Aa Dekhen Zara poster

Aa Dekhen Zara

wogma rating: Watch if you have nothing better to do (?)

quick review:

A smooth start with a rocky ending turns a romantic thriller into an unintentional comedy.

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Director: Jehangir Surti
Running time: 120 minutes
Genres: Romance, Thriller
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Aa Dekhen Zara - Preview

NOT A REVIEW - Just wondering how important it is for a Hindi film hero to dance...

I squirm everytime I see the Aa Dekhe Zaraa's trailor. Of course neither do thrillers require huge acting potential nor did Johnny Gaddar see Neil Nitin Mukesh get very emotive. But it worked as a thriller. And slotted Neil as a serious actor and certainly not the dance for masala kind of 'stars'.

It’s the Neil and thriller film combination that remind us of Johnny Gaddar while talking about Aa Dekhe Zara. Otherwise, there's no saying that the plot will be remotely as tight as Johnny Gaddar, right?

The concept of a camera making predictions vaguely reminds me of Mr. India and that genre of films. The kind in which a piece of equipment or gadget grants the protagonist/user a super-power. And then the film is about the use and abuse of the responsibility that the power brings along. That in combination with a thriller will be good fun if it doesn't have glaring loopholes.

What I like about just 2-3 people in the lead is that there is more room to develop character. Another interesting bit about characterization here is that the camera is treated as a character. That sounds extremely abstract and thus interesting. In an interview with The Hindu Neil says -

this camera is trying to make a contact with other characters in the film through this protagonist ... the actual narrative makes it all very simple for the audience to comprehend. </blockquote?

I hope that doesn't translate to spoon-feeding the audience.

Also Bipasha Basu supposedly has a well-rounded personality. Alas, only a little while later I read this in an interview with Bipasha

The heroine needed to be given a profession. It's only in one of the songs that I am shown turning discs and mixing music.

Oh well, hopefully her having a career will tell us something about her and the character will build upon that.

All will be clear in just a couple days. Meanwhile, I'm relishing the fact that a song from the 80s still makes us tap our feet and sing it out loud...

- meeta, a part of the audience

The single most important thing for a thriller to work is a lack of loopholes. From a story that seems to be smart and appears to have it all sorted-out Aa Dekhen Zara becomes so full of holes that you have to sieve through them to reach the basic plot.

At half-point you know you are not looking at some great work of art but you are looking forward to some quick-paced slick piece of thrill. And then you hear the cookie crumble, but you try to ignore it. "It can't be that bad" you say. And then you see it crumble and know that the damage is irreparable. The inevitable, irrelevant, sleazy dance begins. Some villainous looking men ask a sexy lady to dance and she obliges. Except that there is nothing fearsome about those guys. This one song is indescribably out-of-place not only situation-wise but also out-of-synch with the general tone of the movie. Not to mention that it's hilarious to see Neil Nitin Mukesh call Bipasha Basu gori (fair skinned).

And yet before any of this comes along there are other things that are avoided that make the film a tad bit charming. With something as powerful as a piece of equipment that can make predictions, the protagonists don't aim at anything lofty or altruistic. So, you don't see the film taking its purpose too seriously. Unfortunately, it takes itself too lightly and the entire suspense, "damn! What next?" results in an anti-climatic molehill.

Like most departments, the dialogues too are inconsistent. The occasionally witty lines dive into blech and float back to average. Thankfully though, Neil Nitin Mukesh's narration of his character, Ray's thoughts were not as annoying as such spoon-feeding can usually be. I really don't know how they managed that because Neil didn't really need to emote, his voiceover left no doubt about what he was thinking.

That still doesn't mean that he didn't act well. There's something that his eyes do which could have conveyed the thought if they were allowed to. Bipasha Basu playing DJ, Simi...well, she does the little bit she can emote if the audience can be bothered to look above her neck. Hey! I'm not being voyeuristic, she was there for a purpose and I damn well appreciate it, right? Well, she does her usual excellent job of looking good. Other than that, her costumes looked like costumes and not dresses that a normal person would wear. The rest of the cast has done a hideously superficial job.

Earlier in the movie though, I found myself enjoying the pace. It doesn't stop at anything or for anyone. Aa Dekhen Zara smoothly flows from one incident into another, especially in the beginning. I especially enjoyed the pace of the romance between Ray and Simi. In fact, I enjoyed a romantic moment in cinema after a long, long time. Later, like the rest of the movie, the even pace too becomes jerky because of the jumps it feels obligated to take.

Oh, by the way, if you are looking to take away some cool action sequences at the very least - let me save you some time, money, and energy. There's none. Some light, nice build-up is what we have in the first half and a burst balloon in the second.

