ApunKaChoice : Bollywood


Ram Gopal VarmaShiva : Movie Review
17th Sept 2006  12.45 IST
By Nikhil Kumar  

It is disappointing to see a maverick filmmaker such as Ram Gopal Varma come up with an utterly forgettable movie.

Fifteen years ago, Ramu set his foot in the tinsel town with a film ('Shiva', starring Nagarjuna) that dealt with the angst of a young man who took on the campus goons with a small group of friends. Now Ramu takes the same premise and changes the story's setting. The new Shiva is a cop, newly inducted, full of ideals, and ready to take on the bad guys no matter which side of the fence they happen to be.

Shiva has 'been there, seen that' written all over it. Like other films of the same ilk, it makes a rather sarcastic comment on the moral corruption in the police force, on the impunity with which criminals do their act in broad daylight and the blithe indifference with which power-greedy politicians run the administration. And amid all this, it is our supercop Shiva who stands tall and rebels against the system, with a little help from friends, of course.

The story of the film is nothing to write home about.

Mohit Ahlawat plays Shiva, a new recruit in the Mumbai police force. It is not long before Shiva comes face to face with the realities of the corrupt system - cops working in complicity with gangsters, dishonest politicians using their power to serve their own interests, et al.

Nisha Kothari plays a crime journalist and Shiva's love interest. Her closeness to Shiva makes Nisha, too, a target for the bad guys.

The film has lots of fights (mostly fisticuffs), chases and gory action scenes. You will see nails getting hammered into people's head, ears getting chopped off and bones getting broken.

Who wins in the end in this battle between good and evil is a forgone conclusion.

Mohit Ahlawat has a simmering intensity, but no acting skills. He scowls and glares for most part of the film, seethes with implosive anger and uses his fist more than his tongue. Nisha Kothari is forgettable, particularly when there are no skimpy dresses to hide her lack of talent.

On the sidelines, impressive performances come from Shereveer Vakil (playing a goon), Zakir Husain (corrupt cop), Upendra Limaye (gangster-turned-politician) and Dilip Prabhavalkar (corrupt Home Minister).

The film's music by Ilayaraja provides no relief either. The romantic tracks look forced into the narrative and the background score (the oath track) is overdone.

All in all, Ram Gopal Varma surprises his fans, but for all the wrong reasons. Such films of a supercop taking on the corrupt system have appeal left only in the archives.

Also a footnote before I close : Ramu's fascination to hammer a star out of Mohit has begun to appear rather neurotic. First, it was the superflop James . Now, the utterly forgettable 'Shiva'.

Ram Gopal Varma
Mohit Ahlawat
Nisha Kothari

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