna to ek hi usool hai yaar...tez dhaar
Aadmi Musafir hota hai hero
Aata hai...chala jaata hai
tere jaane ka time aa gaya
As has been happening with the 'different' Hindi movies since the time of Kaun and others of the genre, Musafir could have been another dud at the box office. Directed by Sanjay Gupta of Kaante fame and produced by Sanjay Dutt, this movie seems to have done something else that is different. Having opened with 100% collections in Mumbai, the movie has all the scope to set the box office ablaze.
The look and feel of the entire movie (thanks to the director, cinematographer, and the art director) is completely international. Athough more than the due effort seems to have been put in the first half to make the movie look slick (so much so that the product seems to be overdone and badly overdone at that), all of it pays off in the second half, which, apart from the ocassional song disturbances, is as fast paced as you will ever see.
Musafir is the story of Lucky, a small time conman, who plans to pull off his last job before settling down to a peaceful life with his girlfriend Lara (played sexily by Koena Mitra). Unfortunately, the job he pulls off puts him in the red books of the drug lord of Mumbai, Billa (the most ceetee-taalee inducing role that Sanjay Dutt has ever played...excpet maybe Khalnayak). Even more unfortunately, Lara cheats him off the money that Billa is now desperately looking for. To pacify Billa, Lucky has to go to Goa to pull off a drug deal and get the money back to Billa.
Once in Goa, Lucky comes across the sultry Sam getting tattoed at one of the beaches. Sam has a strange past and as deep as Lucky gets into Sam's past, the more strange it seems to be. As it turns out, Lucky reaches a position where he has to accept one of the propositions of Sam or of her husband (played with aplomb by Mahesh Manjrekar). Both of them have a different story to tell about Sam's past and a different proposition, a different plan for Lucky. What really happens, however, is another of the several twists of the tale. Hounded by Billa at one end and the cop Tiger (Aditya Pancholi coming back in an author-backed role) on another, Lucky races on to the climax of the movie, which, though, well executed, is a little lame, given the rest of the movie. The saving grace is that unlike the other Hindi movie villains that Billa keeps taking potshots at, Billa's character is not shown to crumble at the end, after all the building up of it during the rest of the movie.
The etching of all characters in the movie has been first rate. In fact, one of the opening sequences where Sanjay Dutt is introduced in the movie is simply awesome and straight out of some slick Hollywood flick. As Lucky stands in the rain with guns pointed at him, a truly Hercule-esque figure strolls down the pavement. Dressed from top to the bottom in a raincoat with a hood covering his eyes, Sanjay Dutt would have put Darth Wader to shame. His cigar, the Swiss knife that he keeps fiddling with, and not to mention the six cylinder bike that he drives in the end, all add to the effect.
The Liv Tyler (refer to the movie "One Night at McCool's" and the car wash scene) done by Koena Mitra is as sleazy a scene as you would get, even after the Murder-esque movies that get churned out every now and then. Even the tattoing scene that introduces Koena Mitra is brilliantly picturised and would certainly have the arousing impact that the filmmakers would have been banking on. Mahesh Manjrekar as the horny, incestuous, and frustrated husband, and Aditya Pancholi as the corrupt, care-two-hoots cop are the other characters that create their own space.
As for the songs and music, the movie scores in that area as well. With 'Saaki Saaki' and 'Ishq kabhi kariyo na' already topping the charts, the music does not leave too much to be desired. The icing on the cake, however, is the title song rendered by Sanjay Dutt himself. If you don't mind the lyrics and at the same time, have an ear for the kind, 'Tez Dhaar' would take you by a storm.
Koena Mitra and Sameera Reddy outdo each other in the sleaze show while amongst the male protagonists, Anil Kapoor seems to be too old and tired to play a fugitive from crime and law alike. Sanjay Dutt looks a million bucks, what with the new fashion-statement sidelocks-cum-beard. Amongst the supporting cast, while Shakti Kapoor is wasted, Aditya Pancholi and Mahesh Manjrekar do a wonderful job.
The direction is top class, especially in the second half, where the director takes a leaf out of an innovative book, as he presents the same sequence twice, once each from different perspectives (the last I saw something similar was in an old English classic called The Clue). Though the first half seems a little overdone, the movie is able to project an overall slick feel that is surely going to appeal to the classes. As for the masses, they are surely not going to be disappointed, what with the Kaante style street dialogues selling dime-a-dozen in the movie and of course, the Koena-Sameera magic blowing all covers off.
If you are a Sanjay Dutt fan, if you want to see some slick and sleazy fare at the same time, if you are sold on the 'Nikal Le Bhaiye' song of Road, if you really believe in all those who compare Sameera Reddy to Smita Patil, if you are the ceetee-taali type of junta, if you want to be entertained for two and a half hours, and above all, if you don't want someone to kill the suspense before you do, go watch Musafir ASAP.
Posted at 11:01 am by Nitai