Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Movie Review: 7 Khoon Maaf

Vishal Bhardwaj is one of India's leading film-makers of his generation. With recent successful films such as 'Ishqiya' (2010), 'Kaminey (2009), 'Omkara' (2006) he has shown how well he can portray characters and create worlds that are realistic yet reel-istic too.

To say that '7 Khoon Maaf' carried super high expectations would be apt. Apart from the obvious (VB), there was the long list of acclaimed actors in the cast. The music took off with 'Darling' topping the charts and marking the comeback of legendary superstar of the 70s Usha Uthup. Ever since the trailer came out everyone was going gaga over it.

Priyanka Chopra has quite a rare quality which is an almost equal balance of mass appeal and box office numbers coupled with tons of critical acclaim and numerous prestigious awards. So now with the scene set, let's get on with the review.

After I watched it, somebody asked me what I thought and I didn't know what to say. One thing was for sure though - I was disappointed. I expected something more. I expected a much tighter and more thoroughly thought-out screenplay. The patchy screenplay is one of the film's major flaws. The other huge flaw is the characterisation of it's protagonist.

I can't understand how someone as talented as Vishal Bhardwaj would make a film with such an unrefined character: Susannah. I felt he wasn't sure how he wanted her to be portrayed. It seems he was stuck between presenting her as a mentally abused character and on the other hand as a 'normal' everyday girl. And I think he ended up picking both. Unfortunately when you do 2 things half-way, the result is not going to be good.

The back-story of Susannah showed that she was abused as a child and had gone through much trauma and this in effect shaped her as a person, and all that is fine - but then we see her becoming this neutral character with her head on her shoulders and behaving like any old country house woman - which is also fine. But what does not sit finely with me is when we flip through both these different character types without any real reason.

'7KM' is far from a bad film - in fact it's very interesting and I'd recommend it to one and all because it's very unusual and entertaining. I just feel like it should have been so much more.

Neil Nitin Mukesh looks very sexy and plays his part well. The moustache suits him and I would love to see him sporting it more often. John Abraham has acted very badly, excluding his final scene. He was completely flat and utterly crap in 90% of his role. His story also went on for too long. Aleksandr Dyachenko does a fine job. Irrfan Khan is excellent. I don't usually like him much but he was superb in this. Annu Kapoor was outstanding - what a talent. Amazing, absolutely amazing. Naseeruddin is very good as usual.

The surprise package of the film is newcomer Vivaan Shah (son of Naseeruddin). He does very well holding the film together. A talent to look out for. He's also very cute so can't wait to see a lot more of him. Konkona Sen in a special appearance is a lovely addition to the massive cast. She is one of the best actresses in India today, very easily one of the top few.

Now onto the DIVA. Piggy Chops as we all lovingly call her has such an interesting character to play. I feel like she was let down by the director, but all that aside I think she's done a fantastic job. 9 out of 10 actresses would not be able to do justice to the role, but Priyanka excels. Her face is very expressive. When she cries, it hurts. When she laughs you smile. When she looks demented, you sh*t your pants! And she looks beautiful in every frame - even as a 60 year old.

The last scene of the movie is what give it most of it's ratings. It's so scary and at the same time it's hilarious and shocking and just awe-mazing. You have to check it out for yourself.

I expect nominations at least for Piggy Chops and awards unless one of the other divas snatch her wig before the end of the year. So let's see...!

Rating: 3.5 Stars

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