wogma rating: Beg or borrow, but do watch (?)
There isn't one single department which can claim that it carried Aamir on its shoulders. Each and everything - make-up, set design/locations, background music, lighting, camera work, dialogue, and of course acting work towards creating the build-up and the final impact. And what's more religious fundamentalism is dealt with subtlety - the lost virtue. It has been maintained almost throughout, except for the abruptness of the background music in parts and the portrayal of the antagonist.Read more
- meeta, a part of the audience
So many movies based on religious fundamentalism have come and gone, that you wonder if any stone is left unturned in this territory. And then comes along a movie like Aamir that not only defies all standards of film-making in Hindi cinema, but also breaks barriers of approaching the subject. Be warned though, that you are in for a very slow paced, extremely serious cinema.
Movies of this genre are made to inspire the audience. And usually they end up inspiring by a long, unwieldy sermon in the climax. But here, since you are so in tune with what the character is going through just by seeing him, you start thinking how you would react in that situation. And ultimately, you realize its all building towards inspiring you by action and not just by words.
Every time I watch a Hindi movie in which I feel what the protagonist is going through without anyone telling me, but just by observation, it scores with me. Such is the brilliance of the performance by Rajeev Khandelwal who plays Aamir Ali. Despite knowing very little about the kind of person Aamir is, we feel what he is going through on that particular day of his life.
His performance is adequately supported by regular day-to-day dialogues. Also, since the dialogues are minimal, the plain lines don't get boring. The dialogues given to the villain though are repetitive and thus mundane. Also, the "villainish" things he is made to do on his chair in a dimly-lit room are too in-the-face and unimaginative compared to the tone of the rest of the movie. Because they come across as typical, you are reminded that you are actually watching a movie. And thus he hardly strikes terror in the minds of the audience.
What is terrorizing though, is the ambience created by the sets/locations. Be it a stench-filled place, or a claustrophobic hotel room that Aamir is confined in, or the crowded roads where he feels everyone is watching him - all make you feel like getting Aamir out of there as soon as possible.
The lighting keeps in mind the source of natural light in each scene and adds towards the "natural" feel of the movie. Similarly, the camerawork - especially the close-ups and handheld camera movements get you deeper into Aamir's state of mind.
Even the combination of slow pace and short run-time works towards achieving the required impact. There is a bit when 3 minutes into the story, time is actually elongated to maybe almost double its length. But since the movie itself is barely over 90 minutes, and you are so engrossed, the slow motion doesn't get annoying.
The songs complemented this style of narration too. Especially "ghumiyo", which in a way was symbolic. The traffic jam Aamir is trying to resolve seems so much like the confusion in his life that he is trying to sort out. The background score is the only thing that seemed abrupt to me. As in the music itself was very good, but since it didn't flow from one scene to another, it felt jerky.
Maybe, just maybe this movie could have dropped one level on the rating scale for a part of the audience because of its pace, but the build-up in the drama can only be sensed in a closed, dark environment. It would be injustice to all the faculties of film-making by watching it at home, with all the distractions and the smaller screen.
- meeta, a part of the audience
Thumbs up, by Saakshi Juneja, To Each Its Own : ...If there is such a thing as kismet, it’s certainly not written solely by the self...But there is such a thing as human will. Amen to that.... full review
So-So, by Gaurav Malani, indiatimes : ... The disturbing camera movements by Alphonse Roy as well as the erratic background score by Amit Trivedi elevate the effect on a subconscious level.... full review
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This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.
Aamir (Rajeev Khandelwal) has returned from UK to India after finishing his education as a Doctor. He is in for the rudest shock of his life the hour he reaches India.