8x10 Tasveer poster

8x10 Tasveer

wogma rating: The keen should rent; else TV/online (?)

quick review:

There are thrills for sure but they don't last for too long. Also, the peak of suspense comes a bit too late.

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Director: Nagesh Kukunoor
Running time: 120 minutes
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8x10 Tasveer - Preview

NOT A REVIEW - wondering what must have made Nagesh Kukunoor take the "star" route...


It has been a roller coaster ride - first thing that scandalizes me is that there's an Akshay Kumar movie in the offing and I come to know about it only a week in advance. Whatever happened to glamorized promos for "stars"? What's this world coming to?

But then, it’s a Nagesh Kukunoor film, it can only be good that it doesn't have a full-blown marketing plan to over-hype the film. Soon enough, I come across this promotional song -

Ouch! The regular generic rap-crap. As I thank sanity while shaking off visions of Ayesha Takia and Gul Panag doing an item number to promote Dor, I look for the trailers and find this -

So, if it was Ray who could tell the future with his camera last week, this week it is Jai who can look into the past through his supernatural capabilities. Again, interesting concept and this time in a competent director's hand - we will choose to forget follies like Bombay to Bangkok. The man is trying different genres and romance doesn't seem to be his thing, maybe action thriller is. The only issue that bothers me though is the gloss in the trailer. The raw feel of his earlier films like Iqbal or Teen Deewarein or Dor is sorely missing. I must say though that I love the official site just for its synopsis. It actually is a synopsis and not a long-wound description of the story. Gels perfectly with the "without giving the movie away" waali! So, turns out that the story is dark and Akshay has worked hard on research because it is not his regular run-of-the-mill slapstick, talk loud and get it done with kind of a movie. As always, I'm all set to watch anyone try anything different. And then there's also Sharmila Tagore to look forward to. Meanwhile, the music seems to be going down well: Review 1 and 2.

- meeta, a part of the audience

Nope. There's no hope of anything to do with Akshay Kumar ever being unglamorous or non-stylized. If Nagesh Kukunoor can't do it, no one can. Given that 8 x 10 Tasveer is a thriller, maybe the whole super-heroic personality accorded to the main lead is very intentional. But, it borders disbelief so closely that the film feels more like comedy and doesn't strike awe at all. And I'm not yet talking of the superpowers he has.

That Jai (Akshay Kumar) can look into the past has to be accepted as an assumption. The weird mumbo-jumbo provided as explanation is only to be ignored. Once you do that, it's an interesting concept and opens a world of opportunities. Nagesh's use of his protagonist's ability gives the regular "who dunnit" a very nice flavor.

Jai realizes things bit by bit and with him the audience becomes aware of what had happened. This slow unfolding adds to the curiosity. And yet somehow there's no connection between Jai and me as an audience. There's a distance which stays through the movie and doesn't let me get too involved. I blame the over-dramatization for that. Either the hero or the villain resurrecting like he is The Terminator is just too 80-90ish for me and thus exasperating. "Die already" you feel like yelling from the audience. This reminds me of the "fall already" that a viewer actually yelled in the theater at the never-ending, pointless jump that Jai makes in one of the early sequences. Had the whole theater laughing!

The script does a good job of pointing a finger at all involved. Just like a person looking for an answer would suspect every one around him. But my problem with such mysteries is that the foreshadowing is more an attempt to confuse than to give a tiny bit away. Deleting elements from a scene and then later showing that element is no way of saying, "caught you!" It's cheating.

Twists are awesome and I love it when they catch me unaware. But some of the twists here either come a tad too late and you can pre-empt them. Or they are almost out of the blue and a little too difficult to digest. Another thing that annoys me is the villain spelling everything out to the hero and thus to the audience. There surely must be a better way to go about this.

Even if you discount for the fact that action films don't necessarily need a whole deal of acting, most of the performances are wooden. Especially Girish Karnad - there was a sizable amount of guffawing at his dialogue delivery. While Akshay Kumar does his usual bit, Ayesha Takia is just about tolerable. What's happening to this woman who was so impressive just two years ago. Javed Jafferi on the other hand brought a smile if not laughter with every movement - this time very intentional. By the way, I shudder to think what Nagesh will do if he ever has a full blown bedroom scene in his script. Just a hug comes out as heavily awkward. Or was Sharmila Tagore strutting around with the censor scissors on set?

Drop the baggage associated with a Nagesh Kukunoor film. He seems to be struggling to strike a balance between his sensibilities and those of mainstream cinema. Don't worry, the stylish titles will help you along - they are really slick but so not what you associate with the Kukunoor name. Maybe he's trying to say, "I can make such films too!" Also, keep the Akshay Kumar 'star' style tag on sans the loudness - thankfully! And then you might give yourself a good chance to enjoy this.

- meeta, a part of the audience

27 reviewers(?) - 3 yays 11 so-so 13 nays

Warning: clicking on "full review" will take you to an external website that could contain spoilers.

