"Hai Aag Yeh, Ek Aag Yeh, Aag Hai, Aag Hai"
It's this theme track which runs throughout the film's narrative which possibly is the best part of this offering from Ram Gopal Varma. The reason is simple. When it comes to paying homage to the films from the 70s, it is this sound which comes closest. Remember the coming together of dozen odd trumpets that used to create a euphoric feel whenever there was a decision making by a hero/villain or those chase sequences on the roads?
To begin with positives, Ramu does make an honest attempt to make a film which belongs to the era of 70s. As mentioned earlier, not just the background soundtrack is reminiscent of the kind that was heard decades back, even the sound design with all the guns and bombs are similar. Remember the 'rat-a-tat-a-tat' of all the machine guns which became popular in the 70s?
What doesn't quite work are the numerous pauses that come in the film's narrative even as there are a few ecstatic moments indeed. But after every such sequence, most of them featuring Babban [Amitabh Bachchan], the treatment becomes loose for a while. The first half of the film still sails through, though not quite smoothly but still just about, due to a built up in conflict. The main culprit is the second half where things tend to go haywire.
There are absolutely no twists and turns in the film in the second half of the film as predictability takes over the proceedings. One would have expected some novelty out here (no, not in comparison to 'Sholay' but yet again, in general). A story building like this with a standard graph taking one through pre-climax followed by a climax has been witnessed in at least 100 odd movies, if not less. But nothing actually takes place which turns out to be unexpected that takes the sheen away from the film.
Absolutely unpardonable is Heero's [Ajay Devgan] suicide scene with 'Gangu Mummy' [played by Rasika Joshi - absolutely irritating] which takes the movie to an all time low. In fact also add the scene where Raj [Prashant Raj] and Devi [Sushmita Sen] go to Gangu Mummy with a marriage proposal for Heero and Ghunghroo [Nisha Kothari].
These two sequences are completely ill placed in the film, badly enacted and poorly edited which makes them good candidates for being completely chopped off pronto. In fact it is a pity to see Sushmita Sen feeling completely out of place when the scene is on. And no, let's not say that Ramu may not have been able to handle comedy just because he is a pro in making dark films because he is the same man who gave us RANGEELA and DAUD!
So what salvages the film? Presence of Amitabh Bachchan who gets a mix of mannerisms from AGNEEPATH and BOOM i.e. intensity and aggression coupled with eccentricity and insanity. Each of his scenes with Inspector Narsimha [Mohan Lal] have been treated quite dramatically which yet again proves the point that Ramu had reserved his best shots for the veterans. Bachchan's husky sound coupled with a limp in his walk creates an eerie feel to the situation as one comes across a ruthless character.
The only scene where one observes the emotional side of his character is when he looses his close confidante Tambhe [enacted well by Sushant Singh]. A man who doesn't weep on the killing of his own brother [Sachin] does a dance of death (which could well be a 'taandav' set in underworld) on seeing Tambhe dying in front of his own eyes. He does well to camouflage his hurt only to find himself shedding a tear when he realizes in the climax that Tambhe is finally gone forever. Some good writing and execution here!
How much does one wish so that there were more of such intense sequences in the film? In an attempt to mix 'masala' with dark elements, the final product doesn't turn out to be endearing at all wh