- meeta, a part of the audience

24 reviewers(?) - 5 yays 14 so-so 5 nays

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

Thumbs up, by N K Deoshi, Apun Ka Choice : ...Aa Dekhen Zara is worth a dekko for the freshness of its theme.... full review

Thumbs up, by Kaveree Bamzai, india today : ...You might enjoy its quick pace and slick editing.... full review

Thumbs up, by Harshita Kohli, StarBoxOffice : ...A tightly written script that moves very quickly makes Aa Dekhen Zara a decent watch.... full review

Thumbs up, by Nikhat Kazmi, Times of India : ... It's a smart new concept, a snazzy coupling between Neil and Bipasha... full review

So-So, by Baradwaj Rangan, Blogical Conclusion, The New Sunday Express : ...the only aspect that renders this thriller halfway watchable is its breathless pace, accelerated by a score on steroids... full review

So-So, by Roshni Mulchandani, Bolly Spice : ...Aa Dekhen Zara, directed by debutant Jehangir Surti, promises entertainment, thrill and an interesting plo... full review

So-So, by Daliya Ghose, Bollywood Mantra : ...Director Jehangir Surti requires some more experience to make a hardcore thriller.... full review

So-So, eTalkIndia : ...Cinematography is awesome.Concept is quite new , but every thing falls apart due to loosely bound script... full review

So-So, by Rachana, Glamsham.com : ...The slick thriller that starts off well fades away just after the first hour... full review

So-So, by Shashi Baliga, Hindustan Times : ...Director Jehangir Surti takes his time telling his story and the pace flags here and there... full review

So-So, by Rajeev Masand, IBN Live : ...Loosely scripted and full of inconsistencies, Aa Dekhen Zara may have an interesting premise... full review

So-So, Movie Talkies : ...about halfway through, the film seems to run out of steam... full review

So-So, by Mayank Shekhar, Mumbai Mirror : ...The film itself is futuristic... full review

So-So, by Anupama Chopra, NDTV : ...Aa Dekhen Zara is painfully inconsistent and doesn’t stay true to even its own warped logic... full review

So-So, by Ashok Nayak, Now Running.com : ...Aa Dekhen Zara suffers from a confused script, average performances and weak direction.... full review

So-So, by Sampurn, real bollywoood : ...The film tries to give you something new... full review

So-So, by Taran Adarsh, SantaBanta.com : ...starts off with a lot of energy, but the fizz settles down faster than expected... full review

So-So, by Sonia Chopra, Sify Movies : ...The story requires a feverish pace, which is disappointingly absent in Aa Dekhen Zara.... full review

Thumbs down, Asian Age : ...Nothing really happens except for reels and reels of Neil boy’s desperate bid to preserve his late granddaddy’s camera.... full review

Thumbs down, by Anand Vaishnav, Buzz18 : ...you feel as though the director was making a pitch for the much talked about Race sequel.... full review

Thumbs down, by Goher Iqbal Punn, Radio Sargam : ...The concept of the film is without any doubt is interesting and much appealing.... full review

Thumbs down, by Raja Sen, Rediff : ...I'm not sure what director Jehangir Surti was trying to achieve with this film... full review

Thumbs down, by Banno, Upper Stall : ...I stick mental needles through my eyelids to keep them open.... full review

Twitter reviews for this movie are not available.

4 readers - 0 yays 3 so-so 1 nays

Want to Watch, by Margarita

So-So, by Elmer : De Bilt

So-So, by HOLLANDChristine25

So-So, by win cash for free uk phone : Albany

Nay! Thumbs Down, by life quotes

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

Plot Summary

Ray (Neil Nitin Mukesh) inherits a camera that can look into the future. What use is he going to put it to?

What Worked

  • The transition at the ferris wheel shot. Very nicely done.

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

  • Uh...How does Ray know which pub Simi is going to be at? He doesn't even know her name till then?
  • What a coincidence that Simi and Ray's neighbor subscribe to the same newspaper! Oh well...what am I complaining about, we've seen much worse coincidences in Hindi films.
  • Why was the paan-waala ignoring Ray? Why was he there in the first place?
  • I'm suddenly very curious about the timings of races at the race course. If it is at regular intervals, wouldn't Ray have to take a picture of the race he just won at to know the result of the next one? How did he manage that if he was celebrating his victory at that point? Or was he betting on alternate races...
  • Similarly, is he sitting on the cricket ground taking pictures all day?
  • Sophie.
  • Why couldn't Ray wait for Simi's recording to get over?
  • How did they get the picture of Captain (Rahul Dev) in the airplane?
  • This never ceases to amaze me - Whenever someone in a film knocks someone in uniform off so they can undress them and wear their clothes, how do the clothes fit exactly??
  • How come the camera is alright even after it falls in water?
  • The animation that makes us aware of time to D-day - so bad. The least a thriller should have is slick and creative animation.
  • Why exactly does Captain not kill Ray and go after Simi? That he'll not risk it seems lame.
  • So, Captain and Ray are running off from a grocery store and Captain stops to pull a comic of the magazine stand? Not to mention what are they doing in a grocery shop in the first place??
  • The threat that "Aa phir se dekhen" is in the offing!

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.

  • Isn't Animesh too modern a name for a grandfather?
  • Loved Bipasha's tattoo!

Parental Guidance:

  • Violence: Random fist fights.
  • Language: No profanity or sexual references.
  • Nudity & Sexual content: A couple of sleazy pub dances.
  • Concept: Greed and power takes away the human in you. Nothing very specifically profound in it though.

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