More and more telly actors are setting their sights on the big screen. Hussain Kuwajerwala, a popular name on television, takes the big leap from TV to movies with SHREE. But unlike most big screen debuts that tilt towards rom-coms, Hussain's big screen debut is a sci-fi thriller.
Rajesh Bachchani, who has several television shows to his credit, opts for an unconventional premise that had the potential to be intriguing and nerve-racking, but like most Hindi films, captivating ideas on paper don't translate into absorbing movies. So where does the problem lie? Well, the storyteller ought to know that narrating a story with utmost simplicity is of paramount importance. In addition, the screenwriting fluctuates constantly between attention-grabbing and unadventurous, which is its biggest shortcoming...
Shree [Hussain Kuwajerwala], an ordinary man, works at a telecom company. He's in love with a girl [Anjali Patil], but needs to be financially secure before he settles down. Randhawa [Rio Kapadia], a wealthy businessman, zeroes in on Shree as his last guinea pig. Shree is the last piece of puzzle of a scientific experiment, devised by a scientist, supported by the commissioner of police and funded by Randhawa.
Randhawa offers Shree Rs 20 lakhs for participating in an experiment which will last for 12 hours. Shree trusts them and trades 12 hours of his life. But as soon as the time starts, he realizes that his life has turned upside down. He's accused of murdering the commissioner of police. Shree, an ordinary man, is now the most wanted man in the city...
To give the credit where it's due, the thriller -- filmed on authentic locations -- stays a step ahead of the audience initially. It has the elements of thrill -- it gets intense and spine-chilling at varied occasions. The raconteur builds up the plot smartly, encompasses several twists during the course of the film which are wonderfully tied together, but he blows it all up before he reaches the finale.
SHREE is a well-meaning film, but the impact it ought to make is lost due to its lopsided writing. Unfortunately, the film never reaches the stage where the spectator would exclaim, 'Wow! What a spine-chilling cat and mouse game!'. The drama that envelops dishonesty, treachery and viciousness doesn't hit you with sufficient force.
Hussain has an imposing screen presence and he displays the myriad emotions with admirable ease. Anjali Patil, last seen in a commanding role in CHAKRAVYUH, is a fine talent, but is over the top this time. Paresh Ganatra, mostly cast in comic characters, handles the negative part well. Shivani Tanksale is supremely efficient, while Rio Kapadia doesn't get much to do.
On the whole, SHREE has a fascinating premise, but the erratic writing plays the spoilsport!