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Qayamat

Ajay Devgan, Suniel Shetty, Arbaaz Khan, Sanjay Kapoor, Ishaa Koppikar, Riya Sen, Aashish Chowdhry, Neha Dhupia

india Updated: Jul 19, 2003 13:45 IST

It has become a weekly quiz for the buffs now. With every new Bollywood release, guess the original Hollywood flick that ‘inspired’ it. And if you already know the original, look for those individual scenes strewn in between that have been xeroxed from sundry other phoren films. Last week we had two ‘inspirations’ – Saaya from Dragonfly and Hawa from The Entity. And this week, director Harry Baweja makes a desi copy of Michael Bay’s Sean Connery-Nicholas Cage starrer, The Rock.

Okay, you haven’t seen The Rock. And the pre-release hype clinically built over the music (Nadeem-Shravan are good, though not in their best form) and the mindblowing action shots in the TV promos whetted your appetite for Qayamat anyway. Desi-fied phoren maal be damned. As long as Ajay Devgan is back at the helm of action, who cares – you tell yourself.

Get Rocking with Qayamat, then. Here’s what unfolds: Three terrorists, Ali (Arbaaz Khan), Abbas (Sanjay Kapoor) and Laila (Ishaa Koppikar) acquire missiles and biological weapons. Their plan: load the lethal viruses in the missiles and dock them in a dilapidated prison fortress off Mumbai coast, aiming the weapons straight at the metropolis. If the go-vernment doesn’t give them Rs 150 crore and a safe passage to Pakistan, they’ll drop the missiles on Mumbai. Standing between them and their dream is CBI officer Akram Sheikh (Suniel Shetty). But Akram is aware that the only man knows the way to enter the prison fortress without getting noticed is Rachit (Ajay Devgan), onetime partner-in-crime of Ali and Abbas and now sworn enemy. With time running out, Akram must convince Rachit to help him.

The action is sleek but the script is pathetically rendered by Baweja. Devoid of any logic, Qayamat rests on heavy pop patriotic rhetoric to draw the claps. It isn’t enough. If anything, the film finds its only redeeming grace in Devgan’s performance. Given almost no dialogues in the film, Devgan lets his eyes speak. In the end of it all, that’s all you remember as you leave the hall.

First Published: Jul 19, 2003 11:42 IST