Hindi cinema is indeed going through a transmutation. While a few film-makers continue to have that laidback attitude, refusing to adjust to the fast-changing times and churning out products that are an extension of what they attempted in the 1970s and 1980s, a majority have decided to explore the uncharted path. And with the new generation entering Bollywood, new-fangled ideas are being attempted with amazing regularity. The stories are different and the style of narrating a tale is poles apart from that of the predecessors. A shining example of this statement is Mahesh and Mukesh Bhatts ZEHER, which marks the directorial debut of Mohit Suri. The story is daringly different, but its the execution of the enterprise that catches you unaware from the word go. The film is gripping and actually races past at a missiles speed. The narrative twists and turns in a serpentine fashion, rarely proceeding in a predictable or straightforward manner. The plot reaches the crescendo towards the climax, when the unexpected happens. Debutante director Mohit Suri succeeds in keeping you hooked to the drama for most parts of the film. Suris style of narration is very contemporary and to his credit, the debutante director concentrates more on narrating a taut story than merely making the film appear visually enticing. This clearly indicates that Suri is well aware that content is supreme, not just technique. ZEHER rests on three major performances Emran Hashmi, Shamita Shetty and Udita Goswami. Emran delivers, what can be rightly termed, as his finest performance to date. The immensely talented actor takes to the character like a fish takes to water and emerges trumps. The performance is consistent right through, which speaks volumes about his dedication to the craft. Shamita Shetty is a surprise, a revelation. The actress, who had wasted herself and her talent in inconsequential roles, proves that she can deliver if given an opportunity. She looks gorgeous all through, but more than anything else, its her talent that you notice at the end of the show. This film should prove a turning point in the actress career! Udita Goswami is first-rate. Her role may not be lengthy, but the hammer-strong impact of her character remains right through the end. Also, she looks every bit a seductress so vital for the role in question. A must-see! This writer was invited to an exclusive, closed-door screening of ZEHER. The review of the film will be uploaded on Friday, March 25, 2005.
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