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Tathastu lacks the punch

Sanjay Dutt carries off the weak script remarkably well. The film is too predictable, observes Diganta Guha. Sanju does a desi Denzel

india Updated: May 13, 2006 12:24 IST
Diganta Guha/ HT City
Diganta Guha/ HT City

Sanjay Dutt, Ameesha Patel, Jaya Prada, Master Yash & Gulshan Grover
Director: Anubhav Sinha
Rating: **

The problem with our filmmakers is that they promise a lot but fail to deliver. Post- Rang De Basanti, there isn’t much to talk about at the box office.

Anubhav Sinha tries out a largely indoor drama with Tathastu. At a micro level the film is about the extent to which a father (Sanjay Dutt) can go to save the life of his only child (Yash). On a macro level the film deals with what has been a favourite subject of filmmakers of yore - the high-handedness and hypocrisy that afflicts our system (or simply, the rich and the powerful gang up against the poor).

Sanjay does everything possible to collect Rs 15 lakh for the heart transplant of his son, but fails. Now, to save his child, he takes a group of people hostage to force hospital authorities to start the operation. Desperation at its best!

Sanjay Dutt carries off the weak script remarkably well.

Sinha and only Sinha should be blamed for letting such a golden opportunity go.

Tathastu  is largely inspired by the Hollywood production John Q, but that is not what makes it flawed. The director, in order to shift focus on the father, ignores the child’s mother (Ameesha) completely. The storyline demands powerful presentation and dramatic sequences but it lacks in those very areas. Tathastu, in other words, is a drama that starts, and before you realise where you are heading, ends. The first half is abrupt. And the film is predictable.

The film - whatever it may be worth - belongs to Dutt. He once again proves that he has it in him to actually go beyond the script. He carries off the weak script remarkably well.

His emotional outbursts are not overdone and he keeps the balance perfectly. But the days of one-man-shows are over and poor Dutt has nothing to fall back on.

Jaya Prada is wasted in an almost miss-and-blink appearance. Ameesha doesn’t have too much to do. And most irritating is her habit of grunting and groaning through the emotional scenes (examples of which we have earlier seen in Aap Mujhe Achche Lagne Lage and Gadar).

The problem with Sinha’s films post Tum Bin is poor planning. His films have the ingredients but not the spices to make them palatable.