Aarti Enterprises' ARMAAN, with Honey Irani at the helm of affairs, takes you back in time with its age-old storyline. Set against the backdrop of a hospital, this particular venture takes you on to an emotional ride of sacrifices.
Amitabh Bachchan [Dr. Sinha], a philanthropist, has a dream. A dream to make his hospital one of the best equipped, with state-of-the-art machinery and instruments. His adopted son Anil Kapoor [Akash Sinha], a neurosurgeon, shares his father's dream.
As the father-son go about doing their jobs, a vacant post of an anesthetist is filled in by Gracy Singh [Neha]. After the initial hiccups in their relationship, the two eventually fall in love.
Enters Preity Zinta [Soniya Kapoor], a super-rich and arrogant young woman, who is used to getting things done her way by hook or by crook. However, this young lady also has shades of compassion.
In a chance encounter at a party, Preity meets Anil Kapoor. And gradually with time she finds that he is the man she wants, come what may. Meanwhile, an oblivious Anil Kapoor and Gracy Singh share some close moments together.
But just as things seem to be going smoothly, a dramatic incident changes everything. Amitabh Bachchan, who is already suffering from high stress levels, dies in an attempt to save an injured child.
Now Anil Kapoor has only one goal in his life ï¿½ to fulfil his father's dream. And also to save the hospital from the financial crunch. Then come the sacrifices.
In an agreement, Anil Kapoor agrees to marry Priety Zinta and in turn, her father [Randhir Kapoor] fulfils all demands related to the hospital, while a hapless Gracy Singh signs as one of the witnesses in their marriage. The rest of the story deals with the turmoil of the three main characters.
The story is the weakest link of this enterprise; even the mammoth star cast could do precious little to salvage it. It offers the same formula-ridden twists and turns and those orthodox sacrifices. The goings-on are outright predictable and the execution has nothing novel to offer.
Director Honey Irani does make a valiant attempt. There are certain scenes that touch your heart, especially that scene where Amitabh Bachchan makes that sprint to the hospital to save the child. But such scenes are few and far between. Also, the film is very slow-paced, which mars the impact to a major extent.
The death of Amitabh Bachchan seems forced. You wonder for a second that a doctor of his status can't contact his hospital in an emergency and has to personally lift the injured child and run, more baffling in the age of cell-phones.
Priety Zinta's role looks confusing. She does look a spoilt brat, but the way she transforms herself after her marriage to Anil Kapoor lacks justification. Ditto in the climax.
Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy's music serves as a soothing balm, but is not enough to elevate the film. Cinematography is nothing much to talk about, very ordinary at times. The dialogues are a mixed bag, at times excellent and at times melodramatic.
It's the performances that are the saving grace of the film. Leading the way is Amitabh Bachchan, who's simply brilliant. Preity Zinta comes up with another superb performance, essaying her part with utmost sincerity. Anil Kapoor, playing a surgeon torn between love and loyalty, is another performer who does justice to his role, while Gracy Singh shows immense promise. Randhir Kapoor is alright.
On the whole, ARMAAN leaves a lot to be desired. The content of the film does not match the heavy star cast, which in turn will tell on its business.