The September 11 tragedy and the impact it could've had on any individual - the issue hasn't been tackled on Hindi screen before. In that respect, MADHOSHI makes an attempt to be original.
But MADHOSHI isn't an original piece of work in entirety. The makers seem to have borrowed from two films - one English [FACE/OFF] and the other Hindi [YEH VAADA RAHA].
Nothing wrong with being inspired by what our peers had attempted in the past. But, sometimes, a good story can go astray thanks to inept writing and slipshod execution. That's precisely the case with MADHOSHI.
Everything seems fine till the pre-climax. The viewer is glued to the screen, completely involved with the turn of events. But the moment the suspense is unveiled, everything fizzles out?
All human beings are capable of distinguishing the existent from the illusory. But there exist a few who refuse to differentiate between the two.
Anupama aka Anu [Bipasha Basu] belongs to an affluent family [Rajiv Verma, Smita Jaykar - the parents]. But the September 11 terrorists' attack on New York's World Trade Center changes everything: Anu's elder sister and brother-in-law, who have an office at WTC, are amongst those killed in the attack.
The impact of the tragedy shakes Anu completely and she suffers a mental setback.
Two years later, Anu's parents introduce her to Arpit [Priyanshu], a celebrated ad film-maker. Anu and Arpit are drawn towards one another and get engaged subsequently.
Anu accidentally bumps into Aman [John Abraham], a member of an anti-terrorist organization. Enamored by Aman's purpose in life, Anu falls in love with him.
When it is time for marriage, Anu refuses to marry Arpit and slashes her wrists in protest. Anu survives and it is revealed that she suffers from schizophrenia. How Anu deals with the two men in her life forms the conflict of the film.
An interesting plot, without doubt!
The start of the film does not give any indication of what to expect in the latter reels. In fact, the beginning seems like one of those run-of-the-mill commercial films that abound in forced comedy [banana scene], titillation [ad film scene] and an uninterrupted flow of songs.
But the story actually takes off when John enters the scene. Thereafter, the narrative slowly and steadily takes control of the viewer and by the time it reaches the intermission, you excitedly look forward to the post-interval portions of the enterprise.
Fortunately, the second half doesn't disappoint. For the next thirty minutes, layer after layer of this complex story is uncovered and you just can't help liking the innovative concept. But the pre-climax of the film - when the suspense is unveiled - proves to be an anti-climax.
The plastic surgery issue in the plot is what goes against the film. Ideally, when the character talks of plastic surgery, it should've aroused a strong feeling in the viewer. But the way the facts are presented, it looks completely childish, making it seem like some amateur writer was asked to pen the culmination of the story.
Even the end - right from the time when Vikram Gokhale delivers a speech, to John resurfacing yet again - looks absolutely asinine. In fact, the presence of Priyanshu in the last reel makes a complete mockery of the script. Only goes to prove [yet again] one valid point at the end of the film: There's dearth of innovative thoughts in Bollywood!
Debutante director Tanveer Khan [also the writer of the film] seems to have opted for an interesting story and has developed it well till two-thirds of the film, but messes it up completely in the last part. And that is the biggest flaw of the film. Although he has handled certain sequences quite confidently, he should've thought of a much better and a more convincing end to this complex story. Even the way the plastic surgery is conducted looks plain ridiculous!
Roop Kumar Rathod's music is pleasant. The film has a couple of hummable tunes, notable among them being 'O Jaane Jaana', 'Pyar Ka Khumar' and 'Yeh Ishq Hai Gunaah To'. Cinematography [Damodar Naidu] is serviceable.
MADHOSHI belongs to Bipasha Basu completely. This author-backed role demanded an actress of substance and Bipasha lives up to the expectations till the last scene. She is outstanding in the hospital sequences specifically.
John Abraham proves yet again that he's amongst the gifted actors around. The incredibly talented actor leaves an impression despite it being a heroine-centric film. Priyanshu is first-rate, enacting his part with utmost sincerity.
Shweta Tiwari [Tabassum - Bipasha's friend] is excellent. Smita Jaykar, Rajiv Verma, Anang Desai and Vikram Gokhale are adequate.
On the whole, MADHOSHI could've found all-round appreciation had the makers chosen a better climax. At the box-office, the film won't find many takers, partly due to its inappropriate ending and partly due to its clash with a number of films in the same week.