Tuesday, August 09, 2005

In Defence Of Sehar

A comment by one of the three boisterous gentlemen, seated bang behind me, perhaps underscored what was expected of the movie. "Serious Role Iska( Arshad Warsi) USP Nahin Hai. Comedy Mein Hi Janchta Hai."

The problem was that these guys just took out the newspaper, saw Warsi's name against Sehar and yelled 'Vow! Another Comedy', and in they went to the theater. And when it turned out to be a seriously serious movie, they wrongly declared the lead actor as the chief conspirator. Sorry boss! This is not done.

Arshad Warsi is first rate in the movie. So is Pankaj Kapoor( will come to him later).The problem, though, was in the screenplay. The director had such a strong story, but he spoilt it with too many characters, and some badly conceived scenes. Perhaps the director Kabeer Kaushik's inexperience showed here. In the zeal to make a 'realistic' movie, he forgot to add the entertainment value.

To begin with, the romantic angle was very badly handled. The conversations between the young SSP and the Lucknow University Economics teacher were very highly unrealistic, even by the conservative Lucknow standards. They were a shade too tentative, and shy. I guess he was better off showing a married SSP(though it is now much cliched in a cop movie), and cut down the romance angle a bit. Needless to say, Mahima Chowdhari was a complete misfit.

The other complain is the lack of humour. I refuse to believe that anybody, even a SSP for that matter, does not have a sense of humour, or when cops chat together, they don't share a joke or two. Comic relief was much needed to ease the tension, even if it was a reality cinema. Cue from Maqbool, Haasil or Sarfarosh should have been taken.

Now the good points. The ultimate mix of cast and the script. Warsi is a revelation. He has not been shown as a ruthless or vindictive cop. He is in fact a thinking cop in the movie, who dwells on the investigation seriously. He plan strategies before an encounter or raid. He is quick to find a loop hole, and provide a solution. There is no style in his gait. There are no unnecessary confrontations with the superior either.

To conceive this by the director is one thing. To pull it off is another. Warsi, as I said earlier, was mindblowing.

Unfortunately, there is nothing above than the first rate or I would have rated Pankaj Kapoor the same. Maqbool, Dus, and now Sehar - Pankaj Kapoor has done it yet again. Every frame which involves him, is full of life. Though the heights of Neem Ka Ped cannot be breached, he easily surpasses Maqbool. He lits a small Diya of humour which had been lacking till then.

He reserved his best for the chilling climax when Warsi asks him the reason why he has left the injured constable alone. Warsi doesn't know that constable is dead. Kapoor doesn't utter a word, and conveys that just with facial expressions. Sorry folks, I just cannot explain the scene. It has to be seen to be believed. Full credit to the director as well. He specifically wrote that character with only Pankaj Kapoor in mind, and the genius did what genius do.

Sushant Singh was good. He did look ruthless, though I must mention that the original person was not as ruthless. Also, with the kind of bigwig killing shown in the movie - it appears that Lucknow was completely littered with blood. That is not true. Lucknow was not so much in the don's radar. There were not even half as many killings. But perhaps to convince the audience, the writer over did it.

On personal front, I got the eyeful of Lucknow, both from the sky and land. It looked so beautiful. Then there were those familiar lanes, buildings and their names echoed through out the movie. Loved all of it.

Had the writer-director added some more humour element, it wouldn't have been the heavy diet it turned out to be and would have been much more watchable even with Mahima around. Though, UPites can still give it a go. They would easily relate to it.

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