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ApneApne : Movie Review
29th June 2007  23.48 IST
By Nikhil Kumar  


No two opinions about it. Anil Sharma's latest movie Apne is rich in emotions. The film, marking the coming together of the three Deols on the silver screen for the first time, is the story of familial bonding and conflicts.

Having seen the film, it is clear why it is the best flick to cast Dharmendra and his two sons ( Sunny Deol and Bobby Deol ) together. The reason is its story and the three main characters in it. There is no doubt that the three Deols drew a lot from their personal lives into their performances in the film. That is why the emotions and the kinship show on the big screen, too.




Baldev Choudhary (Dharmendra) once won an Olympic silver medal in boxing. He came very close to realizing his dream of winning the World Heavyweight Boxing Championship. But he was falsely implicated in doping charges and banned from boxing.

His dream shattered, a disgraced Baldev retires with humiliation and resentment. Now, he hopes that his elder son Angad (Sunny Deol) will fulfill his dream. But Angad doesn't share his father's passion for boxing.

The relation between Baldev and Angad is strained. Instead of following his father's dream, Angad has his own aspirations from life.

Baldev's second son Karan (Bobby Deol) is physically incapable of taking up boxing and becomes a musician.

Things take a turn with Baldev's growing dejection as a boxing coach. This is when Karan, the younger son, is healed and decides to don the boxing gloves to fulfill his father's dream.

What follows next is the struggle of the two sons to restore their father's lost honour by realizing his dream.

'Apne' is not so much about boxing as it is about the special bonds between family members. Thankfully, the film doesn't delve into stereotypes. The leading character Baldev has some shades of grey to the extent that he wants to force his will upon his sons only to redeem himself. Then there is Sunny Deol's character that doesn't see eye to eye with his father. In fact, sequences featuring Sunny and Dharmendra are among the best in the film.

The movie's story develops gradually and as it does so it sucks you in. The boxing matches in the second half are very convincingly shot. However, Sunny Deol's taking on the heavyweight champion (played by Chris Anderson) is a bit hard to digest.

The film's music by Himesh Reshammiya is strictly okay. The cinematography by Kabir Lal is eye-catching. The film's editor, however, could have been more liberal in his job. The film's duration (a little less than three hours) could ideally be shortened to avoid deeper bumps on the seats of cinema halls.

Dharmendra is the central force of 'Apne'. Without him the movie would lose its soul. It is both surprising and pleasing to see Dharmendra deliver a powerhouse performance after doing utterly forgettable films like Kis Kis Ki Kismat and Hum Kaun Hai .

The septuagenarian actor breathes life and fire into his performance. His character's dream, his dejection, his resentment, his endearing charm and his anger is so very believable. Dharmendra proves yet again that he has not lost command over the craft of acting.

Sunny Deol looks a little aged and worn out for his role in the film. Despite this, he delivers a notable performance. Though for the most part he stays restrained and mellowed, but when his wrath is invoked, the actor gives you goose bumps with his performance.

Bobby Deol's acting is to the mark. He remains understated and doesn't have as many dialogues in the film as the other Deols.

The film's heroines Katrina Kaif and Shilpa Shetty have small roles. Kiron Kher is brilliant yet again in a natural performance.

Director Anil Sharma gets many things right in 'Apne'. Rather than focusing on action, he taps the emotive appeal of the film's story. The result is a film that can leave you with moist eyes.

Rating: ***



Related
Apne
Dharmendra
Sunny Deol
Bobby Deol
Himesh Reshammiya
Kis Kis Ki Kismat
Hum Kaun Hai
Katrina Kaif
Shilpa Shetty
Kiron Kher
Anil Sharma





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