S.P. Creations' DEEWANE is a love triangle, but with a difference. Sapna (Urmila Matondkar) and Inspector Vishal (Ajay Devgan) are in love, but fate plays a strange game with them. His enemies shoot Vishal and he slips into a coma. To maintain the terror in the eyes of gangsters, the Police Commissioner (Shivaji Satam) plants a look-alike of Vishal, Arun (who is actually a petty thief!), in Vishal's place.
Arun is trained to be a hard cop, like Vishal, and also has two difficult roles to portray ? that of a loving son (to Reema Lagoo) and a lover to Sapna. As luck would have it, Arun falls for the charms of Sapna, who is unaware of Arun's true identity, mistaking him to be her Vishal.
The story again takes a turn when Vishal gets cured and walks back to his house. The Commissioner reveals the true identity of Arun to the entire household, including Sapna, who is shocked to learn the truth. But as time passes, Sapna realises that her heart yearns not for Vishal, but Arun.
To an extent, DEEWANE is inspired by the Amitabh Bachchan hit DON and also has shades of another Amitabh flick, SATTE PE SATTA, when the crook impersonates the noble guy. The initial twenty minutes of the film are laced with sequences that are outright predictable. But with Vishal slipping into coma and the look-alike stepping in his (Vishal's) shoes, the film gains momentum.
The scenes that follow, specially the ones between Arun and Sapna, are truly romantic and in sync with the theme of the film. The film adopts an unexpected path when the Commissioner reveals the crook's identity soon after the interval. Normally, in most cases, the twist is always revealed towards the climax, but not at this juncture. And that's exactly the reason that sustains the viewer's interest.
The film has several strong points; those that stand out and deserve a mention. Some instances:-
* The performances of Ajay Devgan and Urmila Matondkar;
* The special effects involving the two Ajay Devgans;
* Sanjeev-Darshan's melodious music;
* The panoramic locations of New Zealand and Australia, which add to the visual appeal.
Not that the film doesn't have its share of drawbacks. First and foremost, the film is extremely lengthy in both the halves. A few sequences in the first half and at least two songs in the second half, can easily be deleted to make the proceedings concise.
Even the climax, which catches you unaware, has been stretched too much. What could've been conveyed in a few words and less footage has been unnecessarily stretched like a rubber band.
Director Harry Baweja's work is inspiring at places, mediocre at times. The romantic scenes are noticeable, but the villain's track falls flat. The villains look more like buffoons and even their menacing act fails to terrorise. Otherwise, Harry handles the dramatic scenes with maturity, displaying a flair for subjects that have ample scope for romance and emotions.
Sanjeev-Darshan's music is ear pleasing. The numbers that make pleasant listening are 'Qayamat' and 'Jogiya'; the latter is the best song of this enterprise. The picturisation of both the songs deserve special mention. Dialogues are poetic and go well with the mood of the film. Cinematography is first-rate. The locales of New Zealand and Australia make the film rich and add gloss in its visual appeal.
In a role that was difficult to portray, Ajay Devgan takes to both the characters, Vishal and Arun, like a fish takes to water. He enacts both the roles without going overboard and giving a certain distinct identity to each character. These are the signs of a refined performer.
Urmila Matondkar springs a pleasant surprise. She looks great, dances with grace and gives the right expressions throughout. Mahima Chaudhary's role is supposedly a special appearance, but she is there from the beginning till the end, making you wonder what exactly a special appearance means. In a second lead again (besides DHADKAN), Mahima gets hardly any scope to display histrionics.
Like always, Johny Lever plays to the gallery, endearing himself to the masses. Paresh Rawal, Pramod Moutho, Gulshan Grover and Aasif Sheikh fail to impress. They try hard to infuse life into their comical characters, but fail to evoke mirth.
On the whole, DEEWANE has a decent plot that is well told, but the clash of two big releases (DHADKAN and DEEWANE) in the same week, will eat into each other's pie, thereby throwing a spanner in their box-office prospects.