iconimg Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Khalid Mohamed, Hindustan Times
Mumbai, June 07, 2008
Rajeev Khandelwal
Direction: Rajkumar Gupta
Rating: **1/2 Brilliant cinematography – largely executed with hidden cameras – is the hero of Aamir. Street shots, head-on walks through Mumbai’s mean streets and mohallas are lensed with extraordinary stealth by Alphonse Roy. Editor Aarti Bajaj goes at the material with surgical precision. In fact technically, this boot string-budget enterprise, is a zinger.

You haven’t ever seen the underbelly of Mumbai the way you do in Aamir directed by first-timer Rajkumar Gupta. Thematically, too, here’s a little big movie that salutes the sacrificing secular spirit – not always convincingly but the climax, is likely to stir the social conscience of every viewer.

Terrific! But here’s the rub. The plot: it’s about an England-returned doctor (Rajeev Khandelwal), who on landing in Mumbai, is threatened to follow instructions over a cell phone. Alas, this is hardly plausible. In fact, the outcome is littered with so many questions and inconsistencies that Dr Aamir’s dilemma becomes un-involving. Why is he the chosen one? Why the elaborate hatch-and-catch 22 charade?

Also, why does director Gupta have to go the DVD-pilfer route? The source, like it or not, is a Filipino movie called Cavite (2005) with virtually the same plot.

Gratifyingly, Rajeev Khandelwal affirms that he’s a first-rate actor. A born natural, he’s a welcome addition to the quality conscious Actors’ Club.