Saturday, July 05, 2008

Movie Review - Aamir (Hindi, 2008)

For it's sheer ingenuity and fast paced narration, Aamir stands apart from almost all movies made so far this year. Top-notch acting and brilliant direction (Rajkumar Gupta) supported by wonderful cinematography (Alphonse Roy) and pulse-pounding soundtrack (Amit Trivedi) make this movie a must watch.

Rajeev Khandelwal plays Aamir, the protagonist. Returning to Mumbai from London (where he is employed as a Doctor) on a vacation, he is surprised not to find his family waiting for him at the airport. While making a call to his house (that goes unanswered), he is interrupted by a couple of guys and a mobile phone is thrust into his hand. Thus starts the movie and covers the next 6 hours in the lead character's life. Any further story elaboration would ruin the experience for the movie viewers.

It's almost incredible that most of the people associated with the movie are making their debut. Rajeev portrays the lead character with such finesse and surety and his dilemma and disgust at the same time are wonderfully captured. Exhibiting a range of emotions, this movie provides the kind of launch most debut actors would thirst for. The movie is shot in a realistic manner with no frills showing up at any point. Except for the lead actor, almost everyone appearing on the screen seems to have been picked off the road and this helps in capturing the real Mumbai. Most of the movie takes place in busy suburban Mumbai and the crowds all act naturally.

This is the kind of Mumbai one rarely encounters in Hindi cinema. Compared against this movie, even the Mumbai depicted in Satya looks glamorous. Cinematography deserves a very special mention. A lot of close-up shots are involved and the atmosphere of the grimy, slimy, dirty and bustling Mumbai is captured perfectly. It's quite possible that after watching this movie, one may not want to visit Mumbai any more. The movie deserves this kind of ambience and it's really heartening to note the production team didn't feel pressurised into showing everything in a glamorous manner.

Even though, it's a low budget movie, that doesn't hamper the movie aesthetics in any manner. I wasn't familiar with the movie soundtrack before watching the movie. I was pleasantly surprised to find the tracks pulse-pounding (literally speaking, in a good way). The narrative is aided by the wonderful use of appropriate sounds and some small snippets of songs are used appropriately to enhance and aid the visuals shown on the screen.

This movie definitely deserves a big success and it's a big thumbs up from me!!!

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