Aashna Arts' KARZ-THE BURDEN OF TRUTH, directed by Harry Baweja, is a film about relationships.
Sooraj (Sunny Deol) has been abandoned by his mother Sitara Devi (Kiron Kher) for reasons he does not understand and cannot fathom. Homeless and alone, he is adopted by a kind-hearted person (Rajiv Verma), who learns the tragic truth about the young boy from the local doctor.
Years pass but the tormenting experience of rejection and renunciation continues to fester deep in his consciousness. Yearning only for the truth and the love of his mother, Sooraj seeks refuge in alcohol.
Sapna (Shilpa Shetty), daughter of his father's friend, comes to live with them. Sooraj falls in love with her, but doesn't know how to express his feelings.
At the same time, Sooraj befriends Raja (Sunil Shetty), who is in search of his dream woman. Their friendship turns bitter when Sooraj learns that the girl Raja has fallen for is none other then Sapna.
Raja keeps insisting that his intentions are honourable and that he intends marrying Sapna. And contrary to what Sooraj thinks of him until now, he truly does come from an affluent family. But Sooraj does not believe him, until Raja tells him that his father owns a haveli in his town and his mother is Sitara Devi.
What happens next?
The story of KARZ-THE BURDEN OF TRUTH is, in fact, an amalgamation of so many films. Partly JYOTI BANE JWALA, a dash of SAAJAN, a bit of GHAYAL and of course, 'inspiration' from so many successful films cannot be ruled out either.
Writer Anees Bazmee and director Harry Baweja have opted for a plot that's as old as the hills. And it is this aspect mainly that bogs the film down to an extent.
To be honest, barring a handful of sequences, the screenplay abounds in clich?? some sequences do have logic, but also, at times, some of the sequences seem totally irrelevant. Like, the Johny Lever track in the first half is absolutely inconsequential.
Ditto for a few action sequences featuring Sunny, which seem to have been incorporated, perhaps, to enhance the commercial value of the enterprise. For, it's a known fact that Sunny and his fist of fury, at most times, have set the cash registers jingling.
The romance between Sunil and Shilpa also seems half-baked and underdeveloped. How and why does Shilpa suddenly start reciprocating Sunil's feelings are just not explained.
The only enduring moments are shared between Kiron Kher and Sunny Deol. The flashback, interesting told, is quite captivating. Even Sunny and Ashutosh Rana's sequences merit special mention.
The climax relies too much on blood and gore and the train fight in the concluding reel instantly reminds you of GADAR's climax.
Harry Baweja's direction is mediocre, mainly due to an uninspiring script. There should have been some effort on the director and the writer's part to come up with something novel.
Sanjeev-Darshan's music is passable. Only 'Meri Mehbooba Hai Tu' and 'Shaam Bhi Khoob Hain' can be singled out. Cinematography (Yogesh Jani) is patchy. Action (Tinu Verma) is quite impactful.
There's nothing new in Sunny Deol's role. The actor has portrayed similar roles in the past, but it must be said to his credit that he does prove his abilities in a few sequences. Sunil Shetty is passable. Shilpa Shetty gets no scope ? her work is limited to wearing designer outfits and singing songs mainly.
Kiron Kher is alright at places, but tends to get theatrical at times. Ashutosh Rana is the saving grace ? he is simply excellent. His scenes with Sunny are immensely watchable. Johny Lever tries hard to raise a few laughs and succeeds to an extent. Sayaji Shinde does well. Shahbaaz Khan and Rajiv Varma lend adequate support.
On the whole, KARZ-THE BURDEN OF TRUTH is a typical masala fare that relies too heavily on the tried and tested stuff, thus limiting its appeal. The Idd holidays may prove beneficial to an extent, but a long run is ruled out.