Though Shekhar Suman's directorial debut has an unconventional plot, the script doesn't do justice to it. As far as Adhyayan is concerned, his performance is not up to the mark. Even Om Puri and Deepti Naval are wasted in the film.
Here's what critics are saying about the film.
Taran Adarsh, Bollywood Hungama
Critic's take: Shekhar manages to keep the mystery alive till the middle of the second half, but the moment the cat is out of the bag, the writing goes for a toss. The subject [heart transplant] ought to be handled with utmost sensitivity, but the writer treats it in the most slapdash manner. Even the penultimate portions of the film -- with Om Puri suddenly carrying out the operation and Adhyayan coming back to life -- appears formulaic.
Shubhra Gupta, Indian Express
Critic's take: If a real-life surgeon actually sees what happens in this make-believe operation theatre, I’m convinced he’d laugh his head off. He’s fibbing, he’s fibbing, exclaims Dr Trehan ( Puri, who seems to have wandered into the film wondering what he’s doing there), and you see a bunch of masked fellows rushing to resuscitate our hero, who is roaming around in his hospital gown gasping for breath. There’s a plot, and it needs unraveling
Faheem Ruhani, India Today
Critic's take: Senior Suman's effort to choose an unconventional subject to re-launch his son's failed acting career is commendable. The first time director comes out better than most rich daddies who push their wards to attain stardom. Yet the effort and tension wanes out after a promising sense of suspense that is built up in this thriller. Things just don't look accurate in this medical setting and the result is laughable when an anesthesiologist is joking and talking about IPL in the operation theatre as if having coffee machine conversation with his other medical colleagues.
Adhyayan's performance though better than that in his first film Haal-e-Dil never rises above the average. Adriana has good screen presence, can look glamorous but when it's time for her character to do a turnaround she does not come across as convincingly menacing. Even competent seniors like Om Puri and Deepti Naval don't adequately make the cut though the mother-son relationship between Deepti and Adyayan is moving. At a few points Deepti Naval comes across as a near-vamp from a TV soap rather than a cutting-edge business woman who has held the reins of her husband's business empire after his death.
Truth be told. Shekhar Suman, the actor in Heartless, is more impressive than the director of the film. Better luck next time.
Mohar Basu, Koimoi
Critic's take: If you want to watch a great film that Shekhar Suman was attempting on, watch Awake but definitely stay miles away from this convoluted, terrible affair. Shekhar Suman is clearly cut out for wit but in his maiden venture the director shows no flair of the intelligence he is known for. Watching the film was a punishment of sorts and despite a notable ensemble cast, Adhyayan Suman’s half hearted plastic performance with Ariana Ayam’s tryst to match up Adhyayan’s bad acting fails the film frustratingly.