Carnival Motion Pictures & Echelon Productions present “Blank”
Produced by: Dr. Shrikant Bhasi, Nishant Pitti, Tony D’Souza & Vishal Rana
Directed by: Behzad Khambata
Written by: Pradeep Atluri, Behzad Khambata, Pranav Adarsh & Radhika Anand
Music: Raghav Sachar, Arko Pravo Mukherjee & Sonal Pradhaan
Starring: Sunny Deol, Karan Kapadia, Ishita Dutta, Karanvir Sharma, Jameel Khan, Kishori Shahane Vij, & others Sp. App.: Akshay Kumar
MUMBAI— A mysterious young man, who sees nightmares of riots, arson and murder, is discovered by the Anti-Terrorist Squad with a live bomb attached to his chest, which will be detonated either if the bomb is pulled out or if his heart stops. To make it worse, he is injured, does not remember who he is, and how the bomb got there, and while under treatment, almost escapes from the hospital.
ATS officer Dewan (Sunny Deol) and his team of Husna (Ishita Dutta) and Rohit (Karanvir Sharma) are flummoxed, and finally, after his interrogation fails, they get orders to shoot him in a deserted salt pan. About to be shot, he is rescued because Husna, who is searching another arrested terrorist’s home, finds the blueprint of a plan in which Mumbai will have 24 more simultaneous blasts if the man is killed and the bomb detonates. She calls up Dewan in the nick of time.
At that point of time, the young man is kidnapped by other terrorists but almost escapes from there as well. But he meets their leader Maqsood (Jameel Khan) who reminds him that he was indoctrinated to choose this path of a suicide bomber in childhood. Both come back to Mumbai, and there is a twist in the tale. Though all the 24 bombs do explode.
A fanciful tale, narrated in jerky fashion (mistaken for a crack pace), the film, plot-wise, is a wannabe “A Wednesday!” without even a quarter of its grip or emotional voltage. The action is deftly executed (Vikram Dahiya) and the other technical aspects good, but the interplay of different things going on at different places simultaneously seems inspired, not just by Hollywood thrillers but also by our very own “24” (okay, that too was an adaptation of a Hollywood television thriller).
There is a sub-plot about Dewan’s son being a drug addict that adds precisely nothing to the plot – it is not even a red herring! The introduction of the small girl in the riots comes too late, and it is clear that this vital angle was hidden from the audience until convenient. The last conversation between Dewan and the boy suggests hope for a sequel, but that premise, given the way this film is designed and executed, is not only illogical but laughable.
Sunny Deol shines as the doughty ATS officer and regains most of the intensity of his better films. Karan Kapadia is no looker, but as a talent, he is very confident, giving that this was his first film. He has chosen a role (the suicide bomber) that is the complete antithesis of the kind a normal new hero, especially one with a film background (he is the late Simple Kapadia’s son) would choose as his debut. The rest of the artistes have nothing to do, and the villain looks too harmless—again, a cardinal error in such movies when not helmed by mainstream-savvy directors.
The music, once again, is supremely pathetic, with lyrics to match. Songs used deafeningly during crucial scenes are a strict no-no, anyway. The background score is serviceable.
The chief area of trouble is the rather frenetic yet silly screenplay – the tepid culmination of what happens to the man’s bomb on his chest is ludicrous. Khambata’s direction follows a common trail, given that it is debut as well. He fails as a filmmaker who imparts his stamp on his debut film.
The title and the trailer looked promising, but the film, sadly, does not live up. We hope that Karan Kapadia gets a chance to do better roles in better films. This debut may be totally different, but it is far from a dream break as a film.
Rating: **1/2 (Just About)