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'Ankahee' - A tad seriousBy Nikhil Kumar
Film critic, ApunKaChoice.Com
Vikram Bhatt’s movie ‘Ankahee’, believed to be a loose autobiographical account of his own extra-marital relationship, is the story of a man torn between two women – his wife and an over-possessive actress.
The movie brings back the memories of Mahesh Bhatt’s film ‘Arth’, which had a similar story. Even some sequences in ‘Ankahee’ have a striking resemblance to the ones in ‘Arth’. Coincidental perhaps. Or may be the two Bhatts think alike.
The film begins with an aged Dr Shekhar (Aftab Shivdasani) on his deathbed, longing to see his daughter Sheena (Hrishitaa Bhatt). Prodded by her aging mother (Amisha Patel), the unwilling and unforgiving Sheena pays the last visit to her father. The dying man manages a faint smile at his estranged daughter and passes her a diary that records his life and the incidents that led to his break-off from his wife for a depressed, possessive woman.
Henceforth, the story of Dr. Shekhar unspools. A happily married, neatly dressed man, Dr. Shekhar’s world with wife Nandita (Amisha Patel) and little daughter Sheena was near perfect. None could suspect that in his complacent heart lay the seed of betrayal.
Shekhar’s married life begins to go for a toss with the coming of Kavya (Esha Deol), an actress and a former beauty queen, who enters Shekhar’s life with her slit wrists and slowly makes the doc her incurable obsession. Shekhar, being an ordinary man with weak fidelity, obviously falls for Kavya.
Soon, Kavya’s fling with Shekhar is the talk of the tinsel town. Nandita confronts Shekhar and he submissively admits to his extramarital affair.
Nandita is naturally possessive of her husband and she tries everything in her power to save her marriage, but Kavya is manically obsessed about the man. She is a pampered, obstinate, suicidal, poor-rich girl who wouldn’t mind risking her own life to keep her man to herself alone.
Torn between the two women, Shekhar decides to split from his wife and his daughter and chooses Kavya over his family. A choice he would regret forever.
‘Ankahee’ is more like the story of a man trying to say what was unsaid in his relationship gone wrong with his wife. There is nothing extra-ordinarily new in the story, except the way it has been told.
Vikram Bhatt’s attempt to tell the story without any frivolity and with utmost seriousness is commendable, but how one wishes the dialogues sounded less superficial than they did in the film. Also, the movie begins to drag in the second half and the story plods from one weepy situation to another.
Esha Deol gives a superb performance, playing the depressed, lonely and over-possessive Kavya with utmost conviction. She brings about a subtle mix of frayed and furious expressions whenever her character goes into one of her obsessive fits.
Aftab Shivdasani suits his character in the film. He wears a worn-out look for the major part of the second half and has the expression of a ‘defeated’ man.
Unexpectedly, Amisha Patel acquits herself this time around. Thankfully, she doesn’t go overboard in emotional scenes and gives a calculated, restricted performance.
‘Ankahee’ does have a few emotion-stirring moments. The sequence in which Amisha goes to Esha’s house, and the two women confront each other, is one of the movie’s high points. Equally moving is the school sequence when Shekhar’s daughter questions his extra-marital relation.
But frankly, all the sobbing and weeping really begins to choke you by the time the movie approaches its fag end.
Copyright 2008 ApunKaChoice.com. All rights reserved.
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