Sometimes one story ends, so that another can begin! SHARAARAT, directed by Gurudev Bhalla, tells the story of 'Ashiyana' ï¿½ a home away from home. A character sketch of the principal characters of SHARARAT:
Abhishek Bachchan plays Rahul, who never took life seriously. But one mischief changed his life forever.
Amrish Puri is Prajapati, the unelected leader of 'Ashiyana'. Old he may be, aged he is not. Authoritative and enthusiastic, his tough exterior conceals a soft heart. He does not demand respectï¿½ he commands it!
Helen is Anuradha Mathur, the epitome of motherhood. Loving and forgiving.
A.K. Hangal is Gajanan Desai, the eldest resident of 'Ashiyana'. Beneath his frail, defeated frame, lies a volcano of hurt and despair. Concealed due to his inherent self-respecting streak.
Tinnu Anand is Saifuddin, the oldest inhabitant of 'Ashiyana'. He is slow, yet restless. Curious to know, yet quick to forget. His forgetfulness is taken lightly, until one day the repercussions are too serious to ignore.
The story of SHARAARAT bears a striking resemblance to the Rajesh Khanna ï¿½ Shabana Azmi hit AVTAAR, but this one lacks the intensity and of course, the sensitivity that was the hallmark of the yesteryear hit.
Actually, SHARAARAT has a different plot, refreshingly different to be precise. For, it tackles a theme that could be identified with just about anyone from Paris to Patna. But director Gurudev Bhalla seems to have packaged the film with all possible commercial ingredients and clich? perhaps desirous of wooing the cinegoer completely, and in the process the effort gets diluted.
The first few reels are quite captivating. The sequences between Abhishek and Amrish Puri specifically keep you engrossed to the goings-on. The first half also ends on a sombre note.
But the graph of the narration dips in the second half. And there are several reasons for it ï¿½
* One, the film moves at lethargic pace in the post-interval portions and actually tests the patience of the viewer.
* Two, too many songs take away the intensity from the film. At least two songs ï¿½ 'Ek Ladki Mujhe' and 'Na Kisi Ki Aankh Ka' ï¿½ come as a major hindrance and act as speed breakers.
* Three, the romantic track looks forced and has not been established properly.
* Four, the climax, when Om Puri suddenly takes out the will to save 'Ashiyana', looks far from convincing.
Directorially, Gurudev Bhalla has the guts to attempt a novel theme, but relies too heavily on the stereotype when it comes to moving the story ahead. Bhalla does succeed in leaving an impact in a few emotional scenes, but a subject like this demanded even more sensitivity. Abhishek's belittling the senior citizens in the initial reels is in bad taste.
Sajid-Wajid's musical score is functional, with a couple of okay tunes. But they don't contribute in elevating the proceedings. Cinematography is a weak point. The lighting at several places is improper. Dialogues are well penned.
Abhishek Bachchan is so-so in a role that required a mature performer. Hrishitaa Bhatt doesn't have a substantial role, but she oozes freshness. And is a complete natural in front of the camera. Amongst the horde of character artistes, Amrish Puri, Helen, Tinnu Anand and A.K. Hangal register a strong impact. Om Puri has been wasted. Ashish Vidyarthi has too short a role. Mohnish Bahl is okay.
On the whole, SHARAARAT is too ordinary a fare to leave any impact. The mighty opposition this week (DEVDAS) and in the coming weeks as well will further curtail its business.