The expectations are high! After all, the winning combination of RAAZ ? producer Mukesh Bhatt, Bipasha Basu, Dino Morea and Ashutosh Rana ? have teamed up yet again for GUNAAH, directed by Amol Shetge.
Does GUNAAH meet the expectations? Does it measure up to RAAZ in terms of content (script), music, technique and performances?
GUNAAH revolves around an honest lady police officer, Prabha (Bipasha Basu). A lonely woman, she takes upon herself of cleansing the corrupt system by being a part of it. Her life takes a dramatic turn when she meets Aditya (Dino Morea).
Prabha falls in love with Aditya when, while chasing him, she is about to fall off a rooftop. Without a thought, Aditya saves her life even though he knows that he would be arrested in the process. This incident leaves a lasting impact on her mind and more so when Aditya refuses to explain his actions in the lock-up as well as in the court.
When Prabha takes Aditya down memory lane, she discovers that he is a nice person, who was forced to take the path of crime by a wrongdoing of the system. The two feel drawn to each other and fall in love.
Prabha starts making efforts to know the reasons that made Aditya choose the path of crime and reform him in the process.
To be honest, the story has precious little to offer in terms of novelty ? the protagonist's quest to cleanse the corrupt system has been witnessed umpteen times since time immemorial. But what sets GUNAAH apart is the love story that's woven in the plot. The cop and culprit love story has rarely been witnessed on the Hindi screen.
GUNAAH revolves around three principal characters ? Bipasha, Dino and Irfan. Writer Mahesh Bhatt and director Amol Shetge have focussed the film on a singular track, without deviating into sub-plots, which is its strong point as well as a weak point.
Strong because the viewer's interest remains focussed. And weak because there's little scope for relief in terms of romance/light sequences. There's a continuous undercurrent of turbulence and anxiety.
Unfortunately, the romantic track ? which is supposed to be the lifeline of the film ? seems half-baked and sends confusing signals. A pertinent question that flashes in your mind as the story unfolds is, why doesn't Bipasha admit her love for Dino right till the end? This is all the more puzzling since Bipasha keeps fantasising about him throughout the first half and there are songs (dream songs, to be precise!) to support this theory.
The 'krantikaari' track is also not clear. When does Dino join the revolutionary group, has not been explained at all. The aim/objectives of this outfit/organisation should've been spelt out in a sentence or two at least.
Another drawback is the lethargic pace at which the story unfolds, which, at times, tests the patience of the viewer. Besides, the film tends to get a bit lengthy towards the second half and needs to be trimmed for a better impact.
Director Amol Shetge has handled a couple of dramatic sequences with aplomb. The climax, for instance, is excellent, but unconventional and may meet with mixed reactions, especially by those who desire happy endings. Technically speaking, his shot execution is simple, which gels well with a theme of this genre.
If Mahesh Bhatt's script has its share of loopholes, the dialogues (also penned by Bhatt) are remarkable and in fact, the mainstay of the enterprise. The lines alternate from philosophical to acidic to mushy with amazing elasticity.
Anand Raaj Anand's music is melodious, but you don't carry a single song with you when the show ends. The background score is alright. Cinematography is quite nice.
Bipasha Basu comes up with a credible performance. But how one wishes she would've worn clothes, instead of shedding them. She ought to be with the character (she plays a cop!), but she's seen sporting designer attire half the time and on several occasions, skimpy outfits.
Dino Morea has no dialogue to deliver till say 60% of the film is over. He has to communicate through expressions and gestures and he does it quite well. Irfan, in a negative role, is excellent. The dialogues he delivers will catch a lot many people unaware. Ashutosh Rana is wasted.
On the whole, GUNAAH has its share of fine points, but there are several factors that weigh it down. The most vital being, the comparisons with RAAZ. Also, with another biggie opening alongside, the business of GUNAAH will be affected in the process. The silver lining, of course, is its reasonable price, which should make its investors reach the safety mark.