Wednesday, July 02, 2008
aamir is a film about hope with terrorism as the backdrop.besides the protogonist aamir(ajay khandelwal),the other main characters in the movies are the majority city mumbai itself and the voice over the cellphone. aamir is a man on the run. aamir ali is a practising doctor residing in london.he is visiting hs family in mumbai.from the moment he lands at cs international airport his saga of harassment begins.the immigration officer asks him a hundred one questions.being a muslim he is suspected.he tells the officer that had his name been amar he would have left the airport by now. and then when he comes out he does not find his family members to receive him.he is worried.he calls up his residence.there is no response.two guys on a motorcycle ride by and throw a cellphone at him.then a few minutes later when he is awaiting a taxi,he gets a call on his mobile.from then on his misery starts.he is asked to strictly follow the instructions.he questions the caller.he is told that his family is captive and if he does not follow what he is told to do,they will be finished.their picture is also flashed on his mobile phone screen by his tormentor. aamir is petrified. he has no option but to follow the instructions of the faceless voice(shashank ghosh)
he puts his baggage in a cab and finds that the cab has taken off without him.he gives it a chase.eventually he gets into the cab and again after some time when he tries to run away at a signal,the taxi speeds away.the baggage lands in the house of the caller.aamir is accused of leading a good life,making lots of money and not caring for the downtrodden brothers and sisters of his community.the caller asks him "tumne kaum ke liye kya kiya hai?"(what have you done for your religion?).the local mafia have trapped aamir and are making him a terrorist.the fundamentalist kidnapper tricks the reformist aamir to plant a bomb in a bus.he carries a red briefcase to be handed over to another person.the briefcase contains cash.and when he reaches the address of the person to whom he is supposed to hand over the briefcase,he gets badly bashed up.with the help of a prostitute he traces the goons but by then they have transferred the cash and replaced it with the bomb.little knowing its contents he proceeds to the bus as directed by his persecutor.
the film was shot in 25 days in mumbai on a three wheeler van with shutters in the back after cutting a hole in the shutter.the movie is directed by young rajkumar gupta and music is by amit trivedi.the ninety minutes movie is tightly edited and takes you through the lanes and bylanes of the muslim dominated areas of mohammed ali road,chor bazar,bhendi bazar,nagpada,dongri etc.the slums,the irani tea shops,the decrepit buildings housing the chawls,the squalor and filth,the congestion,the prostitutes and pimps are vividly shown.a brutal display of the horrendous living conditions of the poor. the cinematographer alfonso roy shows mumbai in a way never before shown on screen.its obscenity,vulgarity and its sheer madness are all shown as aaamir chases taxis and criminals through roads,gullies and chawls.rajeev khandelwal's portrayal of the hapless muslim youngster drawn into the vortex of terrorism with the hope that his family and child will be spared is outstanding.the entire gamut of negataive emotions-anger,hurt and revenge have been brilliantly expressed by the actor.for the tv actor this has been a dream debut.
supposed to be a copy of the filipino movie titled "cavite", it is the story of a man asked to commit heinous acts by a voice over the telephone. the voice tells him "kaun kahta hai ki aadmi apni kismat khud liktha hai"(who says that one writes one's own destiny"?), in reply to aamir's retort to his faceless caller that a man writes his own destiny.
aamir means leader.here the hunter(leader) becomes the hunted. the well dressed expat doctor is brutally chased and finally killed.his family members are also eliminated.the narrative span of five hours,condensed into an hour and half keeps you in suspense throughout. the message of the film is clear.don't succumb to the terrorists.stick to your principles:have hope and faith and work for peace and love and not death and destruction.like at the last minute,aamir's conscience doesn't permit him to run away from the bus leaving the bomb behind. he does leave the bus only to come back and take the bomb away saving the lives of all the bus passengers.
the movie may not be a box office hit. after all it does not have bikiniclad heroines,titillating songs and sleazy scenes.but then it is a film worth seeing.you will regret it otherwise.