Tell me not in mournful numbers,
Life is but an empty dream.
Life is real! Life is earnest!
And the grave is not its goal.

When I go from hence
let this be my parting word,
that what I have seen is unsurpassable.

Sunday, 10 August 2008

Cinema: Aamir

Why would a terrorist organization go to all the trouble of forcing an unwilling man to commit a terrorist act by kidnapping his family when it has thousands of volunteers who would do the task willingly? That's the question that bothered me all through the movie. If you can ignore this question though Aamir is a pretty good movie. It is the kind of inexpensive no frills movie that I like. The plot is simple. The protagonist, Aamir lands in Mumbai from London. As soon as he gets out of the airport somebody throws a cell phone at him. He is wondering what to do with it when it starts ringing. Aamir takes the call. The caller tells him that his family has been kidnapped and he will have to follow certain instructions if he wants to free them. The movie follows Aamir all over Mumbai as he deals with the situation. All the action happens in half a day. One situation follows another and the action almost never lets up. It does get a little tedious for a little time in the second half before picking up again for the climax. This is mainly because of the lack of characters and dialoges. The movie concentrates exclusively on Aamir. We see only brief hazy shots of the caller on the phone. Some other minor characters turn up from time to time to help or hinder Aamir. This is not a big problem for most of the movie as Rajiv Khandelwal as Aamir is more than able to carry the film on his shoulders. He is perfect as an ordinary guy who does not understand what is happening to him. He just wants to go home to his family and carry on with his life. It is all like a bad dream for him. I especially liked the part where he finally realizes what all this is about and reacts to it. Aamir is a very well shot movie. It captures Mumbai like few movies have done. In keeping with the no frills look, there are no songs or heavy background tracks.
I have heard Aamir is actually a "remake" of a foreign film. Since I have not seen that movie I cannot comment on that. Even if it is, that does not bother me. A creatively made remake may sometimes surpass the original. Aamir is a serious effort at making a realistic suspense thriller and it has succeeded.

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