Vishesh Entertainment Ltd.'s KASOOR, directed by Vikram Bhatt, is a suspense thriller about crime, punishment and passion.
KASOOR stars Lisa Ray as an attorney, Simran Bhargav, who reluctantly takes on the case of powerful publishing magnate, Shekhar Saxena (Aftab Shivdasani), accused of committing the grisly murders of his wife and maid.
Simran tells Shekhar that she'll defend him only if she is convinced that he is innocent. Simran is also battling her inner demons over a case in which she got a man convicted for crime he had not committed. Her guilt increases when she learns that the innocent guy had committed suicide in custody.
While representing Shekhar, whom she considers innocent, Simran falls in love with him -- a part of Shekhar's plan to win her trust. After the court declares Shekhar innocent, Simran spends the night at his house. The next morning, while opening his closet, she finds a typewriter hidden between sheets.
The significance of this typewriter is that there have been typed, 'crank' letters sent to her office, leaving little clues that point the finger to the swimming coach (Vishwajeet Pradhan), who had an affair with Shekhar's wife. The typed letters all have a flyaway 't' on them.
Simran realises her fault and feels nauseated and cheated. She hurriedly leaves, smuggling out the typewriter, but is almost caught by Shekhar as she is leaving. So what happens next? Another victim?
Although the plot (writer: Mahesh Bhatt) is an imitation of the Hollywood flick, Columbia TriStar's JAGGED EDGE (starring Glenn Close, Jeff Bridges), released in 1985, the Indianised version is fairly captivating, although it does have its share of gaffes and flaws.
To start with, the drama moves at a snail's pace in the first half. In fact, the pace is so sluggish that the viewer starts feeling fidgety. The best part of the film is the courtroom drama in the post-interval portions, which is brilliantly executed.
However, the typewriter bit before the climax looks insipid. But the narration gains momentum once again towards the final fifteen minutes. The bloodcurdling end is well executed and sends a chill down the spine.
Director Vikram Bhatt lays everything out for you in a well organised and visually appealing form, but the outcome, at places, makes one feel that it is targeted at the gentry. The director's contribution is evident in the courtroom sequences and also towards the climax.
Nadeem-Shravan's music is an asset, although a few numbers remind you of the songs they had come up with in their hey days. Yet, the numbers that stand out are 'Kitni Bechain Hoke', 'Jo Meri Rooh Ko' and 'Dekha Jo Tumko'. Sameer's lyrics deserve special mention. What's even more heartening is that the songs are also well promoted.
Pravin Bhatt's cinematography is matchless and the locales of Switzerland are a visual delight. The background music (Daboo Malik) augments the impact of numerous sequences. Dialogues (Girish Dhamija) are of a superior quality.
KASOOR scores the most in that one important department ? performances. Credit for this must go primarily to the two principal performers ? Aftab Shivdasani and Lisa Ray ? who come up with proficient performances.
Aftab, as the suave publishing magnate, catches you unaware with a performance that is first-rate. His characterisation is dissimilar from the one he essayed in his debut-making venture MAST. His work should catapult him to the league of genteel artists.
Lisa Ray's acting is life-like and her scenes in the courtroom will win her approbation. Her expressions towards the concluding reels are also noteworthy. Apoorva Agnihotri does not get much scope to perform, but he makes his presence felt.
Ashutosh Rana is brilliant, while Irfan Khan is natural. Divya Dutta, Sucheta Paushe and Vishwajeet Pradhan are adequate.
On the whole, KASOOR is a polished film that will appeal mainly to the gentry. Its business in metros should be the best. Also, the shortage of new releases in the coming weeks should prove advantageous to an extent.