I was kind of apprehensive about watching the movie since two of my good friends had given very bad reviews (Yeah I know. Trust your friends to spoil your interest on something be it movies or guys!). So anyways with a brave heart, contrary to what one of my friends repeatedly asked me not to do, I purchased two tickets to New York, Sunday evening at City Center.
The starting of the movie was great. Neil Nitin Mukesh reminded me of myself- remotely. Katrina was like a light. Not much time was wasted however on John's characterization. John always seemed to be a distant reflection of a character seen only through the eyes of Katrina and sometimes Neil. The director hardly ever wasted any time on letting the viewers themselves decide what John actually was like. The unrequitted love part, a common theme of any college going drama (real life drama included) was bound to catch a soft tone with many youngsters.
But just when you want to linger in the moment of Neil's sadness, you find the stony cold eyes of Irrfan Khan staring at him! "Yaar main jab bhi tumhe Samke barein mein kaheneko kehta hun, tum Mayaki baat shuru kar dete ho!" One of the best dialogues of the movie. Not because of the content but because of the way Irrfan Khan said it. If I have to choose one actor who has exceeded his performance in the movie, it will have to be him. Not John or Kat, not even Neil. It has to be IRRFAN KHAN.
Right from the beginning this actor with-a-difference catches your eye. Possibly the best dialogue of the movie is when Neil asks for a lawyer saying it is illegal not to give an accused a lawyer and Irrfan Khan looks down at him with his icy stone-cold glance, the camera approaches him and he says, "You remember one thing my brother, you are not dealing with a damn policeman, you are dealing with the F B I". Those three alphabets are enough to send a chill down your spine.
There are countless instances of Irrfan Khan surpassing his role and the film at times. If there is anything worthwhile watching in the movie (that does not feed your destructive emotions that is) it is his acting. But enough of him. If I have to talk of the three main characters of the movie, Neil had a lot of scope and he does full justice to his role. John Abraham did not have much to do or show by virtue of his emotions. His actions were primary to the film and he does a good job on them. My expectations were harbored on Katrina, especially after watching the movie promos. So though I had read some bad reviews on her acting, I cherished great hopes.
Katrina's acting in the first half was lively. But in the second half, where there was considerable scope for her to show a variety of emotions, she did not explore those avenues fully. Like there was a scene where a policeman molests her in the name of checking her and Rilke looks at her and Katrina looks back at him. There was a lot of scope for her to show a myriad of emotions in that scene but all she shows is blank concern. Frankly I was disappointed. Her interactions with John were likewise. I was left wanting for more.
Now we come to the theme of the story. While the concept was good, its treatment was..er..for lack of a better word, violent. Yes I found the film to be violent. Not only because of the torture instances shown in the movie, but also because of the hatred it inspires. Not always, I gather though. Like one of my friends cried while watching the movie. But for me it was hatred. Generally when you go to watch a Hindi film, you go with the intention of being relaxed. But our Hindi movies now have become more like Hollywood movies both in form and themes, they do not make you leave the hall with a light heart, they "inspire" you to "think".
I for one was left with a feeling of hatred after watching the movie. I dreaded, hated the US. I supported every ounce of what John Abraham did. I also felt that what he did was not enough. It all seemed such a waste. I know some of my friends are going to shiver at this thought.
Anyways, the death of John Abraham was expected. But why did the director have to kill Katrina? I don't have any idea. One of my friends pointed out whether I wanted to see Neil and Katrina together once John died. I told her, I hadn't thought of the idea before, but it didn't seem such a bad idea after all. What say? Unrequitted love finally being requitted. They could have done that at least in the movies!
The second half of the movie as I pointed out consisted only of hatred and revenge. One would think that the soft blossoms of love would have been able to cool this raging heat. But the director made no attempts and as a result there was an excessive disbalance of vengeance which could not be ousted even by the love and friendship songs at the beginning of the movie.
Another thing that puzzled me was the interaction of Irrfan Khan with Neil and John and Katrina's son at the end of the movie. Do FBI police officers really do that? Make friends with friends of terrorist suspects? Is it at all believable? Dunno, guess I am too backdated. "Iye Amrika hain bhai, kuch bhi ho sakta hain!".
So anyways the movie ended and still fuming, I came out of the hall. Then tried to focus on other things. But it was futile. I and my mother had lots to eat with the result that next day at University, I fell short of money! Overall, it was a good evening and if you think whether I thought those one eighty rupees were a waste, let me tell you that for a materialistic person like me, they were not a waste. The movie had substance, good or bad is a different issue. But it was certainly better than those countless brainless movies that pop up on the hall every other Friday.