Sunny Super Sound's INDIAN, written-directed by N. Maharajan, is a patriotic saga.
Raj Shekhar Azad (Sunny Deol) is an honest Police Commissioner whose sole intention is to wipe out corruption. From his name to his aim, emerges unflinching patriotism. But for every such patriot, there is an equally motivated terrorist.
Waseem Khan (Mukesh Rishi), a dreaded terrorist, is aided in his mission by Raj's father-in-law (Raj Babbar), an influential industrialist (Danny Denzongpa) and several police officers.
Raj's path is laden with hurdles, but he leaves no stone unturned, within the realm of law, to wage a war against the evil doers.
Remake of the Tamil hit VALLARASU, the expectations from INDIAN are ten-fold, thanks to the post-GADAR craze for Sunny Deol movies. Add to it a title like INDIAN and the expectations rocket skywards.
In the current scenario, when terrorism is the centre of all discussions, the theme of INDIAN can be identified with effortlessly. Not that a subject like this hasn't been attempted earlier, but it gains significance in today's crisis-ridden times.
The film is topical ? from cross border terrorism to an average citizen's grievance against the corrupt political system and law and order situation, the illustrations are straight out of everyday life.
The second strong point of the enterprise is Sunny Deol's bravura performance, who has yet again endeavoured a patriotic role with fervour. Besides, the stunts (Rocky, Rajesh, Paul Western) are vibrant and will find patronage from Indian masses.
But there are loopholes aplenty as well.
A major snag is the humdrum script. The honest cop-versus-terrorists' issue has been witnessed time and again and as the drama unfolds, the viewer starts realising that the film offers nothing fresh in terms of entertainment, but relies too heavily on the age-old formula, this time packaged in a new bottle.
Moreover, Maharajan's handling of this oft-repeated subject leaves a lot to be desired. A couple of sequences, like the Danny-Sunny confrontations as well as the marriage scene, when Sunny shoots Rajat Bedi, are well executed, but the overall impact is not hard-hitting at all.
The film also lacks romance and light moments to balance the heavy goings-on. Actually, the romance between the lead players is restricted to just two songs, that's it. And even the song situations are imperfect.
What adds to the woes is the length of the film. The narrative has been unduly stretched and at least 20 minutes of footage needs to be deleted for an enhanced impact.
Anand Raaj Anand's music is of a mixed variety. 'Deewana' and 'Thaat Nawaabi' stand out more due to the picturisation than the tune. 'Watan Walon' is rich in lyrical-value and even the tune is likeable. However, 'Yeh Pyar Hai Ek Nasha' (picturised on Malaika Arora and Sophia Haque) should be deleted instantly in view of the fact that it slackens the pace of the film considerably. Cinematography (A. Ramesh Kumar) is quite good. Dialogues (Sanjay S. Masoom) are clapworthy at places, but the sermonising bit could've been avoided.
Despite a huge star cast, only two performances stand out eventually. Sunny Deol is excellent in a tailor-made role. His fans are sure to go in a frenzy the moment he uses his fists. Danny Denzongpa uplifts the film in the second half to an extent. He is, like always, first-rate.
Shilpa Shetty looks bewitching and dances gracefully, but that's it. She gets no scope to display histrionics. An artiste of the calibre of Raj Babbar is wasted in an insignificant role. Mukesh Rishi is loud. Shakti Kapoor has no role to talk of. Rahul Dev is so-so. Sanjay Narvekar is just about okay. Rajat Bedi is pure teakwood.
* On the whole, INDIAN is aimed at the masses and its target audience will relish the daredevil stunts and confrontational dialogues, but a repeat viewing is ruled out. Sunny's towering presence in the post-GADAR scenario has resulted in a fabulous opening for the film, which will help its investors reach the safety mark. The holidays in the coming days, coupled with no big release for another two weeks, should prove advantageous to an extent.