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Aug 13, 2008

Aamir


Aamir is one of those films that merits a review the moment one finishes watching it. But I have the usual every-(wo)man excuse, ‘didn’t get time.’ Excellent movie, nail-biting and laden with dollops of tension at every turn, Aamir is another fine specimen that records the evolution of Hindi movie from not-so-good to best.

Every time we watch a path-breaking Hindi movie the first question is, is it an original or an Indianized Hollywood adaptation? The makers say it is 100% desi as shudh ghee. Although in the internet community there is strong buzz that it is based on Philippino film by the name, Cavite.

We have a fresh-faced hero, Rajeev Khandelwal. Fresh to us, who have not watched Hindi network TV after ‘Shanti’ hit the tube. For most people back in Bharat Varsh, he is a familiar face in Hindi soaps like Kahin To Hoga, Kya Hadsa Kya etc. Basically it is his movie, except for a few supporting characters necessary for the story Khandelwal has the whole movie to himself. He shines in the role with a restrained yet strong performance.

During the first few minutes of the movie I was wondering whether this movie was lifted off of Phone Booth. Although there is no phone booth in the movie, ie no fixed geographic position, the protagonists in both the films are bound to a phone, only difference seemed to be, one was a LAN line while other was a cellphone. But the similarity doesn’t go far, Aamir is an Indian story, shot in the gallis of Mumbai(esp. the Muslim areas of the city like Dongri), the dirt and the grime and the cause and the result are indigenous. My bad, it is not Phone Booth from any angle, phones have starred in many movies. These days a cell phone is just an extension of the human ear and ‘chaining’(not physically) a man to a phone has been exploited in numerous movies like Cellular, Phone Booth, Nick of Time, Cavite etc. Running from something or running to escape something was pioneered by Run Lola Run. There was a quote which can be used to sum up the situation ( I don’t remember the original quote, the rough translation follows.) "Original is the one who can best hide his source."

The film keeps its pace, sustains viewer’s interest and deals with a contemporary issue. For a first time director Raj Kumar Gupta did a neat job. Music by Amit Trivedi sets the tone for the events and is refreshing. Good enough for me.

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