Now this one throws an absolute surprise! When it became clear that RAM GOPAL VARMA KI AAG, VICTORIA NO. 203 and DHOKHA would be releasing on the same day, I had DHOKHA at the bottom of my list. Ramu's AAG clearly had the hype factor working in it's favor, VICTORIA NO, 203 seemed like a decent entertainer while DHOKHA had negativity and only negativity written around it ever since the film's promotion began.
Firstly the film's soundtrack was bad, secondly there seemed to be no visible effort from Vishesh Films to create a positive buzz around the film (shocking, since they are the masters when it comes to film's promotion) and thirdly there was no excitement built up even as Pooja Bhatt-Muzzammil war started making news three weeks before the film's release.
Add to it the entire 'Muslim' angle being used for building numerous stories and one couldn't help but be turned off entirely from the product. It all seemed to be an overdrive of the PR machinery but sadly nothing motivated you enough to watch this film with interest.
How much of a 'dhokha' it turned out to be eventually once the two hour film unfolded in front of my eyes?
The film turned out to be one gripping dramatic outing which made a hammer strong impact reel after reel. In fact ten minutes into the narrative and one is forced to leave all pessimism about the film aside and watch the drama unfold with keen interest. There are number of observations you start making right away.
First and foremost it becomes clear that Muzammil is indeed the discovery of the year so far. There may have been talks about Ranbir Kapoor and Harman Baweja making their debut in the coming months but when the nominations are made for the most promising debutant of the year, Muzammil would certainly be the front runner.
He is indeed a talent waiting to be explored even further and if the flashes of brilliance that he shows in this two hour film are good enough, he certainly has a long way to go. He not just carries a good physique and looks good with an intense screen presence, he also acts remarkably well which works so well for an industry which is waiting for fresh talent to knock the doors.
Seemingly a natural in front of the camera, he does a lot with his eyes and facial expressions. Even at such a young age, his body language too doesn't deceive him at all in spite of being required to play the mature role of an ACP. He has right expressions for each of the scenes and this is something that he demonstrates at regular intervals. Watch out for him in the scenes where:
- He encounters the father of an injured girl at the hospital
- He learns about his wife's [Tulip Joshi] death
- He reasons during interrogation sequence with Gulshan Grover
- He meets his friends once through with his interrogation
- He learns about his wife's background
- He comes face to face with extremists
- He tries to save his brother-in-law
Still, the cake is taken by the entire sequence when he touches alcohol for the first time and then comes face to face with his once-friend-turned-foe cop in the pub. A scene where he displays his pathos amazingly well.
If each of these scenes work for the film, the person who has to be credited is Pooja Bhatt. After an average PAAP and an absolutely disappointing HOLIDAY, she takes giant leaps as a storyteller and a director who can make her actors enact their parts with such perfection. She gives Bhatt films a film which would go down as one of their most prestigious and respected projects.
Pooja keeps the grip watertight throughout without giving the narrative any kind of relaxation. The film's graph reaches a certain high at the very beginning, meets it's peak when Anupam Kher [Tulip's grandfather] ta