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8x10 Tasveer - Movie Review

By Naresh K. Deoshi
Fri, Apr 03, 2009 21:10 IST

Nagesh Kukunoor Is Nagesh Kukunoor alright? The man who gave us two back-to-back slices of inspirational cinema in Iqbal and Dor and then burned his hands with comedy ( Bombay To Bangkok ) now comes up with a sedating 'supernatural thriller' in which nothing, absolutely nothing clicks.

In 8x10 Tasveer , there's no adrenaline rush to be had for the viewers. Rather it's the story's protagonist Jai ( Akshay Kumar ), who needs to stab himself with a syringe of adrenaline every time he 'returns' from his mental trips during which he peeks into people's past through their photographs. These inward trips, when repeated more than one can bear, elicit outward trips by viewers to the cafeteria. After all, if the hero needs adrenaline to stay alive, we need a shot of caffeine to stay awake. The film's that bad.

So we have Jai, a forest ranger working for Environment Protection Services and living in with a girlfriend ( Ayesha Takia ) with whom he shares no apparent chemistry but whom he plans to marry. Jai has a unique and hitherto unheard-of gift of looking at people's photographs and having a vision of the moments after the snap was clicked. Ok...fine...great! But every such vision leaves Jai sapped of life's juices and at death's doorstep, dialing the hospital for some blood transfusion.




When Jai's billionaire baap (Benjamin Gilani) dies in an accident and a cranked-out detective ( Javed Jaffrey ) shows up and tries to convince Jai that his dead dad was murdered for wealth, our hero smells fish. And to his good fortune, Jai finds a photograph that was clicked by his mom ( Sharmila Tagore ) minutes before the old man fell into water and breathed (pun unintended) his last.

Armed with this photograph into which he keeps 'going' repeatedly, Jai digs deeper into the mystery even as the finger of suspicion keeps shifting from his mom and his uncle ( Girish Karnad ) to two more characters ( Anant Mahadevan and Rushaad Rana) close to his dad.

Keep wracking your brains, folks, but you still won't be able to guess who the darned killer is. For in the last half hour of the story, there's not just a twist but a whole bend in the plot. And though I must admit that it does hit like a bolt initially, but once the subplot behind it unravels and the dots are connected, many jaws would drop at the sheer absurdity of the whole plot.

Nagesh Kukunoor seems to have completely lost it this time. As the writer and director of this sleep-inducing, ridiculously contrived film with half-baked subplots, he's the one on whom the blame should fall squarely. Even actors like Akshay Kumar, Ayesha Takia and Javed Jaffrey fail to rise above the plot-holed script.

So many questions beg to be answered, but they may spoil the suspense for readers. One very big flaw that yawns at the base of the plot is that the killer bumps off so many people stupidly, when he could have had what he wanted by just killing one person, Jai, and taking his place.

If you are brave to sit awake through two-plus hours of banality, you'll know what I mean.

Rating: *



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