Thumbs up, by Bubbly, Desicritics : ...Akshay Kumar and the cinematography are the top highlights of this movie.... full review

Thumbs up, by Shob8610, eTalkIndia : ...It is almost like watching a Hollywood suspense thriller... full review

Thumbs up, by Subhash K Jha, Now Running.com : ...The plot of "8X10 Tasveer" unravels with such elegant dexterity that you are tempted to spill the beans... full review

So-So, by Samrat Sharma, fullhyd.com : ...It's a thriller with an original premise... full review

So-So, by Martin D'souza, Glamsham.com : ...Kukunoor gives this flick a super Hollywood feel and manages to pull off a slick thriller.... full review

So-So, by Shashi Baliga, Hindustan Times : ...If you’re a Nagesh Kukunoor fan, be warned: this is nothing like any of his earlier movies.... full review

So-So, Movie Talkies : ...Kuknoor manages to build up the suspense slowly and surely and the film turns out to be pretty absorbing.... full review

So-So, by Anupama Chopra, NDTV : ...Characters appear and disappear randomly and the film's internal logic is comically faulty.... full review

So-So, by Mythili Ramchandran, Now Running.com : ...The story opens interestingly but the climax is a surprise turning the film into the run of the mill masala kind... full review

So-So, by Goher Iqbal Punn, Radio Sargam : ...The mystery element is great since it deepens with each passing minute... full review

So-So, SmasHits.com : ...The movie rests on strong shoulders of Akshay Kumar.... full review

So-So, by Nikhat Kazmi, Times of India : ...The plot simply plods along... full review

So-So, by The Third Man, Upper Stall : ...It is undoubtedly one of Nagesh Kukunooor’s weakest films.... full review

Thumbs down, by N K Deoshi, Apun Ka Choice : ...In 8x10 Tasveer , there’s no adrenaline rush to be had for the viewers... full review

Thumbs down, bigoye.com : ...This Tasveer doesn't click!... full review

Thumbs down, by Baradwaj Rangan, Blogical Conclusion, The New Sunday Express : ...There’s isn’t a ghost of a chance of genuine thrills.... full review

Thumbs down, by Anand Vaishnav, Buzz18 : ...8x10 Tasveer suffers big-time on accounts of its pace.... full review

Thumbs down, by Angel Rani, Deccan Herald : ...The suspense is intact till the shocking twist... full review

Thumbs down, by Rajeev Masand, IBN Live : ...A hopelessly dumb film that suffers on account of an ill-conceived script... full review

Thumbs down, indiainfo.com : ...8 x 10 Tasveer gets unbearable towards the penultimate 20-25 minutes.... full review

Thumbs down, by Gaurav Malani, indiatimes : ... The performances stand by the title, Tasveer – still and ineffective... full review

Thumbs down, by Ashok Nayak, Now Running.com : ...Probably the only reason you could watch Tasveer is due to the performance by the lead actor... full review

Thumbs down, by Pankaj Mullick, Passion for Cinema : ...You feel your intelligence has been insulted and you could have really, really stayed home.... full review

Thumbs down, by Taran Adarsh, SantaBanta.com : ...Nagesh Kukunoor enters a new zone with 8x10 Tasveer... full review

Thumbs down, by Sonia Chopra, Sify Movies : ...Tasveer loses and gains focus so many times, you’re disconnected from the story.... full review

Thumbs down, by Prithviraj Choudhury, StarBoxOffice : ...Kukunoor’s way of unravelling the suspense is ridden by inconsistencies and a laborious pace... full review

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This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.

Plot Summary

Jai's (Akshay Kumar) father dies. He is given reason to believe that it was a murder. Jai uses his superpowers to unveil the dark side of the people around his dad.

What Worked

  • The titles. Very stylish.
  • The recapturing of the same scene from different points of view.
  • The Golmaal reference - really nice!
  • The chases were shot really well.
  • The choice of not having any background music to create a chill at eerie moments.

What did not

Note: This section simply lists the things that I did not like in this movie. This is not the overall impression about this movie. Please read the full review here

  • How come so many people in Canada understand Hindi?
  • Why does Jai's mom not believe Jai?
  • The number of rules the hospitals and police were breaking to incorporate Happi's wishes!
  • The shots of the city were so unnecessary.
  • The dialogues that explained what was going on were very patronizing.
  • Why was Anant Mahadevan running away?
  • Jai going around asking people if they killed his dad?
  • Why did the van driver not kill when he got the opportunity? And how come he took a U-turn so quickly?
  • Blood transfusion, adrenalin injections...what the $%^&!!?
  • If the killer was a cold-blooded murderer, why the whole drama of setting up an accident?
  • How come Jai is not a suspect when he is found at so many spots where crimes were committed?
  • Jai's dad's blue screen falls!

Nitty-Gritty

This section lists things that I think are not important to the overall impact of the movie. In most cases, it could be explained away by something like, "we noticed the glitch after the scene was shot and there were schedule/budget issues and thus we could not re-shoot it". I like giving the makers the benefit of doubt, but I am amused nevertheless. Hopefully, they will tickle you too.

  • Is polluting the water body allowed in Canada?
  • Why was Jai's dad discussing his move to Canada with the doctor?

Parental Guidance:

  • Violence: Gunshots. And afterall the basic plot revolves around murder.
  • Language: No profanity, no sexual references.
  • Nudity & Sexual content: None.
  • Concept: A 'who-dunnit' with a hero who has supernatural powers. It is a dark movie in the sense that almost all people are suspected of having ulterior motives.
  • General Look and Feel: There isn't too much room for song, dance or that kind of tomfoolery.

8x10 Tasveer - Cast, crew, links

Screenplay:
Dialogues:
Cinematography:
Action Choreography:
Costume Designer:
Art Direction:
Running time:
120 minutes
Reviewer:
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