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Director : Rohit Jugraj
Music : Amar Mohile
Starring : Mohit Ahlawat, Nisha Kothari, Zakir Husain, Mohan Agashe, Rajpal Yadav.

Some films launch a star. In other cases a star launches a film. Ram Gopal Varma’s latest discovery, arguably his most watchable male discovery to date, lifts the routine masala actionerr to the level of a spiced-up sizzler.

Ahlawat with his well-toned physique and an underplayed but persuasive personality could comfortably be designated the Blast Action Hero. His smouldering silences those slanted silently accusing eyes, and raised eyebrows (one of them pierced and adorned with a ring) have the power to rip the screen apart.

Yup. Mohit Ahlawat is here to stay. But what about the film? Does it go beyond a star-launch vehicle? Stylishly put together, every cliché in the book of formulistic filmmaking is brought into play… The high-octane desifun co uk latest adrenalized action gets going right away, as the Goan loner in Mumbai encounters red-hot goondaism on a train.

The hero’s introductory sequence, a traditional whammy that Hindi films have served up since time-immemorial, is surprisingly tame here. Maybe it’s the cramped confines of the speeding locomotive that localizes Rohit Jugraj’s style initially.

For the rest of the film the debutant director brings his debutant hero out on the streets to fight hooliganism like never before, as Ram Gopal Varma’s usual suspects – scruffy unwashed repulsive villains with beards and hair that appear to be a anti-dandruff shampoo’s delight – line up to unleash a drain of terror.

Mumbai never looked less inviting and more forbidding. Cinematographer Amal Neerad swoops across the jaded skyline like a hunter on the prowl. Amar Mohile’s background score pounds out a pulsating theme-anthem for Ahlawat’s dream debut… dream for the debutant but a nightmare for those who come in contact with this comic-book hero many sizer larger than life… laughs.

That grim no-nonsense deportment echoes Amitabh Bachchan in ZANJEER, the anti-establishment cop who fought the system. Today’s Angry Young Man needs to be far less unfocussed about his moral ambiguity. Mohit’s heroic stance is amazingly old-world. He tells the besotted girl Nisha (newcomer Nisha Kothari) that he has never done anything wrong in his life. He warns his evil opponent desifun indian idol s not to mess around with him before beating them to a pulp, and he never takes off his shirt till the very end.

It’s a very understated almost chivalrous kind of machismo, underlined by pounds of pounding music and action sequences that seem devised purely to bring out the fright side of the modern-day mythical hero.

The material chosen to support Ahlawat’s debut is slickly packaged. Regrettably a lot of the supporting cast is already seen repeatedly in Varma’s other productions. You can’t take their sneering villainy that seriously any longer. The main antagonist here is newcomer Sherveer Vakil who looks appropriately diabolic but unequal to the task of matching strides with the hero. The climactic one-to-one combat between the two is way too lengthy and tiring.


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