8X10 Tasveer | Movie Review

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

I have always held that Nagesh Kukunoor is an intelligent director and that his best film is Teen Deewarein which very few people have heard of. When I saw the promo of 8X10 Tasveer, I felt that Nagesh was coming up with something as interesting as Teen Deewarein. Unlike Teen Deewarein, this film was backed by big names and that I felt would do wonders. Sadly, with this film, Nagesh who upto now worked on the peripheries of masala cinema to avoid typical Bollywood clichés, makes a full length dive into commercial genre and ends up looking one amongst the many. This film borrows a lot from Abbas Mustan style of film making.

One problem with the film despite being a full blown commercial potboiler is the lack of glamour quotient. If you look in the last decade or so, most of the successful thrillers in Bollywood have had ample dose of glamour. Tasveer has cute looking Ayesha Takia who would fail to draw people to the theater.

The second problem is the losing grip in the second half. The first half of the film builds up the story and the audience is curious to know who the murder culprit is but Nagesh Kukunoor lets it loose in the second half and after a series of clichés, the curtains are drawn. Nagesh Kukunoor tries to give a logical end to these clichés but there are a few loose ends that he is not able to fix. The result is a convoluted second half that drags itself to conclusion.

The third problem is of characterization. Most of the characters are not well etched. All of them keep making appearances throughout the film but due to vaguely written characters, hardly create any impact. Akshay Kumar displays one emotion thoughout but Jaaved Jaaferi does pack a punch with his performance. Jaaved Jaaferi as the Hyderabadi detective is terrific. It was a welcome change to see Akshay Kumar in a non-comic role after a long-long time but it seems that he is cut out mainly for comedy movies. It’s sad that this year has not been particularly kind to this new No 1 aspirant in Bollywood. After Chandni Chowk to China, Tasveer is going to be another failed attempt at sealing his position as the top money raker for Bollywood.

I understand that this film is about a super natural power that the protagonist possesses but it takes a while before you digest the fact. The film begins with AK playing a Samaritan and helping others find their lost ones using the power. That made me blurt the – “There you go!” expression that invited the silent wrath of one of the 10 heads in the theatre (including me and the ticket collector with the torch).

The film has good music and background score. The Nazara Hai and the Haafiz Khuda songs are good. I don’t think that the album has been well promoted though. Salim-Sulaiman are fast coming up as a force to reckon with.

Canada looks scenic as always in the film. Nagesh Kukunoor gives the film a Hollywood type look and feel. Nagesh is an engineer by education. Therefore, you see him trying his best to give logical conclusions even to some of the bizarre scenes like the chained Akshay’s underwater struggle to break himself free. I will not go to the extent of labeling Nagesh as a failure in this attempt of his. He could certainly have done a lot better but with 8X10 Tasveer he has tried pedaling through untested water. I will still like to believe that he is better than what the film’s fate at box office will suggest in the days to come.

8X10 Tasveer is disappointing. On Bollywood success scales, I feel it will fall short of making a mark in terms of revenues. Nagesh maybe you should re-release Teen Deewarein. With small films minting money these days, maybe it will set the cash registers ringing. But for 8x10 Tasveer, it’s between a 2 and 2.5 out of 5 rating.


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